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Excerpt from "The Call of Sedona"

Journey of the Heart

by Ilchi Lee

Author’s Introduction

I rarely stay in one place for more than a few months. That’s because traveling the world and meeting and speaking with people is my life’s work. Nonetheless, Sedona is the land I love the most on this earth. Whatever place I’m coming from, when I head back to Sedona and start to see its red rocks in the distance, my heart and breath open up and my mind becomes calm as though I’ve come home.

Sedona is a flower blooming in the Arizona desert. The land here is a deep red, the sky an endless blue. Between that red earth and blue sky, there flows a sacred atmosphere. Not only are there red rocks, green juniper trees, cacti, and a burning sun, but there are also ravines and steep gorges where clear water flows and wooded forests soaked with the gold of fall. This arid land that pours out such a primordial power has a unique ability to awaken within us the greatest of spirits.

My First Visit

I first came to Sedona in January 1996. At the time, I was just another tourist among many, drawn by its beauty and mystery. Now, 15 years later, I can’t imagine my life without Sedona. To me, Sedona is the most comfortable home as well as a most divine and sacred land. It’s the friend with whom I feel the closest of connections, the “seuseung”, or spiritual guide, whoever awakens me anew.

I have received many messages while in Sedona: when I sat atop Bell Rock, looking down at the river embraced by red stone; when I walked along the banks of Oak Creek and quietly watched the full moon reflected in its water; when I stood on Schnebly Hill and was mesmerized by the flames of the sunset in the western sky… Sedona has spoken to me.

The messages I received from Sedona were, at first, almost like fantasies, for Sedona always told me to dream dreams that seemed impossible, and at times it even caused in me agonizing dilemmas that were difficult to bear.

But I had to listen to those messages. When the messages of Sedona reverberated in the deepest parts of my heart, even if they seemed “a ridiculous thing to do” from a rational perspective, I just focused on them unconditionally. Whenever I was having a hard time, I would turn to the rocks and trees that had lived so much longer than human beings; I borrowed a lot of strength from the moon and the stars of Sedona awake in the dead of night, when the world was fast asleep. This is how the things that seemed at first like fantasies became realities, one by one. And many others were drawn to participate in them, too.

Sedona gave me a dream. It gave me constant inspiration and strength so that my dream would not die, no matter the hardships I found myself facing. To me, everything in the US used to be so foreign, including the language and the culture. But through Sedona, I gained the strength to truly settle here. I gained a new inspiration that enabled me to share my enlightenment and training methods with the whole world, and it is here where I met so many friends and supporters. Though I was well past middle-age, I also opened myself to a new creativity and artistic capacity that was rising inside me. This is the place I developed the Earth Citizen spirit as a philosophy, and where I heard the message of Mago, Mother Earth.

In order to repay the blessings I have received from Sedona, I worked hard to share with other people what I felt and discovered through Sedona. That’s why I love Sedona as much as I love my life. With every step I take upon this red and sacred earth, I am filled with deep gratitude and affection.

Sedona is truly a sacred and blessed land. When I stand on a hill of red rock and look into the distance where heaven and earth meet at the horizon; when an immense, round moon rises so close that it feels like I could just reach and touch it with my hand; along with a lucid awareness that “I’m living on a star called ‘Earth’,” I find myself deeply and vividly moved. The heart of the earth opens my heart and enters, becoming one with me. And concern for people and the world arises from the deepest part of my being, along with a desire to take care of them. The messages of Sedona, this land graced with beauty and wonder from time immemorial, always make my heart vibrate with strength and love, intense as the very redness of its earth.

This Book

This book contains the stories about the messages that I received from Sedona. It also has stories about my life, which I lived by following those messages. And this book can also become your story.

The essence of the message that Sedona has conveyed to me is that inside each one of us there is a much greater and more beautiful truth and dream than the ordinary ones we know. And that we already have everything we need to achieve them. I hope that through this book you realize that you have always been great and that you will gain a fresh inspiration and a dream that will infuse vitality into your life. Finally, I hope that you can take part in the beautiful dream that Sedona gives through its profound connection with the earth.

