April 03, 2015

Welcome! Please feel free to click on the tabs above to discover more about what we offer & why, including the 2015 Summer Festival that will take place in Co Down August 7th - 10th - more information here!
Programme launch May 4th!

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We're posting articles below from those presenting at the Summer Festival over the coming months, the fourth in this series is from a Festival first-timer, Dakini Cat, we're delighted to be welcoming her to the Festival this August!
Note: the views expressed in each article are not necessarily representative of Bliss Ireland, the Festival or anyone involved with the Festival, they are personal to the author.

Daring to Penetrate - Daring to Surrender by Dakini Cat
A celebration of feminine and masculine energies in polarity.

This article has been inspired by people sometimes having a hard time getting their political correctness around how masculine and feminine energies work, specifically in love relationships, and even more specifically about the masculine gift of penetration into and the feminine gift of receiving. My feeling is that this is a reflection of our collective pain about how these gifts have been misused and abused in the past, and very little to do with how useful and healing they can be now. The polarity of masculine and feminine has been said to be false, out-dated, and hindering of a more advanced mode of relating and promoting a hetero-normative, anti-queer stance. Yet in my experience and throughout my life, I have been learning the opposite is true: that masculine and feminine energies do exist, that understanding them helps with practising 3rd stage relationships (more about what that means later) and actually encourages a broader definition of sexuality and intimacy than the simple hetero-normative model. 

When I ask myself where my own polarity understanding comes from, the first answer that shouts itself at me is that they emanate from a very ancient place: the sun and the earth. That the sun is the archetypal masculine energy, exhibiting light, heat, direction, clarity, illumination, penetration, unconditional giving. The earth on the other hand exhibits feminine energies: dark, moist, coolness, diversity, creativity, inter-connectedness, mystery, receiving, and again, unconditional giving.

These archetypal energies have formed the basis of our understanding of what it means to be human men and women for thousands of years and can be found all over the world in mythology, philosophy, yin yang, indigenous world views, and pagan rites to name but a few examples at random. But whilst this is the answer that springs to me now, it’s taken a long and difficult personal journey to come to those understandings. Believe me, I used to be as politically correct as they come and balked at the idea that men and women were fundamentally different in terms of tendencies; or girls and boys having different needs. It seems so strange to me that I ever believed that now.

In my former existence I was a wife and am still a mother and both those experiences have taught me so much about polarity.... the hard way. First of all my twins, one whom holds a lot of feminine energy and the other, a lot of masculine energy, taught me from the moment of their birth two main things. First, they came with their personalities already intact. There was no ‘moulding the clay’ for me to do... just not do any damage and to provide opportunities for growth and learning. And second, that they were not going to be androgynous or want to play with both ‘boys’ toys and ‘girls’ toys just because my political correctness wanted them to be able to express the whole spectrum of gender possibilities. They were very definite and clear about their traits and preferences. One liked physicality, getting out there socially, and taking things apart, while the other was into communication, the senses, and weaving imaginary worlds. 

Despite having 2 gorgeous children, and loving my husband, and us getting on pretty well together even though the ‘zing’ went out of our relationship pretty quickly, we split up when the kids were still little. Whilst at the time I thought my world had ended, it did bring about this search to understand better how relationships worked well and what the hell went wrong for us. Though I had initially dismissed it as irrelevant (we’re all from Earth I used to decry!) I went kicking and screaming to the book ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. The introduction made me weep uncontrollably. What was described there was almost exactly the dynamic between me and my husband, except I didn’t have the vulnerability to reach out and he didn’t stay.

Whilst that book started my journey into polarity, love and attraction, there was a lot more to come, mainly from the inimitable David Deida, although Nityama, Jewels Wingfield, and Alex Vartman from The New Tantra have played significant parts also. Through these explorations it became clear that my relationship had become de-polarised. I was holding the masculine: coming up with all the direction, making all the plans, and pretty oblivious to the dance of my feminine intuition, while he had largely given up his masculine in order to be a New Age, sensitive man: he did all the cooking, said ‘yes dear’ a lot with a kind of sad resignation, and felt under pressure sexually. Using David Deida’s terminology we were in a predominantly 2nd stage relationship. In this stage the feminine is dominant as a response and reaction to the brutal masculine dominance of the 1st stage, but is yet to mature into the balance and beauty of the 3rd stage. In a 3rd stage relationship the feminine is confident, open, and relaxing into the masculine holding. The masculine is strong and clear and creates the space that the feminine can dance in. He takes She on a journey deeper into Source or Divinity than either of them can traverse alone. 

