True North Holistic Center and Retreat House
Your Center for Deep Transformational Work
It is our mission to offer space in which you are able to find tranquility, training, and transformation for your journey toward wholeness.
Why True North?
When travelers, either by land or by sea, need to find their direction, they seek True North. Once they know where North is, they can set their compass by what is true and unmovable and they cannot be lost as long as they keep True North in sight. They may not know exactly where the twists and turns will take them but they can stay the course and move forward with confidence.
As individuals, we each need to determine for ourselves what is absolute and unmovable in our lives and in our personal belief system. What is it by which YOU set the compass of your life? When all around you is confusing, or the signposts are few and far between or terribly blurred, what absolute can you point toward and feel assured that you are on the right path?
True North Holistic Center and Retreat House is here to offer space for inner reflection, classes and workshops that explore various aspects of how we live our lives and deepen our self-knowledge. We offer tools and trainings in modalities that help us move toward our true essence, bringing healing, clarity, and wholeness. We are companions and guides on your quest for finding your True North.
The star in our new logo represents the compass pointing True North. The center spiral represents life force energy and the cycles of life in which the old passes away so that the new may emerge. The light that shines through the logo represents the divine light that illuminates all of life.
We welcome you all and would be honored to help you set the compass of your life to point you toward your True North.
How Our Journey is Unfolding
We began our work with the purchase of our property at 82 Healdville Road in Hubbardston, MA, in November 2007. We have grown and evolved over the years and are emerging as a holistic center.
The commitment to our original vision and mission of being a place to offer women a tranquil sanctuary for personal retreats has not changed. That will always be the foundation of our work.
For a few years now, we have been offering classes, workshops, and retreats focused on aspects of women’s life journeys and personal growth. This fall we are stepping up our vision to become a broadly known and respected training center for deep transformational work. Several of our programs are open to men and women alike.
As a major step toward fulfilling that vision, we are excited to welcome Evoking Alchemy with their extensive professional training in energetics and personal mastery. Margaret Thompson and M’liss Calzaretta have begun an Integrated Reiki™ training program here at True North Holistic Center and Retreat House for which they are able to offer CEU’s to professionals in the health field—particularly nurses. In addition, they offer opportunities for private healing sessions and wellness sessions.
Evoking Alchemy hosts monthly Integrated Reiki™ clinics here at True North Holistic Center and Retreat House that are open to the public. Clinic practitioners are students who have completed Evoking Alchemy’s Integrated Reiki™ training.
In April 2014, we completed construction of a training facility that will serve as Evoking Alchemy’s headquarters here at True North Holistic Center and Retreat House and where they will meet with their private clients for healing and wellness sessions. Their consistent presence will give opportunities for individuals and groups seeking growth, balance, wholeness and mastery in themselves, their work, and their relationships and will enhance our ability to fulfill our mission of pointing each person toward his or her personal True North.
Located in Central Massachusetts, True North Holistic Center is set on more than 3 acres of peaceful gardens, fields and woods surround by conservation land. Nearby Mt. Wachusett, Quabbin Reservoir, and Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary also offer many convenient opportunities to further explore the New England landscape. We are only 40 minutes from Worcester and only 90 minutes from Boston.
Our farmhouse, dating from the 1880′s, can sleep up to 16 persons in its 5 comfy bedrooms. There are two full baths, one upstairs and one downstairs (handicapped accessible). Linens and towels are provided.
During renovations in 2008, a handicapped accessible bath, bedroom and ramp were added to the property. The entire first floor of the house as well as the studio in the barn are wheelchair accessible.
We’ve plenty of gathering space. French doors between the living room and the sitting room allow that space to be used as one large or two small rooms. Off the sitting room is a year-round sun-room, and a small library area is located upstairs. The barn houses a studio room with space for movement classes.
A full kitchen is available to our guests. You can bring in your own food and cook as you please or you can leave the cooking to us. We can accommodate most dietary preferences and have experience cooking for vegans, vegetarians and those requiring either a dairy-free or gluten-free diet.
Yes, just like at your house, everyone ends up chatting in the kitchen when dinner is being made – even when we’re the ones cooking! – with a cup of fresh coffee in their hand. Make yourself at home but don’t miss sitting down to dinner in our well-appointed dining room, with its Hitchcock dining set. Up to 20 people can dine comfortably.
