Interview with Lan Xin Sa Mei

by Maria Teresa De Donato

Today, I have the great pleasure of hosting my dear friend and colleague Lan Xin Sa Mei again.

We met Lan Xin previously on two occasions: in August, through our first interview with Lan Xin Sa Mei – Internationally Renowned Chinese Writer and Poet where we got to know her as a very talented and prolific Author and Translator, and in September, thanks to our second interview Becoming Love, Our Greatest Power, where we highlighted the need for each one of us not only to show Love in all our areas of life and towards everybody but to embody Love ourselves.

Besides all the activities we mentioned in the past, Lan Xin is also the Founder of YuLong Wenbi Dongba Culture Academy and Lan Xin Sa Mei Academy.

Last but not least, she is also the only female inheritor of the Dongba Culture.

MTDD:  Hi, Lan Xin, and welcome to my Blog & Cultural Salon.  I am thrilled to have you again as my guest.

LXSM: Dear Dr. Maria Teresa, thank you for your third invitation. I am delighted to continue the dialogue between our souls, the collision of thought, As Mr. Bai Gengsheng, vice chairman of the Chinese Writers Association, said in his comments to our second interview: Recently, I enjoyed the dialogue between Ms. Maria Teresa de Donato and Ms. Lanxin Samei, a famous Chinese female writer, and I felt that two hearts “air communication” and “trans-ocean communication” have realized the “match” beyond time and space, reflecting on civilization and looking back on culture, discussing the fundamental nature of humanity, the true meaning of love, and the possibility and way of saving hearts and even human beings beyond the ordinary. To the human with rich associations and moved. Let me firmly believe although the truth, goodness, and beauty of the world often “fog lost the building, the moon maze,” or the truth is covered, distorted, and bullying, as long as the universe still exists, human beings will certainly have the possibility to challenge the disaster, resist the power, flash humanity, both self-rescue and other-rescue, save others, and literature is an essential spiritual armed and weapon. Therefore, I look forward to their dialogue, hitting more and more beneficial sparks of human emotion and love.

I am looking forward to our impact new “spark”!

MTDD: Lan Xin, in our past interviews, we had the chance to discuss many topics we are interested in.

Today, however, I would like to focus on a specific activity of yours, the one related to the two Academies you are the Founder of.

I am aware that there are plenty of different ethnicities in China, hence traditions, each dating back hundreds if not millennia.

Could you explain to our readers what this means for your country and how you, How does your country allow these tremendous and diverse cultures to coexist? I heard that you were initially a Han Chinese, and now you are integrated into the Dongba culture of the Naxi nationality in China. How do you incorporate the Han culture and the minority culture?

LXSM: The Chinese nation has a human history of one million years, a cultural history of 10,000 years, and a civilization history of more than 5,000 years. It is a miracle of human civilization that the Chinese civilization has been enduring for thousands of years, and it is also the basis of our confidence. The Chinese civilization has inherited peace, amity, and harmony for over 5,000. As our national leaders have stressed, all ethnic groups jointly developed our vast territory, alla ethnic group jointly wrote our long history and our splendid culture was jointly created by all ethnic groups. All ethnic groups jointly cultivated our great spirit.

The broad atmosphere of the Chinese civilization owes much to the culture’s open attitude and inclusive mind since ancient times. Whether it is to enhance the cohesion and appeal of advanced culture internally or to enhance the spread and influence of Chinese civilization externally, it is inseparable from the integration of China and the world, through the ancient and modern. Peace, amity, and harmony have been the ideals of the Chinese civilization for more than 5,000 years. The peaceful nature of the Chinese civilization has fundamentally determined that China will always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. After a long period of efforts, we are more qualified than any other era to solve the “ancient and modern China and the West,” and more urgent than any other era, a batch of cultural achievements that fuse the ancient and modern, and connect the East and the West. Adhering to the principle of “openness and inclusiveness” and the wisdom of “inclusiveness and seeking common ground while shelving differences,” China has actively learned from all the exemplary achievements of human civilization and promoted equality, unity, and shared prosperity of all ethnic groups.