This is the kind of relating that excites me and fills me with hope for our collective future. I feel the enormity of the change in our world that would be inevitable if people were intending to express a 3rd stage relationship. And I turn into a sweaty, steamy mess when I dream into my man opening me more than I ever could myself with his sexuality, bringing his clarity and direction in service to the family, and holding himself strong in his service to humanity whatever that might mean to him. Unlike back in the old days when I felt ashamed of my sexual power, I now relish the idea of also being able to step into my healthy masculine when I can see that my man is worn down... to push him up against the wall and enter him with my body, my love, my presence and awareness in order to bring him back to himself. I’m also consciously involved in the practice of coming from my healthy feminine for the big chunks of time that I’m coming from a feminine place by trying to keep aware of my cutsey little girl, my manipulative woman, my ‘playing it small’ woman. All of these aspects come together for me in a way of relating that is sexy, highly functional, warm and loving, and most of all encourages, in fact pretty much insists on the continual growth of the participants. Now that’s something I would like my children to witness. 

Maybe there are other ways to understand what happened between my ex and I, or an even richer set of practices to adopt in order to make the next time around oh so very different, but at this point in time I am immensely grateful and excited by the path I’ve chosen. I’m excited by others who are working in the same direction. I’m excited to help others use these tools in a positive way in their own lives. But most of all I’m excited to see the way in which the world will change as the crest of the 3rd stage relationship wave starts to crash upon the shore in the coming decades. And to those who fear that an honouring of the masculine gift of penetration is dangerous, or that feminine surrender is weak, or that playing with masculine and feminine energies can only be practiced by heterosexual men and women in a monogamous relationship, I would encourage them to ask themselves how much of their opinion is based on where we have been in the past? If you imagine wiping out the past just for a moment, doesn’t the dance of masculine and feminine energies sound... well sexy?... exciting?.... fresh?... and warm?

More about the Festival here!

March 24, 2015

Helen Quinn is the co-ordinator of Osho Dublin. The group meets up every Thursday in the Lantern Centre on Synge Street in Dublin 8 to practice OSHO Active meditations. The group also hosts Dynamic Meditation approximately one Saturday a month and the occasional weekend long programme of Osho meditations.

Sexual freedom: The path out of slavery
“Sex is the most powerful instinct in man. The politician and priest have understood from the very beginning that sex is the most driving energy in man. It has to be curtailed, it has to be cut. If man is allowed total freedom in sex, then there will be no possibility to dominate him. To make a slave out of him will be impossible.”  (p. 109, Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships – Osho).

I read this passage on my way home from Bliss Festival 2014 having experienced a weekend of sharing Osho meditations and a series of workshops that allowed me to express my sexuality on a moment by moment basis. Like many others making their way home I had been enveloped in an atmosphere of openness, love and authenticity. I felt free.
I believe it is no accident that weeks after starting Osho meditations in June 2013, I travelled down to West Cork to attend Bliss Festival. It is also no coincidence that OSHO Active meditations form part of the Bliss programme. The ethos of both complement each other.

Osho created a series of Active meditations beginning with his most famous one which is called Dynamic. He created these meditations because he understood that most of us struggle to drop into silent meditation: “I begin with your insanity, not with a sitting posture. […] With you dancing madly, chaotically, with crying, with chaotic breathing, I allow your madness. Then you begin to be aware of a subtle point, a deep point inside you which is silent and still, in contrast to the madness on the periphery. You will feel very blissful…” (p. 38, Meditation: The First and Last Freedom – Osho).
There is something very delicious about letting go of the madness we carry inside us. To be free to express and consciously allow whatever to unfold. Reflecting on Beth Wallace’s post on The Birth of Bliss and how she moved from a space of shame to one of freedom and love. I feel her story reflects the story of Ireland and her creation of Bliss is one method of finding our freedom and breaking away from the chains of sexual repression and shame. 

