by Matthew Crowley

On Saturday May 18 and Sun- day May 19, the Shumei Interna- tional Institute (SII) will celebrate the 17th anniversary of its Sacred Earth Center in Crestone. The theme of this year’s event is “Living in Harmony with Nature”, a theme I suggest is the most important topic of our time. Shumei’s founder Mokichi Okada, known by Shumei friends and members as Meishusa- ma, is quoted as saying “Nature can teach us everything.” In to- day’s day and age of environmental degradation, climate change and troubles, Nature is certainly teach-

Taiko drummers open the celebration.

ing, but is humanity listening? We will explore this theme in positive ways throughout this year’s anni- versary event, including a special art exhibition that will celebrate the beauty of Nature. The exhi- bition will open in May and hang through the month of June.

For Shumei, the annual anni- versary event is an opportunity to express gratitude to you and this entire community. To that end, you are all invited to join us for part or all of the this year’s festiv- ities. All events are free and open to the public and do not require any RSVP, just come and join us!

The Shumei International In- stitute is very honored to have Sen- sei Tamao Koyama, from Shumei’s headquarters in Japan, joining this year’s anniversary celebration and presiding over two special Sampai prayer services and sharing the healing light of Jyorei. “Sampai” literally means “going to a higher place” and is Shumei’s term for its prayer services. Sampai services involve chanting and the sharing of Jyorei, a spiritual healing practice whose intent is healing, purifica- tion, spiritual transformation and . . . happiness!

The 17th anniversary events will begin Saturday afternoon at 2pm with the always-popular Tai- ko performance. This year will fea- ture Grammy Award-winning Tai- ko Master Sensei Koji Nakamura performing with members of Cres-

tone the based Hikari Taiko and OMNY Taiko from New York. Fol- lowing the Taiko concert beginning at 3:15, SII is pleased to host a pan- el discussion on this year’s theme, Living in Harmony with Nature. The panel will be moderated by special guest, Brazillian agrono- mist and engineer, Mr. Warwick Manfrinato. Please see accompany article for more information about this event.

Following the panel discus- sion, Sensei Tamao Koyama will lead the traditional World Peace Prayer Sampai that takes place Saturday evening May 18; we re- quest that people be seated in the sanctuary by 5:30 for this service. Shumei centers from around the world join us in simultaneously chanting during this special sam- pai with an intention for a world free from poverty and strife.

Sunday’s program begins with the anniversary Sampai starting at 10:30am. Once again Sensei Tamao Koyama will lead us in chanting and share the healing light of Jyorei during this Sampai. Following the Sampai Sensei Tamao Koyama will deliver a keynote speech. Imme- diately following Sampai, SII will offer a complimentary lunch to the community as an expression of our gratitude. Guests are invited to visit Shumei’s Natural Agricul- ture garden and the art gallery for self-guided tours from 12:30-5pm on Sunday. Following lunch on

Sunday, Warwick Manfrinato will deliver a presentation in alignment with this year’s anniversary theme.

The Shumei International In- stitute (SII) is a Colorado not-for- profit organization and is the third of three sacred sites for Shumei worldwide. Nestled on the shoul- der of the Sangre de Cristo moun- tains, SII represents the Earth ele- ment. SII’s unique mission within the greater worldwide organization is: “Inspired by the philosophy of Mokichi Okada, Meishusama, Shumei International Institute helps people of the world realize that they are world citizens able to act for the common good.”

Please see the accompanying articles and schedule in this issue of The Crestone Eagle, visit www. shumeicrestone.org or call 719- 256-5284 for further details and information. Please note all events start promptly at the times list- ed. Plan to arrive early in order to park, walk to event locations and for best seating. Some events fill to overflowing and parking on the high road is sometimes challenging and may require you to walk some distance. Please carpool as much as possible to assist us with traffic and parking congestion. Handi- capped guests or people with spe- cial access needs are encouraged to contact the Shumei office in ad- vance and we will do everything we can to make all events accessible to all.