A Close-up Report – A Story of Three Men Who Found Their Minds in Their 50’s
“By throwing away our minds, we discovered our minds.”
What would happen when men in their 50’s go out to find their minds? They men: Moon, Hongsoon (a 56-year-old commissioner at ShinHan Bank); Lee, Dukjoo, (a 50-year-old professor of aerospace engineering at KAIST); and Jung, Gi-Un, (a 50-year-old deputy minister of education).
Though at different time periods, these men had a special experience of finding minds at their very peak phase of life. With their wisdom of age and knowledge/experience, these three men are leaders in their fields. It seems they went looking for their minds due to the ‘heavy pressure of life’ – an evidence of fierce and tough social competition for survival.
They are now living the life of ease which are not observed often in typical men of 50’s. They all say that they are “living a life of comfort and happiness which they never had before.” Maybe they have something special in their lives.
What would be their secret? All of them had experienced a special training to cleanse their minds to find true self. The special training was Ma-eum Su-ryun, which seemed to be vastly expanding into professional layers of people in society. This method, which was founded by Woo Myung in 1996, is currently offered by the Ma-eum Su-ryun education center (Consciousness Reform Association in Mt. Gye-rong). These three men did their mind training at this education center.
Speculative rumors started because of a sudden resignation
When Mr. Moon, who was in a powerful position as a director of financial inspection/commission, suddenly resigned in May of 2001, everyone was very surprised. He had been very successful in highly influential positions of South Korean banks and government inspection/commission boards for 27 years, so his sudden resignation led to speculative rumors. He went straight to Gaya Mountain and stayed for 9 months to attend the Ma-eum Su-ryun meditation.
“I just wanted to rest. After the stress of financial turmoil of IMF, I was so exhausted with managing bankruptcies of financial institutions. I also wanted to find answers to my ultimate inquiries which I had for a long time: ‘who am I?’ and ‘why do I live?’ So I resigned from my position even without discussing it with my wife.”
Mr Moon had originally planned to stay about 2 weeks at the Ma-eum Su-ryun center. But with his retirement compensation check still not picked up and left at his old office, he ended up staying over 3 months. After visiting home briefly, he came back with his wife to stay 6 more months. Later on, he helped others as a Ma-eum Su-ryun instructor.
Fundamentally, the Ma-eum Su-ryun method is about emptying the minds. There were 5 levels of this method at Gye-rong Mountain with required one week each for the first and second levels, 2 to 3 weeks for the third level, and 4 to 6 weeks for the fourth level of the program.
Beginning trainees would follow instructions to empty minds by sitting comfortably with either closed eyes or opened eyes looking at a dark dot on the wall. This dark dot signified the earth through which the spirit would leave the earth and body to float in the universe, in order to cleanse emotional mass and irrational ideologies. As one advanced to higher levels, each level of the program is different in its method.
“Externally, it seemed like a time in my life in which I was suddenly disconnected; but in reality, it was a time of my new birth. I was enlightened to oneness with entirely everything in the world. At last, I finished this long wandering in my mind and found the peace I was looking for.”
In February of 2002, he became the commissioner at ShinHan Bank. He noticed changes in his work and personal life. He said, “Even though I had a lot of work to do, I didn’t get stressed and felt very relaxed. Naturally, I was productive in my work performance and I worked harder and better.” Before the Ma-eum Su-ryun, he had many difficulties with his relationships, but he now became much more comfortable with interpersonal relationships. All of his relationships with others improved, including with his wife. Many of his old acquaintances would tell him that his face has softened and they felt more at ease with him than before.
His 55-year old wife had an even more surprising experience. She was healed from a chronic disease which she had for the last 15 years. About 18 years ago, she collapsed while working at her pharmacy and was revived at the hospital. Since then she suffered from a mystery illness which had no diagnosis. After 2 months of the Ma-eum Su-ryun, all of her symptoms disappeared. She truly then realized that “illnesses come from the mind.”
Mr. Moon does Ma-eum Su-ryun lectures for high officials of financial institutions about 3 to 5 times a year. His 28 year-old son also attended the Ma-eum Su-ryun program. He felt it would be the most important life asset for his son.
“What I also gained was my realization of the worthless pride I had about my life successes. I felt ashamed of the selfish life I led – wishing well only for my family and me.”
Now, he thinks of others first and viewed situations objectively, which enables him to be fair and productive. He summarized his results from the Ma-eum Su-ryun as “everything had gotten better.”
Remembering childhood memories – threw away greed
Professor Lee, who was a scientist researching airplanes and rockets, was extremely afraid of flying in airplanes. Since 1993, he developed claustrophobia and every time he flew in a plane, he became panicky. His condition didn’t improve even though he took medications. Because his job required him to travel at least 4 times a year, it was very difficult each time.
