In his insightful book, "In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging," Ilchi Lee discusses how people reconstruct themselves as they grow older.
"All your past experiences exist as a source of your wisdom and judgment," Lee wrote. "But you are no longer trapped by your old identity, either. Instead, you're essentially reconstructing yourself, tearing a beloved house down to the foundation, saving the wood, stone, and glass and erecting a new house with the same materials."
As many people grow older, they become afraid of change. Instead of evolving and adapting to new challenges, wants and needs, they may shy away from their problems. Does this sound familiar?
Learning to Rebuild
With age may come some loss of physical and mental abilities. Some people experience aches and pains and others find their memory slipping. You can work to prevent these problems by actively engaging your brain in memory and logic games. You may also find the meditating and clearing your mind helps you to stay present and in the moment. Finding these moments of calm during a busy day will allow you to center yourself and focus on your core being and inner desires.
Ilchi Lee teaches that everyone has their own construction materials to build themselves repeatedly throughout the course of their lives. They must use their strength and past experiences to create themselves again. It's important to keep in touch with your abilities, beliefs, values and goals, as well as how you feel about yourself in order to rebuild.
You may find that you are unhappy with who you are or you are unsure if staying at your current job is right for you. Take some time for you to reflect on the situation. Establish what it is that you don't like about the position as well as what you would like to see change. Are these things that you can control and try to improve? If not, consider seeking employment elsewhere. It may also be helpful to bring up your issues with supervisors or coworkers to see if they have any suggestions for bettering your workplace. If you feel a certain way, there is a good chance that someone else may be in the same mindset.
Ilchi Lee has also taught that no one is trapped by their old identities. If you want or need to remake yourself for personal development, you are completely capable of doing so with all the tools that you already have in your head and your heart.
In his informative and inspirational book, "The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart," Ilchi Lee discusses in vivid detail his experience with enlightenment. It happened while he was on Moak Mountain in South Korea, spending 21 days at the Buddhist temple Donggoksa following his 100-day training in ki energy. After an extended period with no food or rest, he began moving into a state of mind beyond consciousness and entered into a place of absolute clarity where he and nature were truly one.
After reaching this new spiritual plane, Lee stayed at Donggoksa for another 21 days. Initially, he was silent and still in shock from his newfound enlightenment. But he soon began to wonder what he was supposed to do next with his recently discovered enlightenment. Lee found the answer during a session of meditation techniques, during which he saw to sets of visions: images of war, disease and human suffering were contrasted by images of happiness and peace.
"I had found my life's work. To contribute to changing humanity's fate to happiness and peace – this was my mission. … But how in the world would I do this? What ability did I have that would make me capable?"
What Do You Do with Enlightenment?
Learning to apply the gift of enlightenment to the real world is a whole new challenge one faces. Even after you have found this sense of oneness, people must still manage their lives and feed their families while working to fulfill their mission in life. As it did with Ilchi Lee, economic barriers and the sometimes disheartening realities of life may hinder the journey, but taking the first step and continuing on despite obstacles is essential.
Ilchi Lee found his own way to share his enlightenment with others: through the Sundo philosophy. He was visiting the park to meet new people and stimulate new ideas when he came across an elderly man trying to exercise but appearing uncomfortable and in pain. Lee massaged the man and taught him a few easy exercises to get started. He returned each day to help, and others started joining in, turning to Lee as a leader.
"In the midst of teaching and speaking with the people I met at the park, I thought deeply about ways that I could better communicate my enlightenment. That's when I realized my enlightenment came from the lineage of philosophy of the the Sundo culture, a Korean Taoist tradition with a 10,000-year history."
The moment of realization inspired Lee to modernize the mind-body Sundo training methods into a system he termed "Dahnhak." In turn, this led to the very first Dahn Yoga center.
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.
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.
April 2013 saw the premier of Ilchi Lee's film, "Change: The LifeParticle Effect." The New York Times bestselling author created this dynamic documentary as a guide for anyone stuck in a rut who is seeking a change for the better. It has helped countless people develop a stronger connection between the mind and body, and now the film has been recognized at the the International Film Festival.
Held in Jakarta, Indonesia, this year's International Film Festival was the first to feature a "Spirituality, Religion and Visionary" category. It's aim is to call attention to inspirational movies that promote peace and harmony as well as commitment to spirituality. So it's no surprise that "Change" received huge praise under this category.
The Nov. 27 ceremony not only featured a screening of Ilchi Lee's film, but "Change" also won several awards, including 10 different "Awards of Excellence," "Best Short Documentary" and the "Gold Award." Lee was immensely grateful for the recognition of his achievements and graciously accepted the awards, telling the crowd of his future goal to "keep moving forward after this film and keep creating change in the world."
