Mr. Nipun Mehta, one of the founders of ServiceSpace, took some time to write on the ServiceSpace blog about his experience at the 2015 SOPP, and to share some of the background and activities of SOPP initiator Masami Saionji and host organization Byakko Shinko Kai.
Nipun was a guest at the 2015 Symphony of Peace Prayers at Fuji Sanctuary. He was invited to the SOPP as a founding signatory of the Fuji Declaration, and at the ceremony, he along with many other founding signatories helped to officially inaugurate the declaration on stage. (Please see the SOPP 2015 page for more details of the ceremony.)
The following is an excerpt from Nipun’s article:
Through her profound, first-hand experiences and dedication to personal practices, [Masami Saionji] has arrived at a simple conclusion of our fundamental oneness: “The light flows in different forms to each individual, and to each religion, but it is all the same light.”
To promote that universal spirit, they hold an annual “Symphony of Peace Prayers” at their Fuji Sanctuary (at the base of Mount Fuji). This year, during the three hour program, many thousands of people quietly assembled outdoors. Religious leaders from different faith traditions around the world shared their prayers for peace, and everyone whole-heartedly joined in. Additionally, a tea master performed a world peace ritual, artists offered music for peace, children performed a dance, and local spiritual groups shared their practices. Everyone was remarkably quiet, and it very much felt like a collective peace prayer. Towards the end, there was a moving flag ceremony – where every flag of every single country was mindfully brought out as we all recited “May Peace Prevail in [Country]” in the native language of that country, complete with phonetic pronunciations.
With the background music, the outdoor ambiance, the backdrop of the sacred Mount Fuji, one would hard pressed not to tear up during the profound ceremony for world peace. And for those who didn’t, the closing address by Yuka Saionji would do the job! Among other things, she shared gratitude for her mom who taught her that, “If we fully experience a prayer from any tradition, not merely praying with your intellect, it will brings tears to our eyes and there will be no room in our hearts for opposition or antagonism. Only peace will prevail.”
On this special day, with her husband Hiroo (who does deeply related work with Goi Peace Foundation) and renowned thinker Ervin Lazlo, they also unveiled the “Fuji Declaration”. With the continual hope of bringing people together, the Fuji Declaration lays out a new design principle across all disciplines of work – that we are unified in the field of consciousness. In many ways, it is a culmination of their life-long work.
Masami describes it like this, “We have relied on our leaders for too long, but now, the world requires each one of our innate divine sparks to be illuminated, so it can unleash a great creative wave. Unknowingly, we have attached ourselves to certain limited ideas, and we keep reinforcing them out of habit — but it is now time for us to exert our own intrinsic, sacred consciousness. To join in, simply listen to your intuition and take that first step. One small step is all it takes. Once you have taken that first step, your divine intuition will continue to guide you.”
What I like most about the Fuji Declaration, and all their work, is that they are not trying to hold it all into a particular organization, or brand. It’s simply an invitation to ignite our divine spark, co-create in the universal field and rebuild the commons of humanity.
Read the full text of Nipun’s article, with photos and links, at the ServiceSpace blog. We are infinitely grateful to Nipun for taking the time to share his experience and impressions with the ServiceSpace community and with the world!
May Peace Prevail on Earth!