Understanding Ilchi Lee’s Concept of Energy-Consciousness

As Ilchi Lee often emphasizes in his teachings, all things are made from energy – from the corporeal elements of the physical world to the emotions you feel inside. According to the principles of Tao, energy is the manifestation of Tao itself – The Reality.

In his book, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," Ilchi Lee discusses this concept of energy as it pertains to the unity of Energy-Consciousness. This state of awareness is the fundamental reality of not only one's true self but also the reality of life in a larger sense – all that underlies the mental, physical and spiritual elements of the universe. The power that animates your body is the same as that which animates the universe, and all things are connected to each other through the flow of this energy, or LifeParticles.

Throughout "Change," Lee discusses the immense capacities at hand when you come to recognize and embrace your Energy-Consciousness.

"You are infinite intelligence and Energy-Consciousness which gives you the power to attain completion in life," Lee wrote.

But how does one reach this state of awareness? Breathing techniques are essential to harnessing your Energy-Consciousness, as Lee explains in his book.

"[I]f you close your eyes and begin to feel your breath, it will instantly become deeper and slower, and your mind will become calmer," Lee wrote. "Then gradually you'll become aware of your body, or more precisely the subtle sense of energy inside and around your body. At that moment, you exist as Energy-Consciousness, not as names, jobs, duties, roles, desires, and so on."

As a young boy, Ilchi Lee pondered the question, "Who am I?" The journey to answering this question led him to a sacred mountain in Korea, where he would spend his days without sleep or food in order to dedicate himself entirely to meditation until he found his answer . It was only after he let go of his desire to live – after he surrendered his dedication to the physical world – that it finally came to him. His awareness was so intense that it took over his body entirely, relieving him of the pain from hunger and fatigue, and allowing him to see the reality of his true self:

"The cosmic energy is my energy and my energy is the cosmic energy," Lee realized. "The cosmic mind is my mind, and my mind is the cosmic mind."{i feel like i just took a hit of the Ilchi Lee chronic}

Understanding Ilchi Lee’s ‘Zero Point’

Ilchi Lee is an expert of meditation, and in his book, "LifeParticle Meditation: A Practical Guide to Healing and Transformation," he shares with the reader his deep insight and guidance for how to view the world as LifeParticles through meditation techniques. By doing so, you can wake up untapped abilities of your mind and begin to make real, tangible changes in your life.

In "LifeParticle Meditation," Lee also introduces the concept of the zero point – the state of pure consciousness at which you are free from ego-driven emotions, discrimination and infatuation. By reaching this neutral state of consciousness, one can find an infinite amount of energy, power, happiness and potential.

"You can encounter the great life within you when you recover the zero point," Lee wrote. "When you encounter that great life, all limits created by the thoughts and emotions vanish and infinite creativity springs forth."

In an October 2013 article for the online community Zazen Live, Ilchi Lee touched again on the notion of the zero point. He discussed his own encounter with this state of consciousness during a 21-day meditation that proved to be a revelatory experience and expanded his consciousness in a way that dissipated his personal identity and transformed it into pure consciousness. 

"I saw for myself the amazing energy of LifeParticles that made up everything, including space, as well as my own body," Lee wrote. "I realized that I was an observer of the phenomena of life as cosmic energy and cosmic consciousness."

How to Recover Your Zero Point
When you reach your zero point, you can discover your true nature and realize that what you think of as "you" is actually a fabrication that allows you to interact with the world on a superficial level. Zero point is not an experience of emptiness but rather one of neutrality of the universe, allowing you to see a realm of boundless potential. It provides you a blank slate on which your mind can create anything. But reaching this state of consciousness can be difficult. Fortunately, Ilchi Lee provides some steps to help you try to reach your zero point:

  1. Calm the mind with a rhythmic movement. Gently move your head from side to side and, with relaxed fists, tap your abdomen just beneath the navel. Exhale through the mouth, breathing out tension, stress and negativity. Continue this stop until you feel calmer.
  2. Breathe slowly and deeply for 10 seconds. Stay aware of your breathing, particularly the pauses between inhaling and exhaling when you can notice moments of nothingness.
  3. Bring your hands to the front of your chest. Face the palms of your hands toward each other 1 foot in front of you and 2 inches apart. Breathe in as you pull your hands further apart, then bring them closer together as you exhale, not allowing the palms to touch.
  4. Repeat this gentle motion while maintaining a relaxed focus on the space between your palms. Take notice of the different sensations between your hands – temperature changes, tingling, pressure or a sense of floating.

