Check Yourself! Love Yourself!

Wow~ it’s November already!

Although this has been a bumpy year for me filled with ups and downs (well more like epic crashes and heroic climbs) I don’t want to neglect this moment to do some self-reflection and evaluation on my 2018 goal.  Furthermore, I wanted to remind all of you to do the same!

Have you been focusing on the goal that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?  How close have you come to achieving it?  What have you learned in the process?  In what way have you developed yourself on the road towards your goal?  How have you fallen short?

This is the practice of evaluating ourselves well so that we can do the 5th and final step of Brain Education: Brain Mastering.

Brain Mastering is about setting a concrete goal in order to manifest our greatest self in daily life, and then working toward it with continuous self-checking and refinement, giving birth to new choices and new actions, again and again, until we achieve our goal.  What happens in this process is Self-Transformation, Life-Transformation and World-Transformation.

Ilchi Lee so often says that what this world needs is human beings who have developed their brains into problem-solving brains.  Then we can really do “Earth Management.”

What does this Earth need?  There can be many answers ~ I encourage you to find your own!  One thing I felt it needed was more love, so I made my 2018 goal to “Love from my Soul – all people in all situations.”

I definitely did NOT achieve that goal yet! Hahaha.  Well, maybe moments of it, but I can hardly say that I am satisfied.  However, that does not mean that this is cause to be disappointed with myself or to blame myself.  This is an opportunity to learn something.

I have definitely learned a lot about myself this year, and I can say with certainty that it’s been a year of great awakenings and clarity in regards to the things inside of me that are blocking that love.  The more I I have been able to look at those things square in the eye, with courage, the less power they have had over me, and the more I feel a great brightness within illuminating on deeper and deeper levels.

This year I spent a lot of time facing: guilt, shame, humiliation, pride, the feeling of lack, desire for recognition, and desire for safety.  These are major players in the game that my ego plays with me.  After identifying all of them, I felt more clarity, more peace and it made space inside to welcome: positive thinking, abundance, the power to give energy to myself, the ability to let go …all of which have lead to a bigger love in my heart.  Not a particular kind of love, just love of self, love of beingness.

And so perfectly, I was recently introduced to the Korean pop band and their international hit song: Love Yourself.  It’s so very sweet ~ have you heard it? I will post the video with subtitles here so that you can understand it’s sweet message 🙂 And the coolest part is that these singers took courses at the Global Cyber University, founded by Ilchi Lee, where they all studied Brain Education.  It’s nice to see them spreading good information on a global scale!!

In conclusion, I want to say:

Let’s never give up seeing ourselves, picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and heading towards our goals again again, no matter how difficult life might be, mastering our brains one step at a time.

Let’s love ourselves, all of ourselves, so that we can truly love others with our Souls.  So that we can truly fill this world with Love ~

Let’s spend the remaining month and a half of this year with determination to achieve what we set out to accomplish! It’s never too late!!  Best wishes to all~~~~~~~

Understanding Anxiety

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be doing a free webinar next week on the topic of anxiety, if anyone is interested to listen in.

Ironically, after my last 3 blog posts on loneliness, has titled the introductory email that went out today, “You are not alone.”

Yes, it’s also true!  We all have a similar inner landscape.  When we try to process it together, we feel less alone in a chaotic world (both inner and outer), which gives us more strength and hope.

Here’s the link and info for anyone who is interested!


Who is Danielle Gaudette?

Anxiety is a feeling that I know all too well.

I was given up for adoption when I was born, which led me to be extremely sensitive from a young age.

My mother who adopted and raised me – who I loved with all of my heart – struggled with mental illness.  As I watched her suffer through the torment of her own mind through the years, I developed a desperate desire for all people to have peace, including myself. I kept feeling that there must be a way to be free from emotional pain.  And I began to dream of a healthy world where we co-existed as a happy and peaceful humanity.

