The 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit kicks off in New Delhi this Saturday, and the appearance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzen Gyatso, on Sunday, October 6, will be a hot topic. The renowned spiritual leader's keynote session, "What is Wellness?," and the Q&A session moderated by Dr. Kenneth Pelletier following his remarks, promise to be a high point in the annual conference, which attracts industry leaders from over 40 countries who meet to debate and shape the future of the spa and wellness industry.
His Holiness, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who, according to a Harris Interactive poll conducted in May, was found to be the most popular world leader in the U.S. and six European nations, has spoken and written about health and wellness for many years, both from the scientific side, as well as the experiential side. But what can this wise man, the author of 72 books who refers to himself as a simple Buddhist monk, really teach world leaders -- and all of us -- about wellness in a world increasingly turning to high-tech, high-cost medicine? After all, this is a man who believes, "We have more experts but more problems ... more medicines but less health."
The answer is simply that His Holiness the Dalai Lama keeps wellness simple. He believes the purpose of life is to be happy, and he teaches an interfaith message of peace, understanding, responsibility, loving kindness and compassion -- a path to wellness that can be achieved by being compassionate and caring to oneself and to others. A healthier life that can be achieved simply by taking time to care.
At a conference on wellbeing as it relates to global health and happiness, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and moderated by Arianna Huffington, His Holiness observed:
Maybe it's due to a fundamental misunderstanding that it's the physical that you have to fix. We need to view these things in a different way. Because we take physical health seriously we have codes of physical hygiene; I'm proposing that equally important are codes of mental and emotional hygiene.
And it is likely that his audience at the Summit will learn that they are in complete agreement with His Holiness' powerful argument that emotional wellbeing can have an immense impact on physical health. For decades spas have been dedicated to helping people live well through exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction; today, that focus is even stronger, as spas of all types around the globe rededicate their efforts to bring wellness to a 24/7 world where technology and high stress levels are the norm.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said, "Healthy, happy families and ... healthy peaceful nation(s) are dependent on warm-heartedness." We couldn't agree more.
This blog post is part of a series produced by The Global Spa and Wellness Summit, in conjunction with Global Spa and Wellness Summit 2013 on October 5- 7 in New Delhi, India. For more information about The Global Spa and Wellness Summit, click here.