For the past few months, I've been in New Zealand running meditation tours. The energy of nature is so pure and strong here that when people spend time with it, simply and quietly, their own original nature emerges. Our original nature is in harmony with all other nature. When enough people reveal it and live by it, I believe a new spiritual era will also emerge, and the conflicts heating up around the world today will lose their fire.
For this reason, I bought land on the north island of New Zealand and discovered 12 places of enlightenment for tour groups to visit. So many things have happened since I first acquired the land. It was recently approved by the government as a holiday park, so now we are able to begin making it more comfortable for visitors.
In November and December, three groups of fifty to eighty people visited from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, South Korea, and Japan. For some of them, it was their second time on the tour. I met with each group of a couple of occasions. On one, I walked with them in a forest and showed them a 300-year old hwangchil tree and a 1000-year old kauri tree that I had discovered on the property. I tried to help each of them feel the energy of nature and have their own enlightenment through nature. Through their connection with the earth, I hope they grow to become people who live for the earth as Earth Citizens.
On the second occasion, I have them a special hwangchil soup that I made, and they put on a talent show filled with passion and energy. Many of the people were able to express parts of themselves that they've kept hidden until now.
At that time, I sent them energy and told them that we are all like wireless electronic devices. We can interact with nature through energy. We can receive energy and transmit it for the sake of the health, happiness, and peace of ourselves, other people, and the earth.
The amazing people who came on these tours were concerned for the earth and want to do more for the sake of the earth. I told them that when they leave the earth, they should leave with no regrets.
By the end of the tour we had all become united as one. I look forward to welcoming many more Earth Citizens to the Mago Holiday Park in 2016.
You are a creative soul. In the purity of nature, your soul can be born anew.
Imagine you hear the sound of the flowing water. Taste it with your whole body.
Release all superfluous thoughts, emotions, and preconceptions. Let the sound of the water carry them away as you feel your brain becoming lighter and brighter.
Entrust everything to the energy. Let the flow of energy take care of it for you. You don't have to try to do anything. You are designed to heal yourself naturally.
The latest group from the United States to take the New Zealand meditation tour designed by Ilchi Lee was the first to stay at the Haruru Falls Resort. Haruru Falls is a sacred place where Maori people had been coming for a long time to receive sacred energy prior to carrying out big events. The Haruru Falls Resort was the very first place in New Zealand to be designated as a campsite for tents and RVs.
Other natural and cultural sites the tour visited during their stay from February 7 to 13, 2016 on the North Island of New Zealand included Waitakere Forest, the Rainbow Warrior memorial at Matauri Bay, Mago Holiday Park, and the Maori historic and cultural site at Waitangi. Ilchi Lee gave two talks during the tour, one of which included serving the group a healthy soup made with chicken stock, kawakawa, and hwangchil leaves, which promote relaxation and natural healing.
During one of his talks, Ilchi Lee said:
"When you go back to America, I hope you become like light and salt that can bring about change to the US. In life, opportunities come for you to change! What matters is what you choose. It's hard to do by yourself, but if you do it together, it's easy. Being born human is in itself precious and valuable. Knowing that is the first enlightenment, and it's a blessing. The fact that you were born as a precious human being, and being truly grateful--that's where you start from. And second, through an enlightenment where you awaken to your value, you design your life. Your parents don't do that for you, and they don't do that for you at school. When you become enlightened to your value, design your life, and look at the world, you see a lot of things you didn't used to see before. You see a lot, and you see time and space, and time and space are really important. You think, What should I do? You see what will make you happy and your surroundings happy. And you feel that laziness is a sin. When you become enlightened to your value, you become unable to be lazy."
Many of the participants went home from the meditation tour with the desire to use their time to do as much as they could to create change in their lives and the world.
