On a clear, bright, and warm spring day in April, my father went into eternal life. He embarked on his journey with a smile on his face, looking so serene and peaceful. His soul came here to New Zealand and stayed with me. He came to me with great love, in order to meet with his son.
Father was always more than a father to me. He was a spiritual teacher who taught me the great spirit of Hongik, and he was a friend and companion with whom I could always share deep conversations about the path for humankind.
As I've traveled down my path, I didn’t have a friend to whom I could spill out my heart, and I've always found myself surrounded by many people who wanted to gain strength and courage and hope from me. That’s why I hoped that my father would stay by my side for a long time and be someone I could depend on. Perhaps because he knew how I felt, even after letting my mother depart first, my father stayed behind and lived on his own for another eight years to stay with me and be by my side. That’s how I received tremendous love from my father, and I was able to share that love unreservedly with everyone.
Throughout the 94 years of his lifetime, my father lived an upright life of benevolence and humility as a good father, a good teacher, and a good neighbor, and he lived a life of sharing and giving back. Father was my model of honesty, diligence, responsibility, faith, and courtesy.
When I couldn’t adjust to life at school from an early age, even when our relatives and neighbors expressed their worry about me, my father would always boost my spirits by saying that I was a late bloomer. That’s why I was able to live my whole life without losing hope in myself. Even after graduating from high school, when I couldn’t get focused and failed the college entrance exams three years in a row, he took me to my grandmother’s grave and begged for forgiveness with tears in his eyes, saying that he was at fault for all of my wrongdoing because he hadn’t done a good job of bringing up his son. That’s when I seriously repented for the first time, thinking, “I’ve really messed up big time!”
So then I woke up and got my act together, and as I cleaned up the garbage under the bridge and planted a pumpkin patch from the trash, I discovered the value of my existence for the first time. After that, as I had developed confidence in myself, I opened a taekwondo studio and worked as an instructor, and I wanted to study as well.
Father provided support without ever questioning what I wanted, and he even retired early and gave me half of the retirement pay he received. Through that incident, I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility not only with regard to myself, but toward my family and toward the faith that my father had in me. That’s how Father taught me honesty, diligence, responsibility, faith, and courtesy. As I walked this path for myself, my people, and humankind over the past 37 years, every time I faced the innumerable trials and tribulations, it was that teaching that lent me the great strength I needed to keep going.
Father loved the people, and he loved all people with a virtuous and benevolent heart, and his love and blessings are still with me and with all of you.
Don’t live a habitual life, trained to the familiar and comfortable. Through intense self-examination and ceaseless self-challenge, create change, and adjust your track toward growth and completion.
If you live life habitually, without intense self-examination and reflection, you cannot make proper use of the time and space that have been given to you, and you cannot say that you have genuinely lived your life. The status quo is a state of self-negation, a state from which your dreams and your genuine spirit have vanished.
Walking in place for a long time is harder and less interesting than walking normally. Only if you go forward do your environment, space, and the people you meet change; only then do you gain a new fascination for life, learning, and inspiration. Only if you go forward can you move in a direction you desire.
Though you live but a day, but an hour, you should live for the dreams, values, and spirit you have chosen.
(Based on my book, Calligraphic Meditation for Everyday Happiness.)
Today, the House of Representatives of the State of New Mexico passed a House Memorial Bill to declare February 27, 2017 Brain Education Day in the House of Representatives. The memorial bill also requested that higher education and public education departments in the state consider implementing Brain Education into professional development for teachers and into student curriculum.
Representative Linda Trujillo
The memorial bill was introduced by Representative Linda Trujillo and passed unanimously by the legislators in attendance (70-0). New Mexico is the first state to declare a Brain Education Day, although New York City declared an IBREA Brain Education Day on January 8, 2009.
Linda Trujillo and Brain Education instructors from New Mexico
Ilchi Lee's Brain Education system of personal development has been applied to schools around the United States, especially New York City, as well as South Korea, El Salvador, and Liberia. In New Mexico, a three-month pilot project introduced Brain Education to seventy Zuni Pueblo middle school students, and more than 50 teachers in the Santa Fe public school system have been trained to implement Brain Education in their classrooms.
