All posts by Sam

Thoughts for today

This short essay was short listed for a national awarding body for coming trends in society……….

We sure do live in troubled times and boy do we know it. The troubles perpetuated by religious issues have never been so highlighted as now with instant media access. The terrifying rise of IS in the name of Islam, the dramatic crash of faith in Roman Catholic Ireland…. The lack of conscience and compassion I believe all reflect a crisis of faith amongst people worldwide….. and yet people search deeply for meaning…. The gods of celebrity and shopping are losing their appeal and people are increasingly lost and looking for a deeper purpose in life.

Since time in memorial people all over the world have created communities and have had shared human experiences which have glued their societies together in a cohesive way. These communities world -wide have had much in common despite the differences in climate/the gods that they worshipped and the centuries they lived in. They all created rituals around death, dying and disposal of the body. If they were ancient Egyptians of wealth they were mummified and entombed in the Pyramids, if they were rich or poor Hindus their bodies were cremated on pyres and their ashes were floated down the Ganges. In Mexico the dead were buried in the foetal position, in Tibet bodies are stripped of all flesh and the meat given to vultures and the bones ground into powder and taken by the wind. In present day USA bodies are embalmed , fully made up and brought out on high days and holidays! Every culture and time has its own rites of passage and commemorative rituals. In the UK because of cost and space 75% of people are now cremated. A few go to church and many have non- religious funerals which may or may not be spiritual in content.

There is a big change afoot in this whole area of how we perceive death and how we treat our dead in the developed world. Until recently , funerals have been the exclusive domain of the clergy and the local funeral parlour. Death is big business. Local undertakers are increasingly being bought up by massive companies who keep the local names. It’s an  industry  !…. An industry with a steady supply of clients and spiralling prices. The costs of funerals here in Ireland is astronomic. You should have approximately €5000 ring fenced for this and more if you live in Dublin or want anything traditional and fancy…. Plot/oak coffin brass handles/hearse etc.

Does it need to be this expensive ? Why is it this way ?? No! It can be done with dignity and much cheaper and like many things it’s done the way it is done because of tradition and nobody has offered alternatives.

More and more people have lost their faith in organised religion and are looking for options to the traditional church based and clergy led funeral service.

We are living in a time where people are increasingly doing their own thing….whether it be  selling their own houses on My without an estate agent, booking holidays without aTravel agent, do it themselves divorce without a solicitor, or challenging the medical profession by informing themselves with Google etc…People are shopping around for the best deals….. East Europe for dental work, beach weddings in Thailand  etc etc buying stuff on line etc etc.

People can now draw up their own “ advanced directives “, meaning, what they wish to happen for  their end of life treatment  whether it be how and where they wish to die, if they wish to avail  of life support treatment, whether they want  euthanasia ( if they are in Holland ), they are writing their  traditional wills and increasingly people are planning ahead and devising their own funerals…. Some traditional. Some not.   

What is on offer here and what are the coming trends? I believe I know some of the answers.

You do not have to have a church funeral officiated by the clergy. You do not need a celebrant at all in fact. Actually you do not need a funeral director. You do not need to be embalmed and you do not need to be disposed of in 2 or 3 days…. Which many people find too quick and traumatic esp if the person has died suddenly. You do not need an expensive wooden coffin with big brass handles. You can go for plywood, wicker or cardboard. The law was changed herein last few years saying that you don’t even need a coffin…. You can be wrapped in a sheet/ shroud/ or just  popped into the earth in your clothes. You do not even need to be buried in a traditional cemetery , you could go to a Natural Burial or Green burial ground.

I believe the Irish funeral industry will see huge changes in the next 10 years. This change is happening already in other countries eg UK and USA . As the old guard and traditionalists die off, the next generation will want something different.

Let’s come back to an earlier point….. every culture has honoured and respected  its dead in one way or another and I believe there is a deep function to ritual and celebration which is very positive especially in relation to the processing of grief. The more ritual… the less grief!

