France, Switzerland, UAE
2 events: Paris, Various locations in France, Switzerland and UAE
Paris, France: report by Nicole Cressiot
12 of us gathered in Paris on May 13. An open discussion on the theme of Soul of WoMen (Âme des Femmes) set the day, joined by men and highlighted by various pertinent comments, including from our friend representing Sufi Islam. The discussion proved to be rich and very inspiring.
Our ceremony included peace prayers from Christianity, Sufi Islam (a prayer of such a purity and sincerity it brought tears to many of us), Buddhism, and Shintoism. All of the prayers were offered in great beauty and simplicity.
The prayer Jinrui Soku Kami Nari (All human beings are divine lives), performed by the Paris Byakko group, opened the prayers for peace in each nation. Special music accompanied the prayers for each continent, and the word peace was chanted in each country’s language(s) as our peace flag mandala was created. All this made for a creative and powerful prayer ceremony.
After this, everyone participated in our wordless prayer of gratitude to nature and the world around us. Many newcomers said they loved learning and performing this prayer. We concluded with the song “We Are All Shining Divine Sparks,” sung in French and focusing on the rebirth of humanity’s divine nature. It was wonderful!
The day was filled with joyful energy, openness, flexibility, and a feeling of connectedness around something that each of us feels is vital today—that is, peace and the return of the sacred feminine energy in all walks of life. One young woman commented: “This is something that we need to spread—peace, ecology, religions coming together. The young people want that, but they do not know that such a thing exists. We must make it known!”
France, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates: report by Mukesh Anand
After conducting SOPP events at Santram Temple in Nadiad, India, in previous years, this year I had an opportunity to take the message to France, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Throughout his time, I endeavored to enable my fellow beings to undertake a journey inside their own selves. Towards this end, all my spiritual talks and gatherings commenced with peace prayers.
In France, I held gatherings in Bordeaux, Grasse, Nice, Mouans-Sartoux, and in the south of France at Plum Village, the community founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. In Switzerland, I met with groups in Zillis, Lenzerheide, and Zurich. In Lenzerheide, the peace prayers were part of a week-long silent meditation retreat. In the UAE I held a gathering in Dubai.
Every day during my travels, I conducted group meditations and private sessions in different places. The schedule was very busy, but also very fulfilling! The people I met with said they were deeply influenced by the depth, power and peace attained in silent meditation and heart-to-heart communication. Even in a big group, minds are quieted and drawn into deep silence, with little self-effort from the participants. Everyone gets a taste of their inner silence and gets a glimpse into their inner journey. Many people shared that they had not experienced such inner silence before. With the energy of silence, many people felt a deep inner change, and discovered the peace within, which can be manifested effortlessly in interactions with the world outside.