If you’ve been to a Body & Brain center over the past couple months, you’ve probably seen a bunch of flyers advertising the “ShinMyung Festival”. You might even know that ShinMyung means “bright consciousness.” Over the past 10 days, more than 2000 people gathered for two ShinMyung Festival events: one in Ellenville, New York and one in Los Angeles. If you couldn’t attend, or even if you did attend one of the events, we’re here to catch you up on what was going on: here’s a full rundown of the speakers and events.
This year’s ShinMyung Festival introduced the audience to the wider impact of Brain Education (the curriculum that underlies a lot of what we practice at Body & Brain). Brain Education is being implemented in a diverse set of environments- from inner city schools in the Bronx to violence-plagued communities in El Salvador to some of the most influential corporations on the planet, to help create more peaceful, positive, and productive living, learning, and working environments:
• Brain Power Wellness - Dave Beal, national director of Brain Power Wellness, shared how Brain Education is being implemented in NY schools to help transform the learning environments of over 300,000 students.
• Mindset Conference at Nike - Collette Hemmings relayed incredible news of how Brain Education was introduced to one of the biggest and most influential companies on the planet.
• IBREA in El Salvador - Isabel Pastor Guzman and Shin Aeri shared about the work that IBREA is doing internationally, especially in El Salvador, where Brain Education is helping to heal a community that has been plagued by violence, poverty, and drugs.
• Juvenile Detention Center in New York - Johnathan Martinez shared about his work bringing Body & Brain and Brain Education to a juvenile detention center.
• Research about BE in the workplace - Ericka Crawford is finishing up her dissertation about the benefits of Brain Education in corporate workplaces, the first peer-reviewed study of the effects of BE on adults in the USA.;
• BETV and Brain Recharge App - Linda Yoonjin and Gabi Petrylaite shared about two ways to use social media to take care of your body and brain- Brain Education TV and the soon-to-be-released Brain Recharge App.
• B&B community outreach - Laura Proppe related her story of finding purpose and passion after retirement through volunteer teaching of Body & Brain, and Cat Sawai detailed the amazing outreach work being done by Body & Brain instructors in senior centers and assisted living facilities in Hawaii.
• BNB centers vision- Dawn Quaresima and Brian Korbelik- two Body & Brain Center Regional Managers, put the picture altogether for those in attendance by pointing out that all these great accomplishments were spearheaded by people who started out taking classes at the Body & Brain center- just like you!
After hearing about how Brain Education is being used to help people around the world, the audience got a chance to experience Brain Education training with Ilchi Lee, the founder of Body & Brain Yoga. He guided everyone to feel energy and move with energy. You might have experienced this same thing in Body & Brain classes when we do ‘jigam’ and ‘dahnmu’- feeling the energy with your hands and then moving with an energy dance. Now imagine the power of practicing with over 1000 other people, following the guidance of one of the most experienced trainers in the world.
For thousands of years, meditators have focused on a particular structure in the brain, now known as the pineal gland, or 3rd eye, as a source of brightness and power. Scientific research has revealed some very interesting characteristics of the pineal gland and how it relates to consciousness. The pineal gland is known to secrete melatonin, which, if you’ve been following news about supplements, is related to sleep cycles and circadian rhythms. We know that exposure to light can alter our circadian rhythms. Even more interestingly, some research suggests that pineal gland might have an ancient evolutionary connection to light sensing organs between the eyes, as is observable in some reptiles and amphibians. And, last but not least, the pineal gland often appears calcified in older adults due to the accumulation of calcium or fluoride over time, meaning that lifestyle choices may affect the functions of the pineal gland.
Through the ShinMyung Festival and Pineal Gland training, Ilchi Lee shared practical methods to awaken the power of our brains. These concepts may sound unfamiliar and intimidating, but in essence, they are powers that we use regularly. But we just don't often utilize them consciously. And that's what really seemed to make the biggest impact on Festival attendees. Many people shared that they were inspired to take action, utilizing what they've learned at Body & Brain, to try to make the world a little bit happier, healthier, and brighter. Because, after all, power exists in all our brains to create a better world. That's what's known as ShinMyung and, as reported during the Festival, the secret of strengthening ShinMyung power is simple: Share it.