I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama twice in my life and hopefully will have the opportunity again. When lucky enough to share the same space with one who has reached such a level of permanent peace and enlightenment, you stand at attention and hope that even just a little bit of insight and blissfulness rubs off.

In 1988 a little did rub off and the Dalai Lama sent me on a new trajectory that would heal my body and also have me realize the importance of taking care of my mental and emotional health foremost. Once I began to heal and balance the three aspects of self, my spiritual life reignited, reaching new heights with ceaseless insights pouring in. I’ve eventually learned to honor and respect all four aspects of self as they each succinctly depend on each other.

His Holiness’s greatest message to humanity can be summed up in his teachings about having compassion for all sentient beings. He promotes travel and encourages the seeker to get out of their comfort zone, dare to have new experiences, learn about other cultures, get to know the stranger sitting across from you at the table. The more we understand each other the less frightening and more loving the world can become.

Every trip has an underlying spiritual mission.

Travel is not just ‘vacation time’ for me, but rather is like going to church. Every trip, every reason to leave home has an underlying spiritual mission to feed my soul and expand my awareness. Next time you pack your bags, whether on a business trip or a retreat to Grail Springs, set an intention each and every time you walk out the door. Open up your mind and heart and expect to have a unique experience which promises to bring you closer to feeling compassion for your fellowman and closer to your body temple which houses your beautiful, divine self.

Written by Madeleine Marentette, Founder and CEO of Grail Springs Retreat and Spa and speaker at the HEALING SUMMIT 2014. This article was first published on JustBreatheMag.