Ireland, 2016

Sites of Historical and Spiritual significance in Ireland (April 24th-30th):

Inspired by earlier pilgrimages to Iceland, Scotland, Myanmar and other world locations steeped in spiritual history, ONENESS-DREAM - our a cappella troupe of singers - recently toured and performed in the southern counties of Ireland. Like neighboring Scotland, Ireland too saw the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century, and strong links between monasteries in these two countries paved the way for missionaries to spread Christianity throughout north and west Europe. From the early seventh century, Iona in Scotland, Clonmacnoise and Glendalough in Ireland became centres of excellence for students all over Europe. Both countries are dotted with the ruins of these ancient places of spiritual learning.

Our eighteen performances revisited many of Ireland’s notable sites, the great cathedrals and tumbling ruins and holy places that have endured and inspired over the millennia. In our humble way, we were re-living a small part of the history of the human quest for God, singing the timeless songs of the soul.

Ireland –  land of beguiling beauty, of music and humour

Ireland –  land of beguiling beauty, of music and humour and green landscapes bordered by mountains and seas, and everywhere the remnants of the long millennia humankind has been here. Yes, an ancient world, 10,000 and more years of human habitation evident in the crumbling castles and time-worn stone walls, the music you hear that tells of legends and heroes, the spirit of the place.

From our many different countries we came here, converging on the bustling capital to commence our week-long concert tour. Riding in our mini-vans over the greenscapes and mountains of Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, the emerald south west. ONENESS-DREAM - our group’s name - reflects its purpose, to foster in some small way a oneness-world, to stir the heart’s kindness and gladness through song, to remind through voice and music that we are a global family, that our dream of peace will one day blossom in this world. Eighteen concerts, five Irish counties - we sang in cathedrals, castles, remote historical sites, the bustle of cities and windswept lonely places. Our ancestors were here, lived, prayed, struggled, their lives as brief as the shadows of clouds passing across landscape.

Their swords and ploughs and helmets are stitched into the earth, their stories hidden beneath the dark soil of every field. We belong with them, our songs and voices join the long refrain of the human heart, the quest for happiness, the search for God. In the empty ruins and old abbeys, the tiny cold cells of monks and renunciates, they warmed our hearts and sang with us, continuing the ever-flowing, beginningless river of devotional song.

“Music is the universal language,” writes spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy, “a language uniting hearts and souls”. Yes, out here in the Irish heartland we could feel our audiences responding to the beauty of the songs and to their simple message of peace, their reminder of the beauty and dignity of the human soul, of awakening, the God-quest. We were singing to the soul of Ireland, the heart’s language, sharing our oneness-dream with the spirit of place.

Video long version (49 min)

Video short version (10 min)

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