Interview with Lan Xin Sa Mei

by Maria Teresa De Donato

Dear friends,

Last time, we had the chance to meet again with Lan Xin Sa Mei, an internationally renowned  Writer and Poet we had previously known in our interviews Lan Xin Sa Mei – Internationally Renowned Chinese Writer and Poet and Becoming Love, Our Greatest Power.

Today, Lan Xin and I will continue our discussion about her activity concerning her academy related to the Dongba culture.

MTDD: Welcome back, Lan Xin. I am very pleased to have you as my guest again.

LXSM: It’s an honor to be here once again. Thank you so much for inviting me.

MTDD: Lan Xin, last time we ended our conversation with you explaining to us some of the Dongba Culture’s peculiarities that set it apart from all others.

Today, I would like to start our interview by asking When and why you established the Yulong Literary Writing Dongba Culture and the Lan Xin Sa Mei Academy and their differences and goals.

LXSM: Since I became the female inheritor of Dongba, as I mentioned in our previous interview, I have learned about the grave situation of Dongba culture on the verge of being lost and the difficult living conditions of Dongba, the core inheritors of Dongba culture, so I vowed to help protect, inherit, develop and spread Dongba culture as another essential mission for my life. I am aware that such a critical historical mission is too limited for one person and requires all combined efforts.

In 2019, I left everything in Beijing, China. I came to the world-famous tourist city – of Lijiang, China, where I connected with philanthropists like Mr. Wan Yilong and other caring people to get acquainted with Dongba Master Ahengdongta. They were all influenced by Dongba wise men and shocked by Dongba’s great wisdom, and they also vowed to spare no effort to help protect and carry forward Dongba culture. Therefore, with our efforts, in 2021, “Yulong Wenbi Dongba Cultural Academy” came into being in a thousand-year-old temple (formerly Xinghua Temple) in Lijiang, China. It was donated and operated by Mr. Wan Yilong and me and co-founded by Master Ahengdongta Dongba. Mr. Bai Gengsheng, Vice chairman of the Chinese Writers Association, is the honorary president.

We hope to do our best to help the protection, inheritance, dissemination, and development of Dongba culture so that the inheritors of Dongba culture can have a fixed place for an inheritance; we help them live a better life and let them inherit Dongba culture with peace of mind. It also welcomes all friends around the world who love Dongba culture to have a free platform to learn the “original and clear” Dongba culture so that Dongba culture will keep pace with The Times, carry forward and flourish, and let Dongba great wisdom shine brightly in the world’s diverse cultures, carrying the mission entrusted by history and The Times.

As you asked, Dongba Culture Academy and Lanxin Samei Academy coexist in this ancient temple. They represent my two missions in my life, which also means that I have to carry out these two missions simultaneously: one is the mission of Dongba culture, and The second is creating and spreading the wisdom of love. I hope that more great love emissaries worldwide will join forces to help!

MTDD: In our previous interview, you mentioned “the wisdom of Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.” However, according to our (referred to the Western World) Judaic-Christian heritage, Jesus Christ set the most outstanding example in this regard about how to conduct ourselves and, above all, how to treat each other, including people we might not like very much or at all. Budda and Confucius –to name a few –who lived centuries before Christ did the same: each set exemplary conduct and proved to be role models for all people.

Regardless of our Country of birth and our cultural/political/religious/spiritual heritage, it seems to me that all of them were, so to speak, “Enlightened ones,” and that despite their differences, there are many similarities when it comes to the essence of their teachings. The language, metaphors, and symbolisms they have used might be different, but their intents and goals seem to be the same. By stating this, I am not referring necessarily to “religious matters” but to spiritual universal principles that make us ‘human.’

Would you agree with me?

LXSM: I entirely agree with you. The German thinker Karl Jaspers referred to the “Axis Age” in his book The Origin and Purpose of History. That is, between 800 and 200 BC, influential philosophers and saints were simultaneously born in China, the West, India, and other places. For example, thinkers such as Confucius, Mencius, and Lao-tzu emerged in China. At the same time, there were philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in the West, and in ancient India, there was the Buddha. They are the wise and enlightened beings born in different countries of the world at the beginning of creation, that is, the “enlightened ones,” as you say. They almost existed simultaneously; they created ancient cultures and civilizations in different regions, and their wisdom still benefits mankind from generation to generation.

They lead people to good and guide people in all aspects of human life, and the starting point is to hope that people can jointly create a harmonious and beautiful world for mankind with the right heart, right thoughts, right enlightenment, right knowledge, and right actions.

