NEW YORK — In a rare blending of spiritual well-being on ethereal planes and the empirical laws of selling dresses on sales floors, Lord & Taylor hosted Deepak Chopra at its Fifth Avenue flagship on Wednesday.
Chopra greeted more than 200 people who had lined up to get his autograph. One person gave him a red rose, while others just wanted to thank him for being an “inspiration,” as one woman said.
The spiritualist and author, who is a favorite of fashion designers like Donna Karan, also received a warm reception at a breakfast at ’21” here, hosted by L&T as part of its annual drive to benefit women’s health issues.
L&T made $30,000 donations to each of five funds: the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, SHARE: Self-Help for Women With Breast or Ovarian Cancer, and the American Cancer Society. American Express will also continue to sponsor additional funding for a second year through a percentage of sales made at L&T using its credit cards.
“We know there is a need for information,” said Marshall Hilsberg, chairman and chief executive of the chain. “We are living in an information age, and at Lord & Taylor we are trying to create a forum to hear about research advancements. We view it as an obligation.”
Chopra recounted some of the advancements that had been made in conceptualizing spirituality as a means of healing in the past 25 years, since the notion of preventative medicine first arose.
He traced the evolution from the emergence of rare cases of individuals who had spontaneously healed themselves to current discussions by “serious” scientists on the origin of thoughts and their effects on the body, and whether they originate in the human body or come from the same place as nature, human life and even the cosmos.
“Some of the best pharmaceuticals being manufactured today simulate what’s already happening in the body’s inner pharmacy,” he said.
“The body can naturally produce interferons and tranquilizers directed to specific organs, but there are no side effects and no instructions on the packaging.”
Later at Lord & Taylor, customers were eager to seek further ideas from his work. For Tara Westwood, a model living in New York, Chopra’s work holds a personal meaning.
“I’ve been searching a lot within myself, and he keeps coming into my life, either through friends or on TV,” she said. “I’ve even had doctors recommend his books to me.”

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