LAMA ALIVE -- LAMA FOUNDATION: THE LITTLE VILLAGE THAT COULD
by Lama Foundation
Be Here Now, by Ram Dass
Toward the One, by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
History of the Lama Foundation: A Dramatic Reading, by Stephen Fox
Photo Courtesy of Willie Peck © 2006
Inside This Issue:
…..So I hiked up to the Healing Tree this morning. The intention was to receive a transmission of truly phenomenal words that I could then write for the newsletter. I didn’t hear any words, but I was aware of my heart pounding in my ears, the wind through the golden aspen, and the elk with their unearthly bugling cry. Was this it?
…..So I slipped and slid down the path to the Maqbara and sat on the new flagstone seats that encircle the grave. Along with my heartbeat, the wind, and the elk, I heard zikr and dances (Ancestors, Sky People, all here today, hear my heart song. Hear my respect. Hear my love. Hear my grateful tears fall. I am truly blessed.) weaving in and out and around my memories of the now, then, and when. Was this it?
…..So I followed the path down and around to the springhouse and listened to the water bubbling up from the depths of the Mother. I listened here for a very long time. I think I fell asleep because when I opened my eyes I noticed the sun had shifted lower on the horizon and there was a trail of ants crawling over my foot. Was this it?
…..So I let the path take me to the Tipi Circle, whirl me around the labyrinth and launch me towards the ISC where I sang my thanks to the open sky and firm ground. (You are truly blessed. We are truly blessed.) The path led to the gardens, once abundant with squash, beans, corn, but now tattered with frost bitten stems and leaves. I stood there feeling a sense of awe at the limitless possibilities represented by a garden. Was this it?
…..So I ended up in the Dome, looking around at the vestiges of Chris and Rita’s wedding: the benches still covered in the white muslin that we use for our prayer flags and, here-there, a dried marigold petal, crispy, yet retaining the fragrance of summer. The wind has picked up a bit and the Dome ceiling creaks and shifts with it. It's amazing, really, how long this space has been here. The view from the window expands and contracts as I breathe in and out. I pause to listen for the heartbeat and voices of those who came before me and of those who will come after me.
Kathy (with her husband Austin and their two cats) has been at Lama Foundation for three years and has held a number of guardianships during this time. Most recently, she has turned over the Kitchen Manager and Secretary positions to fellow Beans. Kathy eagerly anticipates the next stage in the ongoing saga of her relationship to Lama and the Mountain. She is also quite fond of Fritos (or anything salty-crunchy) and scalding hot showers.
Purring through the Winter Membership Meetings
Dearest Beloved Lama Friends,
Greetings and Salutations from Lama. Here is an update of the happenings from the kitty perspective at Lama Foundation. As some of you know, Keshiva and I are still the oldest current residents here at Lama. Many have asked "what is your secret for surviving the consensus or what are now called winter membership meetings?" Simple -- the art of purring through the meetings. We have noticed that none of the human residents are bothered by our presence here in the winter. That helps as well. But, just to make sure that the circle is content with us, we keep purring.
(Keshiva) - Keeping my claws sharpened and my coat loaded with dust helps keep the humans in check.
(G) - Well, our mousing ability, or lack thereof, certainly has no impact on our membership!
(K) - Yeah, I still think it's hilarious that they have a guardianship filled to do our job as Mouse Guardians.
(G) - As a non-voting member, I do wish to express gratitude for the warm laps and good petting qualities of this year’s candidates. I feel that all of them have done an excellent job of keeping our food and water refreshed promptly, and they do a decent job of opening the doors for us. I feel this is a result of good communication skills between the human residents.
(K) - Are you saying that you’re forgiving them for leaving you trapped in the Dew Drop over night?
(G) - Oh no, that was an act of intention on my part, it was sooo cold that night, and I wanted to make sure that I stayed indoors.
(K) - That reminds me of the reputation you had before of being the tent hopper. Off from one tent to another.
(G) - O.K. Keshiva, let’s not go there.
(K) - Ah, I remember the night I went to teach Thomas Renault a very important lesson about boundaries.
(G) - Oh yes, you were quite ruthless!
(K) - Silly man, he let me right into his nice warm sleeping bag, right in between his legs. Then, hee- hee, when he wasn't focused on me, I went right for the jewels! Though I must say, the man has some quick reflexes. He did use a broomstick to create the necessary boundary between my claws and his suffering!
(G) - Well Keshiva, I'm glad that the two of you are still getting along. Oh, and I am glad that with Beth's help as mediator, we are now getting along.
(K) - Well, I think that's where the humans have it made. They can work out issues in a tenth of the time that it took us.
(G) - You know, there is the milk-offering issue I still feel needs smoothing out.
(K) - Nothing to work out G, the milk offerings are all mine!
(G) - Not if you get trapped in the Dew Drop when it's offered, hee-hee!
Blessings from GiGi and Keshiva Katz
♥♥♥The New Circle - Who, Where From, How Long They’ve Been Here, and Their Practice ♥♥♥
Krishna Das Rayfield
Kunga Bill Brower
Blessings to our
Meeting of the Ways
We come as many
Alia… Precious Love Light
Being at Lama as a family is such an amazing blessing. Having so many loving people around her, Alia is really thriving, and she is so happy! She is full of noises and expressions which make us all laugh constantly. At her first birthday, August 2, Alia met her two little cousins, Gabe and Zach, who came all the way from Florida to celebrate with her. Her first words were “Ya Fattah!” (it’s true!) followed by hi, baby, Momma, and Amen! Alia started walking around thirteen months, and she loves her new mobility. We have found that she is incredibly musical! She loves Kirtan and Zikr and has a tendency to be dancing, making up songs, or finding something to create music with, especially shakers and drums.
Alia is very much a part of the Circle – she joins hands with us when we circle up and copies the hand movements during Dances of Universal Peace. One of her favorite things is being outside, whether picking flowers or playing with dirt or rocks. She has meant so much to all of us. It is such a gift to watch her and learn; she is often referred to as our teacher. Alia loves books - especially ones with animals, and was a ladybug for Halloween! She still hasn’t had a haircut, and it has been said that people pay good money for hair like hers….
