The Root That Gives You Wings

Ilchi Lee's fatherThe person who has been my most special friend and mentor is none other than my father.

When I was young, when I didn’t have friends because my thoughts and concerns were so different from that of others, he was my only friend, and when I couldn’t adjust to school life, he told me, “You’re a late-bloomer,” and instilled confidence in me with love and encouragement.

He also gave me “tough love,” pushing me off the cliff to encourage me to fly, as he did when he retired from being an educator after I had failed the college entrance exams two years in a row, saying, “Since you’re the man of the house now, you need to lead this family forward from now on.” This truly shocked me and made me see what I was doing with my life in a new light.

My father was the first to teach me about Korea’s ancient spiritual roots—about the ChunBuKyung and the Hongik spirit—which I teach to others today. As I built and developed the Institute of Korean Cultural Studies (Kookhakwon), the University of Brain Education, and the Global Cyber University, he even gave me advice on the direction and angles of the buildings as a scholar with profound knowledge of geographic feng shui. He’s always encouraged my work and the people who work along with me.

This year, he is ninety-five years old. I’m away from him, working in New Zealand while he lives in South Korea. I had a video call with my father to greet him for the new year, and I suddenly realized how much time has passed. I saw that his vigor has depleted, and now my father needs support in order to be able to walk. Seeing my father like that makes me think a lot about life.

Because he has grown hard of hearing and his energy has become weak, he couldn’t say much, but I when I told him, “Father, I wish you many blessings in the new year. Be healthy this year, too, and eat well, and please pray for us so that your son’s work goes smoothly and turns out well,” he responded by saying, “Of course, I’m always praying for you. Be healthy and have a good trip; I’ll see you when you get back,” and held up two fingers in a “V” for victory.

When I heard my father’s words, I felt my heart squeeze, and I felt a sting in the tip of my nose, and a jolt of electricity buzzed through my body. I could feel my father’s sincere prayer deep in my heart. I felt, “Alright. Even Father is longing with all his heart for the dream of a happy, healthy, and peaceful world I pursue, so I have to fulfill this mission no matter what if I’m to fully honor him.”

I’m sharing my father’s words with you, and the loving energy that they transmit, because I hope it encourages and enables you to live your own grandest dreams.

And, just as my father has been my earthly root and he first showed me my spiritual roots, I want to show you, through Brain Education, how to find your own internal root in the never-ending Source of life, the Tao, the One that is written of in the ChunBuKyung.

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