Thursday, 22 December 2016

Special Gift For Christmas And Always

My most treasured Gifts areTime, Silence and Space .
These are the gifts I give myself a Christmas and through out the year.
For me, Silence and Space are like oxygen, I shrivel up without quiet time.
So top of my list of Gifts this Christmas is Time .
Gifts don't just appear by themselves they have to be chosen wrapped and recieved.
So I chose the time and wrap myself in silence, asking my mind to let go of all worries and thoughts of what needs to be done.
 Giving myself this Gift allows me to recharge my betteries and be fully present when the party begins.
Having the quiet time allows me to enjoy the really welcome friends and family especially when I know that there will be many more Slient Gifts to come.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Partner Work

I am so grateful to my teachers  John Kells and his student Steven Moore who inspired me to devote so much time and energy to partner work. Being in their company and experiencing their love and devotion to practise has nourished my T'ai Chi and sustained practise over many years.
Exploring this Art is a fabulous way to develop self awareness, love, patience and joy.  In these days before Christmas when the air is full of excitement it is wonderful to relax into some silent T'ai Chi and calm the body mind and spirit.

One of John's Pushing Hands exercises. from ann on Vimeo.

November workshop from ann on Vimeo.

Cross energy partner work   (  2 person ) in Open Focus from ann on Vimeo.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Letting Go Of Wanting To Be Right

Wanting to BE RIGHT is a major block in life. This 'wanting' is often difficult to recognise as we usually don't just think we want to Be Right we 'believe'  that we are Right. We are usually doing our best in life and wouldn't consciously do something to keep us stuck, so this aspect of our personality is mostly unconscious. In learning to recognise our 'wanting to be right ' we have the opportunity to let go and experience life in ways we previously couldn't have imagined. In my experience all belief is a hold back. Any time we are sure about anything we have closed our minds we are not just 'wanting to be right ' we are fully convinced that we ARE RIGHT.
All our judging of others is a form of trying to convince ourselves that we are Right and they are wrong.This keeps us from meeting people in a fresh new way open to seeing aspects of them that remain hidden when we have already decided how they are.
I find that when I release my feelings and beliefs about the people I know they often surprise me in the way they behave. I stand in awe at the fun we can have together once I let go of the belief that they are 'boring' .

Monday, 5 December 2016

T'ai Chi Lessons for Castletownbere Christmas 2016

Here are the videos we made yesterday, plenty of T'ai Chi to practise until I see you all in 2017.
Lots of Love Ann XXX

Waving Hands Practice from ann on Vimeo.

Short  From Kicks from ann on Vimeo.

Fair Lady Weaves The Shuttle from ann on Vimeo.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

New Little Form

Here finally is the Parting Horse's Mane video I promised weeks ago. It plays fine don't know why it's all 'stripey' but I hope it is useful in learning this new little Form I developed to help  T'ai Chi beginners come to terms with moving in a T'ai Chi way. I love that people can learn it in a few lessons and this allows them to relax into the flow of movement rather than having to focus on remembering all the postures. It gives people an opportunity to really experience the meditative aspects of T'ai chi in just a few lessons.

Parting Horse's Mane Form from ann on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Lessons for Castletownbere Class

Here are the two lessons we worked on yesterday, keep up the practise. Looking forward to my next trip West already !!!

Fair lady weaves the shuttle beginning posture. from ann on Vimeo.

Needles at sea bottom to iron fan penetrates back. from ann on Vimeo.

The First Snow


Snow on the distant Kerry mountains as I drove west heralded a wonderful day ahead.

By the time i got to Kenmare the sky was bright blue and the water still.

As I looked across the bay to Killarney I knew I'd be taking the 'long' way home.

What a view from the Gallery, it really enhances our t'ai chi practise.

Over Molls Gap I had to stop and take in the view,

Clouds melting in to the snow capped mountains,

Rust, brown and blue to delight the eye,

Stillness and beauty to nourish the soul. A day of perfection from the very beginning through the sharing of T'ai Chi to the journey home. My heart sang with gratitude for this life and the wonderful people I get to meet along my path. Blessings to you all. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Amazing Dzogchen Beara

Sunrise on Saturday morning what a perfect sight to begin our day.

Stunning views on all the walks,

 Light changing with the cloud formations,

Still and silent,

 As the evening drew in,

 And a beautiful moon shone on the vast ocean of calm.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Dzogchen Beara - A Beautiful Journey

The flags were waving adeiu as Tricia and I drove away from Dzogchen Bears on Sunday afternoon.

