Sukyo Mahikari
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The Road to a New Center in Phoenix
Part I: Finding a New Location for Our Center

In 2006, discussions began about the size and location of the Phoenix Sukyo Mahikari center. Were we in the best place to expand the Light and teachings? We applied to Oshienushisama to look for another location and we readily received permission. Thus began our up and down journey that finally brought us to the place of inaugurating our new Phoenix Sukyo Mahikari center on
March 8, 2009.
 
We were advised by a realtor to renovate the staff house to benefit us in the sale of the property. Thanks to God's blessings, we have a member who had the skills, resources, and time to oversee this major project. And thanks to all that effort and God's great arrangements, we were able to sell the property for our asking price shortly after it went up for sale.
During this time, two members searched the city for an appropriate location and property for us to buy or rent. They followed leads given by other members and tried to keep an open mind to see what God's arrangements for us might be. Nothing seemed to work out for one reason or another. We wanted to move to a better location but we also needed to stay within our budget.
Eventually we found a building that we thought would make a very nice center. It seemed to be in a great location, and it was in our price range. The members voted to proceed with this property and we made an offer. However, glitches started to surface, all of which we thought could be straightened out. By then, we were so excited about finally finding a place and we became attached to the idea that this property was supposed to be for our center, so we wanted to "make it work" no matter what. Finally we realized that Su God had something else in mind for us and that it was thanks to His great protection that we were not allowed to purchase that property. It was "back to the drawing board."
It seemed that we were running out of options when one day our regional director was in his office at headquarters in California and noticed a fax that was lying on the table. When he inquired about it, he learned that it was a floor plan of a property in Phoenix that had been set aside and then overlooked because we thought we were going to purchase the other property. Upon looking at the floor plan further, the regional director smiled and said, "This is it. It's perfect." He really felt that by tearing down a wall or two, this would be an ideal center for us.
Several of us felt the same way when we saw it. Others had doubts because it was much smaller than our other center, but that was the same reason it appealed to others. Our goal was to have a center that was simple and easy to take care of, that would allow us to create an attractive spiritual development center where we could give and receive Light and allow people members and guests to learn about the teachings and offer service.
This building was a house that had been renovated into an office building. It was one of three separate buildings in a small, neat, and orderly complex. The beautiful grounds are taken care of by the office association, and there is a common ground outside with a patio and benches, a table, and even a barbecue should we choose to have a social activity. Parking is limited during the week, but on Sundays, when we would expect larger groups of people, the whole parking lot is ours to use since the other offices are closed.
Thus, thanks to God's intricate divine arrangements, we were kept from completely overlooking this property. Our last ceremony at our old center was in March of 2008, and we moved out the first weekend of April 2008 thinking we'd only be out of a center for a few months since we already were in the process of purchasing the new property. Little did we know what testing, training, and cleansing God had in store for us. It would be almost an entire year before we would be allowed to enshrine our holy Goshintai once again.
Part II: What It Took to Move In to Our New Center-Spiritually and Materially
That it took nearly a year to be able to begin offering service in our new center, as it turned out, was also God's great gift to us. Members started opening their homes on different days of the week for giving and receiving Light. Some members went to a store once a week to offer Light to new people. Our center director invited his chiropractic patients to receive Light from members in his office. The first few months, we held monthly ceremony at two homes simultaneously in front of family Goshintais. During that year without a center, we were allowed to hold three spiritual development courses (primary courses). Eventually, for the sake of unity, we held all our monthly ceremonies at the chiropractic office by enshrining a temporary Goshintai.
We had grown accustomed to having everything we needed provided for us at the center, but now we found we had to start teaching everyone simple ways to make Omitama wrappings in their own homes. Groups got together and made wrappings together as well. In many ways, we nurtured and took care of each other better than we had before when we had our center in a building. A real sense of community started to emerge.
 
Meanwhile, for members on the committee to renovate the new center, it felt at times that progress was as slow as walking through mud. There were waiting times for permits, a severe plumbing issue that involved uncovering all the plumbing lines from one end of the building to the other, changes needed in the structure to provide more storage space, and more. Yet while these things tested and trained us, we saw God's hand in everything and understood that had we not discovered and taken care of these issues up front, we would certainly have had to deal with them later on and probably with a much bigger training attached.
At the same time, the members responsible for the interior design and furnishings of the center had one experience after another of God's amazing arrangements. Whenever a particular need came to the surface, members just seemed to "show up" at the right place at the right time and the perfect items came to our attention at an affordable cost. The design committee could see God's hand in everything and came to trust that. Even when things were bought that didn't work out right, they learned to say "thank you very much," accepted the training, and took the items back. Then, every time, a better item would emerge and at an even better cost. It became very clear that God was the one who was keeping us within our budget while at the same time allowing us to design a very beautiful and functional center.
Throughout that time, we were blessed with so much support from staff at regional headquarters. Our regional director encouraged us to do our best to renovate ourselves spiritually before we moved into the center so we ourselves could move in at a more spiritually elevated level.
Part III: What We Learned from Our Experience-A Sukyo Mahikari Center Is a Center for Spiritual Development, and We Needed Our Experience to Develop Ourselves Spiritually
In many ways, we feel like we are starting all over again. We surely can feel God's great expectations from us now that we have finally been allowed to open our center again. We don't ever want to take our center and especially our Goshintai for granted. Now, not only do we have a much deeper appreciation for our center but also we can see how we want to offer service differently. We learned that our spiritual practice has to involve our whole lives—inside and outside the center. It's so much more than just coming to the center to give and receive Light. Being without a center showed us how much more effort we had to make to stay connected to the Light of God. Finding people to give Light to outside the center helped us get "outside of ourselves" and reach out to others more, which reminded us of our true mission as kamikumite. Many ideas have surfaced about how we would like to use our many talents to glorify God and greatly expand the Light and teachings.
We are attempting to return to the beginner's mind and are even making efforts to improve how we say our Amatsu Norigoto prayers. Being outside of a center building was very trying and humbling at times, but we are so grateful for the experience. Our fervent desire is to unite together in our practice of the ten points so that we can harmonize with God's will and nurture as many God-centered leaders as possible.
We are continually working on growing and elevating, we are open for service, so please come to visit us and send us your friends and family in the Phoenix area. Guests are welcome anytime, but if you're sending them by themselves, we encourage you to send them on our specially designated guest days. On Sundays from 9-1 and all day on Wednesdays, we have a team of members who have been training themselves about how to communicate our practice to visitors and to focus well while giving them Light.

Our address is: 15601 N. 40th St. #100,
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Our phone number is: 602-296-4677
Our hours are:
M-F from 9am-8pm with closing prayer at 6pm,
Sat/Sun 9am-3pm with closing prayer at 3pm.
 
We would like to thank all the members and staff throughout the region who offered us their encouragement, support, and prayers, and we offer our deepest gratitude to Su God, Sukuinushisama, Oshienushisama, and the acting Oshienushisama for their never-failing guidance, protection, and Light and for allowing us to grow stronger through this experience and open our doors once again hopefully in a little better spiritual condition.
We would like to sincerely unite with all members in the North American region and throughout the world as we spiritually prepare ourselves for the momentous 50th Anniversary Autumn Grand Ceremony.


(C) Copyright Sukyo Mahikari 2008 - 2017

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