Located in the big, red barn is a 21′ by 24′ carpeted multi-use space that can be left clear for movement classes or a little dancing or we can bring in tables and chairs and set it up for a seminar, workshop or larger dining event.
Take a walk around our property and you’ll find lovely spots like our Memorial Meditation Garden to reflect and meditate. Pick wildflowers in our grass fields or thread your way through the pines to our stone labyrinth.
Contact True North Holistic Center at 978-820-1139 or email@example.com with any questions, sign up for an event or set up your retreat!
Our Board of Directors
JIM BELLINA is currently President & CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce. In addition to having run his own consulting business, Jim was President of Sinar Bron Imagine, a Swiss-owned photographic equipment company and has extensive operations & product management experience with Johnson & Johnson and Block Drug Company. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and has a B.S. from Kean College of New Jersey and an MBS from Rutgers University.
JENNIFER PECK is currently the Development Director for The Arc of Opportunity in North Central Massachusetts. She has been working in the non-profit sector for over 9 years. She has own and operated several businesses including a professional DJ & Karaoke service and a Soy Wax Candle business. She is a current member and serves on the Board of Directors as the Secretary for the Montachusett Area Rotary Club. She attended and graduated in June 2013 from the North Central Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute program. She has completed training for her Professional Fundraising Certificate through Boston University in fall of 2013. Jennifer is an Integrated Reiki™ Master and is working to become certified as a Yoga Instructor.
MERRY COLE is the Owner and one of the Founders of True North Holistic Center. Beginning as a spiritual seeker and teacher over 40 years ago at Episcopal churches in Holden and Worcester, from there she branched out to leading women’s retreats at her home, as well as hosting a weekly book discussion that explored many aspects of spirituality. Following an experience with Breast Cancer, she felt called to drop out of the family construction business and begin to pursue her passion of creating a sacred space to support women on their spiritual journeys. In 2007, she bought True North Holistic Center and dedicated the space for individual and group women’s retreats, workshops, and classes. She leads workshops, facilitates retreats, and is a Yoga student and a Integrated Reiki™ Master.
SHARALYNNE FIFE is one of the original founders of True North Holistic Center. She has been involved in and on the leadership team for women’s retreats for over twenty years. She has worked in the field of education for over fifteen years and is currently a substitute teacher in the Wachusett school district.
CHERYL THOMPSON is currently helping run the day-to-day activities of True North Holistic Center. A long-time resident in the Philadelphia area, she moved here in 2010 in order to give Merry assistance with True North, watching Merry’s vision become fulfilled each day while meeting new and exciting women along the way.
“Having lived in Leominster for the past 29 years and raising 3 children here, I’ve come to know many people and been involved in many activities. Some of my volunteer activities have included: various PTOs, religious education teacher, cub scout leader, boy scout treasurer and fundraiser.
I once ran a family child care business from my home while raising my children. I live alone and have a home office. I help people and businesses with all aspects of their financial lives in their homes or office to ensure their monies are working as hard for them as they do to earn them.
I enjoy spending time outside when I’m not working – whether the activity is hiking, snow shoeing, skiing, snow mobiling, water activities, sky diving, or the like.
I’m excited to be part of True North at this time in my life. I feel we can share our strengths and encourage each other to reach our full potentials.”
M’LISS CALZARETTA is the co-founder of Evoking Alchemy, LLC™. She is the co-developer and master/teacher of Integrated Reiki™ and Dynamic Equilibrium™. She is also an energy practitioner who has integrated the use of a diverse mix of healing modalities, sound expression and physical movement into one rolling wheel of healing practices. She operates on the belief system that every being has his/her own unique blueprint in the pursuit of energetic health. The goal of her practice is to combine one’s humanness with spirit to bring about balance in one’s earthly walk.
As co-founder of the New Orleans Mystic Healing Center, the mission of which is to combine spiritual healing and creative expression, M’Liss brings her background as singer/songwriter and as a healer into her expanded practice. She incorporates Reiki Healing and teaching, Reflexology, Acupressure, Sound Healing, Ceremonial Drumming, Shamanic Journeying, Chakra Balancing, Release Work and Kundalini Crisis Recovery. As a practicing Reiki Master in the tradition of Usuiand Karuna, M’Liss facilitates transformational trainings and retreat weekends for groups and individuals seeking to understand the workings of the energetic body.
