The Heart Practice for Difficult Times

Weekend Retreat with John Douglas
Friday 8 December, 7.30pm to Sunday 10 December, 1pm

When things are difficult in our lives, strong emotions such as grief and anxiety can sometimes overwhelm us, making it hard to get on with even the simplest of daily tasks.

While meditation instructions invite us to stay present in the face of such strong emotions, to neither indulge nor suppress them, for many of us, it is hard to stay with such feelings for long without becoming completely overwhelmed or else totally shutting down.

In this weekend workshop John will introduce other methods from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition for working with our hearts and minds that can be particularly helpful for easing, releasing and transforming some of our more difficult feelings.

Content Summary

  • Using imagination and visualisation to help soothe and calm our minds and hearts
  • How our nervous system affect our emotions and how meditation techniques can help increase our tolerance for our own feelings
  • Guided meditations and visualisations particularly focussed on calming or transforming our emotions
  • An introduction to using mantras
  • Exploring our personal relationship with prayer and how calling out from the heart can help connect us to greater sources of love and transformation both within and without irrespective of what we believe
  • Integrating these various elements into a personal “Heart Practice” that we can have and use as a refuge for difficult times in our lives
  • Small group discussions to share our experiences


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 €275
Concession €235

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

Enquiries by email or + 353 (0) 27 73032

Read more information here.

John Douglas
John DouglasSenior Meditation Instructor
John Douglas first became interested in Buddhism in 1990 and spent 15 years as a member of staff at Dzogchen Beara Retreat Centre from 1994 until 2009.

John is a Senior Meditation Instructor within Rigpa and has been presenting courses and retreats on Meditation and Loving Kindness since the mid nineties.

In recent years he has also trained as a Senior Educator in the Rigpa Spiritual Care Education Programme and is a regular facilitator on workshops such as “Facing Loss and Healing Grief”, “Courageous Journey” and “Healing Relationships” as well as professional trainings such as “Deep Listening” and “Compassion & Presence”.

John is also part of the care team meeting guests at the Care Centre.