Finding Self Compassion

In our Everyday Lives
Weekend Retreat with John Douglas
Friday 31 May, 7:30pm to Monday 3 June, 1pm

For most of us, having a good sense of self esteem seems important. When we have it, we feel good about ourselves and more positive and motivated in our lives. Conversely, with low self esteem we are likely to feel bad about ourselves which often leads to a lack of self care and can contribute to depression.

The problem with self esteem isn’t having it but how we often try to get it; through self judgement, social comparisons, unhealthy competitiveness and holding ourselves up to higher and higher standards that are increasingly difficult to maintain. For many of us, our usual way of trying to uphold these self-standards is through self criticism . . .ouch!

Self Compassion on the other hand has been shown to provide all the benefits of self esteem but without the downsides. Just when our self confidence and self esteem seems to let us down, Self Compassion can be a wonderful source of comfort that all of us can discover within ourselves.

In this weekend retreat John will introduce Self Compassion experientially, looking at ways to cultivate a deeper sense of warmth and kindness towards ourselves, not because of how well our lives are going but because of just how difficult our lives can sometimes seem to be.

In this course we will be learn and practice skills of how to:

  • use awareness to be more present to our thoughts and emotions
  • self-soothe some of our more difficult feelings
  • be less self critical and more compassionate to our weaknesses and vulnerabilities
  • feel less alone in the stress and challenges we face in everyday life

Research has shown that learning to be more compassionate to ourselves can:

  • make us happier in our lives
  • reduce stress
  • increase our resilience

This retreat will comprise a mixture of short presentations, guided meditations and small group discussions. This is not an academic course and active participation in small groups is a key element of this weekend.

“I found a peace and contentment over this weekend that I have not felt in many years”. Aoife

We hope you’ll be able to join us.


The retreat will be held in our clifftop shrine room, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular ocean views.


Vegetarian lunches and evening meals are provided as part of your fee.

Book online now

Fee €310
Concession €260

Dzogchen Beara has a policy of not turning anyone away for financial reasons.
Please email to request assistance from our retreat fund or to discuss flexible payment options.

Limited accommodation is available on-site. Book early!
A list of hostels, B&B’s self-catering accommodation and hotels in the local area is available here.

Vegetarian lunches and light evening meals are provided. The cost is included in your fee.

Online booking here
Read our Terms and Conditions
Enquiries by email or + 353 (0) 27 73032

To view our visitor information, please click here.

John Douglas
John Douglas
John Douglas first became interested in Buddhist Meditation in 1990 and moved to West Cork in 1994 to become part of the Dzogchen Beara community. As a Senior Meditation Instructor and Spiritual Care Educator, John is one of Dzogchen Beara’s main facilitators on a range of courses and workshops including Facing Loss and Healing Grief, Deep Listening, Self Compassion and Healing Relationships.

John is a Counsellor & Psychotherapist, accredited with the IACP, working in private practice in Castletownbere and in ARC Cancer Support House in Bantry, as well as being part of the care team supporting guests at the Care Centre in Dzogchen Beara.