The Tara Centre opened its doors at The Storey, Lancaster, in September 2016 since which time we have had over 2500 people take part in one of our classes, workshops or drop-ins. The Centre has remained open through the support of volunteers, donations, small grants and session fees. We strive to be a place that, in the age of competition and austerity, stands for love and the beauty of deep human connection. Every one is welcome into the circle.

What We Believe

We believe in the healing power of love, kindness and community. We believe that we are relational beings who need each other to survive and thrive. We believe that true healing can only happen when we feel witnessed, heard and held in a safe space.

The aim of all that we do is, in essence, to bring you to a place of true self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-compassion, whatever past experiences you may have had. This is probably the hardest challenge for all of us but it is possible and it doesn’t have to take a lifetime. It is from this place of inner peace and compassion that you can begin to let go of the past and feel in control of your life again.

We believe that we need to go further than the pursuit of individual happiness, and that promoting kindness and taking positive social action are essential to human health and well being. All our work is informed by the practice of ‘kindfulness’, which brings together mindfulness and loving kindness.

What We do

The Tara Centre is a not-for-profit healing sanctuary in the heart of Lancaster. We run regular sessions, short courses, workshops and retreats that promote physical, emotional and spiritual health. All of our work is underpinned by the values of friendship, community and kindness.

We are dedicated to increasing access to practices that improve health and wellbeing for individuals and the wider community, and we currently run several community projects. All these projects are staffed by the goodwill and hard work of volunteers. These are:

  • Wellbeing Drop-in for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Volunteer Helpers
  • The TLC Clinics (a low cost/no cost health clinic for people living on little or no income)
  • Outreach Meditation classes for people living on very little income or living with chronic health conditions
  • Forest Gardening Project for Mental Wellbeing and Connection
  • Online Community

In addition to the above, during the pandemic we have been running a Community Listening project, a wellbeing Timebank, a walking buddy scheme, online and in person social gatherings, therapy clinics for people in recovery from drug and alcohol use, online wellbeing sessions and outdoor Tai Chi sessions.

Who We Are

The Tara Project is a Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit social enterprise, set up in 2012. Our founder member and Director, Dr Elham Kashefi, came to this work after 20 years of academic research work and community activism around community participation in health decision-making. Elham’s passionate about social justice and is committed to creating a service that supports people facing disadvantage in their lives. Jitei White is a Zen Buddhist Priest who has dedicated his life to meditation and working for peace. Elham and Jitei run the Tara Centre along with over 40 volunteers from all walks of life, all of whom are committed to the healing power of love, kindness and community. This project is a collective effort of so many in our community.