May the sun
Thank you to our departing residents!!
Little trees grow where big trees fell
Little green trees on a mountain of love
It’s up to You, it's up to Me, it's up to Us:
"Dance of Hope"
During these past ten years of rebuilding, re-visioning, and rededicating Lama Foundation, a new branch of the Lama family tree has blossomed: the natural builders. They brought state-of-the-art mud and straw knowhow, a passion for after-hours fun such as dancing and drumming, and most importantly, a heart-centered dedication to re-building Lama with an emphasis on both beauty and function.
The only buildings left intact after the Hondo Fire were the Dome Complex, the Old Kitchen, the New Kitchen foundation, the Dew Drop office, and a single residence. This was barely enough to keep Lama Foundation in operation. The wintertime vulnerability of straw bales wrapped around trailers, thinly insulated tipis, yurts and domes challenged year-around residency. This in turn destabilized the on-going rebuilding effort. Nevertheless, Lama supporters threw themselves into the fray and gave until they had nothing left to give. And yet, Lama Foundation's special "magic" remained intact; new people came up the mountain each year, fell head-over- heels in love with Lama, and continued the huge task of rebuilding.
Starting in the summer of 1996, thousands of willing hands came up and felled trees along the contours of the land to preserve the top soil, planted baby trees, developed a long-term building site plan, and worked diligently to complete new buildings. For several years, the task was overwhelming because building projects during the busy summer season competed with serving summer retreats, growing food, and enjoying the fruits of Community. However, because so many believed in Lama Foundation’s vision and supported it with donations and/or their time, Lama has not only risen from the ashes, it is soaring!
In 2007, we are planning to finish and occupy another straw-bale vault for year-round housing and also the straw-bale Cottage Industries Building, which includes a studio for making prayer flags and other hand-made Lama products, office space, and a "Lamassary - Love Emporium" retail facility. These days Lama Foundation resembles a small village as seen from the old High Hermitage site. Not only has Lama's ever-changing community completed some one and a half buildings each year (and we're still going), but each building has unique details that reflect the hearts of the many hands who gave so fully of themselves.
A few important guiding principles were adhered to while rebuilding. The "Lama Foundation Site Plan" (written in 1998-1999) provided an important over-all perspective in harmoniously siting buildings with the surrounding landscape, road access, and overall mapping of Lama. An ever- deepening understanding of straw-bale construction together with passive-solar design has proven to be an inexpensive and environmentally-sound method of creating new buildings. Building projects have been overseen by building professionals in conjunction with Lama community members, and so we continue to learn how to accomplish each project a little bit better. The result is a "new and improved" Lama Foundation with warmer buildings, a more modern utility infrastructure, and vast spaces of land left untouched. One might say that the Hondo Fire catastrophe provided an opportunity to upgrade.
While there are many accomplishments, Lama Foundation is still lacking adequate indoor summer housing for the many visitors who do not tent, and we are in need of funds to complete the Cottage Industries Building, which will greatly enhance Lama's ability to generate year-round income. So, we will continue to rebuild.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. Rebuilding Lama Foundation is a community effort, and we absolutely could not do it without you!
Blessings, Austin Babcock
Magnificent Manifestations Of Your Generosity!
Yesterday was gorgeous with the Mountain displaying its full autumnal splendor. The reds, browns, and bronzes of Gambel’s oaks are more varied and vibrant this year, perhaps due to our abundant spring and summer rains. Oaks have replaced ponderosa pine as the dominant plant species after the Hondo Fire, and they seem to huddle together in clumps separated by grassy areas and pathways.
Immediately after the burn, the Land Restoration Team was primarily concerned with retaining the soil that had previously been held in place by the montane vegetation. Our hastily constructed check dams and erosion barriers functioned well to preserve a healthy substrate that now supports a much greater variety of plant life than was present pre-fire.
Rico Zook, Lama Foundation’s Land Manager for several years, said, “The land looks good now, and I am pleased on many levels. It is normal for oaks to move in after a fire, but they could be cut back to speed up the return of the ponderosas. In the near future, Lama will have several options, such as thinning the aspen grove to manage its health.”
The meadow area behind the Main Dome was the first area to fully recover. It is filled with thick grasses, oaks, and seasonal wildflowers, including bursts of purple asters this fall. Yellow-flowered chamisa shrubs line the roadway leading up to Central. Walking along the Maqbara path, I was delighted by the contrasting colors of leaves in transition: yellow snowberries, red wild roses, and yellow-green deer brush. Occasional ponderosa pine seedlings provided a refreshing dash of vivid green against the drabber grasses.
Many planted ponderosa saplings adorn the Maqbara Hill, some of them four feet high. Most of the burned pines on Foundation property have been felled by chain saw or the gusting winds. Yet a dead forest still stands in the Mountain’s upper reaches, towering like blackened grave markers. The land is more open and spacious now, with stunning views of the gorge and surrounding country, yet also possessing a rawness that urges residents and visitors to search ever more deeply within and without.
Resident Lynn Farquhar, head of the Land Team said, “All the rain this year was heavenly. The Mountain has been exploding with asters that combine with the yellow sunflowers to make an eye- popping spectacle.” She noted that mule deer, elk, black bear, raccoons, and bobcats are much more numerous in the post-fire landscape. The bird life has also become more varied with bluebirds, hawks, magpies, flickers, and ravens frequently seen.
The aspen grove has come back full force with trunks reaching twenty feet skyward as their golden leaves gently sway in the breeze. Overgrown stacks of felled aspens remind me of the fierce flooding that swept over Lama just two months after the Hondo Fire. These barriers protected the springhouse from those destructive waves that roared off the denuded slopes above the Foundation.
The plant life along the drainage is thick and luxurious with young narrowleaf cottonwoods rising above snowberries, clumps of Rocky Mountain maple, mullein, and nodding brome grass. Check dams in the creek bed still slow the erosive forces of spring runoff and summer thunderstorms.
Our tree planting, reseeding, and erosion control certainly helped to minimize the effects of fire and flood. Yet it was the restorative, regenerative forces of Mother Nature that revegetated and that will eventually reforest this land. Once again, the Mountain humbles me. And, once again, I am grateful.
