Ultimately, all of Ilchi Lee’s work has been motivated by a deep love for humanity and a desire to create a peaceful, sustainable way of life on the planet. Believing that lasting peace begins in the hearts and minds of individuals, he has reached out to people in ways that improve their lives. The most effective form of peace activism, according to Ilchi Lee, is less about political process and more about healing one person at a time by reaching out with love and compassion, and enabling others to do the same.
Ilchi Lee has initiated strategies to lift people’s spirits in the face of tragedy, helping them to regain inner peace. In 2003, he offered Dae-Gu, South Korea, a unique approach to revitalize the citizens’ low morale. While suffering from a long economic depression, the public’s pain was intensified by a subway station fire that killed 200 people and injured 140 more. In response, he created the Power Brain Dance, a set of fun movements that many people used in greeting one another. As a result, more and more Dae-Gu citizens smiled again and started to recover a sense of hope for their lives.
Likewise, after the September 11 tragedies, Ilchi Lee sought to offer optimism to the American people. At the time, he was in the middle of a multi-city speaking tour in the United States. When airport closures prevented him from flying from Los Angeles to Boston, rather than cancel the speech, he drove 48 hours non-stop. The real war on terrorism for him could be won only within the mind, by not succumbing to disillusionment. His Boston program participants and those they influenced recovered a sense of courage and determination through his inspirational action and words.
Ilchi Lee’s distinctive style of peacemaking has attracted numerous world leaders who share his passion for peaceful solutions to world problems. In 2001, he hosted the 1st Humanity Conference, in Seoul, with contributions by prominent speakers, including Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, environmental activist Maurice Strong, international journalist Seymour Topping, and spiritual author Neal Donald Walsch. Oscar Ariaz Sanchez, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Costa Rica, and Ilchi Lee have co-sponsored several conferences and projects to advance Brain Education and peacemaking activities.
Ilchi Lee is the founder and president, University of Brain Education, Chun-Ahn, Korea, established in 2002. Through scholarly research and degree programs, the focus is on the role of the brain in creating lasting peace. He is the founder and president, Korea Institute of Brain Science, Seoul, an international research organization that develops and investigates brain methods of health maintenance and peace education. It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He is founder and president, International Brain Education Association, New York, NY, which promotes and develops brain education programs for families, schools, companies, and governments around the world.
Ilchi Lee used to be president of BR Consulting, Inc., Sedona, Arizona, an innovative educational company providing business services and developing knowledge products related to brain education, holistic health, self-growth, and collaboration for peace for more than 50 clients around the world. He has guided its client U-DAP in Korea, to conduct brain education programs, which have reached more than 1,000 corporations and government agencies and their 440,000 employees over the past decade. Through other clients, brain education programs have been given to organizations in the United States, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom.
While he founded Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, now with more than 500 centers worldwide training members in Ki energy-based body-brain fitness, Ilchi Lee is no longer involved in the management of the centers.
To express his pioneering views about the brain and human consciousness, Ilchi lee has authored a total of 29 books. While written in Korean, 12 have been translated into English, in addition to nine other languages.
Among the books Ilchi Lee has authored are Power Brain Kids: 12 Easy Lessons to Ignite Your Child’s Potential, Developing the Brainpower Hidden in Your Child (a million-copy seller in South Korea, in three languages), Know Your Brain, Know Happiness (with Hee-Sup Shin), Brain Respiration (in eleven languages), Healing Society (in six languages), Meridian Exercises for Self-Healing (in six languages), Human Technology (in five languages), and Dahnhak Kigong (in three languages).
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.