World Peace Prayer Ceremony at Ananda European Center Assisi-ITALY

On August 27th, we held a beautiful WPFC at Ananda Assisi, the European community of the followers of Paramhansa Yogananda, where people practice Yoga, meditation and prayers in order to awaken their divinity, to elevate and expand their consciousness. Around 200 people gathered not only from all over Italy but also from USA and other countries in Europe. I planned and prepared for this peace celebration day in a perfect collaboration with a team of Ananda Community.

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On August 24th, in the center part of Italy where I live, we had a strong earthquake which caused a lot of destruction in many towns in three regions. This peace ceremony was planned to be held only three days after the disaster, and we were still having a lot of small but continuous earthquakes. I felt all that was happening must have already been planned in the divine world a long time ago. In the first part of the ceremony where each spiritual leader offered a talk and a peace prayer, we offered our deep prayers and meditation for those who were facing a very difficult moment and a lot of pain losing their families, friends and houses.

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I told them that in Japan and in every part of the world people were praying for Italy and supporting us, and said, “In 2011, when a terrible earthquake and tsunami hit one third of Japan, we received many messages of love and prayer supports from all over the word. Just like that time, now all the members of our associations and also many other people in different countries are constantly praying for Italy. Thoughts are energy and prayers reach to the hearts of people. We, Japanese people, know very well how much healing and encouragement a spiritual support and a thought of love can give to the people when they feel like to have lost everything.”

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The world top leader of Ananda Community, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi talked first, Jyotish said “Every religion teaches the same thing, for example, in all sacred words of great masters of each religion says, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others” or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We follow the same teaching.”, and talked about the importance of respecting diversity and yet recognizing that we are all same in our original nature. Then, the talk was followed by our guests, a Camaldoli father(Christian), an Imam from Perugia, a Tibetan monk, a representative of Baha’i, and a director of My Life Design Foundation and of International School of Forgiveness.

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Tibetan monk said, talking about the disaster of earthquake, “In an emergency, unconditional love manifests and a pure desire of serving to and helping people becomes awakened in the heart of humanity. Rescue workers never care nor ask at all if the person in need to be saved is a man or a woman, of what age, or of which religion. There exists only a human being in need for a help. Our brothers and sisters are there asking for help. Rescue workers do not mind even to risk their own lives to save someone, in this beautiful action only shines a respect of life. Facing such a disaster, a beautiful heart of love and of compassion manifests in ourselves and we feel a sincere desire of helping others and a desire of offering love”. Also Imam, who is a surgeon, said, “All religions teach us to love others. None of the religions teaches us to take somebody’s life. When I operate a patient, I do not question if the patient is an Italian or a German, etc. The word Salam(Peace) contains Allah(God) within, Allah is Peace itself”.

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We concluded the first part with a short mediation guided by a leader of Ananda community, then we all went out of their beautiful temple and prepared for the World Peace Flag Ceremony. Everyone united immediately their voices and hearts as soon as we started, this was also the inauguration of my new large flag set, and I was very happy to use them for the first time for such a great event.

Spiritual leaders thanked me for being invited to be part of a wonderful ceremony, their faces were open and shining. My five partners of the ANANDA peace committee were all full of joy and said, “We held other Interfaith conferences in the past, but this is completely different. we never saw before today the representatives of different religions becoming so open to communicate with each other.” One of them said, “Next time we would love to organize the event over two days and create more prayer meetings, workshops, more collaborations with local spiritual groups, music and dance etc. It was an incredibly touching day, all the wonderful moments are still alive in me and I am sure they will continue to live forever in my heart. Many people were strongly moved and wholeheartedly felt deep resonance. There is no doubt that our peace ceremony elevated our consciousness, and not only the level of our consciousness was heightened but also we were expanded to the world at a horizontal level as well.”

Another peace committee member and one of the leaders of the community said, “While raising flags, my heart was filled with a deep emotion, we, all participants, shared the light of Love and Joy. All of you, World Peace Prayer Society members are truly beautiful ambassadors of Peace, who have been working for the creation of Peace in the Universe. Let’s build more and more wonderful days like this in the future. May all the hearts of humanity be filled with Peace and Harmony”.

Many people thanked me with tears in their eyes, many others hugged me with shining faces, saying that this World Peace Flag Ceremony was the best. I am so happy that we could offer our peace prayers with people who share the same spiritual understanding. It was a great joy to create a Light Field of Oneness together with people who have already elevated consciousness and who know the power of prayer.

Infinite Joy!!! Sonoko Tanaka, WPPS Representative in Italy

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