Thin Places Tour - May 15 - 24th

View from Mount Brandon - Dingle

In May of 2011 I will be escorting a group of travelers to Ireland to visit some thin places. Our travels will include the Newgrange passage tombs, followed by a house party in Dublin. The next day we'll be off to Kildare to visit the old town and cathedral as well as St. Brigid's holy well.  From there we'll travel Holy Cross Abbey where there is said to be a relic of the true cross.  Then onto the Rock Cashel, one of Ireland's most thin places and Athassel Priory ruins at twilight (very mystical site).  After a night in Cashel town we'll move on to  Ardmore, a beautiful seaside town where St. Declan founded his monastery, then onto Cork city where the group will have a free day and be able to relax or take optional tours that inlcude Cobh, Kinsale and St. Gobnaits Holy Well.

After two nights in Cork we'll pass by Timoleague, Drombeg Stone Circle and Skibbereen, finally arriving in the Medieval city - Kenmare.  The next day we'll explore the Beara peninsula and its stone circle, seaside views, mountain trails and mystical southern tip where Dursey Island accessed only by boat or cable car.  Then on to Gouganne Barre, the smallest church in Ireland, sent in a valley on a site where St. Finbar once founded a monastery (one of the most scenic places in Ireland). After traveling through Gap of Dunloe, we'll arrive in the most mystical place of all - Dingle.  One free day will allow for relaxation and exploring and we'll end the trip with a farewell party.  

Please consider joining us.  It will be one of the most memorable experiences.  Traveling to Ireland is always wonderful, but 10 days of travel to mystical places charged with spiritual energy is life-changing.  

Travel information including the daily itinerary, process for reservations and information about the mystical sacred sites we'll visit can be found at the Thin Places Mystical Tour of Ireland website.  The land portion of the tour (lodging, breakfast, admissions, ground transportation and some dinners) is just $1999 per person.

Are you being called to join us?

Don't Rush Through Thin Places

When I travel, I take my notes into a digital recorder. Then I transcribe them later into a travel journal.  The following is a journal entry from 2007.  I was standing at Cashelkeelty Stone Circle on the Beara Peninsula in Ireland.  I don't remember writing this ... or even thinking this.  But it's advise worth sharing.

Rushing is something one must not do when walking through thin places. It is better to see fewer thin places and not rush, than to see many and jam them into full days. 
The journey is the important thing – not the destination.

It is also best to approach the site without snapping pictures. Feel the site, feel the moment, listen and watch for the signs. Time will stand still. You'll lose track.

When time becomes apparent again, that's when you take pictures... at the end of the journey. That's when you can sense what's important in that particular thin place. Approach each site with a sense of awe trying to feel the thinness and connect with the other world.

I believe that a prayer is much more powerful in a thin place, because in a way we are already closer to God. You don’t have to concentrate or try as hard to PUT yourself in the Divine Presence or the Other world.

You are already there.

Rushing loses all these effects, and isn’t helpful. If I rushed to get back because of the rain or the loss off time, I wouldn’t have seen or felt as much.

The goal is to enter INTO the thin place and experience it… not see from afar or just from the surface.

~Mindie Burgoyne - Cashelkeelty Stone Circle, Beara Peninsula, Ireland, 2-22-2007
Photo - the Beara Road near Ardgroom, taken by Mindie Burgoyne 2007 (c)

Remembering John O'Donohue

It's been three years since the world lost the great poet and Celtic mystic, John O'Donohue. He had such insight to thin places, what they mean and how they affect the world. Certainly I've learned more from him - through his writing - than any other single person.

His books Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes should be read by all interested in Celtic Spirituality. Reading Divine Beauty changed my life... changed my spirit.

Some good resources online for getting better acquainted with John...

The John O'Donohue Website

A Remembrance of John O'Donohue on NPR

The Inner Landscape of Beauty - one of the last interview John gave before his death. (click on the listen now option)

Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world awaits.  ~John O'Donohue