An Tobar Spiritan Retreat Centre, located in Ardbraccan, Co. Meath, is a much-loved destination for spiritual seekers across Ireland and around the globe. We enjoyed interviewing Jackie Smyth from the Centre, and this chat appeared in our Autumn 2020 issue. Read on below to enjoy!
A Spiral of Welcome
The beauty of An Tobar
by Aisling Cronin
An Tobar Spiritan Retreat Centre, located in Ardbraccan, Co. Meath, is a much-loved destination for spiritual seekers across Ireland and around the globe. An Tobar specialises in offering a warm, hospitable environment for guests.
In keeping with the beautiful labyrinth located on their grounds, the venue operates through a ‘spiral of belonging’ – which means that visitors participate in the community according to their particular calling, inclination and time.
‘The Centre has a religious background, as it’s rooted in the Spiritan tradition,’ Jackie explains, ‘but we welcome people from all walks of life. Hospitality is a huge part of what An Tobar is about. We want to create a space where people feel they are being cared for: where they feel they are coming from their own homes, to another home.’
For the past few years, Fr Korko Moses S.J., a Jesuit priest from India who has been inspired by both Christian and Eastern spiritual traditions, has come to An Tobar to provide an Ashram Experience to people here. He is a spiritual guide and counsellor who teaches meditation and yoga, leads retreats, and has worked with people with addictions.
Another regular visitor to An Tobar is Tony Sheridan C. S. Sp. He offers Capacitar workshops which help participants to unwind from their everyday stresses, using tools such as creative dance, EFT and Tai Chi.
An Tobar also offers space for family support groups, yoga classes, meditation and prayer retreats, and much more. As Jackie puts it, ‘An Tobar is a sanctuary, where guests know they are welcomed.’