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Music: The International language of Love
Beautiful Music for meditation, Christian Art is international language of love song of songs
Music: The International language of Love
Beautiful...Music and Art is international language that can inspire many. This song touches your heart and soul... please spread the LOVE to all your friends. “My gift of music is a blessing from God unearned by me. I give and take pleasure in the divine experiences... just flow in the ocean of emotions, because my music is inspired by my love for, and devotion, to the Lord.” – Shri Prakash Gossai.
"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities."
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."
"Each moment of a happy lover's hour is worth an age of dull and common life."
Manifesting the Principle of love. Inherit the true love and word of God. Aju. Today’s reading is from the Cheon Seong Gyeong 2201. True Father says:
The filial child is the person who can accept what he dislikes more than what he likes. The person who sacrifices his precious love in order to fulfill his filial duty to his parents will be able to go anywhere in Heaven, and if there are twelve pearly gates, then not one of them will be blocked to him. All the gates will be wide open.
If you understand that God is in the world of the mind – the spirit world, as Father says, the world that transcends time and space, a different dimension – and if you then understand that God’s heart and mind have been filled with suffering and pain, then you understand that His whole being is as if covered with pain and suffering. And if there is a son and a daughter who can come and alleviate that stress and anxiety and pain that He feels in His heart, then He not only feels liberated in His heart, as separate from His body, but He feels liberated in His heart and His whole existence.
We know that the ones who have liberated our heavenly God, who have liberated this pain that He has had in His heart, that incredible mental anguish and disappointment, are none other than our True Parents of Heaven and Earth. Yes, let’s give it up one time for our True Parents who have liberated God’s heart! This is what True Father is talking about with the filial child.
Main Sermon: True Filial Love
Today I would like to speak to you all about “True Filial Love”. As you know, it is the autumn season. In Asia, this is the time for remembering the ancestors. So, let’s begin first with our core scripture from Matthew 12:46-50. Let’s read together:
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While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Aju.
Here, Jesus shows that it is those who partake in the will of the Father, who have the same purpose and mission, the same life purpose that moves forward for the Father, who are his brothers and sisters and mother.
When we look at the Unification Movement, we can see that in the early age, at the foundation level, we were HSAUWC, which is the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. There, the foundation was to expand to unify Christianity, and if they had received True Parents as the Lord of the Second Advent, then we know that Cheon Il Guk could have been established at a much faster rate. But due to that particular situation not occurring, then the providence was extended.
In the 1990’s, True Father then moved us to the growth stage, where we not only had the mission of unifying Christianity, but we now had the mission of moving and transcending many different boundaries: political boundaries, social boundaries, national boundaries. We made very many networks and many Peace Ambassadors, and we were able to reach out and connect with many, many different realms of existence.
Now, at the perfection stage level, in the age of Cheon Il Guk and after the coming of heaven, then True Parents have blessed us with the name Tongil-gyo, which is different from HSAUWC. In the west, I do not think this is clear, but within the name Tongil-gyo there is an incredible and profound secret.
When we look at the Chinese characters Tongil-gyo and we look at the ‘gyo’, it means the teaching or the tradition. Buddhism, for example, is bul gyo; Confucianism is yu gyo; Christianity is gidok gyo; it’s the same gyo. And in this ‘gyo’ character there are two elements: the element or radical on the left is the character for filial piety, that’s hyo-ja, and on the right side of that is the character for father, or parents.
True Father explained that when there are many filial sons and daughters next to the parents, next to True Parents, next to God, next to the Father, then unification will occur. Within this short but amazing meaning, we have the real essence of what it means to be Unificationist; to be filial pious sons and daughters near the father, who protect, uplift, glorify, etc.
Now, growing up in the west, I never understood the meaning of filial piety so much because in the west we do not necessarily have the concept like in East Asia about filial piety. It is a little different. In the west, when you call your parents once in a while, visit them on Thanksgiving, visit them at Christmas, you are considered a very good son or daughter. This is pretty common. It is quite normal in the west because we do not have the tradition of that kind of filial piety. There is also not the tradition of bulhyo or ‘unfilial’ piety which we have in Asia, for example. So in the west, it is quite normal that kids will argue with their parents in their teenage years, etc. This is the notion of filial piety that I had understood, being from the west. I understood it as treating your parents kindly, thinking about them once in a while, visiting them at Thanksgiving, etc.