The Chinese civilization has never replaced multiculturalism with a single culture. Instead, multiculturalism has converged into a common culture to resolve conflicts and build consensus. Chinese cultural identity transcends locality, blood, lineage, religious belief, etc. The more inclusive it is, the more it is recognized and maintained, and the more it will continue. The inclusiveness of Chinese civilization fundamentally determines the historical orientation of the Chinese nation’s exchanges, integration, harmonious coexistence of diverse religious beliefs in China, and the openness of Chinese culture to other civilizations.

MTDD: Regardless of all the differences in our personal belief system, how do you think mankind can come to terms with them, accept them, and eventually respect them so that we can all contribute to creating a safe, peaceful, and harmonious world?

LXSM: Personally, I think discrimination, prejudice… These human weaknesses lead people to choose only what they have benefited from and reject other things they do not really understand, and this is also true of culture. Because there is no fundamental understanding, we cannot “learn from each other.” In particular, while not understanding, it may also misinterpret the original meaning because of the word “Delivery error.” When we do not really understand a thing or culture, we are not qualified to criticize. Everyone is eager to benefit from human “good” but ignores a key: how much we help, first of all, depends on whether we have high dimensions of cognition, mind, vision, bearing, pattern, and courage rather than narrow cognition, narrow thinking, and biased self. Existence is reasonable, and everything or culture that has been passed down to the present must have its own strengths. As you believe, so you see; As you are open, so you connect; As you accept, so you get. Openness is a gesture of piety; Belief is a great power! I like to learn and spread the wisdom of different cultures.

From the perspective of the will and consciousness of “man” itself, human nature longs for love and beauty, and love and beauty are the shared beliefs hidden in everyone’s heart. The incredible power of love and beauty makes us the best we can be, and the consciousness of love and beauty makes us peaceful, beautiful, and harmonious, leading us to create a peaceful, harmonious, and beautiful world. Everyone has love; love is the DNA of life. Everyone loves beauty. Beauty is the DNA of life.

Because of love, everything in heaven and earth lives forever; the sun, moon, and stars shine in the world because of love, and mankind continues. Love is the universe’s light, the source of life, the chain of time and space, and the door of all Dharma. Everyone has a source of love; when we open it with the key of love, love continues to flow to others and back to ourselves.

The world tries to destroy the balanced existence of love by “comparison.” In the consciousness of “comparison,” people consume the ability of love with “comparison,” love is thus lost and becomes another tremendous destructive force. And the existence of beauty is the solution to the loss of love! When we become love and beauty, we can spread love and beauty, and when all love and beauty come together to become the DNA of the universe, the world will become peaceful, harmonious, and beautiful.

MTDD: What is the orientation of Dongba Culture Academy and Lanxin Samei Academy? Are there any big stories you can share with us? What are your plans for the future?

LXSM: Dongba Culture Academy is a public welfare academy, adhering to the value proposition of “guardian of Dongba culture, disseminator of Dongba spirit, summoner of the soul of the nation, and practitioner of human love,” hoping to become a temple of  Dongba culture, protecting, inheriting, developing and disseminating Dongba culture. Let Dongba culture keep pace with The Times, carry forward and flourish, let Dongba’s great wisdom bloom the light of great love in the multi-culture of the world, and carry the mission entrusted by history and The Times.

Lanxin Samei Academy is the scene of “Lan Xin Says Love” and the birthplace of “The Wisdom of Lan Xin.” I hope the Academy will be the garden of the soul of the world’s predestined people, the energy field of love, the holy place of culture, and the temple of  “The wisdom of love.”

The Academy annually holds various forms of Dongba culture and spiritual and emotional public welfare classes. We helped the local library to digitize more than 4,000 volumes of Dongba ancient books, and more than 140 Dongba scriptures, calligraphy and painting works, sculptures, artifacts, and wooden plate paintings of the Academy were exhibited in Oriental museums in France and other European countries, winning a good reputation in China and internationally.

On April 21, 2021, the 12th Chinese Language Day of the United Nations, the United Nations Headquarters specially invited the Dean of Dongba Culture Academy, Aheng Dongta, to give a lecture on “The Mysterious Dongba Hieroglyphics,” which won the headlines on the official website of the United Nations, and made friends from all over the world who love Dongba culture come here to explore the mysterious and ancient Dongba.

In August 2022, Italy interviewed Ahengdongta. In September 2022, the World Artificial Intelligence Conference invited Ahengdongta to lecture on Dongba culture. In September 2022, Dongba Culture Academy hosted the “Dongba Culture Exhibition” of the 12th National Games of Yunnan Province, displaying hundreds of Dongba scriptures, pictograms, calligraphy and painting works, Dongba Buddhist instruments, Dongba wooden board paintings, Dongba puppets, etc. The China Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum and China Art Museum have permanently collected several original Dongba hieroglyphics.

