with Rita Patel & Alan Haras

October 3rd-12th


“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.  To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.  To journey and to be transformed by the journey is be a pilgrim.” ~Mark Nepo


The leadership consultant Dr. Roger Fransecky recently said that travel is no longer a luxury for leaders, but a critical component of building their horizon. To travel as a pilgrim instead of a tourist is to wander in unknown places for the purpose of transformation. It is to see our selves, our work and our world within a larger, more liberating, context. In this way, pilgrimage is a form of “visioning” – where the journey provides new eyes as well as new sights.


For St. Patrick and St. Colman, this visioning process often included periods of reflection within the beautiful landscape of Western Ireland. The Celtic culture refers to these places of beauty, rest, and dreaming as “beds”. Each day of this pilgrimage will be seeded with opportunities to tap and to trust your own unique way of seeing. We will visit some of these sacred sites and spiral around these themes of beauty, rest and dreaming - all the while being fed by the vistas of Connemara and the Burren, nourished by the Irish culture, and supported by intentional reflective exercises. Also, in collaboration with the Burren College of Art, we will spend a day making the familiar strange through shifting our perspective through “no-skills” creative exercises culled from their internationally-acclaimed Creative Difference program. This strategic approach involves recognizing your difference from others, and becoming different from your habitual self, so as to be able to make a difference of significance for others.




  • 8 nights in the West of Ireland – 4 in Connemara and 4 in the Burren.

  • Pre-pilgrimage ~ Each participant will do some reflection to arrive at a question about their life, work or identity to be in conversation with throughout the pilgrimage.

  • Each day of the pilgrimage we will revolve around a word or beautiful question for contemplation.

  • Daily gatherings at the end of each day at the local pubs or common room lodging for reflection and sharing and mutual discovery.

  • 4 nights at Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel en suite rooms (double room). Breakfast and dinner at Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel.

  • 4 nights at Orchard House in Ballyvaughan (Burren) en suite double rooms. Breakfast prepared locally on site.

  • 8 lunches on our outing days from simple picnics to heartier meals

  • 8 dinners prepared locally on site at lodging locations – some dinners may be at restaurants in the Burren.

  • Immersive Creative Difference experience at Burren College of Art

  • Private van transport for our group of 12 (including Rita and Alan) during the pilgrimage and shuttle service from and to Shannon Airport (October 3, 2016 and October 12, 2016).

  • Immersion in some of the more well-known as well as off-the-beaten path places in Connemara and the Burren, rich in story and inspiration, with time for silence and reflection. These wild landscapes and expansive horizons are known for their transformative effect on the human imagination.

***PLEASE NOTE ~ The minimum number of participants for this pilgrimage is 8, and the maximum is 10.  If there are not 8 participants registered and paid by July 15th, the pilgrimage will be canceled and those registered will have their payment refunded.  Registered participants will be notified on July 16th as to the status of the pilgrimage.  Please see the Terms and Conditions for details.***

ITINERARY ~ (subject to modifications and inspirations as needed)

Day 1 – October 3rd

  • Travel to Ireland (overnight)


Day 2-5 Connemara: Stay at Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel


Day 2 – October 4th

  • Meet at 4pm

  • Local walk / hike


Day 3 – October 5th

  • Hike

  • Keane’s Pub

  • Roundstone

  • Gurteen Bay / Dog’s Bay


Day 4 – October 6th

  • Visit different areas of Connemara OR Crough Patrick in County Mayo

  • Evening: Renvyle Beach and Glassilaun Beach for sunset


Day 5 – October 7th

  • Kylemoore Abbey Hike and Gardens


Day 6-9 The Burren: Stay at Orchard House


Day 6 – October 8th

  • We will drive south to the Burren, known for its unique limestone formations. 

  • On the way, we will visit the beautiful ruins of Corcomroe Abbey, a beautiful monastery where John O’Donohue used to celebrate Easter morning mass.

  • Poulnabrone dolmen 


Day 7 – October 9th

  • Blackhead

  • Caher Bridge Garden (Carl)

  • Fanore (Craggagh Cemetery and John O’Donohue’s Grave)

  • Cliffs Moher (entering from Hag’s Head)


Day 8 – October 10th

  • Creative Difference Day - Burren College of Art


Day 9 – October 11th

  • On our final day we will hike over the Burren limestone to visit St. Colman's hermitage at the site of another sacred well set within a hazel grove. 

  • Final meeting will include integrating returning conversation – what’s next


Day 10 – October 12th

  • Departure in the morning, after breakfast.  Please allow 2-3 hours of travel time if you are heading to the airport (Shannon airport takes two hours and Dublin airport takes 3 hours by bus).

Registration deadline is July 15th.  Space is limited to 10 participants.  Cost ~ $3,175*

*Cost does not include airfare.

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