On April 5, 2019, the governor of New Mexico signed a bill allocating up to $100,000 to train public school teachers in Ilchi Lee’s Brain Education method. These funds will be implemented in the new fiscal year in July 2019 to train teachers at five public schools.
The bill was championed by house representatives Linda Trujillo and Christine Trujillo with support from state senators Nancy Rodriguez and Linda Lopez.
Left to right: New Mexico State Representatives Christine Trujillo and Linda Trujillo and New Mexico State Senators Linda Lopez and Nancy Rodriguez
A five-step process of brain training for self-management, Brain Education had already been tested in New Mexico in a three-month pilot program in 2013 with seventy Zuni Pueblo middle school students led by local Brain Education instructors with the IBREA Foundation. After the program, the school reported marked improvements in academic and social behavior, as well as increased attendance. A Brain Education pilot project was also run at the Santa Fe Juvenile Probation Day Reporting program by instructors from Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi in 2015, and in 2018, Body & Brain ran a demonstration project during the spring semester at three schools chosen by the New Mexico Department of Public Education. Afterward, one teacher, Jessica Forbes, said, “I hope the program continues in the district and teachers continue to use the activities and strategies because it helps with classroom culture and team building as well as improve student achievement and performance.” So far, more than sixty Santa Fe public school teachers have already been trained to use Brain Education in their classrooms.
Zuni Pueblo middle school students practicing Brain Education exercises.
Further evidence of Brain Education’s efficacy came from documented results in schools in New York City, El Salvador, South Korea, and Liberia, where it helped to improve concentration, academic performance, stress levels, emotion management, and relationships in students and teachers. It was recognized by the government of El Salvador in September 2018 for bringing a culture of peace to violence-ridden schools there, and Brain Education days and weeks have been declared in different U.S. cities and states. The most recent Brain Education Day was declared by the New Mexico House of Representatives itself on February 27, 2017.
New Mexico House of Representatives
In spite of the evidence for the marked improvements Brain Education has brought to schools and communities, the road to being awarded this budget was not short. Brain Education was first introduced in 2012 by State Senator Linda Lopez and then again in to the Legislative Education Study Committee in 2013. Funding bills for Brain Education teacher training were proposed in 2014 and again in 2015, but were not passed at that time. However, proponents of Brain Education persisted with conviction in its benefits.
When Ilchi Lee heard the budget bill had been passed, he sent a message to those who had worked on it saying, “I congratulate you with all my sincere heart. Because I know what kind of mindset you focused with, it’s even more touching, and I feel a thrill of exhilaration in my heart.”
New Mexico has prided itself on finding innovative education solutions, despite its ongoing challenges. The state has consistently been ranked next to last in education by the annual Quality Counts report of the national Education Week magazine and was even ruled by a state judge that it was “violating the constitutional rights of ‘at-risk students’ by failing to provide them with a sufficient education,” according to the Albuquerque Journal. One of reasons attributed to the state’s low performance is a 29 percent poverty rate among the state’s children, one of the nation’s highest.
This year’s Quality Counts report, however, showed small gains in the number of children enrolled in early childhood education programs and in its high school graduation rate. To multiply these gains and continue New Mexico’s tradition of innovation, the state’s new governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and its congress increased the state education budget by 16 percent ($447 million) this year. The new budget will fund higher salaries, more days in school, and new programs such as Brain Education.
The new changes introduced for the coming year have made many educators optimistic according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Farmington Municipal Schools Superintendent Eugene Schmidt said in response, “New Mexico is at a tipping point, and all of these opportunities will turn that tipping point into balance, and that will pay off for kids in the classroom.” The general sentiment was summed up by one seventh-grade math teacher at Kirtland Middle School, Cherylnn Lee, who said this year has a different feeling than years past: “That’s what everyone is feeling—that there is hope.”
Ilchi Lee’s educational website, ChangeYourEnergy.com, is hosting a special exhibition of his brush calligraphy between March 21st and April 30th, 2019. This is the first time Ilchi Lee’s calligraphy is being exhibited online, giving anyone an opportunity to view and/or purchase it.
Change Your Energy created this exhibition because of the calligraphy’s ability to change the energy of a viewer or a space. It’s part of the site’s commitment to empowering people to create the life and the world of their dreams.
In East Asia, brush calligraphy is valued as the highest form of expression and art because the energy, character, and intentions of the writer can be felt from every stroke. Ilchi Lee made these calligraphy works in a state of deep meditation. He said, “My soul is expressed whenever I pick up a brush, dip it in ink, and let it glide across paper. With my back and brush held straight, I relax into the flow of energy. The brush moves on its own, creating shapes and meanings I become aware of simultaneously. The wisdom and energy of life reveals itself freely moment by moment and is communicated in each brushstroke.”
The words of each piece express an important energy principle or philosophy, ones that Ilchi Lee has been teaching for almost forty years. The calligraphy communicates his hope that “every human being discovers their value and life force within them and expresses them in their lives,” the exhibition webpage states.
The exhibition includes original one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as pieces available for reprint. They are framed in a simple, yet traditional style, with the reprints made to order. Some of the original pieces are more ornate, being framed in gold with gold trim along the sides of the rice paper the calligraphy is painted on. The artwork ranges from Chinese characters to English words to abstract pictures.
After April 30th, Ilchi Lee’s calligraphy is not expected to be exhibited in the near future.
Ilchi Lee’s biggest events of 2019 in the United States happened over the last two weekends. The Shin Myung Festivals hosted by Body & Brain Yoga and Health, Inc. brought 900 people in New York and 1200 people in Los Angeles together for celebration and meditation.