What lends meaning and value to our daily life is always our dreams. If you need a dream -- or if you need to rediscover a dream you’ve lost -- come here to Sedona.

Ilchi Lee

Sedona, April 2011

Discover the Greatness Within

Have you ever thought of yourself as a great being? Have you ever been deeply moved by a thought that came from inside?

One day, I heard a voice inside me sincerely concerned for the future of the earth and humanity. That voice asked, Would a world where all life forms on this earth live together in peace and harmony be impossible? That voice answered, If all people really wanted that and chose that kind of world, why wouldn’t it come true?

That voice moved me deeply, and made me go to great pains to figure out what I could do for this earth and for humanity. I was beautifully moved by myself when I did that. That feeling was very deep and true and it led me to choose a completely different course for my life than I had up until that point. That one thought and choice changed me and changed my life.

When I heard the voice say I had a mission to awaken the consciousness of many people, I was well aware in light of that great mission, of my many shortcomings. However, I did not deny that voice. Nor did I shrink back because of my shortcomings. I believed that if this path was truly the way of heaven, then it would open to me on its own. That was the truth.

Certainly there were other voices that tried to shake my resolve. They echoed inside of me as well as echoing on the outside. However, human beings are capable of distinguishing between their true voice and their false voices. Everyone has this ability. It’s just that not all people choose to listen to and act upon their true voice. I tried hard to follow my true voice. Even in instances where it seemed unrealistic.

What inner voice are you listening to now? It just might be that you’re hearing a mission from that voice that feels too big for you compared to your own measurement of yourself. Watch out. Along with that voice, you will hear many voices that will try to make you into a very small being. Maybe, a cynical voice that’s saying “Be realistic” is pretending to be you. Don’t waver.

Even if certain suffering is in the future, you have to take the path that your real True Self wants. Until you take that path, your soul will feel its thirst forever.

I think every person hears that kind of inner voice at least several times in their life. And I also believe that, rather than pursuing only their own personal profit, all people have an inherent desire to be of service to their family and neighbors, and beyond that to their entire community and to humanity. I call that the “greatness within.” From that greatness, the beautiful and holy intention to benefit all life springs forth.

At the moment that you heard your inner voice, what did you do? The moment you became aware of your greatness within, what did you do? Did you acknowledge and accept it? Or did you turn away from it?

Each of us is a great life and a great soul. When the one holy thought to do something widely beneficial to the world comes out, we need to have the eyes to perceive it, the courage to accept and choose it, and the will to put it into action. In the process of cherishing that one thought and pouring all our devotion into it, we can create true change in the lives of ourselves and humanity.

Human beings appear briefly in time and space and then disappear. Everyone dies in the end. From the perspective of the universe, one human living and dying and one fly living and dying are incidents of more or less the same gravity. The universe will not be sadder for you because you died instead of a fly.

Does that mean that human life is futile? No; that’s not true. On a certain day, we receive this life as a gift. As we receive that gift, we also receive with it as a gift infinite freedom of choice to make it completely our own. We can live as we choose, and we can even set out the meaning of that life for ourselves.

Life is not meaningless. However, if you don’t listen to the voice of your True Self and discover a dream into which you can pour all your passion, all you can do is keep living with a feeling of futility in the midst of a mindlessly hectic lifestyle. You’ve probably asked yourself this question at the end of the day. Did I live well today? At that time, with what standard do you answer? If you don’t have a dream, if you don’t have a value that lends meaning to your life, then you will not be able to answer this question even when you have completed your life and gone to your eternal resting place. Did I live my life well?

Dreams are reality that have not yet become true. However, in the hearts of some people, they have already come true. People for whom it’s already achieved in their heart and who can see that as they boldly throw themselves into it, those are people who have true courage. Life isn’t about sticking to predetermined conventions. It’s not like life exists somewhere in the form of a manufactured good and you’re supposed to discover it. Life is about following the voice of your true self and “inventing” it as something all your own.

Do you have a dream? If you do, what is it? Is your dream similar to mine? I hope that even more people dream the same dream as me, because my dream is so big I couldn’t handle it by myself.