I heard a lot about filial piety in our tradition but I did not understand exactly what type of filial piety True Parents were looking at, or what perspective they were coming from. We know that Korea, for example, is influenced by Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian thought. It is also influenced in the modern day by Christianity.
When I started studying the East Asian traditions from a western person’s perspective, I was fascinated by many things from different traditions: Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. But studying a little bit about Confucianism, there was the notion of filial piety that Confucius explained at three different levels. The first level of filial piety is the level of filial piety where the son or daughter will attend their parents and take care of them, prepare their meals during the day, and attend to them. But this is basically the first level where you are attending them every day of your life, almost. So already it is a very high level of filial piety compared to what we have in the west.
In the second level of filial piety, Confucius said that you do the first – you attend your parents and take care of them and their wellbeing – and at the second level, you not only take care of your parents in your relationship with them, but now when you leave the house, when you deal with people in society, when you go about your work or your business, you do not embarrass or shame your parents through your actions. So, not only do you have the first level, which is the relationship between parents and child, but at the second level, you have to look at yourself and you have to reflect on whether your actions and thoughts are influencing your parents negatively or hurting them, hurting their reputation, hurting their honor.
In the west we have somewhat similar notions to this, how one must be cognizant of how his behavior will affect groups. In the west, if you are working in a company, or in a group or business conglomerate, then how you behave is also reflective. You would have to be someone who is cognizant of how you behave ethically with transactions, etc., so that your behavior reflects the integrity of that enterprise or that business. We have that concept a little bit in the west.
Confucius then went on to describe the third level of filial piety: the first, attendance; the second, not shame; the third level of filial piety, which was the greatest he said, was that you do level one, you do level two, but at level three you do everything in your power to glorify your parents, to glorify them. This, he said, was the greatest level of filial piety.
What I realized, in understanding and studying this, and coming to Asia and explaining this to Asian people, I realized that they did not learn this. They did not learn this in the history books or in their studies. But, what I felt is that, although they did not learn this in a book, they could feel and intuit that which would be in the realm of filial piety.
In the west, we have a notion of patriotism for the nation; that is very strong in America and in other countries, Great Britain as well. It is patriotism towards the queen or patriotism towards the nation. This, of course, everybody in the west can understand.
The notion of the Asian filial piety is kind of like patriotism towards your parents. That is an easy way to understand what we are talking about when Father is talking about filial piety; the type of patriotism and heroism that we see in the west when soldiers go out and fight for their country and really sacrifice their life. This is the same type of mindset as when filial piety is offered to the parents. This is the type. In my own perspective, this is what I feel is an easier way for a western person to understand what is meant by Asian filial piety in this context.
Let’s move on to our next scripture, which is from Mark 12:29-31. Let’s look at this verse because this is a very important verse. Let’s read this together:
“The most important one,” Jesus answered, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Now, when we look at these two quotes, people usually make a mistake. We tend to focus on the second quote as the teaching of Christ, so the real action call of Christ is to love thy neighbor as you love thyself, practice empathetic compassion towards other people.
But this is a misreading of this verse. Jesus first says the greatest commandment is what? “The greatest command is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” That means 100%. That doesn’t mean 80%, 20%, on Sundays… No, no. It means with all your mind, with all your thoughts focused on God, with all your heart, all your heartistic inklings and emotional content, driven towards that focus. All of your will, all of your soul, all of your spiritual action is moved towards that. All of your strength, all of your effort is moved towards that aim. To love the Lord, is the greatest command, is the testament of being Christ-like.
So this is the question to Unificationists, “How much do we love God?” This is the question. This is what others wish to see, because if Unification Movement has the truth that is to unite the religious traditions, to bring into one the nations and the world, as the prophecy has been spoken, then they would want to see not only what our teaching is but how then we apply it in our life. Not just how we treat our neighbors, not just how we are kindhearted or nice to people. That’s not the greatest commandment. The greatest is how much, how intensely we love God. How intensely our life resembles the intensity of focus and admiration and love and praise towards God. That is what serious religious practitioners would want to see.
