You are here because you understand that people depend on sacred places to rediscover themselves, to heal, and to transform.
CommunityAwake needs your support to help bring an amazing new healing retreat offering to a world that will benefit from it now more than ever.
Wuji Mountain Sanctuary is a boutique retreat center for quiet, solo getaways or small group workshops… an escape from the busy world. We bring East to the West, and in times of expensive travel to Asia, we offer meaningful training experiences here in America, from Qigong to Meditation… and in the holistic healing and ancient insight traditions from renown instructors from around the world, including the Rimpoche and monks we support in Bhutan. Transformational therapies range from warm water Watsu to massage, and high-speed fiber optics allows our broadcast facility to stream our programming online to bring our Courses home to you as part of our global community.
What was once an inaccessible mountaintop without roads, littered with fallen trees, no running water, and no electricity, has transformed through supportive donations and Francesco’s Heart-centered focus – mostly single-handedly – to become the infrastructure for the Wuji Mountain Sanctuary.
For over two years, Francesco has lived in quiet seclusion. This started before the time of pandemic, fed by the intuition that big world changes were on the horizon…
In a small, 12 foot cabin built alone by hand, Francesco began the process of feeling into this amazing land, a short walk along a gravel road to the banks of the French Broad River, downstream from Asheville, North Carolina, USA.
The support of caring family, friends, and students raised enough funds to acquire a magical mountain – 8 acres dense with forests of pine and hardwoods, gentle deer and wild turkey. Soaring above the canopy are elegant hawk and turkey vulture that sail on the updrafts, part of the 360 degree view that includes the Great Smoky Mountains, and Attakula (the Cherokee name for Mount Mitchell), the tallest mountain East of the Mississippi.
It became clear that after a long search, this ancient Cherokee native land would be perfect for a boutique retreat center, a sanctuary for small groups that could escape the pressures of life, and embrace 5,000 years of Eastern healing wisdom here in the Appalachian Mountains of America
…and so was born Wuji Mountain Sanctuary, a non-profit project of the CommunityAwake organization designed to fulfill our mission statement to build and transform community through integrative health awareness of ancient wisdom for those of all ages, races, and ethnicities.
With a focus on the Eastern and integrative healing arts of Qigong, Meditation, and Yoga, immersion in pristine nature also invites holistic and shamanic practices from cleansing fire ceremony to silent retreats on this land specked with quartz crystals.
Our vision is unfolding by way of caring, tax-deductible donations from those who understand the value of sacred space for small-group workshops, private retreats, Watsu warm-water treatments, and more.
To date, generous donations have allowed us to complete Phase One: Build electric, water, sewage, and road infrastructure. Total: $88,000
Phase Two: Build one Guest Cabin and one Kitchen/Shower/Toilet Outbuilding, and the cement block foundation for the Classroom and GuestHouse. Total: $89,000
The first blocks were laid for the Wuji Mountain Sanctuary Classroom and Guesthouse in December 2021. This has been an amazing feat, and thanks to the loving support of anonymous donors, we are able to build the foundation. We are doing this in the spirit of temple-building in Asia, where the whole community works together to “own” the project and support it’s creation.
Now we are at a critical point in this project’s evolution to move forward, and we need your help – please click here to extend your financial support.
Phase Three: Completion of Classroom, GuestHouse, and Watsu Therapy Pool. This includes framing, roofing, and all interior work to allow us to open to the public: Total: $427,400. Amount Received for Phase Three to Date – 19 November 2022: $151,900
….scroll down to see the current construction progress update
We are on our way and trust we will meet our current fundraising goal balance of: $275,500 with everyone’s support.
Help us and be part of our non-profit vision to offer a sanctuary for private and small-group gatherings, workshops, teacher trainings, Watsu and massage therapy, and live video program streaming in holistic and Eastern healing arts.
Click here to watch the video blog series by Francesco: Wuji Mountain Musings, reflecting excerpts from his forthcoming 2023 book, “Qi Effect”
In order to continue building the vision, we need the help of everyone in the community who is interested in supporting a sacred place to retreat alone or gather in community for healing and transformation. Click here to extend your financial support
Classroom Walls being erected.
