When you feel frustrated, what do you think is the cause? Is it things in your life not going your way, or disappointment in your own abilities? When you hit those walls says Ilchi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of CONNECT: How to Find Clarity and Expand Your Consciousness with Pineal Gland Meditation (Best Life Media 2019), at their foundation, there’s always only one cause: disconnection. Most importantly, it’s diconnection from yourself.
How can you be disconnected from yourself? According to Lee, each of us has an essential nature that has nothing to do with the presence of our body. We can live aware of this nature and its truths and wishes, or we can live oblivious to it (or somewhere in between). When you bring your awareness inside yourself and use your inner eye to see your true nature, you can see past the walls and limitations that are making you frustrated—whether those walls originate from inside of you or outside.
That inner eye, or “third eye,” Lee says, is our pineal gland. In CONNECT, he describes many ways to open and strengthen this eye so that you can not only be connected with yourself, but also everyone else, and even the earth. Imagine if you could feel peace in the midst of chaos, love in the face of judgment, or joy in the face of failure. How different would your life, and even the world be?
Ilchi Lee’s pineal gland meditation methods, while possibly sounding grand and esoteric, are actually quite simple. Even if you are someone who has a hard time concentrating or staying still, you can use Lee’s methods to get into a meditative state.
These methods use the energy principles discovered since ancient times in Asia, especially in his native Korea, to clear away new and old thoughts and emotions that are clouding up or discoloring your inner sight. And he uses them to bulk up your inner strength and turn up your inner brightness. You can even use them to help your body heal itself of any aches, pains, or imbalances you may have.
CONNECT will be officially released July 15th, but you can pre-order it now at major online booksellers. At the time of its release, you’ll be able to experience it as a paperback, Kindle ebook, or audiobook. Learn more about the book at ConnectbyIlchi.com.
So much of what we see on television and movies, in magazines, and online is geared, whether intentionally or unintentionally, toward making us feel bad about ourselves. We think if we could only be skinnier, prettier, or richer, we would finally feel good about ourselves. But we won’t find the love we need if we keep looking for external validation. We need to look inward for that, according to bestselling author Ilchi Lee.
Sometimes, creating feelings of self-approval can be as easy as turning on some inspiring music. Music has been important to mankind since the beginning of time, and it continues to be a universal way of expressing and exploring our feelings.
A K-pop group, BTS, also called the Bangtan Boys or, now, Behind the Scene, is one of the groups that is leading the charge for self-approval with songs that remind people to feel good about themselves. The South Korean boy band has seven members and has scored big with fans with hits like “Love Myself,” which carry messages many of us could benefit from.
Lee’s Take on the Importance of Loving Yourself
When you feel bad about yourself, you don’t feel love for yourself. That doesn’t only impact you, however. It can be hard to make connections with the people and places around you as well. You don’t feel as if you are worthy of the love of others—you can feel disengaged and isolated, so you push them away.
It’s hard to want to improve mankind and the world around you when you have so many feelings of negativity. That’s why it’s crucial to find a way to look inward, like what you see, and realize you can make a difference when you accept all that you are—and even all that you aren’t. Loving yourself opens you up to loving others, feeling empathy, and wanting to work toward the greater good. Instead of feeling isolated, you begin to feel as if you are a worthy and valued member of a team.
But the first step to loving yourself is getting to know yourself. That involves peeling back the superficial layers many of us use to describe ourselves and looking at our core beliefs and goals instead.
“When asked, ‘Who are you?’ people can’t answer, no matter how high their level of education or voluminous their knowledge. They’d be able to give their name. That name, though, is not who they are,” Lee said. “Knowing your true worth is different from knowledge. Once we’ve discovered our worth, we can love ourselves, we can heal ourselves, we can teach ourselves, and we can give ourselves enlightenment.”
Lee loves the message BTS is trying to put out for its audience—that they shouldn’t wander in search of love. Instead, they should look internally for that love. And once that love is unlocked, your heart and mind will be in synch so you’ll be able to use your brain to its fullest capacity.
Many people mistakenly think their brain isn’t worth much. They can feel inferior or even dumb because they didn’t do well in traditional school. But there are all different kinds of intelligence. And having emotional intelligence is every bit as important, if not more important, than the lessons you’ll learn about math and science in school.
“Did the Bangtan Boys have good grades? Did they graduate from good middle schools or high schools? No,” Lee said. “How did they become so famous, then? They discovered their self-worth and did what they really wanted to do. And the people around them helped, enabling them to do that. What I’m saying is that it wasn’t compulsory education.”
After you find a way to love yourself, Lee said, you also learn to heal yourself and teach yourself by using brain power. You begin to believe in yourself, knowing you can do things you once thought were impossible.
