Visiting the Shumei International Institute
The Shumei International Institute welcomes visitors 7 days a week from 9 – 5. For groups of 6 or more an advanced call is appreciated. You can expect one of our young Hoshi (service) students from Japan will greet you upon your arrival and offer to show you a short 10 minute video which will give you an overview of the Shumei Philosophy. After that you can consider a short walking tour of our buildings and grounds and garden. A walking tour is generally followed by a visit to our sanctuary where, if you’d like, you can chant and experience the healing light of Jyorei.
Morning and evening Sampai (prayer) services take place daily and begins precisely at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM and are always open to the public. Arrive at least 10 minutes early in order to be seated in the Sanctuary before the ceremony begins. If it is your first time coming an hour early to view the video and have some further background might make for a richer experience.
3000 East Dream Way Road, Crestone, CO 81131
Phone: (719) 256 – 5284
Shumei’s Sampai services are relatively short (about ½ hour) and simple after you have experienced them once or twice. We begin with bowing and clapping and chant an ancient Shinto prayer called the Amatsunorito (a phonetic pronunciation is available for those who would like to join in). It is the sound vibrations (“Kototama” in Japanese) more than the meaning of the words which are believed to bring about peace, happiness and purification. Following the Amatsunorito, we chant 3 short poems from Shumei’s founder Mokichi Okada (known to our members and friends as Meishusama). After chanting, jyorei is offered to anyone who might like to experience it. After Jyorei, the Sampai closes.
Monthly Sampai is generally held the second Sunday of each month beginning at 10:30 AM, although you should check this website, call or check the local newspaper’s (The Crestone Eagle) community calendar as Monthly Sampai does occasionally change to a different Sunday. As with our daily Sampai services, all are always welcome to attend and participate if you would like.
In addition to the Amatsunorito, we chant the Zengensanji at monthly Sampai. This chant, which literally means “Good Words of Praise” is a Norito (kind of prayer in the Shinto tradition) that was assembled from Buddhist phrases chosen by Shumei’s founder Mokichi Okada. The Zengensanji is chanted to realize an ideal world here on Earth, “…a world free from poverty and strife.” Monthly Sampai is generally attended by a number of local friends from the surrounding community. The ceremony is somewhat different form the daily Sampai in that it usually is lead by one of Shumei’s Sensei’s, who after leading the two chants offers all present Jyorei. After Jyorei, there is a presentation about Shumei’s activities worldwide after which the Sampai closes.
After the monthly Sampai service a buffet luncheon with many Natural Agriculture (see for more information about Natural Agriculture) ingredients. There is no fee for any of these events, general donations or donations for the luncheon are always gratefully accepted. This is a social occasion and a nice opportunity to interact with our Japanese staff as well as many Shumei friends and members who attend. Sampai services may not be appropriate for younger children who might not be happy to be sitting inside quietly for a period of time. If it fits with your schedule Monthly Sampai is a very nice time to visit Shumei in Crestone.
A Place of the Heart
The Shumei International Institute (SII) was invited to join this extraordinary interspiritual community by Hanne and Maurice Strong through the New York Interfaith Center. In the year’s since SII is deeply grateful for the warm welcome and support of the other spiritual centers, artists and all of our neighbors in this remarkable community. The video A Place of the Heart below was produced by Douglas Beechwood and Mark Elliot for the Crestone Creative District is a beautiful example and short explanation of some of the artistic and spiritual aspects of the greater Crestone community. If your considering a visit to Crestone, we highly recommend watching this 9 minute video.