As far back as he can remember, every day of his life someone has asked Gotham Chopra what it was like to have Deepak Chopra as a father. They wanted to know if Gotham is a master practitioner of the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, whether he is in Perfect Health, if he meditates all day—in short, if he lives the perfect spiritual life. The answer is no.
Gotham likes to consider himself pretty normal, but he acknowledges that he and his sister were exposed to the deepest reservoirs of knowledge that his father could find, from the Bible to biology, the Gita to The Great Gatsby. Gotham spent his childhood learning about curiosity and wisdom, open-mindedness and passion. In thinking back on those lessons, and of the many teachers he has had in his life, three come to mind. One, predictably, is his father. The others, not so predictably, are the family dogs: Cleo and Nicholas.
A father himself now, Gotham is charged with the importance of his new role, and the need to contemplate what values and wisdom he can impart to his child. It took grandfather Deepak a while to warm up to the puppy Cleo, but gradually he found in Cleo the embodiment of the philosophies he has written about in his eighty or so books. Deepak identifies twelve canine qualities in Cleo that we would all be well served to nurture in ourselves: joy and playfulness, innocence, devotion and trust, unconditional love, companionship, intuition, acceptance of grief and loss, forgiveness, one-pointed intention and attention, present moment awareness, unfoundedness, communion and higher guidance.