White Tara Retreat for Spiritual Renewal
As an intuitive healer, Tara White has worked with people to foster personal renewal and spiritual connections through yoga, bodywork, acupuncture, herbal treatments and reiki. In 2016, she opened White Tara Retreats, in Richmond, to allow guests to further experience relaxation, reflection and healing. She offers custom retreat weekends for individuals, couples and groups that are private and personalized. The guest suite includes a spiritual sanctuary with a fireplace, a separate bedroom, kitchen and full bath, as well as an individual outdoor patio. The secluded location, natural surroundings and relaxed environment make an ideal getaway for couples looking to reconnect, empty nesters that need a change of pace, family bonding or anyone that needs a few days of solace from the demands of a busy lifestyle.
How can a retreat help people feel refreshed?
I find many people are on the verge of an emotional meltdown, just from the constant demands and information overload in our society today. It’s overwhelming, and is causing people all kinds of unhealthy stress. My weekend retreats are personalized to the couple or group’s individual needs and goals. We offer a number of services for them to choose from that help restore the soul, heal the body and refresh the spirit.
The 4,000-square-foot house has rooms for meditation, private yoga instruction, reiki, crystal bowl chakra balancing and a spiritual library. We have experts that come in to lead workshops on topics like Meditative Journey on the “Inner Dance”, and special events like a Medicine Wheel Gathering and Rainbow Crystal Healing Ceremony. Bhikkhuni Vimala, a Buddhist monk who was ordained in Sri Lanka, leads a Present Moment Meditation workshop to help participants experience life directly instead of thinking about it, and avoid the anxiety, tension, guilt and regret that comes from being in future or past thoughts.
Why is connecting to nature so important for healing?
When we become aware of our natural surroundings, we can experience spiritual silence and feel a part of something larger than ourselves. Our retreat center sits on an 80-acre nature preserve of rolling hills, oak forests and meadows that is ideal for hiking or exploring the environment. There is a Native American medicine wheel, which is a sacred place to pray, meditate, contemplate and strengthen our connection with nature. We offer walking meditation workshops that encourage people to move at a pace that matches the soft, swaying trees and fresh air.
As they become aware of each step, they fully enter the present moment. The house is also surrounded by rivers and streams, which remind us that energy is always moving and changing. Even in the winter, seeing the trees frozen in ice and walking through the bright, cold snow is invigorating and exhilarating. Being in nature is an oasis from everyday stresses and an affirmation of the universal life force energy that we all are a part of.
How can we increase our universal life force energy?
Through meditation, reiki and acupuncture, we are able to get out of our heads and connect to something bigger. As we encounter different thoughts and feelings during the day, our chakras are constantly opening and closing. The vibrations from singing bowls help to balance these. I do a thorough body scan, from root to crown, and see what needs to be adjusted. In reiki, I help to provide universal life force energy healing, or qi.
A treatment enhances relaxation and fosters feeling of peace, security and well-being. When we are emotionally, physically and spiritually balanced, we are better able to manage the stresses of everyday life. We are able to respond instead of react to outside triggers and demands with peace and grace. When we stay in the present moment, we are in a state of consciousness totally free of negativity.
White Tara Retreat is located at 6603 Oak Hill Dr., in Richmond. For more information, call 815-728-1050, or visit WhiteTaraRetreat.com.
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect with her at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.