Shumei International Institute
In keeping with
Shinji Shumeikai’s* philosophy, the Shumei International
Institute, Inc. is a non-profit organization, created to provide
an environment for spiritual growth through interfaith activities,
the practice of Natural Agriculture, and art and cultural events.
The Shumei Crestone Center, in Saguache County, Colorado is
the Institute’s headquarters.
is located in the vast 5,000 square mile San Luis Valley of
Colorado and sits on one of the largest freshwater aquifers
on earth. At over 7,500 feet above sea level and ringed on three
sides by snow-peaked mountains, some looming over 14,000 feet
above, the Valley is the highest Alpine region in the world.The
air is pure. The terrain is a fusion of Alpine and high desert,
and the surrounding mountains insulate its unique climate. The
soil is a mixture of sand, clay, cobble and rock. There are
pristine streams, with greenbelts of aspen, cottonwoods, and
ponderosas. Aspen is thick on the mountains, while pine and
junipers sparsely stud the foothills and valley floor below.
At such a height above sea level, the weather can be harsh and
dramatic, with extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, heavy
snows, heavy wind, dust storms, hard rains, lightening strikes,
and wildfires. Yet, the Valley averages about 330 days of sunshine
a year. In much of the Crestone area, annual rainfall averages
7 inches. In the foothills, precipitation is nearly double that
of the valleys and temperatures are warmer. Subzero Fahrenheit
temperatures can occur at night during the winter months. The
coldest month is January, averaging highs of 34.7 degrees Fahrenheit
with lows of 8.2 degrees. The hottest month is July with average
highs of 83 degrees and lows of 50.8.
Although many homes and building sites have been constructed
in the Valley during the last few years, the area is still a
wilderness, the breeding, birthing, and feeding grounds of elk,
deer, mountain lion, bobcat, black bear, coyote, and a variety
of smaller animals and fish. The Valley is a global flyway for
waterfowl, songbirds, as well as eagles, hawks, and owls. Through
spring and midsummer, biting insects are abundant. Because of
the bear and mountain lions, which are no longer hunted, a certain
standard of precaution is advised for those who live and visit
the area. Feeding wildlife is prohibited. Conservation of the
natural habitats of native species is very important, as some
of the Valley’s wildlife is rare and endangered.
Throughout its history, people have been spellbound by the beauty
of the San Luis Valley’s mountains and their high, wild
places. Today, in the Crestone area, there are a number of ashrams
and spiritual communities and the Valley is thought by many
to be one of the most powerful centers of spiritual energy on
earth. Yet, being in this environment presents those who settle
here with the serious challenge of protecting wildlife and its
home grounds from the harmful effects that we humans too often
bring to wilderness areas. Generally, those who live in the
Crestone area are keen to preserve the natural habitat that
surrounds them and actively promote the conservation of natural
resources and the advancement of environmentally sound design.
Conservation and reverence for nature being an integral part
of Shumei’s philosophy, Shumei strongly desires to play
an active part in the preservation of the area in which it is
creating the Shumei Crestone Center.