Sacred Earth: A Contemplative Spiritual Retreat

Come to the sacred island of Iona, where together we will practice listening to the voice of Creation within & all around us.

Sept. 5th-12th 2020 at Bishop's House Retreat Centre, Iona

Retreat leaders: Simon de Voil, Linden de Voil, Jurian Hughes & David Wallace.

We will gather at the “thin place” of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, where heaven and earth are said to press very close to one another. Barely three miles long and one mile wide, this small sacred isle holds a profound peace and breathtaking beauty that touches everyone who goes there. St. Columba (or Colum Cillein Gaelic) established the first Celtic Church and monastic community here in 563 CE, and it is to the roots of that tradition that we will turn, to explore howcontemporary spiritual practices converge with the ancient wisdom of the monks.

Join us for a 7-night / 8-day transformational journey, deepening our connection to thesacred through our relationship with the natural world and through mindful spiritual practices. Ritual, community worship, poetry, body prayer, meditation, journaling, music and movement will be our tools to deeply listen to the voice of The Great Mystery. We will walk the landscape of Iona together as pilgrims, wandering to special places on the island to embrace the wilderness and to pray with nature.

You will be in excellent hands on this journey. Retreat leader Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil was born and raised in Scotland, and knows the island well. He first came to Iona as a baby in his mother’s womb, and he spent much of his childhood roaming her rocky hills and beaches. Simon returned to live and work at the Abbey at Iona from 2006 to 2008. Simon says of Iona, “She is ‘my island’ because in some inexplicable way I belong to her, and I am in her service.” Simon will be joined by his teacher, fellow interfaith minister and dean of One Spirit Seminary, Rev. David Wallace; Linden de Voil, clinical herbalist and plant medicine educator; and Jurian Hughes, senior yoga and movement master at Kripalu Yoga Center. Together we will gather as a community of kindred spirits to worship in a myriad of ways – to give thanks; to celebrate beauty; to share our awe; and to cultivate authentic connection -- to one another, to ourselves, to the land, and to the Exquisite Invisible.

What to Expect

September 5, 2020 

Meet your guides at the ferry terminal in Oban. Travel to Iona is a pilgrimage in itself; we’ll travel together by ferry, coach across the island, and another ferry to arrive on Iona. 

Oban is a three hour train journey from Glasgow; we recommend that you arrive in Oban on Friday and stay overnight at your choice of hotel or B&B to avoid a very early-morning train journey from Glasgow.

September 6, 2020 – September 11, 2020

Rhythm of our days