Meditation is held every day, generally for thirty minutes, though in the winter the time is usually increased. There is no structure to this time, except for observing silence. Some practice Buddhist meditation techniques, others use the time for silent mantras, and some just enjoy the quiet space. It is a way to develop self-awareness and to begin the day softly.
Practice and Tuning
After morning meditation, we gather for a short practice which can vary from chanting to dancing to … the possibilities are endless. After the practice, we sit in a circle and give a brief check-in about our emotional and mental state that day. Following that, we discuss practical matters that involve the community.
Heart Club is held on Wednesday evenings after dinner. Everyone who has been on the land for more than a week is invited. During this time we open our hearts and ears to each other. It is, amongst other things, a deep practice of listening. As the talking stick passes around the circle, we are given the opportunity to drop our own stories and sink into the spirit of compassion for the speaker, and community. Speakers are invited to share their struggles, joys, and whatever is in their hearts. There is no time limit. The ability to speak and share, coupled with the opportunity to listen and sympathize, is part of the backbone of communication that promotes community and trust at Lama. On occasion, it creates the most subtle, beautiful moment – that rare and special blossoming of the heart.
Zikr is held most Thursday evenings. The Sufi practice of remembrance, it is a group practice involving chant and movement, bringing our awareness to the source of all life.
Shabbat is held every Friday evening. It is often how people first discover Lama.
Rabbi Zalman Schachter first introduced the practice of Shabbat in 1970. Since then, family and friends have gathered at Lama Foundation on Friday night to take food, converse, and welcome in the Shekina, the presence of God. Sometimes traditional, sometimes delightfully casual, every evening is different, but the candles are always lit, the wine is blessed, and the challah is shared among those gathered.
Men’s and Women’s Groups
On occasion, just the men or women at Lama come together to share a circle of common understanding. Often similar to heart club, the format can vary, including hikes, evening bonfires or whatever those present find valuable.
Music and Dance
Drum Circles and other creative events happen regularly in the summer, often after Shabbat or whenever the mood strikes. With plenty of drums, guitars, and other instruments to play, this is an opportunity for musicians both practiced and new to come together and make music and fun – and dance!
Countless other events and ceremonies take place at Lama, but these are the core practices that occur weekly, or nearly weekly. The summer is rife with special opportunities like the sharing of kirtan, Dances of Universal Peace, sweat lodges, trips to the Hanuman Temple in Taos, group outings, visits by various teachers or communities, herb walks, participation in retreat offerings, and much more.