For some months now, the Mary Aikenhead Heritage Centre has hosted weekly Mindfulness Meditation sessions. These weekly Tuesday “events”, have been attended and enjoyed by many staff members from Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin. No in-depth knowledge of meditation is necessary to attend. All one needs to bring is “themselves” and a willingness to try it!
John Doherty, who facilitates these sessions, is a very experienced practitioner who helps guide all present through the session. A fantastic welcome is provided by the Centre’s manager, Sr. Maria Coates and sandwiches are provided to attendees. The session itself could be seen as a food for the soul but its effectiveness is greatly enhanced by the calming atmosphere that the Heritage Centre offers. The centre is housed in the original hospice building that opened its doors in 1879, and although modernised and a rival to any modern museum or information centre, is still embodied with the caring, relaxing air that the hospice has always had. This is enhanced further by the sound of flowing water, offered by the centre’s spectacular and soothing water fountain, which is found in the central courtyard of the centre. The mindfulness sessions are held in the quiet room which is beside this courtyard. With such busy lives, attending these sessions gives the opportunity to take time out on a weekly basis, to reconnect with oneself, and “top up” on the “head” energy needed to get through the busy week. Entering the Heritage Centre, one can “close the door” on the their busy routine for a short time and embrace the calm to clear ones head and enable facing work with renewed energy and vigour. Dr. Aoife Gleeson