Tree of Life


The Tree Of Life (TOL) Is An Eco Lodge And Retreat Centre Based In Salmonier Line, St. Mary’s, Newfoundland And Labrador. It’s The Tree Of Life Sustainability Project Inc (TOL) Is A Registered Not-For-Profit In The Province Of Newfoundland And Labrador, Canada. It Is An Ecolodge And Retreat Centre Located On A Terrace Of The Salmonier River Valley At The Head Of St. Mary’s Bay, In Southeastern Newfoundland. We Provide Off-The-Grid Facilities For Small-Scale Retreats, And Work-Away Programs For Those Who Want To Deepen-In And Learn Natural Building Techniques And Self-Sufficiency. It Is Designed To Help Connect People With Nature And Spiritual Practice And Alternative Living.

Interview with Ian Goudie and Meranda Squires by Dominique Hurley

Check out a virtual tour of Tree of Life by Tamara Segura  (Please click on the links to explore more areas of TOL.)

Our Mission includes construction of a retreat space featuring designs of sacred geometry (e.g., Tree Of Life or Kabbalah), off-the-grid energy, organic gardening and supporting spiritual practices, such as yoga and meditation.

Our Vision is to establish sacred space to promote nature, art and spiritual retreats on the original 5 acre parcel of land while increasing our profile in the local, regional and international context. People are welcome to participate in our community to experience a sense of place. 


The Tree Of Life is uniquely built and sustained by its co-founders Ian Goudie and Meranda Squires.

Ian Goudie, Ph.D. is a native Newfoundlander with a thorough knowledge of the province’s geography and ecology. His life-long experience in nature has fine-tuned his knowledge of plants and animals. He is an active musician and spiritual voyageur with a passion for exploring eastern chants and mantras helpful in attuning the body’s energy system.

Meranda Squires pursued seventeen years of in-depth study of Meditation, Yoga and Vedant philosophy in India. She returned to her Newfoundland roots in 2000 to establish The Lotus Centre. She is certified as a teacher of Advanced Studies in Yog Sciences, Vedant Philosophy and the Theory and Practice of Meditation, a Soma Yoga Instructor, a Thai-yoga bodywork practitioner, an Enlightenment Master, a Mind Clearer and Counselor.


The Tree of Life actively maintains organic gardens, several herb gardens, a green house, berry bushes and fruit trees. We are part of a small-scale composting project and generate our own mulch. We are continuing to try to improve our gardening skills and increase self sufficiency and food security. Landscaping is an ongoing art, and we maintain a local ‘fog forest’ hiking trail.

Off the Grid Energy

The Tree of Life is entirely off-the-grid and currently utilizes micro hydro and solar power. We have a seasonal (8 months) gravity-fed water supply for our buildings, and plant-based reedbed waste disposal systems. The main (Kabbalah) building features a massive masonry wood heating unit, sometimes called a Russian Fireplace. Future plans include a solarium for the south end of the building and including solar hot water capacity.

Green Building

The Tree of Life features extensive post and beam construction designed in the patterns of sacred geometry. (See the more detailed discussion on sacred geometry below). Where possible, lumber is sourced from demolition of old buildings, other waste lumber, and local lumber that we generate on our own bandsaw mill. Re-purposing old lumber requires considerable labour to de-nail,  plane, sand, and router.   We like to work with the principles of thermal mass in order to store wood heat and solar radiation during winter and yet keep the buildings cool during summer. For insulation, we are recycling sawdust and wood shavings from the sawmill and planers by adding a small portion of hydrated lime to prevent insect infestations.

Accommodations & Amenities

The Tree of Life has a bunkhouse with a woodstove, kitchenette, bathroom and 8 small bedrooms. The main building is the social hub with a full kitchen and dining area. A cedar lodge is an onsite rustic cabin frequently rented by Airbnb guests. The glass yoga studio is very popular for practices and retreats, and the mezzanine in the main building is often used for yoga in early morning. A small meditation hut now has a kitchenette and compost toilet and is used for accommodation in addition to practices. A small geodesic dome greenhouse helps support the gardening activities, and a solarium is now planned for the southern front of the main building. In the longer term, we will likely construct an earth-sheltered greenhouse on the property in order to extend the operational use for growing produce.

Bee Keeping

Colonies of honeybees are situated at several sites on the property. We are striving to increase our honeybee capacity, and it is an evolving process to understand how to raise and tend honeybees in the Newfoundland climate. For the love of beauty and the beauty of love…

Spiritual Retreats

The Tree of Life has a strong focus on spiritual development, and it frequently offers weekend and longer retreats in yoga, meditation, enlightenment intensives, yoga cleansing and more. New participants are welcome. Some of the activities, i.e., especially those offered by Meranda Squires, can be tracked through Other yoga instructors frequently offer retreats at the Tree Of Life, as well as addictions recovery retreats and kids camps.

 Karma Yoga

Here at The Tree of Life we encourage folks to “capture the moment” while working on any given task. To promote a meditative state of mind, Eastern philosophy defines karma yoga as the performance of simple tasks while not identifying oneself as the doer. The idea is to hold focus on the task at hand in the moment and being fully present to that, with the objective of experiencing oneself as the instrument of Universal Will. While serving, one is said to experience a state of peace by simply being fully present in the moment.


Spend a day or overnight with carpooling from St. John’s. Choose a task that suits your skills, sing along at our evening campfire, do some yoga, meditate and enjoy Nature. We will feed you and accommodate you for your efforts.

Artists in Residence Program

Artists interested in practicing and honing their craft in a natural setting are encouraged to take up residence at The Tree of Life. We are currently constructing an artist studio for this purpose.

Seasonal Worker Program

We support local workers interested in bartering their skills for room and board in order to avail of the natural setting and deepen in natural buildings and sustainable practices.

International Visitor Programs

We host international visitors from Internet programs such as,, and more.

Resident Membership

In rare cases, we have interest in membership and leasehold of a building site on the property. We have a formal protocol to achieve such an arrangement but they are more an exception. Please review our online application form for part-time membership and contact us if you are interested.


The Tree of Life supports those who have made efforts to become free of drug and alcohol dependencies. As such, we have a zero tolerance policy for all artificial intoxicants at The Tree of Life. We discourage smoking and vaping. If you are medicated by psycho-pharmeceuticals (e.g., anti-depressants, antipsychotics, etc.), we encourage you to wean off these medications. We are supportive of people attempting to recalibrate their bodies to a more natural state of health.  We focus on developing our natural high!

Ian Goudie


Tree Of Life Sustainability Project Inc.


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