Reflections from NASC – CI Ireland Retreat, August 24th – 27th 2023

Compassionate Inquiry is a powerful approach to self-inquiry, emotional processing and fostering personal responsibility. It has many qualities that define it as a pioneering healing modality, but our recent Nasc Retreat in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland illuminated an important aspect of this work that can sometimes be overlooked; the context in which we practice.

As the only non-Irish facilitator in a team that included Aisling Quiery, Stephen Brown, and Kevin Young, I found myself embraced not only by the stunning landscape and culture of historical Ireland, but by an incredible team of expert facilitators whose presence and compassion was unparalleled. We were able to go deeper in ourselves because of both their competency and the group’s collective energy holding us during the process. As facilitators, we were able to hold more for others because we had one another to share the weight. This, I recognised, is the power of community.

During this retreat I understood that CI takes on a different dimension when we go beyond the Zoom screen and embrace one another in person. CI provides amazing opportunities to connect as a community both on and offline, but the value of meeting face-to-face cannot be underestimated. This experience was a testament to that. Whether it was in the midst of leading a potent psychological process, watching Irish dancing, walking on fire or singing in an open mic night (to name a few highlights), I know I’m not alone when I say that this sense of connection and support inspired the group to express their authenticity in a new way.

That, combined with a deep dive into the intentions behind the CI Stepping Stones, and balanced with plenty of free time to enjoy walks in nature, made for an unforgettable experience all around. This may have been the first official CI retreat, but I am sure it won’t be the last.

To Sat Dharam, Gabor, and the rest of the CI team – none of this happens without you; your love and passion inspire ripples out into the world on a daily basis and the vibrational impact of your hard work is felt by more than we can measure. The Nasc Ireland Retreat was evidence of what is possible when we dig deep and commit to living as Compassionate Communities.

From all of us… Thank you.

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