Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 2 May 2006.

Phone: 207-236-6808


from website...
"Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage serves as a loosely knit association of individuals who travel the meditative and contemplative road from dependence to independence to interdependence in their spiritual lives. Providing a forum and place for solitaries, hermits, seekers and contemplatives, the hermitage invites anyone interested in silence, simplicity, stillness, or times of solitude to deepen their spiritual life in their own locations, and, by day visits, writing, overnight stays, individual and group sitting, listening and learning -- to experience Meetingbrook."
Practitioners at the Hermitage gain insight from Hebrew, Buddhist, and Christian prophets and writings and practice an integrated form of contemplative Christian prayer and Zen meditation. More specifically, the community follows the examples of two models of "integration, wise simplicity, and compassionate service": Dogen (1200-1253), a Zen Buddhist Master of Japan, and St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), a Christian Contemplative. The practice at the Hermitage is grounded in the surrounding natural resources of the Penobscot Bay and the hiking trails of Ragged and Bald mountains, which provide continual sources of nourishment.
Meetingbrook consists of two locations: the Bookshop & Bakery at 50 Bayview Street, in the harbor area of Camden, and the Dogen & Francis Hermitage at 64 Barnestown Rd, in the mountainside of Camden.


For Saskia Huising and Bill Halpin, founders, the Hermitage began as a personal place of practice in 1992. When they opened their Bookshop & Bakery in the town of Camden, ME in 1996, they started holding morning silent sittings at the shop. Interested in continuing this practice, they established the Meetingbrook Hermitage as a non-profit organization in Maine in 1998 and opened the Dogen & Francis Hermitage in the mountainside of Camden in March 1999. Initiating a new type of lay monastic practice, they took “initial promises of Contemplation, Conversation, and Correspondence” in December 1998.

Activities and Schedule

"Morning Silent Sittings: At the hermitage there are Silent Sittings seven mornings a week, 6:05 a.m. - 6:45 a.m. Morning Psalms or Heart Sutra and walking meditation usually follow."
"Sunday Evening Practice: At the hermitage Sunday Evening Practice consists of 40 minute silent sitting, followed by walking meditation, then chanting, a short reading, soup and bread eaten in mindfulness, and chanting. This practice happens from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. All welcome."
All events at Meetingbrook are free, open, and informal. See website for additional details and schedule of upcoming events.