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Lake Isle Retreats welcomes you to this wonderful retreat in North Ireland to refresh, recharge, and renew yourself in their beautiful place. Staying away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, works, and your daily life, you will truly relax with meditation and yoga in idyllic natural surroundings. Come and join them for now to get a very new experience.
Lake Isle Retreats has private single rooms, twin rooms, and triple rooms. You can either book a room privately for yourself, share a private room with a friend or two, or share a room with others on the same retreat. They can cater for between five and thirteen guests. Single rooms available on all retreats. Also, on some retreats, accommodation may be shared with other attendees. If you are not used to this, do not worry. This is part of the retreat experience and helps to create a large family atmosphere.
Also, you will not be spending so much time in your room anyhow. The retreat is so packed with events, exotic experiences, and friendly interactions that you hit the pillow tired at night and then the next morning, you jump out of bed and are out walking or jogging through the countryside by the shores of Upper Lough Erne, hearing the morning chorus of the birds.
Naam-Avatar mindfulness is suitable for anyone new to meditation or for people with more experience. The arrival time that suits you is between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
According to ancient texts from India, yoga has been practiced since time immemorial. In the early 20th century, a Vedantic scholar and Ayurvedic healer called Krishnamacharya is credited as being a leading figure in the founding of 'modern yoga', which is the general Hatha-style yoga which can found in community halls and gyms all over the planet. On retreats, Lake Isle Retreats has fantastic local yoga teachers, Lucy Lynch, Chrissie Link, Gertie Lynch, Noeleen McMorrow, plus expert visiting teachers such as Padma, Olive MacDonagh, Renata Valguarnera, and Nanda Kumar.
Yoga is an ancient system of connecting with reality as described in the Vedas. The Veda is a vast body of knowledge which is said to be like a 'manual' to accompany the Universe. The Vedas were written down around 3000 B.C. in the Sanskrit language by sage Vyasadeva, who is described as being an empowered avatar of Vishnu. In general, yoga is a process of focusing the mind and senses for a higher goal.
A yogi is someone who practices yoga. The word itself is often used for a wide spectrum of motivations, for example, a Bhakti yogi (a process aimed towards pure spiritual love, Krishna-Prema) or one could meet someone who might be described as a 'yogi' who knows how to do some visually impressive tricks such that people pay him to see his magic or someone else could be described as a yogi as she has a beautiful body and can hold a physical posture which looks spectacularly perfect.
In essence, a yogi is trying to connect with higher consciousness and find love. Vaishnava authorities, sincere gurus, and scholars would teach that a trickster who has learned some system how to manipulate matter in a way that people may see as being fascinating and uses that to make an income, has taken a side-path. In the Srimad Bhagavatam (a Vedic text), it is described that Dhruva Maharaja was the young son of a King.
He practiced severe penance and yoga for six months, fasting and standing on one leg for weeks on end. In the end, he discovered that his motivation had been all imbalanced. He had been doing the Hatha yoga system as he wanted to get a personal - one could say 'selfish' - result. But in the end, by the grace of Vishnu, he found peace, love, and harmony. One might wonder what does the historical narration of Prince Dhruva have to do with ourselves in the modern world?
Essentially, you are all trying to find peace, love, and harmony. Dhruva had some stresses millennia ago. You have your own struggles and stresses now. So, when you approach yoga, ideally you should look into the inner meaning by approaching teachers, listening to lectures, and reading translated ancient texts. A primary book on philosophy is the Bhagavad Gita as it is, which discusses Karma yoga, Hatha yoga, Dhyana yoga (meditation), and Bhakti yoga.
'To meditate' is defined as the practice of focusing one's mind for a period of time for spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation (Oxford English dictionary). Lake Isle Retreats meditation class is designed to satisfy these two motivations. As long ago as 1500 years before the present, early monks in Ireland established monasteries and silent retreats on several islands of Lough Erne. The feeling of meditation and calmness permeates the Lakeland atmosphere, and they especially recommend you arise early and to experience this for yourself, even if the retreat you attend only begins at 8:30 a.m.
The facilitator sings some slow deep mantra chants using the beautiful harmonium instrument. Everyone relaxes and centers themselves. You pause in silence. Seated on chairs, everyone takes part in a silent meditation, attempting to expand his or her own consciousness through deep hearing. You focus on being mindful in the moment and listening to the sounds of the world, without your attention wandering - without day-dreaming.
Simply hearing. Simultaneous to this, you silently repeat two simple mantras, representing the divine masculine and the divine feminine. The mantras help the mind to have a specific focus. After your meditation, you discuss your experiences. The facilitator touches on some philosophy behind the practise of meditation. Then you begin the relaxation sequence. Participants choose whether they want to remain seated on chairs or switch to lying on a yoga mat or specifically-tailored flat cushions.
Other options include sitting cross-legged or holding oneself in a yoga pose. Calming relaxation music is played out over the room, with flutes, oriental violins, and sounds of birds singing, and water falling. The participants are taken through a visualization sequence - a guided meditation where we travel to a distant beautiful land with the mind's eye. At the end, as you are all mentally returning to the room, the facilitator sings auspicious mantras along with the harmonium.
