Jung in Ireland

The Wisdom of Uncertainty

A Program with the Monks of Glenstal Abbey

March 28—April 3, 2022

Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.

—Søren Kerkegaard

Program Overview

What can we be sure of in a world that is constantly changing? Do we need to be certain, or can uncertainty be both blessing and a necessary means to our knowing, understanding, and reaching clarity? Being uncertain does not mean an abdication of choice, a resignation to inaction, or an abandonment of Ego driven decisions that need to be made. To rephrase Ecclesiastes, there is a time for all seasons—a time to make decisions, a time to wait, and a time to know what we do not know.  

Tolerating uncertainty is difficult for some who need to have no “loose ends” in their lives, and for these people any action is better than no action. When someone is caught in such a syndrome, they forget it is important to leave room for the unknown to emerge, to hold on to the mystery of what may yet develop. It is important that we connect with, and trust, our Unconscious as well as our intuition. If we are patient, open, and attuned to what Jung describes as the Self, perhaps a solution will make its way into our consciousness and help us decide. Dreams can speak to us and provide an inner guide to show the way. Or a Synchronistic event may offer a sign to call our attention to the confluence of our inner and outer worlds. Other tools to help us with decision making can be the practice of Active Imagination; consulting the I-Ching or other methods of inquiry; partaking in the creative arts such as music, dance, and painting; or being inspired by nature.

In short, we must learn to read, and listen to, what the Psyche is spontaneously saying to us and what the Self is calling for. Uncertainty and doubt can open new paths of exploring the world around and within us. Having the wisdom to make room for uncertainty and mystery in our lives is a vital aspect of Individuation and often the path toward discovering what the soul really needs.

Program Details

March 28-April 3, 2022
County Limerick

Cost: $2,980* includes:

  • Six nights’ accommodations at Old Ground Hotel in Ennis
  • Transportation by coach to and from Glenstal Abbey throughout the program
  • All presentations and discussions
  • Full breakfast daily; all breaks for coffee and tea; lunches on March 29, 30 and April 1; welcoming and farewell dinners at Old Ground hotel (March 28 and April 2) and dinner with some of the Monks of Glenstal Abbey on March 30

Register with confidence: Your deposit is 100% refundable if Covid restrictions cause us to cancel this trip. 

If you have questions feel free to email us anytime or call the office between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday: 845-256-0191.

Continuing Education Credits available
CE credits are available for Psychologists, Social Workers, Licensed Psychoanalysts, LCSW, LPCC, LEP, LMFT, and Nurses for both programs. Find details here.

Certificates of attendance are available at a cost of $10 per certificate for those who do not require Continuing Education Credits. Find details here.

Learn more about the week with the Monks of Glenstal Abbey…

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The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare.

The Setting: County Clare

On this week we will be situated in picturesque Country Clare spending our days meeting at the Glenstal Abbey, a short distance from our accommodations in the town of Ennis, where we will stay at the Old Ground Hotel. 

Glenstal Abbey Aerial View | nyjungcenter.org

Glenstal Abbey

Glenstal Abbey, home to a community of monks (many renowned scholars among them), is a Benedictine monastery on the southwest coast of Ireland. It sits on over 300 acres, with streams, lakes, woodland paths, and an enchanting walled garden. Surrounding a castle built in the romantic Norman style, the Abbey houses a world-famous collection of Russian icons and one of the most important private libraries in Ireland, with a substantial collection of antiquarian books (many dating back to the fifteenth century) on Irish history, Irish literature, biography, and art.

Village of Ennis Ireland | nyjungcenter.org

The Town of Ennis

The charming town of Ennis lies on the banks of the River Fergus—a short drive from some of Ireland’s most notable sites including Bunratty Castle, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, and the west coast of Ireland. Founded in the thirteenth century, medieval Ennis developed into a thriving market town that continues to this day. Known for its music and poetry festivals, and especially for traditional Irish music, Ennis treasures its history and culture and is proud to share its past and present with visitors.

Accommodations: Old Ground Hotel, Ennis

The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis is a beautifully restored, ivy-clad manor house with newly refurbished guest rooms that are both stylish and spacious. The hotel offers two restaurants and the picturesque “Poet’s Corner Bar.” Known for its warm Irish hospitality and gourmet meals using local produce, it is an ideal base for our program. A five-minute walk takes one to the heart of the village, the town square, the thirteenth-century Ennis Friary, and a multitude of shops, restaurants, and bookstores. The pubs in Ennis feature traditional Irish music nightly. Day or evening, Ennis is a perfect town to stroll and a wonderful base for our program.

