Tags: Character Education

Last January, before I headed to South Korea and New Zealand, I gave a talk about Brain Education at the Union Institute and University in Miami, Florida to a group of educators. Most of the methods I’ve developed or principles I’ve described fall under the heading of Brain Education; in this talk I addressed why Brain Education should be applied to an academic education and what happens when it is.

While I think most adults would agree that young people need to develop a good character and life coping skills, this aspect of education is sublimated in traditional schooling, with the possible exception of parochial schools and special charter schools. Emphasis is instead placed on making sure students meet specific standards by having them pass tests.

This strategy, however, ignores the intimate link between stress, emotional balance, and self-esteem and brain function and its consequent affect on academic performance. Brain Education recognizes this link and allows students to recognize their value and believe in themselves, making their brain function better and enhancing their school performance.

I’m happy I can share the full talk I gave with you here. What do you think about the way children are currently taught?

Dec 2015

12 Good News for 2016

By Ilchi Lee Comment

One day, you were given life as a gift. When you accepted this gift, you also received infinite freedom of choice. Because of that, you can choose who you are and what the purpose of your life is. You can live according to your choices, and you can even create the meaning of your own life. You live life in a finite body, but isn't it wonderful and beautiful that you can choose for yourself how you will use that life?

A new year is almost upon us. What have you chosen to create in 2016? What will you do to grow more and give meaning to your life, and how will you do it?

Before 2016 begins, rather than "resolutions," I'd like to recommend choosing 12 pieces of good news you'd like to make next year. Picture yourself concretely, in detail, as you will be when those pieces of good news happen. When you do, I'm certain that your creative brain will go into action, and you will feel hope start to rise within you.

That's because good news makes good brains. When you feed yourself positive information, your brain becomes more creative, productive, happy, and peaceful. Your brain's infinite power to create becomes activated.

But it's your job to make your brain good with good information. More than any good news from the world, good news you create yourself will turn your brain into a positive, creative Power Brain.

It's not that hard, but making good news, as well as praising others, need to become part of your everyday habits. It only really works if it becomes a part of your life. Good habits change destiny.

Making good news, however, doesn't mean only considering your goals. Imagine them as reality, plan for them, choose them over other possible outcomes, and act to make them happen. Then they will become a reality.

Sharing good news also activates your brain and helps others have a good brain. Let's create and talk about good news every day. What good news have you created lately? I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

Jan 2016

The latest tour group to come to our Mago Holiday Park is actually made of middle school and high school students from South Korea who participate in a program to develop their character. One of the program prerequisites is to walk on their hands, which they learn through a 12-step process.

I had a chance to talk to this group of bright youth today, so I asked them to demonstrate their handstand walking. It mustn't have been easy to learn to do. Handstand walking requires a lot of practice to develop your strength and balance, as well as the willingness to get up again and again when you inevitably fall, even while knowing you're likely to fall again. Going through the process of learning how to walk on your hands makes you healthy and confident. It's a means of mastering your body and mind. When you walk on your hands, it's not just about muscle strength. It's a mental exercise. You have to employ focus and balance.

These young kids were all able to walk on their hands because they set it as a goal . . . a dream. Having achieved this goal, they were able to understand when I talked to them about the importance of having a dream—but not just any dream. I reminded them that what they choose to do with their lives will determine the future of the planet. They are the generation that has to save the earth—that's how important they are. In fact, we are all that important.

This dream can appear daunting. Faced with it, we may feel that it's impossible to do. Rather than restricting our dream to what's possible in our current circumstances and saying we can't do it, I told the students to start with what they can do . . . and just do it. 

I showed them how that's what I did to open the Mago Holiday Park that they were now experiencing. I couldn't do much to make visitors comfortable or help them experience the natural beauty in the beginning, because most of the things I wanted to do required a permit. Rather than not doing anything and simply waiting for the permits, however, I figured out what I could do right away, such as setting up a tent, building decks, making swings, and planting trees. I've even begun to plant hwangchil trees on the land here, which is a tree that has many natural healing properties.

These young Earth Citizens were ready to shoulder the dream of steering humanity and the earth toward a brighter future, thanks to the mental and physical toughness they've developed through their program.

What is your dream? Are you ready to begin? Do you realize how important you are?

Jan 2016

We are now in what I call the "Information Era"—a time in which information actualizes into material reality. In the past, only those who had power and/or vast knowledge gained success. However, in the Information Era—the age of the interconnectedness of the internet—information is transmitted and distributed beyond the limitations of nationality, religion, culture, hierarchy, and social class. Now, the priority is not accumulation of information, but rather, how one creates and uses information. 

Information, if unused, is only information. However, if information is integrated into your outlook, made part of your lifestyle, and practiced regularly, energy is added to it. When enough energy is generated through your conviction and action, it becomes matter. Then it's able to be used. In this way, the mind and material are not separate. They are one. The information that makes up your mind becomes energy. Accumulated energy becomes material reality. I have called the unity of mind, energy, and matter, LifeParticles.

If you scatter the information and disrupt the focus of energy in the middle of this process, however, then the speed at which information is transmitted rapidly decreases. This inevitably prevents a material outcome because enough energy cannot accumulate. In order for energy to accumulate, it must be concentrated and unified.

Debate and discussion exist to unify information, especially among a group of people. However, once you've united information and chosen the the direction you should take, then you must not discuss or debate that direction any further. If you keep arguing over already unified information, then you will fall into chaos in the process. Until you achieve unified information, you need to debate and discuss freely and share to see if there’s any better information out there. However, when you’ve achieved unified information through discussion and debate, then the next step is to take action. Don’t just talk and think about the possible methods. You must act and build energy through that. You must not diffuse and separate that energy.  


Choose Your Information

The information you to which you choose to give energy determines your value, as well as what you create. In the same way, in this Information Era, the type of information humanity chooses and creates will determine the continuity or destruction of human civilization. 

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are models of success in the Information Era. Rather than being studious individuals who acquired a lot of knowledge, they were individuals who achieved success by changing people's lifestyle with material products based on one idea. They are examples of people who utilized and created information.

However, their goal was to achieve success among the infinite competition. In order for the human civilization to continue and grow, I would propose a different goal—that of Hongik. The goal of Hongik means to benefit each other and live harmoniously with one another. It requires being awakened to the fact that human consciousness is connected to all life and that we need to benefit all life forms. It also requires being owners of information—choosing information and using it instead of letting it choose and rule over us.

Some people are “happy makers” who create good news every day through positive actions and words. They choose information that is beneficial and empowering and that allows them to accomplish their goals. There are also “sad makers” who trap themselves within their own thoughts and fall into their own victim consciousness, fear, and guilt, and therefore pollute everything around them. When we understand that human beings are owners of information in this Information Age, we can choose whether we are happy makers or sad makers.


It's All In the Brain

The process of accepting, choosing, using, and creating information is all accomplished by the brain. This is why the human brain is important in the Information Era. The brain chooses information and creates energy by repeating that information and training itself in that information through command. Then, that energy accumulates and is birthed as one shape or material reality. 

This is why the amount and quality of information in a human brain determines one’s value. How you use the brain and for what purpose not only determines the future of your own individual life, but also the future of all humanity. 

That is why I created Brain Education. The spirit and philosophy of Brain Education is Hongik. Brain Education was birthed into this world to let people know about their brain—what its value is, what its purpose is, and how to use it. 

For teaching Brain Education, I created many educational institutions, from the high school to the graduate school level. Through this education, people learn how to choose information for Hongik, for the purpose of their growth and the continued growth of human civilization.

In the Information Era, people who make and use information need to emerge. They are the creators of the future. That's what using your brain is. There are those who live as slaves as information, and those who make information. Let us all make and use information well.

There’s a story I told at the end of a gathering of the first term of students from the Benjamin School for Character Education in South Korea. This is the story of how a cow defeated a tiger.

Long ago, there were tigers in the mountains of Korea. A farmer had a cow and was going over the mountain when he came across a tiger. So the cow was shaking with fear and the farmer was shaking with fear. But if the farmer ran away because he was scared, that cow would have been tiger food, 100%.

