Yuka Saionji, Deputy Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai
Thank you for attending the 2011 Symphony of Peace Prayers. Again this year, we have successfully concluded our ceremonial program.
We celebrate the seventh anniversary of the SOPP this year. Up to now, we have been sending prayers for peace out to the world, rising above religious and cultural differences, but this year, many prayers have been reaching Japan from around the world.
As a result of the disaster of March 11, we hear the words ‘Pray for Japan’ and have received prayers from around the world. Prayer emits an invisible energy, yet I am sure that the people of Japan have felt this intangible energy force. The power of these prayers has become a great energy force to encourage the oneness of our consciousness.
Despite Japan’s situation, I am grateful that we have gathered together today to radiate prayers from Japan, not only for Japan but for the peace of the world at large. Since the recent disaster, we have been evaluating our lifestyles, our way of thinking, and our customs and values. Until now, we have chosen to live lives of isolation and separation from others. However, as a result of this disastrous event, I sense that many are making a choice to shift from a life of isolation and separation to one of cultivating deep connections.
From the misconception that we exist independent from others, we are restoring ourselves back to our connection with others—our consciousness is merging as one through prayer. We are establishing a connection with our inborn power and merging with our true self. We are connecting with the lives of others, connecting with the movement of the universe and Mother Nature. As heaven and earth merge as one, we break the mindset of separation and isolation. We are not simply living; rather, life is granted to us. We are not isolated individuals; rather, we are interrelated with the whole. Prayer allows us to experience this truth not through the intellect but with our body and soul. That is why true prayer is necessary. That is why we seek to engage in prayer.
Prayer emits a huge, invisible energy field. When praying, we begin to recall our inner divinity. It is time to awaken to the inner beauty we all possess. It is time to unleash the power which resides within us. It is time to move from separation to oneness.
In addition to our Fuji Sanctuary event, SOPP ceremonies were organized in 21 other locations in 40 other countries. As well, 50 countries are linking with us through the Global Peace Meditation and Prayer Day program. Despite the fact that this is a once-a-year, one-day event, we have offered our prayers today while linking with 21 locations in over 40 countries.
In closing, I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to our interfaith leaders, honored guests, and to all of our participants and friends the world over who have connected in prayer with us today. Your each and every prayer and consciousness have made possible our gathering today. Your prayers travel beyond time and space to embrace us all in total oneness.
Again, I would like to extend my deep gratitude to each and every one of you. Thank you very much. May peace prevail on Earth.
A stirring musical score filled the air, composed specially for this year’s program by Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto, and from either side of the stage the national flag bearers streamed into the Prayer Field. They carried the flags down the aisles, holding them with pride and respect, and then turned to face the stage, where the Earth Flag appeared at center.
Finally, all the flags were lifted high in the air as the music reached its climax and the seventh Symphony of Peace Prayers came to a close. Participants applauded from start to finish, continuing to show their appreciation and support even after the music had ended.