Retreat to Dzogchen Beara

Posted on: 7th April, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Everyone is welcome at Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Centre, situated on a breath-taking cliff-top location halfway between Castletownbere and Allihies. The centre is open seven days a week, all year round.

The Dzogchen Beara café is open from 10am to 5pm. Friendly staff serve barista coffees, teas and delicious home-baked treats and lunches, cooked with organic ingredients, grown at the centre or sourced locally where possible. The shop has selected books, cards and gifts. You can relax on a cosy couch or sit outside on the sea-view terrace, depending on the weather!

The benefits of meditation are increasingly well-known. Why not drop in to sample a short session for yourself? You will be guided by an experienced instructor who‘ll take you through all the basics (don’t worry, you won’t have to sit in full lotus posture, chairs are provided!). Resting Meditation (daily 9-9.45am) and Loving Kindness Meditation (3-4pm Mon-Fri) are held in beautiful meditation rooms with floor to ceiling ocean views.

Visitors are welcome to explore landscaped meditation gardens, to visit the stupa – a traditional Buddhist monument – and to see the towering wooden flag-pole (a mast salvaged from a trawler) that marks the centrepoint of the site for Ireland’s first Buddhist temple, for which full planning permission has been granted. You can also walk further out along the headlands through unspoiled coastal meadows or try the centre’s ‘river walk’, a short woodland trail, maintained with ramblers in mind.

If you want to stay longer, Dzogchen Beara offers a range of accommodation, ideal as a base for exploring the Beara peninsula. For budget travellers there’s Garranes hostel, a traditional farmhouse where guests can choose from dormitory beds, a private room and a family room. The Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara has twin and double en suite conservatory rooms, with breakfast included and a self-catering kitchen. Secluded cottages with spectacular views are newly renovated to a high standard, with fully equipped kitchens and large living rooms with wood-burning stoves.

Apart from the incredible views – which visiting masters have said can inspire the experience of meditation without effort – Dzogchen Beara is best known for its programme of public retreats based on the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which has been running for more than 30 years. Topics covered this year include meditation, Loving Kindness practice, ageing, healing relationships, emotions, as wisdom, transforming stress into wellbeing, contemplative walking and meditation and photography. Most events are suitable for beginners.

Purpose-built in 2009, The Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara is fully wheelchair accessible and designed to inspire a sense of space and relaxation. A spiritual care team offers guests one-to-one support, and guidance on how to apply meditation and contemplative practices to life’s challenges. The centre also offers workshops for those coping with bereavement or living with illness and disability and is available for bookings by groups who wish to use the space for their own programme.

To find out what’s on, visit, follow Dzogchen Beara on Facebook, call 027 73032 or email

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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