Experiential/ Contemplative Journey – Ireland


The Ireland Experiential/Contemplative Journey

2024 Applications Now Available!

May 12 - 18 

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2024 Application 

Join our founder, Gisele Theriault, on a Sacred R & R in the Burren region of Ireland in County Clare.
• be well nourished in body, mind and soul while staying with me in the mystical Burren.
• we will take the opportunity to deepen our meditation practice, both sitting and walking, we will enjoy the crystal sounding bowls and qigong.
• yoga and music, on and off sites with Irish folklorist Jack Harrison, author of Celtic Yoga.
• yoga with Helga Himmelsbach, founder of Burren Wellness Centre and Yoga Studio.
• meditative experiential jewelry making project with Gisele at the Burren Art College.
• visit sacred sites with author of traditional healing, Eilis Shona. 
experience the Irish charm in music and culture.



We will have a new house for this retreat. It is located at the Flaggy Shore. A place that has calmed the hearts of many, me included. To ensure an intimate and sacred experience we will be accepting a maximum of 8-10 people. I strongly believe that in order to ensure the ultimate experience for all participants, it is important to do our best to ensure synergy between all attendees. 


W H Y  R E T R E A T  ?

I have come to realize that the best ways to step more deeply into our lives is to step out of our lives as we know them. 

Retreats and pilgrimages offer a different lens to the same eyes, allowing us to reconnect with our wonder and spirit.  Adding purpose and a deeper meaning to personal travel has been a passion of mine for over a decade. Once again, I’m very excited to invite you along.


Join me to explore some of my favourite mystical places and friends in Ireland where we will learn to deepen our practice of connection, compassion and gratitude while replenishing our well.


A C C O M M O D A T I O N S 

We stay in a beautiful manor home in New Quay where we can rejuvenate after our daily outings and all be together under one spectacular roof.  

All nourishing breakfasts are at the house and some evening meals.

There is wifi in the house and laundry facilities.   

 A C T I V I T I E S 

Our mornings begin with a gentle qigong practice, then a check in circle and meditation, taking some time to set intentions and welcome the day. This is where we will begin to weave the theme for the day’s adventures into our waking selves.



Our outings may include a trip to Aran Island or the bed of St. Colman with folklorist Jack Harrison, forest bathing at Coole Park with Eilis Haden-Storrie, a day at the Burren College of Art with Gisele carving a meditation ring or a memorable dinner and music at Jack's pop up kitchen.


Yoga with both Helga and Jack will be accessible for all. Their lifetime experience and approach to yoga is restorative and connects us to our breathing at best. 

You get to have a contemplative creative day with me at the amazing Burren College of Art. This day is dedicated to creating and carving a wax or your own piece of reflective jewelry. I will prepare you with everything you need. (Ring casting to metal fees apply, should you choose to have it made) The object is to observe working from our heart centres regardless of how many time we jump into our heads, we return to our heart’s loving acceptance of what is. 

Ultimately, my goal is to return you home restored, refreshed and fully inspired.




Kim H. 

In Orchard House in Ballyvaughn
eleven pilgrims gather round.
Each one called in their own way
to retreat, reflect, nourish and play.
A circle formed, Gisele is the heart,
new friends found, each one a part
of a magical fellowship about to begin
as we all breathe together and settle in.
Six full days, time stands still
as every moment is lived to it’s fill.
Restorative yoga with Helga and Jack,
guitar and song pull us back
to our bodies and breath, we are one
leaning on each other difficult poses are done.
Contemplative walks on the Burren and shore, heart shaped rocks appear galore.
Creativity inspired by paint and design
as pictures appear and rings so fine.
Barry’s vision quest to go within,
insights found, new journeys begin.
Foraging with David, food beautifully prepared, in celebration meals are shared.
Each day begun with meditation and intent
ending with crystal bowl vibrations, the day is spent.
And as the retreat comes to a close
we come together in communal repose.
Bags packed and ready to depart
we take each other with us, carried in our hearts.

With love, Kim ❤️


Sue Kenney 

This retreat was a most sacred and spiritual journey for me especially because it was held in the mystical land of the Irish. Each moment in the presence of Gisele was precious and filled with sage wisdom, joy and unconditional love. The daily activities always included time with the great Mother Earth, moments of creativity, a very unique yoga class and walking the earth. I loved the food, which was organic/vegetarian and of exceptional quality. The accommodations were in a gorgeous home with private bathrooms, a large kitchen and huge garden in the back. I would strongly recommend this retreat to anyone interested in an experience that could shift your creativity, offer time for mindfulness, a connection with the earth and/spiritual advancement. I hope to be able to go again one day.