People are like that, too—if they see someone strong, they feel afraid. But if someone strong hurts her children, does a mother run away? There’s something peculiar about our brain. When you have a really big sense of righteousness and justice, there is no fear. If somebody threatens only you, then you could apologize and try to avoid conflict. But say your family is endangered, then it’s a different story.

This cow was an intelligent creature. Even the cow had the instinct to protect her owner. So the owner didn’t abandon her, and he gave her a rub and said, “Hey, you’re strong. You’ve got two horns, and you’re plenty strong, too. You weigh more, and you can win. You can win. You’re strong.” He was right there by her side, cheering her on.

For the tiger, a cow that’s running away is very simple to handle. Why? It’s so easy to get up on its butt from behind. The tiger gets on top and bites the neck. The tiger’s teeth are so strong that once you get a bite in, it’s over. But a cow that’s facing you head on has those horns sticking out. So climbing up on top is a daunting task. So this darn cow was supposed to be fleeing for her life, but instead of running away, there she was, stubbornly holding her ground.  

So then, instead of biting confidently, the tiger did a sloppy job of trying to bite her, and when the tiger was climbing on top of her head, the cow felt like she might die anyway so she headbutted him as hard as she could. Since the cow was angry during this head butt, you can imagine how hard she must have done it. The tiger couldn’t even get his teeth in and was struck with the full force of the cow’s neck, so his body went flying. And when a cow is fast, they’re incredibly fast. She kept hitting the tiger without giving him a chance to hit the ground. 

The whole time, the cow’s owner was encouraging the cow, saying, “You’re strong.” The owner was cheering the cow on like crazy, and after she kept hitting the tiger for a while, he was completely knocked out.

That cow is like us.

It’s about having faith in yourself, believing in yourself. When you believe, your brain becomes better. When you praise and compliment yourself, and encourage yourself and tell yourself that you can do it, that’s when you find strength. If you say things like, "There’s no hope for me," then there won’t be a reason for you to use your strength.

So the farmer took the cow to the village. He was concerned that the tiger might be alive, but wasn’t able to bring it with him. As he led the cow, he kept saying, “You did great. You’re amazing.” When he arrived at the village, he said the cow had defeated a tiger. When the villagers went to see, they found that there actually was a dead tiger there.

This is the way to use your brain.
You probably have this kind of memory about yourself: I usually have all these problems; I have these shortcomings. You have to throw out that negative information quickly. There are so many people who say something doesn’t work without even trying it. 

Instead, you have to praise and compliment yourself. Giving praise eliminates the negative information that’s in your brain. After that, act. 

If all she does every day is plow and farm, then a cow doesn’t know how powerful her horns are. However, once she’s tried the head butt, she knows. Likewise, you have the ability to discover your innate strengths when you do something you've never done before if you keep giving yourself praise and compliments.

Feb 2016

A fish that lives in a river cannot survive in the ocean. It would need a completely different constitution.

And yet, that's where we're headed. The consciousness and energy of the planet, which has so far been like a river, is changing to that of an ocean. Likewise, the conscious beings on this planet, the human beings, need to change our constitution to match that of the ocean. We need to change our small minds, which think first and foremost of our personal interests, to larger minds—public minds that think of the interests of everyone. This larger mind is the mind of an Earth Citizen. 

This transition cannot be made all at once; it takes time. However, we can start now. In fact, we need to start now and practice every day. How we live each and every day is important.

As we make our way to the ocean, at first, because the ocean is salty, we won’t be able to breathe in it, and we'll feel like we can’t live there. It will feel like it doesn't suit us at all. This feeling is the impetus to change. If we expand our consciousness to the greatness of the ocean, we will develop the capacity to breathe in it. Then we will be able to see beyond what we could see before.

To expand our consciousness this way, we need to stay positive. In order to do that, we must purify any negative energy, thoughts, or emotions with meditation and mind-body exercises such as bowing meditation and Brain Wave Vibration.

We also need to speak and act in a positive way every day. Instead of spreading dark and heavy energy to those around us, we can be considerate of others. Even if we don’t feel great, we can compliment people, smile at them, and say positive words every day. Through this, we will change from the inside out.

Mar 2016

New York City Schools Embrace Brain Education

By Michela Mangiaracina Comment

Ilchi Lee's Brain Education methods have been applied by various organizations around the world to enable different populations to live healthier and happier lives. Power Brain Education, based in New York, teaches Brain Education through its training centers, school programs, and youth camps to children, parents, and educators. It has brought Brain Education to more than 150 schools in New York City, and has recently had a chance to do more.

Chancellor of NYC Department of Education Carmen Fariña and District 7 Superindendent Elisa Alvarez
Chancellor Carmen Fariña (center, red jacket) and Bronx Superintendent Elisa Alvarez (right, green jacket).

The Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Carmen Fariña, said at a Town Hall Meeting on February 25, 2016 that she would give a "seed money" grant to any Superintendent in the city who would like to bring Power Brain Education to their district. The meeting celebrated a new partnership between Lincoln Hospital and School District 7, where Power Brain Education had run a pilot program. At the meeting, Chancellor Fariña also publicly acknowledged Power Brain Education's work in District 7 as an example of an innovative program the district has successfully applied for students' social-emotional wellness.

Dave Beal and Bronx Superintendent Elisa AlvarezPower Brain Education Director Dave Beal said, “We here at Power Brain Education are so grateful for the innovative work that Chancellor Fariña is doing in the NYC Department of Education. We are happy to continue working together to encourage mindfulness and emotional wellness in the students in District 7 and throughout New York City.” 

District 7's pilot program included six middle schools in the Bronx and lasted over three months in the fall of 2015. One hundred eighty “at-risk” students participated in weekly 45-minute classes and two full-day Leadership Workshops that emphasized team building, focus, and emotional wellness.  Parent coordinators and guidance counselors also received training in how to use Brain Education methods with their students and parents. The pilot program, which was spearheaded by District 7 Superintendent Elisa Alvarez, was made possible through The Fund for Public Schools’ Superintendents Innovation Fund.

As a result of the program, the students demonstrated dramatic decreases in emotional problems, conduct issues, and peer relationship problems. There was also a 50% increase in pro-social behaviors, including empathy and compassion.

Dave Beal teaches Brain Education to students in the Bronx.
Dave Beal teaches Brain Education to students in the Bronx.

Since the Town Hall Meeting, many districts around New York City have contacted Power Brain Education to establish Brain Education programs at their schools. For more information, visit www.powerbraineducation.com or contact Dave Beal at davebeal@powerbraineducation.com or (516) 578-4632.

Mar 2016

Ilchi Lee - World Earth Human Alliance Inauguration

At the inauguration of the World Earth Citizen Alliance (WECA) and the launch of my new Korean book, Earth Management: Finding Answers in Hongik, in Seoul yesterday, I addressed the audience, which had gathered from seventeen different countries. I would like to share with you the essence of the message I gave that evening.

For the past week, international attention has been on the battle of Go between artificial intelligence AlphaGo and human Sedol Lee. Many people expected Sedol to be victorious; they hoped he would be the one to win. The result was that Sedol Lee lost, 4 to 1, leaving the world in shock. 

Ilchi Lee - AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol match

However, AI experts naturally expected AlphaGo to win from the beginning. People cannot run faster than cars or see farther than telescopes, and in the same way, they cannot defeat a system of artificial intelligence that stores and calculates vast quantities of information to come up with the optimal decision.

While this Go match proved how amazing AlphaGo is, the fact is, what made AlphaGo is human beings and natural intelligence. It’s not the artificial intelligence system AlphaGo that’s amazing, but humans, which made AlphaGo, that are amazing.

How human intelligence uses artificial intelligence can determine whether we make happy results or not. I believe it has to do with choice and effort. The future will be determined by human consciousness. Are we just going to leave our future to science and material civilization? Although they are amazing, humankind created those things. When we realize that and remember that, we can take ownership of our future. I believe it's time for us to have that kind of realization.

What’s important is the level of consciousness of the human beings who are utilizing the artificial intelligence. However, humankind’s level of consciousness is still tied up in the era of geocentric theory. For a long time, humanity believed that the sun revolves around the earth, and it wasn’t until the 16th century that we realized that the earth rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun. Even after heliocentric theory was introduced, it took a long time for people to catch up. I think human consciousness still fails to keep up with heliocentric theory.

