More from the Connect Book

I came across two passages in the Connect Book that I especially loved, and resonated perfectly with my own experiences on this journey of growth and transformation. I also felt they were quite relevant to the things I am usually talking and sharing about, so I wanted to post them here for you!

Continuous choosing and practicing are required to be a Power Brain. Just because you’ve had a moment filled with confidence and hope, that condition won’t continue forever. You may go back to a Dark Brain state, pushed there by the inertia of habits ingrained in your body as you’ve lived your life. There’s no other way out but to honestly check the condition of your brain. “My brain is now a Dark Brain,” you realize. “Negative consciousness is occupying my brain again.” Then you can choose whether to continue in that state or get yourself out of it. Isn’t it fortunate that you have been given the power and authority to make that choice at any moment, no matter how difficult or troubling your situation may be?

A Power Brain is someone who has clearly realized this: “I am responsible for my life and the condition of my brain!” Don’t push that responsibility off onto anyone else, and don’t make any excuses. Choose this harsh truth, and choose it over and over again. Practice, and then practice again… To achieve brain mastery, it’s only natural that innumerable attempts, trial and error, and continuous choosing and practice are necessary.

-Ilchi Lee, Connect, p. 162-163

When we trust that it’s all about choosing and practicing again and again and again, we can relax our minds and cultivate patience about our own process. It is, after all, a process that takes time and devotion, sincerity and humbleness. It is a process that strengthens our will and conviction with each and every choice that we make.

When you enter into deep meditation, you’ll clearly see the current state of your consciousness. You’ll realize what has captured your brain. You’ll see that the forms of negative consciousness…are actually heavy baggage continuously pulling you down. You can’t help but be shocked when you see yourself holding tightly to such things, even though all you have to do is let go. Why? It’s because those things are delusions. No real answers are found there, no matter how much you cling to them. You will just spin endlessly through a repeating circuit, going back and forth between suffering and pleasure.

If you tell people to let go of those delusions, though, they often act as if it’s so hard that it’s going to kill them. That’s because they are comfortable only if they are holding onto something. Living that way has become a habit. They don’t realize that they need to hold onto something else instead of what they’ve been grasping. What should you hold onto? There is but one answer: your true self, your original nature! This is your soul, and the divinity your soul wants so much to meet. That alone is true and everlasting.

-Ilchi Lee, Connect, p. 163-164

Letting go, recognizing illusions, choosing your truth. This all sounds so simple but often times feels so difficult to do. However, once we begin to get the hang of it, it leads us to extremely profound and liberating places. And although everything in our lives may remain the same, we somehow feel that we are new.

I hope that you enjoyed the quotes I posted today. If you resonate with them, feel free to share. Also, if you have had a chance to read the Connect book yourself and there were other parts that particularly touched you, please also share with me in the comments anytime!

Connect

Connect. A perfect word for this moment.

First of all, I am happy to have a chance to sit down and write this blog and connect with all of you once again. It has been an extremely busy couple of months for me, as I have been re-locating the Body & Brain Center where I work. I have never done such a project before, so it was a whole new world for me, and it took every ounce of my brain power to make it happen. Now that it’s wrapping up, I have time to reflect and re-connect.

I have been reflecting upon my theme for 2019 that I set out at the beginning of the year. I realized that I am more than halfway through the year, but I hadn’t yet stopped to evaluate my goal! My theme for this year was, “Letting go, letting go, letting go.” It’s funny to me that it was not just ONE letting go, but THREE of them. Now I know why the universe worked so hard to keep delivering this lesson to me! The year so far has looked very much like this: Let Go. Let Go More. No Danielle, you have to let go EVEN MORE! Thank you, Dear Universe, for loving me so much and keeping me on track to achieve my goal 🙂

Let go of what? I feel that most of all I have been asked to let go of two things. #1) My fantasies and illusions about people (including myself), and life. And #2) My reactions. Not only my reactions to outside circumstances, but my reactions to my own habitual thoughts, emotions and sensations. Let me try to explain this a little more…

