A Wealth of Support
An international group of over 100 distinguished guests attended this year’s SOPP ceremony at Fuji Sanctuary. Many of them were past prayer leaders and longtime supporters of the SOPP, and as expressed by Masami Saionji in her opening remarks, their cooperation has been invaluable in making the SOPP such a great success over the years. Their names were read aloud, as each of them stood up to greet the participants.
Next, Byakko Chairperson Masami Saionji read a special message sent to the SOPP by Ms. Suzue Miuchi. Ms. Miuchi is a well-known Japanese manga (comic book) author and artist, and is also a longtime supporter of the world peace prayer movement. Although she was unable to attend the ceremony as planned, Ms. Miuchi offered a heartfelt message centered around the power of the prayers that are sent out at the SOPP.
Message from Ms. Suzue Miuchi (read by Masami Saionji)
It was 35 years ago that I learned of the prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth. That was when I realized for the first time that these words, which I had often seen on the street, were the words of a prayer.
I think this is a wish that resides inherently at the bottom of every person’s heart. What underlies this prayer is deep love, without which we could not live. We are born into this world and raised by our parents and people who care for us—family members, friends, and many other people we meet in our life. Everyone has enormous love within them. I hope that all of us realize this.
When we pray for world peace here at Fuji Sanctuary, transcending cultural differences and national borders, we realize that we human beings are all brothers and sisters living on this planet Earth. We are not alone. We are all connected as a family, and the root of our connection is our inherent love—caring for each other, respecting each other, and helping each other.
Developments and advances in science, medicine, and the economy are all for this purpose. It is peace prevailing on earth that will make civilization prosper and create our future.
I believe prayer has power. I believe this because when we pray, our heart is moved. Nothing happens where there is no heart or emotion. All the phenomena that appear in this world are manifestations of our heart.
The prayers for world peace by people who have gathered here at Fuji Sanctuary will rekindle the love that resides in all of us and spread a great energy throughout the world. May our prayers reverberate in the hearts of many people. Each time they come back here and pray for world peace, our peace consciousness grows deeper, and I believe that this will ultimately lead to the realization of true world peace.
Before the ceremony continued to its next program, Byakko Deputy Chairperson Yuka Saionji made an impromptu announcement to highlight the unexpectedly large number of people viewing the SOPP via the internet broadcast on Ustream. She reported that the Ustream page went down temporarily because there were so many connections. In addition, she mentioned that many of the viewers were sending messages of gratitude and support from all around the world, creating an even stronger feeling that the whole world was coming together as one for this event.