St. Columba's Inverness


Invites you

To Bless the Space Between Us

John O D. IMG_5531.JPG

with John O’Donohue (1956-2008)

noted Irish poet, author

Click here for Bio

An Interactive Online Workshop


 Sylvia Timbers & Penny Washbourn

Saturday, September 10

10am-2pm PDT

Inspired by the ancient wisdom of the Celtic Tradition and by the natural beauty of the West of Ireland, best-selling author John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us A Book of Blessings (2008) presents words of inspiration and wisdom, comfort and encouragement for transitions in life’s journey.  “Blessing” as a way of life is, for O’Donohue, lived practice through which one’s life and  the whole world are transformed.

This workshop will introduce the context and sources of  O’Donohue’s understanding of blessing, we will read selected poems from “To Bless the Space Between Us” (Convergent Books, Penguin,) and invite participants to write and share their own blessings—blessings to ‘mind your life’ and to cherish.  Together we will explore the themes of  Beauty and Gratitude, Thresholds , Intimacy  and Transformation for our work in the world.

Sylvia Timbers is an author and took courses with John O’Donohue both in the US and in the West of Ireland.  Penny Washbourn is a Theologian, author and student of Celtic Spirituality.


Cost: $40 per person

All proceeds benefit St. Columba’s Inverness

Session I:  10:00am-11:45am

Welcome, Penny Washbourn and Sylvia Timbers

What blessings will you receive from this workshop?


Introduction to John O’Donohue.

The Celtic Tradition of Blessings.

John O’Donohue’s view of Blessings.


Theme: Beauty and Gratitude.

Reading of two poems on Beauty and Gratitude.

Individual writing exercise, breakout groups.

Discussion and reflection. Introduction to Session II: Thresholds.


11:45am-12:20pm Meal Break.


Session II:  12:20pm-1:00pm

 Theme: Thresholds

Individual writing exercise on Thresholds.

Reading of two Blessings on Thresholds.

Breakout group discussion.

John O’Donohue’s West of Ireland: Memories of Sylvia Timbers.


Session III:  1:00pm-1:30pm

  Theme: Intimate Blessings


Reading of two Intimate Blessings.

Individual writing exercise, sharing and reflection.


Session IV: 1:30pm-2:00pm 

Theme: Transformation


Reading of two Blessings we can give.

Individual writing exercise.

Reflection/ Wrap up.


Readings from To Bless the Space between Us:

2008 Convergent Books Penguin Random House ISBN 978-0-385-52227-4

Sylvia Timbers has devoted her life to spiritual development and training, and partnered in a wide variety of international business, writing, consulting and film projects. These include co-authoring God and The Evolving Universe (2002, Tarcher/Putnam) with Michael Murphy and James Redfield, a documentary in Tibet, one on consciousness for HBO, as well as several other multi-media projects focusing on metaphysical subjects. For many years she has worked as a spiritual counselor to the terminally ill, both through her private practice and through Hospice. Poetry, prayer and nature are constant beloveds on life’s sacred journey Home.

Sylvia Timbers.jpg

Penny Washbourn, Born in London, I grew up hiking in open wild spaces of Dartmoor. I loved nature through my father’s bird watching and my mother’s passion for flowers. As a teenager I enjoyed the colorful aesthetics of worship in our Anglo – Catholic Church. Scripture courses in High School motivated me to study Theology at Nottingham University. I received a Doctorate in Theology from Union Theological Seminary, NYC. My thesis discussed the “Social Concept of Reality’. I ‘ve taught in Canada, and at St. Mary’s College of CA. I published  ‘Becoming Woman: The Quest for Wholeness in Female Experience”; edited “Seasons of Woman: Song, Poetry, Ritual, Prayer, Myth, Story”. Celtic spirituality is my recent pursuit.

Penny Washbourn