There is something very special about spending so much time with people who start out strangers and end up friends. By the last days of this trip, I felt I was surrounded by respectful extended family members who were always nearby. I made friends with people from Norway, Scotland, England, Germany, Texas, and many other places… all of sharing respectful connections with one another through our practice of Kuk Sool Won.
We ate breakfast together at our hotels, trained together on the beach near Busan, attended a two-day tournament festival together, and visited places of great natural beauty and historical significance together. We enjoyed informal times together, and dressed up for a celebratory dinner. Regardless where we were or what we were doing, I felt an ever-increasing sense of togetherness far beyond anything I could logically label or identify.
I loved visiting some beautiful natural places including a gorgeous beach near Busan, a beautiful Buddhist temple surrounded by mountains near Daegu, and a tranquil garden with lake at a palace in Seoul. I loved walking through marketplaces in various towns in South Korea, and seeing people I recognized from our traveling group.
I was surprised to find myself missing my hundreds of friends when I returned home to California… feeling an emptiness when walking the streets of my hometown without the familiar sight of dozens of people I was getting to know strolling nearby.
In Korea I can’t escape the concept of being part of a group–a concept which is understood by Koreans, yet rather foreign to most westerners. This idea of group identity and group consciousness is really interesting to me, because it reminds me how all of us have the ability to stay connected to everyone and everything that we really feel a connection with.
This idea means that you can expect to experience synchronicity and being at the right place at the right time when you are connected to and entangled with a group. In quantum physics the concept of entanglement has to do with particles moving in synchrony despite being physically separated, many meters apart.
You can actually experience what it feels like to be entangled with a group that you’re connected to just by experimenting with it. Notice whether it’s not true that against all odds you are there when a friend of yours happens to be calling or stopping by. You just naturally tend to be in the right place at the right time to talk to the right person. This is called synchronicity sometimes, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll notice these synchronicities are actually occurring with people you feel connected to.
While westerners often operate from an assumption that we are unique individuals, functioning autonomously, separated from everything else–in reality we are all part of a greater whole. We can’t really succeed until we all succeed. You can’t really win until we all win. These are my own beliefs, but I invite you to ask yourself, “How good can it get when you feel entangled with and connected to others?”
Here’s the video summary of this blog post that I recorded in Daegu, South Korea: