3 events: Findhorn, Kirkby-on-Bain, Winchester
Findhorn, Scotland, United Kingdom: report by Katharina Brocke
We held a Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony on 17 May at the Findhorn Community in Scotland. It was a beautiful and moving gathering, with about 60 people taking part.
We opened in the morning by consciously linking up with all the events happening in many different countries on this special day. We placed the symbols of the world’s major religions and spiritual traditions on the world flag in the middle of the circle and lit candles as we named and honoured them one by one. We called for their original inspiration to be reignited and their underlying truth to shine forth.
Next, we read a poem by Rumi called “One Song”. Here is an excerpt from the poem:
What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Then, we proceeded to dance and sing songs from different faith traditions with the theme of peace.
About two hours later, we continued with a flag ceremony in the garden at the Findhorn Foundation’s Cluny Hill College. Near the Peace Pole we prayed for the different continents and countries and finished by reading out the Fuji Declaration. People said they were deeply touched and enjoyed offering themselves to be of service in this way.
After the event one participant commented: “Thank you so much for holding a beautiful ceremony this afternoon in the peace garden at Cluny. I feel very touched by it. One of the callings for me being at Findhorn is to help realise peace in the world and in all hearts. Since the event, the question ‘What more can I do/be on the inner and outer to help this happen?’ feels more alive in me.”
Kirkby-on-Bain, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom: report by Gena Chapman, Diana Joy, and Antonella Villa
We celebrated the Symphony of Peace Prayers on 17th May at Courtlands in Kirkby-on-Bain, Lincolnshire. We were out in nature in the peaceful garden of Courtlands, and 17 people participated altogether.
Host Jill Hilton gave an opening prayer, which was followed by a meditation given by Jil Greenewood. We shared angel cards and inspirational cards which all agreed were apt for the occasion. Jane Wise led us in a song in celebration of peace before we joined together for tea and cakes. We then came together again to give a short introduction to the Symphony of Peace Prayers and explain the Fuji Declaration, with handouts, so that those interested could sign the declaration if they felt so inclined.
We then commenced our flag ceremony to pray for peace in each country, with all taking part, including some moments of silence for the earthquake victims in Nepal. The ceremony was blessed at the end by Gregg Chapman playing the didgeridoo. Our celebration was further enhanced when the sun came out! We closed by sharing tea and cake. Some of us also watched the live broadcast from Fuji Sanctuary—it was just amazing!
Winchester, United Kingdom: report by Kyoko Yasuda
By linking with Fuji Sanctuary through the internet, I was able to feel for the first time the oneness of our planet Earth.
At 7:30 pm on May 16 in the UK, I tuned in to the broadcast from Fuji Sanctuary and began preparations for participating in the SOPP ceremony. At that time I could still see blue sky out my window. When the pre-dawn ceremony was finished, the sky was almost dark here, while I could see on the screen that at Fuji Sanctuary it was growing light, and I felt our connectedness on this Earth. Later, when the SOPP ceremony began at Fuji Sanctuary, it was the middle of the night here, and as the ceremony progressed, I could sense our own dawn approaching. By the end of the ceremony, the morning sun was rising outside my house, while at Fuji it had reached its highest point. For me, the movement of the sun enhanced my experience of the SOPP.
Although the SOPP is at present a special day for us, for the sun and other stars and planets it is but one day in their unchanging cycle. I was able to feel a sense of conviction that in the same way, the SOPP will one day be an everyday event for us as well.
I had originally planned to stay linked just with Fuji Sanctuary for the entire time, but when the ceremony at Fuji finished, I felt that I wanted to continue my participation and consciously experience a full 24-hour cycle. So, I finished off my own SOPP event by re-reading the Fuji declaration and holding a mini flag ceremony to again pray for peace in each country.