On the day I arrive at Lama, N.M., it takes me a few minutes to find the people. When I find them, they are all holding hands around a large octagonal table, centered in the huge octagonal kitchen. They’re singing a song to bless the dinner they are about to eat. A large photo of Amma, the Hugging Saint, watches from the window, her round face and wrinkled eyes smiling. The shelves around the kitchen are cluttered with idols, stones, feathers and bowls, and dried plants hang on the walls.
Before any words can escape my mouth, I’m bear-hugged by a tall man with a wild mane of red hair. He introduces himself as Sebastian and is soon showing me where I can find a bowl, introducing me to the group. He laughs and tells me that they typically refer to themselves as “Lama Beans.” As I fill a bowl with food, people hug me and say hello.
“Sit down and eat! You’ve had a long journey!”
“Welcome to our home! We’ve been excited for your arrival!”
Cultivating attitudes of service, gratitude and "Enough" while renewing and strengthening our ties of community with each other and the world we live in - a lot of the answer to the world's troubles lie in such simple matters of the heart.
At first it seems like a strange and even pointless shift to those of us raised to believe in our technocratic, isolationist cultural story. And then after a while it seems strange that we would want to live any other way.