As an undergraduate student at Dan-Kuk University of Seoul, Korea, Ilchi Lee majored in Clinical Pathology and Physical Education, which resulted in a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977. After graduation, he actively pursued independent study of human physiology and consciousness, from both the Eastern and Western perspectives. Consequently, two honorary doctoral degrees have been conferred on him, one from Yuin University of Los Angeles in 1999, and a second from South Baylo University of Los Angeles in 2005.
Ilchi Lee was a featured speaker, United Nations World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, New York, 2000. He was the recipient of the Republic of Korea’s Presidential Medal of Civil Merit, 2002.
Proclamations for Ilchi Lee Day have been issued by Cambridge, Massachusetts (September 19, 2001), Atlanta (October 28, 2002), Santa Fe, New Mexico (April 10, 2007), Denver (July 25, 2007), Gaithersburg, MD, and Alexandria, VA (August 20, 2007), Houston (August 28, 2007), Albuquerque (August 31, 2007), and San Francisco (September 7, 2007).
From Atlanta, Ilchi Lee received The Phoenix Award, 2001. Houston appointed him Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador, 2002. From Los Angeles, he received the Certificate of Commendation, 2003. The State of New Mexico designated him Ambassador for Goodwill, 2007. Since 2004, he has served on the Board of Directors, Sedona International Film Festival.
“Ilchi Lee understands the brain not simply as an organ, but as the center of the whole human body energy system. As such, a holistic approach to developing the brain’s full potential is deeply linked to any struggle for peace that understands individual development. His transcendent work is a constant inspiration, and I am deeply pleased to witness the increasing worldwide influence of Brain Education and its accompanying peace activities.”
Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Laureate
“For Ilchi Lee, enlightenment is not some obscure mystical path attainable only for those few who sit meditating on a mountaintop. He offers a common sense way to fulfillment for every individual. His philosophy guides us to a peaceful world in which all living creatures are accorded respect and compassionate treatment.”
Seymour Topping, author and professor of journalism
“I agree with Ilchi Lee that the brain will be at the center of cultural development. From the viewpoint of the brain, people will analyze and make plans regarding politics, economy, society, and culture. Brain Education’s development and delivery will foster the acceleration of cultural evolution in positive directions. According to Ilchi Lee’s philosophy, when humanity chooses happiness and peace, then substantial progress is possible. I expect that his Brain Education to be a major force in the world’s cultural advancement.”
Hee-Sup Shin, National Scientist Awardee of Korea
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.
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