Since the late 60’s, people have come every summer to participate in Lama community life: volunteering energy, playing, experiencing and caring for the Mountain, growing, and tasting the magic and personal growth of life in spiritual community. Summer Stewards include all ages and backgrounds, families and individuals. What draws us together, year after year, is a heart-to-heart connection that deepens as we create and re-create community together. Many leave the Mountain with unforgettable experiences, new friends, and greater self-awareness. Some stay and become residents. Summer Stewards leave their energetic imprint and their love at Lama – at the Spring House and the Maqbara, in the Prayer Room and Dome, in Flag Mountain Studio, at building sites and in the gardens. We eagerly await this year’s Summer Stewards.
Description: The Summer Stewardship Program is a summer-long-intensive retreat – an opportunity to take a pause from ordinary life, to create and care for community and to look at Lama through a variety of lenses. Summer Stewards join with the year-round resident circle to form Lama Foundation’s summer community.
Windows of Arrival: We ask that summer stewards arrive during one of the windows specified to allow us to best orient you to the Mountain while we also serve our busy retreat schedule.
Duration: The minimum enrollment is three weeks, but stewards may stay for any period of time, from 3 weeks up to the entire summer.
Tuition: Tuition is from $300-$500 per month, on a sliding scale based on the intention that stewardship be as accessible as possible. Arrangements for youth under 18 will be made on an individual basis. This tuition will be applied to Lama Foundation’s lifetime tuition of $2700 for those seeking longer-term residence.
Stewardship is not considered “work exchange”. Each of us comes to Lama to serve and, through that giving of ourselves, to support the Foundation and the ideals we collectively hold. Most of us feel that what we have received from our stewardship experiences is a priceless gift.
Who are Stewards? Stewards represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, interests, life stages and life experiences from many parts of the country and world – individuals, families, students, teachers, gardeners, builders and rebuilders, musicians, writers, artists, service and health care practitioners, “wanderers, worshippers.” The “thread” that connects us like prayer beads is the “call,” in whatever ways we have received it, to create a different way of being on the earth; to immerse our hearts and minds in a vision and task for a greater good; to explore the interface between our inner and our outer selves, our connection with others and with the natural world; to open ourselves to spiritual practice and deepening our spiritual life; and to learn new skills while sharing in work and play.
Stewards stay in one of our beautiful campgrounds. Although we hold the intention of providing accessibility, Lama is both rugged and remote and is unfortunately not accessible to individuals with some types of physical or other limitations. Please discuss this with a Summer Steward Guardian if you have a concern.
The Curriculum: Lama is a “school” in community. Reflecting this very special region of northern New Mexico/southern Colorado, the vibration of the Mountain itself, and the vision of Lama’s founders, Lama represents a “meeting of the ways” – a convergence of many spiritual traditions, in the understanding that “Truth is One, Paths are Many.”
To nurture and support our practice of service, we offer community practices, including morning meditation, weekly women’s and men’s lodges, Wednesday night Heart Club, Thursday night zikr, and Friday night Shabbat service; and smaller group activities such as yoga, drumming, poetry-reading, contact improv, tribal healing, kirtan, Japanese tea ceremony or other offerings that those who are on the land might wish to share. In addition, retreat teachers often share teachings specifically for community members during their retreats. In this way, the summer community becomes an open forum of shared teachings, a reflection of the current community’s unique composition.
We live at Lama because we value the teachings that come with consciously living in community. The Lama “curriculum” offers opportunities to develop skills in community building; to deepen in self-awareness; to experience teachings from various spiritual traditions; and to apply those skills of awareness and experience to our work, our meetings, and our service.
Expectations: Our foundation is heart-felt service – to those who come to the Mountain as visitors, hermits, retreatants; and to the surrounding and world communities through education, healing and prayer. Every member of the community contributes 30 hours of service (seva) per week and participates in regular community meetings. See the Daily/Weekly Schedule for more details. Equally important is personal time: the opportunity to re-create ourselves through friendship, solitude, meditation and worship, and outdoor activities…
Each of us contributes to the cooking, cleaning and other daily needs of the Foundation. Additional service is focalized through “circles of caring” – opportunities to share or develop skills in flag production, land care, natural building, kitchen management, care of hermits and hermitages, registration of retreatants, child care, and so forth. Stewards may oversee projects or assume guardianships based on their own interests and skills.
In addition to two regular days off per week, stewards receive one day of vacation per month of service. Those who are part of the four-month community of summer, from June through September, receive six days of vacation to be taken before Closing Day.
Lama Offers: in addition to its curriculum, several beautiful campgrounds, breath-taking views, vegetarian meals, shower facilities (with bio-degradable soap and shampoo), basic first-aid supplies, weekly laundry service, a music room with community instruments, an extensive library, prayer room, free clothing exchange, and limited phone and internet access. Phone cards are required for long distance calls. Our water comes from a mountain spring – our electricity, from the sun. The Foundation’s rustic setting is deeply quiet and naturally beautiful, built and maintained by loving service.
For younger children, there are a limited number of children’s books, toys, and art materials, an outdoor sandbox, swing, high chairs, and a crib. Older children are encouraged to participate in community activities as they feel comfortable. Parents are responsible for their children’s supervision at all times. For further information, please consult with one of the Summer Steward Guardians.
Stage One – Apply online, mail, email, or fax an “Application” to the attention of the Summer Stewardship Guardian at one of the addresses on the application form. Upon acceptance, you will be contacted to arrange the details of your stay. You will receive some information about preparation and what to bring and will be asked to send a $60 deposit. Upon arrival at Lama, there will be a two-week orientation and try-out period.
Stage Two is a meeting with the resident circle—an opportunity to check in a little more formally, to discuss the curriculum, commitments, challenges… and, for those who are planning to spend more time on the Mountain, to be formally invested as a steward.
A Note to Those Considering Year-Around Residency: Full-time residency at Lama Foundation is a one-year commitment from October through the end of the next year’s summer program. Individuals who are considering year-round residence are encouraged to come on Opening Day, or as close to that as possible, and to stay for the duration of summer. If that is not possible, we ask that you arrive no later than August 1. Choice of winter housing is determined by the date of arrival. In addition to two regular days off per week, you receive six days of vacation (if you arrive on Opening Day, or a pro-rated amount determined by your arrival date) to be taken before Closing Day in September. For additional information, please contact one of the Summer Steward Guardians.
Thank you for your interest: Many have experienced Lama as a place of profound transformation; a unique opportunity to explore other ways of being and to experience everything and everyone as “Teacher.” Many have left the Mountain with unforgettable experiences, new friends, and greater self-awareness. Their energetic imprints, their love remains here at Lama – at the Spring House and the Maqbara, in the Prayer Room and Dome, in Flag Mountain Studio, at building sites and in the gardens. We are happy to provide this opportunity for you to begin exploring the gifts that Lama stewardship and possibly residency can offer: for a week, a month or longer.