I had a chance to be in Jerusalem this time with many Muslims. I love their seriousness and the intensity with which they focus on God, orient themselves toward Mecca every day and center themselves five times a day. In the West, we have the notion of Sunday faith. We think of God just on Sunday, but not Muslims. Muslims, every day. Practicing Muslims, every day. Orient yourself five times a day, orient yourself towards God, bow down before Him and recognize who you are in relation to God.
So then, if we are the tradition to lead, to influence and to bring together Muslims and Christians, and others, they are not only going to look at our teaching – they are going to see, of course, how we much we love our neighbors, how much service work we do – but on the deeper level, how intensely focused we are on loving God. This is what intense religious practitioners will want to see.
I remember before I started ministry, I had a chance to spend a little time in China and I had a wonderful opportunity to spend time at Shaolin Temple. Oh, I love it! Shaolin Temple. Let’s do it [showing a slide of his teacher at Shaolin Temple] I love his beard, he has this huge Boddhidarma beard. I had a chance to train with him a little bit. We know Shaolin Temple is very famous now worldwide because of Jet Li and Shaolin Temple, and all those incredible movies that they made. Of course, in modern days, there are some problems with the government, etc. The monks who have upheld the tradition have become somewhat marginalized in some contexts, but traditionally, the monastery has always been a place of intense practice, intense training, as of course now the world knows, and intense sutra recitation, study of the Boddhidarma and the texts, the practice of meditation, the physical training and all this kind of thing. Very intense. The seriousness, the manner in which the monks would train was very inspiring for me when I was there. Very inspirational and also very heartfelt. Before the world came to know about Shaolin Temple, China already had a great love for Shaolin Temple because the monks, known as the martial monks, were the ones that sharpened their skills, and through those skills were able to protect even the Emperor during invasions during Chinese history. So they were seen as patriots of the nation.
These monks were trained from a very young age, training their bodies very rigorously. They were training even when they were eating rice and eating meals. They would be sitting in a horse stance position and strengthening their leg muscles as they were eating; that was wonderful kind of training. As they increased in age and also in maturity, they would then not only practice the body in a hard way but also practice the mind, training the mind. It was this intensity of focus even the older monks had in training their mind, in training and practicing in their spiritual life.
When I saw this I was very inspired because I always wished to train at the Shaolin Temple and be with the real monks there. We are now doing eight times a day prayer training here in Cheon Bok Gung with our Hoonsa nims and Mooksa nims and also with a couple of leaders in Europe. More and more, here at the Cheon Bok Gung, many members are starting to join us in the eight times a day prayer. Per day, not just Sunday faith. Not just thinking of God when we need a blessing, but focusing our attention, constantly training the mind, training, training, constantly, constantly, we are orienting, constantly coming back to prayer, constantly coming back to training.
When we practice this brief training, maybe five, ten minutes, it is very short but very often, we start with the Unification Principle, manifest the Principle, and we start by doing Eokmanseis. You all know the Eokmanseis … let’s do them together. [Hananim ---- Eokmansei!]
We start with Eokmanseis because that means we praise God first. We praise True Parents first and we praise Cheon Il Gook, which is the nation and the will. We praise the will and Thy Kingdom and Thy will first. Before anything, we start with that in prayer. As we do that then we move on to the next stage, which is the eight stages of prayer. We talk of that many times, eight stages of prayer. What are the levels of eight stages? We can do them together. Ready? Individual, family, tribe, society, nation, world, cosmos (that includes spirit world), and God level. Let’s do it backward. I can do that in Korean. Let’s see if I mess it up in English. Let’s do it backward. God, spirit world, the world, nation, society, tribe, family and individual.
So when we pray after we offer the Eokmanseis we go on to the eight stages of prayer. We first start prayer and focus on God. We start praising God first, remembering His goodness, then we move to the second level which is then praying for the spirit world and praying for our ancestors and also the four great saints. Remember Jesus, remember Buddha, remember Confucius, remember the Prophet Mohammed. Remember our four great saints. Remember the ones who have passed on to the spirit world, who come before us. And then we also offer prayer for the world. As Unificationists, we offer prayer for the world. For the world to become one and the world to be unified. We also offer prayer for the nation. In this current atmosphere we offer Nam-Buk-Tongil, which is North-South unification. For the nations of the world to come to understanding of True Parents. Also, societies and tribes and families to become blessed families and to be able to glorify heaven not just through the transfer of lineage but also until our Sunghwa ascencion ceremony. Until our dying breath we can offer and glorify heaven with our life.