As you said, I was born and grew up in the Han region. I like both the traditional Chinese culture and the world’s diverse cultures, including the culture of Chinese minorities. Since childhood, the essence of Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism culture has nourished me. In 2018, I got acquainted with the Dongba culture of the Naxi ethnic group in China. Since becoming the only female inheritor of Dongba culture, I have studied 100 ancient books of Dongba, a Memory of the World heritage, and benefited from the great wisdom of Dongba scriptures. Indeed, the diversity of cultures in my body convergence, integration, complement each other. I want to grasp the wisdom of many cultures and spread their wisdom to the world to help people.

From my own experience, whether it is the world’s multi-cultural, traditional Chinese culture or minority culture, since the beginning of time and the creation of the world, although the expression of different but the same destination, all methods are one. Like the shining stars in the vast universe, each shining with the light of wisdom, illuminating one side of the universe.

Although culture has national boundaries, love has no boundaries. Love is the source of progress and sublimation of human civilization and the most potent force in the universe. When we have compassion and love for the universe and human beings, reverence for heaven and earth, gratitude for all things in the universe, and no distinction between sentient beings in the world, then we can link and integrate with all the truth, goodness and beauty in the world, just like a planet of love.

MTDD: Finding our own mission on this Earth is paramount to our happiness.  Many people can find it, but many others are unaware of their uniqueness, let alone of identifying their mission to live a happy, balanced, and rewarding life.

What would you suggest to them to help them reach this goal?

LXSM:  Like you said, people think that mission is for the big guys, not for them. But this is not the case. I have written a classic spread of Lanxin wisdom: everything has a mission, and everyone has a born mission, no matter how big or small, which is the unique value of each life; please find your mission. When you find your calling, you will no longer care about what you have endured as a person. You don’t care how hard you are; You no longer care about what has been lost, what has been suffered, what has been paid, what has been gained, what has been enjoyed. But from the broad perspective of the mission to see the causes and circumstances, to see what is going on right now. What do you care about? What do you bring to the people around you and beings, what do you leave for the world, and what do you do for humanity? When you find your calling, everything you give, you enjoy it because the practice of mission – itself is excellent enjoyment!

What is the fundamental difference between a mission and a job? Mission is not just a job but a lifelong dream and pursuit to achieve with all your heart. The mission is not to complete the task for society and anyone but to practice it as the value and meaning of one’s own life! People with a sense of mission must be able to exert their own potential and value to the extreme, not only to become the best of themselves but also to achieve others; the more significant the mission, the more outstanding the achievement! All those of the Great Commission are altruistic and beneficial to all beings. Light yourself, light others!

From my experience, I believe that those who have the Great Commission will be blessed and helped by God!

MTDD: As for you, you seem to have identified your purpose in life through all sorts of activities and teachings, primarily based on Awareness, Love, and the Wisdom of Love. Had that been not enough, you have also been appointed as a “Messenger of Love” and “the only female inheritor of the Dongba Culture.”

How did all this come about? Is the Dongba Culture something you are born in, or can you embrace it?

LXSM: As you said, I found my mission during my book retreat in 2019: to be born for love, to come for love, to create and spread the wisdom of love. Later, in countless magical dreams and meditation, I found multiple “I” in parallel universes and found the exact answers to “who I am,” “who I will be,” “where I came from,” and “where I will go.”

Throughout my life experience, various hardships have prompted me to find my mission, such as the early death of parents and relatives, the growth of adversity, the counterattack of life, the adventure of love… It’s God’s way of awakening my awareness, finding myself, and finding my mission. Now that God has given me a mission, has made me stronger, helped me find it, and guided me step by step to fulfill it, I cannot fail God’s good intentions. So I felt the love from the universe, from the magical power of nature, from the wisdom of the high dimension of love written ” The wisdom of Lan Xin ” sayings spread to the world of predestined people, lead readers to good, find the key to love, clear the fog of the soul, open the door of wisdom, create a happy and beautiful life.