. In Ireland most  funeral services happen within 3 days of a death, most bodies are embalmed  and most church masses last for between 30 and 45 mins. The Catholic church offers a fairly standard funeral service and these days more often than not officiated by a cleric who did not know the deceased. Funerals have not changed very much over the years apart from becoming more and more expensive.

In my work with grief over the years and as an unaffiliated funeral celebrant I have seen first- hand that when people are vulnerable after a death of a loved one they may agree to things in their confusion that on quiet reflection they may have rejected. It is rare in Ireland that people organise their own funerals for their loved ones…. The funeral directors and the priests take charge and also take the power and also in my opinion rob people of the possibility of weaving their own rituals and celebrations.

It has been observed that the more active people can be in the organising of rituals, the more sharing there is, the more support there is all contribute to a lessening of grief. When people feel they can actively participate in activities eg preparation /washing/ dressing the body of the deceased/decorating and beautifying the coffin/casket/ playing music/singing songs and so on there is a more enhanced sense of participation and mutual channelling of intent.

The traditional Irish wake had a purpose for a community but degenerated into an alcohol fuelled drowning of sorrows which enabled people to not be present to the reality of death but to avoid confronting their reality in a sober and more sane way.

I believe that over the next few years we will witness a more enlightened attitude to death and dying, more conscious preparation for the inevitable event, similar to that which  we witnessed as changes in our attitudes to gentler birthing methods, with birth plans, active birth approaches, natural pain relief and more people doing their own thing.

A good death generally is seen here as a well -managed death, often drug laden and pain free and more often than not in a hospital. The baby boomers are becoming the elders of the tribes and are dictating the “my way” approach to life as well now as to death.

I believe that we will be seeing more radical awareness re the death process and how to “midwife” people through this . Over 15 million US citizens have experienced “near death experiences” and  many people  are increasingly seeking teachings on the post death  realm. All wisdom cultures since time in memoriam have had teachings re the states post death eg. The Tibetan Book of The Dead, The Egyptian Death Culture, The Christian teachings on the Resurrection to name but a few.

Some of the best top selling books recently have included  Dr. Eben Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven” and Anita Moorjani’s spectacular account of her return from the dead having suffered from cancer and total organ shut down in hospital in Hong Kong. You Tube is full of accounts of Near Death Experiences. Over 15 million people attest to this fact. People are talking about this issue more than ever before and teachings are available to help people find their way without intermediaries. We are moving into A New Age of Spirituality where teachers such as Eckhardt Tolle and Deepak Chopra are challenging all the old belief structures imposed by religions and they are asking people to think for themselves and to find and feel  their own connection to that which connects us all.

All cutting edge research is now embracing the Quantum Physics findings of inter connectedness of all energetic structures and that life and death are part of a continuum. The Buddhists have known this for millennia.

My prophesy for the next years is a radical shift in perspective of our attitude to death and all the attendant paraphanalia re funerals.

Mark my words……… I am right!


Birth As Death, Death As Birth.

Stop The ClockReflections on how giving birth and witnessing death open us profoundly to life…

When Ruth Marshall, the editor of the Network Ireland magazine, shared with me some of her experiences of her mother’s death, I was profoundly moved. Later, when she announced that a future edition of ‘Network’ would be dedicated to the theme of death, I decided to write of a very personal experience not only of death but of birth, in the hope that it may possibly help and encourage someone out there somewhere dealing with pain and heart-break. This experience happened to me 14 years ago, and radically changed my outlook on life.

In the early eighties, I remember my teacher, Irina Tweedie, announcing at a meditation, that a woman from our group had given birth. What she said next never left me and burned a deep impression into my being. She said, “…She had no pain.. She was in deep Samadhi…”

I was single at the time with no thoughts of childbirth, but I remember saying to myself… ” If that’s possible, I can do it too!” And many years later I did just that! ( I intend to write about this for a future edition of Network.)

Later , in 1990,  when I became pregnant, I decided to consciously prepare both my baby and myself for the birth , together, we worked with meditation, visualization and breathing exercises.