Classroom Walls filled with THREE truckloads of cement.
Watsu Pool Gazebo footings poured…Where you will sit before and after your warm water healing sessions and enjoy the Wuji Mountain view!
Classroom foundation drain is being backfilled with 8 tons of gravel… Massive effort!
Watsu Therapy Pool retaining wall footer filled with cement!
Watsu Therapy Pool area clearing…
Classroom floor prep for cement pour…
Wuji Mountain Cleansing Pyre – radiating to all for the highest healing and good
Classroom floor prep for cement pour continues…
Classroom floor cement pour begins!…
Classroom walkway installed… an actual miracle unfolding… thanks to a hardworking crew with Francesco deep in the mud shoveling alongside them!
Classroom floor being polished…
Classroom floor finished! …now we need your donation support to build the subfloor to the Guesthouse which will temporarily be the roof of the Classroom so that we can start having classes here in Asheville, NC!
The massive retaining wall for the Watsu Pool is being built by an amazing and masterful masonry crew
Watsu Therapy Pool Pump House for Filter, Pump, and Salt System designed by Francesco is nearly finished
As the crew works on the retaining wall, Francesco builds the base to the Wuji Mountain wood-fired Pizza Oven – Italian style!
Wuji Mountain wood-fired Pizza Oven evolves… hand-built by Francesco! …using 100+ year-old bricks found in the forest from an ancient still!
Wuji Mountain New Moon Cleansing Pyre honoring cleaning up the forest floor of dead wood and making space for future cabins and the Meditation Pyramid…
The massive 108′ long retaining wall for the Watsu Pool is nearly complete
The Wuji Wall is finished and the Watsu Pool area is being sculpted into form…
The Wuji Mountain organic veggie garden thrives in the mountain Springtime mist…
Immediately back from teaching the week-long Organ Cleansing Instructor Certification in Boulder, Francesco rents a trencher to dig 300 linear feet of utility trenches…
After a long day of trenching, Francesco looks down and sees his reflection in the land of Wuji Mountain… a surprising and unexpected moment, but symbolic…
Electric conduit and plumbing lines go in the trenches and the County Inspector passes another big step in the permitting process…
Next, the trenches are filled and ready for electric and water connections, the infrastructure of Wuji Mountain Sanctuary Guest House and Watsu Pool
What to do when an inexperienced (non-North Carolina) truck driver refuses to drive up Wuji Mountain and makes Francesco meet him on the highway to take delivery of the 300 lb. Watsu Pool heat pump? When you are alone, you apply Qigong principles and follow the Way of nature…
…and look around for available resources (wooden pallets)…
…and extend gratitude to the amazing trees of Wuji Mountain for their support…
The rooftop observation deck on top of the Watsu Pool Pump House had to get done right as the view is so beautiful… a lot to do in two days for Francesco by himself…
…a lot to do in two days for Francesco by himself… This will soon get tiled and maybe a railing…
The moment that has been one year in the planning… the installation of the solar heated Watsu Water Therapy Pool at Wuji Mountain. Getting the pool up the 2,000 feet of road through the forest to the top of the mountain took a crew of seven and lots of heavy machinery…
After one year of planning and preparation, the Wuji Mountain Watsu Pool is gently lowered into place with a 5-ton crane and a team of 8 caring souls…
The Wuji Mountain Watsu Pool is settling into her new home, taking two weeks now to ease into the Earth to stabilize and ground… and then the cement decking can be designed and poured…
Not all “update” images are dramatic and picturesque… Building a mountaintop retreat is challenging work, and much involving the infrastructure (like these retaining walls) are a demanding, but necessary, task. This will double as the wall for our organic greenhouse
The miracle of the Wuji Mountain Watsu Pool continues after another long day… and the preparation for the cement patio continues…. Francesco has more fine-tuning tasks to do before the next big cement pour in a few days.
The crew of cement masters arrive before dawn… four large cement trucks came up the 2,000 ft. long gravel road to the top of Wuji Mountain to deliver 36 yards of concrete as we raced to fill in all the forms Francesco had been building for weeks. A massively long day of hard work for him and the team.
