by Terri Kang (Sun Gwang)
Reveal the Secrets of the Brain through Hong Ik Living
Hong Ik translates as being beneficial to all.
During the Summer Leadership Camp with Youngsters in New York in 2007, I had a chance to listen to my teacher deliver his lecture to my students. He said, “When you do Hong Ik (being beneficial to all), you can reveal the secrets of the brain”.
It was just what I really needed to hear. I had so many questions about how to solve the problems in my life that I wanted to apply this every day. I desperately wanted to know how to utilize the brain. I knew I needed wisdom, as I was a bookworm and didn’t know how to apply what I learned from books to real life. That’s why my soul chooses, both consciously and unconsciously, challenging situations in real life to work through.
In July of the last year, my soul started pressing me to reach out for people who were in deeper levels of pain than could be found in the studio setting. I found people who were in despair and felt helpless. When the soul presses a need on one, most people respond right away. I went to these troubled people’s homes and worked with them. I didn’t know consciously what to do, I just trusted myself to guide me. It became a routine, sometimes even yoga over the phone.
There are three special cases that stand out, one with OCD, one with Parkinson’s, and one with intellectual disability. As I worked with these, three questions kept coming to mind, namely: 1) what is disconnection? 2) stress first or disease first?, and 3) who needs to change?.
1) What is disconnection?
In my profession as a yoga/meditation instructor, the majority of my job is observing, both for myself and others.
In observing the severity of an illness, I can see the percentage of disconnection between the body and the brain. Energy flows from the top of your brain to the bottom of your feet. When energy is stuck in the brain, it causes toxic thinking. Often a mentally challenged person is talking and thinking most of the time.. About 90% of the time, they are stuck in their head and don’t allow the energy to travel downward into the body or the heart.
Many OCD patients also are very obsessed with their thoughts, reflected in a serious facial expression, remembering some traumatic pieces of their history. These traumatic thoughts often can lead to suicidal thinking as well. Not all are the same, but this represents some of the cases I’ve worked with.
Obsessive thinking and poor coordination point to mind-body “disconnection”. When I observe my father with Parkinson’s, I notice a connection to his mental reaction to his environment and the degree of his simple ability to walk. When walking outside with his caregiver, he walks normally, but as soon as he comes inside the house, he walks with great difficulty and often falls down, even though there are plenty of things he can grab hold of.
In an environment where his brain is calm, he stays peacefully connected to his body, which then functions well for him. In the man with intellectual disability, I find the same thing. Most of the time he is scattered in his thinking, and constantly talking. After talking to him calmly and softly, with deep breathing, he calms down and can focus well.When I calmly show caring, he becomes a great listener.
These people’s brains resonate with the ones they interact with. Just being relaxed and caring in your own mind can influence the other person’s brain and body, because the it allows their mental energy to relax and flow, as it should, into their body as well.
2) Is the stress first, or the disease first?
Is that people in pain have an environment that causes lots of stress? Or does their disease make them feel the stress more?
Of course, stress is a major cause for disease, but under the same kind of stress, does the same disease occur?
According to my own observations, the person has to have a seed of a particular disease, before stress can trigger the full onset of the disease. My father took everything very seriously, and with some stress before coming down with diabetes, then heart problems, and progressing into Parkinson’s.
In the OCD case, the young man was abused as a child, continually stressed out, with a high-function level of Asperger’s Syndrome and a seed of OCD before the full-blown devastating form of OCD developed at 16 years of age.
The gentleman with intellectual disability issues had extreme stress in the womb, and the state of intellectual disability before birth.
Stress exists everywhere, and can cause devastation if allowed to fester and grow. But one can reverse these tendencies if one can take it as a challenge and make it an opportunity. This only happens when you fully understand about your own brain and utilize it.
3) Who needs to change?
In all three of these cases, OCD, Parkinson’s, and intellectual disability, there is someone very close to them taking care of them, a loving parent or wife.
When these caretakers speak of their ill family, their breath is short, they talk fast, and the voice is coming from their throat instead of their belly. They are driven all the time be their situation, and can’t put themselves into a position of observing themselves.
When a person is focused on another’s troubles, they become themselves stressed and hopeless. Like a snowball rolling downhill, many things contribute to the finished product of a serious illness.
To reverse the situation, you must confront all the issues internally that built the present problem. Most caregivers just confront each individual emergency as it appears, keeping disaster under control, while the solution is a completely different approach.
To unwind the present manifestation of disease, one must stop, meditate, and go internally to put the aspects of brain and heart together in the body. Listen to the feelings and messages your head, heart, and body are sending to you.
You need to change your own patterns before those patterns that have impacted your loved one can be released. Changing from having a busy mind to being mindful is the key. When your own energy resonates with your loved one, his own view of “what is” will change.
With these observations, my writings, and other journeys in my life, I gained some understanding of the wise words of my teacher when he said, “When you do Hong Ik (being beneficial to all), you can reveal the secrets of the brain.”
To me, this is a special secret of life. Being beneficial to all open vistas in our understanding that are unparalleled.
Terri Kang has been teaching yoga and meditation to kids and teens between 5 and 17 at the Brain Education in Korea for four years. She developed various programs to help students improve their body, mind, and brain power and implemented this program to help them improve their school grades, social relationships, leadership, and English Language skills.
About Tao Healing
The Tao Healing Center provides training and education for holistic health and personal development through classes, workshops, and personal coaching. All of the teachings at Tao Healing Center are based on the ancient wisdom principles of Tao, which has been benefiting countless people for thousands of years.
At the Tao Healing Center, we educate people about the principles of Tao. We help you to awaken your ability to heal yourself and create healthy and happy relationships and a balanced lifestyle by cultivating your inner power and wisdom.
In order to reach a broader audience and to meet the increasing needs from the public for guidance on balanced living, we are currently expanding its operations to local communities and providing free classes to disabled veterans, seniors, and students.