The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? Loving life? Yes, we're here to love life. It's good to see you after three weeks. As you know, on February 14th we had to be in Korea to celebrate the lunar New Year together with our True Parents there. We spent about a week together, and there were a great many celebrations going on at the same time.
But this trip in particular was quite profound because we had an opening and dedication ceremony for the new Unification Peace Temple there. This is the intermediate temple. Of course we are looking toward the final temple that will be built in Seoul. This was really a dream realized for my father and mother, Dr. and Mrs. Moon, as well as for my brothers and sisters and the members of our worldwide community who were there to celebrate this incredible time.
You know that we are so blessed in so many ways, but we are really blessed to be living in the time of our True Parents, in the time of the breaking news. Jesus brought us the good news, and he has given new life and new meaning to thousands and thousands of people all around the world. But with our True Parents, we have the breaking news. Our True Parents are the messiah come again. They are the Second Coming who have come to teach us what the true meaning of life is, what God was wanting for his children when he created the universe, and how important it is to inherit the true love of God and have an opportunity in our lives to substantiate this wonderful thing called an ideal family.
In our True Parents we have great teachers, a great father and mother, and great friends. They've always been people who were there when I was growing up, to truly encourage, empower, and embolden us to fulfill the destiny that they felt was inherent in each and every one of us. We are all sons and daughters of God. We are unique, and we are special reservoirs of true love.
Our True Parents have encouraged us to practice true love in our daily lives and to manifest it to the world in a way that is unique to each of us. When I think about my life of faith and my life as a daughter born to such wonderful parents and to this great movement that I call my family, sometimes I have to stand back and take stock of how incredibly blessed I am.
My father and mother would be the first ones to remind me that with blessings comes responsibility. I have felt the weight of this responsibility time and time again. Last year was a very difficult one for my family. But we've persevered, and now we've celebrated the dawn of the Year of the White Tiger. Ushering in this new year with the opening of the Unification Peace Temple really was a wonderful and auspicious sign of things to come.
Our movement is progressing on, and there's no stopping us, brothers and sisters. We have often talked about interfaith activities, embracing the different religions of the world, and celebrating God, our Heavenly Parent, as the true parent of humankind. The wonderful thing about this temple is that for the first time in history, we have represented in the temple not just the Unification Church symbol, but we have portraits of Jesus Christ, of Buddha, of Confucius, and of the name of Mohammad. These four portraits are encased in what is like an inner sanctum seen when one first enters the temple. It's like a portal to the spirit world, if you will.
When Father first dedicated the temple to our Heavenly Parent, he went in there, together with our True Mother, and prayed. He ushered in the heavenly fortune and prayed that we as a Unification Church can really do our responsibility in honoring the different religious traditions and encouraging each other to worship together in this common denominator that we call our Heavenly Parent.
Two days prior to the opening, my younger brother Hyung Jin Moon, who is the spiritual head of the movement, had a vision in which Jesus appeared to him, encouraging him and thanking him for the temple. Since then, there have been many spiritual occurrences that brothers and sisters have witnessed visually. One church member walked into this inner sanctum, where the four great saints are represented, and saw a band of light coming from each of the portraits, merging to embrace the two chairs that represent True Parents. The whole inner sanctum was flooded with light, as well as with a feeling of incredible energy, warmth, and love, and with hope for the world because finally we have a place of worship where not just one religion but a family of religions is represented. That's a beautiful thing.
We are still celebrating the victory of my father's autobiography, which continues to be a best-seller in Korea. The president of that publishing company is a devout Buddhist, a highly professional and capable woman. She took the helm of this company and made it a great success, the equivalent of Random House here in America. She's a phenomenal woman, but first and foremost she's a devout Buddhist.
So when she first started working on the autobiography and wanted to push this book through at the company, she said she came across a tidal wave of negativity. For instance, the editor-in-chief she had worked with for 20 years quit on the spot when she said that the company would be publishing Dr. Moon's autobiography. She asked the editor, "Why are you quitting after 20 years of such wonderful work?" He said, "I'm a proud Christian, and I cannot publish this book." Another editor who was a staunch Catholic also quit.
