Now that the New Year is with us, lots of us are looking forward into all sorts of busyness. It could be also that you are seeking to plan in some periods of retreat, and if so, you might like to consider this…
We are planning a new venture for this year- along with three of my friends from Aoradh, we are organising a series of ‘Wilderness Retreats’. These retreats form part of several micro enterprises that have grown out of what we do – a way of integrating faith with life which I am finding very exciting and hopeful. The ideas and activities have emerged from yearly retreats that we have been doing as a community for many years now – usually with invited ‘guests’ – and also from other forms of worship using wild locations that we have been experimenting with.
The retreats have been special experiences for us, for some of the following reasons-
The amazing locations- tiny Hebridean islands, part of a rich Celtic tradition of retreat
The ‘noisy’ silence- away from mobile signals, e mails, facebook
The wildlife- otters, eagles, seals, a thousand sea birds
The company- the lovely experience of sitting around a fire side and dreaming dreams together
And perhaps most of all the chance to find inner stillness
If the possibility of being part of something like this excites you, then please get in touch!
It might be possible to make this trip part of a bigger trip up to Scotland, or even part of a trip to the UK! If you want some advice as to options- again feel free to get in touch.
These retreats are not intended for just for hard core outdoor fitness types. You do not need to be ultra fit or prepared for the north face of the Eiger. If you can hop around rocks, and can cope with the possibility of being cold and wet with stoicism, then this is enough.
Here is some information from our publicity shot-
Do you love wild places?
Are you looking to find time to rest and reflect?
Are you hungry to make a deeper spiritual connection?
If so, we would like to invite you to come and be part of one of our wilderness retreats…
Wild places do something to the soul…
Here in Dunoon we are on the fringes of some of the most amazing wild places; lochs, mountains, forest, seascapes and small uninhabited islands. Opportunities for being immersed in wilderness – with all the glory and all the vulnerabilities of this – are everywhere.
Following an old Celtic tradition, we have been looking for ways to allow the shape of the landscape to become the means by which we might approach the divine; caves, rivers, mountain tops, small islands.
There is no better place to do this than here – the west coast of Scotland, and the small Argyll islands in particular, are marked everywhere by the passage of other pilgrims, for example the many monastic sites from the time of the missionary Celtic saints.
We invite you to journey with us into this generous tradition. All are welcome – from all faith backgrounds, or none.
There is information about some of our previous trips here-Jura, Eileach an Naoimh, Scarba, The McCormaig isles.
How does it work?
Our retreats typically take place over a long weekend – Saturday to Monday.
They involve creating a small temporary community on one of the small uninhabited islands of the Inner Hebrides. These are stunningly beautiful places, rich in history, wildlife and the kind of peace that has to be experienced to be believed. All of our locations are well off the beaten track – they can only be reached by boat charter.
They are WILD places- exposed to the elements, with no amenities or comforts. Participants on these trips need to be prepared for this! Please have a look at the kit list and general comments.
We will do the organisation, put together a programme and itinerary, charter a boat and provide spiritual exercises and activities to use together and alone. Each retreat will have at least two retreat leaders.
We will then lead you through the retreat, using a combination of times of sharing, times of silence and led meditations. Activities can be tailored to the needs and interests of the group- including varying degrees of challenge.
Retreat dates and costs
For the year ahead, we have two weekends fixed for retreats-
June the 22nd-25th The Garvellachs. Cost £180 per person.
August the 17th-20th The McCormaig Islands. Cost £150 per person.
(Deposit of £50 payable on booking. Full cost will be required if participant cancels later than four weeks prior to the event.)
If you are part of a group who are interested in another weekend, it may be possible to arrange a trip for you.
It is also possible to set up ‘mini expeditions’ for small groups/families. These would be typically for a day, or an evening. Contact us for details.