Western Maine is full of opportunities to engage and experience the wealth of the land. Tourmaline Center is centrally located to dozens of hiking trails (including the Appalachian Trail), gorgeous waterfalls and lush forests. We believe that connecting with the natural world offers the opportunity to relax and release the stresses of daily life simultaneously renewing your life force energy.
Connecting with nature is fundamental to our well being. When we are in nature, it is easier to be present. Fresh air and running water give off negative ions which produce serotonin in the brain and make us feel better. The earth contains microbes that interact with our skin to give us more positive feelings. Climbing a mountain gives us strength in our hearts, bodies and souls.
Tourmaline Center is located on a 40 acre plot of land in an area between Blueberry Mountain and Pope Mountain at about 1400' elevation. We are a half a mile from the paved road and electrical lines. The center is a rustic cottage with no electricity, no running water and composting toilets. Some retreats offer all-inclusive packages that include lodging at a beautiful lodge with full amenities on the Sandy River a few miles from the center. At this lodge, there are private and shared rooms available, hot running water, electricity, wifi and laundry facilities. When this space is available, we will utilize the private river space for healing practices too.
The property includes an open area near the main cottage for fire circles, al fresco dining, yoga and other activities. At the edge of the field there are two large boulders used as a meditation/contemplation area or a place for offerings. There is a small brook about 3/4 of a mile from the cottage. It is a great place to find peace. There are a few wilderness trails to wander on the property. Song birds, ravens, snowshoe hares, beaver, deer, owls, partridge, and moose are common here.
We have sugar maples, birches, pine, spruce and oak trees. There are dozens of medicinal herbs that are indigenous to the land. Sunchokes have naturalized here. There are also wild blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. When in season we can pick blueberries near by.
The sun sets over a ridge in the near distance. At night, the sky is big and full of stars (when clear) with the absence of light pollution. We see a lot of shooting stars during the season also. There is a fire pit that we gather around in the evening, sometimes sharing stories, or music or quiet peacefulness for the day's end.
The main cottage has a large screen porch, a gathering space, a very basic, rustic kitchen and two sleeping lofts. One of the lofts is available to guests who don't mind climbing a ladder, the other is for the retreat host. Both lofts have privacy screens.
We have a couple of tent platforms (one tent with 3 cots, one tent with 2 cots) and a couple rustic shelters with twin platform beds and memory foam bed rolls. These sites are within sight of the cottage. It is possible to accommodate a couple more tents on the property if you wish to bring your own gear.
We have no running water but we have a few solar shower bags available for your use. We will be swimming in clean water frequently and if the need arises, you can make a trip to the state park to use their showers facilities. Eventually, there will be rainwater reclamation for showers but we are still trying to figure out the best way to address the grey water without disturbing the land too much.
During your stay, we will be connecting with the environment constantly….from foraging for foods and medicinals to opening ourselves up to be part of nature, not imposing ourselves on nature. It is through this interaction that you integrate what you are learning and experiencing. This awareness takes time to develop and we will guide you to this place. We seek to plant the seeds of healing within you so that when you return home they continue to grow.