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3 Days Relaxing Retreat with Silent Meditation in Northern Ireland

Lake Isle Retreats, 42 Geaglum Road, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Relaxing Spiritual Retreat Ireland

Discover one of the most ideal spiritual retreats in Ireland with Lake Isle Retreats. They are offering you a chance to introduce yourself to meditation and peace. Enjoy the silence and gentle spiritual sounds. Take a break from the gossip and superficial chatter that you often come across in daily life. Rejuvenate and relax with meditation, walks, and gentle chanting. You can spend the weekend reconnecting with yourself or share this wonderful experience with your partner, friend, or family.

Meet the instructors

Tim
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Highlights

  • 2 meditation sessions
  • 1 simple Power yoga class
  • Silent mindfulness walk on the forest
  • An introduction to japa mantra walking
  • Daily complimentary herbal teas
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Delicious healthy meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Yoga styles


3 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Yoga studio
  • Free parking
  • Library

You will be accommodated at Mandala House. They have 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 are 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.

Program

Meditation

'To meditate' is defined as the practice of focusing one's mind for a period of time for spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation (Oxford English dictionary). Lake Isle Retreats' meditation class is designed to satisfy these two motivations. As long ago as 1500 years before the present, early monks in Ireland established monasteries on several islands of Lough Erne. The feeling of meditation and calmness permeates the lake land atmosphere, and they especially recommend you arise early and to experience this for yourself, even if the retreat you attend only begins at 08:30.

Power yoga

The power yoga class is a set which is doable for beginners that will also be enjoyed by people with some yoga experience. It is a yoga mini workout. Atma power yoga helps to stretch and tone muscles, improve posture and balance, plus it's good fun. The exercises are fairly doable by the majority of people, but if you can't quite stretch into certain asanas, there is an easy-going mood. Everyone is encouraged to practice only according to their own ability. Lake Isle Retreats provides the yoga mats, so if you've never done even ten seconds of yoga in your life and have no equipment or anything, all you need is yourself, some light clothes, and a little enthusiasm. Atma power yoga is practiced with a breathing count from start to finish, which adds a dynamic aspect to the class, and each class ends with a gentle relaxation sequence (after you've done the hard work!).

What is a class like?

  • The facilitator sings some slow deep mantra chants using the beautiful harmonium instrument. Everyone relaxes and centers themselves.
  • Seated on chairs, everyone takes part in a silent meditation, attempting to expand his or her own consciousness through deep hearing. Focus on being in the moment and listening to the sounds of the world, without your attention wandering - without daydreaming. Simply hearing. Simultaneous to this, you silently repeat two simple mantras, representing the divine masculine and the divine feminine.
  • After your meditation, you discuss your experiences. The facilitator touches on some philosophy behind the practice of meditation.
  • Then you begin the relaxation sequence. Participants choose whether they want to remain seated on chairs or switch to lying on a yoga mat or specifically-tailored flat cushions. Other options include sitting cross-legged or holding oneself in a yoga pose. Calming relaxation music is played out over the room with flutes, oriental violins, and sounds of birds singing and water falling, etc. The participants are taken through a visualization sequence - a guided meditation where you travel to a distant beautiful land with the mind's eye. In the end, as you are all mentally returning to the room, the facilitator sings auspicious mantras along with the harmonium. Finally, participants open their eyes feeling very refreshed and enlivened.

Friday

Arrival time anytime that suits you between 14:30 and 18:00. Massages are available: full-body aromatherapy massage, head, neck and shoulder massage, back massage, aromatherapy for 50 minutes at an extra cost (30 or 35 GBP). During Friday evening you are welcome to get to know the other participants on this retreat, by chatting with them informally. The official "silent time" begins from 21:00.

  • 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:15 Meditation and Introduction with Tim
  • 20:30 Silence

Saturday

  • 06:35 Depart to visit island temple to hear morning chant music and hearing from some ancient Bhakti yoga texts written in Sanskrit 5000 years ago
  • 08:15 Silent mindfulness walk around the forest tracks on the island
  • 08:40 Breakfast in the temple. During the breakfast time, hear live and gentle chant music
  • 09:20 Return on ferry boat back to the mainland
  • 09:30 Break time
  • 11:30 Introduction to japa mantra walking. Retreat guests may either walk in silence or walk slowly and peacefully chanting mantra using traditional wooden counting beads. Explore the neighbor Fairy Woods on this walk. Wellies are required for the walk to the little-visited and remote Fairy Woods.
  • 12:30 Relaxation period hearing sacred chant music and a reading of inspirational stories from the Vedas
  • 13:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 Departure for the beautiful Florencecourt Estate for a one hour 30 minutes’ forest walk. Walking boots are useful for this, but the track is not so muddy, so ordinary walking shoes or runners are acceptable.
  • 17:00 Return from the walk, and break period
  • 17:15 Massages available all evening; dinner from 18:30

Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic health system recommends massage and therapies as being beneficial to one's health. Various aromatherapy massages, Indian head massage, reflexology foot massage, sound therapy, etc. are available by appointment for a 50-minute therapy at an extra cost.