By concentrating on the energy in this way, you can push your mind past a point of emotion and thought – beyond your ego. You can transform the LifeParticles of your body into the neutral, pure LifeParticles of the zero point by visualizing them in the space between your hands and allowing them to spread throughout your entire body.

Ilchi Lee Explores the Relationship Between Behavior and Belief

All people are led by their own beliefs – the values that they find to be true and define their core, inner views. But many do not always act on their beliefs. In "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," Ilchi Lee discusses the importance of allowing your values to guide your behaviors and habits.

"Behind our behaviors are our beliefs," Lee wrote. "They determine how we think things are and what is possible. The foundation of these beliefs is our conception of who we are, whether we are conscious of it or not."

In the real world, your beliefs do not make you a better person. You cannot move toward self improvement simply because you hold certain values. After all, what is the point in having beliefs if we they do not manifest themselves in everyday life and define one's character in a tangible way? Rather, our beliefs are the heading for how we behave and who we are.

This concept is one that Ilchi Lee discusses in his many writings and teachings, but it is also the basis for many religions. For example, one Christian teaching is that one must live by and define themselves by the beliefs that they feel within – it is not enough to simply express your values in conversation. But one does not have to be religious to understand this notion of "practice what you preach." If you believe in honesty, kindness and respect, express these with your actions every day of your life.

Ilchi Lee Urges You to Accept Your Flaws

In his teachings, Ilchi Lee often emphasizes the importance of the journey toward self-improvement. However, he also discusses the very essential act of accepting yourself as you are. These two notions seem to contradict each other, but further exploration into the subject and the teachings of the founder of Dahn Yoga can help you gain a greater understanding of both of these concepts.

In today's world, people are continuously striving to reach perfection. Media and the competitive nature of modern society beat down on us with the notion that we are never quite good enough – not smart, attractive or moral enough, among other weaknesses. However, no person can ever be without faults, and certain characteristics that people may consider to be flaws might actually be characteristic quirks that help to make up your personality as a whole.

Renouncing Shame
With this in mind, it's important to look inward, understand your flaws and accept those that you cannot change. After all, with or without your weaknesses, you are still yourself at the core. As Ilchi Lee expressed in his many words of wisdom, your blemishes do not change the essence of your being.

"Just because we learn the sun has black spots, can it suddenly not be the sun anymore?" Lee asked. "And if even the sun has black spots, what's wrong with admitting we ourselves have some weak points? Just like the sun shining through the universe, we each have much to offer, despite our flaws. Do not be ashamed of your black spots."

Shame can be a dangerous thing, with the potential to incite self-doubt and self-loathing. When you begin to obsess over your own faults, contempt starts to take over, and the downward spiral of shame can make you feel as though your whole being is flawed – inadequate and unfit. And once it takes hold, shame begins to spread like a virus, leading you to take out your feelings of disgrace on those around you.

Moving Forward
Refusing to listen to the ridiculing voice of shame is an essential step, as it has the capacity to lead us off the path toward self-development. Only after you accept those faults that you cannot change can you truly begin to love yourself and start to evolve into the best version of yourself.

"To grow through your fault, don't hide or make excuses," Lee tells his followers. "Face your weaknesses and move forward."

With time and healing, you may come to love yourself, black spots and all. Loving oneself is, after all, the first gate to enlightenment. It's the key to finding peace and happiness, to loving others and to learning to accept others for their own weaknesses.