The act of giving birth consciously is no different from fearlessly walking a spiritual path. It is a question of trusting the process and then having the ability to hold a paradoxical balance of control and surrender in the same moment. Control, so that you don’t panic when overwhelming energies sweep you up and Surrender to the very Life Force that is consuming you. It requires great trust in The Process… the process being… Life itself. In the case of childbirth, this process will happen regardless.. Whether you like it or not, co-operate or not…. the choice to go with it in full consciousness or not, is yours.

My first birthing experience was incredible. Daniel was born at home after a two-hour labour and I gave birth to him with no fear and no pain.  I proved to myself that it was possible to control my response to the force of the contractions and to surrender to their intensity simultaneously. It was a great teaching and one that would prepare me for my next experience of childbirth with my daughter Anna.

My next experience of birth, two and a half years later, was to change me forever ….another home birth and labour started on the evening of Good Friday 1993. The contractions were very strong and I had prepared myself with meditation and breath awareness as I had done before, to ride the waves with single mindedness..Again I was able to stay focused for the 2 hour labour…. but when the big birth contraction came…Shock!!… Anna half emerged into this world feet first…. and she was precariously stuck. …neither in one world or the other, precariously balanced ….neither born or unborn…. …poised between there and here….

I later learned that the time between Anna’s half emerging and her being fully born took twenty minutes…. (This is a very long time in such circumstances….)This length of time was a complete surprise to me because I can only say that for me the experience went outside of time, as we know it. I knew in those first moments with my whole being that whatever was happening was a great teaching and the only requirement was not to panic, but to trust and surrender to the moment…and to meditate..  all I am able to say about that 20 minutes is that I was in a place of  No time and No fear… where in fact everything stopped and great peace and light prevailed. I was completely unperturbed by what was going on around me…everything seemed to drop away  …. …I was totally absorbed in a timeless moment. Nothing existed..not even me.. There was no pain, no fear. It was as if everything stopped and all was great peace. There was no sense of linear time, in fact no sense of anything, everything was totally empty, it was as if everything was turned inside out, there was no me, no baby half- born, simply a great expansion….

Finally, the next contraction came and Anna was born, but because of the compression of the umbilical cord, she had been deprived of oxygen for twenty minutes and had sustained massive brain damage in those precious minutes. She was rushed to Holles Street maternity hospital and I followed ten minutes later. When I arrived there, the surreal nature of the whole event began to unfold…it was like walking into someone else’s film….I had just given birth… and was suddenly dealing with a massive crisis. Anna, (who weighed in at nine pounds ten ounces) was in the neo- natal intensive care unit… she was big, strong-looking and extremely beautiful… all the other babies there were tiny, weak little things that could have fitted in to the palm of my hand. Fortunately, she had a name, we had been calling her Anna for weeks, my son had named her and had told me that they were already friends and that he was waiting for her, they had met he told me ‘through another door’, he was two and a half at the time…. I too had intuitively known that my baby was a girl.

It gradually dawned on me what we were dealing with…a massively brain damaged baby who had no motor or sensory impulses…. in other words she would never able to move or see or hear…. My heart was exploding and my brain was erupting…I had just given birth… I was not prepared for any of this…

In many ways I was more than prepared…I had been actively involved with spiritual teachings for 15 years at that time. I was so glad of that. Much of what I had learnt was now to be activated in reality. Here was a real challenge…could I walk my talk when the chips were down? Could I respond consciously or would I contract with the pain? Could I keep my breaking heart open? Could I be fearless and calm in the centre of this stormy nightmare?? The choice was mine.

I knew deeply what the response to this challenge had to be… Like a mantra deep inside I kept reminding myself, ” You have a choice…. in your best moments and in your worst moments…do your practice…either fall apart or practice..stay present…breathe…. Feel the pain…feel it all…. do your practice…. just like giving birth…. surrender to what is and consciously respond…” That’s what I did. I meditated and breathed my way along what I knew was my Heart’s Path.

None of the specialists could tell how long Anna would live. They kept repeating, “It is up to her.”

She had a strong constitution…I asked that that she be kept comfortable. I did not want any medical heroism. I wanted Mother Nature to take her course.