After Kathy and I attended several organizational meetings this past winter and spring, it was exciting to be 'on the ground floor' of the new Questa Farmer's Market this summer. Each Sunday, we'd go set up our booth, evolving from a comedy team like Lucy and Ethel struggling with our canopy parts in the grocery store parking lot to a smooth team of booth organizers, growers, bakers, and candle/cream/ lipbalm producers, interacting with our customers, and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow marketers. It was a delight getting to know our neighbors and swapping stories and bread and produce with others passionate about community building and organic food.
As luck would have it, our booth wound up right next to where most weeks a musician (including fiddle-playing Meredith with her beautiful voice and banjo-playing Mia with HER great voice!) or group of musicians would play and sing to make the time zip by. It's been so inspiring to develop relationships with these folks, with their wealth of knowledge and stories about planting, harvesting, baking, and just living in beautiful northern New Mexico. As a result, I've a feeling that, more and more, Lama's produce will be coming directly from our own gardens and greenhouses as well as from local farmers like Daniel Carmona of Cerro Vista Farm, who gave such a fascinating and inspiring presentation during "Build Here Now, Grow Here Now, Live Here Now".
We really lucked out with this summer’s rains, and consequently we were able to enjoy lots of homegrown produce all summer long, and we still have root crops going strong! During the cold season, we're looking forward to visioning about which crops to grow where, how to perfect our 'value-added products' like candles, and ways to expand the number of people enjoying the new Questa Farmer's Market. See you there next summer!
The Church of Conscious Harmony in Austin, Texas, was co-founded by Tim Cook 18 years ago after he experienced a spiritual awakening during a Ram Dass retreat at Lama Foundation. Its Abba is Father Thomas Keating, a monk, author, and founder of the world-wide ministry of Contemplative Outreach. Church of Conscious Harmony (CCH) youth and chaperones first came to Lama in 1997, a year after the Hondo Fire, in response to requests for help with rebuilding. Another group returned to Lama in 2001, and CCH youth have returned every summer since that time.
The journey is a multi-leveled pilgrimage, an opportunity to go more deeply into prayer and to see prayerfulness modeled by practitioners from different spiritual traditions and walks of life. To experience the open-hearted welcome and acceptance of the Lama community in which the youth feel safe and held has a much greater impact on their lives than simply reading about religion. Lama has become a second home.
Youth Minister Don Hale explained, “The youth prepare for every pilgrimage by raising funds through the sale of calendars, peaches, baked goods, and an annual spaghetti dinner attended by over 100 people, but we try not to get lost in the fundraising. The week before our departure, we participate in an all-night vigil with centering and contemplative prayer. Each participant contributes to a group aim. This gives the youth a sense of the trip and an opportunity to deepen both individually and in their relationships with one another. Our departure is blessed by our pastor, Tim Cook and his wife Barbara, family, and other community members.”
“Our first ‘official’ stop is the cross overlooking Santa Fe, where we do a sit. We spend the night in Espanola and do morning devotion at the Hanuman Temple in Taos. One of our goals in taking the centering prayer to different sites is to realize that although external environments change, the inner environment is the same.”
“We come to Lama to serve and work with the community. Through the relationships that form with members of the summer community, the youth have an opportunity to see how they affect others’ lives. Watching the Lama Community open to them is an experience they don’t get anywhere else. They feel the ancient wisdom of the Mountain and the natural world that surrounds Lama, manifested in members of the community, and come to realize that this wisdom is part of their nature as well. At Lama, they experience a world that is slower – in a different rhythm – than the world from which they have come and so they learn to match rhythms with those around them.”
We arrived at Lama with the air of hustle hovering on our shoulders. We were excited and nervous to see just how a course entitled “Contemplation and Sustainable Design” would unfold on the side of a high-desert mountain.
Under the guidance of Professor Paul Wapner, seven American University graduate and undergraduate students left the walls of our Washington, D.C. campus this summer and embarked on the adventure of a non-traditional class. The course syllabus had prepared us for training in natural building techniques and global environmental politics discourse. Our days were spent mixing cob and slathering it onto the blossoming Cottage Industries Studio, reflecting on global issues within a personal context, and incorporating all of this into artful journaling. We soon learned that what was not on the syllabus offered an equally important lesson: Seva, tuning, lodges, Shabbat, yoga, sweat, tears, connections to the soul, sharing meals made with intention, looking for thunderheads, exploring the raspberry trails on the land, sleeping hard, and living lightly.
We left Lama with song, presence, and love in our hearts. We are fortunate to have lived a bit of Lama’s place, people, and spirit. The residents, summer stewards, and other visitors transformed a “class” into a course on the intricacies of life. Thank you to all of our Lama teachers!
Leah Baker ( AU student of Paul Wapner)
American University Workshop:
We came to the Mountain to reflect on and even try to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. We wanted to learn how to respond to climate change, loss of biological diversity, increasing scarcity of fresh water and the overall degradation of the earth’s air, water, soil and species diversity. As students of global environmental affairs at American University, we understood that our current ways of life are unsustainable. We wanted to know how to steer ourselves, our nation, and the world in new, more hopeful and sustainable directions.
We came from Washington DC, arguably the belly of the beast. We were used to trying to change the world by staring at computer screens and competing against each other and many others to win the attention of policy-makers or, really, anyone who would listen. Many of us were worn down by the frenetic politics and the city itself. We came to Lama for refuge and to experience a model of sustainability. Lama was our summer laboratory for experimenting with ourselves and our grand ideas of how to make the world a better place. When we arrived, I asked Das what to expect. He replied, “Well, let’s see what happens.”
Things, in fact, did happen. We helped build the new Cottage Industries Studio with mud, straw, and, as Austin always reminded us, love. We sat in the prayer room and listened to our breath, heart, and souls. We practiced yoga, walked in the woods, stared out across the gorges, valleys and mountains, and shared our fears and thoughts about global environmental problems. Most of all, and most rewarding, we joined the community.
