Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Path to Peace?

“How many of you want more mental concentration, happiness, wellness, and peace in your life?”

Those were the first words our of her mouth, and my first clue that this would not go well, although I hoped that it was just the weird chicken at lunch that put me in a foul mood. Why was it a clue, you ask? Who doesn’t want those things in their life?

Even more than that, who doesn’t want their kids to learn better in school and learn to take responsibility for their own actions? The video she played showed kids laughing, stretching, concentrating, and having fun. Parents and school administrators from across the nation praised the program for the amazing results seen in their children.

Let me explain: Last week I was at a state meeting required for my job in drug prevention. The state government here is…um, open minded when it comes to things of a liberal nature. That said, when I go to these meetings I’m keenly aware of how prevalent this type of thinking is in those circles. It’s not unusual for me to have a very different view of things.

But last week really got my goat, so to speak. The agenda said that we would learn about “brain education” and how to help us concentrate more. I had a funny feeling about it, but tried to be optimistic. I half expected that floating head guy on Nintendo’s Brain Age games to float his way into the meeting room and have us do some sudoku.

Instead, the likable woman leading the presentation opened with what I described at the top. We would see how their “brain education” helped lots of kids, and as a bonus, we’d learn some take-home techniques for ourselves! Yee haw. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m all for being able to concentrate and be a “power brain,” but I soon saw that this went beyond that.

After the video with the kids, the woman talked more about the amazing potential of the human brain. She led the group in “Dahn yoga”, guided imagery with “power balls” (don’t get me started), and exercises to stimulate the blood flow to the brain, which to her is the “source of all the answers you need for your life and your purpose.” That strike anyone else a little odd? I felt like I was watching a live performance from Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness.

Such talk progressed. By the end of the hour, we had gone from focusing on kids learning better to finding the ultimate source of peace and purpose in the unlimited potential of our own brains. That’s quite a stretch, all in one time with this group, let alone several sessions with children.

…So sneaky are lies that sound good. As we sat through this hour, I became angry and frustrated. I couldn’t stand that the state government office that brought her sang this woman’s praises and called her work “dazzling.” I cringed to think that this curriculum is in over 220 schools across the U.S. (including many in my state), and the group’s leaders are now official consultants to the United Nations. This could mean far reaching consequences for many people.

What kind of consequences? Let’s think about this. This woman promised that this program would give participants happiness and inner peace. I believe that any search for peace and happiness that seeks it outside of God is wrong and a sham. Those people may believe it sincerely, and that makes me very sad. I hope they realize the truth before it’s too late. The truth is that we can find true peace and happiness only in God through Jesus Christ. To follow any other “path” is to eventually run into a dead end.

I suggest that we must be so careful about the influences around us and around children. Let’s ramp up our radars for anything that leads us away from the absolute truth of God. Let’s be vigilant. Let’s lovingly share God’s truth and live it out in front of people who are tragically deceived. Do we dare in today’s politically correct world? I hope that the next time I’m in this situation, I’ll be able to say that I dared to be even more bold, speaking the truth in love.

It doesn’t take much to inform yourself. A few minutes was all it took for me to research this group online and find their core, New Age-y beliefs. Have you ever noticed that other lies of the world beside this creep into Christian thinking, almost unnoticed? Let’s be on our guard, Church, while we draw closer to Christ. Knowing him better helps us recognize the counterfeits.

I’ll leave you with a list of quotes from that day’s presenter, the group’s web site, and the web site of the group’s founder. Read and decide for yourself. I’m curious to know what you think.

“By unlocking your brain’s potential, you can have personal wellness and peace.”

“To live a purposeful life, tap into the potential of your brain, particularly your brain stem. Your brain is your friend, and it has the answers to all of your questions about your life.”

“This holistic training system cultivates the brain’s unlimited potential to develop into a Power Brain, a brain that is productive, creative, and peaceful.”

“You are the creator of your life.”

“PowerBrain Education was founded on the premise that human flourishing is optimized when the many aspects of the self are developed in an integrated manner. We refer to this comprehensive approach to human development as brain education.

PowerBrain Education is now offering Brain Education (BE) for Enhanced Learning to schools in the United States and worldwide. The BE for Enhanced Learning program includes physical, emotional, and cognitive exercises, as well as postures, breathing techniques, guided imagery, and games to develop children’s creative self-efficacy. The ultimate goal is for children to gain confidence for promoting health, happiness, peacefulness, and achievement, for themselves and others.” – From the PowerBrain web site,, Sedona, AZ

  1. Listen for the voice of your soul until you find your passionate life purpose.
  2. Embrace suffering and emptiness as the foundation of enlightenment.
  3. Live as your soul directs with honesty, integrity, and diligence.
  4. Smile and be at peace for no reason.
  5. Recognize that you are what you choose and what you act.
  6. When you need an answer, ask your brain. —Ilchi Lee, founder of PowerBrain

“We believe that humanity’s greatest asset is the one we all possess –the brain itself.”

Heads Up

I’ll admit it: I love the sunsets here in our part of the country. We get a beautiful show every night, and there are never re-runs.

Tonight’s performance didn’t disappoint. Have you ever noticed the color of dusk when the sky might rain, but hasn’t made up its mind? About 30 minutes before dusk is my favorite time of day anyway, so things were pretty already. This evening we were bathed in a rosy, yellowy glow. It was almost eerie, yet too pretty for me to mind. I sure wish it had actually rained–we need it so badly here–and the scent outside even teased with moisture for awhile.

While I glanced briefly at the sky, God reminded me to slow down and take it all in. I had been shuttling laundry back and forth to our semi-detached laundry room facing the backyard, and I was writing a growing mental list of household chores I really wanted to tackle tonight. And normally I don’t like spending much time in our backyard. It’s a testament to our two failed attempts at starting a nice lawn.

…But the clouds were irresistible! I had to stop. To the east gray clouds grumbled with pent up rain; to the west an unbelievable turquoise sky begged to be admired. In between the two, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the most unique, puffy little white clouds. If they had been separate…well, nothing to write home about. But together, they looked woven like the feathers on the underside of an angel’s huge wing–at least, what I imagine angels’ wings look like. The edge of the “wing” made a diagonal line across the sky, almost like the wing was sheltering our town, yet letting us glimpse God’s glory in the blue sky. (That made sense in my mind.) =)

I called David out to see it, too. He enjoyed the view with his camera lens, and I enjoyed the breeze. It was a simple, amazing moment to relax in God’s beauty. I felt almost childlike as wondered at the gift of sight and beautiful colors all around us. I’m so glad that God slowed me down, giving me a “heads up.”