Support through COVID
From members of the community
“Once you’ve been to the Tara Centre you are initiated into a loving space and community that holds dear the belief that kindness is what matters most. In these extraordinary times we are faced with a chance to rebuild our communities. If we could do it the way the Tara Centre has been doing it for some time now, the world would be a better place. I’m a victim of domestic violence and currently living in a safe house away from every one I know. There is an online community as part of the Tara Centre that is supporting people through the pandemic and it has been a beautiful place to keep you connected to others or take part in a variety of live sessions with something for everyone. The joy of the Tara Centre is you could be a complete novice and you’d be held through it all and come out with a new healthier routine or habit just from that one encounter – their passion for helping others is that contagious. I’m pleased to have found this little bit of heaven here on earth and grateful for how it’s got me through some of life’s challenges. This is why the Tara Centre heart is not just a gimmick; the heart of the centre is a shining light that reaches all who need it.”
“…we purposely choose not to have things like mental health support after years of failures/neglect and abuse within those sorts of systems… which suits us fine but leaves us devastatingly alone (without family, many friends now etc)… but the community at Tara isn’t the same, you get it and don’t pathologise and we just can’t wait for reconnections! Hopefully this time will help everyone understand what was most important, nurturing and worth keeping.”
“I would like to thank you and whoever else has been pivotal and involved in the creation and thought behind the ‘Around the Campfire’ Facebook group, it has been a real lifeline during the current Covid-19 pandemic. I’m relatively new to Facebook, joining just a few months ago so that I could manage a work related Facebook account. At the time of the impending news breaking about Covid-19 and the consequent lockdown a lot of changes ensued rapidly which really hit me hard. I’m generally a glass half full optimist that sees the bright side of life and I’m some times too resilient and not very good at asking for help when I need it…I enjoy the encouragement and kindness that you have shown to myself and others within the group it is always with such great sensitivity and care. I’m looking forward to being able to say ‘Thank you’ and to finally meet you in person”.
“The meditations and other healing therapies are very helpful and come in manageable chunks of time, i.e. a half hour here, 40 mins there. If I miss a live streamed session, whick is often the case, as I’m managing a long-term condition it’s good to know that I can join a session at a time that suits me & work it into my day’s pacing and resting routine. It’s reassuring to have good and free access to these sessions – without feeling that I have to meet certain criteria before I can join. The inclusive nature of The Tara Centre’s approach welcomes people, no matter their health status. I don’t fit current NHS protocols, so I was excluded from pain-managing hydrotherapy earlier this year and I know others who are now excluded because they’ve been told they’re not going to “get better”.”
“I’m a young widow and estranged from all family. I deal with complex trauma and debilitating consequences from that. I live alone and have nobody to fill days with zoom calls and a phone ringing. Knowing that the Tara Centre is still online is a life saver, even in the times it is impossible to write or speak, the group is there and there’s always somebody to connect to in some way. Not needing to explain is such a freedom and relief, most groups don’t consider this an access need, but the Tara Centre get it. Having online meditations has been so useful for pain and chronic illness issues, especially with them saved afterwards too – and virtual healing has helped continue some of the other somatic trauma work even in this time of isolation. Knowing that one day the Tara Centre will be opening its doors again is keeping me going through everything!”
“I have found the online meditation sessions enormously helpful in the management of my anxiety during this period of isolation as I am a cancer patient who is being shielded so not able to go out or to see my family and friends. It’s really important to me to have the confidence and trust in people when I access services and to know that I am in safe hands”.
“The meditations brings moments of peace and calm into life and keeps me positive . I can’t afford to attend classes since I retired so to be able to meditate with a group on line really helps me. The energy feels so strong when sharing in meditation I will miss it when it’s gone.”
“The Tara Centre has been absolutely invaluable to me during lockdown and especially during a particularly dark period, the virtual cafe with Julie Ridgway has been a fantastic lift to my battered spirit and just a simple chat with a brew is opening up so much positivity for me to explore going forwards. I genuinely feel I have made a lovely new friend…During lockdown and unable to attend the centre, Jitei’s online meditation groups have also been most welcome as I always connect better during guided meditation. I have met and connected with some of the loveliest and most caring people and their time and efforts are so very much appreciated. In such a short time my connections from the centre are already providing life enhancing support and comfort. Such beautiful people brought together in such a beautiful and calming setting is an absolute blessing. Thank you.”
“Sharing quiet images of nature and just being in touch has helped me navigate the chaos of homeschooling and helped to keep me sane.”
“I haven’t attended any Zoom sessions yet, but have found just this space in this Facebook group very supportive and good for my mental health, at a time where other online spaces are frequently full of distressing and stressful content. Elham and Jitei post funny, beautiful, uplifting, heart warming and inspiring (but never trite or insipid) content, and that encourages others to do the same. Also Elham thinks of really good questions and prompts to get people sharing a variety of helpful things, which get us to connect to each other, find out things we have in common, experience sympathetic joy, and learn from each other (such as things that help us cope with lockdown). So acquaintances and friends get to know each other better and new connections are formed, reducing loneliness and isolation, and increasing resilience and coping stategies. There is a real skill to creating a supportive group with lots of enthusiastic participation like this one. When done really well like it is here, it can seem effortless but its not, and it can also take a lot of time to ensure no-one ever feels their contribution is ignored and unvalued. This space is needed – please support the Tara Centre as they support us.”
From our volunteers
“For me The Tara Centre is all about love and connection. When I visit I feel loved and accepted. When I meet Elham and Jitei I feel the same. It is invaluable to local people who want to feel that too. This group is heart centred and very much a lifeline to many on a ongoing basis but especially during this difficult time. When I visit this group I know I’ll be met with love and acceptance and it’s joyous.”
“I really enjoy the online meditation sessions. I find having a quiet time and space is very soothing as I’m supporting some friends who are mainly living on their own by regular phone calls. Also by participating in the weekly Reiki sharing has a very calming effect on me personally. Thanks to all your hard work in organising and coordinating it all in such a caring and loving way.”
“For me Jitei and Elham’s meditation sessions have been been a consistent point in the week that I go to for a moment of silence, grounding and re-connection with myself and those connecting in to the meditations. I also really value the Friday Zoom conversation with friends and colleagues. It’s helpful to share our experiences at this time.”
“Loving being part of this online community, feeling supported as a practitioner and so glad to be able to offer healing and befriending in these times. Found the meditation sessions I’ve attended so far really help me to let go and centre”.
“Any of the sessions you run online are always of benefit to me, whether I watch them live or catch up later. They give focus to my day and help me stay calm and relaxed during lockdown. Previously when life was ‘normal’ any of the sound sessions I attended had a profound effect on me and helped get through life in a calm manner, when all around me seemed to be falling apart”.
“I love how well you have adapted. I have dropped in to meditation fairly regularly and always made very welcome, even if I haven’t been for a while. The befriending is going really well and I am really glad I agreed to help with that. Keeping services going in an adapted form is really valuable for people feeling isolated or struggling and also for us all to keep in touch in our various small endeavours!”
“Tara Centre is a blessing of love. By blessing, I mean wishing from the bottom of the heart, in total sincerity, the very best for every single person and the whole – complete fulfillment and deepest happiness. By love, I mean a sincerity that comes from the heart that is unconditional and accessible to every single person and the whole. Everyone can understand and practice it. The blessing of love is truly one of the most democratic, simple, grassroots forms of spiritual practice that exists. Just open your heart and let the blessings flow. Finally, it is the form of love that blesses as much the one who practices it as the one who receives it.”