Tuning, eating, talking, dancing and smiling with the residents and summer staff is a profound experience. Lama continues to be a place where people come together to support each other’s journeys and the community’s unfolding, and this proved to be our biggest lesson about sustainability. We learned that, more important than all the technical know-how revolving around environmental well-being, at the root of things is finding a way of living together that honors each other’s souls, cultivates a sense of caring about each other, and harmonizes our lives with the natural world.
At the end of our stay, as the shuttles left the mountain to the sound of the conch shell, these kinds of things started to sink in and we were able to appreciate the deeper meaning of sustainability. We did so, it turns out, by becoming different people. We arrived as individual students dedicated to environmental protection. We left as a thankful community more understanding of ourselves and more supported in our political and spiritual aims. Over our three weeks at Lama, we grew thankful for the land, for the opportunity to live alongside the wise folks of the Mountain, and for the transformative powers that flicker at the center of life.
There is a long familial bond between Lama Foundation and the Honors Program of the University of New Mexico. For almost 20 years, Lama has been host, academic center, and spiritual guide to an unusual Honors seminar entitled: Sacred Sites of Northern New Mexico. Using Lama as a home base, this ten-day, three-credit seminar allows fifteen students to experience Lama and visit other spiritual communities.
For me, there is no greater joy than driving to Lama during Community Camp, wondering who will be there. We enter into whatever rhythm of spiritual life we encounter. Once, we arrived on a day of silence when an orientation and land tour were conducted by use of writing on a clip board. We have arrived several times to be greeted by the spiritual chords of Stew Baba Britton’s saxophone kirtans. We once arrived to the music of three Iranian men from Denver playing archaic Iranian instruments most of the night in the Dome.
Sacred Sites has a Web page (www.unm.edu/~nomalia/) which relates some of the history of this seminar. In time we will have photos of each of the seminar years. There is a section entitled “Sacred Characters” to honor the people we meet in our travels who have had a profound effect on us. This year at a roadside picnic stop near Abiquiu, we met Roy C. Johnson, a cowboy traveling with his horse and bed roll from San Antonio, Texas to Spokane, Washington. He had already been on the road for 71 days and expected to be riding for another 6 months. His wife told him he was not the man she had married and that he should go find that man. Roy was on as true a Yantra as any soul flying to India. Fatima Rigsby is one of our favorite “Sacred Characters.”
One of my greatest pleasures in teaching Sacred Sites has been seeing the familiar through the new and enthusiastic eyes of students. It is a tradition that we stop in the lower parking lot and walk slowly and consciously in silence up the longest route to the Dome. In the Dome, we circumambulate clockwise seven times and then sit in a circle to begin our orientation. The experience of seeing this spectacular building on the top of the wide meadow, then feeling the wooden floor, danced on and prayed over so many times, creates an electric wave about all of us.
In the hallowed tradition of Seva, the Sacred Sites students became quite good at building and refurbishing outhouses in the very beginning of this long union. We would usually tackle one of the hermitage outhouses, dig a new hole in rocky ground, move the outhouse, replace worn boards, and paint it with the brightest paint we could find. We took endless photos of these grand creations, and I once showed former Governor Jerry Apodaca photographs of the seminar. When he asked about the outhouse I told him that we build them as part of the seminar work. He replied, “Finally a resume item worth something.”
Our grandest Seva was moving building materials, including a wood stove, to the High Hermitage. Plans were under way for this movement, which included talk of a helicopter lift, when I chimed in that I had college students eager to work. We placed the cast iron wood stove in a wheel barrow, and in the Chinese style, I attached three ropes to the front of the wheel barrow so that the stove was pulled and pushed up the long rocky path to the High, and the old one brought back down.
Even when I think I am beyond being surprised by student reactions to Lama, I am surprised again. A young woman boldly stated that she enrolled for this seminar because it was shorter than a semester and looked easy. After a week, I met her one night crying, saying she had just called her mother and had asked to be baptized in their family church. If there is a trend with my students at Lama, it is that they reawaken to the discarded religion of their childhood. Now they see the adult version of that teaching with its complexities, mysteries, and opportunities.
Sacred Sites is not all outhouses, sweat lodges, teepees, or Willie’s wondrous cinema. Each student writes a research paper, which is shared with the class. Each student creates an annotated workbook of writings, musings, questions and 25 images, which can be photographs, drawings, found art, and once a bone fragment. These workbooks are a gift to that student later in life. They are a record of a moment in their lives, which most will never experience again. Some of these workbooks are of museum quality with high imagination and huge creativity; some are merely adequate to meet the goal.
I am often surprised by where and when the seeds planted during this seminar come to sprout. In May of this year, I spent an afternoon in the Maqbara reading the hermit journals. One stated, “I first came here twelve years ago with a college class; I have gone downhill since that time. I am back to recover something.” He signed his name, which I immediately recognized, as he was somewhat of a pain in the neck. Of all the people on all the seminars, how he found his path back here still amazes me. Plus, as he was carrying his Blackberry with him, he was able to contact the Hermit Master Krishna Das through the Internet for his daily supplies. Wow!
In reflection, I am grateful that over 300 college students have felt the heartbeat of the Lama Foundation, walked the meadows, drank tea, danced in the Dome, cooked silently in the morning kitchen, and met great spiritual beings. There is no measure of how the Lama experience will translate into their lives. I am aware of the smiles shared and the tears dropped. I have felt heart spaces open in many students. I am thankful to have been a part of this Lama Foundation – Honors Program seminar. I am thankful to have learned something from each student - about them and about me. With the grace of the Goddess, may it long continue.
Thank you Lama Foundation! Ned O’Malia
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis’ Maqbara
Samuel L. Lewis was Lama’s first “teacher”. Following is an excerpt from his diary of that time (1970): “Here I am in a spiritual commune way up in the Rockies (Lama), where they practice, practice, practice what others preach, preach, preach. It is marvelous. It is the New Age. It is the New Age without any recent Messiahs. Just human beings who demonstrate love and humanity, and worship according to the forms of all religions and don¹t waste time on endless lectures.”