The groups from the United States that take Ilchi Lee's meditation tours in New Zealand are currently run by Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi centers. The upcoming tours that Ilchi Lee will speak at will be on:
June 3 (Fri) - 9 (Thu)
August 8 (Mon) - 14 (Sun)
December 7 (Wed) - 13 (Tue)
There's a certain spot in New Zealand called Three Kings Island that's really hard to get to. It takes about 16 hours by boat. I went there once, and we arrived around 3 am. I looked up at the sky, and I was so surprised. I've been in so many places in the world, and I've never seen stars like that. It was like all the stars were falling out of the sky. As I saw those stars, I wrote a poem. I would like to share that poem with you.
Did you see the stars in the sky?
Do you feel the stars?
In the shining stars, there your dream is.
In the shining stars, there is hope.
In the shining stars, there is our song.
The stars whisper to you endlessly,
We are one, and
We are family and friends existing
In the same time and space.
They whisper to us, let us share love with one another,
let's share in this vision
Let's stay strong, hold your head up,
And look at me, I love you.
Open your heart wide and take in everything with your breath.
Breathe with the stars and breathe with nature.
Just as the stars always shine in the sky,
Your soul will also shine together.
We are Earth Citizens, Earth Citizens, Earth Citizens.
Let's become stars on earth, all together,
let us become hope and let us become dreams.
I've been spending the summer in New Zealand, forwarding the development of meditation centers here and giving lectures to people who come for the meditation tours we've set up. In the past couple of months, 554 people from around the world have participated in the tours, and another 300 are expected in August. As the groups pass through the twelve stops of the tour, I can see how each person clears away their thoughts and emotions and rediscovers their spirit. This doesn't happen through their intentions or any artificial power; amid the power of nature, their thoughts stop automatically. Freed of these, then, people easily commune with nature and become one with it. By doing so, they feel that they are a part of nature and return to their own original and pure nature.
The state of being free from thoughts and emotions is a zero state. Zeroing your mind is like zeroing a scale. It's only when you're at zero that you can get an accurate measurement of yourself and the way things are. Then you are able to see clearly what your values are, what should be the central value of your life, and what you must live for in order to give your life meaning. Everything is plain when you see it in a zero-point state. In that state, you’re free.
Instead of remaining free at the zero point, though, most people dress themselves in never-ending packaging. They take off one package only to put on another one. People really love being classified and belonging in their own way. We form or join cliques, organizations, countries, and even religions to build an identity around ourselves. Within this packaging, however, we are completely trapped.
So if you want to be free and achieve what you want, you have to check yourself to see whether you’ve been zeroed. What you want to do will be difficult without staying at zero point, because you can easily lose your direction. Away from the zero point, when you can’t see beyond society’s constructs or the packaging of your ego to your pure nature within, you only have a limited view. You are stuck within the limits of the material world and what can be achieved there.
The native New Zealanders, the Maori, like the Native Americans and the ancient Koreans, believe that nature, the sky and the earth, are our parents. They created us, and we have some of their creative power. People realize this when they are at the zero point and can see the interconnectedness of everything. They respect and care about nature, and act in harmony with it. By being in harmony with nature at the zero point, you have access to the creative power of nature—the power of your spirit. Then the limits of the material world can no longer bind you, and you can achieve the desires of your inner nature, desires that are always at peace with nature overall.
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?
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.
At the time, the students gazed at me with such beautiful light in their eyes, like shining stars. I could feel their souls shining.
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.
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.
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.
When I recently spent a month in New Zealand, I discovered that the natives of New Zealand have a secret of enlightenment. They have a special greeting they use when they meet someone and want to become close to them—they rub noses with the other person and breathe together. They call this a hongi. This greeting is an expression that means, “I trust you,” and, “I love you.” Breathing together is sharing energy with each other. It says to each other, “You and I are one.”
Not just anyone touches noses and breathes together, however. They do that when they are in a family-like relationship in which they can trust each other. Leaders and dignitaries also greet each other with a hongi as a sign of trust.
HRH King Juan Carlos of Spain (L) shares a traditional Maori greeting of a hongi with Maori elder Gerrard Albert (R) during a visit to New Zealand on June 23, 2009 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
In Korea, we usually eat together if we want to become close to each other. The relationship of those who eat together is a good, mutually trusting one. Of course, there are situations in which this is done as a matter of strategy, but it’s an expression of goodwill regardless.
