By Robert Bentele

To commemorate the UN-International Day of Mental Health on 10 October and the week dedicated to this topic, the Women’s Federation Germany and the Universal Peace Federation Munich held a ‘worship service with a difference’ on Sunday 13 October in the UPF center in Munich, which attracted about thirty guests, friends and members.

Magda Haugen, president of the Women’s Federation Germany who has professional training as a special needs teacher and works providing remedial services in a protected living facility, gave the presentation.

In her usual lively way, she reported about her experience at a recent conference of the Women’s Federation Middle East in Berlin on the topic of “Reconciliation”, in which the senior vice-president of WFWP International, Sun Jin Moon, had played a very active role. Mrs. Moon had given a very personal testimony about her youth and her experience with strokes of bad luck and crises. She also spoke about the special significance that yoga has for her life and health and stressed the importance of inner healing and reconciliation for our personal life! (see photos below)

Magda continued by reporting about her work with mentally ill people in a therapeutic facility and pointed out a new direction in psychology called “Positive Psychology” which is more concerned with encouraging people’s resources than with deficits and mental disorders.

She described the eight pillars of resistance development: e.g. we should not stay in a victim role but repeatedly keep active with hope and optimism! Using the example of the “Bremer Street Musicians” she showed us how a new start can succeed through new ideas, inspiration, courage and cooperation, even when things seem to have arrived at the “end station”! A community, building a network, finding purpose – these are further pillars in resistance building. Also mentioned was the importance of reconciliation as a path to inner healing.

With a picture of our inner child, which contains light and dark elements, the audience divided into smaller discussion groups and tackled this interesting topic on a deeper level, sharing personal experiences.

Carmen Rizzi-Haugen coordinated the program and Oivind Haugen inspired us to sing along with him Peter Maffey’s song “Irgendwo tief in mir bin ich ein Kind geblieben” (somewhere deep inside me I am still a child).

Lively discussion about the topic continued over lunch.

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