Burren Region County Clare | nyjungcenter.org

Visit the Sacred Landscape of the Burren

On Thursday the 31st, there will be an optional outing to the Burren region of North Clare — one of the most striking landscapes in all of Ireland. Over countless centuries, the interplay of geology, climate, and human activity have combined to produce a paradoxical experience of nature at its starkest and most fertile. This daylong outing will be led by Conor Ellard who will share the secrets and treasures of the Burren and en-route, enchant us with Irish stories and song. 

The Monks of Glenstal Abbey taking tea.


Thomas Elsner, JD, MA, is a certified Jungian analyst practicing in Santa Barbara, California, and a graduate of the Jung–Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zurich. A core faculty member and highly respected lecturer at Pacifica Graduate Institute for many years where he taught courses on depth psychology and alchemy and has lectured and led workshops on the topic nationally and internationally. A recipient of the distinguished annual Fay Lecture series in analytical psychology, he is the author of a soon to be published book on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Mark Patrick Hederman, former abbot of Glenstal Abbey, has been a monk of Glenstal Abbey for over 40 years. Founding editor of The Crane Bag Journal of Irish Studies, he spent the first years of the new century wandering in search of the Holy Spirit, allowing inspiration and coincidence to lead him. Among his many publications are Walkabout: Life as Holy Spirit; Kissing the Dark: Connecting with the Unconscious; Underground Cathedrals; Dancing with Dinosaurs; The Opal and the Pearl, and his most recent book, Crimson and Gold: Life as a Limerick.

John Hill, MA, earned a diploma in analytical psychology from the Jung Institute of Zurich, where he served for many years as training analyst. Additionally, he has earned degrees in philosophy from the University of Dublin and Catholic University in Washington, DC. He has a private practice in Zurich and is a training analyst at ISAP Zurich. Born and raised in Ireland and a graduate of the Glenstal Abbey School, he has published, among others works, “Celtic Myth,” “Dreams,” “Christian Mysticism,” and At Home in the World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging.

Anthony Keane, OSB, who joined the Abbey of Glenstal in 1965 to teach in the Abbey School, studied archaeology and the Irish language in Dublin, and theology in Rome. Following his studies, Father Keane embarked on pilgrimage for a year in India before returning home to tend the forest in Glenstal and serve as the monastery’s forester. Situated on several hundred acres, Glenstal’s forest contains some of the oldest and most magnificent trees in Ireland.


Nóirín Ní Riain, PhD, an acclaimed spiritual singer, has introduced the Dalai Lama at official occasions in Ireland and elsewhere. A theologian, musicologist, and recording artist who was awarded the first doctorate in theology from the University of Limerick, she has written several books, including Listen with the Ear of the Heart: An Autobiography and Theosony: Towards a Theology of Listening. Dr. Ní Riain was ordained as a minister in 2017 with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in London. 

Sylvia Brinton Perera, MA, Jungian analyst, practices, writes and teaches in New York and Vermont. On the faculty and former board member of the Jung Institute of New York, she lectures and leads workshops internationally. Ms. Perera’s many publications include Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women; The Scapegoat Complex: Toward a Mythology of Shadow and Guilt; Dreams, A Portal to the Source; Celtic Queen Maeve and Addiction: An Archetypal Perspective; and The Irish Bull God: Image of Multiform and Integral Masculinity. 

Father Simon Sleeman, MA, earned a BA in psychology and philosophy at University College, Dublin, and MAs in theology and organizational development. Ordained in 1991, Father Simon was born in Berlin and educated at the Glenstal Abbey School. Headmaster of Glenstal’s Secondary School from 1991 to 1998 and for many years bursar of Glenstal Abbey, he notes that “providential encounters with psychotherapy, poetry, and alternative philosophies have helped me to forge another understanding of life.”

Monika Wikman, PhD, is a Jungian analyst and astrologer. Author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness, she has contributed chapters, articles and poems to numerous journals, and lectures and leads workshops internationally on mythology, active imagination, dreams, wellness, alchemy, and creativity. Dr. Wikman, with a degree in Clinical Psychology, and a graduate of the Jung–Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zürich, has taught in the graduate department at California State University, Los Angeles, lives and has a private practice in Tesuque, New Mexico and Gaviota, California. Along with her partner, Tom Elsner, she hosts a non-profit project, The Center for Alchemical Studies.

