Our groups have recently returned from two adventures in Ireland: The Connemara Writer’s Retreat with Phil Cousineau and The Wild West of Ireland with Phil Cousineau. From the day the invigorated travellers landed back on home soil, we’ve been receiving photos, written feedback, even a beautiful video about their journeys. As all these so perfectly capture the mood and spirit of time spent in Ireland we wanted to share them with you.
We’ve collated some of our favourites here. For more photos visit our Flickr albums: Photos from The Connemara Writer’s Retreat and Photos from The Wild West of Ireland. For more written thoughts about the journeys, visit our Testimonials page.
Many thanks to our wonderful participants who generously shared their photos and memories with us.
The Connemara Writer’s Retreat
“This has been a week full of wisdom, inspiration with all the elements of nature and spirits of Connemara aligned to bring clarity and purpose to our intention. I’m indeed grateful to have had this chance to be mentored by Phil who is both soulful and simpatico. The Connemara experience, my notes and Phil’s books will help sustain me to complete my manuscript. Then I can gift myself with a pilgrimage trip by Phil Cousineau.”
Linds Boughton, Manila, Phillippines
“I anticipated Phil’s enthusiasm for story and myth, and looked forward to his style, which is intended to help one go deeper into the work. I expected to be inspired and embark on new adventures, while being stirred emotionally by the Irish landscape.
What I wasn’t expecting was the amplification of these Irish stirrings and emotional tenderness, how awake and enlivened I felt most days, getting by on three hours of sleep (highly unusual for me). Phil had instructed us from day one that Ireland itself is animated, and to pay attention to all of our experiences – the morning writing sessions, the three Irish plays, the visits to the ruins, the landscape, the conversations with locals and with one another. And most important, Phil said, was to connect these experiences, these precious moments, back to our writing. Thanks to this retreat, my story has taken on new depth and direction. I am grateful for Phil and the twelve Philgrims, for new friendships, and some unexpected healing.”
Elaine McCracken, Santa Barbara, CA
“Once again, Phil Cousineau has used the perfect combination of Ireland’s landscape and culture to activate the senses and lead to unexpected writing breakthroughs. I came away exhausted but exhilarated and have been writing furiously in the days since my return. There is something special about being in the company of other committed creatives who have responded to the call to attend, who hold a safe space for each other, and many of whom have become friends. Phil utilizes his wide experience with many creative projects and knowledge of history and story-telling forms to open one’s eyes to many possibilities and to gather courage to explore them. Whether a writing workshop like this (or past ones in Ireland and Greece) or perhaps a tour (I’ve been privileged to travel on his recent Cuba and England tours), I consider a chance to explore new places with Phil and his groups of like-minded seekers to be an experience not to be missed.”
Lou Ann Granger, Valencia, CA
(Video by Richard Talbott)
The Wild West of Ireland
“A trip for the picky, utterly greedy traveller who seeks to fulfill in ten days a kind of satisfaction only a year’s worth of experiences in that other dimension could yield. The spirituality/ literature/ music focus promised was not hype to entice. Delivered were flesh and bone writers welcoming us with tea, homemade scones, and deep conversation in their homes. Phil as fearless, tireless leader exemplified unparalleled patience, knowledge, enthusiasm, and generosity. Thank you.”
Michael, Austin, TX
“I found it profoundly rich, stimulating, deep, and personal. Phil had made unique connections with scholars, priests, writers, and authorities who gave us personalized tours, explanations, and insights into the history, culture, passion, and suffering of the Irish people. Phil was an encyclopedia of experiences, knowledge, insights, and opportunities that truly made this trip unusual and memorable. I had an A Plus experience. These people with whom Phil had a personal connection added so much richness and depth to our experience of truly understanding the culture and history of the Irish people. Thank you for making wonderful arrangements and helping to provide all of us with a memorable experience.”
Alan Gibby, Rockford, IL
“This is my second trip with Phil to the Wild West of Ireland and I hope to do it again! As a leader, Phil is generous in sharing his knowledge, understanding, and deep love of Ireland on so many levels, making the journey a truly unique experience. It was a robust trip, packed with spiritual information, intellectual conversations with great Irish personalities, serene self-discoveries and, of course, poetry.”
Cornelia Eulert, San Diego, CA
For more about these journeys or to join us on a future pilgrimage visit Sacred Earth Journeys