In the above passage Osho goes on to compare man with the ox. The ox is castrated so it can plough the field and be biddable. Through sexual repression and shame, we have been energetically castrated too. He contrasts the ox with the bull who is free, strong and beautiful. We may have been conditioned to repress, to deny our sexuality / life force, to be controlled and biddable but unlike the ox we can grow our balls back. We can be the bull.
I have discovered tremendous freedom, healing and from time to time that “subtle awareness” through the OSHO meditations. I have grown in awareness, juiciness and experienced bliss. Hand in hand with this my life / sex energy has increased. This is not to be confused with unconscious hedonism. That too is a type of slavery. No, this is a conscious awareness of my life/ sex energy rising and responding / not responding in that present moment.

I invite you to share two special OSHO active meditations with me this year at the Bliss Festival. The first is Chakra breathing. This powerful meditation uses a breathing technique that opens up all the chakras and is a great method to open you up for the day ahead. The second one is Mahamudra which Osho describes as “the great orgasm”. Using specially designed music the first part uses Latihan whereby your body moves of its own accord. You are not the doing, you are the being. This 'let go' experience prepares you for the second stage whereby you raise your hands to receive energy from existence until you are full and then bow down to give the energy to the earth. This is done seven times for each of the chakras. I hesitate to say what you will experience because I do not know. You will have a unique, direct experience.

Osho goes on to state that: “Sex repression, tabooing sex, is the very foundation of human slavery. Man cannot be free unless sex is free. Man cannot be really free unless his sexual energy is allowed natural growth,” (p.110, Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships – Osho). 

I invite you to come to the Bliss Festival and allow your natural growth to occur. To experience the loveliness of sexual freedom. To have your yes or your no honoured. To break free from old forms of cultural and social conditioning and journey on the pathway out of slavery.

March 13, 2015

The Return of the Phallus

Bruce Lyon returns to Ireland in 2015 for the third summer in a row and to the Bliss Festival for the second time, he loves to explore the places where the personal, planetary and cosmic journey meet, and to guide others on their initiatory journey into the life force that lies behind both the esoteric and erotic dimensions of love.

His chosen spiritual path was the TransHimalayan tradition but he has a background in many different pathways and trained with many teachers. In 2000 he co-founded Shamballa School – and has taught extensively around the world for the last decade. He has degrees in ecology, psychology, astrology, and the esoteric arts and sciences and has written several books on these topics.

~ The Return of The Phallus by Bruce Lyon ~
15th March 2013

We all know the archetypal story : A power that once existed in the world has been lost, a light has dimmed and now all things exist in a state of half-wayness, half-heartedness, half-aliveness. There is not enough of the power left so that we have the courage to break out of our daze, but it is not gone so completely that we have forgotten it. Therefore we feel uncomfortable in our semi - sleep knowing that there was something we were supposed to be, something more than...this. A part of us is waiting for the return of this power but we do not know the time or the place ...only that it is not now and it can't be us. Until it is.......

Many people these days are talking about the return of the feminine and the coming age of the feminine, equating the time we have been living through with the patriarchy and the dominance of the masculine principle in our global society. And there is definitely truth here when we are seeing things in a duality. In the duality of masculine and feminine, the masculine has been emphasised or preferenced. What is often missed is that the the masculine referred to is not the deep or true masculine energy. Behind duality, the archetypal couple - the dual principles of the universe - are ever in love, ever entwined, eternally whole. The true masculine energy would never dominate or control the feminine, only celebrate her. So we have been living with the immature masculine, separated from wholeness, and his counterpart in the shadows has been the immature feminine. The true masculine and feminine energy always show up together. We need the return of the masculine as much as we need the return of the feminine. What is really lost is the power which lies behind and emerges through their union.

So where did this dominance of the immature masculine principle come from? When we journey back into the story we find it at he heart of core civilisation cosmologies. In the greek creation myth the original father is Ouranus, the husband of Gaia. One of his sons, Chronos or Saturn castrates his father - the testicles fall in to the sea and give birth to Venus, goddess of love and sexuality. The original masculine principle loses his potency ( balls ) and gives way to the immature masculine ( his son ) who is the lord of civilisation, cycles and death. Modern civilisation has always been an uneasy balance between structure or Logos and life force or Eros.

In the Judeo/Christian tradition we have the bible. In the beginning was the word...Logos..but the word now is no longer the living word ( Logos and Eros combined ) - the electric current that lives between the two cherubim in the arc of the covenant. The word becomes the idea, the concept, the written law which must be obeyed. We are no longer gods in connection with the tree of life but we are fallen and must be 'straightened' - we must obey the word of god, the law, as something external to ourselves, for we have lost connection to the living word being birthed moment to moment in the core of our being. We have lost our balls.