Ilchi Lee Emphasizes the Importance of Breath Awareness

Inhalation and exhalation exercises are essential to yoga and meditation techniques, but breathing plays a larger role in the greater scheme of things. Training your body to breathe properly – low and deep into the abdomen – on an everyday basis can lead to greater health and enhanced energy. But, as Ilchi Lee writes in several of his books and throughout his teachings, it also plays a large role in self-development and enlightenment.

In "The Twelve Enlightenments for Healing Society," The New York Times bestselling author discusses the importance of understanding the nature of breathing in the journey of self-exploration.

"Observe your own body," Lee directed the reader. "It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think is you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you."

When one comes to the understanding that you are not the breather but the receiver of breath, you can come to a greater understanding of your place in the world. With deep thought comes to the realization that to you are not the owner of your life but a vessel through which life expresses itself.

Another of the enlightening Ilchi Lee books, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," explores the benefits of reaching greater levels of breath awareness.

"The only thing you need to be present here and now is your breathing," Lee explained, "When you feel your breath, your mind is with your body."

Anyone who has come to master meditation techniques understands the trueness of this statement. The ancient practice can be conducted anywhere at any time if one wills it, whether you're parked in your car, sitting at a social gathering feeling disconnected from yourself or waiting in line at the DMV. The deep, steady breathing involved in meditation can help guide you to a place of greater awareness of your inner self and your connection to the world all around. This, in turn, can lead you to new heights of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

An Ilchi Lee Poem for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time not just for raising money for breast cancer research but also for spreading awareness of the epidemic disease. Ilchi Lee has long taken an initiative for helping women diagnosed with breast cancer find courage, face the disease with strength and get relief from their physical, mental and emotional pain, whether it's through yoga poses or acupuncture.

Extending Hope and Compassion
During the month of October, there are a variety of ways that people can contribute to research and development in the field of breast cancer prevention and treatment. Many people run for fundraising races, others donate money and some may throw charity events. But another important thing that can help people face breast cancer is to simply provide emotional support – hope, love and compassion can go a long way.

If you're looking for a way to verbalize your support for a loved one with breast cancer, turn to one of the inspiring Ilchi Lee books, "Songs of Enlightenment." In this publication, The New York Times best selling author presented the poem "This World is Beautiful," a piece that the author has in the past dedicated to the women and families suffering from breast cancer. Review this excerpt from the poem:

Nothing of heaven and earth
Can take this heart
Filled with love
Nothing of heaven and earth
Can divide us
From cosmic energy
Our vision and hopes
Are our sun, our moon, our stars.

He continues on with words of wisdom, emphasizing that life's struggles are an opportunity to strive for enlightenment and form deeper connections with inner selves.

Now we know
Limitations are possibilities
Opportunities to perceive ourselves
Beyond our present selves.
Our loved ones
Wait for us at the doorstep
The world of harmony
Forever and lasting
Like the sun, moon, and stars
Oneness.
I am with my loved ones
As we all are with our loved ones.

Ilchi Lee Encourages You to Ditch Materialism

As a dedicated advocate helping people reach new levels of spirituality and health, Ilchi Lee knows that the truly important things in life can't be bought with money. The things that people will remember during the last moments on earth aren't things at all – not your favorite cufflinks or most expensive designer dress but rather the moments in life, the people you love and have touched, and those who have touched you.{great opening}

Still, many people aim their focus on worldly possessions. Today's culture is dictated by materialism and the human desire to own more. High-paying jobs, pricey clothing and extravagant cars are considered by many to be a sign of superiority, and people often look to these possessions for satisfaction and proof of having led a successful life. In the long run, they tend to find themselves surrounded by objects but lacking in fulfillment, which is why it's important to find a new mindset and look within for satisfaction rather than that which is external and temporary.

As The New York Times bestselling author Ilchi Lee discussed in his inspiring book, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," the key is to let go of material possessions and begin to learn from life's moments.

"We are currently too attached to our worldly toys, rather than to the lessons our playing could impart to further the maturity of our collective soul," Lee wrote.

