Having Positive Intensity

Jan. 24th, 2009, HQ Church Service

It has been one of the great shifts in my own mind to change the idea that we have the family separate from the other religious training or spiritual practice, but to see that family IS our training IS our practice arena. It is our place to become better, more mature, and more parental.

Welcoming remarks:

Yeon Ah Nim

Good afternoon brothers and sisters! Today we have such a beautiful weather with high blue sky and with snow outside. And we are always welcoming you and thanking you for being here with us in the sanctuary. For those who are joining with us via internet, we also welcome and thank you as well. Welcome brothers, Welcome sisters!

Hyung Jin Nim

Welcome Brothers and sisters on this warm winter day. We’re very happy to have you here.

We’re going to start with Father’s words, Cheon Seong Gyeong, Page 618: “All of you must have the heart that is seeking something. After praying in the morning you should be able to sense that something good will happen that day. Do not think that something good will happen on its own course, but rather actively start looking for whatever it is. This type of attitude is what you should have in leading a life of faith. Therefore, feelings, experiences, and putting them into action will bring life to you.”


I love that. Bothers and sisters, you know, everyday, when we start morning training we always try to start with this kind of mentality. It’s not only that we say, “Ok. today is a good start,’ but we are EXPECTING (it). As Father says, you have to be able to sense that something good will and should happen today. Not only on its own course, but we’re going to go actively seek it out. I love that. That’s very important, that attitude of aliveness, that attitude of expecting good things in our lives, not only in the future, but even today. That attitude of, “Yes, something is going to be right around the corner. God is preparing something for me.”

When we have that attitude of expectancy, then we start discovering all the wonderful things that are actually in our lives. Brothers and sisters, it’s always so important to remember to focus on the goodness of God in our lives. That is how he has led us here up till now. How He has helped us get up through our obstacles. How he has at times helped us to work through and overcome doubts and fears and be able to become the people we are today.

And even though we had obstacles, and people that were trying to tear us down, or Archangels that were against us telling us we couldn’t do it, but we’re here. We made it at least this far. We always have to give ourselves that kind of credit. Brothers and sisters, if we start up with that kind of mentality, then we know that this day will be God’s Day, the day we’ll give him glory and joy. When we do that, then, as those blessings go up, and those praises go up, then the blessings are sure to come down. If you believe it let’s give it up for God. Come on, brothers and sisters, give it up!

Once again welcome to service and let’s really have a wonderful service today on this beautiful new, new year. In Korea we have New Year’s Day twice. Happy new year everybody!

Prayer by Hyung Jin Nim:

Heavenly Father, thank You for this day. We thank You that we’re able to join together here, dear God, before You in the sanctuary.

Father, it’s cold outside but inside here we can feel the warmth of Your presence. We can feel that You care for us, that You have been watching us. Father, You have great things planned and in store for us. Father we pray that 2009 will be an exciting new year. A year filled with new fruition, new blessing, Father, new maturity, Father, new abundance, new sharing in our life.

Father, we pray we may become the people that You have designed us to become, truly, those people that can be great blessings to this world. Thank you so much for letting us join here today. We pray that You may be with each of the families here today. Bless them completely. Father, be with those families joining us across the globe, via internet, wherever they may be, in any country. Father, we pray that You’ll be with them today.

Father we pray that through this service, through this gathering of hearts, that, Father, we may bring You joy, inspiration, enthusiasm and a new found meaning and aliveness when you look at us. Once again we’re tremendously grateful. We offer our everlasting joy and humble gratitude to You. In our names as central blessed families, Aju!

Interesting story by Hyung Jin Nim:

We always start with something a little interesting. I heard of an interesting story. It was a party, after the ancestry lecture, and a whole group of women were gathered. They started to talk to each other. Tina was talking to Claire, and she asked her about the ancestry. Claire said: “My ancestry dates all the way back to Alexander the Great!” And Caroline came in and said: “My ancestry dates all the way back to Constantine!” Angie came in the conversation and said: “My ancestry dates all the way back to Genghis Khan! Tina, what about you? What did you find out about your ancestors?” Tina looks very sad and she says: “Well, I really don’t know.” And the other ladies asked her: ” Oh well, I guess your ancestry doesn’t go back that far anyway, it’s probably a very short ancestry line.” And Tina says: “Yes, it’s very sad; we’ve lost all our records in the flood!”

