10 Jan Dzogchen Beara – Buddhist Meditation Centre
This summer I turned 40 and decided to make it a year-by-design, rather than a year by chance (anything to take the focus off that big 4 figure!). To this end, I planned one thing a month for the year, some things were new, some were places to explore, some were to test my comfort zone and all were something to look forward to. And so, it came to December, and I found myself driving 4.5 hours to the end of the earth, or so it seemed at the time, to the Beara peninsula, namely to Dzogchen Beara – Ireland’s only Buddhist Meditation Centre. As a mental health professional I am a big believer in the power of mediation, stillness of the mind and the clarity that allows. Having said that, meditation is something I have continually struggled
with. Finding the time (and the space!), stilling the mind, creating a practice. It was with a certain level of apprehension that I arrived on Friday 7 th to start a “Finding Peace” meditation retreat. Andrew Warr was our facilitator and we were a group of 35. We met on Friday evening for an
opening session and a light supper. Following that we were free to retire and were invited to re- convene the following morning after breakfast.
There are a number of accommodation options, all very reasonably priced, priced separate to the cost of the retreat. I got in with an early booking in July and secured a double en-suite in a cottage. It was absolutely idyllic and wonderful and interesting housemates added to the enjoyment. Our
cottage was furnished with a wood-burning stove, oodles of books (my idea of heaven), comfy couches, blankets, all facing out to the incredible vista of the Beara peninsula.
The weekend consisted of a series of meditations, interspersed with beautiful vegetarian meals and small group chats. Breath meditation, sound meditation, mindful walking and body scan mediation were just a selection of the meditations we were introduced to. The workshop was also peppered
with video clips from meditation teachers around the world attesting to the benefit of meditation and its varying strands.
The centre is also home to a café and gift shop. Thankfully amazing coffee and delicious treats were in abundance to greet us when required. I left armed with a number of books too – no surprise there!
I left with a grateful and full heart on Sunday. As I drove home I found myself more contemplative and awake to the beauty that surrounds me. I am a pretty peaceful person in general but the “Finding Peace” workshop certainly allowed me to pay more attention to and validate the gentleness within.