Discovering and recovering my own peace has been a long, beautiful, painful, dramatic and illuminating journey, full of ups and downs, laughter and tears. It is a journey that I am still very much walking, and one that I am very grateful for.

I have come to deeply understand inner worlds and how similar our internal struggles can be, even if we feel all alone! Overcoming the feelings of anxiety may seem impossible, but we just need to take the time to get to know ourselves and do some serious organizing.

You don’t have to live as a victim of your inner and outer worlds.  There is a great power and possibility within you. Let’s find it! Let’s live it!

I hope you can join me for my live class where I’ll talk about understanding the root of anxiety and how to process it, based on my experience. [August 21st @ 5:30pm PT / 8:30 ET, Free to Join] The class will be interactive so I will take any questions that you may have while watching the class.

>> Click here to join my live class. 

Thank you so much, and remember, you are not alone!



Danielle Gaudette
Understanding Anxiety






Today I wanted to take a moment to share just a little bit more on New Zealand 🙂

During the time of our tour in February, a producer and his camera men from a Korean broadcasting station were there, following us around on the second half of the tour.  This station, known as KBS (which might actually stand for Korean Broadcasting Station, but I’m not really sure), is one of the most well-known and popular stations in Korea.  It was a great honor that they wanted to do a little segment on New Zealand, the power of alternative healing, kigong, Body & Brain Yoga and Ilchi Lee.

Finally, the clip was translated into English and I found it so beautifully done ~ capturing New Zealand and some of my experiences there so wonderfully!  When I saw it, I felt that it was an opportunity to go back in time and take some of you with me!!!

So, I wanted to share it with you. I invite you to sit back, relax and really take in the refreshing spirit of this sacred land…..


120 Steps

I just returned from another wonderful meditation tour in New Zealand.  It was a very precious healing time for me.

As I always say, New Zealand is my favorite place on the Earth.  And it was confirmed again.  This time was even more special because I had the opportunity to visit the Earth Village, which I had not been to when I went in 2016.  The Earth Village is a place that Ilchi Lee is developing so that people from all over the world can come together to live and work harmoniously, to learn to cultivate the health of their body, mind, brain and planet, and perhaps to bring those tools back to their home countries. A village where we can all live in oneness with ourselves, with each other, and with the Earth.

The Earth Village is over 300 acres of land and much of it is untouched, pristine forest.  There has been very little development done so far, but one of the highlights is the 120 staircase.  Ilchi Lee built this staircase at the time when he himself decided to make it his goal to live a 120 year life.  He chose this goal because he felt it may take him this long to fully blossom his dream of a complete Earth Village, and he felt that it was worth it to live to such an age for a dream that could benefit humanity and mother earth.  The 120 year human is a model of a healthy, happy, peaceful human and the representation of a life lived with purpose.  This is not a material purpose, but one that stretches beyond the systems of the current world we live in and touches the pure greatness that lives inside of each of us – the Soul inside that wants to bloom itself  into completion, like a beautiful golden flower.  If you’re interested to understand this concept more, please reference the “I’ve Decided to Lve 120 Years” book. The 120 staircase was built so that all people could come and contemplate their own lives – how they have lived so far, and how they will live for the remainder of their days.

When we entered the forest that day in the Earth Village, I felt instantaneously happy.  It was if the trees were welcoming me back home, enveloping me in a sense of belonging.  The first thing we did was pay a visit to a 500 year old Hwangchil Tree and offer our respect.  There, I felt as if I was standing in the presence of an ancient mother. Her roots were thick and strong, and when I knelt down to put my hand on them, I could feel them coursing with warm energy.  Tears came to my eyes for no reason and I felt such love and honor to be in her presence.  I felt her warmth through my whole body, and I desired to just be near her for a long long time.