She tried to encourage the view that the subject of this book was sent to Korea by Heavenly Parent, who comes to unite all religions. She suggested that this is not a time when religions should be fighting among themselves. Celebrating our differences, nonetheless we should come together in our commonality, in that what we want for the world is the same thing; what we want for our families is the same thing; what we want for our children is the same thing. We want internal and external excellence in our lives and in our children's lives. We want to be able to call our God our Heavenly Parent.
She tried to have this type of meaningful conversation with them, but these two editors were very strong in their stance. She still felt compelled to go on. We asked her why. She said, "I am a devout Buddhist. I recite the Buddhist Scripture every day. I do 108 bows every morning to Buddha. In one of my prayers Buddha himself appeared to me and said, 'You must publish Reverend Moon's book. It's incredibly important.'" When Buddha himself appeared to her and commanded her to publish our True Father's book, nobody could stop her. She went ahead, despite the persecution and the negativity, and it continues to be a great best-seller.
But spirit world is not just moving with her, not just moving in the inner sanctum. One of the most inspiring things that I witnessed at the opening ceremony of this new headquarters was the presence of the Venerable In Kong, president of the Taego Buddhist order in Korea, the largest Buddhist order that allows the Buddhist monks to have families. He came to give congratulatory remarks to our True Parents.
When he got to the podium, he did something of great significance in terms of providential and religious history. Here is a representative from a Buddhist order giving congratulatory remarks on the opening of a Unification temple. He didn't just say, "Congratulations on your new temple, your new headquarters." There at the podium, with utmost conviction he declared and proclaimed True Parents as the living Buddha come again. He declared to the leading politicians, luminaries of Korean society, and guests from all around the world that our True Parents are the messiah that we have been waiting for, that our True Parents are the living Buddha that they've been waiting for, and that he was blessed to be living at a time when he could dedicate this temple in honor of our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents. He said this was a historic time, and he felt very privileged to be allowed an opportunity to share this breaking news with the world.
Brothers and sisters, all the great religious leaders, one by one, are coming to understand the significance of having our True Parents here. They're not just understanding; they're proclaiming, they're testifying, they're witnessing to who the True Parents are and why they are so important to all of us living today.
This is really a clarion call for all of us sitting in the audience to do the same because, just as these great leaders of religions have dedicated their lives to their faith and to their brothers and sisters in different congregations or orders around the world, I know that each and every one of you have done the same in your own lives. You have dedicated and sacrificed so much in helping to build this kingdom on earth, as we call it.
Over the years we've had to persevere. We've had our own individual struggles. When we got blessed, we've had to work out or deal with all that comes with trying to create an ideal family. I know that sometimes we've experienced great joy, sometimes we've experienced great loss, and sometimes we've experienced great suffering. But through it all, you and I have persevered. We were there to usher in the new millennium. We were there once again to dream about this wonderful thing called an ideal family, about living our lives inheriting the true love of God and raising wonderful children to be part of this thing called a Generation of Peace. We are so blessed.
When Father asks us in his speech from September 11, 1972, how long we can continue to sacrifice with this heart of love, he's not asking about how short a time we can continue to suffer. He understands that maybe our suffering will take some time, and he understands that you have continually given of yourself, living for the sake of others, because he says to continue. You are continuing the kind of sacrificial life that you have led thus far. He asks us how long can we sacrifice, how long can we continue to live for the sake of others, with the heart of love.
Brothers and sisters, when I stand up here and I encourage all of us, you and me alike, to raise a Generation of Peace, to raise a generation of young people that has ideals, that has moral integrity, that has a vision and a dream, and that has a need to fulfill destiny, what I'm thinking about is, how do we raise this wonderful group of children with the heart of love? When we dream of peace, peace cannot be realized on its own with just goodwill; peace needs the active participation of love. If we do not have love, and if we do not practice love in our lives or in our dealings with other brothers and sisters of different faiths, then we cannot come together and create a world of peace. When my father asks the very question, "How long can we continue with this heart of love?" in a way he is asking how long can we practice applying this heart of love so that we can fulfill our destiny, the destiny of the world to have all people living in peace.
