About two years ago, Ilchi Lee began building what he calls Earth Village near the town of Kerikeri on the North Island of New Zealand. As he writes in his new book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, Earth Village is designed to be “a residential school and community where hundreds of people can experience a self-reliant, earth-friendly lifestyle in a place where humans and nature live in harmony—a beautiful woodland area of 380 acres.”
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.