Ecovillage in China
The Current Situation of the Second Home of Lifechanyuan
Last year, GEN started a campaign to protect the largest ecovillage in China, Lifechanyuan. But the authorities were stronger still. On April 1st 2014, the last two Chanyuan celestials withdrew from Yunnan, which means that the three branches of the Second Home of Lifechanyuan located in Anning, Chuxiong, and Lincang city have ended their development. The new place of the ecovillage is in the Gobi desert, 5000 km from their original location. With immense courage they start to apply permaculture principles to green the sandy, dusty desert. Xuefeng, the founder, reports.
The evacuation process proceeded in a very orderly manner. Among the 150 people, mainly women, children, and elderly, those who were able have left the community and have gone out to work in society, and those who still have homes to return to, have gone home. The rest of our members who were homeless travelled 5000 kilometers to the Gobi Desert, in westernmost China, to build new homes. There are only a few shabby houses; no toilets or shower rooms, not even kitchens or dining rooms. We need to rebuild our communities from the ground up in a very sandy and dusty desert.
During the time between the withdrawal and the beginning of rebuilding, no extreme or adverse events happened. The government gave us no monetary compensation or relocation allowance. They did not make things difficult, though. Everything was done in a friendly atmosphere. Besides, the government of Lincang city, especially the Public Security Bureau, did a lot of work to help us withdraw.
In the Spring Festival this year, the vice director of the City Public Security Bureau, and a few other officials, bought a lot of food and came to cook for the community members. Because of the humanpower shortage, the City Public Security Bureau also organized a vehicle and got more people to help us load our furniture. I hereby want to thank the Lincang government for their humane approach.
I left the community on March 16th. I shook the hands of, and said good bye to, the government officials, and it was very much like a farewell among brothers. We had maintained frequent contact and therefore understood each other. No matter what happened, we can still forgive each other. We still have long life journeys ahead, and no matter how big our misunderstandings might have been, a satisfactory ending was our common wish.
To be honest, although we have encountered a major setback, we are above hatred. We do not hate the government. It is difficult to accept what we experienced emotionally, but intellectually we know that it is the arrangement of Tao. Consciousness creates reality. Nothing is wrong with this world. If anything is wrong, we ourselves are wrong.
Therefore, the major setback we encountered did not arise from the government, or any government officer or policeman. It is Tao’s arrangement during the development process of newborn things, and it is an inevitable consequence. We need to reflect back and correct ourselves.
Now everything goes quiet, and we will start a new round of rebuilding our homes. “A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit”. This time we will put what we do within the framework of national laws and regulations. We will strictly comply with all government regulations regarding any activities that require approval or registration. With regards to our values promotion, we will give up any content that does not comply with China’s actual policies wherever this is possible.
Also, we will give up any content within the ideological field that does not comply with mainstream consciousness. We will focus more on permaculture and natural farming. The existing form of the Second Home will be cooperative and corporate. With every step we take, we will try not to exceed the nation’s laws and regulations.
Dozens of elderly members' lives have been properly arranged and all children have been sent to local public schools. Because those who have gotten used to the community life do not want to leave the Second Home, and all the Chanyuan celestials who work outside the community or stay at home want to come back the Second Home, we have expanded two other homes recently.
At this stage, our three new homes are in the stage of rebuilding, and eighty Chanyuan celestials are involved in the construction. The names of our three new homes are: Kataer, Gesaer, and Nanhua.
Many thanks to all the following for their sincere support and encouragement:
GEN (Global Ecovillage Network)
GENOA (GEN Oceana and Asia)
Konohana Family, Japan
Enthusiasts from Avalon Forum and all the supportive reporters from:
The New York Times (USA)
The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
The Apple Daily (Hong Kong)
Some newspapers in Mainland China
Our International Friends in:
The United Kingdom
The United States
Thanks for the spiritual support from many friends and the love from those who offered big support to us, “a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near”, the gene of our home is “international big family”. We believe that in the near future, all people who love peace and work for the sustainable development of human beings will live in this international big family harmoniously, the future of human beings is very bright!
We will keep on working hard and diligently, we will build our three new homes into a mode of high civilization both on natural ecology and on human ecology. We will become the mainstay of society from beginning to end. We must let the government rest assured of our existence and development, and try to attain the identification and support of the government, because our goal is quite in accordance with the wills of our government, there are no conflicts at all.
We do not derive personal interests, the sustainable development of human beings is the most important of our work, to protect and improve our natural environment and realize the ideal of harmonious coexistence among people, nature, and society.
Our dream is to realize a global international fusion so that people from all nations and cultures will lead happy lives in harmony. We will continue to report every step of our development, we sincerely hope that people from international organizations, governments, and all walks of life will pay sustained attention to us and offer us your comments and guidance at any time.