About This Center
Sunyata Retreat Centre is nestled into a hill on a beautiful 10-acre property amidst the rolling scenery of East Clare in the west of Ireland. The Buddhist Centre offers meditation retreats and courses and welcomes those of all faiths. We have daily morning meditation, weekly Wednesday night meditations as well as full-day and multi-day residential retreats. It is also possible to stay at Sunyata for a few days to sample Buddhist community life.
Venue HighlightsDay Visits
People are welcome to visit Sunyata at any time, apart from during silent retreats. Please contact us beforehand to make sure there is someone here to meet you.
The following contains information about our way of practice and what’s expected from our visiting guests.
Sunyata is a Buddhist meditation retreat centre of the Thai Forest Tradition. It belongs to the lineage of Luang Por Chah, and his disciple Luang Por Sumedho, who opened our dhamma hall in July 2000.
Sunyata provides an opportunity for people to deepen their understanding of Buddhism and themselves, to practice mindfulness, or simply take time away from their everyday lives to reflect. Ethical guidelines, meditation practice and community work all help to maintain an environment conducive to these practices.
The rhythm of life at Sunyata is an essential part of our spiritual practice. Using the ordinary activities of daily life, we try to bring mindfulness and composure into our experience, whether in activity or in stillness, in relationship or in solitude.
Ethical guidelines serve as the foundation for life here at Sunyata, helping both to develop insight and encourage harmonious community life. Guests are expected to observe the following seven precepts:
Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not given.
Chastity: refraining from any sexual activity.
Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech.
Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drinks or drugs.
Restraint : not wearing make-up, jewellery or immodest clothing; not playing music, radios or musical instruments.
Alertness: to refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
Although there is much time for individual meditation and contemplation, guests are expected to take part in the daily routine, and also to help out with certain tasks.
The schedule at Sunyata is open to change at different times, particularly when there are monastics in residence, but an average day will look something like this:
7.00am Morning puja
9.15am Daily meeting
9.30am -12.30pm Morning chores
12.30pm Main meal
2.00pm -3.00pm Practice/rest period
3.00pm -5.00pm Afternoon chores
7pm Evening puja
Living in Community
At Sunyata there is a range of jobs which need doing around the centre such as in the kitchen, garden, the forest and with keeping the buildings clean. The working time set aside each morning and afternoon helps to maintain the centre and also gives us the opportunity to practice mindfulness in ordinary tasks.
We are grateful for your help. We hope that the structure of the day, with its times of silent contemplation together, individual reflection and more engaged work, can help each of us to find a balance in our practice.
We would appreciate it if you could be mindful around the conservation of energy and protecting the beautiful natural environment here at Sunyata. Please keep communal areas clean and tidy and avoid using candles or incense in any of the buildings. Sunyata grounds are non-smoking.
Guests are asked not to listen to music or engage in other forms of entertainment whilst at Sunyata. We also ask you to refrain from using phones and electronic devices in the common areas. As with other guidelines, these are simply ways of creating an environment conducive to contemplation. We also ask guests to keep noise to a minimum after 9 pm.
Guests are asked to respect the sanctity of the meditation hall by using it only for meditation and following the guidelines related to its use.
We do not supply bedding unless you are travelling from overseas – please let us know in advance if this is the case.
Initial stays are limited to 3 days, after which subsequent visits may be of longer duration.
As is traditional in this lineage of Buddhism, everything at Sunyata is offered free of charge so that the teachings and practice are available to everyone. As the centre is supported solely by donations, any contribution you are able to make for your stay here is much appreciated. The donation box can be found in the foyer of the dhamma hall.
If you would like to book a visit, please fill out the form here.
Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for your consideration for other guests and for the centre itself, and hope that you find your stay at Sunyata rewarding and nourishing.
AccommodationsAll accommodation is shared with shared bathrooms.
- Free Parking
- Ceremony Space
DirectionsThe centre is in Southwest Ireland, Co. Clare and approximately 30 minutes from either Limerick, Ennis or Shannon International Airport. Shannon International Airport is serviced by several carriers and offers direct flights to the US, UK, and many cities throughout Europe. We are located on a hillside about halfway between the towns of Sixmilebridge and Broadford. Hopefully the directions below will guide you to us but should you have any problems please don’t hesitate to contact us.
From Limerick via Cratloe & Sixmilebridge.(Approx. 15 miles – 30- mins)
Leave Limerick on N18 towards Shannon and Ennis. Take Sixmilebridge exit. Go through Cratloe into Sixmilebridge. At main crossroads go straight ahead. Take first turn on right (only about 200 metres after crossroads) at the Jamaica Inn Hostel, signposted Broadford. We are exactly 5 miles out this road. Keep going straight following signs for Broadford. After 5 miles you see the ‘Sunyata Buddhist Centre’ sign. Turn right and go 1/2 mile up the steep hill, we are on the left.
Bus and Train Service
There are trains or buses from Dublin to Limerick station and then on from Limerick station to Sixmilebridge.
From Sixmilebridge, a taxi ride to the Centre is required – about 10-15 mins. The number for “Bridge Cabs” taxi service can be found online.
From Cork city there are buses to Limerick station, then follow the above instructions.
From Galway there are buses to Shannon airport. From Shannon Airport there are also buses to Sixmilebridge or Bunratty, and then a short ride in a taxi. Train service is available directly from Galway to Sixmilebridge, via Ennis. From the Sixmilebridge Station, we are about a 15 minute taxi ride.
You can check out details for buses at Bus Eireann online.