The transition to immaterialism can be a difficult one, especially with commercials, magazines and other societal norms pressuring you to buy more. But, as Lee emphasizes, change is inevitable but not to be feared. Instead, let it expose you to new perspectives of reality and empower you. Take the wheel in the vehicle of change and, equipped with your inherent power and greatness, you can alter your energy and your attitude.

The first step in separating yourself from the desire for worldly belongings is to look inside yourself. With deep thought and by reaching heightened levels of awareness through mindful meditation techniques, you can locate what truly matters to you in life. Once you free yourself from the chains of materialism, learn to live simply and embrace life for the beautiful opportunity that it is – you may find yourself feeling a renewed sense of energy and greater clarity.

Ilchi Lee’s “LifeParticle Meditation” Urges You to Take Control

In every person's life, there comes a time when one feels a lack of control, whether it has to do with work, school, home or social life. Too often, people simply throw in the towel and give up – no matter how important. But real change for the betterment of your mental, physical and emotional health as well as your happiness is not out of reach.

As Ilchi Lee's book, "LifeParticle Meditation: A Practical Guide to Healing and Transformation," tells the reader, the mind is the single most effective key for taking control of the flow of change. The New York Times bestselling author discusses the immense potential of the human brain.

"Your mind creates everything," Lee wrote. "Your conscious mind has much greater power than you can ever imagine. Your mind can create blessings or disasters, can heal or harm, can bring abundance or absence. It is up to your mind whether the world looks hopeful or hopeless."

The solution is to wake up the mind's capacity to find, manage and direct the flow of change, and this can be done through the meditation techniques outlined in "LifeParticle Meditation." Guided meditation can help you focus your concentration on the inside of your brain and the LifeParticles flowing inside of them as you learn to control your energy.

Once you have mastered this ability, you can take charge of change and direct it along any path you choose. Take two minutes to watch a LifeParticle guided meditation preview and begin to understand the power of the technique.

Follow Ilchi Lee’s Lead: Get Active During Healthy Aging Month

As August winds down and September is in the horizon, it's time to start preparing for Healthy Aging Month. It often goes unrecognized, but there's a strong link between mental health and physical exercise, and it's important to keep up swimming, running, yoga poses or whatever your activity of choice as you get older.

As Ilchi Lee discusses in his book "In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging," exercise is free, fun and beneficial. 

"As you are probably aware, exercise is widely accepted by medical science as a key factor in maintaining health and well-being throughout the aging process," Lee wrote. "In fact, it may be the most important aspect of successful aging. Most of the physical effects of aging – the natural loss of muscle mass, the decreased flexibility and mobility of joints, the decline of metabolism that can lead to weight gain – can be prevented or even reversed through regular moderate exercise."

Take the advice of Ilchi Lee – get up and get moving. It might just be the best thing you can do to stay sharp as you get older.

Ilchi Lee’s Art and Philosophy: Living in the Present Moment

August is Art Appreciation Month, the perfect time to nurture the humanities and take some time to embrace the beauty of creativity. Ilchi Lee may be best known as the founder of Dahn Yoga and as The New York Times bestselling author, but he's also an artist, putting his brush to paper to give life to characters through the ancient art of calligraphy.

As with other forms of artwork, calligraphy is less about communicating words to the public and more so about expressing emotions, energy and life within. As Ilchi Lee notes in his blog, each character he creates contains the character of the moment in which it was written, reflecting the sun coming in through the window or the breeze that blows as he sweeps the brush across the paper.

"As I look at the calligraphy, I think, we can only experience this present moment," Lee wrote. "Each moment is fleeting, and too precious to waste."

Many people believe that you cannot truly create art if you have not gone out and experienced the world – traveling around the globe, making mistakes and reflecting on those mistakes. While certainly these factors have led to some truly intriguing pieces of art, there's something to be said about putting the past, future and faraway places out of your mind and, instead, letting the current moment guide you in your creative endeavors. This notion is backed up by one of the most important ancient texts in history, the Chun Bu Kyung. The Korean text was a major factor in the forming of Ilchi Lee's principles and art, giving insight into the origin of existence and humanity's place in the universe.