Murshid Sam was buried on Lama Mountain in the deep of winter in January 1971. The Maqbara of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, like the shrines of Sufi teachers in the East, is a place of Baraka, of blessing, of peace. It is a place of pilgrimage where we can reconnect with spiritual reality, recharge our batteries, and seek an answer to life’s problems. Lama celebrates Murshid’s birthday on October 18th and his Urs (day of passing, or wedding with the Beloved) on January 15th. All are welcome!
Funded by Sufi Ruhaniat International, work was done this past summer to improve the seating around his Maqbara. The crescent above the grave was expanded and new stones were laid along the top. The area can now seat 25 to 30 people.
Toward the One
Murshida Vera Corda’s Maqbara
This summer a group of volunteers from the local community, lead by Rahaman Brown worked on a beautification project at Murshida Vera Corda’s Maqbara.
Excerpted here are a few words Shabaz Juan Lopez shared about the project: “(The) volunteers lovingly hauled over two tons of rock, stone by stone, from the base of the trail...to the Maqbara site. It is quite steep... The cement used was made with rainwater (gathered from the roof of the bench shelters at Murshid Sam’s Maqbara up the hill)... The cookie jar urn (with Murshida’s ashes)... is now under the floor of the little grotto in the center of (a stone) crescent... There is still work to do. The monument still needs some finishing details. The path and landscape will be (improved) and two beautiful benches (made by John Murray who built the bench shelters at Murshid Sam’s Maqbara as well as the Maqbara hermitage hut) will be set (in place). The floor and walls of the small grotto will be decorated with (quartz) crystals being collected... Hopefully the honoring of our teachers will carry on the four winds to the highest heaven.”
This project (materials and food for the volunteers) is being funded by donations to Holistic Human Development, Inc., a trust set up to further the work of Murshida Vera Corda. Contact them c/o Zahira Rabinowitz (mzahira@ comcast.net) (707) 763-6078.
Pilgrims are welcome to visit both Maqbaras any
On September 23, 2006, more than 200 well-wishers attended the wedding of Chris Daniels (Foundation coordinator and long-term Lama stalwart) and Rita McElmury (Flag guardian and artiste extraordinaire). Diane Adkins married the loving couple at Lama in a ceremony punctuated by talented musicians, poignant singing, and heart-felt vows. Afterwards, the multitude celebrated with fantastic food, fire dancers, and wild dancing in the Dome. Chris and Rita honeymooned in Hawaii before settling into their new duties as caretakers at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos. Join us in blessing the newlyweds in this and all their future endeavors together!
For Your Monetary Support:♥Diane Adkins ♥ Lynda Aiman-Smith & Larry Taylor ♥ Bear & Kathryn Albrecht ♥ Nicholas Alexander ♥ Margaret Allsebrook ♥ Jonathan & Kathleen Altman ♥ Loretta Armer ♥ Stephen Ascue ♥ Catherine Auman ♥ Ana Alpern Avital ♥ Austin Babcock & Kathy Lyons ♥ Joseph Peter Badalucca ♥ Saul Barodofsky, Ananda Cronin & The Dervish Healing Order ♥ Zet Baer & Rudi Harst ♥ Margaret Baird ♥ Vadan Baker ♥ Pamela Barrale & Mary Elizabeth Ford ♥ Brenda Barstow ♥ Mary & Aziz Bartley ♥ Lisa Bayne ♥ Shama Beach ♥ Van & Zakira Beasley ♥ Red & Molly Beckley ♥ Michelle Beittel ♥ Guy Benintendi ♥ John Bennett ♥ Susan Berman ♥ Asha & Andre Uwais Bernard ♥ Dr Samuel A Berne ♥ Sandy Berrigan ♥ Gabriele Birnbaum ♥ Jeffrey Birnbaum ♥ Candice Blocker ♥ Michele Boccia & Lewis Sawatzky ♥ Karen Bolander-Claus ♥ Jan Boyer ♥ Fadhilla Nancy Bradley ♥ Jessica Brady Hogan ♥ Varda Brahms ♥ Linda Chase Broda ♥ Kate Brown ♥ Larry Brown ♥ Roy T Bruno ♥ Carolynn Bryan ♥ Tasnim Janice Burton ♥ Bob Campbell & Melissa Russo ♥ William & Marie Carman ♥ T. Bruce Carpenter ♥ Katherine F C Cary ♥ Marti Cate ♥ Donna Chamisa ♥ Dr James J Childress ♥ Katherine Chudoba & David Powelson ♥ Derek Clark ♥ Kenneth D Clements ♥ Abraham Cobb ♥ Ahad Cobb ♥ Nat and Sarah Cobb ♥ Elizabeth Coe ♥ Elizabeth & Robert Cogburn ♥ Douglas Conwell ♥ Marguerite Craig ♥ Jai & Jan Cross ♥ Jay Cross ♥ Lenora & Jim Cross ♥ Kenneth Cuthbertson & Douglas Calderwood ♥ David & JoAnn Dalley & SIRS Mid Atlantic ♥ Rameshwar Das & Kate Rabinowitz ♥ Janice Daugherty ♥ Richard & Elaine Davis ♥ Terry Davis & Bruce Holthouse ♥ Annie Degen ♥ Kristina Deimel & Richard Pollens ♥ Devi Elena & Thomas Akbar DeJardin & DUP Portland ♥ Deb & Robert Denome ♥ William Diehl ♥ Mark Dixon & Sandy Fazio ♥ Susan Drobeck ♥ Leonard Edmondson ♥ Susie & Barry Ehrmann ♥ Craig Ellis ♥ Christy Engels ♥ Merrybelle D England ♥ Rosemarie & Dean Enix ♥ Jim & Dorothy Fadiman ♥ Richard Falk & Francine Falk-Allen ♥ Maureen Fallon-Cyr ♥ Janice Jemila Felisko ♥ Calvin Fentress ♥ Allen & Lucy Fergusen ♥ Marigold Fine ♥ Kelley & CT Fitzpatrick ♥ Felicia Flower Gironda ♥ Kimmi Foree ♥ Azima Lila Forest ♥ Frank Fox ♥ Richard Fox ♥ Joel Frankel ♥ David & Deborah Franz ♥ Danielle Freeman ♥ Zev Freidman ♥ John Fridinger ♥ Justin & Linda Friedman ♥ Bill Fungaroli ♥ Donna Gaddie & Mark Chonko ♥ Don & Pat Gallegos ♥ John & Alyne Galm ♥ Teresa Gardner ♥ Herbert & Frances Garn ♥ Terry Garthwaite ♥ Agatha Gelderloos ♥ Georgia Gersh ♥ Rhoda Gilman ♥ Gayle Gilmore & Ozzie Curlee ♥ Marla Goedhart ♥ Caroline Goff ♥ Sarkis Gorial ♥ Rand & Teresita Greenfield ♥ Arthur Greeno & Hokoji Zen Temple ♥ Asha Greer ♥ Julie Grossman ♥ Raina Grygorowikz ♥ Tricia Guinle ♥ Richard Hammer ♥ Judith Henry ♥ Mark and Christine Hickman ♥ William & Susan Hogan ♥ Phillip Holliday ♥ Barbara E Horan ♥ Jiun Hosen & Bodhi Manda Zen Center ♥ Jim Hunt ♥ Rabia Hunter ♥ Bernard Iovine ♥ Martha Iwaski ♥ Jan Jahn ♥ Dawn, Eldon & Thomas Janssen ♥ Beth Johnson ♥ Mansur Johnson ♥ Mariel Margery Johnson ♥ Robert & Patricia Johnson ♥ Jean Jorgensen ♥ Shabda & Tamam Kahn & The Ruhaniat ♥ Joan Kaiser ♥ Kenneth Kalata ♥ Mel Kaushansky & Ph.D. & Gordon Wallace ♥ Susan Kazmierski ♥ Jeanne Rainwater Kelley ♥ Steve Kemble ♥ Jean and Steve Kenin ♥ Daniel Kennedy ♥ Jamil Kilbride & Karin Arielle ♥ Jeffrey S King ♥ Sandra & Jay King ♥ Randall Klarin ♥ Ammi Kohn ♥ Michael Kothrade ♥ Mika Kraemer ♥ Steve Krajacic ♥ Betty & Warren Kuehner ♥ Elizabeth Ann Kuhn ♥ Stuart & Virginia Kupferman ♥ David Kyle ♥ Veronica Lake ♥ Diane Lange ♥ William & Judith P Lanyi ♥ Linda Larkin ♥ Martha & Peter Laudert ♥ Kathryn Lawrence ♥ Katrina Lehman ♥ Lorie Levison ♥ Miryam Levy ♥ Jon Lipman ♥ Hugh Littlebury ♥ Charles Lonsdale ♥ Jim Lorentzen ♥ Steven Lovelace & Gary Clark ♥ Corinna Lyon ♥ Ed and Ann MacBeth ♥ Virginia Maclovia ♥ Anne Maedke ♥ Vishu & Nancy Magee ♥ Chris Mandeville ♥ Brenda Manning ♥ C Victor & Barbara Manny ♥ James E Marienthal ♥ Paula T Markham & DUP Blacksburg ♥ Rick Markov ♥ Ann Sophia Marshall ♥ Luzie Mason ♥ Mary Ann Matheson ♥ Randal McClure ♥ Chuck McKennon & Cotopaxi Band ♥ Glenn & Billie McNeal ♥ Virginia Melroy ♥ Devin Miller ♥ Uma & Vishwanath Miller ♥ Deborah Milosevich ♥ Robert & Sarah Moench ♥ Deborah Morin ♥ Marvin & Nancy Morse ♥ Molly Moyer & Ronnie Storey ♥ Gwendolyn Murphy ♥ Rev Alice Pintki & John Murray ♥ Lawrence Muscat ♥ Bette Kay Myerson ♥ Jeanette Nadeau ♥ Mary Neikirk ♥ Peggy Nes ♥ Liz Neve ♥ Alan & Deniese Newman ♥ Sharon Niederman ♥ Lorraine Williams Norby ♥ Heather Norfleet ♥ Ned O’Malia ♥ Estate of Mark Oberman ♥ Cheryl Dee Odom ♥ Lucy Oliver & Thomas Rightmyer ♥ Eileen Pappalardo ♥ T R Patterson & Daisy Schrock ♥ Gyana Pendleton ♥ Franklin & Linda Peters ♥ Nina Amina Peterson ♥ Rosie Powell ♥ Roger Pritchard ♥ Ivan Rasmussen ♥ Polly Margaret Raye & Bill Christmas ♥ Quentin Rebholtz ♥ Gilbert Renault ♥ Thomas Renault ♥ Wayne Rice ♥ Flora Richey ♥ Fatima Rigsby ♥ Ronald E Rinker ♥ Tamar Rivers ♥ Barbara Jemila Rose ♥ Judith Rousso & David Arneson ♥ Edwin A Ruber & William Payer ♥ Nuria Stephanie Sabato & Joseph Gorski ♥ Tovia & William Safford ♥ Joseph Salack & James Bailey ♥ Rachel Sanborn ♥ Theresa Sapunar ♥ Jan Schubert ♥ Andrea Scott ♥ Dona Seay ♥ Roberta Sharples ♥ Patrick Shaw & Jenny Kostecki ♥ Layla Shellie Steckel Sheppard ♥ Vakil Forest Shomer ♥ Scott Thomas Shuker ♥ Lawrence & Sarah Siegel ♥ Caryn Simon ♥ Steve Slusher & Jon Lewis ♥ Sandra Smiley ♥ Janet F. Smith ♥ Susan Ida Smith ♥ Shane Snell ♥ Bernadette Sonefeld ♥ Martha Stampfer ♥ Marti Stewart ♥ John Stocke & Polly Tifft ♥ Suzanne Stone ♥ Cathy & Doug Strubel ♥ Sully Sullivan ♥ Elaine Surya ♥ Andrew Swanson ♥ Charles Maboud Swierkosz & Tara Andrea Brunjes- Swierkosz ♥ Karen B Taylor ♥ Lori Thweatt ♥ Linda Shakura Trageser ♥ Patti Tronolone ♥ Nic Tuff ♥ Farishta Sara Ulrey ♥ David Vargo ♥ Rob, Julia & Marika Vazquez ♥ Peter Vennewitz ♥ Liz Vereycken ♥ Ruth Von Goertz ♥ Tom Wallace ♥ P.B. and Ron Walsh ♥ Regina Jamila Walther ♥ Catherine Wanek & Pete Fust ♥ Paul Wapner & Diane Singerman ♥ Gideon & Shirley Weisz ♥ Susan Elizabeth Werner ♥ Gail West ♥ Jess West ♥ Jill Wichlens & Rich Gabriel ♥ Larry Wiesner ♥ Stewart E Wiggers ♥ Rafia Marian Wilcox ♥ Dianne Gary Williams ♥ John Wilson MD ♥ Genevieve Windsor ♥ Melody Shekinah Winnig & Vincent Giuliano ♥ Alice Wirth ♥ Sandy Wolf ♥ Oscar Woodson ♥ Kyle Xhilone ♥ Wendy Zieve ♥ Polly & Steve Zimmerman ♥ Dave Zirin ♥ Melvin & Susan Zwillenberg ♥
