Lao Zi, ( the author of Tao Te Ching, a philosopher in the Spring and Autumn Period, the founder of Taoism) in his only book, says that he has three treasures for living: the first one is kindness, the second is simplicity, the third is dare not to take the first place. (一曰慈；二曰俭；三曰不敢为天下先)
What is kindness? Does it mean some kind words or thoughts? Look into our daily life, are we kind? Or sometimes, we are kind, while sometimes we have to be not kind? Are we kind to whom we dislike ? Are we kind when we are in a bad situation? Is kindness comparative? Should we be more kinder to some people while less kinder to others? ……
What is simplicity? Does it mean simple life or innocent mind? What is simple life? Can it be sought through effort? Does it mean to get what one needs or what one wants? What is innocent mind? is it against accumulating more and more knowledge and experience? …
What is dare not to take the first place? Does it mean humility or never to fight for the champion,never to be the winner?
Welcome you come and share your opinions!
Introduction to Shangri-la Home Project
2 Purpose & Property
3 The Main Location
4 Activities in Shangri-la Home
5 Developing Process
6 Source of Fund and Fund Management
7 Contact Information
Being driven by a power beyond my understanding, on observing and confronting various difficulties in life, I cannot stop questioning: Can mankind get away from endless conflicts and have a different life, brimming with wisdom and love?
Many great persons, throughout the ages, have been pondering this question and trying multifarious reformations, or revolutions, aiming at creating a kind of Utopia, in which people help and care for each other and live in equality and freedom. Alarming and mindboggling realities have demonstrated that up to now none of their tries are successful. Darwin’s theory of evolution on survival of the fittest discovered that some geniuses, even long time ago, had made the similar assertion: that is the human instinct, naturally and inevitably, brings conflicts and contradictions to society.
Is this an eternally immutable natural law? Isn’t that so hopeless for us? Is there anyone who doesn’t want an ideal homeland, filled with pure affection: or is this just an impractical dream?
To get away from conflicts, to live in wisdom and freedom, the mind must change! Such a change in the mind occurs only when the mind gets to know itself and its environment.
Before 2008, I had been endeavoring to bring about this revolution through education: In an unsophisticated village, create a school entirely different to the current ones, in which there is no walls, no discrimination between teachers and students, no absolute authority, no mechanical imitation, only the passion and free atmosphere to discover. In the Appendix is the article visualizing the school.
In 2008, a greater idea came to my mind: in a natural mountain village far away from the noise of modern civilization, create a Human Spirit Home. One in which people may get close to nature, discovering life and the universe freely.
Over the next three years, I visited many beautiful remote villages in Hunan, Jiangxi and Yunnan provinces in China. I had not found such an ideal place, until this Mid-August, when I encountered a village at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain, near Shangri-la county, in Yunnan. It is an exclusive area well known for the three long rivers. The names of the three famous rivers are Jingsha River (the headstream of Changjiang River), Lantsang River and Nu River.
It’s because of its high altitude, the natural landscape and folk-customs that the area is still in pristine condition! Coincidently, Shangri-la is the name of a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon, by British author James Hilton.
Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley. After World War II, many people felt lost in spirit and searched for Shangri-La, which later has become synonymous with a permanently happy land. So I renamed the Human Spirit Home Project as Shangri-la Project.
2 Purpose & Property
The purpose of Shangri-la Project is to provide an oasis for the tired body, and confused spirit, and for modern men to return to nature and comprehend the truths of life and universe.
Shangri-la Home Project is not a popular charity, nor an investment project aiming at mere commercial goals. Nor is it a fancy advertisement for attracting tourists, or for hermits to have a land of idyllic beauty. It has nothing to do with any kind of Utopian Communities.
Shangri-la Home Project is an unprecedented experiment for the public welfare. It has a real and feasible plan for restless and spirit-lost modern people, aiming at offering a stretch of primitive and serene land, which has not been occupied by the noise of civilization. At the place of SHP, people may get back to nature; get close to mud, river, and forests and to talk openly and freely with friends from different cultural and racial backgrounds, listening to the sounds of outside and inside.
