The Sanctuary here in Stanhope Street Dublin 7, is a meditation centre for social change. It has been evolving gently over the past twenty-two years alongside an ever-changing society, however, with the challenges of COVID-19, new and exciting opportunities have opened up on a scale not planned for at the beginning of the year. The following is an example of just two online initiatives:
October 31 Day Meditation Challenge
Over 500 people registered for this challenge from all parts of Ireland and Europe, 20 – 25 people would have been the norm in pre-COVID times! The purpose of this initiative was to encourage wellbeing and good mental health with World Mental Health Day on 10th October a central focus. Each day throughout the month participants received a guided meditation that had been specially recorded by the Sanctuary’s experienced teachers of meditation and mindfulness. Both Sr. Stan and Sile were part of this panel.
To register people paid €30 which went towards the Sanctuary’s An Cuan programme, running since 2005 for people recovering from or going through a difficult time in their life due to mental/physical health issues, unemployment, addiction and homelessness.
Waiting for the Light – A Christmas Reflection
Christmas is often associated with a pinnacle of joy and merriment. However, the time of waiting, or the dark nights of December that lead us into the light of celebration are a wonderful opportunity to drop into stillness and prepare mindfully, peacefully and lovingly for the wonder of the season. Waiting for the Light, another initiative from the Sanctuary, will run over four weeks. At the time of writing this (mid November) 100 people have already registered and again from all over Europe.
Week 1 – Hope: Saturday, November 28th with Brother Richard Hendrick O.F.M. Cap who authored the viral poem ‘Lockdown’.
Week 2 – Peace: Saturday, December 5th with Choden, a monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Week 3 – Joy: Saturday, December 12th with Sister Chân Đức a much-loved senior Dharma teacher from the Zen tradition.
Week 4 – Love: Saturday, December 19th with our own Sr. Stan
The story of the Sanctuary in this latter half of 2020 is that change has indeed created new openings via its online activity.
(Sr Sile Wall)