Sunday

  • 08:30 Yoga with Tim - a simple power yoga exercise class
  • 09:45 Breakfast
  • 10:50 Meditation and visualization
  • 12:10

Option 1: Relax in the retreat house at your own pace.

Option 2: Visit Krishna Temple. Depart the retreat house to walk to the jetty for the ferry crossing to Inis Rath Island.

  • 12:20 Ferry to island for temple music chant (30 minutes) and relaxing around Inis Rath Island
  • 13:00 Talk on Vedic wisdom and philosophy open to the general public. You're welcome to go for a walk around the island during all or part of this period.
  • 14:00 The Sunday Feast in the temple - a unique cultural experience (and the food is pretty good also!)
  • 15:00 Ferry departure back to the mainland and end of the retreat

Instructors

Tim McEvitt

Retreat location

This retreat is located at Mandala House near the shores of Upper Lough Erne, Ireland. Mandala House is located 400 meters across the water from Inis Rath Island. The Lakeland area is a peaceful sanctuary where you can enrich your body, mind, and soul. Peacocks strut openly around the island, while in the local area, the herons, swans, and deer wander freely in the peaceful lakeside atmosphere.

The house is situated in Fermanagh, one hour 45 minutes' 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 sixth Century.

On nearby Inis Rath there is a beautiful Krishna temple, and at the retreat and accommodation facility on the adjacent mainland, Lake Isle retreats offer you a very warm welcome.

Distances

  • Belturbet, 12 kilometers
  • Lisnaskea, 11 kilometers

Unique features

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Massage
  • Reiki
  • Swimming

General

  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Yoga studio

Services

  • Free parking
  • Library

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

The 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, 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, they don'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! They don't allow the eating of non-vegetarian foods, defined according to the Vaishnava tradition from India as no meat, fish, or eggs.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Aromatouch

This is a light massage of the back and feet. Aromatouch is where essential oils are applied along energy meridians and visceral contact points of the back and feet to help balance sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body. Aromatouch helps general well-being by reducing physical and emotional stressors and supporting healthy automatic function. A session is deeply relaxing.

Indian head massage

An ancient form of healing massage for the back, shoulders, scalp, and face. To begin the client lies face down to receive a back, shoulders, neck, and scalp massage, then the client sits up for the treatment to be completed with a chest, neck, face, and top of scalp massage. This massage improves circulation, reduces stress, helps relieve eye strain, encourages muscle relaxation, and promotes hair growth. It is a beneficial form of stress management, revitalizing, and balancing the body’s energy system.

Reflexology

A gentle therapeutic pressure point massage, working on the reflex zones of the feet, which correspond to different parts of the body. Stimulating these reflex points can help with many health problems and boost the body’s healing ability. Restores natural balance and promotes a sense of well-being. Wonderfully relaxing.

Reiki and sound healing (Sukhada Smith-Repass)

Reiki is a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction which is beneficial for all ailments. Sukhada has been giving reiki therapies since 1999, and she offers restorative reiki-yoga workshops. Sound healing is the use of tuning forks on the body to restore harmony and balance. It works on similar principles to Reiki and helps to restore harmony and balance as well as reduce stress. Each energy center within the body has its own note, so when one receives sound healing, it's an aid to restore the body's natural vibration. Sukhada has completed 100 hours of sound healing training.

Sukhada is also qualified to do Rahanni. This is a gentle therapy that balances the masculine and feminine energies, working deeply at a heart level. It helps to heal emotions and is administered by a light hands touch with the client fully clothed on a massage couch.

Swedish massage

It is a traditional massage with regulated pressure, excellent for releasing knots and easing away tensions in the body. A combination of massage techniques are used to effectively ease aches and pains, improve circulation, and increase muscle tone.

Temple visiting

Every day of the year in the temple on the island there is a morning ceremony and meditation that you are very welcome to attend. One begins at 04:30 and the second at 07:00. You are welcome to attend any service if you like. For attending the 04:30 service in the temple you may phone the island the day before and that morning to request your ferry trip. The mangal arati ceremony and chant at this time is a wonderful experience.