True Parents Declaration:

“These are my True Parents, the eternal King and Queen of Peace, and liberator of God’s Heart! They have saved me from my past. They have blessed my future, and they give True Love, Forgiveness and Happiness today and I choose to receive it! My mind is awake, my hear is open wide, and from this moment I change forever! In my name, AJU!

Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:

Brothers and sisters, today I want to talk about having Positive Intensity in our lives. In order to live the blessed life, we must learn to have a balance of positive intensity in our lives. Whatever we do, in order to excel at it, we must learn to have intense focus and intense and unrelenting improvement, clarity and purpose, in whatever we do.

And too many people think intensity is like an outward gesture, a physical gesture or expression. But really, intensity always begins from within. Having that inner fire, that inner intensity in all that you do, is one of the keys to live our blessed life.

When we look at the Providential History we can see that God is quite intense. He’s been fighting throughout Providential History, not only to save his lost children, but to believe in them, believe in them through the struggles, believe in them through the disappointments, believe in them through the pain, and overcoming these kinds of obstacles. He stayed patient. He had to have this type of intensity these last thousands of years. This doesn’t come out of no practice or no effort. This was very intense. And it couldn’t have been done without His intense love, His intense perseverance.

We know that because of True Parents that “Han,” that heart, is now liberated. And now, when God looks at His children, when He sees our Blessed Central Families, He can look at us with pride, knowing that He waited patiently for a good cause, knowing that it was worth to wait. And that’s one of the biggest keys, one of the biggest things we can understand about God’s patience, His positive intensity.

And whatever path we are in, we, too, need that intense passion, that persevering power if we want to succeed. “But I’ve never been an intense person, how can I have intensity?” But if you think about your life, if you’ve ever done well on your test, if you’ve ever been on a diet and you’ve defeated the chocolate cookie on one day, even if it’s just one time, if you’ve ever intensely worried about your future, or intensely worried about somebody, if you’ve ever nagged somebody intensely, you have intensity! We may use it in the wrong direction, but we still have intensity.

We have to understand that intensity is a kind of passion. Intensity in our lives is like a discipline. It can be trained, nurtured, like any other characteristic in our lives. It is something that we can use as a tool; it is something that, if we use it to forward motions in our lives in a positive way, it can be a great catalyst for our lives.

One of my sisters, Sun Jin Nuna (Korean word for elder sister), a couple of years ago, she gave me a wonderful rubric that she learned in psychology class in Harvard. And she did this when we were pursuing a path, discussing chosen destiny etc. , discussing how to find what God has chosen for you, how to be the person God wants you to become.
And she gave me that wonderful rubric. This is what I initialized S.J.M. model. That’s her initials (Sun Jin Moon). Each one of the letters stands for something important: The S stands for Strength, the J stands for Joy and the M stands for Meaning. If we do our job just to pay bills or for our status, it might be not a lasting joy in our lives, it might be not something that we truly call our calling, something that will give tremendous enrichment over a long run.

But if we review our life and our path, if we ask whether or not our work is connected to our Strength, Joy and our Meaning, and if all these things overlap and we find ourselves in that little green triangle that you see on the screen, then we know that we’re doing something that God has asked us to do. We will then know that God is leading us in the right direction. And then, through that we will find a natural intensity, something that you’re good at, something that you know and find meaning from and that you’re happy to do. You have a natural intensity that comes out of that, a positive intensity, that helps you continuously to improve in that arena.

One of the top Korean comedians, a female comedian, and her name is Choi Hye Ryun – the Korean brothers and sisters will know of that comedian Choi Hye Ryun – she’s a top female comedian here in Korea. This lady is intense. My wife is reading a book on her because she is studying Japanese. And this woman, this sister – you probably saw her on TV -she’s a very well known comedian here in Korea. But because of the Korean wave, the popularity of the Korean music and actors, etc. it went all over, especially in Asia. Actually Harvard is doing a class on Korean wave, studying how big the Korean impact is.

Because of that she decided: “I want to become a comedian, not only in Korea, but also in Japan.” And so, she went over and she went to talk to one of the top managers in Japan, in the entertainment business there, and requested whether or not she could have a contract, if she could work with the Japanese media, if she could do something in Japan.

