Sister Stan brings taste of India to Irish coast

Sister Stan Ashram Howth
Stella Morris Convent, Howth

Peace and meditation on offer at convent’s Ashram

The renowned social campaigner Stanislaus Kennedy, more commonly known as Sister Stan, is bringing a corner of India to rural Ireland.

She has joined forces with an Indian priest, Fr Korko Moses, to create an Ashram – a place of peace and meditation – at a convent in Co. Dublin. Visitors to the Stella Maris convent, which overlooks the cliffs of Howth, will be able to experience the Ashram until July 30.

Here they will get the chance to practise yoga and meditation, while discovering solitude, peace and community.

Ashrams have become increasingly popular around the world, branching out from their origins in India and Sri Lanka, and were famously utilised by The Beatles.

Sister Stan Ashram Howth
Sister Stan

Fr Moses established one in Tamil Nadu in southern India and claims it was inspired by Christian and Eastern spiritual traditions. Now he has worked with Sister Stan, who founded The Sanctuary, a spiritual centre in the heart of Dublin, to give Irish people the chance to discover an Ashram for themselves.

Sister Stan Ashram Howth
Fr. Korko Moses

Sister Stan has stressed that it is open to people of all faiths, religions, and those who are not faith orientated.

“This is about contemplation and meditation. I have faith but that does not mean that others should follow me,” she said. “An Ashram experience is an opportunity for all people to ask the deep and meaningful questions of life.

“They can allow their own answers to unfold whatever they may be.”

She added that the centre will be particularly appealing to those who struggle to find the time to take a step back and relax during their daily lives.

Sister Stan Ashram Howth
Stella Morris Convent

“There is little time in our lives to reflect these days – reflection and spirituality are needed so that human beings can develop wisdom,” she explained. “They are also life skills that need attention to nurture them. It is powerful when people come together to practice and to live simply.

“It reinforces our ability to process and make sense of our lives. There is only so much we can take in before we need to stop and take stock.”

Sister Stan, who is best known for setting up the homelessness charity Focus Ireland, praised young people and their attitudes towards multiculturalism.

Sister Stan Ashram Howth
Sister Stan with Dublin based German artist artist Vera Klute who was commissioned to paint this portrait of her for the National Gallery of Ireland.

Sister Stan says that any visit to the Ashram would be a totally independent and individual experience, something she learnt when she visited Fr Moses’ centre in 1998.

“We are all individuals with our own conditions, life experiences and conditioning,” she said. “We bring all of this to the contemplative experience of staying at an Ashram but really it is an individual experience.

“It is difficult to say what people might experience. What I can say is that there are endless possibilities to how beauty and the mystery of life may unfold if we would just take a look.”

Visitors can book a five or three day residential stay for €400 and €255 respectively, while there are a limited number of one day places available for €55.

For more information and to book visit www.sanctuary.ie

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