The way the natives of New Zealand get to know each other seems more honest and intimate. Although you could eat a meal with someone you don’t much like, it wouldn’t be easy to rub noses with them and breathe the same breath.
The greeting is also very economical. Eating food costs money, but it doesn’t take money to breathe.
I think it is a very good method for expressing emotion. In that sense, their culture is ahead. You advance one step further, though, if you know that we are all connected with each other through breath. Then you know that we breathe together even though we don’t touch noses. That is enlightenment.
National boundaries were created by people. The atmosphere, though, turns around the whole planet. Even though we live breathing with our noses stuck up in the same sky, we’ve had much pain and sadness in a history of failing to trust and love each other and of seeking to possess and control each other. That is an uncivilized culture far behind that of the New Zealand natives. No matter how much science has developed, and even though we have airplanes and cell phones, such a culture is uncivilized.
All humans are pursuing happiness and peace, but humanity has not yet created such a culture. I think this means that we are failing to use our minds well, and that we’re failing to make good use of our brains. It makes us somehow inadequate and not whole. That’s why we have not created universal happiness and peace.
I do the work I do with the intent of trying to perfect the things that are inadequate and imperfect. But I truly cannot do this work alone. It’s not enough to have some power, not enough to have some military force, not enough to have money, and not enough to have the power of science. Having a big country isn’t enough, and having a large population isn’t enough either.
What’s important is that it requires an enlightened mind. That’s why we all have to use our minds well. And the whole must change. Human consciousness must change.
Many people do nothing more than worry, and the planet continues to sicken. They are focusing on acquiring more power, on acquiring more money, and on satisfying their own desires. Well-educated people are this way, too, and all institutions are failing to break out of this mold. It’s because of the boundaries created by the inward perspective of religions, nations, and other institutions. Imagine if, instead, we could all figuratively rub noses and breathe together.
First, it takes hope. Those who have a lot of hope can, sooner or later, bring those flowers of hope into full bloom and create a world of happiness and peace. Such a world will never come, though, to those who think it impossible. Why? Because such a world is not created by fists, and it is not created by money. Such a world is created only by the mind. By mind, I don’t mean the accumulation of knowledge; I’m referring to an enlightened consciousness.
TV and other mass media play an important role. If you take a look at the different kinds of information coming out of the TV these days, you’ll see that so much of it is strange and unrelated to enlightenment. My heart really aches to witness it.
It’s not that we don’t have things. We have a growing body of knowledge and amazing communication technology. But we aren’t using them well. We have minds, but fail to use them. We have good things, but fail to use those things for the cause of human peace and happiness.
The most important thing we need to use well is mind. Mind is where everything is first created and where it all starts. Do you have a mind of happiness and peace? Do you have hope in your mind?
To enter a state of mind that creates happiness and peace, you must know energy, and you must know the soul. And then you need to express it in your life. Then your mind becomes brighter and clearer. It becomes a mind of light. A few people becoming brighter and clearer though, won’t make this happen; everyone must become brighter.
Within everything there is an fundamental essence in which is found Truth. In our busy lives, it’s difficult to sense the essence and see the Truth. We need to put down everything we carry and be still, and then our consciousness will naturally sense this essence. I call this returning to the origin. Our mind takes on the awareness of Oneness, of original creation, and we download Truth. That’s when we have an “Aha!” moment. When we master this, our lives become a continuous “Aha!” moment—what people call living in the flow.
In the meditation tours I’ve organized in New Zealand, we are guiding people back to their origin with the help of the energy of nature—the plants, water, air, and sunlight. Returning to the origin is not complicated, nor does it require a lot of effort. It can be as simple as trusting yourself, letting go of your fear, and swinging over a gushing river.