In my heart, readers know no borders, love knows no borders, and all the readers in the world who need it and, like me, are my friends who have a mission to help. I am thrilled to connect with readers worldwide with “love,” heart to heart. It is also a great honor to get the media’s encouragement worldwide; I am grateful to the New York Times for writing, “The Great Love Ambassador Lan Xin has achieved the ultimate love.”

Many people are as curious as you: How did I become the only female inheritor of Dongba culture?

For the Naxi people in China, I was a foreigner and stranger, but now I have formed a magical relationship. In 2017, I hosted the opening ceremony of the National Art Fund project “Naxi Dongba Painting Centennial Art Exhibition.” I met with Mr. Ahengdongta, the 17th generation Dongba, thus forming a deep relationship with Dongba culture. Ahengdongta inspected and tested me for a long year, and after careful consideration, he decided to open source innovation and accept me as a female inheritor. However, the other Dongba at that time could not understand his decision and vigorously opposed it.

At the end of 2018, he faced massive pressure from public opinion, broke the tradition of “passing on the inside without passing on the outside, passing on the male without passing on the female” of Dongba culture for thousands of years, held a ceremony to make me officially become the only female inheritor of Dongba culture in history, and gave me the name “Lanxin Samei.”

I am moved by Ahengdongta’s broad mind, far-seeing vision, bold open-source innovation, and adherence to Dongba culture, so I make it my mission to help protect, inherit, spread, and develop Dongba culture for my life! Later, I learned more and more: the Dongba culture, recognized by UNESCO as a “Memory of the World Heritage,” is on the verge of being lost, and few Dongba inheritors are still alive. If this precious human heritage cannot be passed on and carried forward in these decades, it will soon become a “book in heaven” that can only be seen in museums! Soon, they will only be “the last Dongba”! These problematic situations deeply touched my heart and shocked my soul, thus inspiring me to enter the world of Dongba culture, embrace Dongba culture with my life, and do my best to carry forward the connotation and true meaning of Dongba culture to the world.

From this, we can see that I did not inherit Dongba culture at birth, but through the guidance of fate and mission, it has become an essential part of my life. Action is the best language, and time gives the best answer. In the past three years, my efforts for Dongba culture have influenced the Dongba preggers who once strongly opposed it, and now they treat me with even higher respect and call me “Panzi Samei,” the goddess of wisdom in the Dongba Scriptures.

MTDD: Could you talk a bit about what the “Dongba Culture” really consists of, its main characteristics, and how it influences or even shapes the life of those belonging to it?

LXSM: Dongba culture is an ancient culture passed down from generation to generation by the clergy of the Naxi nationality in China. It is a living culture that gradually formed and evolved along with its long historical development. It is the sum of the natural and social sciences created and accumulated by the Naxi nationality for thousands of years.

I want to emphasize that Dongba translates as “wise man.” Because “Dongba” represents “wise men,” Dongba culture, in other words, can also be called “wise men’s culture,” and because the inheritance mechanism of Dongba culture is the family hereditary system, that is, “secret” because Dongba culture can also be called “wise men’s secret culture.” Dongba wise men are high-dimensional and high-spirited people who are in harmony with nature and human beings, who understand the operation of nature and celestial bodies, as well as the harmonious way of living and living beings. They carry the mysterious cosmic code from ancient times and inherit the wisdom of almost truth from generation to generation. They “secret” Dongba Scriptures from generation to generation but can influence people with universal values. In the face of various natural disasters and man-made disasters, this ancient culture of wisdom is bound to lead the world to open wisdom again and take on a new opportunity for the harmonious coexistence of human beings and natural things in the world at present!

 It mainly consists of Dongba hieroglyphics, Dongba scriptures, Dongba paintings, Dongba music, Dongba dances, Dongba rituals, divination, and various sacrificial ceremonies. Dongba script is the only hieroglyphics still used worldwide, known as “living fossil”. The ancient books of Dongba have been included in the “Memory of the World Heritage” list by UNESCO.