After that, we moved onto a winding upward path that had been built for us.  Without it, the forest would have been too steep and too muddy for us to trek through.  It was a mystical walk, as a gentle rain was coming down, intensifying all the sights and smells of the forest.  We winded here and there and I felt as if I was suspended in the air, walking among the trees.  Finally, deep inside of this vibrant place, we arrived to the 120 steps.  The steps had numbers on them, and we were guided to meditate on each year of our lives at each step.  We could pause for deeper reflection at the years where we had an important, impactful event or experience.

That’s all.  It was such a simple instruction.  But it was so profound.   For me, as you can imagine, even stepping on the very first step was difficult.  Before the first step we sat on a small deck which was “the womb”.  Whenever I do womb-meditations it is always quite difficult for me.  I do not experience a cozy comforting feeling when I imagine/remember being in my mother’s womb.  Instead, I observed myself as I became very tense, and feelings of anger and defensiveness arose within me.  Where was that anger and defensiveness coming from? I believe it was some sort of feeling of guilt and shame.  And confusion.  So there I was, standing before the first step, filled with sensations of deep churning tension, frustration, defensiveness, a wall over my heart – covering and protecting me from guilt and shame, all encased in a cloud of confusion. Lovely 🙂 And I felt I could have stood there meditating on it forever.  But a voice inside my mind started nudging me, “C’mon Danielle.  You have to move.  You have to accept this as your beginning and move on.  Just step forward.  Begin.  It’s time.”

So I did. I stepped and stepped and reflected and felt and meditated and cried and smiled and stepped and stepped.  I paused at just about every single step 🙂 It was a very beautiful experience.  I saw how much my parents love had melted my initial tension and pain.  I saw that my mother’s mental illness had exacerbated my confusion, which caused a great deal of insecurity and lack of confidence.  I saw how I manifested so many people in my life – friends and lovers – that were mirrors of my inner chaos.  The dramas I experienced with them were actually the beginning of my self-purification process.  I saw how meeting Kate also added to the confusion inside of me, but at the same time brought a sense of relief.  Then, meeting Dahnhak and Ilchi Lee was as if a bright light shone down on me and sent me into an even deeper unravelling.  All the experiences I had from then on, and the great Souls who have come into my life, have helped me transform my rapids, into a flowing river of hope, courage and confidence, and even sometimes a peaceful stream of love, light, joy and gratitude.  I could understand that my whole life so far has really just been a huge movement towards healing, growth and transformation. I felt inspired by my own life.

Then, after passing my current age, it was time to throw off the past and move lightly forward, into a life of pure creation, manifesting my greatest self and all of my dreams.  We all climbed the remaining steps swiftly and joyfully and had a great heartfelt celebration at the top!

Later, one of my students who was on the trip with me said, “I think that was a magic staircase!”  I couldn’t have agreed more 🙂

It was a perfect opportunity to see my whole life clearly, in a perfect place, surrounded by the non-judgmental arms of the forest.  Something happened in my heart at the Earth Village that day.  Something let go, and a new sense of acceptance set in.  A lightness. A hope.  And a feeling of possibility.  Since then, I have a felt a new space to love opening in my heart.

When we continue to clean out the dark closets of our heart, our Soul’s light will naturally rush into those corners, filling us with love and gratitude and lifting us to higher levels of consciousness.  Our work never ends.  Our possibilities are limitless.  All we have to do is keep going on our soul’s journey, and never give up.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you 🙂




The Journey Continues

Wow ~ I am just looking at my blog now and realized that I have not written in well over a month!  As I was living my life and doing my ‘study’, I did not realize that time was flying by.

Life has kind of pushed me into a corner these days and is forcing me to go deeper within.  I feel like all obstacles and challenges are an opportunity for greater growth and development, and they are a blessing.  Habits are hard to change, even when we so desperately want to change them, but when you get so many messages repeatedly from the Universe, you start to feel like, “Ok, ok, I get it!” and you begin to change.

When the caterpillar goes into the cocoon it can be a quiet time.  Sometimes it looks like nothing is happening there.  Or, it can look like total disaster is happening there – annihilation of the caterpillar!  Nonetheless, transformation is taking place.