Recently, we had a visit from a great senior master – Ilchi Lee’s longest student – Byuk Woon Sunsa Nim. While he was here in Washington, he said something that really pierced my consciousness. His words shook my brain and heart. He said, “Life is a daydream brought on by physical sensations.” Wow. Yes. So true. That’s how my brain responded. Day to day, moment to moment, we are all in a sea of many sensations arising from all kinds of stimulus. Then, unconsciously we keep making our own meaning, ideas, stories and fantasies based on those sensations. Further, we go on living our lives – making our choices and actions, building our relationships and our self-identity – according to such a fantasy. This is why awareness and watching ability is so critical. So that, at the very least, we can all become the Master of this Daydream we call Life.

My letting go experience this year has been very much a process of breaking down and sometimes even shattering the fantasy. Although this can be an extremely painful experience at times, there is nothing that has brought me closer to a sense of freedom. A momentary awareness of the place of zero attachment. Momentary. But, enough to influence me in profound ways. It’s like a disconnecting with the construct of life and the people in it that I have created, and a re-connecting with my Self.

So, it’s perfect that Ilchi Lee’s most recent book is called “Connect.” As I have been reading this book, there have been times where I literally say “Yes!” out loud because it has been so perfectly speaking about my own journey, as well as the process of Self-Mastery that I try to teach my students. And at other times, warm tears streamed down my cheeks as I have contemplated about my Soul. For instance, just last night I was sitting in my car, waiting for a meeting and I read this short passage:

Tell your soul, ‘Oh my soul, I’m truly sorry for leaving you like this. Immersed in other people or things, I failed to really take interest in you. Please forgive me.’

~ Ilchi Lee

When I read these words, I paused for a long time to have a deep conversation with my soul – right there in the parking lot. It was an open, honest, touching conversation that brought me healing and strength.

Personally, I made a choice 17 years ago to live for my soul above any other thing. As I have embarked on the journey to do so, there have been many many times when I have fallen into the grip of my own emotions, judgements and habits. There have been times when the shouts of my physical body, or the circumstances around me, pulled me here and there and I lost my precious soul. However, I am proud of myself that I never completely let go, and I always found my way back to the pure essence that I love so much and want to live for. The pure essence that I want to create a beautiful world for, and that I want to awaken in others. I always come back to my truth and my purpose. And this is how I have grown. But as I read this book, it reminds that there is still a ways to go, and it wakes me up to what I need to do.

So, the book came to me at a perfect moment. I highly recommend it for anyone exploring emotional mastery or spirituality. We always need the reminder to Connect more deeply with ourselves and our souls. And if we consciously try to connect with others from that place – rather than from our thoughts, emotions and fantasies – than I think we could heal our wounds, mend our conflicts, grow our love, and make our world a brighter place. All it takes is a bit of courage, choice, and letting go 🙂

Lastly for today, I will leave you with Ilchi Lee’s youtube video on Connection. Let’s stay connected! Enjoy ~!

New Face

By the way, do you like the new face of my blog?

I wanted it to give it the flavor of Body & Brain for a while, since these days I am very much focused on my new Emotional Self-Mastery show on the Body & Brain YouTube channel.

I want to thank all of you who have watched that show so far, and who have commented and posted questions. I am so very grateful for your support.

I love writing this blog. It is such a joy to express my feelings and awakenings through words, and to hear your thoughts and responses as we all navigate together our inner worlds together.

I also love teaching. I love meeting my students in the classroom or online and sharing these principles and practices, helping my students to awaken themselves, and witnessing before my eyes their various transformations.

However, trying to deliver all of this content that means so much to me and has such a power to heal and awaken, on a little black screen to I don’t know who is sometimes….. well, I don’t know. I’m undecided on how I feel about it.

My goal and purpose is to help people help themselves. It’s to make this world a better place in doing so. It all comes from the deepest place in my heart and that’s why I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have been supportive and participatory.

I welcome your continued support, questions and comments! I truly pray that we can help even more people in the process.

