Since its early days, personal retreats have been one of the cornerstones of the Lama Foundation. Time apart from community life for deep listening, reflection and spiritual practice has given sustenance and form to the sacred charge with which the Foundation has been entrusted and has profoundly shaped resident and visitor experience.
The hermitages exist in the pause between the in-breath and the out-breath. They are our transport to other dimensions; to our deeper and truer selves; the loving containers that embrace us as we step from our ordinary lives into sacred silence and solitude with the prayerful support of the community.
Whether we come to do a specific practice under the guidance of a teacher or simply to remove another layer from the Everyday, it is here that we reconnect with Spirit and the natural world and re-create the rhythms that support and feed us.
We recommend that hermitage retreats over 2 weeks be guided by a spiritual teacher.
Our Cabins - The Maqbara and the Bear:
The Mountain houses two unique hermitage retreat spaces - rustic cabin style hermitages that could be described as a unique wilderness experience and are isolated from the main area of the Foundation. Privacy and quietude are present.
The Maqbara hermitage is situated far above the structures that support the daily activities of the Foundation near the gravesites of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and Murshida Vera Corda. The hermitage area has a breathtaking view of the valley and the mountains beyond. This beautiful, unique structure was designed and crafted of Lama wood by John Murray with generous financial support from the Sami Mahal Sufi Center.
The Bear hermitage, a straw bale vault, designed and built by Women Build Houses, offers womb-like seclusion and quietness in the lower scrub oaks of the land and has a nesting effect.
Our hermitages are intended as personal retreat spaces for solo hermitages. We wish to maintain the solitary quiet energy of these spaces. We do not allow use for regular stays on the Mountain, or for couples, families or groups.
Length of stay:
This may vary from two or three days up to two weeks, depending on the nature and purpose of the retreat. We have accommodated occasional longer retreats under special circumstances.
Lama is a wilderness experience. Expect outhouses and no electricity or running water in the hermitages.
Drinking and washing water is provided in large jugs. Outhouse style composting toilets are located in separate structures outside the hermitages, but nearby. The cabins are heated by wood stoves.
Both hermitages are equipped with small propane burners, wood stoves, cooking implements and an assortment of staple foods (grains, nut butters, rice cakes, dried beans and legumes, cereals, seasonings, honey, teas...) sleeping mattresses, bedding, meditation cushions, oil lamps/lanterns, candles, 1st aid kits, and other basic supplies.
We provide various uncooked foods which you can cook yourself in the hermitages. In season fruit or veggies can be provided. Teas and coffee are available. For health code reasons, no meat is provided. If simple vegetarian food does not meet your food needs, please bring your own special food, or communicate several weeks in advance with the Hermit Guardian.
As with any wilderness area, we have many critters around that co-exist with us which can possibly include bears, deer, elk, various mountain cats, chipmunks, rats, mice, spiders and non-poisonous snakes.
We provide pillows, bed linens and blankets; you may want to bring an extra sleeping bag during winter months.
Arriving for hermitage:
Plan to arrive by mid-afternoon. We have found this is necessary to allow comfortable space for registration, orientation, and getting your belongings to the hermitage.
Please pack light, bringing only what you personally can carry on narrow paths for 5-10 minutes; in the case of the Maqbara, the trail is steep and rocky in places.
The sun can be quite intense at this elevation and the air, very dry. Daytime temperatures can be hot; nights are often cool.
We recommend that retreatants who are not used to this elevation take liquid chlorophyll in water several times a day for several days before arrival.
Items to bring include layers of clothing, a warm jacket or coat, hat and gloves in all seasons, sunglasses and sunscreen, flashlight/headlamp (for night time reading), rain wear, sturdy walking shoes, toiletries, specialty food and personal practice materials.
Cost per day: the fee for use of either hermitage, including food, is $45-85 per night, based on retreatant ability to pay. The sliding scale is there to help people with little financial resources be able to have the opportunity to experience hermitage time. We ask that if one is able, to pay near the top of the scale. However, one may pay near the bottom if one needs to. We ask that a non-refundable deposit of half the total fee be paid in advance to reserve the space. Payments are accepted by check and credit card. Checks should be made out to Lama Foundation, and mailed to Lama Foundation, PO Box 240, San Cristobal, NM 87564 - Attn. Hermit Guardian. To pay by credit card, please contact the Hermit Guardian with a phone number and a good time to call to take credit card information.
Hermitages can be available year round following approval by the hermit guardian. There are some times when hermitages are not possible due to events, availability, or weather. To make a reservation, please call or send a message to the hermit guardian and they will get back to you to confirm availability.
Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns. Hermitage at Lama Foundation can be a very special, sacred experience, and we appreciate your interest.