Sculpture: The Children of Lir, Ennis< Ireland

Daily Schedule

Monday, March 28
at Old Grounds Hotel, Ennis

4:00 p.m.
Aryeh Maidenbaum, Opening Remarks; John Hill, Chaos and Containment: Anchoring Soul in a World of Uncertainties

5:30 p.m.
Break for tea and cookies

6:00 p.m.
Orientation and an opportunity to get to know one another

7:15 p.m.
Welcoming dinner at Old Grounds hotel (included)

Tuesday, March 29
at Glenstal Abbey, today and for the balance of the week

7:00- 8:15 a.m.
Full Irish breakfast served daily

8:20 a.m.
Depart Ennis for Glenstal Abbey

9:30 a.m.
Abbot Brendan Coffey, Welcome; Sylvia Brinton Perera, Breathing New Light

11:00 a.m.
Break for coffee and tea

11:30 a.m.
Sylvia Brinton Perera, …continued discussion and dialogue

12:00 p.m.
Participate in/or observe Mass with the monks of Glenstal Abbey, (optional)

12:45 p.m.
Lunch at Glenstal (included)

2:30 p.m.
Mark Patrick Hederman, Compasses Not Creeds in the Fight for Our Future

4:00 p.m.
Break for tea and cookies
Viewing the Icons, guided by one of the monks of Glenstal Abbey

5:00 p.m.
Depart Glenstal for Ennis

Wednesday, March 30

8:20 a.m.
Depart Ennis for Glenstal Abbey

9:30 a.m.
Tom Elsner, Psychotherapy, Life and the Wisdom of Not Knowing

11:00 a.m.
Break for coffee and tea

11:30 a.m.
Tom Elsner, continued discussion and dialogue

12:00 p.m.
Participate in or observe Mass with the monks of  Glenstal Abbey (optional)  

1:00 p.m.
Lunch at Glenstal (included)

2:15 p.m.
Tour of Glenstal’s grounds, led by Anthony Keane

4:00 p.m.
Break for coffee and tea

4:30 p.m.
Nóirín Ní Riain, The Answer is Maybe- and That’s Final!

6:00 p.m.
Participate in or observe Mass with the monks of Glenstal Abbey (optional)  

7:00 p.m.
Festive reception and dinner (included) celebrating 10 years with the Monks of Glenstal Abbey and 20 years of Jung in Ireland. 

8:35 p.m.
Compline (night prayer/optional) followed by return to Ennis

Thursday, March 31
Free day to rest, relax, and/or explore Ennis on our own OR outing to The Burren, led by Conor Ellard (optional, for those who have signed up) 

Friday, April 1

8:20 a.m.
Depart Ennis for Glenstal Abbey

9:30 a.m.
Monika Wikman, The World Upside Down: Hanging in Unprecedented Uncertainty

11:00 a.m.
Break for coffee and tea 

11:30 a.m.
Monika Wikman, continued (Dialogue and Discussion)

12:00 p.m.
Participate in or observe Mass with the monks of Glenstal Abbey (optional)  

1:00 p.m.
Lunch at Glenstal (included)

2:30 p.m.
Meet the Monks of Glenstal Abbey (dividing into smaller groups, an opportunity for dialogue and learning about the daily life and activities of the Monks at the Abbey)

4:15 p.m.
Break for tea and cookies

5:00 p.m.
Depart Glenstal for our hotel in Ennis

Saturday, April 2

8:00 a.m.
Early departure from Ennis for Glenstal Abbey

9:15 a.m.
Father Simon Sleeman, If Uncertain, Wisdom Says Stay Put 

10:30 a.m.
Break for coffee and tea

11:00 a.m.
Faculty and Participant Discussion: Reflecting on the experience  of our week at Glenstal

12:00 p.m.
Walk to Carraig an Aifrinn (Rock of the Mass) led by Nóirín Ní Riain  OR…Participate in or observe Mass with the monks of  Glenstal Abbey (optional)  

1:00 p.m.
Depart Glenstal for Ennis; afternoon free to rest, relax, and/or explore Ennis on our own

7:45 p.m.
Festive closing dinner and music (included) at the Old Ground Hotel 

Sunday, April 3
Departures for airports OR for those participating in the April 4-11 Seminar, Awakening Our Undiscovered Self: New Possibilities, complimentary overnight accommodations at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis on April 3 and transportation to the Park Hotel in Killarney on April 4 will be provided. 

*Please note: Daily schedule subject to change

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