This memorial bill can open many new opportunities for Brain Education in New Mexico in the future.
Life is something you create. I create the future and I make my life what it is.
Those words come out of my experience. I really threw myself into the things I decided to do, and if I felt that something was right, I made my own judgments as I kept moving forward.
Now, as I get closer to my seventieth birthday in a few years and I hear scientists saying that human bodies have the potential to last for 120 years, I’ve realized that there is so much more that I want to do. So I’ve decided to live to 120 years old. Thinking that I have another 60 years to live has changed my perspective on how to live my life today. I’ve decided that I have to speak English, and I’m reading the English version of my book, Belly Button Healing, every day. I feel very youthful, and it’s like I’m in my thirties and forties.
It’s important to change your whole thought process like this—to tell yourself, “I’m going to live to 120.” If you choose and integrate it, everything will become different. If you just change your preconceptions one time, the rest is very easy. It’s ultimately about caring and focusing.
In making a strategy for living until 120 years old, I realized that you need to change from living in a defensive mode to living in an offensive mode. Being in a defensive mode means being attached and trying to keep something, but being in an offensive mode means aggressively challenging yourself, embracing everything, and staying open.
To go on the offense in your life, eliminate the time you spend contemplating. If you have time for contemplation, increase your physical power. Physical power is life. Physical power is the strength by which you can keep your life of your own accord.
Besides physical power, you also have heart power. Heart power speaks of conscience, character, and integrity. It’s the innate character of humaneness that makes you discover your value.
Beyond heart power, you have brain power. That’s creativity and the capacity for application. It’s not intellectual knowledge, but the ability to assess your surrounding environment and situation and utilize them.
To make it to 120, pour all of your energy into increasing these three types of power, and then use time and space most effectively for your dreams and goals.
It starts with heart power though, in which you experience and understand the value of your existence. Your heart power has to come alive in order for you to improve your physical power and brain power.
You can increase your physical power, heart power, and brain power by changing your everyday-life attitude and your words. Here are three specific ways you can do that.
Smile so much you get cramps in your face. If you have trouble smiling, you’ll inevitably get cramps. Every time that happens, tell yourself, “This is vibration indicating that my destiny is changing,” and change. Practice smiling at least ten times a day, and practice smiling at everyone.
Second, every morning, plant your feet on the floor, place your hands on your lower abdomen, and bow forty-five degrees from your waist as you say brightly, “Bangapseumnida.”
Bangapseumnida is a Korean greeting that means, “I recognize the divinity within you,” similar to “namaste.” Just do 100 repetitions. This exercises your lower back and constitutes smiling practice, and as your belly button energy point (Shingwol) folds and opens, energy will automatically accumulate in your body. When that happens, your face will change, your attitude when you speak will change, and your energy will change. You’ll change into someone that anyone would want to get closer to and connect with.
Third, do a physical exercise for one minute at least once every hour.
Set your alarm to ring once every hour, at which time, do one of these exercises for one minute: Belly Button Healing, push-ups, sit-ups, running in place, or squats. Then, ten times a day, you’ll be investing one minute for a total of ten minutes a day spent increasing your physical power. After a while, you’ll feel your vital power increasing in your body.
As you grow your power, then, you can increase the speed at which you accomplish your goals. This is necessary to get all the way to the end of your journey. For example, if you’re always losing in a fight, in order to go into it with your mind made up that you’re going to win, you need speed. You don’t have to be fast to get hit, but in order to go on the offensive and attack to defeat your opponent, you need to have more than twice the speed. That’s when you can use your skills, and that’s also when you need great strength. That strength comes from mental power.
If you want to jump up from the status quo in your life and live 120 years, you have to shift from a defensive position to an offensive position now. You have to defend when it’s time to play defense, but if you’re on defense and an opportunity comes up, then you have to attack. Attacking doesn’t mean hurting others; it’s taking fast action and risks for your goal. Even if there’s just a 5 percent opportunity, you have to be proactive and attack. You save up your strength, and then if there’s even just a 5 percent possibility, you have to push and move forward. That’s the real new world. Opportunity is knocking right now.