Everything is as you choose it to be.  Falling apart, growing, changing, healing, awakening, struggling…aren’t they all the same thing?  It will be determined by your perspective.

The new world needs new humans.  The new human must choose to have the perspective of hope, in order to successfully shift this planet into a brighter consciousness.  Hope is needed during these chaotic times where the change is taking place.  In a time where light and darkness are both increasing rapidly, those of the light must keep choosing the light.

As I tell you this, I tell myself this too. As I tell myself this, I am in the midst of discovering small truths: That it is a deeply healing and replenishing thing to just breathe and feel the body, be here and now, accept all that here and now has to offer.   I am discovering that it simply feels better to not fight against life, to love and listen, to praise myself and others too.  It also feels much better to simplify things – to not add meaning to every little thing, to just embrace the moment for what it presents, even if it presents physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain.

I have known these things and spoken of them for a while now but as I said, life asks me to go deeper.  I’m so grateful for that. I’ve never been one who is satisfied with only the surface of things.

I truly feel love in my heart for all of you who are on this planet with me at this time.  I feel like we can create something great together.  I pray that you are all gathering your hope and light and truth and strength, wherever you may be, during these times of change.  In my mind’s eye, I smile to imagine that we are holding hands and leaping together into a brighter world.

Whether you are opening your eyes to transformation, or in the middle of your cocoon, or feeling transformed, or all of the above, I hope that you know how important and precious your choices and actions are. With each and every one of them, we are co-creating.  We either creating light or darkness, fear or love, truth or illusion.  Let’s keep making the BEST choices that we know how.  I believe that our higher selves are standing by, cheering us on, as we step forward creating tomorrow together.

I am enough

I just returned from another beautiful retreat in Sedona, Mago Garden.

It was special for me in so many ways.  I was there with several of my closest students. The weather was HOT and I was enjoying the searing heat soaking into my bones (something that rarely happens here in Seattle).  With the hot days days came warm windy starlit nights that evoked a sense of sacredness and a feeling of reverence in and of themselves.  And perhaps most importantly, we had the opportunity to train with a very special Master, Ilchi Human Dae Sunsa Nim, who led us all to a profound meeting with our souls.

My meeting with my soul this time was grand and unforgettable.  I came to feel myself, complete and whole and full, in and of myself.   I recognized that so often I turn my awareness away from my wholeness, looking outside at others, sending subliminal messages to myself that I am not enough.  This behavior causes holes inside of me, where energy leaks, and the soul weakens.  The message this time was loud and clear and shook inside of me like thunder.  I Am Enough.  I AM ENOUGH.  I AM E-NOUGH.  It kept repeating inside of me over and over, as if it was speaking to all of my life, every single tiny moment when I failed to believe it.  It felt like the message within me was re-setting my information bank, re-wiring my brain circuit to establish a new belief in my psyche, one that would take strong roots and become unshakeable.

Of course, with every awakening comes a test 🙂  So, the day after this deeply profound and touching experience, I met with a situation where my emotions completely took over me and I ended up having a small altercation with a person who is very dear to me.  I won’t go into the details, and the two of us cleared it up rather quickly, but the whole thing saddened me.  For hours I kept chewing on it, trying to feel into it and understand what happened.   What was  the lesson here?  And why was it so unsettling to me?

Finally, later that evening on an airplane to L.A., the realization came to me.   I take things too personally.  I do that when I am not staying present with my enough-ness, and instead looking outward, creating holes within myself.  Those holes weaken me and cause me to feel pain and emotion where it was not necessary at all.  Because the fact is, I am whole and full and there is no need to take the actions of others so personally.  When I do so, I am denying my own complete perfection.  And when I was able to come back to myself and say, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” I could feel the fullness, warmth and light of my soul filling me once more.