Participants were first treated to qigong demonstrations and dance performances by Body & Brain Yoga members. Then they were introduced to the work of Ilchi Lee’s students, who have applied his Brain Education method in schools in the United States and El Salvador, as well as at their workplaces and through technology such as YouTube and the upcoming brainrecharge.com.
Ilchibuko Todd of Tao Fellowship, a nonprofit near Sedona, Arizona that Ilchi Lee founded, led the audience through the basics of Brain Education, preparing them to receive a lot of energy and wisdom during Ilchi Lee’s interactive lecture.
An important part of the event was the Pineal Gland Meditation and Chunmoon (Heavenly Gate) Meditation participants experienced. These meditation methods were designed to balance the health of the body and awaken the creative potential of the brain. This results from creating a state of Shinmyung, which literally means “divinity” (shin) “brightness” (myung). These two meditations enhance and increase the bright, divine energy Ilchi Lee says is present in the brain. Many participants shared they felt brighter and more hopeful after the event, and were inspired to share Ilchi Lee’s Brain Education methods, such as Pineal Gland Meditation and Chunmoon Meditation.
After the event, Ilchi Lee commented that altogether the Shin Myung Festival “was on fire and filled with the most passion in all the history of the [events in the U.S.], a very precious time spent together with over 2,000 people. I threw myself into it completely . . . and great resonance and connection took place. It was a time of beauty and greatness.”
In addition to the people who attended the event, many joined online as well. The entire New York event was streamed to almost 60 people in the United States, while the Los Angeles event reached 102 people in the United States. The LA event was also available in South Korea and Japan, where 404 and 59 people tuned in respectively.
The New York Shin Myung Festival took place at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa in Ellenville, NY, a center for Brain Education, while the LA event was hosted at the The Westin Hotel - Los Angeles Airport.
Many of the ideas and meditations Ilchi Lee discussed during the Shin Myung Festival, especially Pineal Gland Meditation and Chunmoon Meditation will be including in his upcoming book, Connect.
If you want to learn more about Brain Education, you can view easy snapshots of the method at BrainEducationTV.com or take online courses at ChangeYourEnergy.com. It is also taught at all Body & Brain Yoga centers. Find the center nearest you at BodynBrain.com.
What does it mean to "use your brain well?" asks Ilchi Lee in his welcome message to the new YouTube channel he started in October 2018, Brain Education TV. “Using your brain well means being healthy, happy, and peaceful,” he explains.
How do you do this? Brain Education TV brings you the answers. Hosted by Ilchi Lee’s students, Linda Yoonjin and Gabi Petrylaite, this channel introduces the Brain Education concepts and techniques for using your brain well that Ilchi Lee has developed over the last forty years in easy, fun ways.
Brain Education is a five-step method consisting of hundreds of simple, effective mind-body-spirit techniques that incorporate meditation, mindfulness, energy healing, and yoga. Practicing them consistently helps to bolster attention and awareness, break free from old habits and emotions, release stress and negativity, recharge energy, and uncover inner purpose and value. Brain Education is a system for life mastery through mastering the rules that govern the brain.
Linda and Gabi, both of whom have seen positive changes in their lives from practicing Brain Education, hope to enable viewers to experience this too by showing them how to apply Brain Education to their daily lives. The variety of video styles planned, from interviews to how-tos to ASMR, will address topics on energy, wellness, spirituality, and more. This high-energy, positive content will demonstrate how all aspects of life relate to using your brain well.
One of the first podcast series on the channel was introduced on January 16, 2019: Dr. Reed Decided to Live 120 Years. The podcast’s host, Dr. Reed Tuckson, MD, and his weekly expert guests will discuss ways to live a long and healthy life based on Ilchi Lee’s book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation. They will combine concepts of western and eastern medicine to explore the best ways to live a healthier, happier, and more peaceful life.
The steadily-growing channel plans to post new videos three times a week, so viewers are encouraged to subscribe and sign up for notifications to make sure they see them all. Go here to see the channel and subsribe!
Watch Ilchi Lee’s message welcoming all Brain Education TV viewers:
Ilchi Lee attended the 56th Korea Sports Awards on October 15, 2018, an annual award ceremony by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to honor those who have contributed to sports development and promotion. At the ceremony, he was given the Republic of Korea Life Sports Promotion Award for his contribution for the past 38 years to the improvement of the physical and mental health of the Korean people and the development of life sports. This year, Ilchi Lee was the only person given this award, which has a long tradition.
Ilchi Lee's long tradition began in 1980, when he started teaching exercises for free in a park in Anyang. These exercises that work your body, mind, and energy were based on an even older tradition, thousands of years old, called Sundo, a Korean Tao practice. The exercises became the basis of the many methods for health and self-development Ilchi Lee has created.
One style, called Kookhak Kigong, is being freely taught in 5,000 community locations in Korea by members of the Kookhak Qigong Association and is practiced by about one million people. Kookhak Kigong is considered a Life Sport, as it is practiced by people of all ages and significantly contributes to their physical and mental health. In 2016, the Kookhak Qigong Association was named an official member organization of the Korean Olympic Committee.
Kookhak Kigong is also practiced in other countries where Ilchi Lee's methods have traveled, including Japan, China, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Belgium, and Qatar. For the past six years, Kookhak Kigong practitioners worldwide have gathered in Korea to show their skills at a Kookhak Kigong conference and competition. In October 2018, 10,000 people from 13 countries attended the event.
Lee took the stage to receive the Life Sports Promotion Award with winners of gold medals in the recent 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
One of them was skeleton racing gold medalist Sungbin Yun.
Ilchi Lee congratulated all Kookhak Kigong instructors and practitioners, saying this award was for them as well.
You can watch him receiving the award in this short video.