Our True Father has taught us that true love is something that's eternal, unchanging, absolute, and unique. Buddhists have their understanding of true love, too. When Buddhists think of true love, they believe there are four elements to true love. The first is metta, which means benevolence or loving-kindness. By that, they mean a sincere desire to care for somebody, a sincere desire to understand somebody because they know that true love really starts with true understanding.
They also know that when you really want to love somebody and you take the time out to understand what that person is going through and feeling, what that person's aspirations and dreams are, it's a time-consuming effort. It takes time and dedication to understand, and it takes understanding to love. It takes understanding and time to practice loving-kindness or benevolence.
Buddhists believe that the second element of true love is karuna, which translates into compassion. By that, they mean a sincere desire to ease the suffering or the pain of others. In English, we can think of it as having the capacity to feel empathy for another person in a loving and truly encouraging way.
Compassion also requires a certain amount of understanding of that person's situation or a working knowledge of what that person is going through. It requires a deep, meditative, reflective time to really think about the other person, to really work and practice in applying our love toward this person by trying to serve him or her, by understanding, by having a working knowledge.
In that way, we go to the third element of true love. Buddhists believe that the third element of true love is mudita, or joy. They believe that a sincere desire to understand what true love is all about necessitates an attitude of happiness or joy. This joy is incredibly important because if we are always suffering, if our spouse is always crying, if we are always fighting, we will never be able to experience true love.
But we can change our perceptions, and by changing our perceptions, we can change our attitudes. Changing our attitudes can change our behaviors; by changing our behavior, our general outlook can be changed. We've all heard the example of looking at a glass with water at the halfway point: We can perceive the glass as half empty or half full. We can have the attitude, "Oh, I'm not happy because it's not full." Or "I'm grateful because it's half full."
We can modify our behavior, the behavior of gratitude versus complaining. Then we can modify our outlook, our general understanding, and our general appreciation for life. Our negativity toward life starts with a simple decision of looking at something in a certain way.
So the thought that the Buddhists are encouraging when we're thinking about true love is that we need to celebrate. We need to be joyful. We need to understand the common humanity that makes us who we are. We all understand pain. We all understand suffering. There is not one person sitting here in the congregation who has not shed a tear. We know what that's like. But also in a life of faith, in a life that practices true love, it's also important to be joyful. It's important to laugh; it's important to celebrate.
And that leads us to the fourth element in the Buddhist understanding of what true love is all about, and that is upekkha, which translates to equanimity or freedom. When we utter the word equanimity, what we're talking about is an evenness of temper, and evenness of spirit, something that is consistent, something that you know is always there.
When we think about freedom in the context of true love, we have true freedom in our relationships with our spouses, with our brothers and sisters, with our True Parents, with our parents. When we have given our trust to each other, when we've entrusted our hearts to each other, then we can truly be free to express what we're going through, what we're feeling. We don't have to be afraid of the repercussions in leaving ourselves vulnerable to the people whom we love. We have the freedom to be who we are, which is beautiful sons and daughters of God.
So when we read through the four elements of the Buddhist understanding of true love, we realize that these are all the qualities that parents would naturally come to embody because they have the experience of what it is to be a parent, to raise a child, to raise a family. The wonderful thing about our True Parents is that they bring to us an opportunity to graft onto the original olive branch and to substantiate an ideal family for ourselves. Within the context of the family, we can experience what it is to be like God because God is our Heavenly Parent and God loves us as his children.
So when we become parents to our own children, we can understand how much God loves us. When we become parents ourselves, we love each and every munchkin with all our heart and with all our soul, do we not?
When we have a parental heart, the parental heart of True Parents, following the simple guidelines that the Buddhists offer in their faith -- of benevolence, compassion, joy, and freedom -- then we can imagine a family that is truly supportive of each member and practicing loving-kindness toward each other.
One of the ways that we show loving-kindness can be a gesture. But a truly effective and empowering way that we can show kindness is through articulating kindness through loving words. How wonderful if in a family the children wake up and greet the parents, "Good morning, Father and Mother. Please have a wonderful day. I love you so much." And at the end before going to bed, they kiss them good-night, saying, "I am so happy that you are my parents. How lucky I am." When the children start articulating these loving, kind words, they start becoming loving and kind themselves.
