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Beside the Sea . . . on the wild and sacred west coast of Ireland. . . (a video and a pilgrimage)

Ireland is calling so many hearts, souls, and bodies to dwell in her landscape.  In my last newsletter I put a small note at the bottom of the calendar that I was planning a Monk in the World pilgrimage to the west coast of Ireland and to drop me a note if you wanted advance notice.  I received many responses, and last Saturday we opened advanced registration for 11 pilgrims to come May 20-28, 2014, and yesterday – just three days later – we have filled those dates!  That is amazing (and please email me if you want to be on the waiting list for next spring.)

We have now added a second pilgrimage for August 26-September 3, 2014 and have already started receiving registrations for those dates as well.

I am thrilled because I have fallen in love with this place – with Galway, Connemara, the Burren, the Aran Islands, and beyond – and am so eager to share Ireland’s spiritual gifts with others, and there is so clearly a hunger.

I am thrilled because this longing to become a monk in the world is such a beautiful thing to witness as I see others leaning into its possibilities.  It calls me to deepen into my own path.  Ireland, with her rich and ancient monastic tradition, has much wisdom to offer us, much inspiration and sustenance.

Pause a few moments with a little video I put together with images from our time here along with a song I love (from a singer I love, see below).  Even if you can’t join us physically in Ireland, we welcome you to dwell here for a little while in your imagination and see what is stirred in your heart:

One of the things I love most about living in Galway are all the fantastic musicians I keep discovering.  The music scene here is thriving and alive.  Noriana Kennedy is a Galway native.  We saw her perform the other night with Pauline Scanlon, who is a favorite of ours since we saw her in Dingle several years ago on our first trip to Ireland.  Once we got home, I immediately downloaded Noriana’s album Ebb n Flow (a regular occurrence for me lately – I am building such a wonderful music collection) and fell in love with her song “Beside the Sea.”  Listening to it I could imaging a series of my photos accompanying it, so I asked Noriana’s permission to use the song for a little video and she has graciously agreed.

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15 Responses

  1. Dear Christine,
    Thanks to you and John for sharing your wonderful experiences as you explore Celtic
    spirituality. I got goose bumps looking at your photographs. Your poetry is a real gift and I use it sometimes in contemplation. I grew up in Ireland so I know how beautiful it is. I appreciate all that you do to help people be aware of their spiritual dimension.


  2. Dear Christine, Seeing such beauty in your video sparked a deeper awareness of the beauty around me . My eyes are opening to the small and the beautiful and I am noticing the sunlight on the grasses. I live in rural N.S.W. Australia where the sunrise and the sunset seem only over the nearby rolling hill.

    Your lovely video has reminded me of the gifts I have around me so instead of longing for Ireland I embrace my homeland .I once toured Ireland. The tour was entitled Vision Splendid so many of the memories are floating back and I feel drawn to pull out my photographic memories .

  3. So beautiful and it brought all the memories of the 2 weeks I spent in Connemara with John O’Donohue walking his beloved homeland. I recognized the a old abbey and the feelings you experience while there. I know everyone who goes will be deeply moved.

  4. Thank you so much, Christine, John and Noriana, for this beautiful gift.

    One day soon I will return as a pilgrim to this sacred land of my ancestors.

    May your time of sabbath unfold as your hearts desire.



  5. This was a lovely virtual visit, a small musical “sabbath,” contemplating the beauty of a place I have always imagined and hope one day to visit. Thank you!

  6. Is it really that beautiful?! Thank you so very much for this wee taste of life there. I have shared it on my FB page, too.

  7. This is wonderful, Christine and John! Thank you for sharing! I would love to go to Ireland next fall! :-) Blessings – Barbara :-) PTL Jeremiah 29:11

    1. The world is charge with the grandeur of God. a Hopkins moment.
      And no greater place on earth / no more sacred that Ireland. I have my hopes to be in the second retreat. s marion

  8. I was drawn to and then played Celtic music here in the states for over 14 years. This lovely video and lilting voice/music make me homesick for that time and for a place I’ve never physically been to. Thank you for your presence here (and there!) and for the inspiration to share your experience of Ireland!

  9. Beautiful, thank you. My husband and I are going back to Ireland this fall, can hardly wait :) This time I am only staying to the South West Corner.