"Awareness of the present moment makes every moment a new beginning, a new opportunity," the Chun Bu Kyung states. "Nothing from the past can ruin the newness and sanctity of this moment."

During Art Appreciation Month, take some time to consider these inspiring quotes from Ilchi Lee and the Chun Bu Kyung. Let mindfulness take hold, focus on the current moment and create something that expresses your inner self. You may find a whole new appreciation for art, creative process and living in the moment.

Ilchi Lee Encourages You to Push Forward

As a dedicated advocate of personal enhancement and improvement, Ilchi Lee understands that it's often difficult to make changes for the better. Hard work and determination are required to improve as a person, but the results can bring about greater fulfillment, spiritual development and, in the greater scheme of things, a more peaceful world.

Throughout life, all people are presented with personal challenges in which they must make the crucial decision to either give up or keep trying. This might be quitting smoking, improving physical well-being through meditation techniques or trying to improve the community by bringing people together in the name of peace and tranquility. No matter the undertaking, the first step in making change is often the most difficult, which is why Lee encourages you to find the motivation to push on.

"When facing a challenge, just face it and do it, trusting in the infinite power of life moving vibrantly through you," Lee wrote. "Expand your limitations infinitely!"

If you find yourself stuck and unable to move forward at any point, don't abandon your efforts.

"When you hover between the challenge and abandonment, take one more step forward," Lee encourages. "That one step can totally change your life."

For many people, the last step toward change can be a particularly difficult. That moment when change is about to become reality can be intimidating, and some are afraid to move forward. But keep in mind that fear in cases such as these can be a sign that it's time to progress – the reason you're afraid is that there's something to be lost if you fail, which means there's something to be gained if you succeed. It's an indication that the window of opportunity is open, and the time is now to get past your fears and just do it.

You may still be having trouble moving forward even after you recognize and deal with your fear of change. In such cases, turn toward loved ones, friends and neighbors for encouragement. You may also open one of the motivational Ilchi Lee books or the documentary film, "Change: The LifeParticle Effect," which inspires and guides you toward real, tangible change.

Ilchi Lee Advises You to Stand Tall and Proud

As an innovative leader in human brain potential development, Ilchi Lee imparts his wisdom on the world in a variety of ways. Among his methods of communication are Wisdom Cards, which provide followers with inspirational words that combine the principles of the Chun Bu Kyung sacred Korean text and Lee himself. One card gives a particularly useful pearl of wisdom, telling you to stay physically composed as a reflection of your inner composure.

"Have no shame in your mind," Lee wrote. "Straighten your body, and stand tall in the world. Those who are enlightened always stand tall. Those who do not have a noble mind tend to hide and move secretly. They bend their bodies and seek only to please others."

This reflects the guidance given in another of the many inspiring Ilchi Lee books, "Dahnhak Kigong: Using the Body to Enlighten the Mind." As he explains, people who do not stand tall in the world end up wandering about in suffering and pain, which can suck your energy and weaken your physical power. It's a dangerous cycle in which two negatives nourish each other. In contrast, those who stand tall in the world and maintain physical composure can feed their physical prowess, becoming more powerful, energized and mentally inclined.

The notion of "standing tall" is an essential part of the ki gong, or qi gong, practice. One of the main principles of this martial art is the upright posture, which involves a straightened, extended spinal column. It not only helps your body better regulate its organs, but the posture enhances the flow of energy throughout your body for greater mental, physical and emotional propensity.

Fulfilling Your Role as an Earth Citizen

There's no denying that the world is divided in many ways, both geographically and culturally. The prominence of war is simple proof of mankind's tendency to separate itself into specific groups based on religion, ethnicity, nationality and other factors. But this detachment is detrimental to humanity and inhibits societal peace that can lead to happier, healthier lives for all. That's why Ilchi Lee asks us to cast off our old identities and and take on a new one: Earth Citizen.

