Good in the Beginning

Our Annual New Year Retreat
with John Douglas and Veronica Nicholson
Thursday December 28, 11am to Monday January 1, 1pm

Traditionally the New Year is a time for making a fresh start and reflecting on the direction we would like our life to take.

This retreat is an ideal opportunity to reflect on our priorities and to begin the coming year in a way that is in tune with our deeper values and natural wish for deeper contentment and well-being in our lives.

The essence of developing a spiritual approach to life is learning to embrace any situation as an opportunity to become more aware, genuine and open-hearted. During this retreat we will focus on the practices of meditation, loving-kindness and self compassion which help us to do this.

These skilful methods show us how to work with our minds and hearts, and connect us with a wiser and more authentic way of being. In an inspiring and supportive retreat environment we can begin to familiarise ourselves with these inner qualities so that we begin to embody them and can apply them to help us to face and overcome difficulties in our daily life.

“I loved this retreat. I feel like a new person – one that I like, what an achievement!” (Cathy)

Everyone is welcome to this retreat and no prior experience of meditation is needed.


  • Guided meditation and contemplations
  • Interactive exercises
  • Time for rest, relaxation and enjoying nature
  • The retreat will include periods of silence including during tea breaks and some meal times


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


Your retreat fee includes substantial vegetarian lunches and a lighter soup and bread supper in the evenings. Breakfast is self catering.


If you will be travelling from further afield, we recommend that you book accommodation for the night of Wednesday 27th December to avoid a long tiring journey early on the morning of Wednesday 28th.

Book online now

Fee €475
Concession €395

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

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

Read our visitor information 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 with ARC Cancer Support House in Bantry, as well as being part of the care team supporting guests at the Care Centre in Dzogchen Beara.

Veronica Nicholson
Veronica Nicholson
Veronica first learned to meditate in 1996 when she went on her first retreat to Dzogchen Beara. Since then she has continued studying and practicing in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and completed a one-year closed retreat in 2004 in Dzogchen Beara. Learning to meditate changed her life and this inspired her to train as a meditation instructor, and since 2001 she has been helping on retreats in Dzogchen Beara and other Rigpa centres around Ireland. She lives in Offaly and is a photographer and artist – her book Observing Offaly, a photographic record of life in her adopted county, was published in November 2016.