Summerhill Centre for Mindfulness & Contemplative Living

Set in an acre of garden, the Centre is an idyllic space that facilitates mindfulness and contemplative living. Run by Carole Doherty, the philosophy here is one of respecting the synergy between humans and our environment, allowing for the unfolding of where we are right now in our lives. The garden is central to this philosophy and is tended to in a sympathetic way. Here, following the principles of acceptance and non-judgement, we do not 'wage war' with what is unwanted either in the garden or in ourselves. Instead, we extend the approach of mindfulness-based compassion to all.

"When the mammals entered Earth's life two hundred million years ago, they developed emotional sensitivity, a new capacity within their nervous systems for feeling the universe."

This is a small Retreat Centre and aims to provide a quiet, peaceful space to 'feel the universe', a place to remember, to reconnect, to restore. As human mammals we have within our cells an absolute connection with the Earth's substance and rhythm, a connection that can be forgotten as we live in a fast paced highly technical world. Here at the Centre, we slow things down and allow the sound of silence. We attempt to leave the turbulent world outside the boundary and tune into "the pathos of the human condition and the promise of a transcendent realm beyond the pathos – the Tao, Brahman-Atman, Heaven, Nirvana…". (all quotes by Swimme & Berry).

"More than three decades of scientific research at medical centers all over the world suggests that training in mindfulness and MBSR can positively and often profoundly affect participants' ability to reduce medical symptoms and psychological distress while learning to live life more fully." (Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School).

What we do

At the Centre we offer the following:


An 8 week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction developed by Jon Kabat-Zin. As human beings we all have similar needs; to be well, to belong, be safe, happy, healthy and loved. We long for these things and strive to fulfil them. However, the inevitability of life brings highs as well as lows and we can often be challenged by pain and suffering. Even a happy life can be filled with stress and worry. Mindfulness practice allows us to develop both the ability to be present to joy and the good things in life, as well as to meet pain and suffering with equanimity and courage.


An 8 week course in Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living. Developed by psychiatrist Eric Van den Brink and former Buddhist monk Frits Koster, this course deepens mindfulness with heartfulness.

Foundation course in Mindfulness & Loving Kindness practice

This is a six week course for those new to mindfulness practices.

Drop-in Mindfulness

A one hour drop-in community for sitting mindfulness meditation. No experience necessary. See Facebook page for updated times.

Cross-Professional, Mindfulness Based Supervision

Of particular relevance to those in the Caring Professions, this is a supportive space where you can discuss professional issues including work-related stress, burnout, or simply use as a sounding board for transformational learning and professional development.

Silent Retreats

Both day and residential. For updated details please see Facebook page.

Spiritual Guidance

A contemplative way to deepen spiritual life and practices. This is one-to-one support through listening, companionship and guidance offering universal daily practices such as meditations, reflections, prayer and contemplations which are helpful for anxiety, grief, stress or pain. Spiritual counselling is not religious doctrine and is suitable across all faiths and none.

As courses are on-going, for up to date information on dates please contact Carole Doherty, Lavender Cottage, Isaacstown, Rathmolyon, Co. Meath phone 086 8473506 or email

Get in touch

The Summerhill Centre for Mindfulness is situated just outside the village of Summerhill in Co. Meath. We are accessible from a wide radius and 15 minutes from exit 8 off the M4 via Kilcock.