Offering the Mandala at a Care Center

Jessica Baird, Maria Antilla, Phyllis Moses, Kim Abbey, Suzie Scollon, and Stasia Nukia

Phyllis Moses is a Level 3 Tara Dhatu Teacher residing in Kirkland, Seattle Washington area. She led a group of dancers in offering the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara at The Ballard Care and Rehabilitation Center in Seattle, Nov. 3, 2013. 

She writes…..

For the past seven years Dagmo-la, wife of the esteemed Dagchen Rinpoche in Seattle, has asked that the Mandala Dance of Tara be offered at their Sakya Monastery. A variety of Tara Dhatu Student Teachers have offered the workshop and the performance each October Full Moon to fulfill this request.

This June, Prema Dasara and Myri Dakini introduced Dagmo-la and the Seattle sangha to the White Tara of the Six Shields dance. Dagmo-la considered this a fulfillment of her yearly aspiration to have the dance in the temple. As Fall settled in I felt that we should keep the tradition of the Mandala Dance being offered during this powerful season. It is important to keep the blessings of our teachers and the Dance warm even if it isn’t in the usual place. To fulfill this aspiration, on the new moon of November, we gathered to offer the dance at The Ballard Care and Rehabilitation Center, Seattle, WA.

It was quite an auspicious weekend, the beginning of Diwali (the Hindu festival of Lights) and a solar eclipse in Scorpio. We also encountered many obstacles. There was a huge rain/windstorm that had branches and debris flying everywhere. The authorities had to close down the bridge between Seattle and Kirkland,  where we were practicing on Saturday, making what is usually a thirty minute journey a two hour trip. Two of the dancers were ill,  one dancer forgot to put the  date in her calendar, etc.

Since the group unexpectedly became a lot smaller, some people felt that dancing so many qualities was going to be a problem! But through the fierceness of the outer storm, we worked through the fierceness of our inner storms. With clear communication, and respect for each person’s considerations, a dedicated and resilient group of 6 of us danced, meditated, and prayed together and by the end of the day the storm subsided and the Sun came out!

Our offering at the facility went smoothly. Most of the people in the facility were wheelchair bound and the activity director was a very kind and patient woman who wheeled everyone into the dining room for our dance. We each had 3 – 4 praises, Each time I came to dance a praise I could see the softening and melting of the hearts of some of the residents as they sat mesmerized  watching us. Though some of the residents were not mentally fully present, I could see that Tara’s blessings were reaching through the layers of confusion and going directly to the heart.

Dagmo-la has often said, “the greater the obstacles, the greater the blessings”. I know that this dance strengthened all of us in ways that perhaps are not obvious. I had heard that the effect of the potency of the solar eclipse can take awhile to penetrate our being. I could not imagine being in a better place than offering the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises to Tara; opening our hearts to offer our gifts, and  aligning our highest aspirations to be of benefit to all beings.

From one of our dancers ~Jessica Baird:

The most significant learning and most beautiful aspect of presenting the Tara Dance Mandala offering together at the Ballard Rehab Facility, is how it affected the residents and staff. It meant so much to share this beautiful energy with people who don’t often receive such dazzling, brilliant light. The blessings of Tara are so powerful and it is SO TRUE that anyone can get immense benefit. Thank you Phyllis for rocognizing this potential and seeing it through, despite the obstacles!