You Ask Why I Live On This Green Mountain. . .

My report, which appeared in the Crestone Eagle

June 1, 2005 in Rio Grande West | Comments (0)

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“Global Citizenship and Peace,” the theme of Shumei International Institute’s third anniversary, was expressed with artful diversity during the weekend celebration.

Representatives of Crestone’s other spiritual centers honored the work of the Japan-based organization, sometimes associated with the Shinto tradition. They spoke of the striving for equanimity and peace in terms of their own religious traditions – Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and Native American.


The keynote speaker struck a secular note, leading a practical discussion on activist leadership. And in a world peace candlelight ceremony, everybody joined the Crestone Chorale in John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

More than 50 years ago, Mokichi Okada, the venerable Shumei founder, wrote: “In the future people will have to become world citizens. We wish to bring harmony to all mankind. . . to widen people’s consciousness to accept that all countries are members of one family. This would make it completely impossible for war to break out.”

His words were printed on the program along with reflections of the Shumei philosophy that all material existence corresponds to spiritual reality. In the high sanctuary overlooking the complex to the south of the Baca Grande, members and guests settled into meditative silence as they received Joyrei through Shumei world president Hiroko Koyama. Joyrei is described as a healing art in which spiritual light is focused on others.

Ramloti of Haidakhandi Universal Ashram, in the session featuring remarks from the other spiritual centers, said: “We all have some form of prayer, of meditation.” She spoke of the unity of consciousness, “Greater Consciousness,” transcending the sense of separateness that brings on so many problems in the world.

“Energy follows thought,” she said, with reference to scientific studies of phenomena like knowing when somebody is watching you from behind or the sudden moves by schools of fish or flights of birds that have no physical stimulus.

Christian of the Crestone Mountain Zen Center said that “entering the presence of others,” in a unity of mind and body is at the heart of Zen. A native of Germany, he recalled showing the center’s sanctuary to Shumei visitors from Japan who had never been in a Zen do. “Here was a German tour guide for Japanese visitors in an American Zen center. Sixty years ago. . . ” He could not immediately finish the sentence.

Nick Carter of Mangala Sri Bhuti, a Tibetan Buddhist center, talked of the Noble Truths regarding suffering and the cessation of suffering. “As global citizens we are all connected,” he said, adding that the recognition of dependent co-origination “can lead us to peace.”