Unconditional Love

Back in December, I chose my 2020 theme word. It was “Unconditional Love.”

We never know how the universe will twist and turn itself in order to help us achieve our goals, right?

Standing here at this moment, looking at the world, quarantined in my house, limited in the work I can do, feeling the collective suffering, I keep asking myself, “What should I do? What should I do in this moment for the dream that I live for? What should I do for creating a brighter earth and a peaceful humanity?”

I get the same answer every time I ask. Each time it gets louder and clearer: Love.

Love and love and keep loving. Love the people your heart was closed to, the people that you felt hurt you, the people far away from you and the people near you. Just love endlessly and infinitely and let that love ripple out and bring your dream back to you. Love big and wide without expectation of return. Love with your purity, your sincerity, your authenticity, your truth. Love without conditions.

Even as I share this message with you here, I can feel the possibility of how different my life will be if only I can achieve this great love. And I feel that NOW IS THE TIME to make it happen. If not now, when?

I am reminded of one of Ilchi Lee’s messages from his “Calligraphic Meditation” book. I have dug it out so that I can add it to this post, in hopes that this time can be a meditation on Love for all of us. If that meditation is deep and real, then maybe – just maybe – when we emerge from our houses once more, the world will be a brighter, more peaceful, more loving place than the one we remembered.

The Law of Love

The human soul grows through love. It’s important to realize that you can create love infinitely instead of wandering in search of someone to love you.

Love grows more greatly when you give it than when you receive it. This amazing fact is the Law of Love.

If you want to live a life full of love, first give it without striving to receive it. If you keep trying to get love, your love will constantly grow smaller.

Because you’re trying to receive love, you will constantly feel sad and inadequate when the love you want doesn’t come. You will become endlessly sadder and lonelier. And you will come to mistakenly believe that you don’t have love yourself.

If you think about it quietly, you’ll realize that you’re happier when you give love than when you receive it. To use a knife as a metaphor, the one trying to get love holds a knife by the blade, while the one trying to give love holds the knife by its handle.

Those who keep trying to get love are anxious and worried. “What is my love leaves me?” they ask. “What if love never finds me?” On the other hand, people who give love to those around them have confidence.

Every one has the power of love. If you want love, you must use love. If there is no one close you can give love to, then love yourself first. Once that love fills you, then all you have to do is give it to others. That’s how you begin.

There is love inside us. However, we can’t experience the love unless we use it. We can’t trust it unless we experience it.

Love is like a spring that never runs dry . The more we use it, the more new love arises. – Ilchi Lee

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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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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

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 ūüôā 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~~~~~~~

Brilliant Solitutde

One last post on the topic of loneliness!

I realize that people might have many different kinds of reactions and responses to this word because each of us may have a different relationship to the feeling and idea of loneliness, depending on where we are at in life.  In addition, each of us may have had different past experiences regarding it, so our memories may talk to us and influence us in a variety of ways.

For me, when I talk about loneliness I am very comfortable with it, because I think that it is quite normal.¬† All people have loneliness. Ultimately, the soul is longing to return to its original Oneness again, but inside of this human body, we are separate.¬† The human journey is one that we each begin alone and we must also end alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones, so it is very normal to feel lonely sometimes and to find oneself trying to avoid loneliness because we have a belief that loneliness is somehow “bad.”

Recently, when I shared my contemplations about loneliness with a senior master in my community, his response was, “Oh, it is very deep! It is right before enlightenment!”¬† His words felt so true for me in that moment.¬† I felt that to breathe with the loneliness of my soul was to breathe with the entire cosmos, and it felt so peaceful and so liberating.

Yet still what resonates most of all are my Seu-Seung Nim’s words on the subject.¬† I thought it would be appropriate today to share another one of my favorite passages from the “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years” book.¬† It is from the section titled:¬† The Fragrance of Brilliant Solitude

Do not fear loneliness.¬† Great wisdom and love come to us from solitude and loneliness. The path of a human is essentially lonely, but when that solitude has reached the extreme and gone beyond, it changes to great gladness and peace.¬† That’s when you know great compassion.¬† Great compassion can be felt when it transcends human affection. It’s easy for human affection to give birth to attachment.¬† When you are leaning to one side and relying on or stuck in something, you cannot feel the whole.¬† You feel the whole when you are completely alone and lonely.¬† When the loneliness of being reaches deep into your heart, a bright light breaks out of the darkness. Then great solitude changes into brilliant light.

If you go forward wth brilliant solitude in your heart, you become what I call a truly fragrant person, one who has the greatest possible attractiveness, like a flower that must be admired for its beauty.  Then you develop a character that stands firmly in its center without attaching itself to other people or running from them or pushing them away. You become able to find the seat of harmony Рan encompassing public peace and public love.  You are able to feel the greatest world of consciousness that can be felt by a human being.  The wisdom and power to bring harmony to the world emerges when you can look at the world with this awareness.                             РIlchi Lee

 

For the health of our bodies, our minds and our spirits, for the harmony of our relationships, and for the benefit of the world around us, let’s all raise up our courage to uncover our brilliant solitude!

Thank you for the beautiful flower that you are ~ ūüôā

 

Self-Discovery

What are you discovering, uncovering about yourself these days?

As the earth turns, as summer rolls by, as good news and bad news come and go from the world around us…. what are you seeing about yourself?¬† How are you changing?¬† Isn’t that the duty and purpose of our existence as human beings?¬† To at least keep changing and growing ourselves with sincere effort to evolve into the best people that we can be?

In Ilchi Lee’s newest book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, he’s got some great passages on the topic of self-cultivation.¬† He says that, “Continuously thinking good thoughts, acting on those thoughts, and moving your body and mind are all self-development…Being able to smile more often, overlooking the mistakes of others with a smile, telling someone more easily that you love them, and being true to yourself – these are also the results of self-development.”

Even as I type that here, I find myself breathing out with a sigh of great relief.¬† Isn’t it such good news?¬† It’s even the smallest things that we shift in life – just breaking out of the mold of our old habits the slightest bit- that makes us feel proud of ourselves and our brains start to produce positive messages.

I love the above quote. Simple but true.  It makes me thing of another thing that Ilchi Lee always says: Good news makes a good brain.  This is one of the key principles of how to have a healthy, optimal-functioning Brain Operating System.  Just as negative information is like toxic poison for our spirit, which then slowly seeps into our minds and bodies affecting our health, positive messages become medicine for us!

So right now, at this very moment, whatever issue of life that you may be struggling with, take a moment to pause, breathe out, and encourage yourself with a positive, hopeful thought about it.¬† Feel how your energy shifts as you do so, and you will find your mind and body relaxing.¬† You are now leaving the Fight or Flight mode and entering Rest and Digest.¬† The power to give ourselves good news is IN OUR HANDS.¬† Let’s use it to make ourselves better humans.¬† As we all know, the world definitely needs us all to be better and better humans ūüôā

Beauty

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

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…..

 

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 ūüôā

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 Рjust 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 ūüôā ¬†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.

 

 

Hongik

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