I took this precious awakening with me when I went to L.A. to visit Kate for a day.  I could observe how quickly and easily I instinctually take things personally, and I kept trying to step away from that thought pattern and re-establish my wholeness again and again.  There were times on that visit that I also failed to do so.  I am aware now that it is something that will take a huge amount of effort and practice on my part and I am fully ready and excited for the road ahead!  I feel the refreshing breeze of freedom touching my heart from the prison that I have lived in my whole life – the prison of taking things personally and diminishing my own value.  This beginning fills me with light and hope!

All souls are on their own journeys.  There is no need to take things so personally.  Our jobs are to find the lessons and change ourselves anew.  Through this, we grow.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  From this place, forgiveness, acceptance and love arise – for both ourselves, and others.   This is the meaning of healing myself, healing my family, and healing my world.


Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day ~ did you celebrate it well?

To be honest, I didn’t.  Several of my students and fellow instructors went out to the Duamish River here in Seattle, as part of the Earth Citizens Organization, and teamed up with Earth Corp to do some cleaning and reparations.  I was unable to go because I needed to teach the class at the center and couldn’t find a substitute.

However, on Friday we showed “Before the Flood” in honor of Mother Earth.  As I have written before, I find this documentary to be particularly powerful, and it again rocked the world of my heart.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch it.  You can easily rent it on Amazon.  As painful as it is, I feel that I need to keep watching and sharing it again and again with those around me.  It made me feel awake, and made me also realize how often I am sleeping.

In the discussion following the movie there were many different points and perspectives raised among the group.  Someone asked the question, “What if it’s just a natural part of the Earth’s process for the temperature to change, as it did long ago at the time of the Ice Age?”

Upon hearing this, others could scoffed a bit as if to say, “Of course it is human being’s activities causing this! Are you crazy?!”  But I myself had the following response:

You know what ………who knows?  Who really knows????  Anything is possible in this mysterious Universe.  But! There is one thing that I do know and that is this.  Regardless of what the science of it all may be, it is not acceptable to me to see human beings damaging life in the name of money, greed and power.  It’s just not acceptable.  And that is what must change.  We must, as a species, respect the life that we are.

It feels like common sense to my heart.  Doesn’t it feel that way to yours too?  To see other life being injured so brutally at the hands of human beings – whether that be the life of other people, other animals, or the Earth itself – is so agonizing to the pure life within me that is watching such insanity.  So, this is the work that I feel must be done.  If for no other reason, we must at least raise up our own integrity, our level of responsibility and love, in front of our beloved Mother.  Don’t we want to show her how much love and respect her children have?

Our current behavior is just truly inappropriate.  That’s why human beings need to awaken their senses more.  So that they can feel how inappropriate this behavior really is.

Because people don’t sense it.  They just chase after their own selfish desires, only paying attention to what is “mine” and what “I ” want, with disregard for the whole.   It’s hard for me to blame them, since their senses are sleeping, but that’s why I feel like it should be mandatory for all human beings to increase their sensitivity – to feel the life within them, and the life of others, and the pulse of life that is all around them.  Then, there will be no way that anyone could do something like destroy the last great rainforests that exist on this planet in the name of obtaining more palm oil to make money off of.  There’s just no way.

That is why I love and believe in Brain Education.  Brain Education exists to help people awaken the senses of their bodies, minds and spirits.  The senses of their hearts and brains.  And with these senses, develop the ability to feel myself and feel others and feel the mountains, rivers, forests, and animals of land and sea.  In addition, sense the way to create solutions and build a better world together.

This is not only the work that those who are greedily destroying this planet should do – but it’s the work that all of us must do.  Because, those of us who have some awareness, who feel a little bit awake, have even more responsibility.  I know that I feel the urgency now more than ever to wake myself more to find what I can do and to do it!

Ah ~ breathe out 🙂

I will choose now to let the passionate fires of my heart settle down into my lower dahn jon (core energy center).

But, I believe that you can feel me and understand the message I am trying to share today.

