A Letter from the Coordinator

Beloved Lama Community,

So much has changed for us all in these last few months. Not long ago, residents were deep in retreat for our winter intensives, wondering if the Community Center kitchen project would ever be totally completed, and eagerly awaiting a summer retreat season filled with new and exciting programs and new and familiar faces. – Yes, so much has changed for us all. My hope for you, dear friend, is that you are meeting these changes with an honesty of spirit, tenderness of heart, the means to tend deeply to your whole self, and the will to soothe the ails of others. We hope that your connection to Lama, however little or great, can buoy your heart and spirit amidst these trying times.

As you might expect, this summer will look unlike any summer in recent Lama memory. In a normal year, the summer retreat season is an integral part of life here on the mountain, not only as a primary source of income, but as a clear and direct channel for service, a value that is held dear to us all. Summer is also an opportunity for us all to share the experience of Lama –the land, meals, the Dome, sunsets, and heartfelt connection. We know that our love for this place and what it stands for is best expressed through sharing it.

For all of these reasons, it has been truly difficult to come to terms with closing for the summer, but we feel that it is the best course to ensure the health and well-being of all. We plan to use this “quiet” time to create a more beautiful and thriving Lama Foundation to share with you all once we can do so again safely.

While we residents continue to care for Lama, we are seeking creative ways to responsibly wield the privilege we have of living on the mountain. We have begun making donations to our local food bank, and have created a bulk foods delivery service for those here on the mountain. We are also exploring ways to stay connected to our extended Lama family with more online offerings like our already popular Zoom Shabbat services. A multi-day retreat filled with offerings from Lama beans around the world is also in the works.

Perhaps not unlike yourself, my fellow community members and I have been seeking solid ground to stand on amidst this pandemic. No surprise, it has not been at all forthcoming. What we have instead is a host of deep questions: What does intentional community look like during a pandemic? How do we respond not from fear, but with intention, responsibility and consideration? What deeper wisdom awaits us here? How do we listen for that wisdom amidst the din of doubt, uncertainty, and anxiety? What does our service look like now? – The fact that there are far more questions than answers seems to reflect how fertile this moment is. I would say it also invites us to seek for the Friend in the unknown. To be sure, it is time to get comfortable with not knowing.

In November, trustees, residents, and a handful of continuing members met with Ben Haggard to continue an ongoing conversation about Lama’s relevancy and evolution in the world. The pivotal moment of that three-day meeting was the generation of the following statement of direction for the Foundation: Preparing individuals and communities to respond consciously and creatively to profound disruptive change. I could scarcely think of a more appropriate way to categorize the moment we are in now.

This is what we are asking ourselves: What does Lama have to offer to help people meet this moment consciously and creatively? One answer (of many) to that question is that we hold firmly to each other–all of us who have been touched by this place, who have had our eyes opened, even just a little bit, to the radical possibility of another way of living. And while we hold to one another, we can reach out to others as well. We can share our spiritual practices and the burdens and blessings in our hearts. We can share what it is to listen to another and truly hear. We can share what it is to love a place so dearly that tears flow in the recalling of it. Even though Lama may be physically closed this summer, we can still share it. This is what we are setting out to do and we hope that you will join us.

With great love and a deep bow,

-Kestrel, Lama Foundation Coordinator

Podcasts

A painting of Lama's old kitchen

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Remembering our recently departed Elaine Sutton, as she reads her works just days before passing on into the great unknown. Elaine Karen Sutton, B. 9/16/1949, D. 12/3/2017, beloved by all. Listen

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The Dome framed by a rainbow

The Dome framed by a rainbow
The Dome framed by a rainbow

Donate to Lama Foundation and help us preserve the legacy. Lama Foundation is over 50 years old. We would love to make it another 50 years! Click Here for more information.

Prayer Flags

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A Red Tara prayer flag

Please visit our online store for prayer flags, t-shirts and more!

Lama Foundation helps support itself by producing ecologically sound products that carry messages of peace, awakening and community. Items include handmade prayer flags and T-shirts that celebrate various spiritual traditions as well as greeting cards that capture the beauty of Lama Mountain. Our cottage industry is part of a broader effort at Lama to develop local, sustainable and meaningful forms of economic livelihood and is named after Flag Mountain, a 12,000-foot peak that sits just north of the Foundation and provides a stunning reminder of nature’s power and elegance.

We believe in right livelihood, and care that our work not only benefits the Lama Foundation, but all who are involved. We strive to have our work not create harm to anyone, from our suppliers, on site workers, our customers, and our mother earth. Work is done by Lama residents and stewards in the spirit of “seva” (selfless service) and all proceeds benefit the Foundation. We work to create these sacred objects and to put our prayers and intentions in them, and to send the blessings of this mountain out into the world. We hope that our products confer our blessings and serve as reminders of the sacred.

cottage industries building Our Cottage Industries Building

Green screen printing

All our products are created on-site in our newly completed cottage industries studio. We use an environmentally-friendly, water-based screen-printing process to create our flags. Our strawbale facility is 100% Solar Powered with passive and active solar heating that maintains a comfortable temperature inside our facility year-round. No fossil fuels. Our water comes from our mountain spring; we use it to rinse out our biodegradable inks, and we use soy and citrus based screen-printing chemicals so that the water returns to the earth uncontaminated.

two men screen printing
Clif and Stacy printing prayer flags

Mission Statement

Sustainable livelihood is increasingly challenging in a globalizing world that thrives on profit and exploitation. Where possible, products of Flag Mountain Cottage Industries are produced in ways that enhance environmental well-being, social justice and economic viability. We use earth friendly (often organic) products and source our supplies from socially responsible companies. Furthermore, we don’t support sweatshop labor or practices that put Lama workers, suppliers or customers at risk. We believe in Right Livelihood and thus see Flag Mountain Cottage Industries as an opportunity for people to generate income with integrity. Lama residents and stewards involved in this effort work with the spirit of “seva” (selfless service) and all proceeds benefit the Foundation.

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Summer Stewardship

group of summer stewards at Lama FOundation

group of summer stewards at Lama FOundation
A group of summer stewards cooking a meal.

Enroll as a summer steward and enjoy the Lama community for an extended period during the summer. Click Here for more information.