After 2 to 3 days of starting Ma-eum Su-ryun, his claustrophobia disappeared. “While contemplating on my self, I discovered the origin of my claustrophobia. When I was in the first grade, I became stuck in a concrete dog house for hours. Even though I was rescued, that fear had been lying dormant in my mind since.”
During the summer of 2001, for the first time in 15 years, he took one week of vacation to attend the education center at Gaya Mountain. Even though many people would think that professors have summers off to enjoy, he was so busy with research he couldn’t take any days off before.
He sought out Gaya Mountain because he had a lot on his mind. Though he managed his health through swimming and mountain climbing, it was difficult to clear up his head.
“At that time, my life was complicated. I had inherited a small business but due to financial crisis of IMF, it was bankrupt. Because I was the owner, I had to travel back and forth between two cities and live a double life. After the bankruptcy, I experienced a huge financial loss and also a family misfortune.”
“Why did I live through such hardship?” He realized that was because he was envious of his rich childhood friends. Although his family was wealthy, he had a strong greed to be wealthier.
He found the peace in his mind by truly throwing away his greed. After throwing away his greed of wanting to accomplish a big government project, even better projects were given to him. Because he lived selflessly, he started to greet people first and his family became happier. His lectures improved to meet his students’ learning needs.
“Before, I was exhausted after lectures and students didn’t seem to understand well. But after the Ma-eum Su-ryun, I was able to lecture from the perspective of students and I was not exhausted after lecturing. The students’ evaluation of my lectures also improved.”
Since then, Professor Lee continued the Ma-eum Su-ryun, two to three times a week in Daejun city area. Due to enlightenments, he experienced sudden tears during meditations. During 2002 winter vacation, he devoted 2 weeks to Ma-eum Su-ryun and did some farm work as a part of the program. Through Ma-eum Su-ryun, he realized the truth of “giving without the thought of giving.”
‘Tears of repentance’ continued over 30 minutes
Mr. Jung, a deputy minister of education, had attended the Ma-eum Su-ryun center in Gye-rung Mountain during July of 2002, when he was the secretary of education at the Blue House (South Korean President’s residence). Though he was praised for his job performance during 25 years of public service, due to his perfectionism, he was always tense and anxious with a subconscious fear that he would fail.
“After I was promoted to the highest rank of public servanthood in February of 2002, I wanted to reflect on my life and career. I wanted to also think about how to honorably serve the rest of my public service years.” The fact his two closest friends passed away also was a motivating factor.
The first change he experienced was through a qigong-like response. When he was doing the first level of Ma-eum Su-ryun, he felt energy flowing in his body with his hands and feet shaking for 30 minutes. After that, his chronic shoulder pain disappeared. Due to stress for job promotion/competition, his shoulders were always in pain even with acupuncture and massages. He also became free of chronic headaches and rhinitis.
“The day after that experience, I truly repented how selfish I was and shed tears deep from my heart for about 30 minutes. This was the very first time I cried like that. Then my heart felt extremely light.”
Since then, after his daily work hours, he attends a local Ma-eum Su-ryun center. During August of last year, he went back for 4 days of a farm-work which is a part of the meditation. Instead of driving to work, he goes into work via subway. “While I am riding the subway, whenever I close my eyes to meditate, infinite universe is before me.” When closing eyes while in office, his head clears and his mind becomes comfortable and at ease.
He no longer has the perfectionism or fear. “Before, whenever I had to attend important meetings or give reports, I was always nervous, but that has disappeared now. Because I am at ease, the work results are better.” When subordinates reported to him, he tended to pick out their faults first. But after opening his minds through the Ma-eum Su-ryun, he no longer did this, which led to better relationships with his subordinates. He also was able to observe good points of his competitors, instead of looking only at negative points. His other noticeable changes included “disappearance of vague anxieties about an unknown future.”
◈ What is the Ma-eum Su-ryun?
Throwing away emotions and ideologies along with memorized thoughts
This method was founded by teacher Woo Myung in 1996, which is a non-religious way of focusing on psychoanalysis. Different from a qi-type of training where much focus is on the body, this mind method is used to solve the problems of mind. It is also different from Zen meditation which emphasizes focusing on a certain topic for enlightenments and trance-like state. Instead, in this method, emotions and ideologies which are embedded in life memories are thrown away.
The Ma-eum Su-ryun education center at Gaya Mountain first started in 1997. As attending students increased, it was then moved to Gye-rung Mountain in September of 2001. At present time, there are many local as well as international centers worldwide with at least 100,000 people who attended the program up to this point.