Week of April 17, 2010 in 10 U.S. cities
A new international movement has emerged from Ilchi Lee’s concept of an Earth Citizen—someone who puts their identity as a citizen of the earth before any other identity, with all of the rights and responsibilities that go with it. As he communicated in his short book on the topic, Earth Citizen: Recovering Our Humanity, it is only by realizing our common humanity through the earth that its people may come together as one to create a peaceful and sustainable way of life on the planet.
Initiated and supported by the non-profit IBREA (International Brain Education Association) Foundation, the aptly named Earth Citizen Movement geared up in the United States this year for Earth Day. In cities around the country, Earth Citizens held festivals, participated in concerts, planted trees, and performed a special form of kigong choreographed for the occasion by Dahn Yoga practitioners. By the end of Earth Day week, over one hundred volunteers in ten cities nationwide had performed over four hundred hours of service. That service included planting over 2200 trees.
In addition to these efforts, a special Mago Earth Festival was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 17, 2010, and an Earth Citizen Walk in Rockland County, New York on May 1, 2010. At the Cambridge event, 106 participants learned about improving themselves and paying attention to earth wisdom through booths on Dahn Yoga, Brain Education, aura readings, and the Earth Citizen Movement. Fourteen of them signed up for the Earth Citizen Movement. Through an interactive presentation of kigong, relaxation meditation, Dahn Yoga, Brain Wave Vibration, the DahnMuDo ki energy martial art, and games, many shared they could feel a personal connection to the earth and why being an Earth Citizen is important.
To top off the week’s events, Mayor Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu proclaimed April 24th as Earth Citizen Day at a ceremony at City Hall on April 23, 2010. The Proclamation, which was initiated by Diane Oda and supported by Hawaii State Representative Ken Ito, was in recognition of the local Earth Citizen Movement activities sponsored by the Hawaiian Dahn Yoga Centers and local chapters of the IBREA Foundation. It was awarded by the mayor as an event “… providing our community with an opportunity to celebrate our aina and focus on the preservation of our planet.“ The proclamation was also given in recognition of the on-going volunteer activities that ”increase participant’s sense of well-being and awareness of the earth.”
An all day Mago Earth Festival at He’eia State Park was held in celebration of the proclamation on April 24, 2010. The festival included continual Dahn Yoga classes, kigong demonstrations, experiential exercises for all ages, traditional Korean drumming, and a dance group. There was also a taro planting ceremony and a wish release ceremony in which participants released their wishes on pieces of rice paper into the ocean.
The event was coordinated by Nobuko Todd, Regional Manager of the Hawaii Dahn Yoga Centers, with the help of Kimberly Lowe, a volunteer Dahn Yoga instructor who has been offering ongoing free classes in the He’eia State Park, and the conservation group, Friends of He’eia. Ms. Todd shares, “The Mago Earth Festival was created by hopes and dreams to create a healthier, happier, more peaceful earth community in Hawaii. We hope the festival will offer an experience of connection with the earth and awaken the best in the human spirit.” Her sentiments were echoed by Earth Citizen organizers around the country.