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【 學。子。園。地 】

A Brighter Light in the World
—A Record of the United Religions Initiative at CTTB

培德女中10年級 何心安文 By Julia Hua, 10th grader, Developing Virtue Girls School, May 6, 2004
比丘尼恆教師中譯 Bhikshuni heng jiao chinese translation


世界宗教聯合會議在運作上雖然只有五年的光景,但是他們相聚卻已有十年了。我很榮幸能有機會訪問世界宗教聯合會的主席莉達女士(Mrs. Rita Semel)面談,她告訴我所有有關世界宗教聯合會的成立及其目的。她向我證明要讓這世界和平與團結是有辦法,而不是一點也沒有希望。她向我證實有些人已放下不同的意見成立同心會來成就相當多的善行。她向我證明這世界上有許多人希望有宗教交流,讓我驚訝的是,現在在世界宗教聯合會電子網路上簽名的已超過一萬人。就因為有這個面談的機會,讓我看到這世界不同的光明,一道更明亮的光。



Despite the fact that members of the United Religions Initiative (URI) were only here for four days, I really felt that I made a deep connection with them. We all shared the same heart. The URI are a terrific bunch of people. They have come from all over the world just to help bring religions together, and that is truly a goal worth commending. They had given up a lot of their time and money to come to CTTB, to get together and reach a consensus on how to bring interfaith to the world. The United Nations (UN) brings nations together, but the URI brings religions together. These people do not see the color and accents of their fellow global council members. They only see the hope and love glowing in the eyes of their friends. These people are truly amazing and have done a lot to help the world.

Even though the URI has only technically been in existence for five years, their members have actually been together for ten years. I received the honor of interviewing the chairperson of the URI, Mrs. Rita Semel. She told me all about the founding of the URI, and its purpose. She showed me that the world is actually capable of peace and unity, and that there is still much hope for the world. She also demonstrated to me that there are many people who have put aside their differences and come together to form Cooperation Circles, which have done a tremendous amount of good deeds. And she showed me that the world does want interfaith. I was amazed to find out that 10,000 people have already signed the URI Charter. Just meeting her made me look at the world in a different light, a brighter and more hopeful light.

I went on a walk with a few of the global council members this morning at 7:00 am. I got the chance to get to know quite a few of the members. Many of them have made a resolve to promote interfaith and bring peace to the world and that sole purpose renders me speechless. Later on this morning at about 9:00 am, some students from the Girls’ School were blessed with the opportunity of leading the Sacred Opening on the last day. When we arrived, we were escorted into their meeting room and the ceremony began. We taught them a few mantras and Dharma Master Heng Sure taught everyone how to sing, “She Carries Me.” During “She Carries Me” there is a chorus and everyone was invited to sing. We’ve sung it a few times before but when the URI sang it, it was as if the whole room was shaking with indescribable hope and passion. Quite a few people were moved so much that they broke into tears! When it came time for the closing, the students went into the middle of the room and formed an outward circle and bowed. The council members were on their feet and bowing back and saying, “A-mi-to-fo” to us. It was such an incredible moment. Everyone felt the positive energy nestled into that one room, and soon, a majority of the people were in tears, including myself. Then everyone began laughing and when we were about to leave, the URI council members stopped us and showered gifts upon us, autographed of course. At that moment I could see that everyone was happy, because all the tears were tears of joy and happiness, not tears of hatred or pain. I will always remember this day.

The URI has changed me in many ways. During their short stay, I got to know quite a few of the members, and we all agreed to stay in touch. Unfortunately, they are gone now but I still can’t stop thinking about them. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me and for the entire world.


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