If a husband and a wife coming from two different cultures can start articulating beautiful words to each other, in time they will become beautiful in their own love for each other. The way you treat your wife, not as a second-class citizen but as a daughter of God, as a divine human being, as your eternal partner, as your eternal soul mate, and the same on the part of the wife, creates an incredible circuitry, an incredible energy.
When a husband and wife start treating each other with benevolence, with loving-kindness, then whenever they are confronted with a difficult situation, they will have the room in their hearts to be empathetic with each other. So maybe a husband comes home after a really tough day at the office and is in the midst of his venting when he walks in the front door. A loving wife will be a compassionate wife, understanding that the venting is not directed toward her and that she has within her hands the power to love and change that venting into words of love through her own joy.
A husband and wife or a brother or sister should recognize the importance of practicing joy, that not only should we suffer and work hard together but that we should have a good time. I think this is highly pertinent for Asian families because I come from an Asian culture. In an Asian culture, it's not highly encouraged for the parents to frolic with the children or to engage in conversations with the children, let alone spend time with the children. It's a very vertical relationship, almost like a teacher and a student.
But if we can approach life with a joyful heart, wanting to celebrate each other in our time, the children can understand love not through suffering and not through a painful situation but through sharing laughter, through sharing joy, through celebration. When we are engaged in a religious life and we think that we have to sacrifice everything for our Heavenly Parent, it does not mean dying for the sake of others. We have to live. We have to enjoy our children, and we have to allow them to enjoy us as parents. We have to put our pride away and have that conversation, that meaningful conversation that will embolden our child to go out into the world with the confidence of being a son or daughter of God who can accomplish great things. This starts with a joyful heart and experiences of laughter and happiness in the family.
Then we can go on to practice what the Buddhist understanding calls freedom. Many times I think we as parents, wanting to raise children in this life of faith, really are afraid of the word freedom. But if we really love each other and if we really trust each other, there are times when as parents we must be willing to let go of our children. In our so doing, by trusting our children and by letting go, they will feel the weight of our love and our trust, and they will rise up to the challenge and be those trustworthy sons or daughters who will feel so empowered because the parents believe in them. So they will go out into the world and become great men and women.
I've seen many instances in a spousal relationship when the husband or the wife is so afraid of the outside world that they feel the only way they can be a successful, loving couple is through total control. I've seen instances when the husband cannot do anything without the wife's permission. I've seen instances when the wife, knowing that the husband is in a meeting, is calling and saying, "Come home right now. Now." Every five minutes, "Now." If the wife doesn't have the heart to understand that maybe the meeting that's going a little too late is a very important one and the husband has a responsibility there that he has to execute, and she's just enforcing her divine right as a wife to say, "You come home now," that is not a relationship where there is true love, where there is true freedom.
When we have true love, there are no boundaries. You can go anywhere. You can do anything. You can be anything, and nothing will change. So we have to start believing in each other. We have to allow each other room to grow. We have to understand that when God gives this wonderful person to us in our keeping, the relationship is not a possession. It's not something you control. It's something that you honor; it's something that you nurture; it's something that you serve in living for the sake of others.
That's why, if you really think about it, the philosophy of living for the sake of others is a very profound one. When you live for the sake of others, you have to make a conscious decision in your mind that there is something called the other outside yourself. You have to be cognizant of the other in your life. By allowing your consciousness to be cognizant of this thing called the other, then you realize that me, myself, and I is not the most important thing in the world. By concentrating on something other than yourself, you have the desire and the need to start practicing benevolence, compassion, joy, and freedom.
If we really think about our lives as true Unificationists and our philosophy as living for the sake of others, it's really not about us; it's really not about just the individual. It's really about honoring the divine within that is part of God. When we fulfill our destinies, we honor God first; in so doing, naturally we honor ourselves and our lives.
When we live in honor of the others in our lives -- our parents, our brothers and sisters, our worldwide community -- then the I does not become so important. The walls of pride fall away and we realize that the only thing that we really need to concentrate on is running to our Heavenly Parent each and every day and living our lives as a living prayer. Every day is a living prayer.
If we can rejoice in the Lord and practice this thing called true love, then we can give of ourselves and with everything honor our God up in heaven, honor our True Parents, and thus honor our own lives.