“It is ultimately the brain that discovers great dreams. It is also the brain that causes us to think, ‘This is it!’ of those great dreams. Your brain must awaken. Those whose brains are awake can find a great dream,” Lee said. “If your brain is not awake, though you have eyes, you cannot see, and though you have ears, you cannot hear. Your brain is locked, so your eyes and ears don’t open.”
By learning to love yourself, believing in yourself, caring about others, remembering you are part of the bigger picture, and unlocking the power of your brain, you can achieve great things—both for yourself and for the world.
Do you ever check out the morning or nightly news and think there’s no hope for this world? So many bad things are happening and we’re hearing about them all through an endless news cycle. It can seem there’s too much bad and not enough good in the world.
Here are some tips for having hope and how to better the world with it even when things seem their darkest.
Think Outside the Box
In Earth Management, Lee shares a story in his life about a time he had no hope, and how a pile of trash changed all that for him.
When Lee was younger, his life wasn’t going well—he felt he had become an embarrassment to his family and his future wasn’t going the way it was expected to. He had no hope left that things would ever work out for him.
As he was walking in his neighborhood one day, he saw a pile of garbage underneath a bridge. That trash reminded him of himself.
“The word trash refers to something that has been used and then discarded, something no longer worth using. I felt completely hopeless, like trash,” he wrote.
That’s when Lee had a novel concept—he could create hope by finding a purpose for that trash. He could turn it into compost fertilizer, which would then do something good for the world and the people in it.
Despite the odd looks from others, Lee hauled that trash until his body was sore and bruised from the weight of it. He dug deep holes, filled them with the trash and soil, and planted pumpkin seeds in it. Over time, those pumpkins grew big and plentiful, and Lee shared them with his neighbors and the local cows.
He had found hope in the unlikeliest of places—a trash pile—and it all began with one unorthodox idea. That act turned his life around by giving him a sense of pride and teaching him that hope could be found anywhere.
You Must Act
It’s not enough to have an idea or to have hope; you must act upon that idea. You may hope you’ll graduate from college with flying colors, but unless you act upon that desire by studying, you’re unlikely to achieve that vision.
It’s the same concept when it comes to improving the world—if you aren’t willing to roll up your sleeves and do the necessary work, you won’t be able to change anything. Lee learned that with his pumpkin endeavor. Hauling all the trash and digging those holes was back-breaking work, but Lee kept at it because it was important to him.
“Since then, if I believe something is right, I act on it right away. Even now, the only important thing for me is if what I’m doing is right, and if it is something our society needs. If it’s the right thing and it’s needed, I just do it right away,” he wrote.
Don’t Worry About Tomorrow
Sometimes we can get so caught up in long-term planning and how things can go wrong over time that we let ourselves get talked out of trying in the first place.
Do you ever wonder how long-distance runners can run such amazing distances? For most people, the idea of running a marathon, 26.2 miles, is unthinkable. But what long-distance runners do is break the task into bite-size pieces. They only worry about what they are doing that day. They worry about the run that they’re doing at that moment—not the run they’ll have to do the day of the marathon. And when they are running their marathon, they focus on the mile they are running at that moment—not the miles still ahead of them. They stay in the moment. That’s something Lee does as well to keep his hope going.
“There is something I always say to myself. ‘There is no tomorrow for me. I only exist in the here and now. That is why I must do whatever I can right now,’” he wrote. “If you keep habituating yourself this way, you can do ten years’ work in one year. I have been working like this for the past thirty-six years, and that is how I got to where I am today.”
That’s what living in the moment can do for you—it removes your biggest stumbling blocks. Think about how much hope you can spread and how much good you can do for the world once you get your biggest foes—negativity, inactivity, and disbelief—out of the way.
Have you ever known some people who seem to have the power of positivity on their side? It seems as if there is nothing they can’t accomplish—no task too big, no challenge too overwhelming.
But then there is the opposite type of person, the ones who seem overcome with negativity. They seem to believe they are destined for failure, so much so that there is no point in attempting anything challenging anyway.
“I am not a neuroscientist, but I have seen firsthand exactly how powerful the human brain can be, and I have been amazed at how people’s lives can change when they begin to realize that they have the power to use their brains as they truly wish,” Lee said in Earth Citizen.
Thinking negatively and voicing those thoughts can be a source of stress that overrides your brain and diminishes your confidence. Even being around negative people can do the same. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Like anything else, negative and positive thinking can be learned. But first you have to make a choice—what type of person do you want to be?
Think About Completion Instead of Success
When a person focuses on success, they set themselves up for negative thoughts. There will always be someone richer, smarter, prettier, or thinner than they are.