And then when we arrive at the individual level, we don’t pray, “God give me a golden house and a golden car and golden radio.” We don’t pray that; as Jesus said that’s not even a prayer. That’s not prayer. Jesus talks about in the Lord’s prayer that you first have to praise God, praise Thy nation and Thy kingdom first then you can talk about what you need, but God already knows. So starting with what we need, “God bless me this, God bless me that way, give me this, give me that…”, these are not prayers as Jesus is talking about.
When we offer the individual prayer, we offer the prayer saying, “God use me for Thy Kingdom, for Thy will. Use me how You will it to be. How You decide to be. I don’t have the expectations. I surrender my expectations to You. I’m not expecting You to use me in the way I want to be used or use me in the way that I expect. I surrender that. Use me how You will, for Your kingdom and Your purpose.” This is the mindset; this is the posture that we set when we train. After the eight stages of prayer, then we move into the family pledge, which is the reading Father said is the greatest prayer among prayers, and then we recite that eight times a day. Then we finish by manifesting the Principle. That’s fast, about five minutes, up to ten minutes long, not that long, but what it does is centers us completely on our purpose.
During our normal day in life, when we are being hit by tribulations, the waves and the winds of normal life, then we will very often forget our purpose in life. We will forget why I am living, why I am fighting, why am I going through these winds and waves, what am I doing? We will forget why it is we are living. But when we re-orient, when we bow down, when we humble ourselves, when we remember and focus with all our hearts, all of minds, all our souls, all our strength in our training, then we start remembering every time the prayer session comes, then we remember, we let go of the things that are controlling us. The different worries, the different stresses and anxieties, let go of that and return back to what we are doing here on this earth.
When we think of every day, eight times a day prayer, we think that’s impossible. I can’t even think of praying five times a day, let alone eight times a day. Too much, too much, can’t think of that. But we found that when we train like that, it’s actually easier than we think because it’s so refreshing, because it gives us purpose, it returns us back to our life value. It returns us back to our posture before heaven, etc. So the things of this world, the things that usually stress us, take our energy away, sap us, the person over there who is really stressing me out, those kinds of things become small and weakened in the central focus, which is great, which we have when we come back to prayer.
So, when we look at this training, what I always tell my Hoonsa nims and Mooksa nims is that when we are training, our posture is so important. When we do meditation training, our posture is important because it holds us up straight, allows us to breathe and allows us to focus and not fall asleep. In the same way when we pray, our posture is the same. It’s so important not only our physical posture but our spiritual posture. How we are posturing before God? This is so important.
You all know the story of Job in the Bible. We know the story of the wealthy man who was very blessed, very faithful to God. But Satan challenges God. He says, “Know what? Job is faithful to You because You bless him. He is rich and he is famous and he is wealthy and he has abundance; that’s why he is faithful to You. If I take everything away, Job will betray You in an instant and He will curse Your name. He will forget You.” This is what Satan says to God in the Bible.
God says, “No, he won’t. He won’t do that. I know he will not betray me. I know his faith is real.” So Satan says, “Okay, fine then. I will move ahead.” And Satan then attacks Job. He takes his family, he takes all his riches, his wealth, even his reputation that it took years to build, destroys his reputation. All his networks, all his success and all his business enterprises, everything, Satan takes away. And on top of that, he gives him a sickness, a sickness with bleeding. He has sores on his body, he is bleeding and nothing can stop this kind of pain, this disease that he has been given.
But in the course of all that tribulation, Job does not curse God. He gets to the level of saying, “God, why am I enduring these things?” He gets to that level, but he does not go to the level where he curses God and betrays Him. It is through that victory that God is able, in the story, to bless Job two times over because through his victory Satan is defeated, he is chased away, he is proven to be false. Also, Job is blessed double with his family. Blessed double in his business. Blessed double in his assets. Blessed double in his blessings, in his reputation. He is blessed completely in abundance, more than he ever saw or even thought.
