Category Archives: Inspirational Stories

Aerosmith’s “Dream On” carries powerful message

Aerosmith has had a long career, but their most famous song is still most likely "Dream On," the rock ballad that seems to always endure. Whether it's being sampled by Eminem or showing up in a sports highlight video, even those who weren't born when the song was written have likely encountered this classic tune.

While many rock groups can be a bit dark in their messages, "Dream On" actually carries a very positive message that is in line with Ilchi Lee's teachings. The refrain is "Dream on/dream on/dream on/dream until your dream comes true." It's a simple thought, but one that many people still do not follow.

Much like Stephen Tyler, Ilchi Lee also supports following your dreams: "Deep inside your heart, pure love remains, as well as hopes and dreams." Aerosmith's song adequately ties in the concept of hopes and love as well to the repeated use of the word dream. The concept of love is especially present in the famous line "All the things come back to you."

It might seem like just another classic rock anthem, but sit down and think about the lyrics and Aerosmith isn't too far off from suggesting a bit of spiritual growth themselves.

Princess Mononoke shows relationship of humanity and earth

On August 2, 2002, Ilchi Lee was invited to a Meeting with Mago Event as a keynote speaker, where he spoke about humanity’s deep, mind-body-spirit connection with the earth. He addressed thousands of supporters about the importance of realizing the role the world plays in all of our lives.

This is also the topic of the 1997 hit anime film, Princess Mononoke, which details the conflict between the need of humans to continue striving forward with new technology, despite any costs to the surrounding environment. It is a fantastical movie set in the Muromachi period of Japan and proved extremely popular in Japan and abroad.

Most striking of all is the beautiful nature on display in the film. The beautifully rendered trees and ancient forests communicate the timeless and mystical qualities of the earth. The protagonist, Ashitaka, must come to terms with the constant battle between new technology and the way that humans abuse the earth, which is symbolized by a war between ancient animal-gods and a town that recently invented the latest in firearms.

Princess Mononoke has won more than 20 awards. Film critic Roger Ebert listed it as one of his top 10 films of 1999.

Imagine by John Lennon reflects theme of peace, change

Ilchi Lee believes in peace throughout the world and this was a theme he communicated to the 2000 UN Peace Summit as a featured speaker. He administered a prayer of peace to better unite countries under one common sentiment.

This is the theme of John Lennon’s legendary hit, Imagine, as well, a song that speaks about people shedding their differences and becoming united despite everything. He sings of a world that has no divisions and no shortages, because everyone shares everything.

“Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for,” he says in a plaintive voice. “Imagine all the people / Living in peace…”

At the time of its 1971 release, Imagine peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached the top of charts in Canada and Australia. Lennon claimed that it is as good as anything he had ever written when he was a member of the Beatles.

Critics seem to agree – Rolling Stone listed Imagine as the third greatest song of all time in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ilchi Lee rings historic bell to mark new year

New Year’s Eve is a special occasion for people all across the world, and ceremonies to mark the day can be important way for individuals to affirm their spirituality and connection with their fellow man. For centuries, this occasion has been marked in South Korea by the ringing of Bosingak Bell.

In 2008, trailblazer and philosopher Ilchi Lee was lucky enough to be chosen to ring the historic bell to usher in the new year. The Bosingak Bell was originally built in 1396. After several reconstructions, it now is a major symbol of Korean culture and is rung at midnight on the first day of every year.

Crowds typically gather in large numbers in the area of the bell and it is one of the country’s most enduring New Year’s traditions. Thousands of people come to Jongno, where the bell is located, each year to hear it ring.

Ringing the bell gave Ilchi Lee a chance to connect with his heritage and history. Interacting with culture in this way can be a powerful force that jumpstarts a person down a road to spiritual development and fulfillment.

helping others personal growth

Polio survivor helps distribute vaccine to others affected by the disease

Ilchi Lee believes that spiritual growth can often come from traveling the world and experiencing new things. Growth and understanding are even more likely to increase when a traveler goes outside his or her comfort zone to help others.

This is the case of Ann Lee Hussey, who recently embarked on a mission to help polio victims because of her own harrowing experience with the disease in the summer of 1955, according to The Morning Sentinel. Hussey suffered from a high fever and was paralyzed from the waist down. While she could eventually move again, she has undergone numerous surgeries to get back to her feet and still has some weakness in her right leg.