Finally, participants open their eyes feeling very refreshed and enlivened. Other kinds of meditation experiences at Lake Isle Retreats include:
(1) Japa meditation - the soft chanting and murmuring of the maha-mantra using traditional wooden prayer beads
(2) Mindfulness walks outdoors in nature
(3) Kirtan yoga, which is the singing of mantras accompanied by instruments such as harmonium, karatalas, and drums
(4) Reading and discussing meditation philosophy as based on the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (Dhyana-yoga)
(5) Mindfulness on specific retreats
Tim left his home at Dublin when he was 18 years old to become a Krishna monk, which was initially a bit of a shock to his family but now everyone is happy. He trained at Bhaktivedanta Manor temple near London and then lived in the temple on Inish Rath Island for eight years. While in the temple, he studied Vedic philosophy from the ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavat Purana, plus he learned kirtan-yoga and sacred chant music.
Lake Isle Retreats' retreat center, Mandala House, is 12 kilometers (eight miles) from Belturbet in County Cavan and seven miles from Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh. Lake Isle Retreats is easy to reach from the cities. You stay on the same road N3 (or M3) all the way up from Dublin to within five kilometers of the retreat center (the turn-off is Teemore).
All food is vegetarian and extremely tasty, cooked with love by vegan chef Carmen Padilla Quiel. Meals are prepared fresh on the day. Everything is vegetarian - no meat, fish, or eggs. Most preparations are vegan (dairy-free). The food is a combination of Indian vegetarian (samosas, curries, basmati rice) and Western vegetarian (pizza, salads, pasta, soups). Lake Isle Retreats caters to any special diets for allergies and intolerances.
In case you are a yogi, Vaishnava, or someone familiar with a 'sattvic' diet, they do not use the following ingredients: onions, garlic, mushrooms, vinegar, and alcohol. In Ayurveda, these ingredients may be prescribed for medicinal or other uses, but are not generally consumed by Hatha or Bhakti yogis.
If that sounds 'restrictive', you might find you have a lot to learn about non-European cookery. They have a polytunnel and a vegetable garden for growing their food. During the growing season, they use their own organic potatoes, carrots, courgettes, peppers, corns, tomatoes, beetroots, cucumbers, French beans, and some herbs in preparing the dishes.
Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic health system recommends massage and therapies as being beneficial to one's health. All therapies are available at the competitive rate of 35 EUR or 30 GBP for 50-minute sessions. Therapists are fully-qualified individuals who not only are good at massaging and healing people. You are free to ask the therapist for a variety of therapies in the same session.
This is a light massage of the back and feet. Aroma touch is where essential oils are applied along energy meridians and visceral contact points of the back and feet to help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body. Aroma touch helps general well-being by reducing physical and emotional stressors and supporting healthy automatic function. Aroma touch is a light massage using specific essential oils. A session is deeply relaxing.
A gentle therapeutic pressure point massage, working on the reflex zones of the feet, which correspond to different parts of the body. Stimulating these reflex points can help with many health problems and boost the body’s healing ability. Restores natural balance and promotes a sense of wellbeing. Wonderfully relaxing.
Sound healing is the use of tuning forks on the body to restore harmony and balance. It helps to restore harmony and balance and reduce stress. Each energy center within the body has its own note, so when one receives sound healing. It is an aid to restore the body's natural vibration.
Belfast International Airport
Transfer not provided
George Best Belfast City Airport
Transfer not provided
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Belfast International Airport (BFS), George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD), or Dublin Airport (DUB). Each of these airports is a similar distance by road from Lake Isle Retreats' retreat center. If you are not hiring a car, Dublin may be the most convenient airport destination.
Five times a day, a bus Eireann coach (the national operator) goes through the airport and brings passengers to Belturbet (the small town closest to Lake Isle Retreats in the Republic of Ireland). The ground staff at the airport will assist you to find the location of the bus stop, which is a four-minute walk from the main exit of the airport building (specifically you want Zone 11, Stop 2, Route 30).
You are looking for the bus with 'Donegal' as its end destination. Tickets are 26.50 EUR Return to Belturbet. The coach at about 12:50 p.m. is the time most convenient for you for arriving for Lake Isle Retreats' retreats, in general. Please note that in Belfast, there are two airports, George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) and Belfast International Airport (BFS). If you fly into Belfast, you will need to get into the city center to take a coach from Belfast Europa coach station.
Via the Republic of Ireland, Benny Corby with his family and friends are the cheerful local taxi service. If you arrive on the bus Eireann coach at Belturbet, the car journey to Lake Isle Retreats, Mandala House near Inish Rath Island costs 15 EUR. Lake Isle Retreats suggests you phone that morning to make a provisional booking.
Almost two hours after leaving Dublin, the coach stops in Cavan town for a five-minute break. From the moment this bus departs again, you should phone Benny and tell him where you are. He will know you will arrive in Belturbet after 15 minutes. Via Northern Ireland, if you arrive on a coach from Belfast. The journey will cost about 13 GBP.
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