Whether or not this story is literally true, that’s not the point. The point is that Job has the right posture, the spiritual posture towards God. He didn’t say, “God, You use me how I want to be used, just don’t take away my riches, and use me in the proper way.” He said, “Use me however You wish. You give me sickness, You give me health. You give me riches, You give me famine. You give me whatever. You use me for Your purpose. I will continue to praise Your name.” This is the spiritual posture that is so important when we train.
This kind of spiritual posture is the type of heart and posture that can focus us, and not only focus us, not only allow God to bless us in greater ways, but also allow us to defeat evil as God used Job’s life to defeat evil in his realm. So, how we train, we are not just praying petition prayer, “God bless me, give me this, give me that.” These are not prayers, as Jesus said, but how we posture ourselves before God. How we sit before Him – not physically, I’m talking spiritually – is the key that we can learn from the Job story.
It is in this way that we are training once again, in the Unification Movement, to come back to prayer, to come back to training, to come back to the intensity of training in our daily lives, not just on Sunday, not just praising God on Sunday. Doing it as a habit even more than Muslims bow down before the one and only Creator, to remember that we also are that much more in love with God, that much more oriented on God. Of course, it doesn’t mean that it makes you perfect, that the training makes every flaw disappear. Of course not. But what it does is trains us in a way that we can slowly progress and become greater and greater filial sons before heaven and before earth.
This is exactly what Tongilgyo needs. This is what we need once again. We need to not only be the Tongilgyo that is doing great things for our neighbor or doing great things for our society and service work – this is the second commandment – but we need to be the Tongilgyo that is showing the world the intensity with which we love and glorify and praise God every part of every single day.
Let’s give God some glory and let’s give Him some praise. Let’s give True Parents some glory and praise. (Applause).
If we get back to training how it was when we were training in the beginning when True Parents were just starting, how everybody was praying and training all the time, climbing up mountains all the time – when we get back to that type of training, that type of spiritual intensity and spiritual training, then we can be the Tongilgyo that is not only gathering the religious leaders together or the religious practitioners together, but we can be the Tongilgyo that they see, the teaching they respect and also the practice they can respect and the practice that they can learn and emulate and come closer to God with.
Brothers and sisters let’s end today with True Parents’ final words with our Hoondokhae. This is from the 84th volume, 205th page. Let’s read together:
God is the first parents among parents. The first king among kings. The One who alone can rule over all of heaven and earth and the first ancestor capable of formulating His ideal. Our purpose in the Unification Church is to attend Him as His sons and daughters who are capable of offering Him filial piety, loyalty and saintliness and for the first time stand before Him and inherit His vast work of creation without shame or accusation.
Aju! Brothers and sisters, let’s all rise and let’s lift our hands up and wipe the tears from God’s eyes as we extend our hands towards heaven. Let us pray.
Now Hollywood wants to make you think they know what love is. But I'm a tell you what true love is. Love is not what you see in the movies. Its not the ecstasy, its not what you see in that scene, you know what I mean? I'm telling you right now, true love is sacrifice. Love is thinking about others before you think about yourself, love is selfless not selfish. Love is God and God is love. Love is when you lay down your life for another, whether for your brother, your mother, your father or your sister, its even laying down your life for your enemies, that's unthinkable, but think about that. Love is true. Think.
I'll put you in front of me
So everybody can see
My love, this is my love
I know that I'll be alright
As long as you are my guide
My love, this is my love
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, it always perseveres.
Love never fails. Love is everlasting, its eternal, it goes on and on, it goes beyond time, love is the only thing that will last when you die, but ask the question why? Do you have love?
There is no greater love than this than he who lays down his life for his friends. Now are you willing to lay down your life for your friends? You're probably willing to lay down your life for your mother, your father, or your best friends, but are you willing to lay down your life for even those that hate you? I'm going to tell you who did that, the definition of love is Jesus Christ. He is love. The nails in his hands, the thorns in his brow, hanging on a cross for your sin my sins, that is LOVE he died for you and me while we still hated him, that is love. God is true love, and if you don't know this love, now is the time to know, perfect love.
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