If you are a person who has the same dream as me, this is what I want to say to you. Right now, you are planting a single tree. Right now, you are sowing a single seed. And you are beginning to knit something with one strand of yarn. The first step or two are nothing, but imagine that you continue that work for ten years. One tree becomes a forest, one seed becomes a field, and that single thread becomes a beautiful cloth. Believe in the life inside you, believe in the great and holy mind within you, and push forward with the dream you have chosen until you make it.

I wrote this book according to the message and inspiration that arose from within. If my stories provide you with any inspiration, then believe in that and trust it. And live according to how that inspiration and feeling move you. Express it and communicate it to other people. Let the greatness inside of all people awaken together and respond in kind.

When everyone resonates with the holiness and greatness within, we can overcome personal limitations and create mature change for the future of the earth. Not just one or two great individuals, but the birth of a great humanity—this is the only hope of the earth.

Until now, humanity has pursued material success as a primary value. I believe that humanity must now pursue completion of the soul as a central value. The definition of success is relative, requiring arbitrary judgments comparing one person to another, but completion is absolute, based on a standard derived from your own native conscience. Success as society usually defines it is achieved by acquiring wealth and fame, but completion is achieved by knowing the purpose of your life and living a life that’s loyal to that calling. Success is a dog-eat-dog race, but completion is an event where each person prepares their own victory trophy. Completion requires continuous self-reflection and self-motivation for personal improvement. While success in human society requires competition with other people, spiritual completion is instead about helping others.

In Sedona, where it’s springtime now, wildflowers are blooming here and there. Some are large, and some are small; some wither quickly while others last longer. There are the charming little yellow Mexican Poppies, the magnificent white Evening Primroses, and the fiery red Indian Paintbrushes. Their shapes and colors are all unique.

Looking at the wildflowers, we don’t assume that the large flowers are necessarily more beautiful than the smaller ones. Nor do we think that the flowers that stay in bloom longer are somehow more excellent than the ones that fade more quickly. Large flowers are simply large, and small flowers are simply small. There is no reason to say that a flower that blooms longer is better than one that whither earlier. These things are just a matter of diversity, not an indication of superiority.

Each individual wildflower blossom that colors Sedona’s springtime is beautiful. But more importantly, they all contribute to something that equals more than the sum of their parts. In Sedona there are large flowers, small flowers, flowers in full bloom, and flowers not yet bloomed. Some flowers are already wilted while others dance proudly in the breeze. Sedona’s red earth embraces the roots of the wildflowers and cradles an assortment of variously shaped rocks. The bright azure sky acts as a backdrop for the flowers, the juniper trees, and the red rocks. All these things work together in perfect harmony to create the stunning beauty that Sedona offers.

We are individual flowers blooming on a single tree called Life. Because each flower makes the effort to complete its own unique color, shape, and fragrance, the whole tree of Life can emanate greater vital power in all its fullness. Though we are all one, we each have our unique individuality. But nevertheless we share the same origin. No one is dropped into the universe all alone; there is no separation between personal completion and collective completion. People who realize this choose a life devoted to collective harmony, not just to their own happiness.

Because everyone has a natural yearning for completion, we are able to change and recreate ourselves endlessly. I believe that we all have an internal guidance system that gives us constant motivation to move toward completion. Because we have a sense of completion within us, and because we have the will and desire to reach that state of completion, human beings have the potential for greatness and can become greater at any time.

About the Author

Ilchi Lee is a respected educator, mentor, and trailblazer devoted to developing the awakened brain and teaching energy principles. For the past thirty years, Ilchi Lee has dedicated his life to helping people become the authors of their lives by harnessing the creative power of the human brain.

Since his first visit to Sedona fifteen years ago, Lee has shared the messages and spirit he has received from Sedona. Lee serves as the president of the University of Brain Education and International Brain Education Association. He is also the founder of Sedona Mago Retreat, a place for spiritual awakening and holistic learning, located in the wilderness of Arizona’s red rock country. He is the author of thirty-three books, including Healing Society, Human Technology, and Brain Wave Vibration. For more information, visit www.ilchi.com.

Purchase Information

The Call of Sedona is available from your favorite neighborhood and on-line bookstores. For more information, please visit www.callofsedona.com.

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