5 events: Artzentales, Girona, Olazti, Palma de Mallorca, Urrez
Artzentales, Spain: report by Lola Sousa
Once again, we met in Basque Country to celebrate the Symphony of Peace Prayers together with all the other gatherings across the globe. This time we held our gathering in the province of Bizkaia, in a beautiful location, at the invitation of friends from the Amalurra Community, who have been attending this ceremony over the years. The day was gray and drizzly in the morning, but it cleared gradually and by the time the ceremony was over the sun had started to shine shyly and left us a beautiful afternoon to enjoy outdoors.
This year the celebration had a new meaning, because the Fuji Declaration was going to be officially launched to the world, and at our event, too, we introduced the declaration. We delivered the full text and gave the participants (more than 50) the opportunity to sign it right there. We also gave them a ‘certificate’ with the key statements after they signed the declaration.
We started with a piano performance and a welcome message from the founder of the Amalurra project, Irene Goikolea, who was in the United States and made the effort—at dawn for her—to connect with us via Skype. Then we gave an introduction to the Symphony of Peace Prayers and the Fuji Declaration, and read the message that Masami Saionji addressed to all events taking place worldwide.
After a guided meditation by a representative of the Brahma Kumaris—in which we focused especially on Nepal—we took turns reading, point by point, the five main statements of the Fuji Declaration. Then, we had contributions from various groups and individuals related to each of the points of the declaration: (1) Peace Prayer of St. Francis, in Basque, by a Christian group; (2) wordless prayers for peace; (3) a reflection on our interconnectedness with all living beings, as the Amalurra Community’s contribution; (4) Dances of Universal Peace, and (5) another invocation to close the circle of prayer that we were weaving together.
At this time, all together, calmly but out loud, and focused on our being through breathing, we made a statement of our rebirth, individually and collectively, to our innate sacred consciousness—the divine spark that shines in all of us.
We continued with a flag ceremony in which we sent our peace vibration to all the countries of the world, saying the word ‘peace’ in the official languages of the different countries. We finished holding hands in silence, forming a peace circle. We solemnly sang the Basque song “Agur Jaunak”, which is sung at particular ceremonies to welcome people or to say goodbye. It says: Greetings, Sirs… We all are God’s creation. You and us too. Greetings, Sirs… Here we are. Here we are and we will continue here because it is our land, here we are to serve you.
Of course we ended up celebrating our joy with a final dance and lots of hugs. The Amalurra community created a brief video of the event, which can be viewed online at: https://youtu.be/qId2_917TJ4.
Special thanks to all the friends of Amalurra. We could hold this great event in this beautiful place thanks to their generous invitation. And thanks to all the people who worked on and participated in this gathering—because only together can we make it happen.
Girona, Spain: report by Jacques Muguruza
I connected with the ceremony at Fuji Sanctuary through the internet, from Girona, Spain. I can say that my experience was truly fantastic. Surely, the energy must have been even stronger for the people at Fuji Sanctuary, but I was able for the first time to see the event live, and it was wonderful! The energy was fantastic. I could feel sparks of light reaching me from a distance!
Even in the weeks before the event, I had experienced a sense of excitement and positive tension. Through the Fuji Declaration and all that it contains, I felt myself reconnected physically with Fuji Sanctuary, even before the SOPP ceremony began.
I really believe that a door was waiting to be opened, and it is just what happened. May the ‘spark-light’ of peace spread rapidly on Earth!
Olazti, Spain: report by Ricardo Martín
On the afternoon of May 17, five people met at my house for a peace gathering. It was a beautiful gathering. I prepared the room with plants, animals, minerals, a mandala, a postcard and a world map. At about 7 pm, I noticed a ray of sun (which appeared in a somewhat cloudy sky) coming through a window and illuminating the entire map of the world. It remained this way until the sun went down behind the roofs in front of our house.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain: report by Marta Nogareda Moreno
Our ceremony took place in the Bellver forest, as in previous years. I choose that place because of the silence and natural surroundings so close to the city of Palma.
Eight of us gathered amongst the trees, with our prayers, songs and the flags of the world. After nine years celebrating the SOPP I can feel these flags as part of me. And, because this ceremony is an opportunity for creativity, we passed each and every flag from hand to hand. This way, all of us had the chance to touch and pray individually for each nation. Our mandala of flags became a square at the initiative of one of the participants. And I think it looked great!
The world is beautiful, we are beautiful, and our heart connected to the rest of the living world is the best tool to overcome our fears and divisions. With a clear mind and a clean heart we can face the challenge of being brave in order to share the world.
Urrez, Spain: report by Asun Serna
Flowing like a river, we once again proceeded toward the meeting place that welcomes us year after year, in the friendly Esplanade, deep in the woods. The wind joined us and vigorously waved the flags we carried to represent the continents of the world. We paused for a moment at every turn in the path—for a dance, a prayer, or a reflective silence.
This year, there was a special affinity in the small group of people that met in Urrez. You could tell this from our ceremony. There was true empathy, lightness, almost improvisation, motivated by the coordinated spirit of the group. We had to change the way we did our flag ceremony, because the wind made the flags fly away!
After the ceremony, we offered special prayers for Nepal, and placed other little flags around our rustic peace pole that presides over the landscape. We finished with dances, songs, and hugs. Later, we had a shared meal full of laughter, good humor and gestures of affection. About half of the participants came for the first time. Our experience was that if the vibration is good, everything is easy.