Easter Saturday was extremely difficult…..waking up in hospital…  slowly remembering…that I was not pregnant and that Anna was fighting for her life ….my brain was screaming and I was crying…and yet my inner voice kept saying, “remember to breathe… feel it…don’t block the pain… practice..” The day was spent with Anna, her dad, brother and I holding her and loving her as much as we could. Our hearts all breaking…We told her we loved her and didn’t want to hold on to her… she was loved and we wanted her to be free….

Sunday was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the doctor in charge said that we could take Anna home and that they would arrange for someone to bring out feeding drips and whatever was needed later that day… long she would live was unknown…

Anna got to have the sun on her face … later that day she died quietly lying between her father and myself. It was so sad….I have never felt such heartbreak…It was of all days.. Easter Day.

According to some traditions it is beneficial for the deceased, to keep their body undisturbed in the home and to carry out rituals to aid the passage of their spirit into the next level of awareness. This we did.  Whenever I looked at Anna’s beautiful little body, I never forgot that although she was a baby in earthly terms, she was a huge spiritual consciousness .I believe that this event was exactly as it was meant to be for all concerned…. sacred contracts had been made long before we came here.

My emotions were raw, I have never cried so much. I allowed all the feelings to come without censure. I wailed and screamed and my heart broke open.  I also sang Old Macdonald Has a Farm with all the grunts and moos with my two year old….We all laughed and we all cried.

To add to the stress, a funeral and all that that entailed needed to be arranged. It couldn’t be done without a death certificate and to get a death certificate we needed an autopsy since Anna had neither been born, nor died in hospital. Easter Monday was a bank holiday and due to the kindness of certain people the necessary formalities were expedited.

Anna was to be buried in a family grave in Co.Wexford .We drove down the country with Anna in  her crib on the front seat. On arrival, we put her in a little white coffin ourselves. Many people were gathered in her granny’s house. It was very somber. I said to her father that I felt urged to meditate and that he should come with me and bring pen and paper…we went to a quiet room and started to meditate. I was aware of Anna’s presence and let her speak through me. This is what she said:

“My name is Anna, and even though you don’t understand, I came to bring you love, and everybody that is here now, go into your hearts and feel this love.  Just open yourselves up. It is not a question of allowing it to be there, it is already there. Just be very quiet and very still, just let yourselves feel and right now I am helping you to do this.

Things are really very simple. Don’t waste time, don’t reproach, don’t harbour negative thoughts…just be in your hearts, and even though there may be pain and sadness, love and the light in the universe is stronger than all the rest. The way the sunshine dissolves the mist and the day gets very clear….all of you….can get very clear.

Be open and trust and be silent from time to time.

I tell you nothing more. That’s that. It’s as simple as that.

Bless you all and I go in peace.

With all my love, Anna.”

We went back into the crowded sitting room and I read this out. Anna’s presence was palpable. Everyone felt it….The undertakers, wanting to protect us from pain wanted to screw down the lid of the coffin. I did it for them. I needed not to be buffered from my feelings. They wanted to carry the coffin from the car to the grave….I told them that since I had carried her for 9 months that I would carry her then…it was the saddest thing I ever did…..

Standing with family and friends at the graveside was bleak. Everyone was silent, no one knew what to say… When my little son tugged at my coat I knew again there was a choice… either to stare into a black hole or to follow Life. I felt more insistent tugs… I looked around and said, “I have to follow life.”  So, Daniel and I ran off and played chase in the cemetery.

The day after the burial, whilst walking in the countryside and feeling emotionally raw, my breasts became engorged with milk….there was no baby to feed….it was so terrible…the pain in my heart and body was overwhelming…I felt really alone and yet really connected to Life. I kept on breathing and crying and meditating on what was…surrender and control got me through. I cried everyday for weeks…it was a heart breaking, hormonal time .  I went with it…not blocking whatever emotions erupted…I just kept letting my heart break open…Gradually the emotional intensity played itself out. ( Grieving is a process that needs to be expressed…it’s part of the natural order of   emotional integration…..if  grief is not allowed to play out naturally and the flow is blocked , the whole energy turns inwards creating emotional , psychological and physical problems for the bereaved. Meditation not medication is the required remedy in such circumstances.. )