Caroline Wharton 

I highly recommend this beautiful retreat. Just being around Gisele is healing on its own...but add to that spending 7 days in The Burren with her and her lovely retreat guests, and you will feel restored, nourished and revitalized. Gisele holds a very special place for each of her guests. The luxury accommodation and daily routines are rich with comfort, balance, mindfulness, meditation, nourishment, yoga, exploring, contemplation, nature, deep connection & friendships.

There’s magic and mystery in The Burren...it’s a very mystical place. Gisele has developed a deep connection to this part of Ireland and her community there includes some of the finest specialists in yoga, history, culinary arts and Art itself at the famous Burren College of Art where we spent a day making meditation rings for ourselves! Every day was a treat to wake up to. We would form a morning circle around Gisele’s crystal sound bowls...then the theme of the day would be introduced and Gisele would read a poem or quotes meant to support the theme. From there we were led into meditation. Blissful start to each day. Our daily group meals were amazing, we either cooked at home or enjoyed the local fare at pubs/cafes along the way. We visited the ocean shores, the Cliffs of Moher, markets, historical parks, pubs, a castle and more. Each day brought a new adventure and exploration.

We were completely nourished, body and soul. Thank you again Gisele. You are very special & I look forward to my next retreat!



This retreat was about so much more than just yoga and meditation. As a novice meditator, Gisele's approach to meditation made me feel completely comfortable and able to relax and open my mind to something new.

Hiking the Burren with a local guide and experiencing yoga with two different instructors in multiple locations was enlightening. There is no other landscape that can compare to the rugged beauty of the ever changing Burren.

Carving rings at the Burren College of Art was an amazing experience and receiving a beautiful piece of jewellery designed and carved by me was both humbling and a huge accomplishment!

The things that tied all of these experiences together was the opportunity to experience the local cuisine, hospitality, markets and lifestyle of the Burren. I have never felt more comfortable and welcome on a vacation or more accepted as myself on a retreat! A truly life altering experience.


~ Angela W.

This was the ultimate retreat! The perfect amount of doing and non-doing, inner reflection and connection. So much care, compassion and joy right down to the finest of details. Gisele has curated the most gorgeous experience - Yoga with exquisite teachers (for absolute beginner or advanced practitioner), nutritious and delicious food morning noon and night, creative projects that ended in beautiful and wearable art..made from the heart, laughter...and the beauty and charm of the Burren. I could not recommend this retreat any higher - it made my soul happy!


~ Melinda Burke 

Like a weaving, each of us ( we were 8. ), held a thread or two, to ebb and flow through the fibres, mindfully selected for us, by Gisele, who continued to sensitively make adjustments, as the design of our integrated journey took form.   As breath, our time together fully engaged the "in" and the " out", of self and of Ireland, the magic and the mystery of joy and sorrow, the enchantment of the elementals and the fairies. We came and went, daily, from our safe and 'delicious' haven in Ballyvaughan, to relish spring awakenings in the Burren, the surge of the surf at the Cliffs and the tranquility of the moment. Saying "yes" to an adventure across the ocean, with a woman I had only just met, was for me, an exercise in trust and letting go. I can only state, with gratitude, that it was a true gift. Thank you, to Giselle and all the other amazing personalities and landscapes she helped weave together, to make this journey a tapestry of the soul:) Melinda


~ Lisa Clark 

I don’t think the retreat could have been better. The house/home was spectacular and so comfortable; it was warm and spacious, the meals were delicious and all with the Burren just outside the window. I think each day was well planned and I liked that we shifted things around with the weather.

My favourite memories are Jack’s yoga classes with the poetry and music, the trip to Harry’s farm and his incredible enthusiasm, the goat lady and her wonderful cheeses, and our hikes on the Burren. Each day was special in its own way.

In our first meditation you spoke about the journal and how we could note things that might come up over the course of the retreat. I thought to myself - oh that won’t be happening to me, I’ve dealt with my stuff, lots of meditation, talk therapy, and such ... I’m good. However day one, our hike on the Cliffs and its particular challenges for me, certainly changed all that. And as I reflect on the retreat, I realize that it was perfect in that way. It gave me time to see again, who I am, how I "go about" in this world, how I deal with challenges, and what I love about myself.

I have a whole new breakfast regime, homemade granola, pumpkin seed oil etc. and a fresh perspective on me.

What you are embarking on is so brave, a simplification of life in a world that is anything but simple. Please keep us posted on your travels. Love Lisa


If you have any questions regarding the retreats, feel free to email me directly at gisele@tbds.org and we can schedule a phone conversation. Or  Click here to make your deposit and reserve your spot today!

Until then, stay blessed


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