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Staff photo by Sabrina Bodon / Melissa Bennett, owner of The Watershed Farm in Ringgold, tends to her Thoroughbred horse. She is hosting Weekend of Oneness Nov. 1-3 at the farm, sharing meditation, yoga and reiki sessions with attendees.

Melissa Bennett thinks of the bond she feels with horses as "magic." She has always felt a connection to the kind-souled animals, she said, and started riding in high school.

When she got older, she took lessons at The Academy for Coaching with Horses in Colorado, a sanctuary focusing on horse and human interconnectedness. Bennett leads reiki and yoga lessons in the presence of horses, and after each session, she interprets the animals' actions.

This fall, she's inviting people to her farm to experience this magic at Weekend Of Oneness: Camp WOO, a three-day event focused on helping others find a sense of belonging through guided meditations, mindfulness and team building with the animals on her farm.

"The purpose of the event is to bring together curious humans that are interested in connecting more deeply with themselves and a community of lighthearted humans and nature," Bennett said.

Originally planned as an adult summer camp, but due to the scorching summer heat, the event was pushed back to Nov. 1-3. She's invited specialists and facilitators to lead sessions on yoga, bonfire storytelling, animal encounters, and arts and crafts, too.

With her background from The Academy for Coaching, Bennett said she wanted to extend the joys she gets from meditation and connection with both people and animals to provide the community with a similar outlet.

"If you're not familiar with any of the sound healing meditation energy stuff, [Camp WOO] is a very approachable, accessible format that we're using here," she said, referencing some of the other activities planned.

Attendees can choose their own adventures, from private reiki sessions to sound healing to guided coaching sessions.

"The camp is a great introduction to these kinds of activities because the focus is on fun. We're not going to be doing a whole lot of deep soul searching work, but if people want that, they can incorporate that out here," she said.

Attendees will be able to pitch tents on the farm, in the woods or camp out in the tent that Bennett rents out on Airbnb. Weekend registration costs $175 and Saturday-only passes are available for $65. Some experiences cost extra. Sales close Oct. 25 at thewatershedfarm.com.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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