The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2010

Rooting Our Faith in Prayer and Spiritual Practice -- Interview with Hyung Jin Moon

October 2010

Hyung-jin nim wants religious faiths to connect to True Parents, and he has been working toward that end. In this interview, he looked at this issue and at the reinvigoration of our life of faith. He also described plans for True Parents' 2011 birthday as if they are set but later clarified that these are tentative ideas in the discussion stage. Nevertheless, readers may gain a sense of what is being striven for and the effort that goes into this significant holiday still four months away.

Question: I'd like to ask you about your visits to religious leaders' birthplaces.

Answer: Initially, we went on the world tour -- which Father sent us on -- so that we could meet the members and clarify True Parents' position, so that everyone can be united with True Parents. That, of course, is the central reason. But we've also been visiting religious sites, and sites connected with our four great saints) We have been to the birthplace of the Buddha,'- and to Bethlehem; we also prayed there, and set conditions. And we actually brought back stones, holy rocks, from the area.

We are planning to go to the Arab world, to Mecca, in November, and to visit the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, and to Qufu, in December, to the birthplace of Confucius. We'll bring soil from all the sacred sites to the holy land [Korea].

On True Parents' birthday we'll have seven days of festivals. Father instructed this to be done from last year.... We'll have seven days with many activities. We really want to highlight True Parents' Birthday to the world this coming February.

We'll hold the first ceremony in the morning at the Cheon Jeong Peace Palace with True Parents. In the afternoon, True Parents may come to Seoul, in which case the main event will be held at Cheon Bok Gung. And this is where the peace ambassadors and others will come and participate in a ceremony of the "land" of all the religions becoming one -- in Cheon Bok Gung.

Buddhist monks will come and bring soil from Lumbini, Buddha's birthplace, in a sacred chalice. Archbishop Milingo and other people representing the Catholic faith will come in their sacred robes holding a beautiful urn containing soil from Jesus' birthplace. Muslims will come and bring sacred earth from the Arabian Desert. And Confucius' descendants will come in Confucian robes and offer earth from Confucius' hometown.

The earth from these lands will be mixed in a large container with holy salt, with which we can purify the world. It will all become white. We will prepare this at Cheon Bok Gung.

It will be a grand ceremony. We're going to create a big stage -- not the stage that we have now in the temple, but a much larger one that takes up the whole front of the sanctuary. We expect that religious leaders will come out and offer representative rituals or prayers -- for example, Buddhist chanting and Muslim saint.' They would do Middle East all these rituals to pray for three things. The first would be world peace, the second, unification -- for North Korea and South Korea particularly, the unification of our fatherland. Some may pray for Middle East unity. The third would be prayers for heavenly blessing -- not offered selfishly, just wanting to receive them, but offering thanks that we are receiving blessings.

Members as well as all the peace ambassadors would be able to come during that seven-day period. On each of these days there would be different festivals. There might be lotus lanterns or doves -- all kinds of things. There will be music, and we hope the Little Angels will come. Members, non-members and peace ambassadors will all be able to come. They might have the opportunity to make a small [monetary] offering. Once a year for peace ambassadors wouldn't be so hard.

Each participant will receive a little container. We will take a small portion of the holy salt with all world's sacred earth mixed in and we'll spread it in our homes for the blessing of our home, the sacredness of the home. It will become holy land. It will protect it and also be a blessing for the children and all the people dwelling there in that sacred space.

There might be some holy ceremony to which everyone would come down after they receive the holy salt. They would come downstairs to the prayer room, where the four great saints are already present, and offer their prayers for the ensuing year -- whatever they are really wishing for, not with a selfish heart but with a grateful heart.

We are also working on statues of the four great saints, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and Confucius embracing, or holding hands. We will he creating these. If this can be completed by February, it will be one of the real highlights.

Hyung-jin nim went on to share his idea that members and guests alike would participate in a ceremony to connect with the great religious leaders in a personal way so that we can have a living spiritual relationship with them. Hyung-jin nim goes on to explain on what basis these blessings come to us.

The real point, however, is for everyone to understand that all this is because of one man and one woman, whom we call True Parents. It's their life accomplishment. Their lives have been dedicated to world peace, the unification of the world and North Korea and South Korea, and bringing the blessing of Heaven to the world.

This will be an opportunity for the peace ambassadors not just to come and receive from us. They will learn how to give, to offer to True Parents. This is a very good way even for our guests. It's so easy because everybody wants a big blessing. It's also great because everybody agrees with praying for world peace and for those who've died in war, and for North and South unification.

The real highlight is to come pay our respects to True Parents who are bringing the world's blessings -- all the sacred soil -- to Korea, creating Korea as the sacred land of the world. No other Korean person in history has ever done such a thing. So we're going to glorify and honor True Parents on their birthday, not just internally but also in the external expression.

