Ilchi Lee was born in 1950 to a family of educators, months after the start of the Korean War. Even in his early youth, he was driven by questions about the true meaning of his existence. Dissatisfied with intellectual answers, he turned to training his body to gain a sense of centeredness and peace. In his early twenties, he became a senior master of the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. Later, he applied his undergraduate studies in clinical pathology and physical education toward the successful management of a physical health training center.
In spite of his early success, Ilchi Lee could not escape an unrelenting urge to discover the true meaning of his existence. In 1980, after becoming keenly interested in traditional Korean mind-body training methods, he spent 21 days alone in rigorous meditation training on Moak Mountain. As a result, he gained a deeper understanding of the traditional training and the profound impact it can have on one’s body and mind. Believing that his experience could be used to benefit the health and wellbeing of humanity. he developed educational programs that incorporated both Eastern and Western knowledge of physical and mental training.
After his awakening experience, Ilchi Lee’s first action was to teach Brain Education exercises to a stroke survivor in a public park in Anyang. This drew the attention of many others who soon participated. Within five years, his training was systematized as Dahnhak (Dahn Yoga), which focused on helping individuals improve their physical and mental health. This practice evolved to include a wide variety of meditative and brain-enhancement techniques, collectively known as Brain Education.
Ilchi Lee’s Brain Education programs are now offered in community-based centers, public schools, corporations, and many other settings. As of 2007, BEST training is available in 60 centers in South Korea, Japan, United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, and Russia, for which Lee serves as consultant. All share the common goal of creating health, happiness, and peace for their members and humanity as a whole.
As Brain Education evolved, Ilchi Lee realized the importance of sharing his techniques outside of Korea. Attracted to the powerful cultural diversity of the United States, he visited the country in 1995. Driving across the country, he discovered Sedona, Arizona, a land of extraordinary natural beauty and rich Native American cultural heritage. To some, Sedona is a quaint little tourist town isolated in Arizona’s high desert. But in Lee’s mind, it is a perfectly inspiring area where many people from various cultures can gather to explore the creation of a more healthy and peaceful world.
In Sedona’s scenic and sacred landscape, Ilchi Lee started guiding nature walks to share his philosophy and practices with visitors to Sedona. Soon thereafter, he founded Tao Fellowship at Mago Garden, in the middle of a beautiful national forest. Creating a place to harmonize humanity and nature, Mago Garden offers training courses in healing, meditation, leadership, and personal growth to people from all parts of the world.
Today, Ilchi Lee continues to focus on sharing his brain philosophy and educational techniques with the world. Traveling continent to continent, he tirelessly seeks ways to communicate his message of health and peace to diverse international audiences. In the process, his innovative training methods continue to touch the lives of tens of thousands of people worldwide. Essentially, his philosophy bridges the gaps between cultures by focusing on a shared humanity and a universal pursuit of health, happiness and peace.