Thanks to our Trustees:♥ Diana Adkins ♥ Jai Cross ♥ Asha Greer ♥ Rabia Hunter ♥ Bob Johnson ♥ Pat Johnson ♥ Fatima Rigsby ♥ Elaine Surya ♥
Special Appreciation and Thanks to:♥ Jonathan & Kathleen Altman Foundation [ALTMAN FOUNDATION Contact info 35TH FLOOR, NEW YORK NY 10175-0003, Last update: 2008-12-01,
This nonprofit has assets of $207,778,412, income of $152,610,496.] ♥ Saul & Ananda Barodofsky and the Members of the Dervish Healing Order ♥ Don Hale and the Church of Conscious Harmony ♥ Ram Dass ♥ Annie Degen ♥ Holistic Human Development and the Friends of Murshida Vera Corda ♥ Shabda & Tamam Kahn and the Members of the Ruhaniat ♥
For Material and Energetic Support, Building, Landscaping, Meal Prep, Transportation,
Teaching, Counsel, and inspiration:♥ David Abrams ♥ Diana Adkins ♥ Zaida Amaral ♥ Paula Anderson ♥ Richard Archuleta ♥ Estevan Arellano ♥ Ruthie & Jim Ashe ♥ Ernie Atencio ♥ Emma Avalos ♥ James Bailey ♥ Vadan Baker ♥ Nancy Barstow ♥ Bob Bassara ♥ Courtney Becker ♥ Trew & Tony Bennett ♥ Susan Berman ♥ Michele Boccia & Lewis Sawatzky ♥ Jan Boyer ♥ Jessica Brady Hogan ♥ Varda Brahms ♥ Christopher Briggs ♥ Rahaman David Brown ♥ Bud & Blanche ♥ Bob Campbell ♥ Jadi Carboni ♥ Daniel Carmona ♥ Curtis Cates ♥ Mark Choplin ♥ Cids Food Market ♥ Gary Clark ♥ Ahad Cobb ♥ Continuing & Free Associate Members ♥ Abe Cordova ♥ Julie Covington ♥ Carole Crews ♥ Jai & Jan Cross ♥ Mollie Curry ♥ David & JoAnn Dalley ♥ Janice Daughtery ♥ Annette F Daymon ♥ Richard & Linda Deertrack ♥ Annie Degen ♥ Jeff Dickinson ♥ Mark Dixon & Sandy Fazio ♥ Jody Drew ♥ Susie & Barry Ehrmann ♥ Jennie Evans ♥ Frank Fox ♥ Zev Freidman ♥ Ed & Lynn Galusky ♥ Tyson Galusky ♥ Terry Garthwaite ♥ Susannah Gelb ♥ Agatha Gelderloos ♥ Genny Genevich ♥ Mira Lyra Geroy ♥ Joel Glansberg ♥ Jasper Gomez & Rose Gatewood ♥ Sarkis Gorial ♥ Marica Graff ♥ Gary Greenstein & Heather Ferris ♥ Asha Greer ♥ Cedar Rose Guelberth ♥ Ben R Haggard ♥ Jeff Hartezer ♥ Cathy Hope ♥ Rabia Hunter ♥ Kaki Hunter ♥ Martha Iwaski ♥ Sita Jamieson ♥ Del Jiminez ♥ Mansur Johnson ♥ Bob & Pat Johnson ♥ Mark Johnson & Family ♥ Ken Kalata ♥ Steve Kemble ♥ Jean & Steve Kenin ♥ Ky Kenney ♥ Donnie Kiffmeyer ♥ Rick Klein ♥ Julilly Kohler ♥ Ammi Kohn ♥ Paul Koppana ♥ David & Madge Kraemer ♥ Kitty Kuluvar ♥ Lama Council Members ♥ Lama Neighbors ♥ Jamie Lamar ♥ Brad Lancaster ♥ Holly LeBerge ♥ Katrina Lehman ♥ Stewart & Sakae Lenox ♥ Eva Leveton ♥ Habib Dick Levison ♥ Lorie Levison ♥ Arielle Lewis- Zavala ♥ Joseph Lichtman ♥ Larry Littlebird ♥ Bert Lopez ♥ Shabaz Juan Lopez ♥ Steven Lovelace ♥ Toshiko Lyons ♥ Darvesha MacDonald ♥ Katie Maedke-Hall ♥ Richard Mahler ♥ Glen Martin ♥ Mary Ann Matheson ♥ Candice May ♥ MJ McCabe ♥ Jethro McClellan ♥ Laura Meltsner ♥ Gael Minton ♥ Sara Morgan ♥ Chien Motto ♥ Molly Moyer ♥ Kate Munger ♥ Gwendolyn Murphy ♥ Mystery School Band ♥ Mary Neikirk ♥ Margaret Nes ♥ Liz Neve ♥ Norbert with Off Road Performance ♥ Ned O’Malia ♥ Willy Peck ♥ Sarah Prasek ♥ Questa Health Center ♥ Zahira Rabinowitz ♥ Sylvia Rains Dennis ♥ Becky Reardon ♥ Baltazar Reed ♥ Gilbert Renault ♥ Thomas Renault ♥ Maura Rieman ♥ Fatima Rigsby ♥ Tamar Rivers ♥ Jose Romero ♥ Farrunnissa Lila Rosa ♥ Carl Rosenberg ♥ Micah Rosenberg ♥ Ruth Ross ♥ Melissa Russo ♥ Liam Rutan ♥ Tovia Safford ♥ Myles Saigh ♥ Joseph Salack ♥ Shanti Salima ♥ Shay Salomon ♥ San Cristobal Post Office ♥ Rachel Sanborn ♥ Miguel Santistevan ♥ Frank Schmit & Eve Marie Egan ♥ Colette Schmitt ♥ Dona Seay ♥ Patrick Shaw & Jenny Kostecki ♥ Scott Shuker ♥ Marney Solle ♥ Linzi Soloman ♥ Mirabai Starr ♥ Ronnie Storey ♥ Elaine Surya ♥ Al and Julie Sutherland ♥ Tony Sutherland & Harmony Haynie ♥ Elaine Sutton ♥ Maboud & Tara Swierkosz ♥ Julie Tato ♥ Terra Tiffany ♥ Ben Titelbaum ♥ Dylan Trachtman ♥ Nigel Valdez ♥ Julia Vasquez ♥ Siddiq Hans & Sakina von Briesen ♥ Beth Waldron ♥ Tom Watson ♥ Tim Weaver ♥ Daniel Weinman ♥ Mark Welch ♥ Genevieve Windsor ♥ Rico Zook ♥ and many more unnamed beloveds!
