Sukyo Mahikari
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9/27/09 Is Proclaimed "Sukyo Mahikari Hawaii Day"
As We Welcome 2 New Centers
Hawaii is often called paradise and truly on September 27, 2009, it seemed so as Sukyo Mahikari was honored to inaugurate our new center in Waikiki and to have Mayor Mufi Hannemann officially declare 9/27/09 Sukyo Mahikari Hawaii Day. The tests, trainings and triumphs of the members evidenced a long history of caring and dedication over the years since Mrs. Fuji first introduced Sukyo Mahikari to Hawaii.

On this auspicious day, the brilliance of the sun, the flower-perfumed tropical trade winds and even the lush tropical plants seemed to dress up for the occasion as Center Director
 
Mr. Higaki and the Director of the North American Region, Mr. Fujisaki, offered prayers and words of gratitude together with the members.
Following a traditional Hawaiian custom, our inauguration ceremony was preceded by a traditional Hawaiian opening chant, to clear the path for the occasion. We were fortunate to have Nathan Nāpōkā, for thirty years a scholar-researcher for the State's Historical Preservation Office, and a famous hula interpreter, come to the inauguration and carry out this chant. Then, turning to face the audience the chanter recited an Aloha Oli with gestures to welcome and embrace everyone
 
with love. It had a wonderful harmonizing and unifying impact on the ceremony.

Entertainment for the inauguration ceremony included a dance performance by a member and three people from the Persian dance group Golha Ye Del (Roses of the Heart) and a mesmerizing musical performance by Hawaii's foremost koto performer and instructor, Dr. Bernice Hirai.
 
Our regional director greeted us with words of inspiration. Then City and County of Honolulu Council member Mr. Rod Tam offered congratulations and a certificate of commendation from the Honolulu Council. Mr.Tam is friends with Hawaii center members and has worked with us on various projects. Councilmember Tam had presented a certificate of recognition at a monthly ceremony before the visit of the acting Oshienushisama November 26, 2006, acknowledging the efforts of our organization in community activities. And it was his connection with the mayor that allowed September 27, 2009, to be declared Sukyo Mahikari Hawaii Day. The certificate is now on the main Sukyo Mahikari website. Under the "Learn More" menu, choose "Community Partnerships" and scroll down to see it. It's beautiful! In addition, other honored guests were invited and attended the ceremony.
 