When Hussey recently visited India to help distribute polio vaccines to others affected by the illness, she had to face her own fearful memories as well, particularly when working with a child who had contracted the disease.

“[The trip] brought back tons of memories of what I was like when I was 9 years old,” she told the news provider. “I lost it, to say the least… I cried for her, I cried for me and all the senseless waste we get from polio.”

Now, when she visits others stricken with polio, she takes off her shoes and socks to show sufferers her own feet. Hussey says that she is a role model of sorts, because she can inspire polio victims with her own story.

Marathon Runner

Legendary marathon runner overcomes obstacles throughout his life

Dick Beardsley is hailed as one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time. In 1982, he nearly beat the world record for the Boston Marathon by running the race in two hours, eight minutes and two seconds, according to KeloLand.com.

While he has retired from running, he is still trying to make a difference by telling motivational stories to students across the country, using his own troubled childhood as an example of growth.

“We’ve all been through trying times in our life and these kids [want a message that will] give them the hope that… [they] can go on to be very successful at whatever they choose they want to do,” he told the news provider.

Beardsley grew up in a home where both of his parents were alcoholics and would verbally and physically abuse each other. Beardsley did not succumb to alcohol, but ended up addicted to painkillers.

Now 55 and sober for 14 years, he wants to spread his message – it’s not about how you start the race, but how you finish.

Dick Beardsley is the only man to have run 13 consecutive personal best times in marathons and has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the accomplishment.

Ilchi-Lee-Zang-Hee-Cho

Research agreement furthers study of heightened sensory perception

Some people are able to attain a level of sensory perception in their lives that the majority of individuals cannot imagine. This enables them to view things on the periphery that others would not notice, smell scents that are mostly undetectable and hear frequencies of sound that average people cannot.

This phenomenon, known as heightened sensory perception is poorly understood by science. In an effort to elucidate the reasons behind the occurrence, Ilchi Lee, the president of the Korea Institute of Brain Science, and Zang-Hee Cho, Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at Gacheon University of Medicine and Science in South Korea agreed in 2005 to conduct joint research on the phenomenon.

Zang-Hee Cho, director of the institute, is heading up the research. He comes from a strong background of developing pioneering technology to create images of the brain. This could help scientists understand what is going in the minds of individuals with heightened sensory perception.

Furthermore, any findings that emerge from the research could lead to the development of new Brain Training programs that enable individuals to unlock their full human potential. This could help them experience the world in ways they never imagined.

UK corporal to trek across Mongolia to raise money for charity

Charitable giving is one way to encourage peace on earth. Ilchi Lee believes that spiritual healing is a key to finding inner peace, because change can bring about new potential in one person that can lead to improvement for many others.

Lance corporal Matthew Wilson has dedicated much of his time to raising 2 million pounds for the Help for Heroes and other charities in the United Kingdom by having an adventure himself, according to British Forces News. He has recovered remarkably since 2009, when he stepped on an IED in Sangin and lost part of his left leg.

Wilson plans to trek across the length of Mongolia on horseback, despite the fact that he has never ridden a horse before.

He is also planning to ride across the United Kingdom this coming summer, but some of that time may be spent in a World War 1 style ambulance, so he will be sure to have a unique experience during that leg of the journey.

Ilchi Lee has also visited Mongolia and believes that the difficult terrain can encourage people to unlock their growth potential. For a strong-willed individual, Lee believes “a difficult environment can become a catalyst or merely a minor obstacle to achieving your hopes and dreams.”

Ilchi Lee reminds listeners that they all share an important common denominator

When people look at one another it is often easiest to only notice the things that divide them. Cultural, religious and ethnic differences are often immediately apparent and can serve to turn people off from each other. However, all too frequently, they overlook the commonalities that could serve to pull them closer together.

Ilchi Lee has long said that peace can only be achieved when people set aside these differences that divide and fully grasp those around them as their brothers and sisters. In order to spread this message, he spoke at the Meeting with Mago event in 2002.

As part of his address, Lee said that all humans have more in common with each other than they may be aware of. At the top of the list of commonalities is their connection to the Earth. The planet is what allowed their birth and continues to sustain their existence. Without it, no life would be possible.

This fundamental similarity could serve to lead people to spiritual healing, allowing them to understand that they are much more closely related than they may be aware of and that national and racial differences are often less important than people make them out to be.