The speed of the earth’s rotation is 500 meters per second, and the speed of its revolution, which is even faster, is 33 kilometers per second, which is 30 times the speed of a bullet. We are on that bullet right now. Even though we're moving that fast, we can hardly tell that we're moving at that speed. Although the earth is rotating and moving around the sun, our consciousness cannot perceive it. We are standing in place and see the sun rise in the morning and set at night.

Ilchi Lee - Revolution and rotation

Rather than being amazed by that which is artificial and material, we need to think of our value as we exist on the earth. The fact is that the earth that we're living on is rotating around its axis and revolving around the sun at these tremendous speeds, and at the same time, human beings are moving toward death. In that case, what meaning and value are we going to live today?

Even the sun, which is at the center of the earth’s orbit/revolution, has its own rotation as it revolves in a spiraling vortex around the galaxy. To revolve in orbit around the center as you rotate on your own axis, ceaselessly, diligently, and quickly, follows the laws of the universe and the laws of nature. I think human beings should also live like and have the values of nature.

However, the laws of rotation and revolution are not being followed by human society. Capitalism emphasizes only rotation, pushing selfishness/greed and unbridled competition to extremes. In the end, personal egotism, national egotism, corporate egotism, and religious egotism have run rampant, resulting in the loss of humanity and the destruction of the earth’s environment. There was a time when communism stressed “revolution” (collectively revolving around a center), but the suppression of rotation brought about self-destruction.

Human consciousness must now perform rotation and revolution simultaneously. What matters is what we set as the center for us to revolve around. Human society must not revolve around a center consisting of national power, heritage, religion, or ideology. There is no value more important to humanity than the earth on which we stand and depend for our lives. We must revolve around the earth, with the earth as our center. In the same way that the earth rotates on its axis as it revolves around the sun, human beings must also revolve with the earth at the center as they rotate on their own axis.  

It’s natural and it’s human to live like the earth. 

Ilchi Lee - Earth Management

Instead of greed for money, power, and fame, living as we rotate and revolve with love for the earth and humanity is precisely what makes an Earth Citizen. In this era, there is no greater enlightenment than this. Humans who live like the earth are Earth Citizens, and running the world according to the laws of rotation and revolution is what we call Earth Management.

With all my sincere heart, I hope that the Earth Citizen Movement and the new book today can give hope to people. Seventeen countries around the world have gathered for this launch of the World Earth Citizen Alliance. We have promised to spread the Earth Citizen Movement to 100 countries, and we want to make 100 million Earth Citizens by the year 2020. Our course is now set.

I think it's possible. It's possible because we're in the age of information in which we are all connected. What matters is speed. In order to save the earth and humankind from the abyss of loss of humanity and the cliff of destruction of the earth’s environment, speed is of the essence. We need speed like the movement of the earth and the sun. I promise to begin an era of Earth Management in the year 2020. I hope we can do it together.

Mar 2016

If you keep failing to achieve your goals, your energy becomes heavy and stagnant. Don't worry, though. You can quickly clear away all heavy energy, victim mentality, apathy, and guilt. No conditions are necessary. Nor is preparation necessary. The only thing you have to do is receive the pure energy of the Source, and choose for it to happen that way. Ask for and receive grace. Through the love and blessings that come from the Source of all life, light up your original essence so that it is bright and shining.  

That energy comes from without, and it also resides within. It is your true value, and no matter how far you fall, there is nothing and no one who can damage it. Even your own guilt and victim mentality can never damage how precious you are. Do not doubt your preciousness and value for even a single moment.

When you are exhausted and struggling, remember who you really are underneath it all. There you will find the hope and answers you need. Then start moving toward your goals again, fresh and strong.


Editor's Note:
This message was sent to subscribers of Ilchi Lee's weekly inspirational email messages. To see more messages or sign up to receive them in your Inbox, go to the Ilchi.com Enewsletter Archive.

Mar 2016

I Offer You My Hope

By Ilchi Lee Comment


There is a song in Spanish that I often play when I lecture. I discovered it one time when I went to visit Mexico for a speaking engagement. The song is bittersweet and touched my heart. It's called "Yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón (I've Come to Offer You My Heart)" by Fito Páez, and I'd like to share it with you today. The one I usually play is sung by Francis Cabrel and Mercedes Sosa.

I learned that there's a story behind this song, one that has been repeated in similar forms throughout human history. It's being repeated today. It's the story of conquest. In this case, it's the story of Spain's conquest over what we now call Mexico. 

The military leader in charge of taking Mexico, Hernán Cortés, dominated the native people and eliminated their indigenous culture completely by going into a city and killing most of the people there, from the very old to the very young. They looted the riches, burned the buildings down, and raped the women. From a grandmother, to the mother, to the daughter—they all were raped, sometimes by the same person. Many of them were left pregnant. For the children of those women, the enemy of their mother was their father.

It was through this kind of horrific campaign that the character and identity of Mexico was completely eradicated. That's the kind of history of war that we have. In these circumstances, people lose their hopes and dreams. The most important thing for a human being is human respect. It's your value and hope. When a person loses their value, their sense of self-worth, then they cannot have hope.

But having that value, finding value in yourself, is not about knowledge, evaluations, or ideologies. It's something special. Just because you have money or power, doesn't mean you have that sense of self-worth and value. Of course, your position in society is given to you by society. But that original or inherent human value, that's not given to you by society. That original or fundamental value, that divine value, that's what I refer to as character. But at some point, we started living in a world where people had lost touch with that character.

There was a great poet in Mexico that came to be after that incident. To the people of Mexico that had lost their trust, who were so disappointed in the country and in the government, this poet really wanted to give their heart to the people. That's how this song came to be. The poet said, "You have no sin. So don't stay stuck in despair. Hope is something that you make. Happiness is also something that you make for yourself. Don't wait for somebody else to hand you your value. Stand up. Stand up and awaken. I also stood."

When I went to Mexico and heard this song, I felt so many things, because I could hear the heart and soul of the person who sang this song. I felt, that's the value that we really need to live for. To give hope to those who have no hope, and to share happiness with those who don't have happiness. And the fact that those are things that you make. You can make those things for yourself, no matter what your environment is like. Even for myself, in situations of the deepest despair, I was able to find hope.

Once again, in Belgium today and Istanbul last Saturday, people are facing situations in which human life was not valued. This value that is common to all of us was put aside for more superficial differences in belief. Rather than anger, despair, or fear, once again, we can all choose hope.

On March 29, 2016, at the Ilchi Art Hall in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea, the International Research Association for Brain Education (IRABE) held an association launch and Brain Education Future Forum with  the participation of about 300 people from the educational world and association members.

The forum sought a new direction for education. In particular, it was planned as a place for a discussion that would explore the present and future of Brain Education, which is attracting attention as an alternative/solution for education in the future. Its topic of focus was “Earth Management, Brain Education, the Future of Education.”

By exploring the principles and methods of the Brain Education method Ilchi Lee created for developing human beings’ infinite potential, the International Research Association for Brain Education hopes to contribute to making individuals and society form a healthier, happier, and more peaceful world.

This forum was jointly hosted by the Korea Institute of Brain Science (KIBS), the Brain Trainers Association, the International Brain Education Association (IBREA), and the Global Cyber University, and organized by the International Research Association for Brain Education and the International Graduate University of Brain Education.

Association Chairman Ilchi Lee gave his keynote speech about “Earth Management, Brain Education, and the Future of Education.” Lee said, “Through the recent contest between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo, the fourth industrial revolution that is being led by artificial intelligence is becoming a big issue,” and that, “Ultimately, artificial intelligence is a product that was made by the creativity of the human brain, and what requires the biggest change through artificial intelligence is education.”

Furthermore, Lee said, “The current education that’s based on rote memorization can no longer keep up with artificial intelligence, and what can be an alternative/solution is Brain Education, which develops natural human intelligence, character, and creativity, which are innately found only in humans,” and that, “All you need to do is develop the infinite potential of the brain, which every human being has. The way to utilize your brain—activating the Brain Operating System (BOS)—is the essence of Brain Education (is what’s at the heart of Brain Education). Just as what has produced the human civilization of today is the infinite creativity of the brain, the key to solving the crisis facing humankind is also in our brains.”

