Messages of Peace
Participants thanked the prayer leaders with an extended round of warm applause as they left the stage. Following this, two of the many distinguished guests attending the ceremony were invited to address participants with their own message.
Mr. Katsuhito Funai, President and COO, Funaihonsha Co., Ltd.
Hello everyone. The power of your prayers is just amazing! It brought out the brightly shining sun. Thank you very much for inviting me to take part in today’s Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony. I am truly grateful for once again having the opportunity to join in this splendid event, along with so many distinguished individuals from around the world.
I participated in the SOPP for the first time last year, and I was deeply moved to see how people transcended religious differences to join together in prayers for peace.
In our lives, we are constantly butting heads in our efforts to assert ourselves. We compete with one another and define ourselves in hierarchical relationships, thinking: ‘I am more intelligent than you, and therefore I understand truth, I do what is right, and I am contributing more to humanity.’
As a result of this way of thinking, our society has made staggering advances and enjoyed unprecedented prosperity. Living in a wealthy country like Japan, we are able to taste delicious foods from all over the world, and we can easily access news and information on smartphones and the internet.
Then, on March 11 of last year, the Great Tohoku Earthquake occurred. The prosperity we had enjoyed turned out to be nothing more than a house built on sand.
Nonetheless, we received material and moral support from people around the world, and somehow, we are recovering from the blow of this disaster. I am convinced that what made this possible, more than anything else, was the power of the prayers offered for Japan and Tohoku by people all over the world.
Our assertiveness and competitiveness have led us to dream up this incredible world, yet they have also given rise to confrontation and conflict. The proof of this is plainly visible in the fact that humanity’s history is a history of wars. Our technology has developed to the point that if we continue waging war on each other, humanity itself may cease to exist.
The disaster of March 11 reminded us of the critical situation we are facing, and showed us that if we continue living as we have been, there will be no future for humanity.
From here on, we must adopt a spirit, not of competition, but of mutual support. In order to achieve this, I believe, we need to firmly set our minds to stop judging and criticizing others, and provide a safe place where we can speak freely, without fear.
Even religions, whose mission is to help people find peace in their hearts, have found themselves involved in confrontation, and at times they have even been the cause of wars.
However, without religion, which is the most natural forum for the activity known as prayer, I think it will be very difficult to realize true peace in this world. In this sense, when people from different faiths and traditions gather at Fuji Sanctuary recognizing and respecting each other’s beliefs and praying together for world peace, it is a genuine effort that bears no resemblance to conflict and war.
There can be absolutely no peace on earth until there is peace in the heart of each and every one of us. Each of us has the great mission of overcoming the disharmony in our heart, acknowledging it and rising above it. Many people are now becoming aware that this is only possible when we pray as much for others as we do for ourselves.
In this new era, the meaning of a leader has changed significantly. The days when we looked for forceful, top-down leaders are now behind us. Today, people are seeking ‘bottom-up’ leaders who are big-hearted enough to accept what everyone has to say, and who are content to work in the background, as unsung heroes.
In this world where religions claim the superiority of their doctrines, I wholeheartedly respect the efforts of the Symphony of Peace Prayers, which embraces the unsung hero rather than the assertive, top-down leader. Let me end here by expressing my deep, heartfelt gratitude for today’s SOPP ceremony, and to all the people who are courageously taking part in it.
May peace prevail on Earth. Thank you very much.
Mr. Tetsu Shiratori, Film Director
Hello, everyone. My name is Tetsu Shiratori.
My documentary film, “Prayer — Conversation with ‘Something Great,’” was completed this year, and will be shown in various places around the world. The film states that scientific research on prayer is advancing. The act of prayer is said to have healing properties, and this is now being proved. It is said that the consciousness of prayer has a great effect on the earth’s magnetic fields. Today, all of us are praying together for world peace, and thus we are creating a great ripple for changing the world in the future.
In October 2007, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I suffered from ringing in my ears, headaches, and muscle atrophy, and I lost my voice. To overcome this illness, I concentrated my efforts on one particular thing. That was, I embraced my past, recognizing and affirming the past, and finally forgiving all my past thoughts and feelings. Then, my voice slowly recovered, and everything in my body started to regain its healthy state. As a result, my brain tumor completely disappeared.
Our consciousness creates our reality. Disharmonious thoughts create disharmony in the body, bringing about disharmony in our relationships as well. On the other hand, a harmonious consciousness creates a harmonious body, harmonious relationships, and a harmonious world. The consciousness that is welling up within us at this very moment is creating our world. And, in the world of consciousness, everything is connected. There is no distinction between ourselves and others. The way we relate to each other creates our reality. Everything is connected in the world of consciousness.
Nowadays, many unusual natural disasters and phenomena are taking place on a global scale. Last year, we experienced the great earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, and this year, a tornado in Tsukuba caused numerous casualties. In addition, wind gusts known as ‘low-pressure bombs’ covered all of Japan, causing a lot of damage, and there were abnormally heavy snowfalls as well. Last year, heavy flooding in Thailand and volcanic eruptions in Chile both caused a great deal of damage.
The planet is appealing to us to change. We have to change.
If a great many people could awaken to this reality and face up to it, with recognition, acceptance, and forgiveness, I believe that the reality we see on earth today would largely change.
And so, I have a proposal to make. I would like to ask you all to join with me in sending out a prayer to heal the earth. Just as I healed my illness by forgiving the disharmony that was dormant inside me, I would like us all to forgive the disharmony in the earth’s consciousness. Would that be all right?
Cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, who appears in my film, has stated that when a group of people equal to the square root of one percent of the earth’s population prays together, it alters humanity’s collective consciousness. With a world population of about seven billion, the square root of one percent is 8,366 people—close to the number of people gathered here today.
With the intention of healing ourselves, let us offer a healing prayer to the earth. Let us recognize, affirm, and forgive the earth’s feelings. And let us send the earth our gratitude, and our love. Please close your eyes. Open your palms at the level of your heart chakra, and imagine a small planet Earth between your palms.
I will now recite the prayer words. Please say these words with me in your mind:
Dear Earth, I am sorry for hurting you…
I am sorry… I am sorry…
Please forgive me…
Dear Earth, I am sorry for causing you distress…
I am sorry… I am sorry…
Please forgive me…
Dear Earth, I am sorry for causing you harm…
I am sorry…
Please forgive me…
Dear Earth, thank you…
Thank you… thank you…
Dear Earth, I love you…
I love you… I love you…
You may now open your eyes.
Thank you very much for joining me.