And when it comes time to birth the new sun god, the Christ, we have a virgin birth. Mary, the feminine principle is overshadowed by the dove of the holy ghost and impregnated by God the father. The son, Jesus is portrayed as sexless, celibate and concerned with 'higher' things - in short, cock-less like his Father. In essence what is holy or spiritual has now been divorced from and defined by being 'not sexual'. The fact that is not sexual is what 'makes' it spiritual. Perhaps this was part of a greater dynamic to balance the overemphasis on the body and carnality but we certainly are all living with the consequences of this divorce. So where did this Christian story come from in the great river of our collective consciousness? How did we end up with a cock-less god?

Egypt. Osiris, Isis, Horus. These are the original trinity. Osiris was tricked by Set, the opposing force to enter a coffin built just for him ( the father enters the tomb of matter, the living word becomes a concept ). Though found by his wife Isis, Set steals his body and cuts it into 14 ( sometimes 42 ) pieces and scatters it throughout the land. Isis, mourning, scours the land collecting his body together again - re-membering it. But there is a part missing ( in the version of the story that came to us through Plutarch ). His phallus!. Isis creates an artificial phallus out of gold and hovering over it in her hawk-form she impregnates herself with their son, Horus. ( note the connection to the dove impregnatiing Mary ). There are many other places to go with this story but let's just stay with the lost phallus. The true masculine principle that can seed life is replaced with a substitute. The living word is replaced with a thing, a marker or place holder that fulfills the function of the former but is not it.

So now let's follow that story in to Freemasonry and the concept of the 'lost word'. A Master is killed and with him dies the knowledge of the true 'word' which can raise the dead - ie make us come alive. This word is replaced with a substitute - the A.U.M that the initiate must use to eventually 'raise the Master' and receive the true word.

There are many other places we could follow this golden thread but this should be enough for the purpose of resurrecting the life principle. The 'word' which rules civilisation on earth is the word of Law - the substitute word - the concept. Whether formulated into a bill or rights, a united nations charter, a constitution, a personal mission statement, a thesis on the masculine and feminine principles, the bible or the Koran ...this word is what we use for guidance in the absence of connection to the living word - the life principle which is never formulated, the godhead which can never be named but IS who we essentially ARE. We are god looking for god by chasing our concept of what god is. We are like the creator of a cartoon who has entered into one of his characters. Zombies following a will we have forgotten is our own.

This life principle is the lost phallus of Osiris, the lost word of the masons, the lost godhead that lives hidden inside each of us waiting to be resurrected, the risen Christ at-oned with the father, Shiva's lingam, the balls of Ouranos.

And this phallic principle is not separated in any way from the feminine. The phallus is not the penis. It is what makes the penis rise. It is what makes the vagina moist and the clitoris erect. It is the erotic charge that brings the penis and vagina together. It is what is behind the outer manifest duality - the electric arc of the covenant between the two cherubim.

In this sense the penis and the vagina, man and woman are BOTH form and when we identify with the form we replace the living word with the formulated word..we enter the coffin and lose our phallic power. Isis mourns for the loss of Osiris. The feminine mourns the loss of her partner. For the feminine to return the masculine must return. And they must return together in us. We all know the stereotype of men following their dick around as if the cock was a problem and phallic power the source of rape, war and other distortions of the masculine principle. But immature men are following the substitute cock. It is not phallic power that leads them but the longing for phallic power and its loss. And immature women are trying to fill their loss with the substitute cock, putting the penis in the vagina again and again trying to become pregnant with the child that will save their world. What they both miss is that the sexual longing is itself the indication of the presence of the phallus - the lost life principle - lost to us when we separated sexuality from spirituality. The phallic power enters us and we suddenly become aware that we are missing something and go to seek it in a partner. We do not know who it is arriving so suddenly, opening us, and we think the arrival has to do with the other who we then try to possess and fuse with - resulting in the withdrawal of the phallic power.