I have now added a new vlog section to this blog so you can check out the show right here. It will be a reinforcement of all that I am always writing about on Healing Tree, and another venue for us to interact and hold hands together on this great Healing Journey!

Watching Power

When I say “watching”, I’m talking about inner watching. I usually define watching for the purpose of emotional self-mastery as: Identifying without judgement.

Identifying what? Thoughts, feelings (including physical pain and emotions), and beliefs. It’s totally different than mentally examining or analyzing such things, because that would naturally involve a lot of judgement. It’s not easy to stop the judgement, because that’s what our minds are habituated to do. So, it requires getting out of the mind, out of the thoughts and ideas about myself, and into the feeling.

Now, most people have very strong beliefs that negative feelings are “bad” and positive feelings are “good,” so dropping into the feeling can be quite tricky. It’s almost instinctual to try to escape the feeling with some sort of avoiding mechanism, whether it’s just hopping right back into the mind about a feeling, or avoiding it altogether with entertainment, alcohol, food, friends, whatever. Or, some people just endlessly react to the feeling with more emotion and more pain, which often involves some kind of judgement and blame of self or others and now we are just heading further and further away from watching.

The problem is that we identify with our feelings too much. This may be conscious or unconscious, but it’s engrained in each of us and educated by generations. The bottom line is that we have lost our true identity and we keep wrongly believing that we are our thoughts, we are our emotions, and we are all of the information that we have accumulated inside from a lifetime of experience. This is precisely why watching is so important – we need to separate ourselves again and again and again from those false identities. We need to endlessly make space from them, so we can remind ourselves of who we really are and look again at ourselves, our circumstances and all of our issues with new eyes and new perspective. In order to not live our lives as slaves of our false inner programs, we must cultivate the ability to “watch” ourselves – to observe ourselves from a distance. Through this, we begin our road to freedom.

However, as hard as it is, feeling is a mandatory prerequisite for watching. If one cannot feel, one cannot watch. We need to feel everything, so that we can watch honestly, so that we can come to accept ourselves fully. It requires some courage. Courage to face the painful feeling head on. One needs a fierce determination for it and a wisdom that knows, “This feeling is not me, it’s just what I have inside.”

These days, I am personally challenging myself to face what I call, “the intolerable feeling.” It sounds scary, right? But actually the more I practice, the more I enjoy it! What do I need to be afraid of my own feelings for, anyway? No matter how old they are, how deep they feel, what kind of wounds they stir, how dark they may seem – they are not real. I am confident about this. I just have not yet mastered them all. Therefore, the deeper ones that I haven’t been able to take a complete look at yet, still bite me sometimes. And sometimes their bite is worse than others. But again, these are ghost bites. Old memories. Old beliefs. Wrong perceptions. They are not the truth of me. They do not speak of my true worth and value. And I’m pretty tired out from a lifetime of giving them such a power…. Aren’t you?

So, let’s do it. Let’s face the intolerable feeling. Once you get good at sitting in that uncomfortable place, you come to find that the dark clouds do eventually part. There is a clear and bright sun of truth behind them. In simplest terms, this brings a great sense of relief and joy and here’s that word again: FREEDOM.

Recovering our true worth and value is the key to solving so many of our issues. To do so, we must train ourselves to have the strength to feel our feelings accurately and watch them without judging them. We need to see them without reacting to them, face them without running away. I know it’s not easy. If it was, I wouldn’t be writing a blog post about it 😉 Don’t expect easy or comfortable! Overcoming oneself and developing self-mastership involves quite a bit of discomfort ….with so much reward at the end! It’s just like strengthening your muscles. It takes practice. Daily practice. Even hourly and moment to moment practice to stay aware, awake, and alert about oneself. Let’s catch our inner ghosts before they catch us 🙂 One tip I have is: Try not to be hard on yourself in the process! Keep a more enjoyable perspective such as, “Hm, this is an interesting thing that I do!” And have fun solving it through sinking in and getting really real with your feelings. Don’t identify yourself with them – they’re just feelings! They are not who you really are. If you need a reminder of who you really are, look up at the blue sky. Sit next to a tree. Listen to the flow of a mountain river.