This issue of Lama Alive:
Layout, & Design:
Check the website in 2007 for more up-to-date information - www.lamafoundation.org.
In July 2005, the Lama Council approved the creation of Lama Foundation’s Library of Oral History and Memory. This noteworthy project preserves the memorable stories of people intimately involved with the Foundation during its illustrious thirty-nine years of community life and service to humanity. The Library is headed by the indefatigable Ammi Kohn, who has recorded over 75 hours of memories on approximately 60 cassette tapes and CDs.
These colorful and revealing histories will be securely stored and archived at the Fray Angelico Chavez Library in Santa Fe. This library specializes in New Mexico history and is a branch of the Palace Museum of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza. Copies of the recordings will also be stored in the Lama Foundation Library, under the supervision of the Library Guardian.
To date, over sixty people have been interviewed, and some of these may be contacted for a follow-up interview as well.
Thanks to the generous donation of Jonathan Altman, a computer system for the project was acquired and processing of the interviews has already begun. In the immediate months ahead, the Library will focus on duplicating histories that have not been copied, physically archiving the tapes and CDs at the Lama Foundation and the Fray Angelico Library, and securing legal authorization from contributors to archive their contributions, which are necessary to make the interviews available to researchers, educational institutions, and other listeners.
During the coming year, Ammi plans to master the Voice Recognition system to redictate histories and create a computer text database of all completed interviews. Although there is money for basic library maintenance for a year, there is no funding to hire a transcriber. Data base design, information retrieval, analytic work, and careful administrative oversight are all necessary components.
The Library will also collect specialized histories. For example, Myles and Austin will collaborate to describe the Cottage Industry Building, from its initial conceptualization to its completion which will give special insights into Lama's building process.
We can all appreciate the importance of preserving the story of Lama's unique history, culture, and community over nearly four decades. To accomplish this daunting task, Ammi would welcome help, donations, and suggestions on other worthy interview subjects. He can be reached at 719-256-5080, email@example.com, or PO Box 532, Crestone, Colorado 81131-0532.
Ammi greatly appreciates the expressions of support and encouragement that he has received over the past year and looks forward to deepening the work. Thanks so much!
Ammi (right) takes a deserved break on the Portal
"It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet." -- David Trueblood
Ways You Can
Cash Donations -
♥ At this point, Lama still relies heavily on cash
donations for the many needs of the Foundation. General donations
help to provide the basics, such as food, warmth, communication,
medical care, resident stipends, repair and maintenance, vehicles,
insurance, and the many other costs of keeping an entire village
Donate Goods or Services - see if you have an item from our wish list because these make a big difference to the folks on the Mountain! Professional services of all types are deeply appreciated!
Purchase our Cottage Industries Products – support our sustainable efforts! A portion of every flag purchase goes directly towards completing our new building!
Volunteer on the Mountain – cooking, gardening, building, cleaning, maintenance, serving retreats, and many other rewarding and fun jobs are always available.
Attend a Retreat at Lama - or tell a friend about a retreat that would interest them. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. Share the magic!
Spend Time at Lama as a Hermit - rejuvenating hermitages are available year round.
Tell Your Friends about Lama - or better yet, come visit us and bring a friend!
Include Lama in your Gift-Giving Plans – making a gift to the Lama Foundation Endowment Fund or remembering the Foundation in your estate plans will ensure that Lama will live on for future generations.
Physical donations have made a huge contribution to Lama’s re-growth after the Hondo fire. We deeply appreciate all these donations and the donors’ generous hearts.
We have a list here, both big and small, from things you already might possibly be looking to give to charity to the pies in the sky. In any case, if it is something beyond a “throw it in your car when you come here”, please contact the Lama Beans on the Mountain to make arrangements for shipping at 505-586-1269.
The Biggies – things we really need
*4WD vehicles able to withstand the Lama road
*Industrial Veggie/Fruit Juicer
Land & Building
*Small Table & Dressers
*Large, Good-quality Flour Mill
Peace Flag Set
In commemoration of Lama Foundation’s 40th anniversary and its continued vision for peace, we are happy to offer this special flag set. The universal symbol of peace is positioned in the center, flanked by flags from six different religions. This commemorative flag set will be available in 2007 for $35.00.
Please visit our website (www.lamafoundation.org) to place your order, call 505-586-1269, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help to complete our new Cottage Industries Building!
$2 of every Flag and $10 of each Flag Set sold by 06/30/07 will go directly into the building fund for this special project! See our complete line of Prayer Flags and Flag Sets on our website.
Sufi Heart & Wings Set
Meeting of the
How To Contact Us
On the Mountain:
Have you moved? Are you receiving duplicate
mailings? Email the fundraising office with any change of name,