Trust and letting go begins with relaxation. Simply relax your body. At the same time you relax your mind. In relaxation, you can put down everything, including your knowledge. Melt everything down in front of the big Truth. Then you can receive. Take in Truth from the energy of sunlight, water, and air. When you meet with the truth of air, water, and sunlight, you will know the true essence.
Truth then becomes our guidance—our conscience. When their mind is at the origin, many people realize how much they are a part of nature. They feel the interconnectedness between people, the earth, and all other creatures. Knowing they cannot be deeply happy unless all are happy, and they form a desire to benefit others, or to be Hongik as we say in Korean. From rediscovering the origin and downloading truth, we become people of good character.
With the first Earth Citizen Festival coming up in less than three weeks, my team in New Zealand and I are facing various obstacles as we prepare for the more than one thousand people who are expected to attend this two-day event. The festival will celebrate and add fuel to our ongoing Earth Citizen Movement, which aims to have one hundred million people adopt Earth Citizen values and an Earth Citizen lifestyle by 2020.
As part of our preparations, we are working intensively on constructing an Earth Village in Kerikeri, which will be the education hub of this global initiative. There's a lot to be done, and even seemingly small details are important, such as building stairs on a steep slope to make it easier for people to walk up.
However, one of our current challenges is that in New Zealand, most people are on holiday until January 15th, so we don't have enough manpower during this critical time. Rather than worrying about that, I'm working hard, helping with the construction. Dreaming of all of the people who are coming from ten different countries gives me energy that I've thrown into action, and things are starting to happen.
While some people might think, we can't do it because we don't have people; it won't work because something's missing, I know that if you have the mind to do it, there's always a way to achieve your goal. All you have to do is start right away with what you can do.
I'm not the only one who thinks this way. People who have achieved success in the world and grown themselves started with whatever action they could take toward their dream, without being swayed by the negative information of those around them.
Negative thinking wastes time and paralyzes you. Rather than judging with my thoughts, I think as I act. Once you start moving, your inertia and worries will subside—your energy will change—and a solution will come to you.
If you make up your mind to do it, you can get it done. That's how the stairs we're building now are almost finished.
For two days, starting January 27, 2017, over one thousand people from ten countries will gather in Kerikeri, New Zealand for the first Earth Citizen Festival. Hosted by the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO), the International Brain Education Organization (IBREA), and Meditation Tour LTD, this festival celebrates the Earth Citizen spirit described by Ilchi Lee and aims to unite people beyond all boundaries and forward a new culture of health, happiness, and peace for all.
This free event for global friendship and world peace consists of three parts:
Part 1: Opening Celebration - Kia Ora Night
Friday, January 27, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Kerikeri Domain
Enjoy performances by a Maori cultural group, world-class b-boy dancers, and local singers and bands, as well as martial arts demonstrations, a raffle, and food from many countries.
Part 2: Main Event - Earth Citizens Come Together
Saturday, January 28, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Turner Centre
Understand what it means to be an Earth Citizen, and why Earth Citizens hold the key to a future of true and lasting happiness.
Part 3: Symposium - The Brain, Earth Citizens, and Our Global Future
Saturday, January 28, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Turner Centre
Join international experts and get inspired as they discuss the importance of the brain, gut health, and natural wellness for creating an Earth Citizen lifestyle.
The symposium speakers include:
Ilchi Lee: Founder of Earth Citizen Organization and President of University of Brain Education, South Korea
Dave Beal: Program Director at Brain Power Wellness, USA
Dr. Dohyung Kang: Department of Neuropsychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital, South Korea
Dr. Reed Tuckson: Managing Director at Tuckson Health Connections, USA
Dr. Lily George: Senior Research Officer at the Office of AVC Maori & Pasifika, Massey University, New Zealand
Dr. Emeran Mayer: Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Ilchi Lee says an Earth Citizen is someone who recognizes that they are a resident and steward of the planet earth and who puts that identity above any other, whether it is ethnic, cultural, national, or religious. Their values and actions are based on caring for the earth as a whole. The Earth Citizen Festival plans to take Earth Citizenship to the next level.
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.