It's not every day that a person gets to talk with major world leaders about the problems facing the world, but in 2007 author and philosopher Ilchi Lee was given just this opportunity. One can only guess at what they talked about, but strategies for using meditation practices for health as well as the state of conflict that exists in the world were surely brought up.
Lee was given the opportunity to sit down with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for two hours. The two men spent this time getting to know one another to create a general feeling of camaraderie.
Later, the pair discussed many of the problems that currently face the world, including senior health issues. They also talked about possible solutions to those situations.
Lee has said in the past that conflict and violence are main drivers of the problems faced by people around the world today. All over the globe divisiveness creates environments in which it is difficult for individuals to thrive and pursue their personal dreams.
However, by setting aside these differences, it may be possible for more individuals to embrace the common elements of their humanity and work together to create a more harmonious world. This is Lee's main suggestion for solving the problems of the planet.
While this may be a difficult policy to implement immediately, getting world leaders like Ki-moon involved in the process could speed the creation of a new harmonious world. Change will have to come from the people, but it may be possible for strong leaders to direct individuals toward a more peaceful existence. Through the meeting, Lee hopes to have inspired this type of change.
While the mentor-protege relationship may seem like a thing of the past to some business professionals, a recent article by career expert Heather Huhman in U.S. News & World Report argues that this resource is still applicable for those looking to enhance their personal development.
A mentor can provide a younger or less-experienced colleague with support, constructive criticism and advice. One can also gain clarity on goals and ideas and develop critical thinking skills through the help of a mentor.
Another advantage to mentors is the constant challenges they can pose. As one begins to feel more comfortable in the professional world, a mentor will challenge you to stretch your human potential in your current job, your job search and your career goals.
The benefit of a mentor is rooted in experience. Professionals can turn to their mentors for guidance and advice, and the mentors will draw on their past experience to help them navigate through their careers.
When searching for the perfect mentor, remember to find someone with goals similar to your own in a field or industry that you are looking to break into or are working in currently. A mentor won't be of much help to you if they don't have experience with questions you'll likely be asking. Those looking for a mentor are encouraged to make first contact. Additionally, be prepared to put time and effort into being mentored.
If you are having trouble finding a mentor, Huhman suggests looking online. Many non-profit organizations and other websites work to match students and young professionals with more experienced mentors in their chosen fields.
Professionals are trying to seek out any edge they can in this difficult job market and economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is holding steady at 9.2 percent. Employment in the majority of private-sector industries remained relatively unchanged throughout June 2011. Currently, an estimated 14.1 million Americans are without jobs.
Often, job seekers who have been at it for months at a time may begin to feel pessimistic, causing them to completely throw out the rule book and start from scratch.
While this may be exhilarating and can contribute to one's personal development, it is still crucial to avoid common mistakes that typically occur when a job seeker becomes frustrated or desperate for a position.
According to a recent BusinessWeek article composed by career expert Liz Ryan, one of the most common mistakes exhibited by job seekers who are already in good position is to forget the company they're dealing with during the interview.
As with resumes, it is important to vary one's interview responses based on the individual firm with which one is meeting, as the hiring manager is paying close attention to one's responses and will be able to ascertain when the candidate is simply regurgitating information he or she has used in prior interviews.
Likewise, it is critical to avoid allowing small amounts of adversity to completely derail the job search, as the hunt often does not go exactly as planned, Ryan says. One such example of this adversity is if a company makes a mistake about the time or location of an interview. While this can be frustrating, showing one's resilience and ability to adapt to the situation can make a positive impact on the firm.
Finally, it is important not to sell one's brain education short, as this can cause employers to have doubts about one's self-confidence level. When applying for a position – or even after hearing back from prospective employers – candidates should refrain from saying they would accept lesser positions, according to Ryan.
Rather than appear desperate and seemingly expect the worst, it is important to exude confidence and even assume that one is qualified for the position and will receive an offer. This can help a candidate portray his or her sense of self-worth and ability to overcome any limitations and perform the job's functions.
Avoiding these missteps is critical, as is making sure to not use out-of-date advice such as offering a positive quality when asked to give the employer a weakness during an interview, according to U.S. News & World Report.
While securing employment is undoubtedly seen as a victory these days, it does not mean that one’s career path is set, as a new survey indicates that approximately half of U.S. workers are unhappy at their current jobs.
CNN reports that the report, published recently by consulting firm Mercer, indicates that nearly one-third of American workers are considering leaving their current jobs, an increase from 23 percent six years ago.
The survey also noted that 21 percent of the 2,400 U.S. workers said they have a negative view of their employer and have “checked out” of their position, for the most part.
Mindy Fox, a senior partner at Mercer, told the news source that this seemingly new world of disgruntled employees can have serious negative effects on companies.
