A teacher from a North Las Vegas high school who read my book, The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart, introduced it to the seniors in her World Literature classes. They discussed the book, and then the students emailed their impressions to me through Ilchi.com and CallofSedona.com. I am very grateful to Ms. Montalvo-Arroyo and all of the students, especially for their heartfelt emails. I’d like to share parts of what they wrote with you, and answer their questions here.
“I am completely blown away on how dedicated you were in your 21 days of Moak Mountain, what gave you the strength to give up your human needs (food, sleep, & rest) for that long period of time? Do you feel that it is important for each individual to take drastic measures to find their true voice?”
When I went twenty-one days without food or sleep, I had already been training my body and mind with ki energy practices for a long time. What was more important to me than food or sleep, what I was determined to do, was find the answers to the questions: “Who am I?” and “Why do I live?” I no longer wanted to live without those answers. It was that determination, desperation, and training that kept me going.
Since my enlightenment, I have developed hundreds of training methods so that others don’t need to go through such drastic measures. Through a steady practice of meditation and breathing, and by continually asking yourself the questions, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”, you can continue to keep yourself open and aware enough to listen to the voice of your soul and follow its guidance.
“Ilchi Lee, I would just like to start off by saying thank you for sharing your life changing experience with me in your book, The Call of Sedona. You have influenced me to become awakened and acknowledge my inner self. The way you described how the physical form (the human body) was created, but the soul has existed before then brings me to ask you this question. Does reincarnation happen where the soul is reborn into another physical form?”
Reincarnation is one thing that can happen to a soul after it finishes one life. Another is Chunhwa—a state where a soul has completed its growth and does not necessarily take on a physical form. I normally don’t focus on reincarnation and past lives, however. In this lifetime, regardless of what happened in a past life or even in the last moment, what we create in each moment is a choice with infinite possibilities. Nothing from the past or the future can hurt this moment. If we embrace the here and now, we can always create our own happiness. More than reincarnation, what’s important is the completion of the soul, or Chunhwa.
“I am very impressed of how much I have learned about myself by reading your book. I never thought that this book would have such a big impact in my life. Your explanations of your life challenges and how you became to be a surpasser of them makes me believe that I can do it too. The Call to Sedona has inspired me to clear my mind and to overcome anything that has hold me back, anything that I thought I was not able to do I would like to leave behind. I would like to ask you, can my energy be attracted to a tree that is just outside my back yard?”
Yes, you can be attracted to many things, including a particular tree. If you are attracted to the tree, I would suggest having a conversation with it like you would with one of your close friends. That is a form of meditation. The fact that you are attracted to it means the tree might have something for you to explore. Later, you may realize you are really having a conversation with yourself and exploring your own inner landscape. The tree is a mirror that reflects you and helps you to see yourself more clearly.
“Do you think there’s a certain philosophy, instead of mythology, that one must comprehend before being truly enlightened?”
There is a philosophy I’ve been sharing since my enlightenment. Understanding and studying that philosophy helps. But it is not enough. To truly be enlightened you need three studies: the study of principles or philosophy, the study of practice, and the study of living. When you practice exercises that change your energy and help you feel energy, such as meditation and breathing, you can actually experience principles and observe them happening through and in you. Enlightenment is not blindly believing in something. Through practice you will know and experience it for yourself. But it’s not fully real unless you bring it into your everyday life. That’s the study of living—when you apply your practice to your life. Enlightenment is an experience beyond a particular philosophy or story. But really, enlightenment is a matter of flipping a switch—of realizing you are actually already enlightened. The trouble is that it’s difficult for people to believe it. The reason for studying is so you can be 100% certain you are enlightened and live that enlightenment fully. To me, enlightenment is not some specific state of being. It is the choices we make moment by moment with honesty, integrity, and a deep sense of responsibility.
“’My body is simply mine, it’s not me.’ This quote confuses me. I think it means that our body does not define us; that our outside appearance is not what makes me me. If someone could enlighten me about what that means, I would truly appreciate it. Thank you.”
You are right; your body does not define you. It is yours to use to manifest your dreams in our physical reality. It’s also yours to take care of. So then ask yourself what does define you. Who are “you” really? Look at every part of you. Can you see a part of yourself that does not change or end? The physical body is a means or a method for the goal of completing your soul.
To be continued …