And I believe that you already know how important it is. I just wanted to give a gentle nudging reminder to anyone willing to receive it.

Let’s not just save the Earth.  As Ilchi Lee always says, let’s each of us develop the spirit to “save myself, my people and my humanity.”  Recovering our pure human spirit, integrity of character, and sense of oneness of all of life, could possibly be the greatest and most important work set out for each of us at this moment of history.


Ego Contemplations

These days, I have been reflecting a lot about the “small me.”

When I feel inside myself, quietly and deeply, I feel this small me as the source of all of my mental, emotional and spiritual suffering.  Simply, I suppose we can just call this my ego.  But what is an ego?  Recently I was reading a message from my Seu-Seung Nim, where he describes the ego as, “Attachment to ‘self”.  The thought of ‘self’.”

Yes, there’s this self inside fighting for survival.  She’s fighting for so many things. When I listen to her, she wants attention, she wants love, she wants control. She wants to be safe, she wants to be good, she wants to be right. She gets jealous, hurt, angry…. oh she is so complicated!  And the more I listen to her, it’s like a tumble down the rabbit hole. It’s never ending, and there are no solutions.

But the thing is….she doesn’t even really exist.  She is not the truth of me.

In a following message, Seu-Seung Nim said, “What is the ego? It is a product of the faulty experiences, the faulty education of the world. Originally, you had no ego. It was created. Although you did choose some of it, the greater part of it was created by your environment. Most people live their whole lives clinging to it…. The ego is caused by separation…There is a process through which the ego, the self, is formed. When a child is first born, it doesn’t know that it is a child. It is not separated from it’s mother.  It is gradually separated, as it sees with its eyes and hears with its ears. With time, it develops self-perception. A protective curtain surrounding it, a protective consciousness forms.”

After reading this I thought, hmmmm……I, being given up for adoption, was separated from my mother at birth…. And, when I go really really deep, I can feel that this protective consciousness literally formed the day that I was born.  Then I realized, Ah ~ that is why I have suffered so much in my life! Because I have such a strong sense of that ‘self’ inside of me!

And suddenly I felt very happy – just to realize that and to look directly at it.  Eckhart Tolle often says that by simply shining the light of your conscious awareness on something, you begin to dissolve it.  I could really feel that phenomenon occurring.

I have been looking for solutions for so long, but now I can really feel how it all just boils down to this ‘self’, who is not even real in the end.

And this self totally blocks me from my True Self.  That small self is blocking and darkening the Light.  Suddenly I felt the desire to repent.  Not in a religious sort of way, but just to speak to my pure heart sincerely, “I am so sorry that I have rejected and denied my own wholeness.”

A habit formed a long time ago. To feel rejected and denied.  But I was the one habitually rejecting and denying myself! Of course, now it all makes so much sense.

My wholeness has been right there, waiting for me all along. Watching me.

Then, from the bottom of the rabbit hole, my wholeness rises up as the sweetest, purest most content and joyful little sparkling Light of Life.  Content just to be.

This self is unbreakable.  It’s undeniable.  I just have to choose that channel, again and and again. Repeat repeat repeat.  This is the journey.

Life brings us many opportunities to choose.  Sometimes it brings people our way who help illuminate this Light.  Other times it brings people who send us running into dark corners.  But, we are simply in those corners so that we can find our way back out to the Light again and be that much stronger for it.  So, life is always trying to help us grow, one way or another.  Life truly loves us.

All is well.  The only thing there is to do is to continue this magnificent Soul’s journey through the cosmos.  I am grateful.




Tree of Love

When I was in New Zealand back in February, one the most impressive things to me was the Kauri Tree that I saw in the Waitakare forest.

The New Zealand trip was a meditation tour, so we visited many natural sites and meditated at them.  My meditation at the Kauri tree was one of the most profound.

