The Clare Glens

Clare: Seems that you go back to the same places a lot.
Henry: Yeah, it’s like gravity. Big events pull you in.

The Time Travelers Wife demonstrates how we seem to be inexplicably drawn over and over to the same places. Well there is no bigger “event” than the Holy Instant. The non-dual path A Course in Miracles shares that “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” T-26.IX.6 “The Transition” The question is whether I wish to delay or really accept the invitation to Homecoming.

The Clare Glens has been a mystical motif all my life. Set in a broad-leafed valley of the Clare river it delineates a natural boundary between Tipperary and Limerick. The first time I stepped foot into this cool otherworldly refuge I felt I had crossed a magical threshold. This Narnia of ancient Irish forest, sparkling waterfalls and red sandstone bathing pools has remained a draw in my mind. I have not truly reached the sanctuary it offers every time I have visited.

It’s been funny to watch the seeming outward impediments that occur, hot weather, evening midges, un-signposted roads, cold weather, bizarre local directions, wet weather, lost drivers, wild tractors, intrusive hurling matches on loud transistor radios, time commitments that seem to mysteriously crop up, inappropriate clothing, soggy leaves, unhelpful footwear, too many people, no people, lost possessions, fear of slippery rocks, fear of the damp, fear of fast moving water, fear of insects in stagnant water, fear of youths, fear of car parks…

Just a small selection of the hurdles experienced, seemingly by those who gave me a lift or accompanied me over the years.

The truth is you can’t enter the Clare Glens unless you are compleetely surrendered. You will literally not be able to find it. It is not a place located in space and time it is a state of mind. It is a promise of an experience of Presence once touched by a small child in a moment of wonder. The Grace I experienced there was a happy hymn of birdsong, a homily of shifting boundaries real and imagined inside a rustling canopy pierced by shafts of light and captured by deep sinking copper pools amid shinny black mindful steps of self responsibility.

I must accept that all this resistance to tranquility is mine. The most recent visit was very humbling. It began with what was meant to be a concessionary but brief “people pleasing” stroll (before I sat to meditate alone) which unintentionally turned into a 2-hour hike. We actually managed to get disorientated and then lost on an obvious outlying loop walk. I was in deep surrender by the time I found my given rock and relished the few minutes that were left to simply be. The more we endeavor to go off-grid in the future, aim to simplify our possessions to fit an outward ideal or save up to retire from the stress and strain of life—some day—the more we put off this experience of completion, now. There is a Spiritual self-concept that needs forgiving, a pseudo-peace trap of situational thinking that reinforces the belief in a personal struggle.

The sites and sounds of nature are definitely a preference, yet practically I am writing this in my office: a wifi friendly plugged in noisy foodcourt with a blaring soundtrack, beeping machines and charged phone calls. Today I’m not disturbed by it—I’ve been in the Clare Glens mindset for hours. Dolores O’Riordan sings through to my awareness “it’s just your attitude.”

In life I have been very tempted to blame those around me as being uncooperative, I have focused my energy on compromise by explaining the conditions, distracted my self by “being understanding” all the while minimizing and maintaining the reality of the static. The interference is all mine. I can’t be in a rush to get to somewhere quiet and controlled if I am unwilling to embrace the gift of angels given to whisk the mind towards true relief and absolute transcendence. This highway to Heaven via awareness of rage and the desire for retribution, yields a very direct path! How mistaken I have been. How freely given the glint of the coffee machine, the clink of cups and the clash of cutlery. Hidden in a forest of forgiveness opportunities—I could not see the wood, for the trees.

For Miracle turnarounds every time—visit

P.S. After completing this blog I took a break to use the toilet and there covering the entire length of the corridor, (even though I have never noticed it before, despite being here every day) was a 20ft life size photo mural of the Clare Glens!!!!!

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