I didn't coin the term, and it is widely used by mystics and those who write about Celtic Spirituality. The term thin place comes from the pre-Christian culture in western Europe - particularly Ireland - and refers to a place where the veil between this world the "other world" or the "eternal world" is thin. Old tales tell of people and beings of the other world being able to pass back and forth between worlds in thin places.
Every person will identify a thin place differently. I can only share my own way. A thin place is sensed differently that our present world - you cannot see it, touch it, hear it, smell it, or taste it. Our sense of a thin place transcends the physical limitations of our five senses.
I sense a thin place in two ways.
- I feel a strong sense of the past still present in the place.
- I can hear God more clearly than in any other place - the sense of Divine Presence is very strong to me.
Among the thinnest I've experienced
- Rock of Cashel - Ireland
- Glastonbury - England
- Knock - County Mayo Ireland
- Cashelkilty Stone Circle - Ireland
- Kilshannig - Ireland
- Isle of Mull - Scotland
My article Walking through Thin Places goes into greater depth on spotting and sensing thin places.
Are there thin places in America? Sure, but I find them here and there scattered over large land masses. In Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, the very ground cries out with them at every turn - every town.