We are nature. That knowing will become your vitamin, giving your Soul the strength to stand up again and again.

There is nothing to fear, let’s give it a try. If we fail, we’ll try again! Every moment is a new moment. Let’s cultivate our watching power.

Life, YouTube, Flowers

Long time no blog!

Although I have not written for a while, the inner journey continues. I had wanted for a long time to try to communicate and interact about the subjects I have addressed here through YouTube. This year, I was happy that the Body & Brain Youtube channel invited me to do a show on motional management. I’m attaching a link here, and I would love to interact with all of you through that show! I feel like when we recognize our likeness and support each other in the process of inner growth and healing, it gives us the strength and courage to keep doing the work. And why do we need to keep doing the work? Because we are transforming into our greatest selves and the more we let our light shine, the more we change this world.

Here’s a clip of my introduction below. I want to design this show so that every other week we can have a Q & A session for the topics discussed. I hope you will participate!


Beyond that, my life continues on with the theme I set for it this year, the theme of “Letting Go”. I have been discovering how to utilize my body to help me let go in many ways and it has been very liberating and rewarding for me. Rewarding, I suppose, because I have tried unsuccessfully for so long to let go on deeper levels, and now it feels I am actually moving in the direction that I want to go.

I have found that letting go requires being brave, trusting myself and forgiving myself. It requires believing in the truth of my soul, more than the lies that my ego tries to tell me. Straightening my spine tall in front of those lies definitely requires some grit. I have found that challenging life experiences that don’t kill us are the best to cultivate such grit 🙂

As painful as it can be, the human journey is beautiful. We do our best to cultivate ourselves each day and suddenly we find our flower is blossoming.

We humans are the multi-colored flowers of this tree of life on Earth. Let’s share our fragrance far and wide.

Trust

As an adoptee, trust is a huge giant issue for me. It shows up in every single aspect of my life. I have come to discover “trust issues” rearing their ugly head with everything from myself, to others, to my body, to my environment, to the world.

In her most recent comment on Healing Tree, Yvonne posed the question, “How can I trust myself?” That’s a very good question, and not an easy one to answer. I have found that if you try so hard to trust yourself, it’s kind of like staring into a dark hole that just keeps appearing more and more hopeless and impossible, the more you look. The darkness can be enveloping. You cannot find the answer there. Instead, you just keep fighting with your feeling and the feeling keeps growing bigger.

The only thing that we can do in those moments is to use all of our strength to recognize that the darkness is not me. The hopelessness is not me. And the feeling of lack of trust is also not me. This means, it’s not the truth of me. In fact, it’s not the truth at all, it’s just a feeling that I have inside. It’s just a feeling. Feelings are like clouds. They come, they go. They get really black and fierce, then eventually they disperse, and the light of the sun is revealed again. The light of truth. If we are simply patient, if we give it time, if we recognize it for what it really is, the light will always be seen again.

Please recognize that it’s not that you don’t trust yourself, or others, or whatever the untrusting issue at hand may be. It’s just that you have a feeling of lack of trust inside of you. Again, this is just a feeling, this is not who you really are, nor does it have to be your reality. The reality is, you are a bright shining sun and the clouds of distrust are just covering you temporarily.

Try to feel it in your body. Get really familiar with the actual sensations of distrust. Calm your mind and steady your breathing as you examine and observe these sensations in your body. When you do that, you detach yourself from being lost in the stormy clouds, and now you are just observing them with some distance. You can take a good look at your feeling of distrust, and that is when you have made some separation from it. That is very important! It may even be just a momentary separation before you are sucked back into the the whirlwind of darkness that is the feeling of not trusting oneself and one’s surroundings. But, even that moment is powerful for you. Recognize and appreciate it. It’s from that moment that you are on the slow and steady path to gaining some degree of controllability and mastership over the debilitating feeling of self-doubt.

This has been my experience with it. In practicing this, it has lead to a reduced feeling of anxiety inside, less irrational fears, improved relationships with loved ones, more feeling of freedom and happiness, an empowered ability to make healthier choices, and a sense of maturity in overcoming the threatened child within.