Life should never be stopped by death…… Six months later I got pregnant again and had a wonderful, quick, easy and pain-free birth with Jack. Thirteen years on , I am blessed with two wonderful teenage sons; two great friends; two spirits in form… mine to love, to teach to be free but never to possess…

Life is mysterious …We live it without necessarily understanding it…Maybe we think we understand the bigger picture from time to time, maybe we don’t…As it happened, a pregnant friend was actually with us during Anna’s birth. She witnessed the whole event and decided not to have a home delivery as planned, but to have her baby in hospital. She had had a perfect pregnancy .On her due date, she had a small show of blood and duly went to hospital. On arrival the doctors could not find her baby’s heartbeat. A scan showed that, very recently, the placenta had become detached and that her baby was dead. Her womb was filling with blood and the baby’s head was acting as a plug. The baby was induced and simultaneously she received a massive blood transfusion .Her perfect baby daughter was a fresh stillbirth.. If she had had the baby as planned, at home, she too would have died and her other six children would have been motherless……Anna in some way saved her life.

Life, Our Teacher, through Grace, lovingly breaks open our hearts, always offering opportunities for growth. Spiritual progress in life is possible if we learn to stay consciously heart-open, allowing love to flow, embracing our deepest fears and pain, and not contracting back into heart-closed, emotionally defended habitual modes of being.  Life then is rich and intensely focused. I have learned to treasure the alchemy which transforms pain into compassion as it lovingly and deeply connects our hearts with all forms of life. If we avoid pain we avoid life! Mindful awareness of the fleeting nature of life and the ever -present nature of death gives life an added richness and intensity. We wake up and The Now becomes potently real. The buzz of a bee, the sight of a flower by the roadside…a sunrise.a songbird…. The smile of someone you love…everything gives joy to the heart!!

Death, as birth, is to be celebrated ….it is a powerful change of consciousness.. …..  It is part of the great, inevitable movement towards love. There is no reason ever to be stuck in grief. Flow with the pain….  Love needs to flow and flow!! Birth brings Death in its wake. Like it or not! It is our choice whether to live in fear and heart-contraction or to embrace Love’s movement consciously or not.

The great paradox prevails…. Life is full of suffering it is also overflowing with love, That is a lesson for us all…

The inscription on Anna’s grave-stone reads, ” Anna. Born and died in love and light .”

Summer 2016

The Heart Path of Massage and Meditation

by Judith Ashton BA ITEC MFPhys IMTA

Judith trained with Gerda Boyesen as a body psychotherapist and massage therapist in London in the late 1970’s, she is held in high regard by her profession and was many times President of The Irish Massage Therapist’s Association. Her “Touch for Healing” courses received special commendation from the English Nursing Board.

She has massaged hundreds of bodies and trained many therapists and has lectured and taught both at home and abroad. The lives of many people and health professionals have been enhanced by her heartfelt way of working.

Take this week to connect with your body and to celebrate its sacredness and deep inner wisdom. Learn to listen to it, to unlock its secrets, to nourish and to love it. The body is a powerful subtle complex organism with its own intelligence and rhythms which need to be responded to wisely, not exhausted or forced into shape.


Listening to and listening with your body empowers you on your journey through life. Your body tells your truth and will always guide you in the right direction if you listen to it.

Here you are offered a rare opportunity to slow down, to take time to tune into your own unique rhythms and to explore what your body needs to express to be truly alive. This is a very special week; much time is spent simply resting. By the week’s end you will know more about your precious body, the value of meditation, touch and massage.


Sli an Chroi. Kiltegan.  Co. Wicklow.

Each day starts at 8am with meditation or yoga (optional).

Schedule is : 10am – 6pm with usual breaks. The vegetarian food is delicious and organic where possible.

The course will be in a purpose built residential centre surrounded by acres of glorious countryside, with streams and gardens to uplift and nourish your spirit. Being out in Nature is vital to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, it helps us to slow down and unwind …there will be plenty of time to benefit from the surroundings.

