Frequently Asked Questions
What is Tearmann Centre?
Tearmann Spirituality Centre has developed since 1993 as a place of hospitality, where people can take time out to reflect on their life, faith and soul journey. It provides accommodation for a maximum of seven people at any time in three self-contained apartments [bedrooms en-suite]. Each apartment has kitchen/ dining area and spacious lounge. There is also a beautiful meditation / prayer room with impressive views of the valley. It is situated on the side of a hill a short walk from the Monastic City and Glendalough lakes about 1 km from the village of Laragh, Co. Wicklow.
What happens at Tearmann?
There are a variety of experiences offered, from five day retreats [see below] to an extended visit of up to three months for those on sabbatical, or who wish to take time out. Weekend visits are also available or just a few days mid week depending on availability.
The Tearmann team also offers walkabout for groups lasting approximately one and a two hours. These are always by pre-arrangement and are tailored to according to the group. We also offer other experiences which can be seen in full on the “What we offer” section of this website.
What are the aims and plan of the retreat experience?
The retreat is designed as a pilgrim journey taken over a six day period. It is an integrated and experiential event linking personal life and faith journey with the bigger story as expressed in the environment, tradition, legend and spirituality of the valley. People in residence are invited to meet in the morning for meditation and introduction to the theme of the day, and in the evening for sharing and Eucharist for those who want it. The themes for each day are from the Celtic spiritual tradition [for example Pilgrimage, Creation and Presence, Salvation, Solitude and Hermitage, Community etc] and outlined in a booklet that is left in each person’s room. The house offers pilgrims a quiet, reflective space to take time out. The fundamental ethos of the retreat is Celtic / Christian but welcomes all soul seekers.
If we meet morning and evening, what do we do during the day?
An important part of this retreat is that people spend time alone exploring the environment. Glendalough is situated in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and has many beautiful walks and places to visit including the fine monastic remains. We encourage these explorations to be taken in the spirit of pilgrimage and hope participants will be open to ‘the music of what happens’. The reality is that a great deal of learning unfolds each day for most people.
We encourage people to bring back their impressions, feelings and thoughts to share with others in the evening if they wish. We hope the experience will be very much an interior / exterior experience, based on the belief that the outer landscape always reflects in some way the inner landscape of the soul’s journey.
How about other times of the year?
Tearmann is open all year, and in fact the winter is an ideal time to stay, particularly for people wishing to be very quiet. Outside the summer months people can undertake the retreat programme if they so wish. Morning and evening meditation, sharing and Eucharist are offered throughout the year.
How long does the retreat go on?
From May to September [inclusive] we offer five day retreats beginning on a Sunday evening and finishing the following Friday before midday. Many people now stay for less than that, and the retreat is so designed that people can join in for shorter periods. We also have weekend retreats from Friday evening to Sunday midday.
Can I stay without participating in the retreat?
Yes. However during the summer months priority is given to those wishing to participate in the retreat.
Can I talk to someone personally and privately whilst staying at Tearmann?
Pat, Michael and Breda are available to talk with at any time on request. Pat and Michael have done training in Spiritual direction to act as spiritual guides.
Do we need to do any pre-reading?
This is not necessary, or even desirable. The programme is designed to offer participants insights and understanding of old Irish spirituality in a spontaneous and life-giving way. The house offers a small but very good library plus other resources, art materials, maps, guides etc.
Do we need a car in Glendalough?
It is helpful but not essential. The Centre is within walking distance of the monastic city, the lakes and all amenities. Public transport to and from Glendalough only runs twice daily from the centre of Dublin, and not from a main train or bus depot.
What clothes do I need?
The weather will usually not exceed 20 degrees Celsius, but can be chilly in the morning and evening. Ireland is also famous for its rain which also results in our beautiful green land.
You will need casual clothes suitable for walking and warm clothes for the evening. A raincoat or jacket is essential! An extra pair of sturdy shoes would be helpful if you intend to do a lot of walking.
How and when do I pay and Cost?
The cost of staying in Tearmann is 50 euro per person per night for a single room. For couples sharing a double room its 70 euro per night. You can pay by cash or cheque on arrival or during your stay. We do not have ATM or credit card facilities on site. However there is an ATM in the shop 1 km away. You can also pay by bank transfer.
How far are shops, restaurants etc.?
There are two small general stores [one Organic] 1 km from the retreat house. They supply most things apart from fresh meat and fish, which can be purchased from nearby towns 12 km away. There is a restaurant and pub 1 km from Tearmann in the village of Laragh. The Glendalough Hotel [a short walk] serves both bar and restaurant food. The Wicklow Heather restaurant is less than 1 km away.
We can facilitate any person without transport to collect their shopping etc.