The Heart Practice for Difficult Times

Weekend Retreat with John Douglas
Friday 13 December, 7.30pm to Sunday 15 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 new Dzogchen Beara Temple. With expansive views across the bay, the temple is a modern example of a traditional Tibetan monastery, a form of architecture designed to be an inspiring symbol of the Buddha’s teachings for our times.


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 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.