Rainbows as I passed along the road near  Eyeries,

Then the magical ocean views,

 And pyramidal mountains to feed my dreams,

 Opening  my imagination in ways beyond words,

These magical journeys nourish my heart and spirit so much and now I am delighted to be drawing more people to this magical place of peace.  Tricia and I are delighted with the response to our second Retreat in Dzogchen Beara. We are all set for a wonderful weekend of Mindfulness and T'ai Chi Quiet and Connection.
Much Love and Gratitude Ann and Tricia 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Power Of Smiling

  Recently I came across some new research showing that we learn faster when we smile. When we have that subtle upward turn in our mouth we also have an inward turn upward, a lift in our spirit.
 Try this yourself make an inward smile just hold it for a few seconds and a feeling of contentment will ensue. Now do the opposite turn your face into an angry frown and hold this expression for a few seconds notice how this produces a quite different and not so pleasant feeling. So knowing that smiling produces a more positive attitude and feeling I wondered why we don't just do it? Any practise including smiling takes a little effort, one must set an intention to be aware of one's expression and choose to smile. We are mostly unconscious of our facial expressions and are so busy with life to pay attention to our expressions. Learning to become more conscious moment to moment is one of the greatest benefits of T'ai Chi, Releasing, Mindfulness Yoga and all other arts that tune us in to awareness. Each time we begin an exercise in T'ai Chi  we remind ourselves to make an inward subtle smile, with the daily practise the smile becomes a habit, a positive habit that helps not just our mood but also helps to keep us healthy and live longer.
Ron Gutman's Ted talk is really interesting and confirms how beneficial smiling is for our lives.
The hidden power of smiling

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Lismore castle such an imposing sight,

 Overlooking the Blackwater,

Flowing gently along these lush pastures.

There is something very restful about these calm autumn days.

It's been ages since we had such a dry autumn and time to enjoy all the colours,

that deepen with each week.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

T'ai Chi and Mindfulness Retreat in Dzogchen Beara Almost Full

Our weekend in Dzogchen Beara is almost full just 2 spaces remaining.
  Taking time to nourish body mind and spirit is never more important than as the winter approaches, days are getting shorter and colder and we prepare to 'hibernate'. This is a great time to turn inwards and reflect on the year that is almost complete, to clear space in and around ourselves so we can be open to a fresh approach to our life. We all tend to repeat patterns in life and the only way to break free is by firstly recognising that we are stuck in the pattern. If we keep rushing around we never have the time to even realise that we are stuck.
In this weekend we will Stop the rushing and racing we will Slow Down as we move, We will Slow Down as we nourish ourselves with food, we will take the time to be fully present in each moment and allow this presence to awaken us to the wonder of life lived fully in each moment.
Take a moment right now to to Slow Down, notice your next breath and allow yourself to really feel it. notice it in your nostrils and in your chest , allow it to nourish every cell in your body. Give yourself the time for even just one l breath makes a difference . Now imagine giving yourself a weekend to breath in the fresh Atlantic Air to take in the vast expanse of ocean and sink fully into an experience of presence.  Join us and give yourself the gift of TIME.

This weekend will be a unique opportunity for you to get to know yourself through stillness, movement, and connection. With T'a Chi led by Ann McIlraith and Mindfuness with Trisha Lyne and fresh, locally sourced vegetarian cuisine by Maureen Fitzpatrick, this retreat promises to be a deeply restorative time for body and mind.

Weekend Retreat: €200 including all classes, meals and snacks.

Accommodation: There is a wide variety of onsite accommodations available, please contact us for more details.

Contact: Ann McIlraith, 087 6616 800 /
Trisha Lyne, 027 71980 /

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Great Day In West Cork

Playing with the ball in a circle. from ann on Vimeo.

We had a great session in Castletownbere today working on softness and connection in this beautiful setting.

A magical misty start to my journey west,  I couldn't resist stopping to take a photo of these cows.

Then they all came running towards me such beautiful curious animals.

The Paps were clear on my way home.

                 So soft and mysterious.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Releasing Resistance

Investigating Resistance from ann on Vimeo.

In T'ai Chi practise we investigate resistance. What does resistance feel like physically? When someone pushes you as in the video above, you can respond by pushing back or by yielding (releasing) and 'allowing' the pusher to fall forward. In this practise one aspect of resistance become obvious,  In order to feel resistance you must be pushing back!!!! Wow I can still remember my AHA moment when the truth of this struck me.  If I stop pushing back I can't feel like I'm being pushed. If I yield to life and go with the flow i have stopped resisting.
Resisting things in our life is often difficult to recognise. However as soon as you ask yourself to list the things in your life that you want to change you become aware of what you are resisting.
 Wanting to change or control things and people in our lives is another way of thinking of resistance.
How much time in our day do we 'waste' trying to change or 'fix ' people. Here in Ireland we spend a lot of time resisting the rain, does it work, has the rain stopped? No! And all our resisting does is build up frustration inside of us.
In releasing we remind ourselves to let go of resisting, and allow what is to be.
If this is too difficult we welcome the resistance and really allow ourselves to feel it fully. This is a form of releasing because at least we have stopped resisting our resistance.
If you make a list of the things( and people) in your life that you are wanting to change and let go of wanting to change and or fix them you will notice a change happening.
Firstly you will free up a lot of energy that was being used in resisting.
You will be more present in your life and relationships which will allow you to enjoy your life more fully.
We all feel it ether consciously or subconsciously when someone is trying to control us and we don't like it, it makes us want get away from those people. People feel it from us when we are trying to change or fix them and they don't like it either. When we stop doing this our relationships really blossom.