In November 2023, Ysei University, a famous adult college in Italy, and Dongba Cultural Academy officially established cross-border friendship relations and held a grand friendship certificate award ceremony in Italy.

In the past three years, mainstream media from the United States, Italy, Turkey, France, Germany, Vietnam, and other countries have interviewed me many times. I have carried out many transnational cultural exchanges, spreading and promoting Chinese traditional and Dongba cultures. The academy is becoming more and more famous in China and internationally.

About planning, it is to practice the mission with the heart of great love, to do it step by step. In recent years, I have accumulated some creative inspiration and materials in the process of studying 100 ancient books of Dongba, and I will create and present them in the form of novels, movies, cartoons, poems, and essays. The original “The Wisdom of Lan Xin” has hundreds of thousands of words, and we plan to start publishing a series of books this year, hoping to be translated into many languages and published internationally.

While we have several projects in the works, I would like to highlight two with our friends worldwide.

First, our academy translated the “Dongba Ancient Literature Epic” series of books, which will be published soon. Because the Dongba scriptures are written in Dongba hieroglyphics, just like the “Book of Heaven,” the Dongba hieroglyphics used are not one word with one meaning but one word with multiple meanings. The ancient books of Dongba are extensive and profound, and their wisdom is unspeakable. However, such great wisdom is understood by only a handful (about twenty) of Dongba, and there are even mysteries to be solved in the Dongba Scriptures. In today’s world, culture assimilation in today’s Dongba culture is facing a critical moment of life and death, and in today’s era and loss, how to teach and interpret Dongba culture understandably? The “heavenly questions” of these national cultures are very shocking.

To keep Dongba culture alive and to let people around the world who love Dongba culture learn Dongba culture quickly, our Dongba Culture Academy is doing an unprecedented thing: The epic and mythological series of Dongba ancient books have been translated into a series of books entitled “Dongba Ancient Literature Epic.” The complicated books are simplified and written in Dongba hieroglyphics with one word and one meaning, equipped with the international phonetic alphabet, Chinese, English, and audio reading. My Chinese and English translations, my original poems, and world-famous artists Mr. Cai Zhenyuan and Mr. Ahengdongta jointly created paintings based on epics and myths. This unprecedented innovation and creation will continue the highest wisdom crystallization of Dongba, which is on the verge of being lost. Share this “secret” memory of the world heritage with the world, teach each other, and decrypt the ancient “book of heaven” to the world. From the dimension of human love and the high dimension of cosmic love to interpret the inner wisdom of the three epic and mythological systems, from “esoteric” to “open,” this represents the sharing of the treasures of the Chinese nation with the world. Our academy has been brewing a cultural gift for several years to dedicate to the world! In this way, people who love Dongba culture worldwide can easily understand Dongba culture according to this series of books. Dongba culture will be passed on unchecked, and Dongba wisdom will benefit mankind everywhere!

We hope these books will be translated into various languages and dedicated to readers worldwide so that this precious memory of the world’s heritage can benefit mankind – our great wish. Publishers around the world are welcome to contact me through our interviews.

Another big plan is that we are preparing to establish the International Dongba Cultural Center. Then, we welcome friends from all over the world who love Dongba culture to come to Lijiang, China, and our International Dongba Cultural Center to exchange and discuss this memory of the world’s heritage!

Culture is the soul of generation after generation. To preserve the source of culture is to protect the roots of a nation. With the love of the nation, with the heart of respecting heaven and love, doing the event of the ages of “contributing to the contemporary era and benefiting the thousands of years”!

At a time when Dongba culture, the heritage of mankind, is on the verge of being lost, we believe that more and more ambassadors of great love from all over the world will join us to establish hearts for heaven and earth, to establish lives for the living people, to learn from the past saints, and to bring peace to the world!

MTDD: Thank you so much, Lan Xin. Having this interview with you has been a joy and quite an educational experience.

Would you like to remind our readers how they can contact you should they need more information about your publications, activities, and your two Academies?

LXSM: Dear Dr. Maria Teresa De Donato, unconsciously, our three interviews lasted for a year, and I am thrilled to share them with readers worldwide through you! Although we have never met, we are like close friends, and the communication is enjoyable. You not only have a lot of knowledge, but you also have a great mind and a high dimension of intelligence, which is why you can interview essential people from all over the world. You help me create and spread love and beauty together. Your work is significant. You are a messenger of the world’s diverse cultures! On behalf of readers around the world, let me thank you for all your efforts! Chinese readers have also deeply remembered your name!

Finally, I pray for readers worldwide: May you become ambassadors of love and beauty and contribute to building a peaceful, harmonious, and beautiful world! Please get in touch with me on Facebook at “Lan Xin” or Email: