Gratitude

 

 Giving thanks for abundance                                                                     is sweeter than the abundance itself                                               Should one who is absorbed with the Generous One                        Be distracted by the gift          

 Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence                               Abundance is but the husk                                                                       For thankfulness brings you to the place                                      Where the Beloved lives                                                         

Abundance yields helplessness                                         Thankfulness brings alertness                                                           Hunt for bounty with the net of gratitude

Giving thanks is a wonderful thing. When have you last been for a thanks walk? I have just returned from a beautiful walk on magical Streedagh Beach in North Sligo. I have the place to myself. The moon is almost full, it lights up the night rocks, propping up the silent sand dunes. The tide has gone out fully. I walk on the soft sand where hours earlier  deep water dominated.

The stars shine, the moon moves serenely, sea, sand, stones, sky, stars, all surrender to its magnificence.  I cannot but give thanks for this abundance, free to walk, sing, shout, cry out. I am overcome with gratitude. So appreciative of my health, that enables me to walk here, while my two daughters sit quietly in their rooms, revising and revisiting the material of recent months in preparation for Monday’s exams. My wife has gone for an overnight visit to her good friends, Oisin my 11 year old son enjoys a sleep  over in the house of family friends, a birthday gift voucher redeemed and enjoyed. He will be spoiled, and made special.

This gift to him tonight is God’s gift to me. No responsibility for others, the world continues as  people watch TV, visit friends, go for a drink, a meal, visit a sick friend, fight, feed,  follow.  I enjoy the extraordinary in the ordinary. What renders the ordinary extra ordinary surely is the gift of gratitude, time to stop, listen, feel, smell, taste, and be thankful.

I walk tonight with intention and attentiveness. My intention is to offer this time to my soul, to listen and afford it the opportunity to be heard. My attention is on how I feel, what I see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This is an adventure. I don’t know how long the walk will take, what will happen on the journey, who will I meet, from the living and the dead, truly an adventure!

Lucky, our dog, is so enjoying the freedom,the space of this moon drenched space. I become aware of my parents Vincent and Mary at my side. They walk in solidarity, support and delight in me. This is a my life.  A time to give thanks for health, family, friends, work, the Streedagh surroundings, the magnificence of a December winter moon lit night. I sing. I stop and listen. I pray. I reflect, I am grateful.

Why not take a little walk yourself soon? Let it be with gratitude. It is a rewarding companion, as it communicates joy, returning a hundred fold. Thank you for gratitude.

Three consecutive nights, Streedagh beach to myself and Lucky my dog. Tide out. Empty beach and full moon. All for free, providing peace, reassurance, calm and delight – what a joy.

 

What do you want to say to the world?


WE celebrated Christmas in Newry this year at the home of my wife’s family. So where will I go to have Mass I asked myself in the days leading up to this great feast. I decided it would be Hilltown, the parish where i grew up, the big church overlooking Clonduff football field, a place where i spent many a happy, sad, wining and losing hour.

 

As the priest began the ceremony, the church was packed to overflowing and we were so fortunate to have a seat, I asked myself the question What would I like to say to this congregation tonight? Imagine having a captive audience, so alive  alert and full of anticipation, and being entrusted with an opportunity to welcome, enthuse and inspire them.

I had no idea!  The answer came to me the next afternoon, Christmas day. I sat on a seat reserved for soccer subs overlooking an empty pitch. I had the place to myself and wanted to write in my journal, a way that I have discovered to honour my soul.

“What a deep silence as i write this, yes some distant traffic interrupts the powerful serene presence of this special day, crows announce their arrival, a tractor and farmer bring Christmas cheer to a few captive cattle in a nearby yard with a grab of silage. Clouds drift harmlessly in a light grey sky, the green fresh grass continues to thrive in the unusual warm weather and the country air offers itself as another gift to me.

 

Fields of sport deserted of participants chuckle in quiet amazement at this older human, armed with his green and white copy book, blue pen and blue overcoat. He writes with enthusiasm and delight, trying to capture in words the experience of stillness and the magic of this moment. What a welcome guest. Surely we all love encouragement and praise!!”

Now i know what i would have liked to say to the packed house, I would like you to take some quiet time today in the midst of doing, working, playing , eating, drinking , laughing, crying and fighting , take some time to stop, notice, give thanks and praise. Sounds simple I know but does demand taking your slice of alone time, however short, however where.

If you found this interesting reading , perhaps stop now, look, listen, feel, smell a little and taste the gift of now.

 

What would you like to say to a packed congregation on Christmas eve 2019? Begin now to think about that and don’t wait a year!!

Soul Wednesdays

It’s never too late to say “enough”. To put down the load we are carrying, and try to create new patterns of relating that are more appropriate and balanced. ( Myla and John Kabat-Zinn)

 

Reflecting on my work as a psychotherapist and workshop/retreat provider for the past 18 years, I have noticed several themes emerging from the inner work and exploration of participants.

We are all part of this wonderful, complicated universe and as such share many difficulties. Even in the best of childhood days, we all have been wounded in different ways. The “here and now” is always related to the “there and then”.

We carry limiting and sometimes destructive ways of behaviour into our everyday adult lives, into our relationships such as those with spouses, children, colleagues and wider communities.

These six days, at two week intervals will offer participants training, reflection time and space in the service of awakening to their human potential.

It will also be an opportunity to meet like-minded people, develop ones support system network, replace loneliness with laughter, and become increasingly aware that I am not on my own.  We can all learn well when there is a deep listening, confidentiality, fun and safety.

The venue offers comfort heat and intimacy. Participants will be afforded access to the beautiful outdoors, a location set in the shadow of the Ox Mountains. Walkways, trails, gardens and majestic trees offer themselves for our healing, joy, wonder and awe. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring lunch.

 

Venue: Holy Hill Hermitage Skreen Co Sligo.

Dates: 7th Nov, 21st Nov, 5th Dec 2018. 9th Jan, 23rd Jan and Feb 2nd 2019.

Time: 10am to 4pm.

Cost: 390 euro. The balance is due on the first day of the course.

Booking: To secure your place please send a deposit of 65 euro to Peter Devlin, Cloonaghbawn, Ballinful, Co-Sligo before Friday 2nd November.

C.P.D: 36 hours.

 

 

 

Topics:

  • Caring for self – awareness of our inner resources.
  • Befriending our emotions, naming feeling, expressing and using them in a creative life giving way.
  • Speaking your truth in an assertive way. Awareness of how we can be passive or aggressive.
  • Listening caring and responding to our soul.
  • Transforming our deep wounds into empowerment.
  • Befriending our dreams as a way to continue our journey of healing.

Listening to our Ancestor Stories

Listening to our Ancestor’s Stories
Accessing the gifts and healing the wounds of our inheritance

Tue. Sep. 11th. Evening – Sun.16th. 2018 till 1pm
(on ever ancient, ever new Achill Island, County Mayo)

Guides: Peter Devlin with Sheila McHugh

Cost: 690 Euro
This includes guide fee and five night’s accommodation: €200 non-refundable deposit secures a place. Numbers are limited to 10.  Book before 31st May 2018 to avail of early bird discount (€630).

Humanity is built on the bedrock of our desire to belong. That we are part of a particular family and family tree is an indisputable fact. How we are in this world, how we live, how we react to the events which life presents us with, and rear our children, is no doubt deeply influenced by the family and tradition we come from.

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Vision Quest

Carrowkeel, Passage Tomb, Co. Sligo
Date:  Fri. 20th. July 11am – Sun. 22nd. July 2 pm 2018

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not ta their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
(Wendell Barry)

A vision quest is an ancient rite of dying, passing through, and being reborn.

Wilderness fasts have been a part of human culture for many thousands of years. Writer and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin, who has revived this ancient tradition as part of his work in Animus, describes Vison Quest as: ‘Honouring a fallow time in our spiritual lives, an emptiness into which something utterly new and generative might enter. It is to create an open vessel capable of being filled to overflowing by the sacred Other”.

The basic, universal elements of a vision quest are: a remote wilderness setting, fasting from food solitude (no other human companions), direct exposure to the forms and forces of nature, attention focusing and consciousness –shifting ceremonies, prayers, and practices, a significant period of time.

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Addiction Days – A new Beginning towards Healing

Spring – An opportunity to begin the journey of Healing

Two days with a difference!

Details and Dates:   Wed. 16.5. 2018, 10am – 4 pm  +   Wed. 30.5.2018    9am – 4 pm
Venue:             North Sligo Area.  The sessions will be conducted in beautiful wild                          areas of North Sligo.
Price:              130 Euro for both days

The breeze at dawn has something to tell you,
Don’t go back to sleep,
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
Where the two worlds touch
The door is round and open.

As we enjoy the season of spring delayed, but nevertheless welcome, I would like to invite you to this event, which is designed for those who struggle with addition, big or small.

Both days will include input, time alone and an opportunity to share where appropriate. The event will be conducted in the outdoors provided the weather is suitable. Wilderness informs us that wholeness is not about perfection.

Confidentiality is stressed and we will take solace that we are not alone in our human condition.

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Advanced Personal Development Course.

Advanced Personal Development Programme

Venue:     Sligo Psychotherapy Centre,  1 Wine Street, Sligo Town
Starting:  20th. March – 8th. May 2018  –  8 weeks
Time:       Tuesdays 7.30 – 9.30pm  (except Easter Tuesday)
Fee:         400 Euro (non-refundable)

Contact:  Patsy   086 – 3868410

We are offering an 8 week module for adults who are interested in furthering their emotional, psychological, and human potential. This exciting opportunity in the North West is offered by two experienced psychotherapists and trainers with combined experience of over 60 years of working with individuals and groups. This approach will particularly appeal to people who are interested in personal growth and transformation.

Continue reading “Advanced Personal Development Course.”

Spring Soul Day

Spring Soul Day
A new Beginning with an opportunity to begin the Journey of Healing

Dates:     Sat. 17.2.2018   10am – 5pm
                Sun. 18.2.2018    9am – 4 pm
Venue:  North Sligo Area
Fee:     120 Euro for both days and 70 Euro for one day.
             Numbers will be limited to 8.       CDP Points: 14 

This two day event promises to be time well spent as participants will be invited to explore their natural gifts and resources they have as human beings, many of which they may not be aware of. Awareness of our resources provides us with natural ability to heal some of our wounds thus enabling us to begin to replace old routines with more healthy ways of being, positive habits of presence, self-encounter and mature action.

Continue reading “Spring Soul Day”

Nature Retreat: Nurture, Sustenance, And Overcoming Harsh Self-Criticism

Nature Retreat: Nurture, Sustenance and Overcoming Harsh Self-Criticism

 

Sat 18th and Sun 19th November

 

 

 If we will have the wisdom to survive,

To stand like slow-growing trees

On a ruined place, renewing, enriching it…

Then a long time after we are dead

The lives our lives prepare will live

Here, their houses strongly placed

Upon the valley sides, fields and gardens

Rich in the windows.

(Wendell Berry, “A Vision”)

Most of us desire to be happy and at peace, to be stress free and clear headed.  We wonder how to best care for ourselves in the midst of our busy lives, how to respond to our responsibility to care for the earth, how to be a good parent, how to nurture our relationships.

These central questions will form the basis of these two days spent in the tranquil peace-filed and wild surroundings of North Sligo.

On Saturday we will spend some time celebrating the lives of people who have nurtured and nourished us and may no longer be physically with us.  There will be time to give thanks to our environment for its protection and care, time to reflect on our generative qualities and consider how we can give to our relationships, and to the more than human world.

On Sunday we will move to a different venue and explore ways in which we adults live our lives using strategies to survive which belong to our own days of childhood.  These include the need to belong, to be safe, to be free from conflict, to fit in to the expectations of others.  Understanding ourselves, and discovering healthy ways of belonging, overcoming harsh self-criticism will be at the heart of this day.

Both days will include input, group sharing and time alone to experience ways of cultivating a more compassionate and genuine care of self, others, our relationships and this beautiful temporary home known as earth.

In the event of adverse weather conditions, we will move to a warm welcoming indoor venue.  Please dress in several layers and bring waterproof jacket and trousers if possible, and bring a notebook, pen, lunch and a hot drink.

Date: Sat 18th November 10am-5pm, Sunday 19th November 9am-4pm

Cost: 70 euro per day or 120 euro for the two days ( If possible please do both days for maximum benefit and group trust.)

CPD points:14

 

To secure a place, please send a deposit of 30 euro to Peter Devlin, Cloonaghbawn, Ballinful, Co Sligo before Monday 13th November.

For further information, please ring 0863663276 or email [email protected].

www.peterdevlin.ie

Day of Dreams Workshop

Day of Dreams

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning is a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness.

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Rumi.

Image result for dreams nature

Every night I go to bed. I have my dream journal open and pen on my bedside locker. What visitor in shape of a dream will come tonight? If I do not write a brief note when I awaken after a dream I will probably not remember it.

In my experience of recording and spending time with my dreams over the last 30 or 40 years, I have found them to be a source of great puzzlement, guidance, nourishment, prophecy, confirmation and challenge. They have been particularly helpful in making decisions. For me, dreams are messages from my soul which utilize the residue of the day and past memories to question, challenge and direct me in living life to the full.

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping and one-fifth dreaming. If we take our age and divide it by three it tells us on average how much time we have spent sleeping. Divide by three and it tell us how much time we have spent dreaming.

Children dream a lot. As they grow and develop quickly this is reflected in the experience of dreaming about death and dying. The old structure of personality has to die to make room for the new.

This workshop offers participants an opportunity to understand their dreams. I do most of my dream work while walking. It affords me the opportunity of moving as the dream characters move, and entering their space. Utilizing nature and the variety that the more-than-human world offers assists me in making sense of my night-time adventures.

To take part in this exciting day please sign up as soon as possible. We will work both indoors and outdoors being guided by the weather. You will be given the opportunity of working with a dream and you will return home with several tools enabling you to continue this exciting work.

Date: Sunday, October 15th 2017.

Time: 10am – 5pm.

Meeting Point: My office.

Cost: 70 euro.

CPD hours: 7

Booking: Contact Peter 086 3663276 or peter[email protected]

Max participants: 8.

To secure a place please send a deposit of 20 euro by Monday October 9th to:

Peter Devlin, Cloonaghbawn, Ballinful, Co.Sligo.