In his book, "Earth Citizen: Recovering Our Humanity," The New York Times bestselling author recognizes that people are diverse – in fact, its key to the beauty of humanity. But, as Lee illustrates, we are all united by one common factor: We are all citizens of this one magnificent planet. As such, the earth must be at the core of our personal values, and we must put forth effort to show respect and manage the planet's resources, as well as appreciating each other. Only when we realize the deep connection among all people under the sun can we come together to transform life on earth into a peaceful and sustainable existence.

"If you realize that no one in this universe is separate and alone, and that all are connected as One, you choose a life lived for the good of all life," Ilchi Lee wrote.

Becoming an Earth Citizen
To join Earth Citizen movement, one must shed their identity as an "American," "Korean" or other nationality. Rather, embrace your status as a resident of this marvelous planet. Override loyalties to these manmade ideals of patriotism, money and success, and treat all people as your neighbor. Take responsibility for your source of life – earth – and take tangible initiatives to keep the environment clean and healthy. Encourage others to join in on the movement, because the collective energy of many can accomplish much more than any one individual.

As people unite in the efforts to cherish and protect Mother Earth and the global community continues to grow and bond in common principles, she can restore her state of natural beauty and harmony for future generations to enjoy.

"Let us give future generations the gift of Earth citizenship by first giving it to ourselves," Ilchi Lee wrote.

Understanding Ilchi Lee’s Concept of Absolute Value

The meaning of life and the difference between good and bad are things every person ponders during their existence on this earth. A person will often assign value to people, moments and other aspects of life according to whether or not that person likes them.

For example, you might believe your significant other is good while an old foe is bad. However, there's much more than the concept of good and bad, and that's absolute value.

In one of the through-provoking Ilchi Lee books, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," The New York Times bestselling author discussed this concept. As he explained, absolute values are natural and unchangeable aspects that are necessary for existence. Think of it in contrast to relative values, which are man-made things that people do not require to exist – money, marriage, college degrees.

"Absolute values are the things that are important whether you like them or not," Ilchi Lee wrote. "Relative values depend on social contexts and personal preferences and conditions of life. Our current market system pursues relative transient values at the cost of absolute lasting values."

Ilchi Lee notes that it's humanity's responsibility to alter man-made relative values when they conflict with absolute values, because if we fail to recognize and base our principles around the earthly elements that are essential to existence, we will not be able to live in peace and harmony with our surroundings. Understanding and accepting absolute values also deters loneliness and fear that often comes with being human, because you find yourself playing a much larger role in the world.

"When you find the absolute values, you are important to this world because you know what is important," Lee wrote. "Those who know what is truly important are helpful to this world, because they won't put their personal concerns before what is important to all."

Looking Within for Happiness

What is it to be happy? Some may think that money and fame are the keys to contentment, but the rich and famous often find themselves looking for fulfillment in ways that do not involve these trivial elements. In one of the moving Ilchi Lee books, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," the author notes the human tendency to look to outside sources for happiness.

"There is a serious discrepancy between what we really want, and what we usually do to get what we think we want," Lee wrote. "What we really want is to fill the hole inside and become complete, and what we do is look for success and growth outside."

Through his teachings, Ilchi Lee encourages people to take responsibility not only for their own health but also for their happiness. It's a matter of getting in touch with your true nature, recognizing what gives you joy and then pursuing that joy. This takes reflection and self-development, but happiness is not outside of any person's reach – with patience and will, you can discover the what fills you with genuine peace and serenity.

Providing Hope and Inspiration for Cancer Patients

The first day of June marked National Cancer Survivors Day, an occasion for celebrating those who have survived this disease. But it also serves as a reminder of the importance of inspiring those who have been recently diagnosed with cancer through family support, community outreach and stories of strength and healing. As a voice for holistic healing, Ilchi Lee, has helped many people find hope and courage to fight for their health, and he encourages his readers to comfort those in need support during such difficult times.

