Domhnall O’Donoghue, Assistant Editor at Irish Tatler Man
When I moved to Monkstown, it was supposed to be for a month – a temporary stopgap until I found somewhere more suitable, more central to the city.
That was ten years ago. From the moment arrived, I knew I was home.
I’ve lost count of the amount of walking shoes I’ve since worn out, traipsing up and down the piers or discovering the local hidden treasures. But, there’s one secret place I find myself returning to whenever I need a moment of calm, a moment to reconnect.
At the bottom of Sandycove East Lane, is a steep row of steps leading down to a cluster of jagged rocks, overlooking Dalkey harbour. The majority of our bodies is water so it makes sense that the sea should have such a powerful influence on us. I’ve often sat there for hours, allowing the ebb and flow of the waves to quieten whatever worries or anxieties are loitering about in my head.
Mary Elizabeth Coen, Motivational speaker & Author of Love & the Goddess
Photograph by Deirdre Holmes
I visit Coole Park to walk, meditate and be inspired. It’s exhilarating to tread in the footsteps of literary giants like W.B. Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory and George Russell, a triad passionately involved in spirituality and Madame Blavatsky’s theosophical society. Their lingering memory and palpable energy merges with nature. I love to ground myself by hugging a gigantic American redwood, with russet bark so hairy and scaly it resembles a pre-historic mammoth. Feeling a power surge from my toes up, I regularly do some Chi Gung before continuing on to the turlough (disappearing lake). Once there, I sit on a favourite rock, concentrate on the breath and still my mind. That wonderful feeling of being one with the world is possible in this magical place. Here I can access an endless ocean of bliss and send out love to all that is, has been and will be.
Tony Christie, Labyrinth Ireland, Creator of Labyrinth Wisdom Cards
My favourite place is the labyrinth at Charter Cathedral, France. Here, a feeling of serenity pervades my being. As I journey to the centre of the labyrinth, I am moving to the centre of my own being, where I feel empowered, and full of life. Being there brings me heightened awareness. I feel more at one with everyone and everything, glimpsing images and senses of past life experiences, and of my interconnectedness to all of existence. In the labyrinth, I am travelling over powerful earth energies, known as ‘the Wouivre’; protected by the soaring structure of the cathedral, the multi-coloured stained-glass light illuminating my world. My body tingles with the aliveness of Spirit.
In this magical place, straddling the dimensions between worlds, my heart and soul are uplifted and grateful for being present in one of man’s divine works to raise humanity’s consciousness.
Magdalena Szpilka – META-Health Practitioner and Trainer
Photo by martapiskorek.com
My favorite place, where I can truly be myself, is nature. It doesn’t matter if it’s a beach, woods, mountains, a meadow… Once I’m in nature, I go right into my center. It’s effortless and easy. It feels like I don’t have to hide anything, pretend anything, like the nature sees through me, knows all my secrets, yet holds no judgements, just is, present and available, offering its gifts willingly and freely.
I can be authentic, honest; which sometimes means being sad, angry, scared, but the nature doesn’t need me to explain myself, I can just be, enjoying the connection…I love this nature’s embrace. Within seconds I slow down and connect with my inner peace. It is a LOVELY feeling of being held, supported, taken care of, nurtured, loved unconditionally…
John Goggins, Custodian of the National Bahá’í Centre
Six years ago, my wife and I were offered the opportunity to serve as custodians for the National Baha’i Centre, a Victorian house in the embassy belt of Dublin 4.
I had often visited it over the years. It serves as a focal point for the local and national Baha’i community.
It sits in a leafy suburb and is decorated in the traditional style with ornate ceilings and richly papered walls but what sets it apart, is the atmosphere of tranquillity and peace. I believe that this is due in no small part to the number of wonderful souls who have spoken and prayed here over the years. Any house where the word of God is recited and His praise glorified must retain some of that essence in its very fabric.
It is a house where visitors feel welcome and comfortable. It is an oasis in a busy world and possesses an inexplicable atmosphere of calm that soothes and reassures troubled minds and weary bodies.
Debbie Guinnane, Artist
My favourite place is not a favourite place out of joy, or pleasure, but the place/time when I am no longer aware of the question at all. When there is silence – the mind looking/feeling inwards and reaching/feeling outwards concurrently. When there is a sense of an animal living beneath the surface of an intelligent, questioning, but self-conscious state of mind.
Boundaries and definitions between time, place and I are eroded, energy expressed through the rising of the breath, the heaving of the chest; the muscles and weight of my limbs become spry and stronger, everything is pulsing. A sense of bodily control and confidence washes over doubt; I feel complete, thriving.
My mind and body are no longer dualities, but unconditionally as one, the sense of ‘I’ no longer resonates apart from the space around, but my perception is one of awe and fluidity. It’s like experiencing a uniquely primal conscience state. Peaceful, yet empowered and undomesticated.