“The future Brain Education strives for as a technology for peace is the birth and solidarity of 100 million Earth Citizens who set the 'earth’ and ‘peace’ as core values for their brain. The International Research Association for Brain Education will walk this path with full confidence and conviction that it can bring significant changes to human consciousness and civilization, with the hope that you will join this path together.”

Dave Beal from the US Brain Education Association spoke on the topic of “Brain Education improves the quality of education in the US.” He said, “The introduction of Brain Education in US public schools is increasing every day,” and that, “According to the results of a Brain Education pilot project that was conducted for 180 at-risk students for 8 weeks in District 7 in the Bronx, New York, Brain Education reduced students’ behavioral issues and peer relationship problems by over 50%, and emotional struggles by about 75%. It also reduced students’ ADHD issues and increased prosocial behavior.”

On this day, congratulatory messages were sent for the International Research Association for Brain Education Launch and Brain Education Future Forum from notable figures of the academic world, including Educational Superintendent of the City of Sefaoul Heuiyeon Jo, Educational Superintendent of the City of Daegu Dongki Woo, Educational Superintendent of south Chungcheong province Jicheol Kim, Educational Superintendent of north Chungcheong province Byeongwoo Kim, Educational Superintendent of south Kyungsang province Jonghoon Bak, Educational Superintendent of north Kyungsang province Yeongwoo Yi, and Seoul University President Nagin Seong.

The Speakers

The International Research Association for Brain Education is conducting international Brain Education research according to age group and industry. The research results will be shared through symposiums, conferences, forums, and academic publications, and international interaction will take place through the international Brain Education network. An academic journal is being published regularly twice a year.

Apr 2016

In this time of increasing divisiveness and natural disasters, many people are left wondering what the meaning of it all is. They may feel hopeless and wonder what they could possibly do to make a difference. I think, at this point, we need to think about true human value. What is true human value? What are we and our actions worth? What distinguishes human beings from other animals or from intelligent robots? Where can we find our true value?

One thing that separates human beings from robots is that humans have emotions. It's thought that robots may someday have emotions too. However, the experts say that when it comes to emotional maturity, even when they have emotions, robots will have a long way to go to become like humans.

Animals already have emotions. So what makes human beings different? Unlike animals or robots, human beings have sensibilities. Emotions and sensibilities may seem similar, but they are totally different. Emotions are your own ability to feel things, but sensibilities are a keen awareness and ability to sense, not just the way you feel, but the way others feel. It's essentially a form of empathy and compassion; you can also call it emotional maturity. Sensibilities are emotions with discernment, perceptiveness, awareness, and insight.

Human beings have the ability to be aware of their emotions, how they affect others, and how other people's emotions affect them. We can also sense the difference between our emotions and our true selves. Sensibilities are also your ability to communicate what you're feeling to others. For example, if you feel grateful, then you can make other people feel grateful as well.

Emotions alone are more self-centered. They can consume your senses. When you're in a rage, it's really hard to get out of that frame of mind. You are completely immersed in the emotion of rage. Then it's hard to read how another person is feeling. But when it comes to sensibilities, you can look past the emotion and maintain your capacity for empathy.

Getting stuck in your own emotions and finding it hard to empathize with the people around you is a warning light that you've lost your sensibilities. What happens then is that you tend to blame everybody else around you for the challenges you face. You lose gratitude in your heart, and you just get angry. But if you're sensible of other people's emotions, then when another person is in pain, you feel their pain as if it were your own. If you can feel another person's pain, then you wouldn't be able to hurt them. When you're swimming in your emotions, that's hard to do.

To turn down your emotions and regain your sensibilities, meditations such as energy ball visualization make it easy. Tap your fingertips together and then shake your hands vigorously for a minute or two to stimulate them. Then, with your back straight, hold your palms in front of your chest, facing each other, a few inches apart. Keep your arms away from your body. Imagine a golden energy ball between your palms. Inhale and pull your palms apart, seeing the energy ball grow. As you exhale, shrink the energy ball by bringing your palms closer together. Repeat this motion, expanding and contracting your energy ball as you feel the sensations in your hands. The sensations you feel are manifestations of energy in your hands.

When you try to feel the energy ball, it's hard to think, I'm really pissed off with that guy; I can't stand her; or what's wrong with that person? While you're focusing on energy, your brain waves change into the frequency of empathy and compassion--sensibilities. With meditations such as this one, you can just shake off your emotions and go from your emotional intelligence, or just being emotional, to having emotional maturity or having sensibilties. 

The shift from emotional intelligence to empathic intelligence is so easy once you experience it. Until we try it, when we're submerged in your emotions, it may not seem so easy to let them go. Just like learning to drive or swim, we need to do it and practice it before we can get the hang of it. Then, it's easy. Knowledge does not have strength, but practice and training gives us strength and power. With practice, we can maintain our empathy and emotional maturity.

The reason we need to have sensibilties as we live our everyday lives is because that's when we can go beyond our emotions, and that's when we have the power to control our emotions. We can then make better decisions, not only for ourselves, but for our society and the planet as well.

There's so much information available nowadays that people lose touch with their own importance and value, and that's why they don't work on their own self-development. They don't grow and use their sensibilities. But, now is the time to empathize with each other, to have compassion for one another, and to acknowledge and recognize each person's value. So instead of letting ourselves be controlled by our emotions and letting our environment determine our emotions, we can be sensible of our environment. Then we will have the power to design our environment the way we want it to be.

That power or authority, doesn't come from heaven or the earth. It comes from the people. That means each individual person, every single person really matters. It's only when enough people understand and honor their value as caretakers of themselves, the people around them, and the earth, that we will begin to make a difference and effect real change.

May 2016

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, Power Brain Education hosted a full-day Brain Education workshop and conference at PS 144 in Queens, New York, at which Ilchi Lee was a keynote speaker. In the morning, three rounds of one-hour interactive workshop sessions were held, during which participants could choose among eight speakers each time. These sessions taught how to use Ilchi Lee's Brain Education method to increase motivation, creativity, confidence, and happiness and relieve stress and anxiety. They applied Brain Education to the needs of students, teachers, and parents. The presenters were school teachers and instructors from Power Brain Education and Body & Brain Yoga & Tai Chi.

Starting at 1 pm, three educators spoke at the conference, which lasted until 5 pm. The first to speak was the superintendent of District 7 in the Bronx, Elisa Alvarez. Her presentation shared the effects Brain Education has had on schools in her district. She said that "in the fall of last year 2015, we conducted Brain Education with 180 students who were struggling in school. By balancing the student's emotions, we saw surprising results in emotional management, social relationships, and focus. Through these findings, my District was selected as the most innovative in New York City. District 7 is now a Power Brain district and is at the forefront of spreading Brain Education to all schools." 

Next Ilchi Lee spoke on the importance of giving young people opportunities to develop their character and integrity. He introduced the Benjamin School for Character Education, which he began for high school students in his native South Korea. At this one-year program without a school building, teachers, homework, books, or tests, students choose and complete a "dream project" that ignites their creativity and helps them discover what they are passionate about. He also shared his latest Brain Education technique, which is now the easiest and fastest way to do the 5 steps of Brain Education. Called Belly Button Healing, this technique activates our "second brain," or "gut brain," and increases blood, lymph, and energy circulation. It warms the body, which enhances our immunity. With Belly Button Healing, people can use what may seem like a mere scar to form a stronger and deeper connection with themselves, other people, and the earth.

Although Ilchi Lee usually speaks in Korean and uses an interpreter, during this talk, he recited a poem he had written that had been translated into English. Called "Finding True Self," the poem speaks of the authentic selves all people have inside them. By using our will and determination, as Ilchi Lee used them to recite the poem in English, we give our true selves expression.

Last to speak was Dave Beal, Program Director and Head National Trainer for Power Brain Education. He addressed applying Brain Education to the classroom and the positive results that Power Brain Education has seen in New York City schools so far. Dave introduced the Power Brain 10, which are elements of education that Brain Education helps to develop such as team building, focus, physical health, emotional wellness, and citizenship. He led the audience in Brain Education exercises to give a taste of different elements.