And beyond all of that, it has helped me to connect again more quickly and more deeply with my soul – my true essence – which always brings a sense of healing and peace to my heart. It leaves me with a sense of “inner knowing” that there is the me inside who is always with me, always watching me and can never be injured by a lack of trust. In fact, it feels as if this true nature is trust itself, or at least it is a presence that is void of doubt. It is just Beingness.

The work that we have to do is to put in the effort to diligently practice making this separation, to increase the amount of time that we are able to feel our true, pure, original nature. Then we don’t have to try to trust ourselves anymore, because naturally we come to trust that we can handle any feeling, any stormy clouds that come our way. And that is enough.

In simple summary, don’t try to trust yourself. Try to become really aware of the sensations in your body when you are in self-doubt or any untrusting moment. Feel it. Separate from it. And slowly you will realize that the self who is able to do this, is a part of yourself that always has been and always will be existing in a place that is beyond the duality of trust and doubt.

Yvonne, I hope this is helpful for you 🙂

Until A Smile Spreads

Forgiving someone for a wrong that they have done to you is not easy. However, seeing this person and the action with a new perspective is much easier, and a feeling of forgiveness follows automatically. This is something that, with a little bit of willingness and a little bit of work, anyone can do. The beauty is that it’s actually in our own hands. Whenever we take our power back, it feels good. Whenever we decide to see with our big eyes, and not only our small ego-driven ones, it feels like healing.

From time to time I color in the coloring book that was put out by Manwol Dae Sunsa Nim, the beloved spiritual leader of Sun Tao, entitled, “Healing Hearts, A Coloring Book for Letting Go and Starting Over.”

Not only are the abstract images that she has created for us to color very beautiful, but the messages she invites us to meditate on as we color are filled with simple and yet profound wisdom. Today I would like to share one of my favorites. It’s called: I’ll Forgive You…Until a Smile Spreads.

Not everyone is meant to be exactly like you. Acknowledge that the other person is different from you.

Don’t try to force them to fit standards you have created, thinking, ‘You must be this kind of person.’ Just see them for who they are. Acknowledge that they are an imperfect human being who can sometimes make mistakes, who is sometimes controlled by emotions and desires. There are no perfect people in this world, are there?

After you let go of all your hatred and resentment, peace and compassion will fill your heart, and a gentle smile will spread across your face. It would be great if you could even bless that person, enabling them to live a life for healing others.

While coloring, repeat to yourself, ‘ I’ll forgive you,’ as you exhale until a smile spreads from your heart to your face.

Even for those of you who cannot see the picture in the book to color, I still think it is a powerful message that could be applied to anyone. You may want to draw or color your own picture, or simply sit quietly and breathe and practice the art of forgiveness.

Awakening the Spirit

I had the honor of being interviewed by Dr. Reed Tuckson on his new podcast show, “Dr. Reed Decided to Live 120 Years”.

I had not known Dr. Reed previously, so I was surprised to discover that he is such an incredibly lovely and warm-hearted person! Our short 40 min talk was truly joyful for me. As the conversation went on, I could really feel his spirit, his passion and his light flowing from his being and it made my own heart come alive.

So, I thought I’d share the interview here!

Also, here’s a link to know more about Dr. Reed and the wonderful work he’s doing for the health of humanity…

https://www.tucksonhealthconnections.com/

I am so grateful to all the beautiful souls across the Earth who are sharing their love and light in so many ways! I hope that you enjoy Dr. Reed as much as I have, and if you’d like to see more of his podcasts you can continue to check them out on braineducationtv.com!

Bath Contemplation

Today I took the best bath ever!