As Ilchi Lee tells his readers, "[T]hose who know how to comfort themselves can comfort others, and their heart is big enough to comfort the world."

People don't need extensive training to show compassion and provide solace to someone who is afraid in the face of cancer – or any other devastating situation. Knowing how to praise and comfort yourself is key. Find your own strengths, appreciate your own potential and remind yourself everyday that you love yourself and are capable of anything you put your mind to. Once you are at peace with yourself and understand your infinite value in this world, you can open your heart up to the people around you. In fact, in his book "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," Ilchi Lee explains the importance of understanding your role and what's really important in the whole scheme of things: absolute values.

"When you find the absolute values, you are important to this world because you know what is important," he wrote. "Those who know what is truly important are helpful to this world, because they won't put their personal concerns before what is important to all."

You can put your personal values aside and help others through community service. Volunteer at a hospital or cancer treatment center to provide emotional support for those who have been recently diagnosed. If you've survived cancer (or are close with someone who has) share your experience. You might talk with cancer patients about what you or your loved one went through, write an article and publish it in the local paper or author a blog to provide hope and inspiration for those in need of emotional and spiritual support.

Helping Others for a Better World

Many people believe that the greatest accomplishments in life are material-based. Earning the most money, having the biggest house and driving the nicest car are all among feats that are often believed to lead to happiness. But as Ilchi Lee discusses in "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," these material obsessions aren't what truly matter in the end.

The New York Times bestselling author posits the question, "How do I want to be remembered after I leave this life?" While financial, academic and career success are prominent, what's even more pressing is the desire be remembered as someone who helped others and made a positive difference in the world, no matter how big or small.

"We have the Noble Desire to help others and benefit the world, without expecting any return or recognition," Lee wrote. "What makes us great is not our knowledge, skill, money, or power. What makes us truly great is this noble desire, this passion that transcends all separation, that goes beyond one's limitations and wants to hug others and embrace the whole world. This is not something that we need to learn, because we already have it. It just needs to be acknowledged and awakened."

It's easy to shrug off your capacity to help others by saying you simply don't know how, but it's something that is inherent within all of us. When one sees an elderly woman carrying in her groceries, the first thought is often to give her assistance. It may seem like a small favor, but helping those within your community can encourage your neighbors to help others and, in effect, spreading awareness of humanity's need to be kind and supportive.

Ways to Become a Well-Rounded Student of the World

We talk a lot about holistic education, but over the years, the definition has become muddled with overuse. What it really means is that an individual should come out of the education system being well-rounded, not only versed in substantive knowledge but able to relate, empathize and understand other people. As more emphasis is placed on standardized tests scores, this may seem increasingly difficult. But rest assured, there are plenty of ways to become a student of the world, learning long after the last page of the textbook.

Learn About Your Community
One of the pillars of this rounded learning process is deep-rooted community connections. When you live in a city, how much do you actually know about its people, culture and history? Form meaningful ties with your neighbors, shopkeepers and places you frequent. Make a point to learn about the whatever niche your city specializes in – whether that's industry, technology, farming or music. Then, you can start to dive into what your city has to offer. Rather than simply being a student in school, begin to make the world your classroom. You can also do this by visiting a local museum that has exhibits on the city's culture and heritage. You may be surprised how much you have yet to grow and learn.

Travel
As the saying goes, once you know where you're from, you may know where you're going. Traveling is one of the greatest ways to meet new people, hear their stories and learn about different cultures. If you have the opportunity, whether it's on a school trip, family vacation or personal adventure, go out and see the world. We live in one corner of the world, and however pretty and comfortable it may be, there is much for us to explore out there.

Ilchi Lee, who was born in South Korea and flies constantly from country to country, shares that travel is mind-expanding. It makes us more empathetic of others, allowing us to embrace the similarities and appreciate the differences between all walks of life. By soaking in new cultures, foods and customs, one can become a citizen of the world.