After days of follow-up by himself, Francesco finished the edges of the Watsu Pool by hand, removing all the cement “forms” and cleaning the area… This magical site and healing waters make it all worthwhile as many will benefit from sessions in this therapeutic pool.
Fine-tuning of the Watsu Pool patio continues with welcome help from a great Latino crew…
It was clear that the Watsu Pool House needed its own laundry room for towels and such, so Francesco built one himself… all in a day’s work at Wuji Mountain it seems…
Francesco offers the first Watsu warm-water therapy sessions in the magical waters of the new pool. All proceeds are non-profit donations that go to support the Wuji Mountain Sanctuary. Click here to learn about Watsu sessions
The floor trusses to the GuestHouse (which is the roof to the Classroom) started going in today… a big step in allowing workshops to be held at Wuji Mountain Sanctuary…
The subfloor to the GuestHouse (which is the ceiling of the Classroom) got completed today after a week of nonstop, hard work and heavy lifting (mostly done by Francesco!)
The massive 50′ x 70′ tarp gets installed over the subfloor as it can’t get wet or exposed to the elements as we wait for further funding to build… and it got screwed down by Francesco just in time to avoid a massive Summer thunderstorm deluge… another Wuji Mountain miracle…
The Classroom is coming into being. The tarp-cover roof now protects the GuestHouse floor above, but the space is dry and a step closer for holding classes. Next we put in the giant windows and glass doors that look into the forest and mountains…
The Observation Deck is now sealed from the elements, waiting to be tiled and be a sweet spot to sit and take in the amazing views…
The Wuji Mountain Pizza/Bread oven continues to come into reality…
The Wuji Mountain Watsu Pool Wall is expertly done by a wonderful group of masons who’ve done a great job here for the past year.
The Wuji Mountain Pizza/Bread Oven evolves with lots of complex brick cutting by Francesco.
The Wuji Mountain Pizza/Bread Oven dome is a big challenge to build using the traditional techniques, with each fire brick specifically cut… but it feels wonderful!
The Wuji Mountain Gazebo slowly comes into form… with a magical view…
The Wuji Mountain Guesthouse view… the Classroom below, covered with a tarp for protection… Gazing out over the Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian Range is spectacular..
The Wuji Mountain Watsu Pool and Spa winterized and protected for the cold months…
Nature at Wuji Mountain is a blessing… from deer to wild turkeys, all free to roam safely and protected on these magical 8 acres.
The Wuji Mountain Gazebo construction continues as the weather permits…
The Wuji Mountain Gazebo roof is completed after lots of hard work… Applied Qigong for sure!
The Wuji Mountain Gazebo roof is shingled by Francesco after it was impossible to get workers to do a complex task with the octagonal shape… Notice the “custom” rope ladder he created to get to the peak!
The Wuji Mountain Gazebo floor starts to go in thanks to kind donations for supplies… all work done by Francesco alone.
The Wuji Mountain Meditation Pavilion gazebo railing is custom-designed and built by Francesco… step by step
The Wuji Mountain Meditation Pavilion is finally finished, stained to protect it from the natural elements and to match the color of the other building structures. This pavilion provides shade and rest before and after Watsu warm water therapy sessions and is a beautiful place to meditate with one of the best views on the mountain…
To honor the essence of the sacred spaces that many of us have traveled to over the years to learn about Eastern spiritual and healing traditions, we are incorporating many of the temple traditions into the design of Wuji Mountain Sanctuary.
The Classroom is oriented precisely to the Winter Solstice and each building assumes one of the key Cardinal Directions. Wuji Mountain itself was selected for it’s feng shui relationship to the local river.
Honoring the intention of the Bhutanese “Dzong” – the temple-fortress – the Classroom and Guesthouse is built with the respect of protecting both spirit and body.
Do you resonate with our vision? Thank you for supporting this project with a tax-deductible, charitable donation, click here.
Thank you for walking together with us on this journey…
Qigong, Meditation, and Watsu Warm Water therapy in Asheville, North Carolina with Francesco Garri Garripoli in a private, boutique non-profit mountain retreat… and be sure to check out our Wuji Mountain Musings video blogs each week!