The Words of the Beutl Family
My dear brothers and sisters,
The opening plenary session of the summit of the Global Peace Initiative of Women was convened under the theme “The Call to Gather”, which was surely appropriate in this community of people who have been called by Heaven to gather for the sake of supporting the cause of world peace. In the explanatory words to this part of the program one could read: “We are living in a time with great opportunity for human spiritual growth. The changes ahead involve not only environment and economic challenges but also involve the way religions relate to one another.
Along with the movement towards a more sustainable and sharing world, we are moving toward greater inter-religious understanding and unity. A new paradigm is emerging, one in which our shared principles and values will outweigh our differences. Vision and insight are needed to guide us forward. How can we understand the transformation needed and what is the role of the feminine perspective in fostering these shifts?
Who knows the most far reaching answers to this quest and question? It is indeed the ones who have studied the Unification Principle, Unification Thought and Unification Theology, the Divine Principle view of history, who have the foundations to bring the needed changes. Therefore it is crucial that we are represented in this and other conferences or events which are concerned about the future of mankind, in order to convey our understanding as much as possible with the ones who are looking for answers.
I had certainly many opportunities in the course of this summit to share with participants individually and with the group as a whole my insights concerning various themes that were discussed based of having been blessed to know God’s providence and the True Parents of Mankind for more than three decades with lots of practical experiences in outreach. According to the personal foundation of the participants the answers were understood to a varying degree, but many expressed their gratitude for my sharing.
To let you know an excerpt of a prayer that was offered with much emotion: “God, beyond our dreams, You have stirred in us a memory; You have placed Your powerful spirit in our hearts, in the hearts of humankind. All around us we have known You, all creation lives to hold You; in our living, in our dieing, we are bringing You to birth. God, beyond words, all creation tells Your story. You have shaken with our laughter, You have trembled with our tears. God of tender care, you have cradled us in goodness, you have mothered us in wholeness. You have loved us into birth.”
During the afternoon dialogue the nature of the Divine Feminine was discussed from the basic viewpoint that there is a father aspect of the Divine which is predominant in the West and a feminine aspect of the Divine which is prevalent in the East: “The Divine is to us both Father and Mother but perhaps it is the Mother quality that now needs to emerge to create gender balance. What is the nature of the Divine Feminine and how does she serve?”
How would you answer such a question? We speak about living a life of service for others but it is of course important that we have a clear understanding about what it means to serve through our feminine or masculine qualities respectively. In this respect the second afternoon dialogue was held under the theme of Gender Balance for Greater World Harmony with questions being asked like: “What is the relationship between gender balance on a personal level and a more balanced global society?”
Until dinner which was served at 8 p.m. there was more time for sharing in small group discussions and once again it became clear how valuable it is to speak with one another freely from the heart - which was continued at the meal times. The arrangement of who ate together at the various tables was also not by chance but prepared and assisted from Heaven, with the longest conversations going on usually at the table where I could represent our movement.
On one occasion I could witness how the practical connection was made between two very active women, a politician from Canada and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, founder and director of the Afghan Institute for Learning, who returned to her homeland to open up for women in this country the way to higher education. The representative from Canada who has been working successfully also in the business area will offer special training for core workers of this institute which provides education to some 350 000 women and children in Afghanistan.
Dr. Sakena, who employs more than 480 Afghans, sat down at the farewell dinner beside me to share more about our respective work. She was especially grateful to receive the CD with words related to Heart and True Love and asked for three more copies in order to have one in each of the offices (in different cities), which means that her co-workers can be in this way inspired by words of members of the True Family for each day of the year along with a beautiful photo of the beauty of creation. (In Afghanistan Internet is still a “luxury” and electricity is not secured…)
The meditation on the 3rd day of the conference was under the theme: “Peace Through Movement” led by Ms Ruth Davis a professional dancer who helps people to find inner peace through special movements and offers with her husband (who wrote a book entitled Joy -- The Way of the Heart) retreats in their home situated near Assisi at a place called “At the Gate to Paradise”, where I had the chance to visit in the afternoon of the final day when the participants left for their respective destinations (countries).
The morning plenary session on August 11, 2009 was held under the theme, The Mystic Heart -- Cultivating Love for the Divine. In the introductory words it was said: "Love for the Divine generates greater love for humanity and brings us to a consciousness of Oneness, knowing our unity with all humankind and all of life. This quality is essential for guiding us through the challenges we face as a world community… Divine love can help us to move from separation and polarization to unity, from desecration of the earth to her sacredness, from societies of inequity to a consciousness of sharing. How do we cultivate greater love for the Divine?”
Again, valuable questions have been raised to which we as Unificationists have the most profound and far reaching answers, but how much effort do we make to offer them to the ones who are searching for them? Heaven is definitely working hard to guide people to ask the right questions but depends on us as representatives of God and True Parents to share the right answers from a heavenly perspective with them.
Just imagine that more than 100 women leaders gathered from countries as far as New Zealand and Australia last week in Assisi to discuss the above mentioned questions (paying their own airplane tickets and stay at the hotel) and no representative of the foundation our True Parents established is present to offer the urgently needed input in order to guide these influential people in the right direction. Heaven definitely depends on us to move there where they are able to gather people who search for answers in order to guide them to the right understanding concerning how problems should be resolved.
I could have chosen another title for this letter, referring more directly to the work of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, but I decided to share with you under the theme of Heaven’s support for us because the more important point to become deeply aware of is the constant effort of the highest spiritual world to lead us so that we can work effectively in order to be able to live up to the providential timetable and to achieve the goals we are trying to reach in this final period of God’s dispensation.
