Amethyst Retreat Center : Nature-Inspired Community Programs
Jun 02, 2015 10:47PM
● By Erin Lehn Floresca
The Amethyst Retreat Center, located 30 minutes north of Harrisburg, in Duncannon, is a place where nature, dedication to the growth of the human spirit and conscious community intersect. “Amethyst, at its core, is about the sacredness and healing aspects of nature. It’s about learning to live cocreatively in the world around us,” says Amethyst Foundation President Karen Hunsberger. “It is a beautiful philosophy of living and being.”
The property includes 144 acres of natural forest, meadows and wetlands that are available for retreats, workshops, educational programs and community gatherings. As a founding member of Lotus Light Community, which has the sole aim to live consciously through community, Hunsberger noticed a strong connection between the two organizations’ core values. “Lotus Light’s purpose is to help humans raise our consciousness through values that respect all traditions, religions, cultures and ways of being that are love-based and living in a way that is sustainable,” she says. “We can only be at peace in the world when we can all learn to respect and understand each other.”
Over the last two years, Hunsberger has been integrating the values of the Lotus Light Community into the Amethyst Foundation’s mission. “It’s a beautiful partnership,” she says. “We are all about creating partnerships. Through the center’s partner program, we highly encourage others in the central Pennsylvania area to collaborate with us.”
At the heart of the Amethyst Retreat Center are the community gatherings. “Whether it’s a personal or group retreat, educational program, Friday night meditation group or our free monthly events, there is always something interesting going on,” says Hunsberger.
One of the center’s most popular features is the Forest Sanctuary, a 10- acre preserve of mature trees, a pond, a stream and nature trails used to teach and experience the healing and spiritual value of nature. An adopta- tree program has been established to help maintain and preserve the natural beauty of this woodland.
In addition, the center offers free events throughout the year. “We thrive on a gift economy,” says Hunsberger. “Those that want to donate can either offer self-guided monetary donations or exchange their skills or offer their services, like helping to weed in the garden or maintain nature trails. We’re always looking for more exciting ways to fulfill our mission. If you have ideas that fit with our community vision, we invite you to get involved.”
Amethyst Retreat Center is located at 44 Buffalo Creek Rd. in Duncannon. For more information, call 717-574-2654 or visit AmethystRetreatCenter.org.