Even if you’re worn out and exhausted, if you have a reason why you have to live, if you have hopes and dreams, then your hidden power comes to the surface. Feeling tired does not need to keep you from attacking when the opportunity arises. Whether or not you’re sure something will work, try it first. If it doesn’t work, find another way that’ll work, and use that last 5 percent of strength that you have left to give it everything you’ve got to try again. When you use that strength, that’s when you help yourself, Heaven helps you, and everyone and everything around you comes to your aid; and because of that, that’s when your miraculous strength is meant to come out.
Grow your vital power. And become the master of your life. Become the master of your body and become the master of your mind. When that happens, you will open the door to an exciting new sixty years of your life.
The latest event of the Earth Citizen Movement that Ilchi Lee initiated took place last weekend in Kerikeri, New Zealand, where approximately 1000 people from 11 countries gathered to explore and celebrate Earth Citizen values and lifestyles.
The 1st Annual Earth Citizen Peace Festival spanned January 27th and 28th, 2017. The first day, called Kia Ora Night, opened the event with performances and food outside at the Kerikeri Domain.
Food vendors at Kia Ora Night
At the end of the lineup of dancers, musical performances, and martial art demonstrations from around the world, the audience danced together to traditional Korean drumming. The theme of the night was Kia Ora, a New Zealand greeting in the Maori language that means "be well." From the messages of each group to the practicing of Ilchi Lee's Belly Button Healing method, all of the elements of the evening came together to share health and happiness for everyone in harmony with the earth.
Body & Brain Yoga instructors and practitioners from the United States performing a hula dance
Samulnori, traditional Korean drumming
Local Kerikeri dance group
Martial arts demonstration team
South Korean b-boys breakdancing
Students of the Benjamin School for Character Education dancing with the Healing Life wand Ilchi Lee invented
Dancing to Korean drumming at the end of Kia Ora Night
Kia Ora Night emcees
The next morning was the main event, Earth Citizens Come Together, which started with cultural performances from a New Zealand native Maori group, b-boy dancers from South Korea, and traditional Korean drummers. Ilchi Lee was the keynote speaker, and he was preceded by a congratulatory address by the Deputy Mayor of the Far North District Council in that area, as well as congratulatory messages from politicians and VIPs from South Korea and the United States. The event ended with a recitation of the Earth Citizen Declaration by representatives from ten countries.
Song and dance from Maori cultural performance group.
Deputy Mayor of the Far North District Council speaks about how much she cares about the earth
Ilchi Lee gives a keynote speech.
Representatives of ten countries recite the Earth Citizen Declaration
The festival concluded with a symposium on The Brain, Earth Citizenship, and Our Global Future, in which experts from the United States, South Korea, and New Zealand demonstrated how Ilchi Lee's Brain Education methods and other holistic modalities have helped youth become confident, discover their dreams, and begin to heal from intergenerational trauma. They also showed how human beings, other life forms, and the earth are interconnected at the microscopic level, and how important it is for everyone to work together for the health and happiness of all.
Symposium speakers from left to right: Dave Beal, Dr. Lily George, Ilchi Lee, Dr. Emeran Mayer, Dr. Juhun Yeon, Naok Kim, and Dr. Reed Tuckson.
Members of the Body & Brain Yoga center in Auckland, New Zealand sing a Maori song
Many in attendance were overwhelmed by the amount of love that was poured into the event. One local New Zealander said the main thing he took away from it was, "Being more aware of yourself, being more positive, and spreading that positivity." A Body & Brain Yoga instructor from Miami, Florida, Franchesca Bisonó, said, "I feel a lot of motivation to keep contributing to make this movement happen."
The Earth Citizen Peace Festival was followed up on Sunday, January 29th by the groundbreaking ceremony of the Earth Village that Ilchi Lee is developing near Kerikeri. The Earth Village will become the main global training center for an Earth Citizen lifestyle and the hub of the Earth Citizen Movement.
Two non-profits involved in the Earth Citizen Movement hosted the festival, the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) and the International Brain Education Organization (IBREA), along with Meditation Tours Ltd., which runs meditation tours in New Zealand based on the energy principles that Ilchi Lee teaches. They plan to make it an annual event that grows in size and scope.