There are many other organizations that do a good work in various fields. They all have to be guided in the right direction. For example, there will be a UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December where the Global Peace Initiative of Women will have the chance to address the about 1000 leaders and representatives of NGOs who will attend. GPIW will have 2 hours at their disposal. How will they use it to get their message across?
One of the participants of the Assisi summit, John, with whom I got connected from the beginning in a natural way by offering my help to carry his suitcase up the hill to the place he stayed, is a professional trainer for giving powerful speeches. Other participants are experts in their respective fields. There is much potential but as always the main question is the readiness to cooperate and to work together for the best outcome in supporting the purpose of the whole.
This is of course also a challenge for us: To which extent are we ready to go beyond the limitations of our own organizations to actively support other groups who are dedicated to the cause of world peace. There is so much to be learnt from one another as our Heavenly Father has raised up many people who are not (yet) members of our movement but who have a precious foundation that can contribute a lot towards bringing about the urgently needed changes in this world.
The representative of the Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women, which is active in over 30 countries, emphasized the importance of discovering the feminine aspects in God and in religious life throughout the centuries. When we do then “history” becomes “Her Story”. To look at what has happened since the creation of man from the viewpoint of the motherly Heart of God is indeed an important challenge which we are all asked to take to our hearts in order to deepen our ability to love.
She noted that the word for Holy spirit as “ruach” is connected with the word “compassion”. This aspect of having compassion for others, being able to connect with them heartistically is also relevant for our movement from the viewpoint that we are on one hand ready to invest a lot for certain goals but when one would make a questionnaire concerning the extent of how much we are a caring movement -- whose members care deeply for one another - the outcome would not be a glorious one. Therefore we have to make extra efforts to become more loving an caring people which will in turn ensure that more of the absolute good spirits will want to help us to achieve our goals.
Here I wanted to mention The Grail which was also represented, an international ecumenical, spiritual, cultural and social movement of women which is rooted in Christian faith and committed to transformation of the world into a global community of justice and peace. It is a faith community of women strengthening and supporting each other in their search for God, dedicated to transforming our world into a place of justice, peace and love. The members of this movement, which was founded in the year after True Father was born, seek to build a culture of care for the future of humankind.
The afternoon dialogue of the second full day of the conference was held under the themes “From the Heart to the World” and “Guiding Principles for Transformation Toward a Global Inter-religious Partnership”. It included speakers from various religious traditions concluding with the most powerful one, Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung from Korea, who offers lectures at the Union Theological Seminary in New York and is at the same time a Buddhist Dharma teacher. Professor Chung is a founding member of the International Interfaith Peace Council which promotes peace in conflict areas around the world. She conducted a year long research pilgrimage to 18 Islamic countries to interview Muslim Peace Makers, about which she is currently writing a book. Among the 5 books she published already there are national best sellers in Korea.
Ms. Chung spent also one year in the Himalaya Mountains for a meditation Retreat, where she received a severe training as she told me in our personal conversation on the last evening of the summit when we spent a couple of hours until late to share with one another about our foundations and our experiences in life so far (our age is very similar). While many of the participants went out to attend the special procession of that day commemorating the ascension of Saint Clare into the spirit world, Professor Chung wanted to take this opportunity to speak deeply about internal questions.
This situation like so many others during my days in Assisi have been so obviously prepared by the good spirit world, who is very concerned about the best possible outcome for each participant. At the end of our talk Ms Chung said that she realizes that God had sent me to remind her of what is really important in the attitude towards Heaven as she is aware that the spirit world is writing through her. In one of her books she lets God speak…
At the end of her presentation she introduced special movements to us with one of them referring to rather than being depressed with feelings of heart-break and one’s heart being broken apart to break our hearts open -- to open one’s heart to become a bigger container in order to embrace all humanity. Another movement was painting a rainbow with our hands, which represents unity and diversity in various traditions, in order to be reminded of the importance of having a vision. A third movement represented holding the earth to remind us of our task to take good care of it. Finally a movement to bless one’s neighbor, everybody we know…
We all sang the simple verse “Wherever you turn there is the face of God.” again while bowing to each other. For me personally this moment had been a highlight of this summit where I was moved to tears knowing that such an attitude is so essential for each one of us: To see the face of God in our brother and sister, in each person we meet.
The concluding prayer offered included the following content: “May each one of us here receive exactly what we need to go forward in the world to create, to act, to love, to speak… May we adorn ourselves within and without with the glorious raiment with the light of God, with all of Her ways, with all of Her faces, with all of His strength and His clarity. May we like Saint Clare run with love and run with patience…”
Just before she died Saint Clare said that God had ever cared for her as tenderly as a mother toward her child. It is my sincerest desire that we all may be able to say this at the end of our lives -- which means of course that we have to strive now to open our hearts to this reality of the loving motherly heart of our Eternal Parent being here for us always while it is up to each one of us to open our deepest soul to this reality.
There are so many details which could be added here which surprised me again and again in respect to how spirit world manages the exact timing so that it was for example possible for me to meet in the narrow intertwined streets of Assisi the group of participants who went out that evening right at the moment when I walked to the place where I stayed overnight during these days. Heaven is always concerned that people can meet and connect in heart as much as possible.
In this respect I wanted to mention that recently I saw many videos about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama, where I was moved to hear Michelle say: “When I go before crowds I think about trying to reach people’s hearts. I mean I really do because I firmly believe that there is a fundamental difference in what Barack can offer, the ability to connect and to unite…” This couple has been entrusted with a great responsibility based on their attitude which Heaven supports -- and each one of us can be certain of Heaven’s trust in us once we get our heart and mindset there where our True Parents want us to stand internally.