“The business consequences of this erosion in employee sentiment are significant,” she said.
Bloomberg reports that another recent study regarding employee satisfaction, which was conducted by SBR Consulting, found that younger workers in the U.S. have a more optimistic view about their potential for discovering new career opportunities.
It is commonly thought that martial arts exist only for self defense and actions involved in violence. However, the activity can often be used to channel energy and encourage spiritual growth in the practitioner.
Such is the case with Ilchi Lee’s Dahn Tae Kwan Do. This discipline combines aspects of the traditional Korean martial arts style with the author and philosopher’s own knowledge and understand of how to channel the life energy that surrounds everything.
In order to highlight the benefits of this martial arts discipline, Lee recently held a competition for those who practice it. The event was held last May at Kookhakwon, a nonprofit Korean studies institute in South Korea that was founded by Lee.
The competition gave individuals a chance to show off their skills and to help others learn the benefits of training in Dahn Tae Kwan Do. The practice may have a strong upside for individuals who are looking to reach within themselves and develop a better understand of who they are as a person and attain a greater degree of spiritual growth.
There is a tremendous power in nature, and author and philosopher Ilchi Lee says spiritual growth can flow from efforts to tap into this energy. In order to help more people experience this type of development, he recently helped open a new store in uptown Sedona, Arizona that is intended to connect people to the power of the natural world.
The retail location, known as Sedona Story, offers visitors a chance to browse items ranging from natural crystals to spiritually inspired art created by the local creative community.
The store held a grand-opening event last month that featured dancing, readings and other displays intended to get the local community interested in the power that is held in the store’s products. The shop’s manager Hansori Keliikuli even performed a hula dance for patrons.
At the center of the establishment’s mission is a goal to inspire more individuals to look at the natural world that surrounds them and appreciate its power. While reflecting in this environment, many new realities may become clear to a person. The store’s inspiration, Ilchi Lee, says that spiritual growth is assured to those who engage in this type of practice.
Dedication to a cause is one of the surest avenues to personal development. It teaches a person about the benefits of hard work and sacrifice and allows individuals to see the benefits of giving of themselves.
Ilchi Lee displayed this type of commitment shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He had been scheduled to speak to a group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, but was in Los Angeles, California in the days leading up to his engagement. With all flights grounded, it looked as if he may not make his appearance.
However, it was decided that he could make the engagement by driving. He spent the next 48 driving nonstop from California to Massachusetts in order to keep his promise and deliver his talk on the importance of spirituality to the group of college students.
This type of dedication and commitment is not found every day. It can sometimes take years of cultivation and hard work to develop. However, when a person does live their life with this type of follow through, the personal development that takes place is likely to be its own reward.
Art has the power to stir the soul and inspire people to achieve things greater than they ever imagined possible. It is truly one of the defining characteristics of humanity, and continues to evolve in new and exciting directions.
In order to celebrate the human potential that is reflected in art, Ilchi Lee hosted the Brain Art Festival in 2009 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The event was intended to highlight some of the latest achievements in mind-expanding art and to show the nearly limitless human potential for creativity. The festival featured musical performances, visual displays and dances.
Lee, who himself is a flutist, has said that creativity can play an important role in advancing the cultures of the world, and that the most effective way to unleash this inner force of creation is meditation. By looking inside one’s self it may become possible to imagine new and interesting forms of art that continue to push humanity forward.
Given the fact that human potential is nearly limitless, all one must do is put in the effort. The festival was intended to be a celebration of those who have done this.
Just as Ilchi Lee believes personal change is essential to maintaining balance in one’s life, it can also be critical for one’s career aspirations.
With the recent recession, many employees were simply worried about holding on to their jobs, but a recent CNN article recommends that workers get back to being ambitious rather than staying in defensive mode on the job.
Still, with companies hiring more qualified candidates, it will take quite a bit of extra work to gain that big promotion, so workers should make sure to exude additional energy and passion during their day-to-day activities at work.
According to the news source, one way for employees to get a jump on a potential promotion is to make a lateral move rather than simply looking to climb the ladder one rung at a time.
“Now it’s about zigzagging your way to the top, vs. taking the elevator,” Sarah Hathorn of career advising company Illustra Consulting, told the news source.
This strategy can be particularly useful for employees at small businesses, where growth was seen across the country last month, according to the Intuit Small Business Employment Index.
Choosing a career path is one thing, but taking the necessary measures and evaluating one’s situation on a regular basis can seem to be daunting task.
However, this task is a major portion of one’s life purpose, so it is important to undertake the necessary preparations and ensure that one is in the best possible position to make his or her most important decisions.
According to a recent CNN article, one of the most important qualities people need to have when determining their career paths is self-awareness, which helps them to understand their situations and get an idea of what their ultimate goals might be.
