Ynys Enlli / Bardsey Island Retreat 25th Sept – Oct 2nd 2021
There is an island off the west coast of Cymru that is known as island of tides. On this rock, sea prevails and you are always in the sound, smell and sight of water. It’s called a holy island – the island of 20,000 saints and is a pilgrimage destination. Before christianity it is said that it is the burial place of Myrddin/ Merlin. It’s a place to get whole.
You are invited to drop down into the depths of yourself from 24th Sept - 1st Oct 2022.
This is a retreat – there is no electricity in the house we are staying in and virtually no reception on Enlli so it’s a good place to stop, tech detox and to gather yourself in at this time of harvest. There is very little to do except be here. Be weathered, be enchanted, be in the song of seals as they nurse their pups on the beaches, be under the spell of fire that is the heat for Ty Capel (the chapel house).
You are invited to come and to be as present to this place as you can be – this isn’t just an opportunity for you to take space and time for yourself, but also a time to offer your full attention to a place and to listen in deeply to the conversation of rock, water, seal, chough and wind and willows. So I’d suggest coming without plans to “do”, or too many books and other things that take you away into your head, but more with journal, art materials, musical instruments, voices, and things which activate your creative responses with which you can mirror back to Enlli her beauty, aliveness and power.
Reflection by previous partcipant:
" Bardsey is a numinous place, replete with synchronicity and insight. Wandering and solitude by day, community and warmth by night. This seemingly small island grew the longer i spent on it (or maybe i got smaller?). At the beginning i was sure i would make it round the island several times, perhaps even getting bored, wanting more to see and do. I was wrong. I set out on the first day to walk a circuit of the island and found a quiet and insistent part of myself drawn to a cave which held me in mutual attention for most of the day. A similar thing repeated day by day; I set out, intent on reaching somewhere, with a task and a plan, only to be waylaid by some small yet gripping happenstance along my path. I soon learnt to savour this, any busy-ness slipping away into the greater surrounding expanse, giving way to richer and less seen depths of my psyche to unfold onwards through leaf mulch as scarlet elf cups in midwinter. " JG 2020
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The retreat will be loosely held and I won't formally be guiding though i will be "space holding" to keep us in the ceremony of retreat . Every morning at 9.30 am and evening at 7.30 pm we will gather to be in counsel for an hour. Counsel “rules” are simple – speak from the heart, listen from the heart, get to the heart of the matter (i.e. be brief) and be spontaneous.
The rest of the time is for you to rest deeply and to wander, to listen into your own “inner village” of parts of you that show up when there are no distractions, and also to listen in to Enlli and to the larger earth community living there; also to enjoy the company of the other humans if you choose to, though wanting a more solitary time is welcome too. I encourage each of us to think "WAIT ? " - Why Am I Talking? so make sure we aren't engaging in socialising to avoid being present to difficult feelings or challenging but creative stirrings. We will be screen/ tech, alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis free.
We will share an evening meal – each one of us will cook a vegan, sugar free (and gf free if needed) meal for the others each day. We will each bring our own breakfast and lunch (which can be as meaty/ sugary/ gluteney as you like) and all our food as there is limited supply on the island.
There are 8 beds – two doubles and two twin rooms so you may be sharing a room/ bed if we get fully booked.
The cost of the time on Enlli is £250. It covers the house rental , wood for the fire , the boat return trip and a bit towards my time organising and space holding ..
You will also need to pay for car parking (around £15 /vehicle) on the mainland and your travel to the harbour near Aberdaron.
A deposit of £100 will secure your place . This can be refunded minus an admin charge of £15 if you need to cancel until August 15th. If you cancel after that then I will refund £85 only if I fill the spot .
So as not to add admin costs/ work for me onto the trip, please do read the website thoroughly as many of your practical questions will be answered by doing so.
Important : Because sea rules here, the boat crossings can be delayed – you will need to be mentally and practically prepared for a delayed crossing to and from Enlli .In the past others have slept in their cars, camped nearby or used pilgrim pods at http://penrallt.co.uk/ when we were delayed a day so please factor in a sudden expense/stress from delayed travel just in case.
There is no extra cost to stay on the island should the boat be unable to bring us to mainland at end of retreat -- you're advised not to have any urgent arrangements that can't be postponed in the few days after 1st Oct.
I wont be covered by any travel insurance in the unlikely ( but not unimaginable) situation that the boat is unable to sail the entire time so we don't get there at all. In that situation Enlli trust do not give refunds for accommodation bookings ( see website) so you may wish to purchase travel insurance to cover your accommodation costs . I will happily refund £50 boat cost ( if refunded to me) and some of the holding cost too in that ( very unlikely) scenario.
So there we are then...a wholy island calls to you, siren sings to your soul...perhaps she has been calling you a while now... will you jump in ?
Let me know if you are interested and/ or have questions ( that aren't answered by a thorough reading of the website !)