They call these trees ‘King Kauri” because they are massive and they are ancient.  They are the largest rainforest trees in the world.  The particular one that we visited was 1000 years old.  As I sat there, I could feel it’s great Life Force emanating from it.  It’s bark was a kind of whitish color, standing tall amidst a sea of greenery. As I looked up up up she seemed to be housing so many plants and habitats for different creatures.  I felt like her spirit was reaching up to the sky, arms wide open with love, welcoming all to come and participate in her bounty.  I was in awe of her greatness and I remember having the thought, “I want to be like you.”

img_2330 kauri-2

Then, just yesterday, as I was driving down the street, it suddenly occurred to me that this blog, Healing Tree, is like a great Kauri tree.

As I receive so many lovely comments here and see people sharing their stories, their hearts and their hope, I felt that it’s like a tree itself, where many can come to perch for a while.  Some can take refuge, some just sit quietly and observe, while others chirp away. Someone might take a little nibble of something and be on his way, while another may return again and again to keep drinking from its source. My hope is for all visitors to receive healing nutrients for the Soul from this Tree of Love, so that they can fly off and spread that Love around their lives.

And at the same time, all the little creatures bring nutrients back to the Healing Tree, giving it Life and allowing it to blossom.  All who partake, bring love and beauty back to this tree, amplifying its strength and light.

As I had this thought, I felt tears of gratitude for this beautiful online ecosystem welling up in my eyes.  At that moment, the joy of sharing love and light filled my heart.  I truly believe that we human beings were born to share such a heart, and this Healing Tree community is needed in the world now more than ever.  Perhaps all of the Healing Trees existing in the forest of our global society can someday reach out and connect their branches, creating a web of love and light that vibrates across the planet.

With that, I’d like to end today’s blog post with one of my favorite messages from Ilchi Lee’s “Calligraphic Meditation Book.”  It’s quite possible that I have shared it before, but I figure that it doesn’t hurt to share it once more 🙂  It is the message of Indra’s Net:

Indra’s Net

Nothing in this world exists in isolation. All life on the planet is connected through heaven, earth, and the empty space in between. From this knowledge emerges a heart of hongik, which seeks the good of all life.

Raise your right hand and look at your fingers. At first you’ll see only your hand. Gradually move your eyes to your arm, shoulder, trunk and entire body. Feel your body, which connects your limbs as one.

Now expand your field of vision to feel the empty space surrounding your body. Taking it further, try to feel the people, buildings, and nature around you in the same space.

The stars in the sky seem to be separated from each other, but they’re connected as one through the void.

The maple and fig trees in my front yard are far enough from each other that the small leaves of one don’t even brush against the big leaves of the other, but deep underground their roots are touching the same streams of water.

There is a very beautiful metaphor in the Hwaeom school of Buddhism.  It is said that an endlessly wide, infinite and transparent net, Indra’s net, is spread out in the palace of Jeseokchun, the land of the Buddha. Hanging from each knot of this net is a transparent jewel, and these jewels reflect clearly everything in the universe. Each jewel also reflects all other jewels, so that a wave arising in anyone spreads to all the others, and a sound coming from just one reverberates among all of the jewels hanging from the net.

In a world of beings interconnected like Indra’s Net, there is nothing unrelated to me.  Each life is different from all others in all sorts of ways, but, in their essence, they are all interconnected.

In their source, all are one. People create differences from that one. And they end up confronting each other because of those differences. Since you and I are different, since you are not on my side, goes the insane logic they create, it’s OK for me to harm you.

From knowing that all are one comes a heart of love for all.




Today I want to talk about Hongik.

This is a term I have been listening to for 16 years since I joined this Korean-based practice.  It is a Korean word, translating into “Widely-Benefitting”.  Simply, this is the knowing that helping others, helps myself and helping myself is helping others. It recognizes the oneness among us – that we do not live alone on this planet and therefore our essential self recognizes the need to live not just for the good of myself, but for the good of all.

