Known for his pioneering work in the field of mind-body medicine, David Simon played a key role in bringing the healing practices of meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda into the mainstream medical world.
Carlsbad, CA — January 31 2012 — Chopra Center co-founder David Simon, M.D. passed away at home on January 31, 2012, surrounded by his family in San Diego, California. The Chopra Center staff and friends throughout the world expressed their sorrow at the news, responding with an outpouring of love on a special webpage Remembering David, created for the community to share their stories and celebrate the life of a man who touched so many lives.
Deepak Chopra, a longtime medical colleague and friend who co-founded the Chopra Center with David Simon in 1996 said, “David has been my friend, partner, teacher, trusted colleague, and younger brother for more than twenty years. He has touched my heart, influenced the way I think, and expanded my spirit. David approached life from a place of pure potentiality and unlimited possibilities. His wisdom, courage, and love will continue to inspire all of us for decades to come.”
A Legacy of Healing As a board-certified neurologist and expert in Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems, David Simon brought a unique perspective to the relationship between the mind, body, emotions, and health. As a young medical student, he was disillusioned by a medical paradigm that viewed the body as a physical “machine” and generally rejected the connection between the mind and the body. David began to study the ancient wisdom traditions of India, Tibet, and China, encouraged by the way in which they combined the concept of body, mind, and spirit into a definition of a health as something more than just the absence of disease, but as a state of well-being and vitality.
David’s first exposure to an Ayurvedic physician was to have a profound impact on his personal life and career. In his book The Wisdom of Healing, David describes meeting this gentle vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor), whose kind-hearted, open nature seemed to inspire the trust of his patients, who were then able to share their deepest concerns and get the most benefit from their visit.
David was struck by how the vaidya’s own presence seemed to be the most powerful aspect of his therapy. “More than an expert on health, he seemed to be a living representative of a healthy person, balanced in body, mind, and spirit. In this man, I saw the possibility that a physician could be more than a technical master of pathology – a doctor could guide his patients to health through his actions, words, and being.”
Deeply drawn to the wisdom of Ayurveda, David ultimately became a recognized expert in this 5,000-year-old healing system, including its sister science, yoga. Throughout his medical career, he focused on integrating the theory and practice of these ancient healing sciences with the newer developments of modern Western medicine. He forged a model of health that integrates the multiple dimensions of a human being ― environmental, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual.
As a driving force behind the Chopra Center's flagship programs and workshops, David developed the signature Journey into Healing mind-body wellness workshop and directed and led many of the Chopra Center's other programs, including Perfect Health and Healing the Heart.
David Simon wrote many popular books on health and well-being, including his best-selling guide Free to Love, Free to Heal: Heal Your Body by Healing Your Emotions. His other popular books include The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Guidebook; Return to Wholeness: Embracing Body, Mind, and Spirit in the Face of Cancer; The Wisdom of Healing; Vital Energy; and The Ten Commitments: Translating Good Intentions into Great Choices.
Recognized as a leading authority in the effective and appropriate use of mind-body medicine practices, Dr. Simon's endeavors resulted in the training of thousands of physicians, nurses, and health care providers. One of the first recipients of a National Institutes of Health grant to study mind-body medical approaches to improving health care, David helped bring integrated mind-body medical programs to medical institutions, health centers, educational institutions, and health resorts throughout the world.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to support Glioblastoma Cancer Research at U.C. San Diego. Please visit the Remembering David website for the mailing address or to make an online donation.
About the Chopra Center
The Chopra Center for Wellbeing was founded by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D. in 1996. Located in Carlsbad, California, the Center offers a wide variety of programs, retreats, and teacher training programs that integrate the healing arts of the East with the best in modern Western medicine. The Chopra Center has helped millions of people around the world find peace of mind, physical balance, and emotional healing. The website www.chopra.com is your starting point on the path to wellness.