An Irish Secret Garden

Let’s take a minute to clear the thoughts that we have brought into the room with us.

Settle into a comfortable position, keeping your back as straight as possible

Become aware of your head being supported gently as you loosen the tension in your neck and jaws.

Rest your hands lightly on your knees; palms upwards or downwards, as you find more comfortable Become aware of your breathing

Notice the inhalation

And pause

Then a relaxed exhalation

And pause

Allow your breath to flow normally You have been on a journey
You have been following a particular path

You chose that path for many different reasons

This is your an cosán (in Irish…the way)

Take a moment to recall the reasons you chose your life’s path

Be glad of the good reasons, the honourable reasons for the choices you have made

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the dishonourable reasons for your choices before you gently usher them out of your mind


Look up now from the path of your everyday life

There, just ahead of you, is a walled garden
And in the middle of the wall there is a wrought iron gate

It is slightly ajar
Through the fretwork you catch a glimpse of the garden

It is the end of the day It is dusk

with all the mystical beauty and significance that every dusk brings

A low sun is sending its late gift of warmth and light

A chiaroscuro of indigo and gold and turquoise

Overhead, the murmuration of a hundred starlings

You gently push open the gate and step into the garden

into an Irish secret garden

where anything is possible

Breathe in now

Inhale the scent of the evening

The muskiness of the peace rose

The headiness of jasmine and petunia

Suigh síos (be seated)

The voice of the garden invites you to be seated

Let the peace of this place heal your body

Let the beauty of these surroundings fill your imagination

Let the mystery of this space enter your soul

Take a moment now

Become aware of your breathing in and breathing out

Acknowledge the life-force within you

Gradually become aware of other life forms coming to rest around you

Imagine the honey bees…returning to their hives

Small rodents…preparing for a night of foraging

Gossamer-winged moths…drawn by the night scents like lovers to their beds

Let your heart swell with gratitude for every living thing

for the full spectrum of colour and form

on the planet

in your imagination accept every created thing as family

for…in truth
you and they…
are all made of the same stuff
you came from the humus
and it is to the humus that you will return

Look up now
at the vastness of the sky above the garden

for there are no walls that can contain the sky

and see that the moon is rising

a pendant…of antique silver…

a peaceful satellite that lives…

only to bathe us in its borrowed light

swallow the moonlight

let it illuminate the darkest parts of you

welcome it into the furthest reaches of your body

to banish fear and anxiety…

for the moon is like a mother who comes to her child at bedtime… to whisper

coladh sámh

dream sweetly

go n-éirí an bohar leat

may the road rise to meet you


You brought your weariness to the garden

You journeyed here
in hope
and trust in the order and beauty
that exists in your own heart

So…now…with each in-spiration… accept the gifts that nature brings…

of plants and animals and insects and birds

of sounds and scents…

of sun and moon and the promise of an endless return of new life

Silently…now…make your own expression of gratitude for everything that nature has given you


And…when you choose to leave the garden…

leave the gate slightly ajar
for those who will come after you


May each one of us find the secret garden

And may the peace
that is at the heart of all created things reside within us
until we are gently gathered in
by the harvester of our souls



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