2 events: Paris, Varaire
Paris, France: report by Yuko Nishida
On May 19, we held an SOPP ceremony near the Champs-Élysées in Paris. There were four French people and five Japanese, for a total of nine participants. Some of the participants were joining for the first time this year, and the ceremony was carried out in a calm, gentle atmosphere.
First, we had a prayer from Catholicism, and then we recited the Buddhist Heart Sutra. After that, all participants joined in praying for peace in each country. We used flag cards and created a mandala with them in the middle of the table as we prayed for each country. All the participants agreed that it was wonderful to use the national flags, which helped us to be aware of the people in each country. One participant commented that having the flag cards made it easier to concentrate on the prayers, as they felt like an embodiment of each country. Another said that the flags looked so beautiful, and as he looked at them he felt at one with the people in each country.
One woman who was taking part in the ceremony for the first time said that it was a great joy to participate, and she felt filled with peaceful energy. I, too, felt that this year’s SOPP was filled with love and light.
Varaire, France: report by Satyakaman
May 19 was a great day for us. Not only was it the day of the SOPP, but it was also the last day of Sri Tathata’s visit to our center in Varaire—a remarkable coincidence! It was a glorious day with about 600 people at the center, and a wonderful atmosphere of love and harmony.
Within Sri Tathata’s program in the marquee tent in the morning session, all of us with Sri Tathata had some minutes of silence dedicated to the connection with the SOPP worldwide, and to send our intentions in favour of world peace.
Then, towards 1 pm, Maitreyi Amma and a large number of the people who had gathered for the day went to the peace pole at our center for a special prayer. We chanted ‘Om’ and had a time of silent connection with the SOPP.
The weather was not so good that day, but much better than weather reports had told, and some sunshine appeared at the time of the prayer at the peace pole! The energy was very elevated. Infinite love and appreciation to everyone!