Stuttgart: report by Katharina Brocke
A group of people connected with Byakko Shinko Kai came together in Stuttgart for two days of re-connecting, singing, dancing and praying. Nature joined in with bright sunshine and cleansing through a powerful storm of thunder, rain and hail.
For the ceremony on Sunday we gathered in a singing school, in a room filled with the echoes of the choirs rehearsing there. Together we decorated, welcomed additional guests and then created a wonderful ceremony that included singing and dancing, honoring different religious traditions and speaking some of their prayers for peace, and expressing gratitude to nature.
Our three Japanese members invited the spirit of Japan into the room, talked about Byakko and the SOPP and read two poems by Byakko founder Masahisa Goi, one in Japanese and one in English. This brought a very wonderful and powerful presence into the room, after which we performed a prayer ceremony for peace in each country, invoking every continent and its countries which we then blessed with a silent prayer accompanied by deep breathing.
We completed the afternoon with a song, and everyone said they felt satisfied with the whole event, which was a true co-creative effort by all of us. One participant commented: “When I put the flag cards on the floor after the prayers for the countries, I felt as if the cards were alive and were saying “Thank you” and asking for more prayers at the same time. Another participant found it important to have been there and contributing. She said she felt similar to when she had been at Fuji Sanctuary—purified, fulfilled and complete. She gained more security and strength, and was able to take this home with her.
The recent events in Japan definitely inspired the need for wanting to come together in prayer and support. To do this while connecting with the SOPP felt like a great opportunity. There was gratitude and appreciation all around for the way we came together, and an acknowledgment of the joy, the uplifted feeling, and the connection we all felt by the end—and, a wish to meet again!
Thank you to everyone who made the time and undertook the journey to Stuttgart!