Even before one comes
to Crestone, Colorado we hear of the Mystique of the
area. As we build the Crestone project this mystique
is becoming even clearer. Creating a project the size
of the Crestone Center is a major undertaking. Never
in the history of Crestone, or the surrounding area,
has a spiritual group of any magnitude attempted to
build a complex such as we are doing.
From the very beginning we were blessed with
having workman who became committed to doing their best work
and have formed a personal attachment with the work involved.
When on our site they observe all the rules we have established
for behaving and show their reverence for this purified area.
We believe that the mystique of Crestone has touched them
deeply and that, without them even realizing it, they are
aware that Meishusama is watching over us.
Presently, we are nearing final completion
of the Caretaker House. The Sanctuary is now closed in and
the solar heating system is fully functional. In early January
Sensei Alan Imai and I travel to Canada to see the completion
and full-size assembly of the handcrafted alter. Then, within
weeks it will arrive for installation in the sanctuary. The
Sanctuary, when completed, will be a place for worship, lectures,
performances and the many activities we are planning for the
Crestone Center. It will truly be an International Center
for peoples from all over the world.
We were also very excited about the installation
of the awning cover at the ampitheatre. This very unusual
and innovative covering system will provide shade from the
sun when it is needed. The theatre will be a pleasant experience
for those attending any of the Shumei gatherings or creative
performances. The center will also make this outdoor theatre
available in the spirit of cooperation among all of the other
spiritual groups and community organizations.
The Food Service and Meeting Room is now
being framed with the roof sub structure now in place. From
its vantage point above the old stone walls it will have a
commanding view of the San Luis Valley below. The interior
space will provide an eating area for our members and guests
as well as a meeting room for lectures, discussions, workshops,
spiritual classes, and much more. Those coming to the Crestone
Center can not but help to feel the Mystique of the San Luis
Valley when being among the center complex.
Even though the weather has changed, it is
now very cold with a few snow flurries, work on the Grand
Entry continues at a fast pace. Our original intention was
to create an entry, with steps and waterfalls, that looked
and felt like the construction of the one-hundred year old
walls of the old mine site. Again, the workmen have joined
in our pursuit of quality and respect for the site and are
doing an outstanding job. We have as an example, the work
the volunteers from the various centers in Japan did when
they were here. We are continuing with the quality of their
work. During the course of construction we have had many visitors
to the site. It is always exciting to take people on a tour
so they can see our progress, explaining about the philosophy
of Shinji Shumeikai, and our plans for the center. We still
have much work to do. There is completion of all structures
and the site work; the landscaping, improving the roads and
making new ones. Creating paths throughout the site and of
course, making everything ready for our Dedication. The work
will continue and we will update everyone with our progress.
I wish to personally thank Meishusama, Kaicho
Sensei, the Shumei Family, and the Executive Committee for
the opportunity to work on this important project.