Yuka Saionji, Deputy Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai
Thank you all so very much for attending the 12th Symphony of Peace Prayers. I would like to first give my deep gratitude and respect to all the religious leaders who offered their beautiful peace prayers, and to the international guests, honored guests, and our members and supporters for joining in this event together, as well as all the people joining us online.
This year, when my mother said she was going to read out the names of all the past prayer leaders and hosts of SOPP events, my first reaction was, “Really?” But that changed instantly, because the heart and core of our work and our movement is exactly the kind of infinite love and power that her example shows—honoring each and every soul and their pure acts of prayer for peace. That has always been the way that my mother expresses her love. My mother has always shown us the grand vision—the way toward the bright future. But even having the grandest vision, she would always be so moved and inspired by the smallest stories and the littlest things. Each story brought her so much joy—one prayer offered to humanity, or one peace pole that was planted somewhere.
The way this grand vision comes to life is through the small steps that we take together. In order to create peace in this world, we place importance on feeling peace in each breath that we take. To create peace in the hearts of billions of people is to see the beauty and hope in each light being lit within each person.
Since the time of Masahisa Goi, this has been our way—to plant seeds of peace, in the belief that one day, they will blossom, even though we don’t see any immediate result. This act of prayer has been our soul’s joy, our life’s mission, and the calling within our hearts. It’s as if we have been sending out prayers of peace as seeds all over the world. The seed itself has power, but when the seed finds its soil and grows in the souls of peace-loving people all over the world, finally, the seed blossoms with its true mission. A seed cannot grow without the soil, and the soil cannot nourish life without the seed.
But today, with so many people participating with us all over the world it feels like the seeds that we have been planting for all these years are taking root in individuals all around the world. Together, we’re trying to blossom beautifully all over the world, among so much darkness and so many broken places that we currently see today.
This year, our theme was bringing back the balance between the divine feminine and divine masculine. We had so many people supporting us worldwide, opening the doors and welcoming the divine feminine to blossom within individuals and society. Now, more than ever, the love, healing, and forgiveness of the feminine are needed—for all humanity and all living things. All the wars and conflicts between countries, religions, and peoples—the histories that we have created—need this healing and forgiveness.
Through this healing and forgiveness, our prejudices and fixed ideas will start to melt away. Like an ice cube melting in a ray of sun, the energy of the divine feminine and divine masculine coming into balance will create melting in the dark situations around the world. And from there, the pure intention of humanity—the love that embraces all pain, darkness, and shadow, and the power to see our true self and express our divine spark—will start to shine forth.
This work needs to be done by both individuals and the collective, so that we shine light in the darkest places and embrace the shadows in the bright places, both within ourselves and outside of us. May we become vessels to invite the divine feminine and divine masculine, and to be of service for the whole world, together creating a future filled with divine sparks. May peace prevail on Earth. May the whole world’s missions be accomplished. Thank you.
In a stream of color, the national flags poured onto the stage and down into the Prayer Field. Flag bearers spread out amongst the participants and turned toward the stage, where the Earth flag was the last to arrive. As the music reached its crescendo, the flags were held high in the air. Applause rang out across the Prayer Field and into the surrounding hills, as the twelfth annual Symphony of Peace Prayers came to a close.