In our busy, demanding and often stressful lives, it is hard to think about our own well being, nonetheless how others around us are feeling and how we may be treating mother earth. We get caught in a state of mindlessness (the polar opposite of mindfulness) and become intertwined in the motions of life without ever really participating with conscious action.
But if we adopt an ancient Korean philosophy called Hongik, we are reminded that by loving self, we can more easily love all others and do what’s best for the collective—including the planet.
Hongik: to think and act for the benefit of all others, in addition to yourself and planet.
It is believed that this way of life can truly be the catalyst our modern world needs to practice an earth-conscious lifestyle and make personal and global change that will positively impact all beings on earth.
To learn more about this philosophy and its application in the modern world, we spoke with Ilchibuko, Director at Sedona Meditation Center and President of non-profit Tao Fellowship. She said of her own practice, “Since my personal awakening, I have naturally lived in a state of Hongik. Awakening isn’t from knowledge, it is just something that you realize. This creates a sense of bliss and connection to who you truly are. And once this is felt, you cannot take it back.”
You can incorporate the spirit of Hongik in your everyday life with these 3 steps recommended by Ilchibuko for the beginner or the master.
Breathe - It may sound simple but you’d be surprised by how easy it is to become disconnected from your breath - which has an avalanche effect on your mind-body connection as a whole. When you engage in your own personal energy, your consciousness is expanded and you quickly become aware. This simple awareness will allow you to disconnect from your monkey brain and the swirling society around you so that you can deeply connect to your authentic self. Pay attention and focus on your breath. Count numbers as you inhale and exhale, and you will feel that your breath getting deeper and longer.
- Pause before action - Ilchibuko says Hongik is a constant practice and must always be mindfully worked on. Before she enters any space (work, home, market, etc), she takes a few seconds outside to breathe, set an intention for the interaction about to happen and direct her energy towards the outcome she’d like to create. By doing this, you align your energy with the event and ensure that you are fully present and can observe rather than react. You are also deepening the connection to your energy and the impact your thoughts have on the physical world around you.
- Observe & Release - When you are able to observe your thoughts and actions without judgement or expectation, you are allowing space to come between your reaction and true self. You may find that you react quickly and harshly to something that can be avoided if you took a breath–or–that you could benefit from releasing emotion before entering a meeting so that you are more level headed and composed. Observation always leads to a release of something because you can see objectively what can stay and what needs to go.
When you are in alignment with what is best for you, you will discover that it comes incredibly natural to extend this mindset to those around you and to our planet as a whole. You begin to see everything outside of you as worthy, precious and deserving–just as you are. The spirit of Hongik truly is the natural state of humans and the earth. When we work in harmony, we realize that it aligns with who we really are aside from our culture and society.
Change starts within and it starts with one. When you begin to see the benefit of actively and consciously changing yourself, you will give others the permission and inspiration to do the same. It is a spiritual domino effect that can only enact a greater good for all beings and our most gracious planet.
If we all lived in this way, imagine what a beautiful world it would be.
If you’re interested in tapping into the power of your brain, creating your reality, and fully embodying the spirit of Hongik, check out the Power Brain Retreat for Increased Confidence and Intuition in Sedona, AZ happening November 18-20, 2016!