A focus on the Korean peninsula – and a Visualization for Peace – It is time to think of the Children!
The latest crisis in the very long standoff between northern Korea and the United States of America, now focusing on nuclear weapons, is again demanding a response, And to those people who choose to work with meditation and visualization as a way of working for peace on the planet, I have a suggestion.
The peninsula has a range of mountains running from north to south, and on the northern border with China there is a magnificent active volcano called Mount Packtu or Backdu.
They call this mountain and its surrounding caldera Heaven’s Lake. It is considered by people from the whole of Korea to be the country’s spiritual home and is called “the Sacred Mountain of the revolution.” It was the birthplace of the founder of the first Korean Kingdom BC.
Travel south and just below the southern tip of the Korean mainland and linking directly in a vertical line with the northern mountains there is a small island called Chejudo, part of which is another splendid shield volcano called Mount Hallasan. It is the highest mountain in southern Korea – ‘enough to pull the universe’ they say, its role being to protect the people of Cheju from the ocean. (see photo above)
Visualize this energy line cutting through the artificial border – the buffer zone – in the centre of the country. I was convinced when I was there in 1994 that by focusing on the combined encompassing power of these two great protective mountains, much could be achieved to inform the hearts of the leaders and engender peace and courage and trust, and help to dispel the fear of constantly being under military threat being experienced by all the people on both sides of that cruel dividing line over so many years.
In 1994 I was heading for Europe with a friend and co-worker, and we chose Korea for a one-week stopover on the way. One place that I felt very strongly to include in the trip was the beautiful little island called Chejudo just off the south coast of the peninsula. There we found a small local hotel, not known to tourists, of which there were very few In those days, and initially they indicated the were booked out. With the help of a translator we discovered they were trying to put us off, sure that we would find simple Asian-style accomodation would be too modest for westeners! In fact it suited us well and had a lovely ocean view.
On the first evening we set off for a walk and were attracted by the sound of a choir in a church just around the corner. We slipped in and sat quietly for the last part of the Mass, and afterwards met the parish priest, who just happened to be the only Australian within a group of Irish priests from the Colomban Order of missionaries serving in Korea.
On hearing my surname, Father Frank asked if I was related to Father Crennan from Australia whose work was with migrants and had helped him on several occasions. He was speaking of my uncle, and as a result of this wonderful piece of synchronicity, he spent whatever time he could spare taking us around the island and sharing its history and special sites.
We skipped the newly built flashy Chevron hotel on the promontory and were taken straight to a renowned Buddhist shrine nearby in an open cave on the south side of Mount Hallasan. There he helped me place an Australian quartz crystal in its chosen hiding place in the rocks just below.
From there we went on to meet with some little children at the local preschool — what a delight they were, full of curiosity. We visited colourful markets on the other side of the island, and wound up the day with a very unexpected invitation to a ‘family’ dinner with the Irish Colombans.
One of them was celebrating his 70th birthday. Two of his sisters had come out from Ireland and had cooked up a splendid Irish meal of Beef and roast veg. helped down with a good flow of whiskey, lots of laughter and outrageous conversation!. The group were all elderly, had served there for years and were gradually retiring as Korean clergy replaced them. It was a great way of completing a wonderful day!
Many times since then I have connected with that small crystal we left in the side of the volcano and sent out a call to the great spirits of the two mountains to join forces in informing the hearts of the leaders and protecting and calming the land and all living things that inhabit the whole country.
This makes more sense to me than fretting about the possibility in some linear future of Australia becoming the target of the yet to be constructed nuclear missile! They would probably have to stop and find out where we were first!
Perhaps you might like to do the same in any way that you feel prompted, and share the idea with others.
The children we met there in 1994 would be in their late 20s now, some never having the chance to meet up with family members separated when the border barrier went up. And never knowing what it was like, whether living in the north or south, to be free of the threat of military conflict hanging over them. We visited the wall which is just north of Seoul and it was a sad and somewhat chilling experience.
Happily, my last visual memory was in the airport lounge in Seoul. It was an enormous poster of a splendid volcano that I thought at first was Mount Hallasan. However, on enquiry, I discovered that it was its twin volcano to the north — and that is how I came to meet Mt.Paktu, bringing the story full circle