“It’s likely that you have, for example, always loved numbers or maybe you’ve always enjoyed helping people,” Aricia LaFrance, a career consultant, told the news source. “Awareness of those threads can create a satisfying career path. Think life-long interests when it comes to career planning and you’ll likely be happier in each job along the way.”
It is also essential to re-evaluate one’s goals during the process, as certain changes can have a lasting effect on one’s career path.
It is a well known saying that humans only use a fraction of their actual brain potential. Data suggest that the mind is actually capable of many things that most people would not think possible. However, some people are able to tap into this reservoir of brain power and use it to impressive ends.
In order to showcase the skills of these individuals, author and trailblazer Ilchi Lee hosted the third International Brain Heightened Sensory Perception Olympiad in Ellenville, New York, in 2007.
Heightened sensory perception is a state in which individuals are able to use their senses to perceive more of the world around them than most people are capable of. Their vision is more acute, their hearing is more precise and their sense of smell is finer.
The Olympiad had participants compete in a number of events specifically designed to test their skills of perception and identify individuals who have been able to push their senses to the next level.
The competition was part of Ilchi Lee’s belief that the human mind is capable of much more than most people give it credit for. Working to remove the artificial shackles that people place on themselves may open the mind up to many possibilities.
Ilchi Lee’s interest in martial arts goes far beyond the purpose of self-defense or physical exercise. He says that the activity is one that can bring a person’s mind and body into harmony and even unite the peoples of the world.
In 2007, Lee congratulated the 16,000 participants who competed in the first International Dahnhak Kigong Competition of Sports. Lee developed the form of martial art based on ancient Korean practices. He revived as a way to help individuals get in touch with their inner ki energy.
The competition was intended to be a showcase for the form of martial art, which has become an international sensation. In his address to the participants, Lee said that the competition was proof that individuals from various nations, ethnicities and cultures could unite under a common cause and for peaceful means.
“I pray that today’s tournament will be deeply meaningful for our fellow Dahnhak Kigong practitioners participating and for our honored guests from around the world,” he told the attendees.
The event shows that martial arts do not always have to be about violence. The practice can actually serve to unite people.
The human mind is capable of many achievements that most people are unaware of. It has the ability to transcend everyday experiences and perceive things that would generally be thought impossible.
In order to showcase the abilities of people who have attained this state, Ilchi Lee hosted the second Heightened Sensory Perception Olympiad in 2006. The event featured competitions among individuals who had taken their brain potential to the next level and achieved abilities in perception that are beyond the average person.
The event marked the second year that Ilchi Lee hosted the competition. The year before, 30,000 participants gathered in various locations throughout South Korea to show off their brain power and take their skills to the next level.
While the event was competitive in nature, it was not intended to carry the negative connotations that come with losing such a challenge. The day’s competitions were conceived more as a showcase of the abilities of individuals who had challenged themselves to focus their minds on a specific goal and achieved positive results.
Ilchi Lee says that anyone can develop these types of skills when they put their mind and effort toward the goal. Everyone has tremendous brain potential.
Through meditation and Brain Education programs, individuals may be able to attain a high level of consciousness known as heightened sensory perception, or HSP. Once practitioners have reached this state they may be able to perceive things around them that others are not aware of.
While the mental state is well documented, it is poorly understood by science. To rectify this situation, author and trailblazer Ilchi Lee recently signed a research agreement with scientists at the Center for Neural Science at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology.
The 2005 agreement between Lee and Hee-Sup Shin, president of the Center for Neural Science, is intended to further scientific understanding of how individuals are able to attain a state of HSP and what exactly is happening in their brains while they are in this state.
Lee has long championed the study of such phenomena. He says that every individual has the potential to achieve this beneficial state of mind through practice and hard work. Brain Education programs may also prepare a person’s mind for the increase in sensory input experienced when they achieve HSP.
It is difficult for people to imagine what their mind is capable of until they have tried to push it to levels. It is at this point that many individuals realize that the possibilities of their minds are nearly limitless.
In order to help people explore their brain potential, Ilchi Lee has hosted several events dedicated to exploring the power of the mind. For example, in 2005 he gathered 30,000 participants in Seoul, South Korea to compete in the first International Brain HSP Olympiad.
HSP stands for either heightened sensory perception or health, smile and peace. The contests pitted individuals against one another in tests of their mental prowess while encouraging them to think of ways they can use their minds for the benefit of humanity.
Heightened sensory perception is a phenomenon in which individuals are able to detect stimuli around them with greater sensitivity than most normal people experience. It has been researched extensively, and Ilchi Lee says that the state can be attained through regular mental exercising.
The competition served to highlight the skills of many of the people who have put in the work to improve their brain potential.