Deepak Chopra Takes Manhattan
I knew it was going to be an exhilarating event—and as an event photographer, I knew it would one of the most important of my career.
It was October 2, and Deepak Chopra was launching his new book, MetaHuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, at the United Palace of Spiritual Arts, Manhattan’s fourth-largest theatre. As a thousand-plus people of all ages and ethnicities started filing into the theatre’s orchestra level, I could feel the energy in the place rising.
The United Palace, which is located at 175th Street and Broadway, in Washington Heights, is a magnificent venue—not just a beautiful sacred space for all, but overwhelming in size, with a seating capacity of 3,400. Upon entering the enormous lobby, I was instantly struck by the amazingly high vaulted ceilings, the red carpet, the gold columns and the exquisite artwork. The building is truly an architectural wonder.
Built in 1930, it was designed by Thomas Lamb, the architect who also designed the Cort and Ziegfeld Theatres, along with decorative specialist Harold Rambush, known for his work on the Waldorf Astoria and Radio City Music Hall. In its day, it was one of the region’s premier vaudeville and movie houses.
The United Palace, which took over the building in 1969, honors its legacy through programming that fuses spirituality, art, world culture and entertainment through programing such as concerts, multi-media productions, movie screenings and more. The goal is to cultivate compassion, wisdom and peace through spiritual practices born of the great wisdom traditions and joyous connection to spirit.
The October event was in keeping with that mission—blending message and music to inspiring effect. The evening was broken up into three parts. The first part focused on Deepak signing books on stage for a limited number of attendees. Seated near him was gifted musician and composer Adam Maalouf, who played the pan-tam, producing a glorious stream of sounds that made this early part of the evening incredibly special and memorable.
Rev. Heather Shea, the United Palace’s spiritual director and chief executive officer, welcomed everyone and then introduced the legendary author and spiritual teacher Jean Houston, who in turn gave a riveting introduction of Deepak Chopra.
When Deepak came on stage, his commanding presence seemed larger than life. He spoke about how we can all move beyond our present limitations to a field of infinite possibilities. By entering a new state of awareness, we can access peak experiences that will transform us from the inside out. The result, he said, is liberation from old conditioning and all the mental constructs that underlie anxiety, tension and ego-driven demands. He calls this state “metahuman.”
His new book concludes with a 31-day guide to becoming metahuman.
“Once you wake up,” he writes, “life becomes
transformed because pure consciousness—which is the field of all possibilities—dawns
in your life. Only then does your infinite potential become your personal
After his talk, he proceeded to the stunning main lobby of the United Palace, where he signed books for several hundred people.
It’s no wonder that people around the world revere Deepak Chopra. He speaks from his heart and soul and encourages us all to live more joy-filled lives. It was an illuminating, energizing, inspiring, thought-provoking and unforgettable event.
For me, it was also an
extraordinary opportunity to capture in photographs all the memorable moments
and special interactions Deepak had with the people who had come to hear him
and have him autograph their books.
It was a night I
will never forget. As I took in the beauty of the scene—one
inspiring man and a thousand-plus inspired people, in a magnificent historic setting—I
thought, “This was the perfect place for Deepak Chopra to do his book launch.”
Goldstoff is a publicist, an event photographer, creator of The Golden Rolodex
Group networking organization and producer of Golden Rolodex events. Her
mission is “to shine the light on those whose words, books, art, music, dance
and services are helpful and healing to the world.” For more information, visit JanGoldstoff.com.