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Seeds of Heart in South Korea

2017 retreat group in Korea

Over the years, the Center for Courage & Renewal has partnered with this kindred organization in South Korea to develop an allied program called “Gardening People’s Hearts.”

Seeds of Heart LogoOur Vision

We support people who are searching for authenticity in their life to listen to their inner voice and to recover their inner integrity, and to sow positive seeds of change in their lives and in our society.

Education Center for Seeds of Heart

02-756-5669(82- 2-756-5669)

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We grow these seeds of change as . . .

▪ we hold workshops and retreats helping people to understand and care for their own heart, and to live and work integrated with it.

▪ we support and guide people to recover their heart in daily lives. Living integrated with their heart leads to greater mutual respect and attentiveness in their relationships. Living on from that inner respect for both self and others, they learn to improve life-giving communication skills in their work places and communities. This slow, but confirmed personal change becomes the seeds to grow mutually life-giving change in our society.

▪ By helping people to listen to their inner voice, we cultivate ways to form a sound trustworthy society in which diverse cultural and educational activities are accepted.

Our Main Works

The Gardening People’s Heart (GPH) Seasonal Retreats
As the sister program of the Courage to Teach Retreats, seasonal retreats have been held for the last 6 years, and this year, the 6th GPH retreats are being held in two circles in two provinces.

Invitational Retreats
As our introductory two day program, it is held formally twice a year (or more in cases of requests by other groups ) usually with the theme, “Let Your Life Speak”.

Circles of Trust for Teachers
As a teacher development program in Korea, it has started this year after piloting. It is composed of 6 time seminars with a two day retreat.

Facilitator Preparation Program for GPH Retreats
Beginning at the end of 2013, a two year long preparation to grow facilitators of GPH Retreats is underway with the support of the Center for Courage & Renewal.

>>Find details about these programs at

6 dayd in winter retreat  2 fall retreat circle

Our Public Conferences till Now

2010 Symposium: “Being Centered in the Shaking Ground”
Introduction to Parker Palmer’s Circles of Trust
Held at Yongsan National Museum and Theater with 200 participants.

2013 Book Launch and Debate: “Why is the Heart Important in Democracy?”
Held in commemoration of publishing “Healing the Heart of Democracy (by Parker Palmer)” in Korean. At Haja Center with 100 participants.

2013 event - a book concert  2010 symposium on CT

Our Staff and their voices

Staff of Seeds of Heart

Director: Lee, Hyeon-Kyeong (called Sunshine)
“Seeds of the heart activities have let me understand that we live and flow together. We have been working hard for people to connect their inner life with their outer life, thus for them to gain the strength to live congruently with their heart, and make true changes. Compared with other methods, I am sure Circle of Trust Approach has such depth, and much more potential to grow in our society.”

Vice Director: Kim, Chan-Ho (called Aloha)
“When someone asked me whether this Circle of Trust work is a movement or not, I answered, “Yes, it is in that one’s own inner voice gives oneself the energy to recover and start anew.” I think Seeds of Heart work can create a base connecting the power of people’s hearts where many and different people can tap into its inner fountain of power, and which sustains them in their workplaces still after the retreat.”

Vice-Director: Shon, Seon-Sook (Called Siot)
“Thanks to our work, I have learned to see what is true and important for me and people related to me. One is that I leaned too much toward outside work not caring for my health harmoniously. And I have been changing my eyes “soft” when I look at my family and colleagues-from judging or worrying to respecting their own hearts. Our work has led me go to the way to respect both myself and others.”

Planning Part Leader: Cho, Young-Hoon (Called Young-Hoon Seed)
“When I met Parker Palmer, I found big joy in two things. One is that he said, “Finding your own inner sacredness is what spirituality is all about”. The other is that one main purpose of Circles of Trust work is to recover one’s hidden wholeness. I hope that circles of trust be held in many places again and again in Korea, and that in our society everybody comes to live within the Spirit, the Divine nature inside. And I hope all of us share mutual respects even in public atmosphere.”

R&D Part Leader: Heo, Hyeon-Sook (called Hanok)
“As each wild animal has its own color, feeling, and life experience, each human has his or her own unique life. However, the world forces people to be away from their true nature. Whenever we form a circle of trust, I find it anew that we come back in touch with our own inner voice, and nourish our true nature; the circle can be called as a forest in which we are protected to grow our true life, and also the forest which we are forming together vividly experiencing that all the people in the circle are connected to each other. That experience becomes the seed to live clearly following our inner voice in daily life.”

Management Part Leader: Jeong, Hye-Sook (called Leaf)
“I was moved by the changes that I could make through the Circle of Trust experiences to listen to my inner voice. Then, I came to think it is important to share this experience with others because the changes in my life are so powerful. “Feeling that I am where I am supposed to be” is one big thing I want to share in the Circle of Trust.”

Participants’ own voices

3 dyad in fall retreat

1 fall retreat scene


8 gathering in spring retreat

7 spring retreat scene

“It seems like I learned a way to truly love myself in a warm atmosphere of mutual trust, where I could listen to my inner voice saying that I pushed myself too much with self-arrogance. I feel much freer now.”
Eun-Ju, Peace Activist

“The soft bell sound waking me. And, the warm hearts accepting me as I am.”
Jeong, Hee-Yeong, alternative school teacher

“The circle of trust is a place . . .
a. where I can show me as I am. There is trust among circle friends, and it allows my true self to show up in any situation.
b. where I was able to let down the walls I had built up, and with frequent silence, I was able to listen to my own inner voice more clearly. There, I could see the negative energy inside that was hurting me, and hear my true inner voice that was beyond the negativity.
c. where we were often given time to reflect on nature. As I watched the dance of nature in the flowing water and in the blowing wind, I was in oneness with my true self.
d. Also, the circle of trust is a blessing shining a ray of light in my darkness, and makes me aware of my originality. In the circle, I have realized there is light within me that was already shining brightly, and will shine itself fully till its time is done.”
Flowing Water (nickname), middle school teacher

“In the circle of trust, I felt a strong sense of belonging in a safe place, and connected to each other without fear. The poems, essays, and metaphors in them came into my heart clearly, and flew away. For me, the circle experience was that of reaffirming trust and hope in “people” anew.”
Breathe (nickname), program planner for middle and high school students

“With the circle of trust experience, I could accept where I was standing. I decided to stand in the “tragic gap” between me and my work and people.”
Lee, Gyeong-Jae, alternative school teacher

“It was an opportunity to reflect on what it means to invite others into my inner world, and to receive invitations into their inner world. It was a meaningful process to become more aware of the reality that we are all different, but still connected to the universal life as living beings, and also a meaningful experiment to see how me and other participants became more present through the year.”
Hye-Yeon, alternative school teacher

“Quietness. Waiting. Looking back. Listening. Asking differently. I am going to permeate all these into my daily life. It has been such an opportunity to learn to listen more and wait more for the precious people in my life, and to be confirmed that we can grow together.”
Beginning Mind (nickname), medical profession

“I think we need circles of trust in our families, in our schools, and in our work places. From the seasonal retreats, I learned to trust others first, and to let go of my selfish idea that everyone should agree with me. Nature embraced me warmly there. Comfort and acceptance for my wounds and deep emotions; gentleness was there . . .”
Peace In and Out (nickname)

10 dyad in summer retreat