Yuka Saionji, Deputy Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for attending the 2014 Symphony of Peace Prayers. This year, we are celebrating our tenth annual SOPP. Every year, the SOPP has been developing and spreading across the globe from Fuji Sanctuary, and this year, the SOPP is being broadcast live around the world. In addition, we have thousands more people joining us. 92 cities in over 40 countries are hosting events linked with the SOPP. We have you to thank for this.
Through the religious leaders who guided us in beautiful prayers, the Prayer Field at Fuji Sanctuary is filled with peaceful vibrations. In watching these religious leaders offer their prayers, I saw that after they offered their prayers, they joined wholeheartedly in each of the other prayers that was presented. Through their existence, their presence, and their being, I was able to learn and feel what peace is all about.
When we give all our heart and all our energy to our prayer, and pray together in unison, we become the prayer. Then, we realize that we are no longer praying for peace, but that we are peace. Peace is not something we long for—peace is actually present here, in each of us. When we step back for a moment, we realize that peace is in the space surrounding us, and in each other.
When we bring our hearts and souls together to offer prayers for peace, we are also receiving so much. We are able to come together, and all that separates us melts away. No matter what religion, what faith, what color of skin, or what passport you have, or how old you are, it simply doesn’t matter. We can actually be peace in that moment as one. We can become love. We can cherish, respect, and admire each other and all existence on earth. That is a huge gift to receive. It is difficult to create this kind of experience alone, but together we can create it.
I believe this is not just a one-day event. When we are able to experience that moment of love and peace within each other, that will always stay in us. From then on, it’s up to us to access that from within. I also believe that all the prayers offered today will be brought back to each country through the flags representing them. In places where people are not able to pray for peace, where people are struggling to survive, our peace prayers will be sent. So please hold on to your feelings of love and peace for each country and for each other. Let us live in that moment and keep the prayers alive.
Lastly, I would again like to express my deepest gratitude and respect to all the prayer leaders, and to all of you who have joined us today with your beautiful hearts and souls. My deepest gratitude goes out to all of our honored guests, participants, and volunteers, and to the people connecting with us through the internet from all over the world. With your prayers, this sacred space is created. With your presence, this event is made possible.
So, on behalf of Byakko Shinko Kai, I would like to send our deepest gratitude to everyone here today, and to all of our friends across the world. Let us keep creating the Symphony of Peace Prayers together. Thank you very much. May peace prevail on Earth.
Music began to play once more, as the Earth flag took center stage, being held still for a moment until it was joined by the many flags of the world, which were carried down from the stage and out into the Prayer Field. The flag bearers filled the aisles of the Prayer Field, interspersed among the participants, who expressed their joy with enthusiastic applause. Then, the Earth flag ascended to center stage once more and was solemnly held forth, waving against the large backdrop of the Universal flag, before it and all the flags were lifted high in the air, bringing the tenth annual Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony to a close.