Sometimes it’s good to take time out.  I had a chance to do just that last week at the lovely St. Dominic’s retreat centre in Ennismore in Cork.

I went with 14 other school chaplains and the retreat was focused mainly on meditation.

Suffice to say I was very, very relaxed by the end of the day.  I can’t remember (or describe) too much of what was said, but some things stick out in the memory.

Our facilitator used a gong to sound out intervals, and the sound of the Tibetan Gong was, soulful, it was touching, it was special, and it looked like this:

Embed from Getty Images

One session involved us using a mantra for meditation.  We had a choice, and at 5 minute intervals the facilitator would sound his gong.  I was a bit worried as I thought ‘this could be a long 20 minutes’.  I was actually amazed at how fast the time went to the first, then second and subsequent gongs.

If you ever get a chance to take a retreat, go for it.  The time spent looking after yourself is well worth it, and the peace, the sense of self that is reached is something we rarely touch in our daily lives.

Another thing that stands out about the day is just how beautiful the grounds of ennismore are.  Here’s a few shots I got there


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