The event drew 160 people in the field of education and 230 parents, for a total of 390 people. It was broadcast live on Facebook on Ilchi Lee's page, which has almost 50,000 followers. The reaction from the audience after the conference ended was very positive. One educator said that she would like to implement Brain Education at her school so she connected right away to Power Brain Education. One psychology professor from a university expressed that she wanted to work at the University of Brain Education in South Korea. She also expressed much enthusiasm about the possibility of having a version of the Benjamin School in the U.S.

Many people came together to make this workshop and conference possible.

After it was over, Ilchi Lee told them, "As the last 20 years flew by, my heart has been deeply moved. You all worked very hard. Today you demonstrated an important rule of your Brain Operating System (BOS): If you choose it, it will happen. That choice comes from will. I used to wander in my life because of my ADHD, and when I got into college after the third try I thought, 'Ah, I can't live like this anymore.' That awakening and that will I had at that moment has led me to this point. Like this, everything starts with will. Will is not your emotions. This is the power that lets you have character and integrity, which is something that only humans have. Brain Education is an educational method that evolves emotions to sensibility, sensibility to human character, and human character to divinity."

Over 200 youth from South Korea, China, Japan, and the United States gathered at the Honor's Haven Resort & Spa in Ellenville, New York for the 11th Annual International Brain HSP Olympiad on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. The HSP Olympiad was founded and run by the Korea Institute of Brain Science (KIBS), which includes research into Heightened Sensory Perception (HSP) among its many projects. The Olympiad challenges students to awaken and strengthen their HSP. They compete in events such as Brain Windowbeing able to distinguish different colors and "read" different letters and words based solely on feeling the energy of the objects with their palms and not by seeing them with their eyes. Ilchi Lee founded KIBS and designed the Brain Education methods that allow people to develop their HSP in order to help people use the full potential of their brains to create the greatest version of themselves and the world around them.

Dave Beal, Program Director and Head National Trainer of Brain Power Wellness, acted as the emcee for the events and the final award ceremony.

The team from each country gave a dance performance for the award ceremony.

The grand prize for the Olympiad was given to Sangmin Lee from South Korea.

The US team received a special award for Team Perseverance.

The same participants remained at Honor's Haven to attend the Earth Citizen Youth Leadership Camp two days later on August 4, 2016. This camp was organized by KIBS in partnership with the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) and the Benjamin School for Character Education.

The theme of the camp was "From the Belly Button to the Earth." It reflects the intimate connection Ilchi Lee discovered can be made to yourself, other people, and the earth through the belly button, an important acupoint in Eastern medicine. The camp also explored what it means to be an Earth Citizen, who is someone who makes the viability of the earth and harmony among its inhabitants their central priority. Feeling a close connection to the earth and its inhabitants is an important first step to living as an Earth Citizen.

The participants first got to know each other with Brain Education games such as 3-6-0 and the Name Game. Then came sessions that highlighted current Earth Citizen activities around the world.

The first session was given by Dave Beal, who presented how Brain Education has been empowering students and building positive environments in New York City public schools. Mané Andreasyan, a New York City high school teacher who leads an Earth Citizen program at her school, talked about the program and led the kids in some of the activities.

Next, the participants were divided into groups and given three questions. Each one shared their answers with their group and sang a song. The questions were:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world (living or deceased), whom would you want as your dinner guest? Explain why.
  2. When did you last sing to yourself? Which song?
  3. What does friendship mean to you?

Afterward, everyone danced freely while focusing on their belly button. This "belly button dancing" is a warm-up exercise for Belly Button Healing, a natural health modality developed by Ilchi Lee to take advantage of the large influence that the navel and the area underneath and around it, especially the gut, has on our physical, mental, and emotional health. By sharing Belly Button Healing, people around the world, young and old, can build bridges and revitalize their health, their communities, and the earth on which we live.

Students at the Benjamin School for Character Education have already begun to share Belly Button Healing and the Healing Life tool developed for it with people around the world. Their activities were presented by the students and principal of the original branch of the school, which is located in South Korea. So far Healing Life has been shared with people in ten countries by Benjamin School students. Their goal is 120 countries in all.

The Earth Citizen leadership courses taught in the United States and the activities of the leaders who go through them were next shown by ECO representative Steve Kim. The Earth Citizen activities in Japan were given by a student at the Benjamin School in Japan.

Finally, to further the Earth Citizen Movement with the help of Belly Button Healing, the International Youth Belly Button Healing Club was created at the camp. This club will build a community of youth leaders who know their intrinsic value, believe in themselves and the power of their brains, and actively work for the welfare of humanity and the earth. The key to all this will be Belly Button Healing and the Healing Life tool.

Through the 11th Annual International Brain HSP Olympiad and Earth Citizen Leadership Camp, young Earth Citizens from four countries came together to form one club for the sake health, happiness, and peace for all.

Earth Management by Ilchi Lee and Dr. Emanuel PastreichIlchi Lee will add another book to the list of one's he's authored with Earth Management: A Dialogue on Ancient Korean Wisdom and Its Lessons for a New Earth. What's different about this book, which will be released officially by publisher Best Life Media on September 20, 2016, is that it contains a dialogue between Lee and Dr. Emanuel Pastreich, an associate professor at the College of International Studies at Kyung Hee University who has trained at Harvard University and Yale University.

Dr. Pastreich's specialty is classic Asian culture, and through his studies, he has noted the traditional Korean concept of Hongik. Meaning to benefit others, the whole, as well as yourself, Hongik is proposed by the two authors as an answer to the world's problems of war, economic disparity, imbalanced food distribution, and global warming—problems that cause both authors concern.

By delving into the original philosophical traditions of Korea, Ilchi Lee and Emanuel Pastreich seek to give readers hope that the world's problems are not insurmountable. To overcome them, they say, however, each person's consciousness and choices are very important. Changing the tragic trajectory humanity is currently on can only come from the work of individuals, not from nations and institutions. Culture, values, and lifestyles much change first before Earth's issues can be managed.

People ready for change, who like books like Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, or who just want to learn something new and unique will be able to get the book next month in either paperback or ebook format from major booksellers online and offline. 

Every morning when I wake up, I know that each and every day is given to me by heaven. It's granted as a favor.

In the Northland of New Zealand, where I have been giving meditation tours, I experience in greater thoroughness that today is not subject to me, but has been permitted me by nature.

Because I know that there is no guarantee that I will be alive tomorrow—no, even in just an hour from now—I live my day in a way in which I am not ashamed before heaven and the people who trust me, support me, and learn from me.

For me, that means doing all I can to achieve my dream of a harmonious world in which people live in peace and the earth's resources are managed for the good of all. Wherever I go, I share this dream with the people I meet, and I share the means I've devised to achieve it. My latest methods are the New Zealand meditation tours, the Earth Village I am building here, and Belly Button Healing and the tool I made for it, the Healing Life. I believe these methods will help many people recover their health and their empathy toward others and the earth. This empowerment and awareness are essential for people to follow their conscience and work together for the good of each other and the planet.

Pursuing this dream, I've encountered many challenges, but also experienced many instances of inspiration and encouragement. A few days ago, I dreamt that I kept going over a huge mountain, again and again. In the beginning, the divine spirit of the mountain said to me, "Nobody has tried to climb up here, and also it's a mountain you couldn't climb even if you wanted to. Only those permitted by heaven can climb it. You cannot be assured of anything." Then, it asked, "Even so, will you still climb it?" I replied, "I will climb it," and the spirit opened the path for me. After that, I went up the mountain. The path going up could not be described with words. I hardly know how I climbed, going up on all fours, going up and up. I was lost and struggling for a long time until, finally, I made my way past the summit. That was when I felt, So this is what a huge mountain is like, and when I had come back down from the mountain, I found myself saying automatically, "Divine spirit, thank you. Thank you for allowing it. Thank you," and I offered three full bows before I woke from my sleep. After this dream, I felt confident that I would achieve my goals if I just kept moving toward them.

Dreams such as these also come to me sometimes when I need to make an important decision. I had one before I decided to buy property to use for the New Zealand tours, for training in Brain Education, and for an Earth Village. A massive samjoko (three-legged crow), a traditional Korean spiritual symbol, came down from the sky. It was bigger than the roof of a building, and it landed on the property I was deciding to buy. This dream also gave me confidence to move forward.

