Italy: Seminar “Let’s Free Our Hearts”
By Giuseppe Cali, FFWPU Italy
We held the fourth seminar in liberating our hearts, after San Marino, Bergamo and Milano.
This seminar is made out a new approach to our gatherings, mostly based on dialogue rather than lecturing. Being a new formula, it was not easy to convey its essence and develop it accordingly. Up to now we tried different ways with some difficulties. The main obstacle is our “professional” tendency to preach and teach, often without leaving space and time enough to those who are listening, to express themselves. This new approach tries to change this concept 180 degrees.
The participants are the main actors, teachers, engine of the program. Being myself the MC, after introducing the program, it was not easy to control the speakers’ time. They were supposed to shortly introduce the topic of the three sessions by reading few minutes of a speech and commenting it based on personal experience, to stimulate the following discussion. All together from 15 to 20 minutes maximum, before a discussion divided in groups for 1 hour and half. The groups were always different, based on the topic. Sometimes families all together, some other times husbands together in one group, wives in another group and children in another group. The rules of the conversation were mainly: speak from your heart about yourself, don’t judge or reply to others, leave time for everybody to speak. There were well prepared points do discuss about and each participant could choose one or two of them, but always from personal perspective. Teaching to others was not requested, as commenting other people testimonies or trying to teach other what they are supposed to do or even think. The purpose was learning to listen to each other, understanding each other life, difficulties and hopes and feeling more and more brothers and sisters of the same family under the same God and True Parents. This is supposed to be the “liberation of our hearts”, from judgment, resentment, frustrations and so on, by talking to each other heart to heart in a peaceful and embracing way.
Let’s say that all these seminars went very well, over expectation, being experimental, but the first three could not completely fulfill the goal. In Turin everything went perfectly, according to the guidelines and with the proper preparation and spirit.
The result was that this process of liberation really took place wonderfully and substantially. I really could see how God is trying to guide us these days, to find our identity as members of True Parents’ family, through a new culture of heart based on free and mature sharing.
I must give merit to Gabriella Mieli, the pastor, that prepared the event with proper internal conditions and guided the introduction to the first session, based on our relationship with God and True Parents, to Franz and Patrizia Kershbaummayr, that introduced the second session, based on conjugal love and family relationships, and to Ignazio Cabras, that introduced the third session based on brotherly love. They prepared very well and guided the discussion groups wonderfully.
Participation from the members was almost full. The community was entirely there, except for very few that called me to apologize and could not attend. I’d like to give merit to all members as well, not only for the full participation, but also for the quality of the heart and the maturity they expressed during the program. In the group discussions, we had moments of great depth, spirituality, beautiful sentiments, brotherly love, life testimonies with sorrows and joys, all worthy of children of True Parents. I must say that we had also some moments of hilarity, especially when we talked about our relationships in the husband and wives divided groups. In the conjugal life, there are actually very funny moments and we could share a lot about them, but always with deep respect and love. This helped to raise the spirit over the difficulties and pains.
Dostoyevsky said the “the beauty will save the world” talking mainly about internal beauty, and in the conclusive speech I testified about the beauty I could see in my brothers and sisters in this wonderful day.
To me, always busy with mission and focused in fulfilling goal was a healing day. I could feel loved and embraced by these brothers and sisters and I could express freely my heart to them. The smiling faces we could see in each other at the end of the seminar were the image of the CIG we want to build.
We know very well, it is just a beginning and there is much to do, still. We cannot be satisfied until we could include all people in the same True Parents embrace. We are willing to continue this path and will organize similar seminars soon, but next time we promised to have many other people, including our guests in this wonderful experience of brotherly love, to show them what the CIG is concretely.