Ocean Training as a Key to Better Mental Health for FFWPU Youth

Rev. Moon trained all church members in the Ocean!

Rev. Sun Myung Moon had trained the members especially since He began to work in the United States in 1971. He purchased fishing boats from 1972, began fishing in the Hudson River, started giant tuna fishing in 1974 in Boston, started training the UTS students to fish in the Hudson River, started the Ocean Church in 1980, and then started Gloucester Ocean Challenge using the One Hope boats which were produced by our brothers and sisters. Since then, Rev. Moon continued to train Unificationist members in Alaska, Hawaii, Jardim, Pantanal, and Yeosu. Rev. Moon continued to train us in the ocean until His Ascencion in 2012.

Ocean Training is a major tradition of Rev. & Mrs. Moon. We must now continue this tradition for our youth in FFWPU. Today, let us think about how this tradition can benefit our FFWPU Youth!


Mental Health Environment in Modern Society

One of the major issues of our society today is the mental health of our youths, who are bombarded with stressful information daily via SNS. In many parts of the world, there are increasing cases of depression, suicide, and other seemingly inconsequential yet important issues like game addiction. Especially those in missionary families where parents had to sacrifice their children for their mission work, the number of youths with childhood trauma is not trivial.

Recent studies of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) show that both physical and mental illnesses of adults have a strong correlation with their childhood environment. Things like parental neglect have been shown to even increase the risk for heart disease and depression later on in life.

Another major cause of mental problems in our youths could be mental stress.

What causes mental stress?

One major source of mental stress is the mental pressure and fatigue from sustaining a gap between one’s ideals and perceived reality. It’s like climbing a cliff where the top represents your expectation, and where you are, at the bottom, is your perceived reality. The taller the cliff of expectation, the more stress you tend to have.

It makes sense then that underdeveloped countries, like Paraguay, tend to have happier people - they have a lot less social pressure and expectations for success. Based on Gallup polls, Paraguay has been ranked as the happiest nation in the world for several years.

Then how about our youth in FFWPU? We teach them from a young age to reach for the highest ideal - to be perfect, to live for the sake of the world like True Parents. Our youth are expected to pursue the desires of their original minds and live for God, True Parents, and humankind.

That’s a tall order, and unfortunately, our youth aren’t provided a clear and practical path to reach that expectation. We obviously want our youth to reach for the highest peak, but how can we make it more plausible for them?

“People living a cultured life build up layers of stress. How can one get rid of that stress? It is not enough to just talk about it.” (Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Pacific Rim Providence, Ch. 2, Section 1, pg 1893)

How can Ocean Training help the youths of FFWPU? Let's not just talk but try to do something about this!

There are 5 ways that Ocean Training can help lessen the gap between the youth’s realities and their expectations of themselves.

Number 1: Providing a Practical Path to Live for the Sake of Others at a Global Level

First, the Ocean Providence offers a substantial path for the youth to work together to fulfill the highest expectation - to live for humanity at a global level.

One of the main reasons Rev. Moon started the Ocean Providence was to manage and use the vast maritime resources to solve the miserable suffering of starvation around the world. Throughout His life, Rev. Moon continued to expand into the marine businesses to achieve this goal. Following His footsteps, we encourage all youth to adopt this goal as their life goal.

Many studies have shown that having a life goal tends to reduce stress, allow one to cope with difficult situations, and promote healthy behaviors. And Ocean Providence provides a very practical, clear, and visible goal of solving world hunger.

It gives a way for youth to know what to direct their passions, skills, and potentials toward, and live for the sake of others.

Number 2: Cultivating Healthier Minds and Bodies through Nature

Secondly, ocean training will let the youths have healthier minds and bodies. When living daily lives, we tend to focus our minds on our closest relationships and problems. But nature allows one to feel the greatness of God’s creation.

Every problem needs a solution, but being in touch with reality through nature and the world, youth can realize the relative size of their problems and can have the objective view and the courage to face them.

Studies have repeatedly shown that spending time in nature improves mood, memory, and self-esteem, and even lowers blood pressures and risks of cancer.

Psychologists Mark Wheeler and Nick Cooper even succeeded in reducing PTSD symptoms of war veterans by 30% by using fishing activities as part of their therapy!

"Getting rid of stress is the best cure for modern-day illness, and there is no better way to solve the problem than hunting and fishing, which are encouraged by the leisure industry." (Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Pacific Rim Providence, Ch. 2, Section 1, pg 1887)

Number 3: Creating A Path to Becoming Global Leaders with Concerns for the World

Thirdly, ocean training will allow the youths to take the first step to become global leaders.

Through Ocean Providence, youth will learn about global problems such as the food crisis in developing nations, allowing them to turn their focus from their own problems to the problems of the world.

This is the first step to being a global leader: To be concerned about the world.

"To be a global leader a person must think of the world’s problems as his own and have the pioneering spirit that is needed for finding difficult solutions." (Rev. Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen Chapter 8)

Number 4: Creating A Culture of Compassion for Others and Oneself

Fourthly, learning about the suffering of others like the starvation problem will allow the youth to be compassionate.

The state of starvation is a state where morals, ideology, and logic bear no significance. It is the most basic and the most terrible suffering. When the youth understand that such suffering exists in this world, they may begin to find the heart to be thankful for their lives, and be compassionate to others and themselves.

This compassion will propagate within their families and the community of FFWPU, creating a better psychological environment for all youth.

Number 5: Uniting with the Perspective & Hearts of God & True Parents

Fifthly, the project of solving global hunger opens a way to unite with the heart of God and True Parents and ultimately provides a path to perfection.

God and True Parents, whom we need to unite with, feel the pain of their starving children every day. When youth begin to understand the terrible suffering of starvation, it is equivalent to learning to stand in the perspective of God and True Parents.

Only by uniting with God’s perspective can we reach that high ideal of perfection. Human beings with original nature are designed to naturally desire to live for others and eradicate the world’s suffering.

Today’s youths, especially, tend to desire to be proactive and substantially contribute to human society rather than speaking about ideologies inside church buildings.

This project to solve world hunger allows us to become one with True Parents’ True Love towards all of humanity, both in heart and action.

SUMMARY

In summary, the Ocean Providence and Training can:

  1. Give a clear cut, attainable, and measurable life goal

  2. Bring youth closer to God’s creation and nature

  3. Provide a path to become true global leaders

  4. Create an environment of compassion

  5. Let the youth connect with the Heart of God and True Parents more deeply.

In all these ways, Ocean Providence and Ocean Training have the potential to bridge the gap between our need for perfection and our current reality!

This is the key to unlocking the potential of our youth today that has been hindered by various mental and emotional struggles. They all have the potential to be perfect and to save the world - we just need to show them how, and the Ocean Providence provides that how.

Rev. Moon had said:

“We have to cultivate a courageous spirit. We have to have more daring and courage than the pirates of the past. Ocean Church is the primary movement for developing that kind of spirit.” (God's Will & Ocean, Chapter 3)
“Even the Ph.D. graduates must come to Ocean Church; they have to go this course. By training in this way, we will surely develop the kind of leadership that can truly teach this nation and show it the way into the future.” (God's Will & Ocean, Chapter 4)

We must continue the Ocean Training so that the FFWPU youth can inherit the spirit of True Parents and lead the world into World Peace and Unification!!

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