From the dreams in my sleep and working on my dreams when I'm awake, I've learned that what feels like a huge mountain is actually an obstacle of our own making. We ourselves are the ones who build up huge mountains and then break them down several times a day. The huge mountains are not outside of us; they're inside. This is the suspicion, wariness, fear, and defeat we've created inside of us toward the world. 

Just as in my recent dream, the way to break those things down is by moving forward. You need to take action and get out and just do it.

Rather than through passive deliberation and thought, it is through ceaseless movement that you realize that the great mountain you've made is an illusion. Energy will gather as you move, so that instead of a great mountain of obstacles, you'll build great masses of creative energy. When you've accumulated enough energy, your dreams will explode into being.

Every morning, I start right away. I send LifeParticles to everyone working on the same dream as I watch the sunrise, and I take a picture of the sun coming up. Then, I write down how I will use this precious day, managing my schedule in thirty-minute increments. At the end of the day, before I go to sleep, I check whether I've truly used my day to the fullest and give myself a closing report with a score for how I've lived. Then, I fall asleep with my Healing Life, cradling my dream in my heart.

What dreams and values make your own heart soar? For what are you willing to climb mountains?

Nov 2014

Through a chance meeting with a Maori tribal leader, I was fortunate to get an opportunity to give a lecture on Brain Education at a Maori school in New Zealand. I was touched by the welcome ceremony the principal, teachers, and students held for me. They sang a song and played the guitar, and gave a welcoming greeting.

Maori children singing at a New Zealand school

At the time, the students gazed at me with such beautiful light in their eyes, like shining stars. I could feel their souls shining.

Maori children at a New Zealand school

I also responded in kind with song as I spoke to them about the connection between New Zealand and South Korea and opened their hearts. I told them how New Zealand helped Korea during the Korean War and about the similarity between the Hongik culture of Korea and the traditional hongi greeting of the Maori tribe. The Maori have a spirit and philosophy from their ancestors that everything in the world is one, which is expressed when they greet each other by touching their noses and breathing together when they’re glad to see each other and feel thankful. I let them know that traditionally in Korea as well, there is a spirit and philosophy that heaven, earth, and human are one. This is the Hongik spirit. I told them how I feel that the Hongik spirit and the Maori spirit are one. The Maori students and teachers were very glad and resonated with that deeply. Then, I expressed my heart to all of the students and teachers through the hongi greeting.

Ilchi Lee and children doing Maori hongi greeting

We also had time for a video about Brain Education and a lecture about Dahn Taekwondo. The staff who went with me demonstrated Dahn Taekwondo, and I told them that Dahn Taekwondo isn’t just for being a good fighter or for self-defense. It’s a martial art for developing self-confidence and practicing respect for yourself and others. It is one part of Brain Education that is necessary for developing creativity through self-development. They watched with a look of fascination and eagerness in their eyes. After we finished, about 50 students said that they wanted to learn Dahn Taekwondo, so now we’ll give them the opportunity to take classes once a week.

dahn taekwondo demonstration

I was so grateful for this opportunity to connect with these bright youth. While I’m working in New Zealand, I keep moving with the intention of achieving one new creation each day. I act with the mentality that, if we can just get the Hongik dream to take root in New Zealand, I’ll do whatever it takes and run wherever I need to. When I choose with that mindset and get moving, everything proceeds at the speed of light. The opportunities present themselves so fast that it amazes me. If my footsteps can be helpful to others and my vision, I can run faster, as much as it takes.

Do you have an impossible dream? Is it really impossible? It may seem like it, because the amount of strength and energy needed to make it reality may appear to be too much. But, it's not greater than the strength you have.

The strength you need to bring your impossible dream to fruition is the final strength used in the face of death. It's the strength you pull out when you're ready to use every last ounce and die fighting. It's the strength you find when you've decided to take your last breath, and it's your mind in that moment.

The source of that strength is the power of the mind, not only your small mind, but your divine mind. And after that comes physical power.

If you live each and every day with the mindset you would have in the face of death, every obstacle will flee from you. Even if obstacles come to you, they will run away. The strength to make every obstacle run away comes from the resolve to use everything right here and now.

Choose and promise this, and your destiny will change.

Examine your strength, and focus on your dream. Then use every last bit of strength, your dying strength, the strength you need for death.

Jan 2014

Discovering Our True Value

By ilchi lee Comment

“A chakra healing guide heals with light,” Ilchi Lee told the 140 Body & Brain Yoga members and 60 Body & Brain Yoga instructors who attended the Chakra Healing Guide Training at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa in Ellenville, New York for two days on January 25th and 26th.

There to learn how to be Chakra Healing Guides and help people change their life by balancing the energy in their chakras, the participants were told, “You have received healing through light, and, therefore, you can give healing through light. Each of your chakras has a color. And each color has a different healing property. For example, this is green. Green has very powerful healing properties. So it’s life, as trees are green with life. You all received the light, right? It was a powerful light that was transmitted to your brain.

Once again, close your eyes, and imagine that light. And then when you gently shake your head and do Brain Wave Vibration, and you move your body too, that green light will envelope your body, and then you’ll feel that you’re there inside of that light. That light starts from your brain and it wraps around you. Your brain is like a camera. It already took a picture. It took a picture of that light, and it will never be erased. That light is healing you. . . . Energy changes into light, and it changes into sound, and it changes into rhythm. All of those are energy. The truest substance, the true nature of life is energy.”

Ilchi Lee - chakra healing

Light healing meditation is not the only healing tool Ilchi Lee gave the participants. He also showed themSoul Stepping and Bird of the Soul meditation, explaining that what many people are really lacking today is knowing their true or absolute value. That value can be discovered when they meet their true self, or their soul, inside of them. Soul Stepping and Bird of the Soul meditation are energy meditations that allow us to feel the pure energy of our soul using rhythm and visualization respectively.

After experiencing these meditations, many of the participants shared one woman’s sentiment: “I was touched that I can feel my soul and be free through the soles of my feet.” Another participant from Manhattan, New York acknowledged: “Simply by moving and dancing, I could just change. With the bird of my soul, I was not alone any more. In the rhythm of life, I felt so comfortable.”

Ilchi Lee also told participants that it’s important to release our stress and always have a smile on our face. Doing this will make our soul happy and make our Brain Operating System (BOS) function optimally. It’s the people who know how to use their BOS who can heal themselves and change the world, he said.

Then he reminded participants that, “In order to live a healthy life, in order to live a happy life, in order to make the world peaceful, we have to raise and increase human value,” by sharing the techniques they learned with other people, by both showing the people around them and by teaching classes online.

Chakra Healing Guide Training participants had two sessions in addition to the one given by Ilchi Lee. They were led by ChungHae, a main trainer at Honor’s Haven who also teaches a Younggamudo, or Dance of the Soul, workshop.

This is the second time this year this special workshop for Body & Brain Yoga members was given. The first one took place at the Miami Body & Brain Center on January 19th. One final workshop will be given this year at Sedona Mago Retreat in Sedona, Arizona on February 8th and 9th.

Nov 2017

In the beginning of our lives, we learn many things to grow into capable adults who are successful in their careers and their social lives. We're very busy with this kind of self-development. But what happens when our careers have ended and our children have left home? On what should we base the last years of our lives? How should we develop ourselves?

I think self-development doesn't end when we reach a particular age. If we give our lives a purpose and meaning, self-development becomes an important part of life regardless of our age. I think the grander purpose or goal we should all strive for in our development is completion. By completion, I'm referring to the completion of our lives and of our soul's wishes. It is heartfelt satisfaction and fulfillment in the final moments of our lives, when we know that we have realized our highest values and we feel that we can leave this life in peace without regret.

When I've asked people what their wishes were, I've been given many answers. If you take a step back and look at all of them, you’ll notice the commonalities of wanting the feeling of loving and being loved, of their lives being precious and valuable, of living freely and independently, and of contributing to something larger than themselves. While the first half of our lives necessarily needs to be focused on material success, I think the second half can be devoted to these less tangible, more precious values.

