Haelan Retreat | Ireland with Michele Chaban and Gisele Theriault

Haelan - to heal and make oneself whole, by exploring and gathering, all the resources available to us in any moment in time, through our opening and broadening awareness.

You are invited to join Gisele Theriault, founder of Mindful Necessities and Michele Chaban MSW, RSW, PhD as they cultivate a refuge from the terrors of life that surround and abound our everyday.  

Experience Ireland not as a tourist but as kin to the land and the journey.


The Haelan retreat will focus on the concepts and cultivation of self-care, inner compassion, and strategies to beckon oneself to be-come more whole in a world where individuality is coveted as a right, while self is often denied, if not existent. We will explore assumptions that accompany these intentions and explore personal and collective pathways to haelan.

The intention of haelan (to make whole) is to release us from the illusion that any of us are separate from each other, the relationships we hold and the world we live in. Come explore the collective and boundlessness of this practice of mindfulness through thought, word, deed and practice.

Together we will:

  • Replenish body,  mind and spirit with us  in the mystical Burren.
  • Cultivate the opportunity to deepen y/our meditation practice, sitting, walking and embodying.
  • Forage from land and sea to table with David Donohue, author and songwriter who is passionate about the wild organics of Ireland. This evening we share the meal we create with some extraordinary locals at the house. A day that is fulfilling on so many levels.
  • Integrate  restorative yoga with music, on and off sites with Irish folklorist/archeologist/singer-songwriter/yogi  Jack Harrison, author of Celtic Yoga. Should I go on? ;-)
  • Recalibrate in restorative yoga with Helga Himmelsbach, founder of Burren Wellness Centre and Yoga Studio.
  • Re-member ourselves about the simple joys of contemplative creative play at the Burren College of Art in a  jewelry making project with Gisele.
  • Explore sacred sites, wondering and wandering the land.

September 1 - 7, 2019

€1500. (approximately $1710. USD at this time) based on double occupancy. + 500 for a single room, if available.

Airfare not included.                                                                                                         

To ensure an intimate and sacred experience we will be accepting a max of 10 people

If this is calling your name, contact gisele@tbds.org | 416-979-3456

Yes Rumi, Only through the heart can you touch the sky.

Michele Chaban MSW, RSW, PhD. Founding and Former Director of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program at University of Toronto, Canada. Founding and Former Director of the Temmy Latner Center of Palliative Medicine at University of Toronto, Family Counselling Program.

Gisele Theriault, artist and creator of The Barber's Daughter and founder of Mindful Necessities.  MN supports mindful practice through creating contemplative product and experience. 


P A Y M E N T   

€250 deposit required to reserve your spot. Once accepted we will be in touch with the full enrolment package. Please email gisele@tbds.org to apply.

A payment schedule is possible with the final payment 60 days before retreat starts.

Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard, PayPal or e-transfers.

We can do the dollars to euros conversion for you. For today's exchange rate please click here.

P R I C E   I N C L U D E S

  • Accommodations 
  • Organic breakfasts and lunch or dinner each day.
  • All transportation in Ireland during the retreat. 
  • All meditations, talks with Michele Chaban, yoga witn Helga at the Burren Wellness Centre, and Jack Harrison of Celtic Yoga. 
  • Teachings and outings to sacred sites. 
  • A workshop at the Burren College of Art with Gisele (excluded is the material costs of the finished ring)

N O T   I N C L U D E D  

Airfare – you are expected to make your own arrangements. The occasional lunch or dinner, depending upon the day’s activities.

C A N C E L L A T I O N   P O L I C Y

IF you should need to withdraw your application 90 days before the retreat begins 10% of the trip cost,  (€150) will be non-refundable.  If you withdraw after 90 days, any refund will depend upon whether we are able to find someone else to fill your place, but in any case, will still be subject to the 10% administration fee. 

C U R R E N C Y   A N D   S P E N D I N G   M O N E Y  

You are advised to bring at least €30 per day for a meal, drinks, etc. - more if you wish to buy local crafts and woolens. The currency in Ireland is the euro.  There are no ATM machines in the village of Ballyvaughan so it is best to withdraw money at Shannon Airport. Credit cards are accepted in most places. 

T R I P   C A N C E L L A T I O N   I N S U R A N C E 

I highly advise that you cover yourself with trip cancellation and medical insurance. This insurance is often available through your credit card provider or a travel agency you may book your flight with.  


We will be one hour from the Shannon airport by car and 3 hours from Dublin.  If you are arriving in Dublin please contact me for arrangements. There are buses into Ballyvaughan.


As the nearest airport is an hour away please schedule your flights not earlier that 8:30am to accommodate travel time and adequate time for airport check in and security.

P A S S P O R T 

You must have a valid passport to travel. Please ensure that it does not expire within six months of returning home.

Please notify us soon as you know you’re interested as space is limited.




Sue Kenney on Jan 14, 2018

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 on Dec 16, 2017

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!


Christa on Dec 10, 2017

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. on Dec 04, 2017

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 Dec 25, 2017

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 May 29, 2018

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