As long as we come together longing to be fulfilled or completed by the other pole we are in the world of the lost word, the lost phallus - zombies and vampires trying to suck a little eros out of each other, thinking this is love and wondering why we keep feeling alone and betrayed. When we understand what we have lost and we also understand that this life force is trying to reach us, fill us, fulfill us, in every moment. We long for it and yet we are barely able to contain it for a a few minutes in sex, meditation or prayer before sneezing it out of us in orgasm,turning it into a doctrine, dulling it with alcohol or the drug of busyness following the substitute word. If our spirituality has become dominated by the immature masculine - controlling, judgemental and pedantic - then our sexuality has become dominated by the immature feminine - demanding, possessive, attached and full of sentiment rather than love.
So our god has no cock and balls and our goddess is fallen. Jesus is nailed to the cross and Magdelene is reframed as a prostitute. Our sexuality and our spirituality both become places of longing for what has been lost rather than celebration of our wholeness. We seek enlightenment. What a joke. Like the tibetan proverb about a man riding his horse from town to town shouting 'Has anyone seen my horse?'. We seek fulfillment in sex. We long for 'the one' when we ARE THE ONE! The end of the search is the realisation that we are already that which we seek. The separation of sexuality and spirituality has created a longing in them both. The phallus is lost and we accept but are never truly fulfilled by its substitute. Our spirituality becomes impotent, words mumbled in church on Sunday while neglect, corruption, greed and hypocrisy tear the heart out of our planet. Our sexuality loses its divinity becoming an urgent wanting, a compensatory thrusting trying to squeeze a moment's ecstacy in the wasteland of our half dead lives.

When a man's penis stands up with the sunrise it doesn't want anything. When a women's vulva throbs and swells with life or her nipples overflow with milk they are not wanting anything. The wanting comes after. We have become afraid to let our bodies fill with the phallus, the living word of god because we are afraid of the wanting that can follow - in ourselves or others. Men are not too phallic but not phallic enough. Women must be veiled either physically or energetically lest their remaining phallic power arouses too much longing in the men or makes them feel their impotence and loss.

In the Egyptian story, the phallus of Osiris has been swallowed by a fish - just like the ring in the Lord of the Rings. The fish is the symbol of the Piscean age - a period of two thousand years dominated in the western world by the image of the immature masculine face of God nailed to a cross in the attempt to get back in touch with the Father principle.

In the aquarian age the symbol is the water bearer and the water is the water of life, the living word, the electric current of divine fire. This water is the lost phallus and it is the return of the phallic power that quenches our thirst, the longing that is present in both our sexuality and our spirituality. God the father is no longer a distant sky god who the world has fallen away from and needs atonement with. The Father principle is right here living inside of us waiting for our recognition, waiting for us to give up our chase and fall back into his arms. And the Mother principle, the goddess that we are is right there with him. We do not need to move away from the masculine and embrace the feminine. It looks like we have too much masculine but we do not have enough. We have lost our spiritual cock and balls and then asked the fleshy ones to compensate. We do not need to move away from the masculine and embrace the feminine. We need to let go of duality and the immature expressions of both masculine and feminine that results from loss of connection to our true source which emerges as a life giving stream behind and between them.

When the phallus was lost it was replaced with the obelisk and egytpian obelisks have found there way into places of temporal power all over the planet from Washington to Rome. The obelisks are also lightning rods and it was interesting that just before the pope resigned St Peter's was struck by lightning. Lightning is the living word and when our bodies and souls are struck they resign their dominion and open to the living word. The obelisk of the soul is the ego - a substitute phallus standing up to receive the lightning. A false 'I' which must become an 'eye' through which the life giving waters can flow.

Lia Fail, Hill of Tara

So reclaiming our phallic power is not something that only men must do or are capable of. It is a power that has withdrawn from our grasp until we realize that the true masculine and feminine principles are already united in us whatever our gender or sexual orientation; that spirituality and sexuality are not separate, and that we are already in heaven, on earth, as expressions of divine life and love.

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Bruce is leading a week long retreat in Westmeath following directly on from the Festival, more information here!

March 08, 2015

The Birth of Bliss by Beth Wallace

Bliss Ireland Founder & Director Beth Wallace briefly shares what the project is all about for her. 
Beth has worked for almost 30 years in the sexuality field, she is, among many other things, a psychology graduate with special interest in forensic psychology, a professionally qualified psychotherapist, facilitator, speaker & published writer. She's received initiations in several spiritual traditions in over 30 years of spiritual seeking, including Wicca, Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, and Peruvian & Siberian Shamanism - she is no longer a spiritual seeker & walks the path of no path that is the mystery of life! 

