Speaker: Shantum Seth

Life as a pilgrimage: In the Footsteps of the Buddha

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Shantum Seth received the ‘lamp transmission’ from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh ordaining him as a Dharmacharya  (Teacher of the Dharma) in 2001 and he has been teaching in India and across the world. He has also been leading pilgrimages ‘In the Footsteps of the Buddha' and other multi-faith and transformative journeys since 1988. He is considered the foremost guide to the sites associated with the Buddha and is a profound cultural interpreter.

He is actively involved in social, environmental and educational programmes including work on cultivating mindfulness in society, with educators, the Central Reserve Police Force, the corporate sector amongst others.

This is pioneered by the non-profit trust, Ahimsa www.ahimsatrust.org of which he is one of the Founders. He has been a Senior Advisor to the World Bank and advised the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. He worked in the corporate sector and later in social advocacy and development, fifteen years of which were with the United Nations Development Programme, managing programmes on Volunteer Promotion and Artisan Development across 16 countries, as also initiating the Endogenous Tourism programme in India.

He has contributed to a number of books including 'Walking with the Buddha', 'Planting Seeds… Sharing Mindfulness with Children', and 'Volunteers Against Conflict'. He has also been a consultant on films including 'Life of the Buddha' by BBC/Discovery, and 'The Story of India' made by BBC/PBS. He and his work have been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, and National Geographic, besides many other publications in India.

He has spoken on Tedx and had a weekly programme on Zee TV in India, where he offered teachings on Buddhism and Meditation in Everyday Life. He has led mindful journeys  and been a guest speaker for many institutions including the Young Presidents’ Organisation, Phillips Exeter Academy, Rietberg Museum, the United Nations Development Programme executive board, the Confederation of Indian Industries, and a number of other educational institutions, corporations and museums East and West.

He has also led private sessions and tours for individuals such as Drew Barrymore and Sting. Shantum Seth comes from a well-known family, studied at The Doon School and St Stephen’s College in India and then graduated in Development Studies with his thesis in Gandhian Economics from the University of East Anglia, while also graduating in Footwear Technology and Management in Leicester, England. His commitment to a cross-cultural understanding, with a mission of ‘Peace in Oneself, Peace in the World’ has led him to travel to more than 65 countries and nearly every state of India.

Having lived in England, the USA and France (in a monastery) for over 14 years, he is now living with his wife, Gitanjali and daughters in Dehradun, in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.

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