On Sacred Ground
Itinerary: A Path for Our Days
Day 1 | Arrival & Settling In
Your long journey 'to' is complete...but also just beginning. As you step onto the ancient shore, Sally and Laurie will greet and guide you to the Bishop's House. Here you will have time to settle into your rooms before we share our first evening meal together, after which we will offer short introductions to one another and have a brief review of our schedule for the week ahead.
Day 2 | OPENING OUR EYES TO IONA
Our first full day will be one of orienting ourselves to our new surroundings. Stroll through the village or a nearby beach, or take the day to simply rest and recover from the long journey to the island. Some may choose to attend one of several worship services available, including the Bishop's House and Iona Abbey. This will be a day of grounding ourselves and gaining a sense of the spaciousness of this remote and sacred locale. Sally and Laurie will offer guidance and suggestions for pilgrims eager to take in the landscape.
Day 3 | NATURE & SPIRIT: The Heart of the celtic soul
The unique elements of Celtic spirituality will inform our day, as will the legacy of the Irish monastery that flourished on Iona for hundreds of years. We will learn about the history of Iona Abbey and other sacred sites that reflect the spiritual significance of this tiny isle. A special beach at the north end of the island, known as the White Strand of the Monks, will be our walking destination, where spirit and nature are beautifully intertwined.
Day 4 | Walking with Faeries, angels, saints, kings and ... sheep
An off-trail guided hike around the isle will give us a full day to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the landscape. We will learn more about the island's rich history as we visit St. Columba's Bay and walk in the footsteps of the Irish monks who first arrived on Iona's shores in 563 A.D. In the evening we will have the opportunity to attend the beautiful Iona Abbey for their weekly Prayer Service of Healing.
Day 5 | The art of soul-tending
Our day will be framed by an exploration of the Celtic meaning of anam cara, or 'soul friend.' Selections from the Irish poet and author John O'Dohonue's book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom will support our inner landscape journey as we reflect upon ways we can nurture and replenish our tender souls. We will create SoulCollage® cards with an awareness of the special friends, mentors or spiritual guides who have enriched our lives.
Day 6 | the beauty in our midst
Irish poet and author John O'Dohonue suggests that beauty is like an invisible embrace and can serve as a powerful source of healing. A silent stroll through the nearby village will allow us to be mindful of images and sounds that may be soothing to our body, mind and spirit. We will return in silence and take time to journal and share some of our reflections.
Day 7 | Departures & goodbyes
Our bags are packed, our hearts are full; a post-breakfast Celtic blessing will send us on our pilgrim journey home.