Four weeks ago, a young Italian woman stepped in to Shangri-La and was so moved by what she learned here that she decided to write this letter to a friend. We thought it was worth sharing with our readers.
So much has happened since we last spoke.
At that time, I was wwoofing in a backpackers where I stayed for a month. There were things holding me there at the time that I didn’t understand. I met a guy who told me about an amazing-sounding community, six hours away. When the day came for me to go, my friend told me he had heard on the news that the community had burned down in a big fire. I didn’t know what this all meant, but I trusted, and I stayed longer.
I had been searching for spring water, so tired of buying supermarket water. After all this time, my host finally told me about a place 20 minutes away, where I could actually have fresh water. I had been asking her all along, but now I was really asking. Now she could hear me.
She told me about a community of people living at the headwaters of a spring-fed mountain river. After all this time, I felt a pull. I decided that if the community would respond to me within three days, inviting me to come, I would go. If not, I would leave the area.
They wrote back, and they invited me to come right away.
This place is a sanctuary surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, with not one, but many rivers of pure, cascading water, with pools to bathe in. 454 acres of land, complete with food and flower gardens as well as orchards, and much land yet to be discovered. Half of the dozen or so people here have been living in the commune for decades, and the trust resulting from that time together is palpable. They have reminded me that it is possible to be inspired by the magic that comes with shared understanding.
Light co-founded Gentle World with Sun, his wife of 50 years. They have based their marriage on their shared understanding of truth, and the first of these was the indisputable cruelty involved with the habitual using of animal meat and all other animal products. Having pledged to follow the truths they were to discover, they could certainly not avoid one so conscience-awakening as this.
They joined the animals’ side in this centuries-old, one-sided war, in which the oppressors are cruel and all-powerful, and the victims innocent and helpless.
Following that came a series of other certainties that became clear to them in one way or another. Lessons such as the necessity of living in the country surrounded by nature, the crucial importance of having the sun shining in our lives as much as possible, the joy of being surrounded by love-minded people, the economic benefits of a cooperative lifestyle, the virtues of honesty, cleanliness, integrity… each and every virtue being a prerequisite for any life guided by the light of truth.