Judith creates a wonderfully supportive space for personal growth and inter-action which  may  change  the  way  you  look  at yourself and others forever.

Judith’s unique approach is a subtle combination of massage, dance, body-work, deep relaxation and meditation.  She invites you to listen to the profound wisdom of your own body. Judith is a brilliant teacher and a deeply intuitive woman with a great understanding of the body. This week will free you from deep tensions and renew your zest for life.

Course costs €680.00 including full board & lodging.

Book by May 1st and you will pay the reduced early bird fee of €650.00.

For more details please ring:

056 7724007 or 087 6976395 or










Spiritual Optimism and the Shambhala Prophesies.

Spiritual Optimism and the Shambhala  Prophesies.

Sometime ago ,  ran a workshop as part of the Transition Towns initiative here in Kilkenny,  enabling 15 people to  voice to the deep despair that they felt about the current state of our world. It was a heartfelt and deeply moving experience. Suffering, powerlessness, rage, grief and fear were all expressed, heard and honoured. Parents expressed fears for the future of children. The fate of nature was mourned. Patriarchal values and the suppression of the feminine evoked tears, sadness and anger were strongly present. All felt the power of expression and the letting go of deep pain. The group then danced and rested in the present moment with the understanding that pain too can be transformed.


Trungpa, a Tibetan spiritual teacher said in the 60’s “The whole world is filling with suffering.”  The truth is that since then it seems to have gone from bad to worse.  Recession, climate change and so on… the list of current woes seems endless.

So what can we learn and how can we respond wisely to this sense of suffering, and current doom and gloom?


For the last twelve centuries the Tibetans have had knowledge of semi- secret prophesies attributed to Padmasambhava about the coming of the Kingdom of Shambhala.  I think it is worth reading carefully what Trungpa says about the core of this prophesy and how it can help us live in today’s troubled times:


“There comes a time when all life on earth is in danger. Barbarian powers have risen. Although they waste their wealth in preparations to annihilate each other, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable devastation and technologies that lay waste to the world. It is now, when the future of all beings hangs by the frailest of threads, that the kingdom of Shambhala emerges.


You cannot go there, for it is not a place. It exists in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala warriors. But you cannot recognize a Shambhala warrior by sight, for there is no uniform or insignia, there are no banners. And there are no barricades from which to threaten the enemy, for the Shambhala warriors have no land of their own. Always, they move in the lands of the barbarians themselves.


Now comes the time when great courage is required of the Shambhala warriors, moral and physical courage. For they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power and dismantle the weapons. To remove these weapons, in every sense of the word, they must go into the corridors of power where the decisions are made.


The Shambhala warriors know they can do this because the weapons are manomaya, mind made. This is important to remember. These weapons are made by the human mind. So they can be unmade by mind.  The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers that threaten life on Earth do not come from evil deities or extra terrestrials. They arise from our own choices and relationships. So, now the Shambhala warriors must go into training. They train in the use of two weapons. Compassion and Insight. Both are necessary. We need the first one because it provides the fuel, it moves us to act on behalf of other beings. But by itself it can burn us out. So we need the second as well, which is insight into the dependent co-arising of all things. It lets us see that the battle is not between good people and bad people, for the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. We realize that we are interconnected, as in a web, and that each act with pure motivation affects the entire web, bringing consequences that we cannot measure or even see.


Insight alone can seem too cool to keep us going. So we also need the heat of compassion, our openness to the world’s pain. Both weapons are necessary to the Shambhala warrior.” Trungpa.


We are currently witnessing massive global upheavals. The deaths of the great institutions that are crumbling politically, financially and philosophically can create great opportunities for positive re-evaluation of values and morals, equity and balance if viewed wisely. Lives will get more difficult before we see positive results, but I believe good will come.  I believe great good is being birthed and like many births, will be unbearably painful if resisted. Compassion and Insight will help us all with these difficult challenging times of transition.


If we wish to be of help at this time, we all have to make our own journeys and each of us must find the meaning of a loving and enlightened society and how it can be realized.