Generally, people think Dongba culture is unfathomable and unreachable culture on the shrine. While researching Dongba culture, I found that Dongba culture is the universal love culture. The way of life of human beings, everything in the world, and folk customs can all be found in the Dongba Scriptures’ source, origin, and interpretation.

Since the world’s creation in ancient times, Dongba culture has influenced the birth, death, social life, national spirit, cultural customs, and other aspects of Naxi ancestors. It is an indispensable part of their lives.

MTDD: Does the Dongba Culture have any peculiarities that set it apart from all others, and if yes, what are they?

LXSM: Dongba culture has a history going back thousands of years. Although it originated from the creation of Chinese minorities, it is a great culture closely related to all mankind. In the multi-culture of the world, it must have its great wisdom.

It took me nearly five years to study and finish the 100 volumes of Dongba ancient books of the “Memory of the World Heritage.” It was as if I had traveled to ancient times and had dialogues with our ancestors. I have found that Dongba culture is a culture of great love that benefits mankind. It shows the great love of mankind and the concern of humanity everywhere. The coexistence between man and the universe, man and nature, and people from all walks of life reflects the universal values of “harmony,” “respecting heaven and loving people,” “harmony between heaven and man,” and “animism.”

For example, the Dongba Scripture says that human beings and nature are half-brothers. At the time of creation, a contract of harmonious coexistence was made between human beings and nature. Human beings revere nature, love the natural environment in which they live, be grateful, and return in time. It can be seen that the Naxi people of China have had a prophetic worldview and cosmological view since ancient times.

Dongba culture emphasizes that “everything has its source and origin.” The Dongba Scripture begins with the phrase, “If you don’t know the origin of something, don’t say it.” This sentence reminds us not only to know” what” but also to know “why,” which is respect for everything in the world. All things have spirit and a source and origin, and we must understand how to respect heaven and love.

For example, the origin of the year, the moon, the zodiac, the struggle, the filth, the human origin, the natural god, the Dongba Scripture, the five elements, the sacred mountain, the sacred tree, the sacred stone, the sacred lake, the turquoise, jade, gold, silver, the human life distribution; How did the universe come into being, how did the weakness of human nature come into being… The origin of various creatures and their contractual relationship with humans. It also includes the question of the origin of life and the universe, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg,” explored by ancient philosophers, and the exact answer can be found in the Dongba Scripture.

The phrase “the land inhabited by mankind” often appears in the Dongba Scripture, referring not to the Naxi nation but to all mankind, and the phrase “the place covered by heaven” in the Dongba Scripture is the same, referring to all mankind. Dongba culture speaks of the sense of community with a shared future for all mankind under the whole world and is the great love of blessing mankind. It can be seen that this culture is never just a national culture but is related to the cultural inheritance and development of all mankind. It is a big culture created by small ethnic groups, and it is the cultural contribution of the Naxi ethnic group to human beings. The true interpretation of “the more national, the more global”!

Life and death, love, and beauty are the eternal themes of human beings and the common elements of human literature. The ancient books of  Dongba cover rituals such as praying for blessings, offering sacrifices to natural gods, eliminating disasters and solving problems, funerals and divination, etc. Each complex Dongba ritual contains the great wisdom of “life and death” and “love and beauty” and contains many eternal themes of human literature. For example, three classic epics, the vast mythological system, the poetic language, the proverbs full of great wisdom… They are vivid in the Dongba scriptures.

The best inheritance of history is to create a new history, and the most tremendous respect for human civilization is to create a new form of human civilization. As the inheritor of Dongba, I am exploring how to excavate and build the literary and film value of Dongba culture, shoulder the mission entrusted by history, and make this “Memory of the World Heritage” become a “human literature reading book” one day. I am already in the process and hope to create surprises for mankind one day and share them with you in the future.

MTDD: Thank you, Lan Xin, for all the information you provided. There is still so much to talk about your activities and the Dongba culture that I would love to invite you to a second interview on this subject.

LXSM: I would be delighted to. It’s always a pleasure to have a cultural interchange with your readers. Thank you so much for inviting me. I look forward to our next interview.