But she had a major impediment in front of them, a major problem; she didn’t speak a word of Japanese, not even ONE word. They told her: “If you come back within 6 months and you have mastered Japanese, we’ll think about you, we’ll THINK about it!” She ended up coming back to Korea; she contacted her local language institute, right down here in Insa-dong. She contacted them and she requested from them a private tutor. The lady was working a full time schedule, she was raising 2 children, and taking care of her husband, and from midnight to 2 o’clock, her private teacher was coming to study Japanese with her everyday. She was intense about her passion, her career. She knew that she wanted and needed to go beyond Korea. Everyday, as she said, she memorized hundred words, every single day she learned new vocabulary.

Those who were studying S.E.T., you know how hard this is. Hundred words a day! And later on she memorized hundred Japanese sentences per day. Now she’s a regular show host on the program “Sunday Japan” in Japan. Se works 3-4 days in Korea, she works 3 in Japan. Every week she’s traveling back and forth. And as soon as she arrives in Japan, she reads 25 Japanese newspapers, to practice and keep up on her Japanese. That’s what I’m talking about when we talk about intensity. If we want to do something at that top level, we’ve got to have that intensity.

In the religious role we see this as well. In 5th century, in Byzantine Christianity, we see a very interesting saint, a Christian saint. His name was St Simeon the Elder. He was born in Syria. The Roman Empire was split at that time. And Syria was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire. And now Christianity was spreading very rapidly.

He joined a monastery when he was sixteen years old and at some point in his monastic career he was in a castle ruin, and he found this big pillar. He went up there to do his devotions at first. He went up there because he felt inspired and he prayed up there, feeling closer to heaven. More and more the word got out that he was doing some very special training and practice.
So the top monks in his monastery went to test him whether or not he was doing this kind of practice out of arrogance, whether or not he was doing it to become famous, or if he was doing this truly out of humility and devotion. They said: “Come down from that pillar if you have real devotion. Come down.” And he started to come down; he showed no ego about it. He was willing to come down, no problem. And when he showed the willingness to come down, the monks said: “Okay, you can stay up there. You can keep training and practicing up there.”

He ended up living on top of such a pillar for 37years. He practiced devotional practices up there, that’s quite intense! He was so famous throughout the Byzantine Empire that aristocrats and politicians sought after him. Even the Emperor Theodosius and Emperor Leo came to seek his counsel. Whenever they were dealing with problems they ended up climbing up a crazy pillar, meeting St. Simeon asking him what to do with the empire that they were leading.

But despite his fame he always showed an intense humility, he always showed that even in this intensity it was not an intensity based on becoming a larger ego but having a greater gratitude for life. It was a positive thing. When people saw that, they were inspired.

We also see these very intense traditions in Buddhism, especially in Chinese Buddhism. I’m sure all of you know the famous Shaolin Monks in the Henan Province. They are training in the Hung San Mountains. They are training their martial moves in the mountains. (Showing a slide of a Shaolin Monk in the mountains). They are training in the mountains, doing their ascetic training, running up those hills, doing push-ups down the hills etc.

Also in the Tibetan tradition we see monks that can withstand immense cold, and they practice by using their body heat. When I was at Harvard, Dr. Benson who was Head of the Medical Department there, did a study in the 1980’s. He went to the Himalaya Mountains to document these monks. He videotaped them during their training. And then, in the coldest night in the Himalayan Mountains, when temperatures were about minus 30, they ascended to the highest peaks in these frigid temperatures!

Also the winds are extreme up there and the monks go up there basically with their underwear! They go up there, and next to a Pagoda they sleep outside in the snow. They cover themselves up for 8 hours, and then they wake up and go home.
Dr. Benson and his team were there. They had their triple goose feather jackets on, they had their snow pants on, they had their boots and hiking gear on, their goggles and their beards, and they were freezing! And the monks are sleeping there with their little ice sheet blankets, they get up and go home. Of course, this can’t be explained scientifically. Dr. Benson said: “This cannot be explained scientifically. This is something where the mind truly was able to take dominion over the body.” He wrote a very interesting article about it.