I have a distinct memory regarding this. Many years ago, when I was just a student of the practice, I took a very intense training.  The training was designed to expand our consciousness and develop our compassion and awareness on a universal level.

During one portion of the class we watched a slideshow of  a number of pictures that had recently been posted by Time magazine. Many of them were horrific pictures of people affected by war and disease all around the world.  Then, in the final exercise, we were led into a deep meditation. Once we were deep within, we were guided to choose one of those photos and fully imagine ourselves as the person in that picture.  To fully feel what they might have felt.  I decided on an image of a young girl standing alone in the dark night, crying out, with blood splattered all over her little dress.  I allowed myself to completely put myself in her shoes.  When I did that there was instantaneous terror, of course, but I also discovered a feeling inside that I did not expect.  As I imagined near me the man with the gun who caused that bloodshed, an innocent voice cried out from inside, “You were supposed to help me, but instead you hurt me!!”  It was an absolute shattering of trust. Trust in my own humanity.  Trust in the very people who are supposed to be my brothers and sisters, sharing this magnificent planet with me.  It was a deep feeling that we are here to help each other and protect each other, fundamentally.  That’s what we are innately meant to do.  But we don’t.  We betray each other and we betray our own pure conscience all the time.  And that is the most devastating thing of all.

I came out of that meditation in a deep state of despair. Others in my class seemed to bounce back, but I could not shake it.  I remember for the next 3 days I was in a trance.  Walking and driving and going about my life as usual but completely dominated by the question, “What should I do?”  I felt horrible about myself – living a very comfortable and safe life here in America, compared to that little girl and countless others who are being violated by fellow humans in countless places.  I just couldn’t sit well with the pain I felt inside when I thought about the reality of our world.

Then one day, a light bulb finally turned on.  I realized that being born in America was my Soul’s choice and therefore it is my responsibility to create light and do the work that others in less fortunate places cannot do. I committed myself at that moment to put forth double and triple the effort for those in darkness, until we can all live together in a brighter world.  With that conviction, I could come out of my trance and find the courage and spirit to move forward.

As I write this blog, I feel thankful for the opportunity to check myself. Am I really still keeping to my promise?  There are many human beings suffering every moment who I never even think of as I live my daily life.  I’d like to take a moment to honor them, send light to them, and renew my commitment once more.

Ilchi Lee always speaks of this Korean philosophy: Hongik Ingan, Ee Hwa Sae Gae.  When enough Hongik humans gather together on this Earth, then a Harmonious world will emerge.  Only Hongik humans can make that happen.

I will finish my post with one of his messages that I recently came across, that inspired me to write about this today in the first place.  I hope you all enjoy it and feel the spark of Hongik flickering in your pure and beautiful heart.


For the Good of All

The heart that seeks to go beyond its own narrow interests to work for the greater good of other people and life — this is the most precious value of humanity, and the greatest function of the human brain.

Regardless of what sort of lives we have lived so far, or what kind of people we believe ourselves to be, we all want to be remembered as people who contributed something to the world.

Somewhere deeper than our victim consciousness, selfishness and arrogance, somewhere deeper than our instinct to find sensory pleasure, all human beings have a Hongik instinct: we want to do something good for the world.

The Hongik instinct is the fundamental power that caused us to enter the world and the driving force that enables us to keep going, even when weary and troubled.  When this Hongik instinct is not fulfilled, we feel somehow empty, even after we’ve finished a busy days work, and we have regrets about our lives when we end our time in the world.

Somewhere deep in our hearts lives a noble desire to do good for the world. This is the seed of divinity planted deep within us.

Each of us has a dream. And we hope that dream will not stop at the pursuit of our personal profit, but will contribute to our families and neighbors, and, furthermore, to all of society and the human race.

No matter where we work or what kind of jobs we have, no matter whom we work with as we live our lives, deep in our hearts we want to be people who strive to do good for the world. We are originally Hongik Humans.

~ Ilchi Lee