“People who seek success feel good only when they are better than others, and they feel very bad when they don’t do as well as others,” Lee wrote in Earth Management.
But by focusing on completion, for instance, you open yourself to positive thinking. If you decide you want to run your first ever 5K race, for example, you might feel pretty bad about yourself if you focus solely on success. You won’t take home a performance medal—those will be won by seasoned runners who have been running consistently and training for much longer than you have. If you compare yourself to those runners, you’ll feel horrible about your time as your cross the finish line. The negativity will creep in.
But if you think of your experience in a different fashion and you focus on completion, you’ll feel great about yourself and your accomplishment no matter what time you end up getting. You’ll appreciate that you were able to set a goal and finish it, and you’ll marvel over the things your body is able to do.
Spend More Time with Those We Love
So much about our world creates an isolated existence. Many of us go to work at jobs where we interact more with computers and machinery than we do with people. Then when we come home, a lot of us spend our free time staring at our computers, tablets, and phones. This kind of behavior can lead to negative thoughts and feelings of isolation.
“When we are not alone, but together, when we have harmonious relationships with the people around us, we can become happier, and we can better solve the problems we face,” Lee said.
Lee points to forming close relationships with our loved ones as a way to stay more positive. In particular, spending time with children can bring a lot of positivity into our lives. Seeing their faces light up over the simplest of things can banish negativity almost instantly.
Get Back to Nature
Many of us don’t spend enough time outside, in a place that speaks to our soul. Think about how you feel when you spend time on a beach, hearing the waves crash around you, and watching the glistening water. It’s hard to feel negative when seeing a sight like that. And it’s hard to feel overly sorry for yourself because it helps you to realize there is a much bigger world out there. You and your problems aren’t the center of the universe, even if it feels like they are at times.
Nature can be an instant pick-me-up that can put positive thoughts and feelings back in your heart. “Our bodies can actually commune with the energy of nature through energy training, and they can achieve a harmonious, balanced state,” Lee said.
Like anything else you’ll do, practicing positivity is a habit. It’s okay to fail—we all have negative thoughts sometimes. But the key is to keep trying, to never stop attempting to be the best, most positive version of yourself you can.
“Life is meant to push onward and upward, always evolving to a higher, more well-adapted form,” Lee writes in Earth Citizen.
Trying to change the world when you’re just one person is an overwhelming prospect. But instead of getting frustrated when you see you aren’t able to make a tidal wave of change, focus on creating small ripples instead.
Nothing can give you a greater sense of appreciation for the Earth and what it can do than growing something. Whether you live in a rural area with plenty of backyard space for a full garden or you are an urban dweller with only a rooftop or windowsill to work with, it’s possible to grow a vegetable or herb. If you need to grow your produce in a small container, that’s ok too.
Just try it, and watch your wonder grow with it. You’ll feel inspired to take better care of the Earth by not littering and cleaning up litter when you see it. Or you might feel motivated to begin composting.
If you have enough for a bountiful garden, you can increase the ripples you make by sharing some produce with a stranger or a loved one.
In his younger years, Lee learned a greater appreciation for the Earth by planting pumpkin seeds on top of a makeshift landfill, and he found he could feel and give joy by sharing those pumpkins.
2. Try to See Similarities in People Instead of Differences
One of the biggest sources of negativity and discord in the world comes from politics. We often disagree with—and sometimes downright dislike—people who do not think as we do. Instead of letting those differences drive us apart, however, we should let our similarities draw us together. It’s only when we think of each other as all fighting for the same overall cause that we’ll truly be able to work together for the good of humanity and the planet.
“The way I see it, there are really only three things that people want: health, happiness, and peace. When we fight over religions or political ideology, we are simply fighting over the ways to get these three basic things,” he wrote.
Remembering there is more than one way to achieve those goals may help you to focus on our similarities instead of differences. If everyone were to do that, this world would be a much more peaceful place to live.
3. Redefine Your Purpose
Everyone is driven by purpose in some way or fashion. That purpose might be to work toward their dream career, to save up enough money for the car they’ve always wanted, or even to look important to other people.
While you don’t have to abandon your sense of purpose altogether, to make positive ripples in the world, perhaps you should consider redefining it or expanding it. Once your purpose changes – once you purposefully seek to be the best person you can be for the world instead of solely for yourself—you’ll notice a change in your thoughts and your actions. You’ll become less self-involved and start working for the greater good.
As Lee said in Earth Management, “All behavior arises out of a person’s definition of their own purpose.”