Hawaiians often say "small island" to express that everyone is interconnected and part of a large ohana (family). Good relationships allowed for many special arrangements. Through working in the political arena, one of our members had gotten to know our current mayor, Mr. Mufi Hannemann. Her persistent visits to her friends in city and county offices resulted in the mayor making time in his busy schedule to come to the inauguration, offer his congratulations and encouragement to the participants, thanking us for our service to the community over the years, and to read from the Certificate proclaiming 9/27/09 "Sukyo Mahikari Hawaii Day." Later, he would tweet ( http://twitter.com/MufiHannemann/status/4428341982 ) to his 670,000 followers:
"Honored to have addressed those in attendance today @ the Sukyo Mahikari Inauguration Ceremony - very involved in community service"
As the Mayor moved through a standing ovation to meet privately with our regional director, center director, and support staff vice chairperson, the reception began. Hawaiian food was catered by two of our members' famous and award-winning Highway Inn Restaurant. Native Hawaiian members of the group KuHale'lea flew in from Kauai to play Hawaiian music during the reception. One of these became a Sukyo Mahikari member and then guided his mother, who danced the hula at the reception, and his cousins.
Why Did We Decide to Relocate?
Over the years, members talked many times about how we could expand Sukyo Mahikari throughout the Hawaiian Islands. People in Hawaii don't like to drive 20 minutes or more, and we had been told that the center location we had was "too far to drive" and "in the country." In addition, traffic had increased since the center was inaugurated in November 1998 and the 20 or 30 minute drive had increased to a 60 or even 90 minute drive. Two key thoughts emerged: (1) We had to go to the people and make it easy for them to come to receive Light. And (2) We had to do our best to change our lives from being material-centered to being God-centered.
The major population and commercial centers on our island of Oahu are located in the Honolulu area. For several years, satellite centers in the Honolulu area welcomed members and guests into members' homes for Light. In addition, a number of people who live and work in this area had been going to receive Light at Unity Church in Diamondhead, located in Waikiki. Thanks to the persevering efforts of our member, Unity Minister Beverly Kaya, Sukyo Mahikari has been invited the first Sunday of every month to give announcements about Sukyo Mahikari at the 7:30, 9, and 11 a.m. services and to invite attendees to receive Light from our members in the courtyard. Generally, more than 30 people would receive Light each time.
Su God blessed us with many divine arrangements including members with talents and abilities to support our intention for greater expansion. One of our members is an expert real estate developer and was instrumental in locating and pre-qualifying a number of potential locations across the island along with the real estate team. We leased and have now purchased the present location of the main center which is located in a two-story building at the entrance to a condominium and retail village at the gateway to Waikiki. The site invites passersby, as the relaxing location includes a post office, bank, and other shops. Our sign says: "Welcome to Sukyo Mahikari, a Spiritual Development Center. Please come in!"
How Did We Prepare?
In 2002, we began the spiritual reconstruction of the Hawaii center. Inside and out, top to bottom, well-organized teams of members cleaned and scrubbed our 4,000 square foot building with the intention of purifying our commitment to serve Su God and the holy masters for expansion. In March 2006, shortly after our current center director arrived and enthusiastically made it his mission to inspire members to offer Light with joy, we held a retreat to discuss spiritual and physical preparation. Then focus groups became action teams. On November 26 of that same year, we received a momentous visit from the acting Oshienushisama, who inspired our resolve to move forward to expand.
After some reflection, we decided to reduce the size of our main center to focus our energies less on maintaining the physical center and more on expansion. And we decided to open a center in Waikele, on the western side of the island, to serve the growing population there. We moved to a temporary location while a member who is an architect at one of Hawaii's premier architectural firms masterminded the layout and building design and redesign. Members of his firm volunteered time and much effort to draft plans, do revisions, and monitor the building inspection approval process. Our support staff chairperson and vice chairperson managed the complex logistics of relocating from a 4,000 square foot property with two buildings first to a temporary center and then to two new centers half an island apart, all within two weeks of each other. Our main center is now in the Waikiki section of Honolulu, and our other center is at Waikele, in a brand-new professional building adjacent to a major shopping center which receives a lot of visitors. We hope this will fulfill a goal we have to attract professionals as guests as well.
In our new main center in Waikiki, the support staff vice chairperson led the design team's artistic vision of a sophisticated island theme to honor the Hawaiian heritage. Walls are painted in welcoming colors, warm white at Honolulu and soft yellow at Waikele. Furnishings are in plantation style warm wood tones. Artwork includes woodblock prints by famed artist Dietrich Varez as well as other island-themed artworks. Hawaiian print fabrics are used for the altar curtains for both centers. A senior member who has studied Ikebana for years and who has devotedly prepared flower offerings at the center created elegant floral masterpieces using hand-blown art glass vases created by a member who is a glass artist for both centers' altars.
A new member, from the first spiritual development course on the Big Island of Hawaii, Unity minister Reverend Mari Gabrielson, suggested master woodcrafter Mark Gavin to create our elegantly pure blonde maple altar and matching divine storage cabinets. Island Flooring donated the carpeting for both centers. Our support staff vice chairperson's connection with Oceanic Time Warner Cable allowed us to receive the arrangement of free installation of both centers' Internet and phone lines. The moving company offered us discounted fees for moving.
Many more members, family, and friends contributed their talents and service both evident and behind the scenes.
Hawaii's last reigning Queen Lili'uokalani said:

"Aloha...to learn what is not said,
to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable."
This spirit of aloha shines forth at Sukyo Mahikari centers in Hawaii. Please come share aloha with us. The two centers began service in August 2009.
Honolulu Center -- 438 Hobron Lane, Suite 100, Honolulu, Hawaii 9681, phone (808) 945-9220
M to F 10 a.m. to 8 p m., Sat and Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Waikele Center -- Waikele Professional Building, Suite 202, 94-849 Lumiana St, Waipahu, Hawaii 96797,
phone (808) 853-4269 M to F 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday


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Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development is the registered trademark of the Bishop of the North American Region of Sukyo Mahikari and is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. All rights reserved.

Sukyo Mahikari is an Affiliate with the United Religions Initiative (URI) of North America