I'm frequently asked how Bliss Ireland came into being, the truth is that it's both a very simple and quite complex creature. It's deeply personal, it's political, it's ''spiritual'', it's about me and it's not about me, it's the child of a marriage between all the different aspects of myself, it's the sum of my life's experience and work so far, and more often than not I'm more interested in what it means to you than it does me! 

It gives me great joy to create these events that offer space to explore and express this very fundamental aspect of who we are as human beings, it gives me great joy to raise these, sometimes uncomfortable, issues and subjects for discussion in Ireland, and the world, where we are experiencing both the aftermath and rise out of generations of shame, fear & silence in relation to sexuality, and, it gives me most joy to offer spaces in which people can experience, express and share their own freedom, power, and love.

I know about shame, fear & silence.
I also know about freedom, power & love.

I grew up in Ireland at a time, in the 1970s & '80s, when there was great cultural shame and silence in relation to sexuality. It was a time when, among many other barriers to freedom, homosexuality was criminalised until 1993, when a prescription from a GP was needed in order to access any form of contraception including condoms until 1992, and when sex education was not taught, any where in any way.

''The Bird's Nest''

I was born directly into, and of, that shame. As the first child of an unmarried woman I spent over a year at the beginning of my life in an orphanage having been born in a mother and baby home, before being adopted like many other 1000s of children who were not actually orphans. Many 100s, perhaps even 1000s, died in, or not long after being in, mother and baby homes & Magdalene laundries in Ireland in the late 19th and 20th century, the infant & child mortality rate was, at times, twice the national average, most were buried in unmarked or mass graves, including my brother. Adoption can be 'successful' & happy for many, equally for many it's a painful experience leaving lifelong scars in heart & mind. Feelings of rejection and abandonment, The Primal Wound, whether the adoption is 'successful' or not, can last a lifetime & manifest in addiction, difficulties in relationships, lack of self esteem and much more.

I know about shame, fear & silence.
I also know about freedom, power & love.

I then journeyed more deeply into shame, fear and silence as I experienced childhood sexual abuse over the course of several years. It's well known and reported how sexual abuse can have deeply damaging effects and I can see how it wove itself destructively through my life, and in some ways still does. I also see how it has manifest in Ireland as a whole. As a result of generations of silence in relation to sexuality, generations of shame and guilt have led to a dire lack of education for all in relation to healthy explorations and expressions of sexuality - abuse of children and assault of adults, including the so-called ''rape culture'' are a direct result of this, and this is borne out by research in countries where sex education is available from a young age and a more liberal and inclusive culture exists in relation to sexuality in general.

My journey out of shame, fear & silence began consciously at 14 years of age, my adult self began to emerge & she did not like what she saw or had experienced and so she began to set about understanding and changing it, alongside much raging against it. Nearly three decades of spiritual seeking followed, beginning with the Christian mystics, liberation & feminist theology as they were emerging then, moving into the western pagan & esoteric traditions. I explored the Kabbalah, Wicca, traditional hereditary Irish witchcraft, shamanism, several native American traditions when living in Canada and came ''home'' to an expression of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism for many years. In this searching and seeking for answers, explanations for, and distractions from, the hurts in the world & myself, I found a peace of mind and salve for my heart that I had longed and hungered for. I did not, however, find a fire to match my own! My experience was that most of these traditions focused beautifully on the heart, the soul, the mind, but they left the body in its', particularly the raw and wild, sexual expression behind, sometimes deliberately and shamefully so - I knew there was great power in sex as I had felt the force of it's shadow, I knew there was power in the idea of spirit, and I knew the power of the mind, but, I saw & felt no connection between the three. 

I know about shame, fear & silence.
I also know about freedom, power & love.