3 The Main Location
Dongpo village, Hutiaoxia town, Shangri-la county,
Diqing state, Yunnan province, China
4 Activities in Shangri-la Home
a) Learn and practice planting corn, rice, wheat, vegetables, fruits, herbal medicine as provided by nature.
b) Practice animal husbandry: cattle, lamb, chicken, pig
c) Acquire the skill to speak Tibetan, Baizu, Naxi, and other Chinese minority languages and learn their cultures. Plus the English language and culture and other languages such as Mandarin and the ancient Chinese culture.
d) Acquire the knowledge of health, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong, and Yoga, Martial Arts and other ancient skills and rituals.
e) Learn and practice subjects, such as Environmental Protection, Astronomy and Geography, Humanity and History.
f) Involve in meetings for promoting mutual understanding, while discovering the inner world of man.
g) Establish a Mountain-Climbing Boot Camp, in which one can learn, first-hand, about glacial mountains and about how to protect and climb these same mountains.
h) Hold Dancing Parties for enhancing national unity and friendship
5 Developing process
In first 3 years: spread the concept of the Project in a wide range; raising funds through various ways; establish a language and culture communication center near the main location of the Home; open restaurants or coffee shops and the like as windows, through which the Home idea can be spread over, while bringing in some income for the funding of the Home; construct residences for welcoming new comers.
While learning the local conditions, customs and culture origin the Home workers will share their everyday life and activities with worldwide friends. Through the internet and other media, communicating frankly with all who want to get close to nature.
Three to five years: If these efforts are successful, more residences will be acquired for welcoming more guests from all over the world.
Step by step, ecological agriculture technology using organic fertilizer, will be employed in planting; simultaneously, brand-new education ideas will be tried
in various subjects, such as Environment logy, Biology, Health Sciences, Western Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine, Art theory, religious studies and Philosophy etc.
Five to ten years: create a school, totally different than the current ones, in which all members may welcome spiritual and physical growth, based on observing surroundings and their own conditionings. Theoretical and practical growth is the guide to completeness.
Home workers will devote themselves to learning and using these intelligential fruits that will be beneficial to ecological environment that will not only improve life quality but also benefit the people around the Home.
Ten years later: The encouraging accomplishments in Shangri-la Home will spread like seeds of love and wisdom, and more Shangri-la Homes will be built around the world.
6 Sources of Fund and Fund Management
Source of Fund
Initially: money-raising (e.g. personal investment or donation.)
Follow-up funds: each homes should become self supporting by whatever means: sub-projects’ revenues, money-raising, etc.
The purpose of the Shangri-la Home Project determines the management and usage of Funds.
The accounts of Home must be transparent.
In accordance to the public idea of the Home the investors may come to an agreement with the manager of the Home. They may directly invest in and implement some developing items of the Home.
7 contact information
Dear friend: thank you very much for your interest in the Shangri-la Home Project. If you want to know more details or join us, please contact:
Hello! dear friends!
I am Duchuan, a Chinese man, who wrote the short article Vision of the School few years ago. Actually, It is about a dream. It is also a project.
I wish more people over the world may know the project. If you are interested in the plan, please contact me. You are always welcome!
Now I am in Dali, Yunnan province, China. I am looking for a place for the School. Now, It is hard for me to get on Internet. Ten days later, I will go back to Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, when I will share what I am doing easily.
All the best
p.s. my email is : shenduchuan at gmail.com;
location and schoolyard
The school is located at a remote mountain village in South China, where there are twenty or thirty farmer houses scattered over the hills and valleys, covered by various wild plants – from high trees to short shrubs. The air is so fresh that any creature there seems able to breathe with their skin. Everything there is frequently refreshed by endless drizzle and sunshine.
The whole village with its mountains and streams is the schoolyard; all the houses, cottages and every field in the village are the classrooms.
teachers and students
Psychologically and profoundly, there is no division between teachers and students, all the farmer families and new comers are equal members in the school;
Professionally and formally, any one who knows more in some particular subject is the temporary teacher or guide of others, who are temporary students or listeners. e.g. On planting crops, the local farmers are the teachers while others are the students, who may learn how to plant; while, on botany, one who ever learned this subject maybe the provisional guide, and others including the farmers are the listeners. Obviously, in the air of inquiring and questioning, no authority or coercion would survive. Everyone enjoys learning by listening, observing, questioning, inquiring etc.
All the aspects in the daily life there may develop into all the lessons.
e.g. when we plant vegetables, we learn how vegetables grow (botany); when we cook, we learn how delicious food is made (chemistry); when we meet wild animals, we learn how wild animals survive (zoology); when one catches cold, we learn about our body and how and why we get ill (western medicine and chinese herbal medicine and some good ways for health like Yoga and Wushu etc); when people get angry, we may inquire into our psychological structure with them, trying to see how and why people are subject to fear and worry （self-knowledge …
To cultivate an atmosphere of freedom, in which one may be aware his own conditionings and the limitation of the surroundings. From such an awareness, intelligence may be awakened, followed is love – the new dimension of our minds – in which brand-new human beings with their harmonious and talented brains may come into being…
The harmonious and talented human beings may spread out all over the world. With their intelligence and immeasurable love, more and more people may get awakened and be away from any sort of fear or conflicts, afterward……