Meditate
Amid all of the noise pollution of the outside world, meditation can seem like a breath of fresh air. Even 15 minutes a day of conscious breathing techniques in a quiet environment can leave us refreshed and recharged, tuning out all of the meaningless information and tuning in to ourselves. This can also aid in the process of uniting one's mind and body and becoming comfortable in one's own skin.

Get Involved in Different Activities
When we are young, we are like an open canvas. We can dabble in all of the paints and get our hands dirty. Encourage your kids or students to try an assortment of various after-school activities, from sports to music to volunteering. Yes, it will build their resumes, but it will also serves as a building block of personal development.

The Importance of Observation

In the bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to stop, take a moment and embrace the world around us. Especially as smartphones, tablets and other forms of mobile technology advance and take over, conscious observation has taken a back seat to multitasking and productivity-focused behavior. But, as Ilchi Lee emphasizes in his books, classes and other teachings, mindfulness is key to self-discovery and self-improvement.

In his book, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," The New York Times bestselling author discusses the importance of observation. It's only through self-discipline and careful examination of your inner self and the people, places and things around you that you can recognize your habits and behaviors and change them for the better. But seeing the state of reality doesn't require some greater knowledge of meditation techniques for concentration or other forms of mindfulness – looking at the world with an unclouded mind free of assumptions and preconceived notions, one can obtain a clear view of what is hindering them from self-improvement.

"To see truth as truth, we don't need a lot of study," Lee wrote in "Change." "It's not complicated. What we need is pure observation. An open mind and fresh eyes will serve us well."

Mindful meditation techniques are one way of clearing your mind in order to perceive more clearly. The practice involves purposefully concentrating on the present – the very moment at hand including what's going on around you as well as inside – without any judgment, neither positive nor negative. It may take practice and determination, but with time you may find yourself feeling more clear-headed and coming across new epiphanies about life.

Emotional Control for Greater Wellness

May is Mental Health Month, the time of year to learn about and spread awareness of the importance of keeping the brain healthy and learning about how the mind and the body work together to ensure your overall wellness – knowledge that Ilchi Lee, an innovative leader in the human brain potential movement, has worked so hard to spread. A big part of good mental health is emotional stability.

Along with developing Dahn Yoga exercises that soothe the nerves, reduce anxiety and help people gain control over their feelings, the health and wellness leader has raised awareness of the benefits that can come from emotional balance. In one of the inspiring Ilchi Lee books, "The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart," The New York Times bestselling author discusses the importance of learning to handle one's moods and temperaments.

"We have to learn how to ride the waves of our emotions as if we were surfing, instead of floundering and getting swept up in them," Lee wrote. "Just as it's important to keep your balance when surfing, you don't get pulled by the undertow of your emotions when you're firmly rooted in your center which is your True Self."

The book, which provides readers with insight on personal awakening and spiritual development, highlights the strong healing capacity of the Arizona city of Sedona, but at its core, the book is about the human journey of the heart. As Lee explains in "The Call of Sedona," one of the key steps toward personal development and greater enlightenment is learning to confront one's feelings and then release them.

"It's natural to have emotions or memories that are hard to let go of even when you know they're blocks to your growth," Lee wrote. "But no matter how deep the hurt or emotion may be, if you let go of it, you can."

During his time in Sedona, Lee found that one of the ways to learning to gain control over one's feelings was to simply recognize them. The Arizona city has a serene and tranquil setting that many feel magnifies one's emotions – visitors often experience a heightened sense of happiness, sadness, anger and excitement, and they're forced to face those feelings head-on. It can be scary, but by refusing to allow fear to cripple you and choosing instead to allow yourself to feel it and then let it pass and let the negative energy exit your body.

While a trip to Sedona may provide you with the calm and quiet necessary to recognize, accept and release your emotions, it's isn't absolutely necessary to travel to Arizona to do so. Mindful meditation techniques, such as those used during Dahn Yoga classes, have the capacity to help you find inner calm and peace, which can be effective in helping you confront, deal with and learn to balance feelings and moods.