In our lives it is also important to have intensity. Of course, intensity used wrongly can also be too intense and can actually impede your growth, progress and what God has prepared for you. We need to have a balance of intensity. We need to know that a natural intensity comes when you find your strength, your meaning, purpose and joy matching (overlapping). In living the blessed life it is very important to cultivate that.

In our tradition we may have prayer and meditation as well. But also creating the Four Position Foundation with our family, creating a strong family environment, can be seen as our central religious idea, religious practice. Of course, we have prayer, of course we have meditation, but at the same time one of our practices is cultivating powerful relationships in our own lives.
In my life, every morning, training is a great joy. I have been doing this for 9, 10 years now, and it’s so important for me to start my day like that. It’s practicing patience, wisdom, focus, centering myself everyday. Every single day we start here at 2:30 in the morning, we climb a mountain here in Seoul and we train in meditation, we pray, we do 100 bows, we do all sorts of training up there. Today it was quite cold by the way, and when we return home it’s very, very tempting to say: “Okay, training is done; now we can go home and relax!”

But that’s the problem. We have to understand that our training doesn’t end when the training session is done. It’s just beginning. When we enter our home, when we come back from work, then becoming a better husband, a better father, becoming wiser in our relationships, is also part of our practice. The wisdom, the perseverance that we have gained through intense individual spiritual practices has to be transferred and continued into our family practices as well.

In our theology, cultivating a parental part is one of our central practices. If our Dojo is the place where we train and meditate and practice our religious devotion, then the spousal relationships in our families are our Dojos as well, where we practice the way and the actualization. For me one of the greatest things that have helped me to constantly work on my own relationships in my family is bringing this positive intensity from the morning practice into my family training, into my training to being patient and mature.
It has been one of the great shifts in my own mind to change the idea that we have the family separate from the other religious training or spiritual practice, but to see that family IS our training IS our practice arena. It is our place to become better, more mature, and more parental.

And this helps me to regain a lot of energy after a long day when I and my wife return from church late. When we return from church late we don’t say: “Okay, now it’s time to relax at home.” No, no, we don’t say that. We give each other a High Five and say: “Now it’s time for more training!” and then we go in to our kids, happy and enthusiastic. This kind of thing is so important in our life. We always try to do that.

One of my wife’s main training is to always meet the children with a smile and enthusiasm. You may be so tired and exhausted that day, but when you get home, don’t say: “Time to relax!” No, no. You have to say: “Time for more training!” and go and meet them with a smile, give them that smile, give them that joy. They deserve it and they need that to be nurtured as they grow up.
My wife is also very intense. Right now she is in fasting training! I tried to stop her but she said: “I have to do it!” She is doing the fasting training; she is very tired but still always, before we go home, she is ready for more training, ready to meet the kids.
In our lives that’s very important to have that kind of intensity whatever we do, to have that kind of positive intensity. In 2009 let’s have this kind of joyful intensity in our life, an intensity that’s not too extreme. If it’s too extreme it can take away our energy. Intensity that is balanced helps us to improve and makes us more mature, passionate and enthusiastic about our lives.

Let’s give that joy of being alive to our children. They need to see that, they need that in 2009. Let’s give it to our spouse, she needs it, he needs it. We need to give away this enthusiasm and positive intensity, and then it comes back stronger. Whatever God has asked you to do, make sure that you have your joyful intensity. Make sure it’s matching up with your strength. Make sure it’s giving you meaning in life. Make sure it’s giving you joy and that are moving through it. When we feel weak and the obstacles seem great, remember that that is a sign that the enemy is getting scared. He is trying to bring you down, trying to make you give up. That’s a clear sign that you are on your way to getting to the next level.

Let’s make a commitment: When I get home from work this year, I’m not just coming home trying to relax, not listening to the children; no, let’s say: “Okay, time for training.” Give your wife a High Five and tell her: “Honey, I’m ready for training. Bring it on, children!” Let’s have that kind of attitude.

If we do that in 2009, brothers and sisters, I know, we are going to find ourselves with more victory, more illumination and more peace in this year, being a blessing to this world. If you receive this message let’s give it up for God and True Parents!

Transcribed by: Mrs. Ae-Ryeon Hokanson, Ms. Diane Chaillie & Mrs. Regina Shin

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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