“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brené Brown 


Tara Rokpa Centre (TRC) and her volunteer team are like the mother who always welcomes me back – her ‘lost’ daughter – with open loving-kind arms… It is my nature place of refuge, nurturing & integration, especially in times when I’m most exhausted from repetitive patterns of ignorant unkindness towards myself, still getting entangled in the ‘rat race’ of modern city life with its often inhuman expectations.
I experienced solace in so many forms from welcoming hugs, to delicious vegetarian meals, nature all around, star gazing, an incredible safe environment (with no need to lock doors at night :), limited cell phone reception to detox from continuous digital interference, fresh air and the cleanest of water…. The perfect haven for retreat where I returned to myself, to my authentic “inner clarity of being”, which Nan described as our natural state in the retreat sessions.

… and this time it was also a return to mindfulness training, now with a more mature and surrendering mind, more ready to embrace a beginners mind. Nan’s mindfulness retreat was such a rich blend of gentle, yet focused loving-kind practices, supported by her sharing some of the latest research and nurturing ‘free’ afternoons exploring nature, including a relaxed walk to TRC’s waterfall. I received such deep insights into repetitive limiting beliefs and habits thru Nan’s skillful compassionate guidance. I left empowered with many applicable daily life tools and a creative vision board to remind me of new supportive choices, as well as growing my friendship circle. The retreat ended with a very meaningful almond tree planting ceremony in TRC’s permaculture orchard.

Back in JHB I still wake up daily with a sincere feeling of gratitude, taking regular sacred pauses, especially when I notice old anxieties or fears surfacing. The combination of TRC’s rejuvenating nature environment and heart centred staff together with Nan’s supportive energy have been incredibly restorative for me in only four days. Feeling deeply appreciative! I intend to return soon again.

Written by Adéle Smith