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Grab this opportunity to enjoy some time to reconnect with yourself and nature. On this weekend retreat, you will learn about Japa meditation, take meditative walk along forest track, and practice yoga and Tai Chi. Held on the peaceful shores of Upper Lough Erne, this retreat is led by experienced instructors. You will return home feeling refreshed.
The retreat center has private single rooms, twin rooms, and triple rooms. You can either book a room privately for yourself, share a private room with a friend or two, or share a room with others on the same retreat.
Single rooms available on all retreats. Also, on some retreats accommodation may be shared with other attendees. If you're not used to this, don't worry! This is part of the retreat experience and helps to create a large family atmosphere.
Also, you won't be spending so much time in your room anyhow - the retreat is so packed with events, exotic experiences and friendly interactions, that you hit the pillow tired at night, and then the next morning you jump out of bed and are out walking or jogging through the countryside by the shores of Upper Lough Erne, hearing the morning chorus of the birds.
Tim left his home at Dublin when he was 18 years old to become a Krishna monk, which was initially a bit of a shock to his family but now everyone is happy. He trained at Bhaktivedanta Manor temple near London and then lived in the temple on Inish Rath Island for eight years. While in the temple, he studied Vedic philosophy from the ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavat Purana, plus he learned kirtan-yoga and sacred chant music.
Frances McHugh is an expert Tai Chi teacher. She graduated from the Irish College of Traditional Chinese medicine in 1996, has a postgraduate training from the Nanjing Railway Hospital, and she also graduated in medical Qi-gong in 2009. Frances gives classes in therapeutic exercise and relaxation through Tai Chi. Her classes are suitable for practically anyone. She designed a way to do the exercises while sitting after an injury she had herself, although typically Tai Chi is meditation performed while walking and standing.
Discover one of the most ideal spiritual retreats in Ireland with Lake Isle Retreats. The retreat center, Mandala House, is situated on the shores of Upper Lough Erne, 400 meters across the water from Inish Rath Island. The lakeland area is a peaceful sanctuary where you can enrich your body, mind, and soul. Deer and other wildlife wander freely in the peaceful lakeside atmosphere.
The venue is situated in Fermanagh, one hour 45-minute drive from the start of the M3 motorway in Dublin, or the same drive-time from the start of the M1 in Belfast. For spiritual, holistic, and meditation retreats in Ireland, perhaps there is no more fitting and beautiful location as L. Erne, with its 154 islands - five of which were historically the sites of monastic communities from the 6th century.
On nearby Inis Rath, there is a beautiful Krishna temple, and at the retreat and accommodation facility on the adjacent mainland you will be offered a very warm welcome.
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All food is vegetarian and extremely tasty, cooked with love by vegan chef Carmen Padilla Quiel. Meals are prepared fresh on the day. Vegans can note that most meals are vegan-friendly.
The food is a combination of Indian vegetarian (e.g. samosas, curries, basmati rice, etc.) and "Western" vegetarian (e.g. pizza, salads, pasta, soups, etc). In case you're not so familiar with the cuisine of India and you think "spicy" means hot with chilies, you can look forward to many nice experiences on your retreat.
Remember, when Europeans first started going to India about 500 years ago, one of the prime motivations was to trade in spices. Some probably picked up a few cooking tips as well - maybe they were getting bored with meat and bread.
In case you're a yogi, Vaishnava or someone familiar with a "sattvic" diet, Lake Isle Retreats doesn't use the following ingredients: onions, garlic, mushrooms, vinegar, and alcohol. In Ayurveda, these ingredients may be prescribed for medicinal or other uses, but are not generally consumed by Hatha or Bhakti yogis. If that sounds "restrictive," then you might find you have a lot to learn about non-European cookery!
The venue doen't allow the eating of non-vegetarian foods, defined according to the Vaishnava tradition from India as no meat, fish or eggs.
Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic health system, recommends massage and therapies as a being beneficial to one's health - even for monks! So various options are available by appointment. To enhance your holiday experience, you can book the following therapies at additional cost of 35 EUR for 50 minutes.
Mandala House does not have TV; remember the old days when people sat beside the open wood-fire and told stories? Well, welcome back to the good old days. Mind you, Lake Isle Retreats often shows an interesting documentary related to spirituality on Saturday evening. The schedule on retreats is generally quite jam-packed with activities and classes. However, if you skip something here is what you may be doing otherwise:
Your time on the retreat is meant for you to re-experience the simple things in life. Remember when houses only had one TV and you did more reading? You can chat, read, or go for moon-light walks in the evening. You are welcome to go outside any time of the day or night and hear and experience nature in the woodlands by the lake.
Transfer not provided
Fly into either Dublin, Belfast, and Derry. Each of these cities is a similar distance by road from Inis Rath Island and Mandala House. If you are not hiring a car then Dublin may be the most convenient airport destination.
Nine times a day a Bus Eireann coach (the national operator) goes through the airport and brings passengers to Belturbet (the small town closest to the venue in the Republic of Ireland). Ground staff at the airport will assist you to find the location of the bus stop, which is a very short walk from the main exit of the airport building (specifically you want Zone 10, Stop 2, Route 30).
You're looking for the bus with "Donegal" as its end destination. Tickets are 26 EUR return. The coach at about 1:50 p.m. is the time most convenient for you for arriving for the retreats, in general.
Aerlingus and Ryanair operate into Dublin. Easyjet and British Airways operate into Belfast. Note: in Belfast there are two airports, Belfast City and Belfast International. If you fly into Belfast, you'll need to get into the city center to take a coach from Belfast Europa coach station.
From Great Britain, especially if you live in the vicinity of a ferry port on the Irish Sea, travelling by rail (or coach) and ferry is a fine alternative to travel by air. For example, visitors from Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Wales, and the English midlands can access Holyhead in North Wales by rail or coach. Once you arrive at Dublin city center, you're on a coach from the central coach station (Busarus) to get to Mandala House.
Large towns close to Inish Rath Island are Enniskillen and Cavan Town. Enniskillen and Cavan are 25 kilometers away, but you can get closer to the retreat center with the national coach services of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
From Dublin take the Donegal line from the main (and only) coach station in Dublin city center (Busárus). Ask for a ticket to Belturbet. The journey takes about two hours and 20 minutes. From Belturbet, you need a taxi. A taxi from Cavan will cost approx 35 EUR and a taxi from Enniskillen will cost approximately 30 GBP.
From Belfast, there are buses every hour from Belfast to Enniskillen. You get off at Maguiresbridge, about 12 miles before Enniskillen. Then, take a taxi.
Via Rep of Ireland: Benny Corby, with his family and friends, are the cheerful local taxi service. If you arrive on the Bus Eireann coach at Belturbet, the car journey to Lake Isle Retreats, Mandala House near Inish Rath Island costs 15 EUR. It is suggested that you phone that morning to make a provisional booking. Almost two hours after leaving Dublin, the coach stops in Cavan town for a five to 10-minute break. From the moment this bus departs again, you should phone Benny and tell him where you are. He will then know you will be arriving in Belturbet 15 minutes later.
Via Northern Ireland: If you arrive on a coach from Belfast, get a taxi to take you from Maguiresbridge to Mandala House near Inish Rath Island. The journey will cost about 11 GBP.
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