You may have read this before, but I’d like to share a little bit about my life in the hope it can inspire you, and so you can understand why it’s so important to me to achieve my goals, through using PDCA and other tools.
I was born in Korea in 1950, in the midst of chaos and change, when the need for peace was most desperate. On June 25th of that year, the well-trained and well-equipped armies of North Korea invaded a woefully unprepared South Korea. By its end, the Korean war had claimed more than two million lives.
It was in this world that I grew up, asking questions about life and death as early as I can remember, questions which led me to recognize the true meaning of my existence. The question, “Who am I and why am I here?” permeated my very essence and affected everything I did.
However, in the beginning of my adult life, I lived in an ordinary and superficial way until I experienced an accidental brush with ki energy. While visiting an old bookstore in the center of Seoul, I picked up a book on martial arts with its cover falling off. On the first page, I read, “If you achieve enlightenment through energy and positive deeds, you will be invincible.” As I read that sentence, an electric current ran through me and an invisible warmth blanketed me.
Even though I was a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and had even run a school for martial arts, I had never felt anything like it. I did not want to let go of this feeling. As I rode the bus back home, I sat huddled quietly by myself, drunk on that wonderful and powerful feeling. After that, ki energy guided my life.
For the next one hundred days, I woke up at 4 am and climbed a hill behind my home to train and meditate for hours. I practiced energy breathing in order to feel and control the flow of ki energy throughout my body and mind. I had entered into a new world. I felt my own heart beat. I felt the blood flow through my veins. Vibration coursed through my body unbidden, and I felt my body change in ways too numerous to describe. I felt every bone in my body disintegrate and take form again, and shook violently as ki energy coursed through my body.
On the last day, it was bitterly cold. As I sat meditating in middle of a freshly snow-covered field, braving the skin-biting wind, my body shook and my breathing became haggard. Despite the obvious danger, I was determined not to give up after 99 days. I thought to myself, “I do not live simply because I want to, and I cannot die simply because I want to. Everything is heaven’s will.” My consciousness began to fade as my body began to freeze. “So this is how I am to die,” I thought to myself. With effort, I let go of the last bit of myself. I fully offered myself up to heaven praying, “Because I am here by your will, you must do as you wish with my life . . . .”
At that moment, I felt my body come alive, furiously spewing out heat, melting the snow around me. I felt a powerful stream of ki energy coursing through my body as it formed a capsule of energy to protect me from the extreme cold. This was not something I could have accomplished alone. This surge of my innermost life energy at a moment of utmost urgency and absolute trust was the ultimate experience in the power of energy.
Yet I still felt empty. I’ll explain why in my blog post on Wednesday and then pick up with PDCA again on Friday. So stay tuned.