M’Liss has over twenty years of experience working with adolescents in the child welfare system, as well as physically disabled children and young adults. She has designed and implemented programs in areas ranging from behavioral management, sound and music therapy, movement therapy and boxing as a means of empowerment. She has a private healing practice in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Her credentials include: • Reiki Master Level 3 • Nine Gates Mystery School Graduate and Staff • Certified Reflexologist • Certified Personal Care Attendant • USA Certified Boxing Instructor/Trainer • Graduate of Awakenings Clairvoyant School • Graduate of Hearts of Shamanism • Initiate of Australian She-Matrix • Studied Acupressure Shiatsu at ATI Boston.
MAUREEN SIMONIAN has over 20 years combined experience in social services and education. She has specialized training and expertise in conflict resolution and mediation and is recognized as an insightful and effective communicator.
Maureen currently manages Home Care services for elderly clients for Montachusett Home Care Corp. of Leominster, MA, and periodically provides consulting services to Weiner Associates/Hyperion Consulting Group on matters relating to education, mediation, program evaluation, and needs assessments.
She also brings skills developed during her years of teaching in the public and private sector, expertise in recruiting and training volunteers, and mostly her love of helping groups and families build healthy relationships and effective communication.
JOHN HECKEL has many years of financial management consulting in the corporate arena with major companies such as Apple Computer, General Motors, and ADP. He and Mark Chapman are partners in My Virtual CFO. They provide premier accounting services to start-ups and small business owners nationwide.
My Virtual CFO has developed and mastered the art of helping business owners focus on their core business by relieving them of the tedious after-hours posting of daily transactions, invoices, and payroll and report management.
John is also an Ambassador for the North Central Mass Chamber of Commerce, an organization he supports vigorously in helping other small business owners grow their businesses.
John and Pam live in Lunenburg. They have 10 children, 26 grandchildren and one great grandchild
True North Holistic Center does not want to turn away anyone from our programs and events due to financial constraints. We do not have unlimited resources, but we do have two ways to assist with costs.
1) THE RUTH SCHOLARSHIP: provides financial resources for women in need to participate in classes, workshops, overnight retreats, and services at True North Holistic Center. Contact True North for details regarding the application process. True North Holistic Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
2) WORK EXCHANGE PROGRAM: There is always work to be done here at True North and we can offer a discount toward a program or retreat.
Please feel free to contact us with your questions, to register for an event or to create your retreat.
Email True North at firstname.lastname@example.org
or use the contact form below.
Directions to True North
When using a GPS unit, Google maps or other services for directions to True North, please avoid Old Colony Rd., as this road is in terrible condition!
~ If you’re coming in on Route 62 West, you’re best to bypass Old Colony Rd. and continue to Ed Clark Rd to Simonds Hill Rd. to Healdville Rd.
From the Northwest on Route 2:
Take Route 2 E to Route 68 S through the center of Hubbardston. Turn left onto Old Princeton Road at the sign for Wachusett Lumber Company. There is a True North Holistic Center street sign at this turn. (There will be a cemetery on your right.) Old Princeton Road bears right. Follow Old Princeton Road until you see a sign on your right for Moosehorn Hill condominiums. At the next intersection, turn left onto Healdville Road. True North is the first house on your left.
From the Northeast on Route 2:
Take Route 2 W to exit 25 (2A W/140 S) toward Westminster/Princeton. Turn right onto 2A/140 S (they merge for a few hundred yards), take your first right following signs to 2A W (East Main St., Westminster). In the center of Westminster, you want to take a diagonal left, across the intersection, so that the red Westminster Cracker building is on your left. (Don’t take the sharp left.) A few feet up that road (South Street) will be the Police station on your right. Stay on South Street as it turns into New Westminster Road and travel about 6 miles or so…. over a causeway between sections of a reservoir, past the Hubbardston town line. Continue past the end of Healdville Road at the Railroad tracks. Turn left onto Evergreen Street, follow to the end and turn left onto Old Princeton Road. Follow Old Princeton Road until you see a sign on your right for Moosehorn Hill condominiums. At the next intersection, turn left onto Healdville Road. True North is the first house on your left.