I found raw fire however, and was badly burned by it many times, in what I call my 'sexplorations'. It's very common for those who have experienced sexual abuse as children to 'act out' and become sexually 'promiscuous' due to a lack of self esteem, lack of healthy boundaries or simply an extremely damaging pattern of 'this is what I do' or 'this is what is expected of me', or perhaps an unconscious belief that sex equals love. A promiscuous nature, despite its' damaging cause, led me to sexual explorations that many others would not try, imagine or investigate, there is not much that is legal that I haven't experienced, even just once to see what it was like as my insatiable curiosity hungered for more and deeper understanding. And so I learned that sex has power, it can be used against the self and others in abusive situations, it can be used for oneself both with others and alone to EMPOWER oneself in ways that take nothing from others. But still I could not find a full and whole expression of sexuality that met my needs, that fulfilled me, there was always something missing. In my early 20s I spent a year with a ''Tantric Master'', learning all I could from him, receiving his transmission of the great traditional TransHimalayan mysteries that he had studied & lived in for decades - sex & spirit were connecting and it was the beginning of a new journey into freedom, power, and love.....

I wanted to understand this aspect of human nature and so my professional career, of course, followed my personal explorations and expressions. Over the last 28 years I've worked as a Rape Crisis Counsellor, also as a counsellor, trainer and senior manager in the HIV/AIDS field, with drug users, sex workers, teenagers, as a university lecturer of GPs and nurses, and many other groups, always with an agenda of pushing the cultural evolutionary edge in relation to what is ''acceptable'' in relation to our sexual explorations and expressions. I studied post graduate Forensic Psychology with a particular interest in sexual offending so that I could understand what had happened to me, and to so many others. I became the first Irish woman to 'come out' in the mainstream media as bisexual and since then have been vocal, publicly so, about many issues relating to sexuality.

It's my belief that there is nothing inherently shameful about our sexuality, any aspect of it, it can be and is for many people, a cornerstone of their experience of their own power as a human being, the aspect of their lives in which they experience the greatest freedom and passion. It is also the aspect of our lives that touches us most deeply and with the greatest vulnerability & damage when it is violated, when our trust is betrayed - and so our sexuality is an aspect of us that has the power to both destroy and elevate, to damage and to empower, and, to connect us most deeply, because it is embodied, with love for ourselves and others.

I know about shame, fear & silence.
I also know about freedom, power & love.

And so Bliss Ireland was born as a marriage of all these aspects and facets of my life experience - my 'sexplorations' married my professional expertise, my own sexual healing having experienced abuse, rape, and all that followed on from those experiences merged with decades of spiritual learning and practice, my desire to see Ireland and her people living deeply empowered lives, free from shame, fear and silence has all led me to creating this project, this community, and these events.

It's my dearest hope that the events we create offer space for whatever is desired & needed, whether that is healing from trauma, blissful celebration of love and union, a simple relaxation into nudity, a vibrant & ecstatic cosmic sexual experience or a hundred other experiences - it is now time to loose ourselves of generations of that which has kept us small, that which has kept us imprisoned in our own minds, constricted & contracted in our bodies - it is time for REAL freedom for fully empowered people living from deep love for themselves, for each other, for this land upon which we live & which supports us, and for our planet as a whole.

I want to conclude with the rich words & voice of one of my favourite women, especially given that today as I write, March 8th, is International Women's Day, and also my birthday, the anniversary of the day of my birth into this mysterious life! 
Maya Angelou talks about how one can be down trodden, how others may wish to see us with our shoulders hanging low, our heads bowed, but, the triumph of the human spirit is that we rise, and we continue to rise, we are unstoppable, this may well be our downfall as a species, equally, it may be our saving grace.
This is my invitation to you - if any of this very brief telling of my story resonates with your own then know that you are not alone in your sweet healing, powerful rising, & joyous celebrating; 100s, 1000s desire to heal, rise and celebrate with you in freedom, empowered, and with love in their hearts not only for themselves but also for others.
We rise!

8th March 2015

July 31, 2013

Bliss Ireland - promoting Sexual Freedom, Health & Pleasure in Mind, Body & Spirit - Welcome!

We're working hard at Bliss HQ on this year's Summer Festival, August 7th - 10th at Narrow Water Castle, as well as other events in Dublin over the coming months - check out the tabs above for more info. on what's upcoming!

Bliss Founder & Director Beth Wallace gave a TEDx talk on ''Sexuality: Bliss is Your Birthright'' on October 25th, it should be available online via both TED & YouTube very soon - exciting times indeed!

Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don't miss out & should you feel to support the work of Bliss Ireland please feel free to donate - all those who contribute to our Summer Festivals do so as volunteers, your donation will go directly towards supporting the Festival & ensuring its' continuation!