4. Create Good Relationships
Many of us have good relationships with our families, and we likely have a true friend or two we have in our corner as well. But it’s time for many of us to expand our small circles. It will help us feel more connected to our fellow citizens. And those relationships can turn into collaborations that may ultimately help us solve the problem of how best to be stewards of this planet.
“When we are not alone, but together, when we have harmonious relationships with the people around us, we can become happier, and we can better solve the problems we face,” Lee said in Earth Management.
Creating and fostering a sense of cooperation, instead of singularity, will benefit our world in multiple ways.
5. Don’t Watch Too Much News Coverage
While many of these tips are things you can do, this one focuses on what you should avoid. Watching too much news coverage can be counterproductive to your efforts to make a positive impact upon the world around you.
“Pick up a newspaper or flip on the evening news, and you will be bombarded with information from innumerable experts telling you that the biosphere is crumbling, the economy is on thin ice, and our educational system is failing,” Lee writes in Earth Citizen.
The negativity of all the news being reported can make you think it’s a lost cause to try to do anything positive. But that’s false. Your small acts can have a big difference in someone’s life or for the prosperity of the Earth. And that’s worth the effort. So before you turn on that television and start feeling hopeless, go for a quiet walk in nature instead and recommit yourself to being a good citizen of the world.
Ilchi Lee has always looked for simple ways people can maintain their health on their own. He maintains that we need to take responsibility for our own body, mind, and spirit.
Lee has created many mindful exercises in order for individuals and communities to accomplish this. They are all bundled into his Brain Education method. But he’s also created new ways of thinking about health, as well as non-profit organizations that promote healthy, mindful, and sustainable living using his methods.
The premise behind SEED for Health is that it only takes making small changes to your lifestyle to create big results. The campaign provides ways to manage four key areas of health, your SEED: Stress, Exercise, Emotions, Diet. It is spreading these seeds of wisdom through ECO’s online and offline networks.
ECO says, “Changing our lifestyles for better health is possible and enjoyable. We can make this change easier and even more powerful by caring for each other in our communities together.” They believe that “health is our natural right, and a healthier world is the greatest legacy we can leave behind for the next generation.”
Earth Management means seeing the earth as something to be managed. Not in any era of human history has anyone talked about Earth Management. The earth has only been perceived as an object to be exploited for resources and developed for human wealth and convenience. It has been seen as something to plunder to power this industrial civilization and this capitalistic system. As such, it has degenerated into a dump site, a receptacle for all kinds of pollutants. Now, we are experiencing the consequences of this dangerous perspective. The earth’s crisis is a life crisis.
We must look at the earth as an object in need of management. To make the planet sustainable, we need a form of management capable of giving birth to a new civilization that fosters coexistence. People, groups, and nations must rise to the challenge of managing the earth.
Perhaps it would be easier if I call it environmental management. Earth Management is a form of management centered on the global environment. We could even call it “nature management.” Earth Management, environmental management, nature management—these all mean the same thing, but what is essential is that it must include people.
As Gus Speth, the environmental scientist Professor Pastreich mentioned previously, has said, global problems, environmental problems will no longer be solved by clinging in a limited way only to the environment and the earth. People are the ones who caused these problems. A fundamental solution to environmental problems is impossible unless there is a change in the consciousness of people, the ones contributing to them.
As little as a century ago, the largest unit of organization, and people’s major focus of attention, was the state. At that time, there was no need for something called “Earth Management.” It was enough if your country, and only yours, became wealthy and powerful. That’s why imperialism predominated back then, with some nations ruling other countries or peoples with their strong economic and military power.
Now, though, with the development of transportation, information, telecommunications, and industry, we’ve already transcended national borders and are moving into the era of a global village. We can immediately see what’s happening on the other side of the globe right now with our own eyes through TV or the Internet, while we drink drinks and wear clothes of the same multinational brands. However, our consciousness remains trapped within the confines of the old belief systems defined by national borders. Although the reality has changed, we have been unknowingly trained in these beliefs by our countries, cultures, and religions our entire lives. Far too many barriers block our way to a single global village in the truest sense.
The environmental crisis facing the human species right now, however, can no longer be solved by regional and organizational selfishness. Damage due to environmental destruction, such as global warming, desertification, and biodiversity loss, has already gone beyond national borders and is having an impact globally. To solve these problems, we now need Earth Management, which sees the earth as united and approaches issues on a global level.
For over 35 years, Ilchi Lee has been brokering a change in human consciousness, a shift from the artificial to the natural, from the material to spiritual. His motivation is a vision of two futures for the earth he could see while in deep meditation. One future showed chaos and destruction; the other showed peace and abundance. In that moment, Ilchi Lee realized that human beings were the main drivers toward each possible future. The future of the earth is in the hands of humanity. What will happen is our choice.