From the West on the Mass Pike
Take I-90 E (Mass Pike) to Exit 10 in Auburn, take 290 E, through Worcester, to Exit 19/20, to 190 N. Take Exit 2 Ararat Street. And the end of the ramp, turn left onto Ararat Street, follow that to the end, turn left onto Brattle Street for just a few feet, turn right at the Brattle Street Market onto Holden Street. Follow Holden Street to the first light. Turn left onto Shrewsbury Street and go to the first set of lights (Rite Aid Pharmacy and Dunkin Donuts), bear right at the lights. That will put you onto Rt. 122A North, also known as Main Street, Holden. Follow 122A through Holden center and turn right onto Route 68 N. Follow 68 N until you cross Rt. 62. Continue down the hill until you see the sign for Wachusett Lumber on your right with a cemetery on your left. Turn right onto Old Princeton Road. Old Princeton Rd. bears to the right. Follow Old Princeton Rd. until you see Moosehorn Hill condominiums on your right. Turn left at the next intersection onto Healdville Road.
From the East on the Mass Pike
Take I-90 W(Mass Pike), to 495 N, to 290 W, to 140 N, to 62 W. Take 62 W through the center of Princeton, and continue until you cross the Hubbardston town line. Most GPS directions try to take you onto Old Colony Road just before the Hubbardston town line… don’t go that way. It’s a very bad road. After you cross the town line, take your first right onto Ed Clarke Road, bear left onto Simonds Hill Road to the first stop sign. You will see our sign across the intersection. We are the corner property. Cross through the intersection and our driveway is the first one on the left.
From the South:
Take Rt. 84 N or 395 N to 290 E to 190 N. Or take 495 N to 290 W to 190 N. From 190 N, take Exit 5 onto Rt. 140 N, continue to 62 W. At the blinking light, follow 62 W through the center of Princeton (a tricky turn but well marked), continue on 62 W until you cross the Hubbardston town line. (Do NOT take Old Colony Road if your GPS tries to send you that way.) After you cross the Hubbardston town line, take your first right onto Ed Clarke Road, bear left onto Simonds Hill Road to the first stop sign. You will see our sign across the intersection. We are the corner property. Cross through the intersection and our driveway is the first one on the left.
Our guests often enjoy getting outdoors for hiking, kayaking, bird watching, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, and other recreational activities. Here is a partial list of local recreational areas and the links for more detailed information.
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation:
22 Trails, 8 lifts with 100% snowmaking facilities and night skiing, Wachusett Mountain offers an exception skiing experience in Central Massachusetts.
Recreational opportunities abound at the reservation including hiking, nature study, hawk watching, picnicking, and skiing. The Reservation offers 17 miles of hiking and walking trails, including 3.9 miles of the Midstate Trail, which runs from Ashburnham to the Rhode Island border.
The forest offers recreational opportunities year round, ranging from mountain biking and swimming in the summer to cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Nature lovers will enjoy the numerous hiking trails, the prolific mountain laurel bloom in late June, early July and the opportunity to observe all kinds of wildlife. Printable PDF Trail Map
This 119 acre park features a 20 acre pond, walking trails, swimming, fishing, picnicking, public programs, and play equipment. Private canoes and non-motorized boats are allowed on the pond. In the winter the trails are open for cross country skiing, ice skating is allowed on the pond and often there is a fire blazing in the visitors center’s fireplace. All activities offered by the park are accessible to people with disabilities.
Lake Dennison is a section of the Army Corps of Engineers Birch Hill Flood Control Project. The DCR, via Otter River State Park staff, manages 4,221 acres of Corp land for recreational use. Located in Winchendon, the park has 150 campsites. There is a swimming beach on Lake Dennison.
Rutland State Park is a 300 acre recreation area with developed facilities for fresh water swimming, picnicking and boating. At Whitehall Pond, there is a swimming beach and adjacent picnic area.
Mass Central Rail Trail
This is a work in progress. The entire corridor, when done, will be over 100 miles long making it the longest single rail trail in New England. However, it is not really traversable right now from Northampton to Boston in a safe fashion. Click on this link to go to information about the currently open sections. The corridor has about 25 miles +- that are currently open.
We envision an expanded network of trails and roads for non-motorized recreation and transportation in the towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Sterling and West Boylston (in Central Massachusetts, USA). Our largest current project is the Mass Central Rail Trail, of which 10 miles have been completed and 30 miles are under development.
Massachusetts Audubon Society
Twelve miles of trails at Wachusett Meadow include such highlights as a 80-acre beaver pond alive with beaver, mink, otter, wood ducks, and herons.
Located in the Wachusett Mountain highlands, the sanctuary’s 1300 foot summit offers excellent hawk watching in the fall.