Mountain enlightenment leads to yoga empire

Allbuquerque Tribune/March 15, 2006
By Maggie Shepard

For 21 days, Seung Heun Lee lived on a mountain with no food, water or sleep, he writes in his book "Healing Society."

There, he said, a piercing headache gave way to enlightenment.

"Cosmic mind is my mind, and cosmic energy is my energy. . . . My body is mine, not me. My mind is mine, not me," he writes.

Twenty-five years later, Lee, better known as Ilchi Lee, is at the center of a network of businesses, schools and nonprofit groups aimed at bringing peace to Earth one person at a time by way of Dahn Hak, or energy study.

The heart of the Dahn Yoga enterprise is the Ilchi Meditation Center near Sedona, Ariz., where training seminars, weekend workshops and summer children's camps have been held since the 160-acre facility was built in 1997.

The center has a gift shop, dining center, living quarters and a pool. The Dahn World Web site says it is situated in the "fifth vortex of Sedona and has 12 small vortexes and harmonious electric and magnetic energy."

Nearby, Lee keeps one of his several homes; another is in New Jersey, where his wife and son also live, Dahn spokeswoman Charlotte Connors said.

Lee is often referred to as Dr. Lee for his two honorary degrees: one in the philosophy of health education from a Korean university, the other in Oriental medicine and acupuncture from South Baylo University in California, Connors said.

Lee, who is in his late 50s and grew up in South Korea, "modernized many different techniques and traditions of healing and exercise in order to come up with this more modern simple training method," Connors said.

Connors said the Dahn Yoga centers around the world are branches, not independently managed franchises. They are owned by two companies: Bell Rock Development Co. and Mago Earth Co., both headquartered in Mesa, Ariz.

The Dahn enterprise is also associated with the nonprofit Tao Fellowship of Arizona, a quarterly published magazine Body and Brain and several consulting agencies.

Lee is the author of approximately two dozen books. Various Dahn-related Web sites say he is also:

Director of the Korea Institute of Brain Science.

President of the World Earth Human Alliance for Peace.

Founder of the International Graduate University for Peace.

Note: Also see article "Dahn Yoga stretches into controversy"

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