3 events: Bad Kissingen, Berlin, and Prerow
Bad Kissingen, Germany: report by Rita Erhardt
This year, there were two SOPP events in Bad Kissingen—a small gathering of two people on the 8th of May, and another on the 15th of May, with 13 participants. Both events followed the same general program. I was surprised at how powerful the first gathering was with only two people. I felt as if the earth would soak up the energy of our peace prayers all the way down to its core, and hand it out from there to the places where it was needed.
On the 15th, after a warm welcome we formed a circle holding each other’s hands. In silence and with conscious breathing we focused on being present and aware that we came together to pray for peace on earth. We looked into our hearts to find out where we ourselves are not at peace. Accepting our personal issues, we invited peace into our hearts and thoughts, and imagined ease and harmony for all the ceremonies taking place worldwide. We held a short meditation on oneness, and then I gave some information and explanation about the rest of the program.
The next topic was the Soul of WoMen campaign and the necessity of a balance between the feminine and masculine part in each of us, as well as in our societies. We kept in our mind the daily circumstances of the majority of women worldwide. Each participant came up with one word representing the energy of the divine feminine and wrote it down. We also thought of women who have played an important role in our own lives, and wrote their names down, too. Our notes were added to the decorations at the center of our space—symbols of the elements of nature and of the major religions.
Each participant read aloud a peace prayer from a particular religion or indigenous tradition. Before we started with the peace prayers for all the nations, the participants were asked to think especially about the women and their situation in the different countries, and about whether there is a balance between power and love.
For the ceremony we used flag cards. We arranged them around the center in the form of a mandala. It was so wonderful to see the high level of concentration and the wish for peace going hand in hand with a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere. After praying for the last nation, we stayed in silence for some moments, reflecting on the changes inside of us or admiring the beautiful mandala we had created with the flag cards.
We expressed our joy with dancing and singing, and then closed the ceremony forming a circle around the mandala, expressing our deep gratitude for the strong field of peace energy that we had built together that day.
Berlin, Germany: report by Katharina Knitsch
On Saturday, May 14th, some members of our Berlin prayer group and a Byakko Member from Denmark met at the big park in the center of Berlin, where we planned to celebrate the SOPP the following day. We gathered at the Global Stone Project, where each of the five continents is represented by a huge rock or group of stones from that continent, symbolizing oneness in diversity. We connected to the earth, to the rocks and plants, to the divine world, and to each other, and after a good amount of time there, we each went in a different direction to manifest a field of light at an important site in the center of Berlin, such as the Brandenburg Gate. We all perceived this activity as quite powerful, and it was moving to do it at the same time, yet with each of us standing separately. It felt like a large and strong field of connection and bliss.
On the next day, May 15th, we had a beautiful SOPP celebration in the park, with 28 participants, many of them new to this event. After some information about the origins of the SOPP and the prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth, we said the prayer and also performed wordless prayers for peace.
To emphasize the feminine qualities, we did a ritual of deep listening to each other in pairs of two, with full body presence (instead of only mental), giving space to the one who spoke. The speaker would talk about an area of their life that needs forgiveness. After this person talked, both people opened up and invited grace into that area and received the blessings. Then we switched roles. It was a very intense and beautiful atmosphere of facing things, letting go and being blessed.
We gathered in a big circle again to prepare for the flag ceremony, and as we were about to start, it began to rain. Luckily, we could move to a nearby shelter to perform the peace ceremony for all the countries of the world.
Many participants said they were very grateful, rewarded and touched by the event, and some of them had a deep feeling of relief from the forgiveness.
Instead of the planned picnic afterwards—it was a bit too chilly for that—we went to a local restaurant and had a nice meal to conclude our day. On the wall of the entrance area in the restaurant, a message surprised and welcomed us: “Peace within – Peace in the world”.
Prerow, Germany: report by Ingrid Lück
Holding an SOPP ceremony by myself, I initially performed some wordless prayers for peace. After connecting with Fuji Sanctuary and all the other places where SOPP events were being held, I prayed for peace in each country. In my prayers, I included prayers from different faiths. I also connected with the divine feminine and the divine masculine through prayer and meditation. To conclude the time, I again performed several wordless prayers. Immediately after starting my prayers, I felt a very strong energy—very powerful, clear and present.