This coming May, I'm delighted to host another trip to Ireland, this time with David LaMotte and friends, and applications are now open! One of the constant refrains I hear from folk in the US who have visited Ireland before is that they 'didn't go to the North'. We're going to change that.
From May 16th-24th, 2016, staying first in 400 year old thatched cottages in Mourne country (that's Mourne country above - really) and then a lovely old country house by the sea outside Belfast (that's Belfast below), with a group of friends old and new, enjoying the landscape on amazing walks, hearing music and story, meeting locals, experiencing the peace process in meeting people directly involved in activism and change, and getting to know the culture of northern Ireland, immersed in Celtic culture ancient and new. Great food, inspiring art, and beautiful journeys on foot will form the heart of this soulfully unique and transforming experience. This will be an eight day experience - for 25 guests only - that might just last for the rest of your life.
Here's a sampling of what previous participants say:
“…one of the most profound spiritual journeys I have ever undertaken, in the delightful company of deep spirited and utterly engaging fellow travelers. At the right time in the right way, it has changed my life…”
“…a fabulous opportunity to experience the physical beauty, the political culture and history and the warm, friendly people of Ireland. An opportunity to slow down, reflect and connect with interesting, diverse people in substantive, heart-level ways…”
“…a unique experience…to journey with total strangers through the beautiful city and countryside, learning about conflict and peace both in the healing of Ireland and our own internal search for peace. With storytelling, poetry, mysticism to round out a life-changing adventure while developing lifelong friendships.”
Many of you know that I was privileged to become friends with John O'Donohue in the few years before his death in 2008. John used to host what he called 'tours', based in County Clare, for pilgrims who wanted to experience Ireland in authenticity rather than the more antiseptic/corporate tourist trip where feet don't touch the ground and souls might as well have stayed on the plane. I was lucky enough to be involved in facilitating what turned out to be the last tour John led in Ireland. I've been privileged to co-lead a few similar trips in the last couple of years, with David Wilcox, Karen Moore, and Brian McLaren (and we're currently finalizing plans for another one with David and Karen for later in 2016. Watch this space...) This upcoming trip in May is very much inspired by the kinds of things John led people into on his trips: mornings will be gathered conversations, afternoons we will walk the landscape, and in the evenings there will be music, storytelling, and certainly firewater magic. You'll meet friends and colleagues with whom I have been honored to walk some of the journey, peacemakers and poets and politicians, you'll walk by the sea and on mountains, and there'll be plenty of time to take by yourself for whatever you need.
The trip takes place May 16th-24th 2016. If you're interested, and want more details, please send an email at this link, and we'll send you the information and application form. Places really are strictly limited - we can accommodate 25 guests, and expect the trip to be over-subscribed. So if you know this is for you, or if you're asking maybe, let me know. David and I can't wait to welcome you to Belfast in May.
Cost (excluding airfare) of $1960 per person includes
- The services of all guides and retreat leaders, support staff, and guests from the world of arts, media, politics and peacemaking.
- Four nights in 400 year old thatched cottages with traditional Irish breakfast foods.
- Four nights in 140 year old country house by the sea on the edge of Belfast with traditional cooked breakfast.
- Lunch or dinner each day.
- Transport from Belfast hubs to accommodation, and on organized trips throughout the tour.
- All admission fees to sites such as cultural centers, museums, etc.
- The use of all accommodation facilities including lounges, gardens, etc.
- A life-changing experience of spirit, imagination, and community.
In order to make the tour accessible, there are a limited number of subsidized volunteer spaces for folk who are able to help behind the scenes - we have a waiting list for these spaces, so please contact us if you would like to be on the list. We've also been glad to help people raise support to join the retreat, including folk with continuing education and sabbatical funding. If you're able to get to Ireland in May, but if the cost of the tour is a stretch, please let us know, we'd love to hear from you! We'd love to help you find ways to join us.
And now, here's a picture of a fish.