2 events: Bad Kissingen, Berlin
Bad Kissingen, Germany: report by Rita Erhardt
I began preparing for our SOPP ceremony in early spring of this year. A friend in Germany sent me flag cards for the ceremony, and it was nice to have these cards in my home—I could feel the power of these symbols that represent different countries and peoples.
On Saturday, May 17, my friend and co-organizer, Ingrid, arrived, and we had a very powerful meditation session together. On Sunday morning, we drove to the room where the ceremony would take place. We decorated it with mandalas and the Earth flag, displayed symbols for the elements, and put a peace pole in the center of the room on the floor, arranging the chairs in a circle.
Just after 10 am, the other seven participants arrived, and we started with a welcome and a brief introduction. We briefly explained the meaning of the ceremony and informed them that similar ceremonies were being held all over the world.
The first prayer was the peace prayer from St. Francis from Assisi, followed by peace prayers from Hinduism, the Baha’i faith, Sikhism, the Native American peoples, and the peoples of Africa, as well as a prayer for the oneness of all living things, and a wordless prayer with deep breathing. I was fascinated by the deep love and the warmth with which the prayers were read.
Then, Ingrid led a meditation to connect us with the ceremonies in Berlin, Fuji Sanctuary, and all the other places on earth. Some minutes of silence followed.
While we offered prayers for peace in each nation, there was a combination of lightness and concentration in the room. After we had prayed for eight nations, and while their flag cards were placed around the symbols of the elements on the floor, we changed our seats clockwise in absolute silence. It was so heartwarming to see how respectfully the cards were handled. During the whole ceremony, it seemed there was a special brightness, or gleam, over the cards. After the last flag was placed and the flag mandala was complete, we stayed in silence for a few minutes. In that moment, I felt that, as if someone had switched on a light, the whole mandala started to send out a huge ray of golden light towards heaven, and from this gigantic ray smaller rays went out. It looked like jets of water in a fountain—it was so unbelievable and wonderful.
Later, it was time to move our bodies, and we danced, full of joy. Holding hands with gratitude in our hearts, we closed the ceremony. As we had lunch together, we all felt exhausted, but content and lucky.
Afterwards, I got the following comments from participants: “I was surprised by the intensity of the ceremony.” “There was a lot of light and clearness!” “Wow, how powerful this was!” “I am overwhelmed from the strong energy.” “So much light and so much power.”
I can only express my infinite gratitude to all the people who have helped to increase the power of this ceremony through their prayers from month to month and from year to year. Thank you!
Berlin, Germany: report by Katharina Brocke
On the 16th of May, three of us met at my home in Berlin for peace prayers and the writing of mandalas, specifically to express our gratitude to water. We all felt greatly uplifted by the experience. The mandalas were then copied and laminated, and during our walk the following day we distributed them along the waterways we came across, as a loving blessing to the element of water.
On Saturday, May 17th, five of us walked along the Berlin Wall Trail, past a memorial garden and government buildings, to the Reichstag building and the Brandenburg Gate, where we ended our walk. During our time together we expressed our gratitude to nature, and prayed for and meditated on peace and forgiveness. Again, the blessing of prayer was uplifting and inspired a deep, loving presence.
On Sunday the 18th, 12 of us met at a private residence for our SOPP celebration, to connect with the SOPP at Fuji Sanctuary. After opening prayers, we honoured the service which the different religions have provided, affirmed their original divine essence, and visualised them purified and elevated into a unified field of consciousness. After this, we concluded our celebration with a flag ceremony to pray for peace in each country.
All the participants said that they loved coming together in this way. The weekend as a whole was very uplifting and nourishing. We could feel the light emanating from Fuji Sanctuary, and I’m sure it helped to elevate the vibrational level of Berlin, as well.