Every year this is going to be strengthened. When December arrives, everybody thinks of Christmas, Jesus' birthday. Come April, everyone recalls it's the month for celebrating Buddha's birthday. And every year when February comes, everybody in the nation will know that's True Parents' birthday is coming. This will happen more and more throughout the world each year. Everyone in the world will know that in February people make a pilgrimage to Korea and receive heavenly fortune.

Father personally sent me out on a world tour, to go to the sacred sites specifically. So we are making the effort to go to those lands to bring back blessings for everyone. Essentially, we're going out for the sake of the people, for anyone who will come to receive the blessing. That's not just members. We want to take that next step of bringing all the peace ambassadors.

All of them should contribute, nationwide and worldwide. The other people in the nation as well.

Many Buddhists I know are already happy, delighted and excited to come. This really highlights our inter-religious work and what Father has done for the world, what he's done for the spirit world -- for all those who fought as patriots for Korea in the past and highlights what he has done for the fatherland, bringing all the blessings down to Korea. The people of Korea should all come.

Question: Has any member of the True Family been to Mecca before?

Answer: No. I don't think anyone's been to Lumbini, either. From my point of view, it is very important to go, because I've had a relationship with the saints for ten years.

Also because I have a relationship with these saints, it's very meaningful within that relationship. We've brought them into our temple and if you come to my room -- my personal office -- they're always there. For me, they're very close. And they are all blessed.

Question: Do you receive something personally from them?

Answer: Well, yes, their spiritual presence. A couple of weeks ago, Jesus came. He was crying, because Christians have not accepted True Parents. He was very sad, very frustrated that Christians have been unable to get beyond their narrow concept. They can't accept that the True Parents are Korean. Jesus has given his mission to a Korean....

I've had spiritual experiences with the Buddha and other saints. They're very close.

Question: On your tour of churches in Korea, what developments have you seen that emerged as a result of the efforts to revamp the church over the last two years?

Answer: We have stronger churches now because more people are attending. That's more recent; it will take three years to get the culture right. But the culture has developed so quickly and that's very inspiring to see.

Some regions are far behind in terms of the general membership talking about witnessing, giving testimony. But other regions are all very openly talking about witnessing, as proud Unificationists. That's made a big impact. Some of the regions are faster and some are slower, but as the church gets stronger... Of course we have been investing in and rebuilding the headquarters in each region.

I'm going around calling everyone back to prayer and spiritual practice. We've got to get back to training; it's all about spiritual life.

When Muslims see us, for example, they're not going to see just whether or not we know the Principle, they're going to see how we're living, how we're praying, how our spiritual life is. I go around and speak about prayer, how we are praying. There's a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray. And most of us are praying in the wrong way. So we need to get back to prayer, to reflect on the words of Jesus about prayer and also refer to the even greater words of True Parents and how we actually should pray.

Once we do that, we see Heaven's blessing moving through our lives. We want to get back to the strong level of prayer that existed in our church.

We have been doing eight-times-a-day prayer training, and members can join. Many members at Cheon Bok Gung are praying at least three or four times a day. This is not just a prayer like, Oh God, I love you. This is a formalized prayer. You quieten everything else, put everything away and stop what you're doing. You bow to the ground... You actually do a prayer ritual. We do Eog Mansei, we pray for each of the eight stages and we say the Family Pledge.

This is stopping everything and centering again, eight times a day. The Hoonsa nims and some European leaders and many Cheon Bok Gung members have been participating with us.

It's very good because the spiritual power of the church, prayer and spiritual practices are increasing. As they increase, God's blessing flows much more powerfully. As we surrender ourselves, we open ourselves to God's presence, and then he is more powerfully present. Everything -- the whole day -- is constantly re-centering on serving God.

This is excellent training and it's having a good impact. I'm teaching this when I go to the different areas and everybody's returning back to prayer, back to spiritual life, back to the root. People are getting back to moving with the flow of the providence, moving with God's power, His grace, connecting with these. This is what the tour is about -- getting everyone to focus on the spiritual. And from that, once you surrender yourself to God in you, accept that God is your entire life focus...

When people refer to Jesus' teaching they usually recall "Love thy neighbor," but that's the second greatest teaching of Jesus. The first teaching of Jesus is to love your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. That means every single moment, every single thought, every single heartbeat and every single feeling must be about God. This is the first, and (as he said) the greatest teaching, the greatest commandment. And it's from this that any compassionate action comes. Really loving your neighbor at a fundamental level, not at a superficial level, can only come when you love God with all your strength, all your heart and all your mind.

We're getting everyone back to prayer, creating a culture of prayer, and reinvigorating our life of spiritual training and spiritual practices in our movement. It's not just about education and lectures -- that is not enough. You've got to get back to the training.

To be able to do this with the members around the world and to have the members participate is wonderful. We all know how to do it. We all know how to do eog mansei; we all know how to say the Family Pledge, and we all know how to pray. So we just incorporate those into a formal prayer ritual, where we combine those with bows and different types of prayer offering. This is not just once a week, like Sunday churchgoers, and it becomes such a wonderful offering of fragrant joy to God. 

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