How can we make these values manifest and achieve completion? Another word for completion is wholeness; it's becoming whole. People are always seeking wholeness, actually. They may look for it by connecting with other people and having a sense of belonging, or they may become well-rounded intellectually through education. While these are important, the wholeness I am speaking of comes from connecting to the divine, the Source of the cosmos, and feeling unity with it. From this connection, we feel unconditional love and value, and we want to share that with others. So to complete our lives, we need to develop habits that allow us to establish, maintain, and strengthen that connection. Then we need to be of service to others and make choices that benefit the whole in addition to ourselves—what in Korean is called Hongik.

This process, depending on our starting point, can involve a complete transformation, like that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We need to change everything on the inside to the deepest part, as well as changing everything on the outside, so that it is in alignment with our highest values and life purpose.

The Brain Education methods I’ve developed and teach are designed to tap into that deepest part of ourselves and then connect to cosmic energy and cosmic consciousness. They can easily be shared with others to benefit them and help them transform their lives. Three simple exercises for completion that I write about in detail in my new book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, are Longevity Walking, Belly Button Healing, and One-Minute Exercise. These exercises bring connection and completion into our ordinary, daily lives. They make self-development and growth a habit and give us a constitution that allows us to do the things that give us the most joy and satisfaction.

Continuous self-development and living with purpose can be a part of our lives at any age, but when we reach our later years, we have more time and attention to devote to them. That’s why I believe the second half of our lives, the last sixty if you live to 120, is our chance to ensure we complete our lives with satisfaction and joy.

I write more about how to live a complete and whole life and what that means for our current times in I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.

Wood Fire Gif

It's winter here in New Zealand, which is where I spend a lot of my time when I'm not traveling to explore or give lectures and workshops. The weather is a little cool, and although not strictly necessary, sometimes I light a fire in the wood stove here and meditate, moving with the flow of the energy I feel. For, in lighting the flames, I learn and feel many things.

For instance, kindling the fire is easy to do with some degree of training, but maintaining the flames rising from the logs requires putting a new log on the fire at a set time. It requires ongoing care and attention. If the fire goes out, using the remaining embers to rekindle the flame is also important work. Rolling up a newspaper and sticking it into the fire, blowing on the embers, reviving them, and adding more kindling seems to be enough.

But there are times when, looking back, you'll find that the kindling has burned up and the fire has gone out. It hadn't ignited completely. You have to keep checking until the kindling is fully alight, until the flames burn, rising high above the wood. And once every two hours, you have to check on it, putting another log on the fire, confirming that it's still burning. Only then will warm temperatures be maintained all night long.

The process of keeping a fire alive is the same as that of working toward a goal. To achieve a goal, you have to give it energy. You have to keep watch over it, checking your progress. You also have to take action for it regularly and consistently, or else any momentum you have for achieving it will dissipate. If it looks like you're not making any progress, you need to work harder to revive it.

In the same way, you can maintain the passion you feel for your goal, as well as the physical strength you need to achieve it. Regularly and mindfully exercising your body and mind is necessary. I normally do one minute of exercise every hour while focusing on my body, especially my breath. In one minute, I am able to recharge my energy and send more oxygen to my brain, feeding the physical flames of my body. Naturally the fiery passion in my heart renews as my pulse speeds up. I also reconnect with my spirit and revive the values and dreams that give my life meaning.

Just as I eat food at regular intervals, I also consistently feed myself positive messages through the words in my mind and the media I consume. Through positive and empowering information, I keep my mind light and bright. We all need to watch ourselves carefully and tend to our minds so that we don't get stuck in the darkness of victim consciousness and guilt, but instead change our energy and take every opportunity to break free of our habits.

An ignited fire soon goes out if left alone. A dead fire is hard to rekindle. Endless devotion and management are needed to rekindle the flame in your brain, to keep it burning until you achieve your goal. In other words, you need love—love for yourself, love for what you will create, love for all. With love and care, providence will manifest.

But this takes courage. You need courage to keep the fire burning and not give up hope, even when the fire burns out. Guard against selfishness, arrogance, laziness, fogginess, stagnation, egotism, and discrimination. Rather than being an obstacle to your goals and going against providence, choose to be the kindling for the blaze that will power your goals. Be someone who is bold and confident with a bright, shining soul, igniting the flames yourself, keeping them burning.

Though your body may suffer from the demands of the challenges you take on, your soul will grow lighter. Though your ego is in anguish, your soul will tremble, vibrating, shedding tears of joy. Live such a life. Live that way for your own sake.

IBREA Foundation Brain Education program in El Salvador

Ilchi Lee will attend a ceremony at which he and IBREA Foundation will be presented the National Award Jose Simeon Cañas by President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador for their work in effectively changing public school culture in a neighborhood that previously failed to show any meaningful improvement with other efforts. Lee's Brain Education program significantly reduced physically and mentally-related absenteeism for students and teachers in its public schools torn apart from gang and socio-economic violence.  

The award was made possible due to the outpouring of support and gratitude from many teachers who witnessed their school’s security and students’ lives change. 

"IBREA’s program gave me tools to relieve my stress, my anger, my resentment," said Laura Calderon, one of the Salvadoran students in IBREA Foundation’s Brain Education program. "I see many kids around me falling into gang networks. I learned that if I don’t give up in my choice for peace, then people around me don’t give up and also the people around them. That’s how we can improve our community."


What is Brain Education?

Brain Education is a five-step method created by Ilchi Lee that teaches one to tap into one’s own brain power to create self-sustaining health, happiness, and peace through mind-body exercises. It has been practiced by thousands of people in the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, the EU, New Zealand, and El Salvador and is the foundation of Ilchi Lee's teachings. 


IBREA Foundation’s Project in El Salvador

IBREA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) NGO founded by Ilchi Lee that is in consultative status with the United Nations. Its mission in El Salvador has been to bring a sustainable mind-body practice for the students and teachers to handle their unstable environment in healthy ways. Once Brain Education was introduced, their aim was to support the students and teachers in sharing this practice with their community to bring about peace and well-being. 

Their work began in 2011 with a pilot project requested by the Ambassador of El Salvador to the United Nations. It consisted of just one school in Districto Italia, a neighborhood with one of the highest levels of violence and crime, situated just outside of the capital of San Salvador. 

Brain Education has since been implemented in 25% of all Salvadorean public schools, over 4,000 people have been trained, and 1,764 educators have been certified as Brain Education trainers—who continue to teach this method to others in their local community. The results have been increasingly positive and some of the major outcomes are in the participants’ physical health. Teachers have significantly decreased their absenteeism due to illness, alleviated stress-related diseases, and reduced their daily medicine intake. 

They also note mental changes including increased motivation to teach and peer relations, as well as better stress management and trauma and emotional regulation. School supervisors like principals have reported better managing of challenging situations in school with their teachers, parents, and community. They’ve also reported having more clarity in their decision-making ability and more focused attention—resulting in improved overall school performance.

As the founder of Brain Education and the IBREA Foundation, Ilchi Lee, was given the highest national award for a foreigner, José Simeón Cañas Slave Liberator Order, at the El Salvador Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, September 12 at 10:30 AM local time. The award recognized the emotional resilience and culture of peace his Brain Education method brought to gang-violent schools throughout the country.

Ilchi Lee El Salvador National Award

In a speech before the main award ceremony, Ilchi Lee thanked the 250 public school principals in attendance for their tremendous support for Brain Education. He credits the event to their determined and unwavering efforts to bring peace and wellness to their students. More than 500 El Salvador teachers who directly experienced the effects and values of Brain Education recommended Ilchi Lee for the award.

Ilchi Lee speech to El Salvador public school principals

The José Simeón Cañas award honors its citizens and foreigners who have made great social, educational, scientific, and philanthropic contributions to humanity. It especially expresses national gratitude for the greatest acts of protection and protection of human dignity.

Afterward, Ilchi Lee commented, "I saw that Brain Education for these people is beyond the level of training and education. I felt that Brain Education is their earnest desire for decent living, survival, value of life, and center of living. Their hearts deeply moved my heart. I felt that it was the hunger and desperation they had within that made today's El Salvador. I offer my blessings and gratitude to all of the principals, teachers, and others here who have actualized the principle of the Brain Operating System (BOS): anything can be achieved if there is belief and spirit."