Ilchi Lee chose the bright, positive future, and has been working to make that a reality ever since, regardless of the current reality of the earth. While there are practical actions we can take to create that future and technology we can develop, those are unlikely to occur in a massive way unless many people make the same choice Ilchi Lee made. Ilchi Lee says, “a new kind of humanity must appear, humans who worry about and care for the earth as their own. I call such people Earth Citizens. The problems of the human race cannot be solved without a change in human consciousness. Such a change must begin in each person realizing that he or she is an Earth Citizen. That is the direction I have chosen. It’s why I’m telling people about the Earth Citizen Movement, and I wrote the book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation—to spread the word about the value and consciousness of Earth Citizens.”
The best way to switch one’s consciousness to an Earth Citizen mentality is not to read about it or think about it, but to experience it. Through the mind-body-spirit training Ilchi Lee has developed, it’s possible to feel one with the earth and with all of its inhabitants. This kind of personal, visceral experience solidifies the ideas of the mind and makes them one’s own. It generates the conviction that motivates a person to act.
However, if someone is anxious about their next meal, feeling depressed, or facing a health crisis, it’s difficult to worry about the earth. The first things Earth Citizens need to manage, according to Ilchi Lee, are their own physical health, mental health, and spiritual health—or what he calls their physical power, heart power, and brain power. Being able to take care of the body, release negative emotions, be in tune with heart and soul, and choose a purpose for one’s life is necessary for living as an Earth Citizen.
Once they achieve this, Earth Citizens are free to help others achieve it as well and work more proactively for the benefit of the planet. As more people choose the positive future Ilchi Lee envisioned, a supportive Earth Citizen culture will be created that will make it easier for all people to live in harmony with each other and the earth.
To learn simple exercises for living a long life as a healthy and happy Earth Citizen, visit ChangeYourEnergy.com, an online educational resource founded by Ilchi Lee.
At Earth Village, guests and residents can feel what Ilchi Lee calls their true selves more easily with the help of the pristine, natural setting. It is also a community where they can live authentically based on this discovery. To do so and “transcend their small selves and begin to embrace others and the world” is what it means to be an Earth Citizen, according to Ilchi Lee. Earth Citizens also live with a purpose and vision for their lives, for their entire lives—regardless of their age.
To help people begin their journey to becoming an Earth Citizen, Ilchi Lee developed a walking path called The Way of New Life. The course includes a wooden stairway through the forest of 120 steps, with each step representing a year in a 120-year life—the number of years scientists think human beings may have the potential to live.
While visitors climb the first 60 steps they reflect on their lives so far, and let go of any mistakes they have made, regrets they have, or ideas that no longer serve them. They also consider what their goals for material success are. During the second 60 steps, they look to the future and envision their spiritual development and success. A broad wooden deck in the middle represents a transition period between these two hypothetical stages of life.
Ilchi Lee calls “the first 60 years your congenital destiny and the next 60 years your acquired destiny. Your congenital destiny is the destiny you were born with and the one the world has constantly imposed on you, and your acquired destiny is the destiny you create for yourself by your own choices and effort.” The Way of New Life opens the trail for a new acquired destiny.
By reflecting on our lives in this way while on this path, we not only paint a broader vision for our future, but become better able to derive new meaning from the small moments of our daily life. We get a picture of the whole forest in addition to the trees and learn what it is we truly want.
The Way of New Life is a trail Ilchi Lee has blazed to make it easier for all who travel it to discover their value and gain the courage to express it in their lives.
The 1st Annual Earth Citizen Peace Festival brought together 1000 people from around the world in Kerikeri, New Zealand. And we bring you the highlights!
Friday night, January 27, 2017 was an outdoor fair with performances, food, and a raffle. Local dance groups were joined by dancers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, martial arts performers from South Korea and the UK, and South Korean drummers.
The morning of Saturday, January 28, 2017 was the main event, Earth Citizens Come Together. It began with cultural performances from a Maori performance group and a South Korea breakdance crew. Congratulatory messages followed, and the Deputy Mayor of the Far North District Council, Tania McInnes, gave her support for Earth Citizen values in a speech. Then Ilchi Lee gave the keynote lecture, and representatives from nine countries recited the Earth Citizen Declaration.
In the afternoon, a symposium was held called The Brain, Earth Citizenship, and Our Global Future. At the end, members of the Body & Brain Yoga center in Auckland sang a Maori song, and then the Global Scholars Society for Earth Management was founded.
The Earth Citizen Peace Festival felt like a big reunion where people were inspired to do more in their communities to tell others about Earth Citizenship.