Truly. It was burning hot ~ just the way I like it. I added some lavender bath salts that were given to me with love. Lights off – only the gray daylight shining in. I cracked the window open, which cooled things down a bit, but I really wanted to hear the sound of the rain. The sound was so healing and so heavenly, and it immediately put my mind at ease. I did some BHP and EFT and gave myself positive messages. I thought to myself at one point that this was literally a $1000 bath 🙂

In this most comfortable setting, I contemplated about choosing, story-making, victim consciousness and master consciousness. I realized that the reason why story-making is a problem, is that we always do it from our victimized consciousness. We always make stories that hurt us and turn us into victims, creating enemies and a lot of blaming, judging, complaining mind. Inside of this mind set, we get ever darker and more negative…heavy…miserable. However! What if we could just turn it around and instead of declaring story-making as a bad thing, we could just use it as a tool from our master consciousness? A story that heals us and empowers us is a like medicine for our brain. If that story helps us to produce positive, happy hormones, then what a great story it is! Since we are the creators of our lives, we are the ones who get to choose it as our new truth, replacing the old poisonous story. Isn’t this basically what positive affirmations are?

In the “I’ve Decided to Live 120 years Book,” Ilchi Lee talks about becoming the ‘victimizer’. Basically, he says that when you feel like a victim you can never solve anything. You can never change the condition of your brain and your stuck in a negative circumstance, wanting/needing somebody or something outside of you to change in order for you to feel better. He says that the only way out of this is to somehow make yourself the ‘victimizer,’ and then at least you can change yourself. You take your power back.

At first this can be hard to understand, but my interpretation of this is that it’s about taking ownership. Like this: If we have a lot of negative thoughts about ourselves, whether it be related to what other people did or didn’t do to us, or our issues with our health condition, success, relationships…whatever….What if we just turn it around and think, “Somehow, I chose this. Somehow, I wanted it to be this way. Even if it’s not conscious, on an unconscious Soul-level, I wanted this situation in my life so that I can grow in some way.” Because after all, every single circumstance gives us the opportunity to be stronger, more self-loving, more wise and more free…doesn’t it? Thus the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’

Try this: Look at all the things that are bothering you in this very moment, and begin to tell yourself, “I wanted it to be this way. Somehow I chose this. My Soul chose it. It’s not what has happened to me, but it is what I actually wanted to happen” And then feel your body. If you really allow yourself to believe it, you will start to instantly feel lighter and happier. Why? Because you will have shifted your consciousness out of victim-hood where there is absolutely no solution, into a place where you now are actually getting what you want! And we all feel really good when we get what we want 🙂

This is my most productive bath contemplation to date. Liberating your brain from old negative perspectives and stories is worth more than $1000! If you have a chance to try the above exercise and really allow yourself to own everything in your life that you otherwise thought you were a victim of, I’d love to hear how it goes!

And if you have a chance to take a cozy enlightening bath ~ I highly recommend it!

Never Give Up

As I do my practice and live my life, I can see that all of the spiritual principles that I have been learning and trying to apply over the last 19 years are slowly integrating. So, I guess the message is to never give up. It’s a message that we transform slowly over long periods of time, incrementally. This requires a great deal of devotion, sincerity, patience and self-forgiveness.

I think that I always wished in my heart that suddenly one day…boom! I would be fully awake. I think it is probably that wish that left me so frustrated and disappointed with myself so many times. I am learning through living that if we are able to take a good look at all of the desires and expectations that our ego has put onto life, and accept that it was just our own egoic lens that was causing so much suffering, and that life is what it is and that’s ok, that a deeper peace is accessible. And then the power to truly make conscious choices arises. But when we continuously live as the victim of each circumstance, relationship, feeling because things are not working out the way we wanted them to….we are prey to our endless thoughts, emotions and desires and we are powerless.

I have heard Ilchi Lee say that “suddenly one day” comes after a long period of effort and devotion. What I take from that perspective is that there is no “suddenly one day.” Everything in this universe is a fair trade, what we put in is what we get out. Therefore, what is truly important is our devotion. Our endless attention to our growth and transformation, and our willingness to share and apply each truth that blossoms along the way – this is the beauty of the journey. Then, just like the mountain that is made up of many grains of sand, “one day” something great will be born out of our efforts.

Today’s post is one of encouragement. Never give up. Bloom the beautiful flower of your heart.