This month, 21 Dahn Yoga practitioners from all part of the US traveled to Korea to gather for a meditation tour. It was an amazing experience, and very well organized. All we had to do was to get ourselves there, and the staff took care of everything from that point forward. We traveled to many different parts of Korea on a tour bus, stayed in nice hotels, and had a lot of great meals in Korean restaurants. We also got to follow Ilchi Lee’s footsteps on his path to creating Dahn Yoga – called Dahn Hak in Korea.
I had heard how Dahn Yoga began in Korea before, but seeing where the events took place was a completely different way to experience it. We visited the park where Ilchi Lee taught exercises to the very first Dahn Yoga student 30 years ago. The first participant was a stroke patient, and within a short period of time, many other people also began to gather there regularly to exercise. These type of free classes in the park, as well as other outreach classes are still very active today. We then visited the site of the first Dahn Yoga center in Seoul. The space is now occupied by a restaurant, and we had lunch there.
There are currently hundreds of Dahn Yoga centers in Korea, and we visited one in Seoul where we took a class, then shared tea and watermelon afterwards. One of the highlights of the trip was a hike up beautiful Moak Mountain. It’s a very peaceful and spiritual place and in fact, many temples are located on this mountain. There’s a stream that flows down the mountain which added to the beautiful setting. As we hiked, we stopped periodically to meditate and to feel the mountain’s energy. After each stop, I could feel my energy becoming lighter and brighter. By the time we reached the top, I felt refreshed and energized even though I had just hiked up a mountain! Moak Mountain is also the place where Ilchi Lee spent 21 days in an intense ascetic practice in order to learn the purpose of his life. During this time, he attained enlightenment and was then inspired to create Dahn Yoga, Brain Education, and all the many programs that Dahn Yoga members are able to benefit from today.
There happened to be a festival that took place during our stay in Korea. It was a gathering of 5,000 Dahn Hak outreach instructors. Several groups performed music and dance onstage, and Ilchi Lee gave a talk and then taught us Earth Kigong. The energy and passion of the instructors and the performers was truly inspiring. Our group left for home very hopeful that we can help Dahn Yoga to continue to grow and flourish so that we can spread health, happiness and peace throughout the United States.
Karen Preysnar teaches yoga and works in Gaithersburg, MD. For more pictures of her trip, visit www.flickr.com/dahnyogadcmetro.