When you think about these four elements in the Buddhist understanding of what true love is all about, the most important message that they teach us is, "I will be present. I will be there for you." In our different relationships, we many times express to each other, "I love you." What does "I love you" mean? How does "I love you" get expressed through our articulation or through our behavior in our daily lives? I believe that if you really love somebody and you're gazing into the eyes of somebody that you want to say "I love you" to, what you are expressing is the message "I will be there for you."
That's the message that our Heavenly Parent has been saying all along to his children. Our Heavenly Parent is always there for us, no matter what, no matter what we are doing, no matter what we are going through. Our Heavenly Father and Mother are always there. And the great thing about our True Parents is they are telling us the same thing. They will always be there for us, wishing us well, empowering us to do better, and emboldening us to be great men and women of God.
If we are successful parents ourselves, that's the most important message we can give to our spouse, "I will be there for you," absolutely, eternally, unchangingly. It's the most important message we can convey to our children.
For the First Generation and parents who are going through some difficulty with their children because perhaps they might be in a rebellious phase, this is the time when we can say to our children, "I will be there for you, no matter what." It's that sense of security, that sense of comfort, that is going to empower our children to do great things.
If siblings can say that to one another, how wonderful would that family be? And in a wider context, if different religions can say to one another, "I will be there for you," meaning, "I will love you," meaning, "I will honor your tradition; I will celebrate together with you the beauty of our Heavenly Parent," how wonderful would it be?
The completion stage of the Unification Peace Temple is an incredible opportunity to take part in the actual building of the temple. This is a wonderful opportunity for each and every one of us to participate, to donate, and to have our names engraved in the peace temple that represents all the world's religions in one place. We will have an Islamic mosque; we will have a Catholic service; we will have the Jewish tradition represented; we will have the Unification Church. How wonderful would it be if we as Unificationists, if we as proud Americans, can contribute in the building of this wonderful symbol of unity?
The Bible says that Christ came to make the word flesh. The messiah comes again to substantiate the promise of God that he made to his people a long time ago. Our True Parents have come, and they have declared that they have come to unite all religions. Right now we are actively participating in the making of that dream. That dream already has an intermediate temple built, and we are well on our way toward the third temple.
Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you participate. Be a positive and an active agent of change in our lives. Be an active and participating agent of change in the world by contributing to the building of this great temple that symbolizes the unity of all religions. Especially when I recite my father's quote that I shared with you earlier, I'm reminded of the date September 11, even though that speech was given in 1972. On our shores we suffered what happens when religions start fighting among themselves, when we start looking at each other as enemies and with eyes of hatred.
When Father witnessed the September 11 occurrence here, and New York was hard-hit, one of the things he said to the family was, "New York needs to be a symbol of unity of world religions." He said, "If you construct a tower in the very spot where the twin towers were destroyed, it will still continue to be a target for terrorist activity because it's not representing anything else than what it was." The terrorist groups see America as a superficial country, as a country that is high on commercialization, having no faith, an arrogant country that thinks it is the greatest superpower in the world.
The higher and the greater America is, the more humble Americans need to be. Imagine for a minute if the building were built in honor of world religions. Imagine if the first three floors were transformed into a museum where a mosque was represented, where Jesus was represented, where the Jewish tradition was represented, as well as all the different religions. Then it would be a terrorist target no longer because everyone would feel represented in some way: maybe not the extremes, but somehow represented, in that America recognizes different cultures, recognizes different traditions, and it aspires to do something great -- to create and substantiate a peaceful world. Such a building would be a symbol of peace, a symbol of united love.
When my family is engaged in the creation of this temple, that is exactly what we are trying to do. It's going to be a symbol and a call for unity, something that encourages everyone to work together because we are all sons and daughters of God.
Brothers and sisters, on this Sunday back with you after three weeks, I am delighted to be here with you once again. But I am here to remind all of you, myself included, that this is not just another day. This is an incredible time. We are walking, breathing, and living at the same time as our True Parents. As they unveil all their plans for humanity in encouraging us to work together, in encouraging us to build healthy, strong families, we need to be right there with them spreading the good news, spreading the breaking news, should we not?
So please have a great Sunday and a great week. Please continue to be that natural witness for our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents, and God bless.