Articles From the March 1995 Unification News


Exploring the Heart of Attendance

by Barbara Zingg

As a UTS graduate of the class of '93, I was able to take part in a 40-day workshop with True Parents in Alaska following our graduation. I had a life-changing experience, being able to live with True Parents so intimately for many days. At the same time my understanding and standard of attendance to True Family were very much challenged.

It started with being in the same airplane as True Mother, and it continued every day when I found myself sitting in front of Father, feeling very unworthy and helpless, not so sure how to behave, how to move and how to really attend True Parents. It hit me that my focus in my life of faith should have been the internal dimension of my heart of attendance in preparation to meet True Parents and True Family much more than anything else. My desire-and I'm sure the desire of every reader of this article-is to live with True Family eternally, but we all know that this is not a simple matter. We clearly have to understand the proper order of relationships in our daily lives.

True Parents are not around us physically most of the time, but there is a universal order of relationships which we cannot ignore on a daily basis. Attending and respecting my Abel figures and elders as well as my younger brothers and sisters is our training ground to find our proper place in our relationship with True Parents and members of the True Family. I never made that connection so clearly in my heart and mind, but reflecting on my experience in Alaska and thinking about all the many times I saw True Children expressing so much frustration about our ignorance of how to attend True Family, it has become obvious to me that unless we make an effort to attend each other sincerely and properly in our daily lives, it's a joke to think that we can treat True Family properly.

I can't share this reflection without touching on a very precious and beautiful experience I had recently when Albertina, our beloved elder sister, national IW and Mum, came to my mission city, Ekaterinburg. I was greatly inspired by her outstanding example of attendance to God and True Family and especially about the fact that she clearly understands and guides people to live in proper relationships with their elder and younger brothers and sisters. We all may have some understanding of that importance, but her consistent efforts to educate and to exemplify it in her own life made a deep impact on myself and on many of our young members.

I had the privilege to live with her during the time of her stay, and she did not miss any chance to correct and educate me, for which I'm deeply grateful. There are not many people who really go out of their way to correct us with the right motivation, and my fallen nature usually rebels against people who try to tell me what I'm doing wrong. But because I could clearly feel her genuine concern for the manifestation of True Parents' tradition in my own life, and in the lives of all those around her, I learned such precious lessons, some of which even changed my life.

Ever since my experience in Alaska, I've been focusing on finding my proper place in relationships, vertical and horizontal ones. I found that we make many mistakes because of our incredible ignorance as fallen people. It takes us a lot of effort to understand what the `` Four Great Realms of Heart,'' which is the internal dimension of attendance, really mean. My experience with Albertina has helped me greatly to become conscientious about how I'm behaving towards different people. Her education always motivated me to search for deeper understanding, especially when she pointed out specific aspects of my fallen nature which I was not even aware of.

I'm deeply appreciative that we have people like Albertina in the CIS who are helping us in such substantial and exemplary ways to inherit a proper standard of attendance. How else are we going to prepare our young brothers and sisters to welcome and meet True Parents if they have a chance to do so? Reality is that they are looking at us, trying to understand what attendance means. Therefore, we had better make an effort to be good examples in our daily lives. It is a serious matter, and I hope that we can make common efforts to help each other to fulfill our true positions, as parental figures, as elder and younger brothers and sisters with one center which is, and will always be, Heavenly Father and True Parents. We just cannot disconnect the relationships in our daily lives from our relationships to True Family; it is crucial to understand how they relate to each other!!!

To finish my reflection, I would like to express my deep appreciation to True Parents for having revealed this precious, eternal, universal Principle, in which we can find true liberation of heart. Let's make it real and alive in our own bones, so that we can truly make a difference in the way we live, communicate, listen, walk and express God's love to each other.

Reprinted from Family Ties.


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