Guidelines and Community Life 2014
We’re pleased that you will be making a pilgrimage to the mountain this year! We hope that the following information supports your journey and your stay at Lama. Please read through to the end of the document.
By Air: The nearest major airport is in Albuquerque, 3 hours south of Lama. Shuttle service is available from the Albuquerque Airport to Lama, offered by Twin Hearts, a Taos-based business: 800-654-9456 or 575-751-1201. Contact the shuttle service for their departure times and to make an advanced reservation (which is required). Approximate cost is $70 one way. Group rates are sometimes available. Refunds can be difficult, so please make changes or cancellations well in advance. Lama can help arrange carpools with other incoming retreatants. Please contact the Registrar with any requests.
By Train: The closest Amtrak Station is in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Twin Hearts shuttle services the station in Albuquerque. Shuttle contact information is above.
By Bus : Greyhound offers service to Taos, but there is no station. The drop off point is at a grocery store. Arrangements must be made to get you to Lama, which is about 30 minutes north by car. The local transit line, NCRTD, offers local bus transportation. Please see their website at www.ncrtd.org. Lama does not offer shuttle service, but may be able to supply transportation if arrangements are made well in advance.
By Car: You may find directions to Lama (the municipal town, not the Lama Foundation) through Google Maps, or a similar website, by typing in "Lama, New Mexico" into the search bar. However, no site or GPS device will get you all the way to the Lama Foundation. You must follow the directions below.
You will be entering the township of Lama from NM highway 522. From the north, you will pass through Questa. From the south, you will pass through Taos, Arroyo Hondo, and finally San Cristobal. Lama is near mile marker 15 on NM 522. As you approach Lama you will see a small green "Lama" township sign, then a second sign stating "Roots and Wings Community School", and finally a small blue sign for County Road B-014. You will be turning east towards the mountains. (This is a right turn from the south, a left turn from the north).
Follow the dirt road until it runs into a "T", approximately 1/2 mile. You will see a red gate in front of you. Turn left, then follow the road until it dips down a big hill, then comes back up, approximately 1/4 mile. Take the next right onto "Upper Lama Road". From here stay on the main dirt road for another 2 miles; the road will twist and turn many times. When you come to a fork, go right and follow the Lama Foundation Sign. As you pull up to Lama, please drive all the way up to Lama Central to register and drop off your belongings, then bring your car back down to the lower lot to park it for the duration of your stay.
It's mildly confusing; we are located in the wilderness. If you get lost, please call 575-586-1269.
When to Get Here
Please arrive in the afternoon of the first day of retreat. You will want plenty of time to orient and set up camp. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM, and orientation will begin afterwards. If you are interested in coming early or leaving late, please arrange with the Registrar in advance.
Health and Climate
Lama Foundation is located at 8,600 ft above sea level in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. Most people do well, but the high altitude can cause shortness of breath, headache, sleep loss, and a sense of fatigue. These symptoms usually pass within 30 hours. A daily dose of diluted liquid chlorophyll (found in most health food stores) taken for a week or more before and several days after arrival, helps to ease these symptoms. We do provide chlorophyll water at Lama Foundation. High altitude also intensifies the effects of the sun, so please wear good sunscreen, a sun hat, dark glasses, and drink at least a gallon of water per day.
The weather can be quite variable: daytime temperatures can be in the 90’s; nights, as cool as 40° or below. Rain is always a possibility, and likely in late summer. Please bring warm sleeping gear and warm clothing. It is best to bring clothing that can be layered for warmer and cooler times.
If you are taking medication for or have a heart condition, consult your doctor before coming, letting them know that Lama is at 8600 ft elevation. Everyone on the land for three or more nights is asked to fill out a confidential Medical Emergency and Consent to Treatment Form. Please inform the Watch or retreat liaison of any medical conditions that might require special awareness or care.
Lama is not wheelchair accessible. Trails are unpaved and can be uneven. Be sure to bring sturdy walking shoes.
Facilities and Accommodations
Lama’s facilities are rustic. An important aspect of the Lama experience is being close to the Earth. Our accommodations include:
prepared tent areas
limited dorm space in yurts (separate for men and women) $10-$15 per night, sliding scale.
very limited quantity of individual rooms, $35-$55 per night sliding scale (for either single or double occupancy)
Dorm space and individual rooms must be reserved in advance. Indoor housing cost is in addition to retreat fees or daily visitor fees. Bedding is provided for indoor lodging.
If tenting, please bring a waterproof tent with a good rain fly and ground cover along with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag (cold rated to 32° F). Lama has a few spaces for camping with a vehicle. If you plan to use your camping vehicle, please arrange with the Registrar in advance; there is no additional charge. However, our curvy mountain roads prevent access by larger RV’s and we have no hook-ups.
There are outhouses, but no indoor or flush toilets. Indoor and outdoor hot showers are available. There are no laundry facilities on site. A flashlight is essential for getting around at night as there are no “streetlights”.
