Thin places: Where spirit and earthly realms meet

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Thin places: Where spirit and earthly realms meet

“The old man looks out to the island. He says this place is endless thin. There’s no real distance here to mention. We might all fall in, all fall in. No distance to the spirits of the living. No distance to the spirits of the dead…” Scottish Folk Singer Dougie Maclean, (https://www.dougiemaclean.com/index.php/f/41-feel-so-near) in “I Feel So Near.”

The Celts have long said that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but it’s even closer in thin places. According to Beliefnet.com, (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Christian-Inspiration/Pressing-into-Thin-Places.aspx?p=3) it’s where we sense God’s presence, a place where the spiritual and natural worlds intersect.

“There are moments when we do feel the divine breaking through into our world. We feel unified and connected with God. It is not an intellectual knowing, it is felt in the spirit. It can be a sudden momentary awareness or profound unexplainable experience,” wrote the author of the article “Pressing into Thin Places” on Beliefnet.com.

National Public Radio Correspondent Eric Weiner wrote in The New York Times, (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/travel/thin-places-where-we-are-jolted-out-of-old-ways-of-seeing-the-world.html?_r=0) “Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves.”

Even Princeton University acknowledges these hallowed places. The institution’s Global Consciousness Project (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/thinplace.html) posted that in these areas, “connections are made and amazing flows occur.”

Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Photo by Kathleen Berry

Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Photo by Kathleen Berry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve visited two places that, at least for me, fit the descriptions above: Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and the coastal Redwoods of Northern California. Callanish (in Gaelic, Calanais,) Standing Stones (http://www.callanishvisitorcentre.co.uk/index.php/features ) have existed for about 5,000 years and are believed to have been a center of religious activity for about 1,500 years. The massive redwoods around the Eureka, Calif. region, are primordial, lush forests.

5 ways to know if you are in a thin place.

These sacred locations are places that:

  • Take us out of the ordinary and beyond our normal state of mind. We forget our everyday concerns, to-do lists and burdens.
  • Speak to our heart, connecting us to the Most Divine, nature, humanity and spirits. We realize we’re part of something bigger and that we matter. It’s this shared commonality that helps us access our intuitive abilities.
  • Create a sense of awe. This inspires us to work toward our potential.
  • Seemingly stop time, yet all eras appear to exist simultaneously, just beyond arm’s reach. We can sense the presence of those who came before and the residual energies of past actions.
  • Reverberate with a palpable energy, one that strengthens and rejuvenates us.

Have you been to a thin place? If so, please share where it was and what your experiences were.

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11 Comments

  1. David Deerfeeder February 17, 2016 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I agree that the redwoods hold thin space.

    Growing up in Ohio, then living in Florida, I would have dreams and images of a deep woods. I thought it was only a dreamscape.

    Later, I moved to California and was booked to lead a workshop in Mendocino. Driving through the Avenue of the Giants, I went around a curve, and there before my eyes was the exact woods I knew only – apparently – in a distant memory that I thought was a dream.

    • Kathleen February 17, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your marvelous experience. The redwoods are probably the most spiritual place I’ve ever been to, and each time I visit, I come away renewed. Have a wonderful day, David.

  2. Sharon Leong February 17, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    2 of my thin places are: 1) sitting on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, gazing at and listening to the waves; contemplating the power of, and feeling at one with, Divine Nature; and 2) looking through a high-power telescope at the stars and planets in our galaxy – it’s an out-of-body experience and makes me big and small at the same time.

    • Kathleen February 17, 2016 at 8:32 am - Reply

      That make a lot of sense to me, Sharon. I think the sensation of being a part of something so all encompassing makes one consider how to live. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Jordan February 18, 2016 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Very beautiful points here. Stonehenge was in the news recently, so the topic of sacred places like these has been in my thoughts. To be in a location where you feel that unique presence is always so amazing!

    • Kathleen February 18, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

      Thank you. 🙂 I wish everyone could have the experience of being in these special places. Have a wonderful day, Jordan.

  4. Jackie Kleeb February 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I think another place most definitely is Mount Shasta. Very calming and eclectic.

    • Kathleen February 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      I’ll have to go there. I’ve driven by, but never gone to it. Thanks for the suggestion, Jackie!

  5. Kan February 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Iceland is full of such places but one in particular that is etched into my soul is the cliffs at dyrholaey 🙂

    • Kathleen February 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      I can’t wait to Google it. Thank you for sharing, Kan.

    • Kathleen February 20, 2016 at 10:00 am - Reply

      What a stunning place. I’ve been drawn to Iceland for some time. I’m going to have to find a way to visit. Thank you for visiting my site.

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