Ilchi Lee with El Salvador President Salvador Sánchez Cerén

Also as part of the event that day, Ilchi Lee met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén and discussed Brain Education with him and also with ambassadors to El Salvador from Honduras, Panama, and Argentina. He showed the ambassadors the benefits of the Brain Education technique of Belly Button Healing and signed and gave them copies of the Spanish edition of his recent book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation.

Ilchi Lee with Ambassadors from Honduras, Panama, and Argentina

Brain Education was brought to El Salvador by the IBREA Foundation, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC that was founded by Ilchi Lee. After attending an IBREA-led conference on Brain Education at the UN headquarters in New York City in 2011, the Ambassador of El Salvador asked IBREA to start a pilot project at a school in Distrito Italia, one of the most socio-politically violent neighborhoods situated just outside of the capital of San Salvador. The school was facing a rampant gang problem that was terrorizing the students and teachers.

The four-month project, which included a group of 39 students aged 14 to 16 and 20 teachers, initially met with much resistance from the students and staff. However, as the students and teachers gained a connection to their bodies and minds with the meditation techniques taught in Brain Education, their attitudes started to change positively. Absenteeism was cut in half, peer relationships improved, and peaceful dialogue increased over fighting. Improvements were also seen in health condition, energy level, stress management, motivation and focus.

Brain Education in El Salavdor schools - energy meditation

Brain Education in El Salvador Schools - plate balancing exercise with two hands

Soon, teachers, students, community members, and the government learned of the success of Brain Education in transforming what was deemed an “impossible” and “hopeless” school. In 2012, the Ministry of Education asked IBREA to expand the program to four more schools. With the help of the Ministry of Education of South Korea and the Global Cyber University in South Korea, the IBREA Foundation brought the program to 12 groups of teachers and students in four schools.

Joaquin Redezno Principal Gloria MüllerOne of these schools was a notoriously violent one: Joaquin Redezno. Gloria Müller, the school’s principal, said that after taking on the role of principal, “I was able to secure the safety of the students. But after that I did not know how to tell these kids how to live. At that time, Brain Education came to our school and taught the students how to live by utilizing their brain.”

After seeing similarly positive results in these schools as Distrito Italia, more school administrators and community members worked to spread Brain Education to other schools in El Salvador. By the next year, through a partnership with the Salvadorian Institute of Educator’s Wellbeing (ISBM), IBREA Foundation was providing the Brain Education program to 230 principals and teachers annually, as well as to medical doctors, psychologists and other staff who serve educators. It also certified educators as Brain Education trainers who helped to bring the program to other schools. Now, seven years after it was first brought to El Salvador, Brain Education has been implemented in 1,340, or approximately 25%, of all public schools in the country.

The Principal of Francisco Morazan School, Edis Margoth Cañas de Amaya, herself found relief through Brain Education. “I had witnessed my sister die from the hands of gang members, and a few days later, her daughter was decapitated. Needless to say, I was under immense stress and trauma, and Brain Education gave me the tools to overcome this horrible situation.”

Lee said, "I attended the United Nations Millennium World Peace Conference held in 2000 at the UN Headquarters and read the Prayer for Peace. At that time, rather than making peace through prayer alone, we made a commitment to return to the United Nations by creating tools and methods to practice peace. Brain Education is a tool for peace practice."

Ilchi Lee hopes that more schools in El Salvador can experience a peaceful change in their school environments through Brain Education and believes that El Salvador can become the symbol of peace in Central America


Ilchi Lee El Salvador

Last week, Ilchi Lee made his first trip to El Salvador, a small Central American nation that has been plagued by civil war, poverty, and gang violence, but that has been moving toward peace. One of the tools they are using to fashion healthier, more peaceful, and more hopeful lives for themselves and, especially, the next generation is Brain Education, the mind-body-spirit self-development method Ilchi Lee created. Through the efforts of the NGO IBREA Foundation and the support of the Salvadoran and South Korean governments and Ilchi Lee's Global Cyber University, the Brain Education program has been implemented in 25 percent of the public schools in the country. As a result, these schools, and the families and communities they influence, have become places where students and teachers work together in harmony, where people are not as afraid to come to school, and where academic achievement has improved.

Ilchi Lee meeting educators at El Salvador airport

Ilchi Lee meeting educators at El Salvador airport

The first part of Ilchi Lee's trip consisted of his meeting the people who have worked for and with the IBREA Foundation to implement Brain Education in schools there. One group greeted him at the airport and another was waiting at the hotel in San Salvador, the capital, where Ilchi Lee was going to stay. They thanked him for Brain Education and the complete change in their lives it has had and expressed their anticipation for the coming days' events.

Ilchi Lee with Laura Calderon in El Salvador

One of those people was Laura Calderon Toledo, who took part in the Brain Education pilot program in 2011 that the IBREA Foundation executed in the Centro Distrito Italia School on the northern outskirts of San Salvador. She gave him a bouquet and they shared a hug. 

Ilchi Lee with Grecia

Ilchi Lee also met Grecia Valenzuela Portillo, the current program manager of the IBREA Foundation's activities in El Salvador. Grecia went through the program herself in 2014.

Ilchi Lee receives presidential award

The next day, he received the national award, José Simeón Cañas Slave Liberator Order, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ilchi Lee with El Salvador President

He was also able to meet President Salvador Sánchez Cerén.

Ilchi Lee gives lecture to El Salavdor Educators

Beforehand, Ilchi Lee give a short lecture to about 220 public school principals.

Ilchi Lee on the morning news

On the third day, Ilchi Lee made an appearance on a national morning news show, where he was interviewed about the award, the activities of the IBREA Foundation, and the transformative effects of Brain Education. He was accompanied by one of the Program Directors of the IBREA Foundation, Isabel Pastor Gusman. 

Ilchi Lee gives book to news show host.

Afterward, he was able to give a copy of the Spanish edition of his latest book, I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, to the news anchor.

Ilchi Lee at Pool for Peace Distrito Italia, El Salvador

Later that day, Ilchi Lee visited the Brain Education Swimming Pool for Peace, a community project supported by the IBREA Foundation in Distrito Italia at the first school that adopted Brain Education. The pool was made possible by donations from around the world, and many people in the community helped to build it. The pool serves as a place where children can relax and play safely and where the community can come together.

Ilchi Lee at El Salvador Pool for Peace

All of the students and staff created a heartwarming event with local foods, music, a dance performance, a swimming demonstration, and even a commemorative plaque.

 Ilchi Lee sign at Piscina por la paz

The sign for the pool left visitors with these words from Ilchi Lee:  “Discover their great intrinsic value and manifest that value in their lives. Only then can you create peace within yourselves, in your community, your country, and the world. Always be proud of your pioneering work in the school Distrito Italia for world peace.”

Ilchi Lee at pool for peace with Laura's grandmother and son

Ilchi Lee even met Laura's grandmother and son. Laura is now in college and helps to teach Brain Education in El Salvador and spread its use in various ways.

For people in this area, the Pool for Peace is not just a swimming pool, but a place where freedom and peace are allowed. Having this pool makes the children and community feel worthwhile.

Afterward, Ilchi Lee said, “It was a very moving time of great inspiration beyond my expectation. Now that I came to see it, my heart is filled with gratitude and deep emotion. Children looked at me with shining eyes, and I saw that Brain Education for these people is beyond training and education. I felt that Brain Education is their earnest desire for decent living, survival, value of life, and center of living. The people of El Salvador were pure, beautiful, earnest, and desperate. Their hearts deeply moved my heart, and I made a choice that I would establish the Brain Education Peace Institute in order to transform the Brain Education here to a Brain Education of peace and this nation to a nation of peace.

“Brain Education is not something that can be delivered just as a program. It’s the spirit behind it that gives it value. Delivering this spirit, this value, is the essence of Brain Education. This spirit can only be delivered by people. After all, wasn't it the spirit of the people who came here every day to teach Brain Education that brought these results and changed a country? This is something that anyone can do.”

Ilchi Lee El Salvador presidential award toast with educators

With the dedication of the IBREA Foundation staff and devoted educators in El Salvador, Brain Education is helping more and more people around the globe find peace, hope, and dreams, and the power to create them.

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