Lama’s kitchen is vegetarian. Meal preparation and service are shared by members of the community. We are sensitive to dietary restrictions and special needs and ask that individuals with food allergies let us know in advance. We strive to accommodate all dietary options (i.e. vegan, gluten-free) but ask that all those requesting special needs restrict their requests to needs, not preferences.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Possession and use of ANY illegal substance is prohibited. This includes marijuana. Please do not bring any illegal substance, or you will be asked to leave. Alcohol consumption is restricted to ceremonial use.
Indoor and outdoor hot showers are available for your use. Lama provides biodegradable soaps and shampoos; however please note that we do not provide towels. Please don’t use non-biodegradable products in the Wash House as all grey water is recycled onto the land. Our water is sourced from a mountain spring on the land. Water is very precious to us; please use water mindfully.
Some ways to reduce water usage:
take fewer showers
turn the water off while lathering in the shower or brushing teeth
make sure that faucets have been turned completely off before leaving the area
Report leaks to the Watch.
During droughts or large retreats, showers may be limited. The bathtub is not to be used.
Drink lots of water. Then, drink some more – at least one gallon a day. Dehydration is common due to high altitude and the arid climate. All of the faucets in Lama Central (Community Center and Bath house) dispense potable water filtered from a natural spring located on the land. It's delicious! Chlorophyll water is provided in a separate container on the portal.
Phones are available in the Dew Drop with some posted usage restrictions since the land lines are shared with the Lama business office. Long distance service is not provided. Please bring a phone card if you wish to make long distance calls. Incoming messages will be posted in a designated public location. The Lama phone number is 575-586-1269.
We ask that cell phones be turned OFF at all times, during retreats and classes, at meals, and in public places. Reception is unreliable, depending on your service provider. If making a call is a priority, please take the time to find a location on the land where it will not impact others.
An important aspect of our stewardship of this land is extending care and respect to all beings—plants, animals, and the materials of the earth. We share the mountain with rabbits, chipmunks, mice, squirrels, non-poisonous snakes, weasels, coyotes, mule deer and elk, bobcats and lynx, many species of migratory birds, insects, bears…. This is their habitat. We are painfully aware that many animals and plants have lost life due to their contact with humans. Bears have been shot on Lama land because they were attracted to food items that were stored outside. Pets are not welcome at Lama, as they attract and disturb the wildlife. Visitors with dogs or other animals will be asked to kennel their animal(s) offsite.
Please do NOT store food or food wrappers, toiletries (including: toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, essential oils), incense, scented candles, camera film, or other odor producing products in tents, yurts, vehicles or outdoor spaces. Toiletries and other odor producing items must be packed in a separate bag and stored inside the Wash House, where personal cubby spaces are provided. Personal foods can be stored in the pantry by arrangement with the Kitchen Guardian or retreat liaison.
Basic first aid items—bandages, disinfectants, and salves—are available on request. Please notify the Watch or retreat liaison of any accident or injury.
Women on Moon
If you anticipate that you may be on your Moon during your stay, please bring adequate sanitary protection with you. Wrap sanitary products with toilet paper and discard them in the small buckets in the outhouses labeled “Trash.” Do NOT dispose of them in the outhouses themselves. There are many means of support for unforeseen events. Please let us know if we can help.
What to Bring
Your heart! That's number one! We encourage you to bring your true self, and forget the rest. Of course, you'll need a few other things too. The following is meant to be an informative checklist, but is by no means comprehensive.
Lama is rustic. There are no laundry facilities on site. Dress is casual and efficient. We encourage retreatants to bring clothing that can be layered and is durable, warm and dry. Of course, the occasional snazz is always fun.
For Tent Camping
___ tent with quality rain fly; adequate stakes - winds are often high
___ sleeping pad
___ 2 tarps - one to cover the inside floor of the tent; the other underneath
___ tent lamp if desired
___ sleeping bag good to 30° F
If you don't have camping gear, you may find it available to rent at either the REI in Albuquerque or Santa Fe. REI Albuquerque: 575-247-1191. REI Santa Fe: 505-982-3557. Both are on the way from the Albuquerque Sunport, and offer member, non-member, and group rates.
___ headlamp or a good flashlight - essential at night
___ clothing for hot days, cold nights, and rain - preferably insulated fabrics that dry fast (not cotton)
___ sturdy walking shoes and/or hiking boots, sandals if desired
___ rain jacket or poncho with hood
___ sunscreen & lip protection (stored in wash house), sun hat, sunglasses
___ water bottle
___ day pack
___ warm jacket, hat and gloves
___ toiletries, personal medications (packed in a separate bag to be stored in the wash house)
___ journal ___ musical instrument ___ ceremonial clothing or objects
___ phone card ___ alarm clock ___ art materials
___ bandanna for napkin ___ earplugs for yurt sleeping ___ books
Lama supplies bio-degradable soaps and shampoos. Please don’t use products in the Wash House that are not biodegradable as all grey water is recycled onto the land.
What NOT to Bring
___ hair dryers, curling irons, or anything that heats - our solar power cannot support these machines
___ pets - they attract wildlife and create dangerous situations
___ Superfluous PED's (personal electronic devices). You won't have an opportunity to use them.
We hope you are as excited to come as we are to have you! If you have any remaining questions, please contact the Registrar at 575-586-1269, or by email at email@example.com.
BE WELL and HAPPY!