Bringing You the Wisdom of Hwangchil Trees

Ilchi Lee with hwangchil tree

Trees hold great wisdom for us when we clear our minds and listen.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in South Korea and Japan lately, particularly around the hwangchil trees in those places. Hwangchil trees are very special to me. When I first rediscovered one while hiking in Japan, I was struck by its energy and fascinated by the sap that oozed out of one of the knots on its trunk. I felt so much gratitude, joy, and reverence for the tree that I even bowed to it.

Since then, I have created farms and greenhouses full of hwangchil tree saplings in Korea, Japan, and New Zealand, and I’ve been developing products using its leaves, roots, and sap. Hwangchil has a long history of being used as a medicinal plant, and the golden lacquer made from its sap was prized by royalty.

hwangchil saplings
Hwangchil saplings
Ilchi Lee painting wood stick with hwangchil lacquer
Painting wood with hwangchil lacquer

One of the most important effects of using hwangchil (also known as Dendropanax morbifera) that I’ve observed is that it helps your consciousness reach the zero point. At this point, our awareness rests beyond thought and emotion. Even our subconscious becomes clear. From this place of complete neutrality, we can observe everything within and outside of us clearly, and we can start to create what we want in our lives.

I feel a lot of hope for the world when I think about and commune with hwangchil. I see it empowering people to take back their own health, happiness, and peace. These trees are like ancestors lifting up future generations.

Message from Hwangchil

Before I brought a group of my students to greet these special trees in Japan, a message came to me that I shared with them. I’d like to share some of it with you as well.

Don’t worry anymore.
Don’t hesitate.
What words do you need and what thoughts and worries would you need?
Become simple and become pure.
Right here, right now, you are meeting with me and meeting with the spirit of hwangchil, and just like the before and after of meeting with this time and space has become completely different, as much as you have more thoughts, as much as you weigh and measure and argue over this and that, that’s how much the scales of time flow by and you get out of the zero point and your dream becomes distant, and you move farther away from your true self.

Become simple and become lighter.
That’s the proof that you’ve been reborn.
Just receive the energy of hwangchil, accept what your true self really wants, and go out courageously to create it.
That’s when you live.

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Simple Nature Meditation

Being in nature, breathing in fresh air, feeling the sun and wind on our faces and the ground beneath our feet can wash away our worries. It helps us become simple, light, and full of life.

Now that the weather is warming up (in the Northern Hemisphere), I hope you have a chance to immerse yourself in nature. Whether you go to a local park or find a remote wilderness landscape, take some time to be quiet with yourself. Use all of your senses to take in your natural surroundings—touch the rocks, hug a tree, smell a flower, and listen to the birds sing. Let these inputs help clear out all of the busyness and worry in your mind.

Many of us highly value information and learning. We want to become smarter and better informed. While information is useful, I’ve found that true wisdom comes from what lies beyond information, at the zero point. In daring to be simple, we become our most powerful.

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