Shambhala warriors know that there is a basic human wisdom that can help solve the world’s problems. A human wisdom, nothing to do with education, religion or culture, and it is freely available to each of us. If we attune ourselves and listen with our hearts, spiritual guidance is available to us all. This, I believe, is now a matter of urgency!


Nelson Mandela stated, “ There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others will not feel uncomfortable around you! You were born to manifest the glory of Spirit, it is not just in some people it is in all of us!”

Each of us can make a difference. Two marks of warrior-ship are bravery and fearlessness. Do not be afraid of who you really are and let your unique light shine.



Shine! Step out of that which limits you! Know that all the huge changes that are happening in our world are part of a higher purpose and spiritual evolution. If each of us can bring balance to our own lives and work from a place of love, changes at an energetic vibrational level will occur. Every one of our thoughts, words and deeds can make a difference. So, can we change the world?  Barak Obama’s mantra is, “Yes we can!” That’s my mantra too and it’s why I am not buying into the media hype that the future looks bleak. The future is bright depending on the way you choose to view it!  I look forward 2014.


Judith Ashton teaches massage and spiritual awareness and will be running courses throughout 2014. Please call 0567724007 for details or email :




“Connections” magazine asked contributors for their definition of healing in one short paragraph: by Judith Asthon

Personally, I believe we are complex multi-dimensional energy beings on a human journey of form and matter, evolving and waking up to our true nature as conscious beings created in love . We come here as physical, emotional, social, sexual and spiritual beings. Healing means “to make whole”  and  does not only mean “getting better” in the physical sense. We are all in a process of refinement and transformation of consciousness.   C.G.Jung said that he had never had a client “ who was not at root, suffering from a loss of soul .” He was right. I trust that when matters of soul are deeply addressed and a person is motivated to connect consciously to their Essential  Self that this is the deepest healing one can help someone move towards. The physical dies. We need to find a connection to that which never dies. This enables us to live fully and to die well.  When we try to understand the inexplicable ; the concepts of Grace and Miracles, we  realise that healing is  incomprehensible.  See the stories of Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander and you will get a sense of what I mean. I believe we cannot define something that is so complex that it defies limitation.

A Journey Of The Heart

Massage Mindful Touch
& Meditation

Residential Course
Sli an Chroi, Kiltegan, Co.Wicklow.
August 2nd- 8th 2014

The Course:

Judith’s approach is a subtle combination of mindful touch, massage, deep relaxation and meditation. You are invited to listen to the intuitive wisdom of your own body. Judith has a deep understanding of the transformative power of touch and the energy that can be released to free us from blockages. Learning to listen to and listen with your body empowers you on your journey through life. Your body will always know your truth and will guide you in the right direction, decisions and choices become greatly simplified.

You will have an opportunity to slow down and take time to tune into your own unique rhythms and to explore what your body needs to communicate to you through its own language of subtle movement, breathing patterns and feelings. You will learn to identify and unlock the stresses and tensions in your body by communicating with your own body-mind.

Much of the time on this course is spent lying down, deeply relaxing or being massaged. Working with meditation enables participants to learn in an effortless way.

By the end of the 7 days you will have learned many new skills, will have a deeper understanding of the body and will be able to work with mindful touch & massage with sensitivity and awareness.

Many therapists, counsellors & nurses have enhanced their work by learning this deeply meditative healing approach.

This residential course provides a wonderful and supportive space for learning, personal growth, inter-action and sharing.


Each day starts with a morning meditation at 8 am. (optional) sessions are from 10am – 6pm with breaks for lunch and refreshments. There may be some optional evening events. The delicious vegetarian food is very healthy and organic where possible.


Sli an Chroi. Kiltegan. Co. Wicklow.

The course will be in a purpose built residential centre surrounded by acres of glorious countryside, with streams and gardens to uplift and nourish your spirit. Being out in Nature is vital to our physical, emotional and spiritual well being, it helps us to slow down and unwind …there will be plenty of time to benefit from the surroundings.

Early Bird Fee €599 for bookings by June 1st.

€630 after June 1st

For bookings please ring: 056 7724007 or 087 6976395 or