Thai massage

It is a system of massage and manipulation developed in Thailand and influenced by traditional medicine systems of India and South-East Asia as well as by yoga. The massage practitioner uses their hands to apply firm rhythmic pressure along designated lines (Sen) in the body. The therapist Sukhada focuses on the head, neck, and shoulders, and she can work on the arms, back, and feet. Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during the treatment. Thai massage is described as being both relaxing and energizing.

What's included

  • 2 meditation sessions
  • 1 simple power yoga class
  • Silent mindfulness walk
  • Introduction to Japa mantra walking
  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 2 dinners
  • Complimentary herbal teas every day

What's not included

  • Additional massage therapies: 30 GBP or 35 EUR for 50 minutes
  • Walk at Florencecourt Estate: 5 GBP to National Trust
  • Ferry on Sunday to Inis Rath Island: 3.50 GBP or 4 EUR

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Belfast and the East

  • Coming from the Belfast and the East, take the M1 which leads onto the A4 in the direction of Enniskillen.
  • Twelve miles before reaching Enniskillen, look for the left turn taking you to Lisnaskea. At Lisnaskea there is a primary roundabout beside Lidl Supermarket.
  • Go onto the main street here by taking the second exit and drive down the road.
  • After one minute, you come to a smaller mini-roundabout (a painted circle) on Main Street and take the right turn taking you towards Derrylin on the B127 road, which you follow for five miles.
  • You cross over a first and then a second bridge over the lake (both bridges are approximately 100 meters long).
  • Take next turn left and follow signs to Inis Rath from here.
  • Continue on the gravel road towards Inis Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from Dublin

  • From Dublin or the South, take the M3 from Blanchardstown in the direction of Cavan.
  • As you approach Cavan Town, take the third exit at the main roundabout following the signs for Enniskillen and Ballyshannon. Follow this road and after 14 minutes, you arrive at the Belturbet Roundabout (do not take the earlier turn-off for Belturbet town).
  • Continue on straight taking the second exit here towards Enniskillen (you're continuing on the same N3 (M3) road which began in Dublin).
  • Continue on for 8 kilometers and take a right turn at Teemore Cross.
  • The sign says Lisnaskea 9 - you are now in County Fermanagh and road-signs are in miles. Follow this road for two miles going in the direction of Geaglum Quay and Inish Rath Island. Continue on this road to its conclusion following the signs to Inish Rath Island (just before you come to Geaglum jetty there's an Inish Rath 1/4 mile sign).
  • Continue on the gravel road towards Inis Rath for 400 meters until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from the North (Derry, Donegal, Omagh)

  • Coming from the North (Derry, Donegal, Omagh), aim for Enniskillen. The road approaching Enniskillen is the A32.
  • In Enniskillen, aim for Dublin on the Sligo Road (A4).
  • A mile out of town center, take the first exit or go left at roundabout following signs for Dublin.
  • 10 miles South of Enniskillen, you come to Derrylin.
  • On the other side of this one-street village, take a left onto the B127 towards Lisnaskea.
  • After three miles, look for the Inish Rath Island signs from here.
  • The first sign will have you make a right turn off the B127.
  • Continue on the gravel road towards Inis Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Driving directions from the West (Sligo)

  • Coming from the West (Sligo), aim for Enniskillen.
  • Before entering the town, take a right (or second exit) at the roundabout and aim for Dublin on the A509 (N3).
  • 10 miles South of Enniskillen, you come to Derrylin.
  • On the other side of this one-street village, take a left onto the B127 towards Lisnaskea.
  • After three miles, look for the Inis Rath Island signs from here.
  • The first sign will have you make a right turn off the B127.
  • Continue on the gravel road towards Inis Rath until you see the sign for Mandala House.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Dublin Airport (DUB).

You can also fly into Belfast International Airport (BFS). 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 Airport (DUB) 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 retreat center 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 13:50 is the time most convenient for you for arriving for the retreats, in general.

Arrival by bus

Large towns close to Inis Rath Island are Enniskillen and Cavan Town. A taxi from Cavan will cost approximately 35 EUR and a taxi from Enniskillen will cost approx 30 GBP. 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. 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.

Arrival by ferry / boat

Especially if you live in the vicinity of a ferry port on the Irish Sea, traveling by rail (or coach) and a 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.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

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3 days / 2 nights
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Sunday May 17, 2020
(3 days / 2 nights)

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