Amethyst Retreat Center is a Natural Haven for Mindfulness

It’s hard for many people to fathom the idea of taking a moment for themselves, and that’s where Amethyst Retreat Center comes in. Designed to be a peaceful haven where individual visitors can walk, hike or meditate in the forest sanctuary or where groups can come together for a retreat in silence or mindfulness, Amethyst Retreat Center is a vibrant ecosystem surrounded by the natural beauty of an 80-year-old woodland forest. The nonprofit organization prides itself on respect and inclusiveness for all love-based religions, traditions, cultures and ways of life.

“During this tumultuous time in the world, our sole purpose is to create conditions where groups or individuals can experience the idea of living sustainably and learn what it means to live mindfully,” explains Karen Kovacs, president of the board of directors.

That lesson extends to the center’s youngest visitors. In addition to regular Children’s Mindfulness and Nature classes for kids, Amethyst will offer a summer day camp this August led by instructors from a wilderness survival school. Children will learn techniques such as building natural structures for shelter and how to forage safely.

“So many people have told us that Amethyst has become an oasis where they can come and find themselves again,” says Kovacs. “We’re all being pulled in so many different directions, and mindfulness is about finding balance and living your life based upon what is most important to you. We feel it’s an important lesson for visitors of all ages.”

Located between the Susquehanna and the Juniata Rivers, in Duncannon, Pennsylvania, Amethyst has long served as a sanctuary where artists and musicians can let their creative juices flow or yoga studios and other groups can hold private events. There are opportunities for both solitary and group retreats, complete with everything needed, from peaceful contemplation to kayaking on the beautiful Susquehanna River.

“A day of silence and mindfulness can help people realize how caught up they are in fear of what’s going on in the world or in the day-to-day stress of the workplace,” Kovacs notes. “We want to help bring our visitors back to a place of mindfulness so they can go home with a brand-new perspective and skills to better navigate what’s been keeping their world out of balance for so long.”

The Amethyst Retreat Center is located at 44 Buffalo Creek Rd., in Duncannon. For more information, call 717-574-2654 or visit

Jennifer Lesser is a freelance writer specializing in health and fitness, parenting, and lifestyle. Contact he at

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