“A time, space, opportunity to connect, relax, meet, share, be present”
Dr Ray O’Neill, GCN’s relationship and mental health columnist, is running the Gay Men’s Samhain Time Out retreat, which provides a space for gay, bi and trans men to unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, become more present, explore expectations and meet new guys in the process.
All that in the picturesque surrounds of one of Ireland’s most stunning natural landmarks, The Burren.
Aside from writing for GCN, Dr Ray O’Neill was also featured on RTÉ’s couple’s relationship advice show Then Comes Marriage?
O’Neill explained a little bit more about the retreat:
“Against increasing on-line but frustrating technological alienation and separation, Time Out is about creating real space and time for gay men to meet, exchange and socialise, who are interested in valuing themselves and establishing connections with other gay men but aren’t completely horrified by honesty, being present, and sharing.
“Time Out opens a space in a unique natural setting for men to have time for themselves, and with each other, to be challenged somewhat but with respect, fun and the nourishment of good food. Time Out asks only to step outside your comfort zone and be there for yourself amidst others.”
Centred around six workshops, discussion groups and interactive activities, plus optional trips out, relaxation and mindfulness exercises, the Time Out retreat is also a space to laugh, have fun and eat good food!
“A guiding theme for this Time Out weekend is to explore the expectations we had/have around our comings out, be it our original coming out, or each time we come out into a bar, or onto an App, or to a group, a potential friend/partner/lover.”
“What is it we are expecting, and how have we managed the frustrations, rejections, disappointments and meetings of our expectations. Have we been too naïve? Foolish? Desperate? Closed? Unrealistic? Are we disappointed?”
When and Where
The event will take place over the Hallowe’en October bank holiday weekend, from Friday, October 27 at 6pm to Monday, October 30 at 3pm and cost just €250 per person sharing (not including your choice of additional fee for group facilitation).
This will cover accommodation at The Red Gates near Ennis, Clare and access to Mountain View Spa hot tub and sauna.
Here’s some more info regarding additional costs:
“The extra costs to cover workshops/facilitation, six meetings over three days, is for each individual participant to decide and place their own value on, in addition to this €250.”
“My expectation is to trust any man who wants to participate in this weekend with this, hoping that the valuing of money will not be the main measure of our investment in this space.”
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News Ireland). All rights reserved.