Shumei International Institute
The Shumei International Institute is a spiritual center founded on the philosophy of Mokichi Okada that people are world citizens able to act for the common good. Although simplified, the way I understood the institute is a celebration of beauty to make the world a better place.
The architecture is amazing. Clean, simple lines enhance the natural beauty of the San Luis Valley. The buildings have large glass windows allowing a flow of natural light. The building materials are all natural. The colors are neutral and blend with the surrounding tones of the mountains.
We were able to participate in one of their spiritual events. Before entering the building, we rinsed our mouths with water from the spring fountain outside. We then removed our shoes and entered the main room of the building. Here, we participated in a call and answer chant. After this, we were invited to participate in Jyorei. Jyorei is a healing art that uses light to heal. One at a time, we sat across from a Shumei member. They led us through the practice of healing and purification. After, I felt a sense of tranquility. Some people saw lights, but I did not.
After the spiritual ceremony, we toured the farm. Natural farming is a major component of Shumei. Natural farming is more than just a horticultural technique. It is a connection to the land. It is an understanding that there is a relationship between the elements involved in the consumption of food. Those who practice natural faming see that agriculture is guided by nature, and do not try to control it. Weeds are allowed to grow and nutrients are not added to the soil.
I was amazed at the sophistication of the farm. The greenhouse was immense. I felt like they could grow food for the entire town, not just the institute. The greenhouse was also beautiful. It was just as much art as it was a practical growing facility. The clean lines and the upkeep of the land demonstrated the philosophy of beauty. The institute is located on the side of the mountains overlooking the entire San Luis Valley.
The institute was amazing and it was such a privilege to be able to visit. I highly recommend a visit.