Dancing Tara at the Sakya Monastery in Seattle

Seattle was one of the first cities outside of Hawaii that the Tara Dance was offered. In the audience was Dagmola Kushog, the first Tibetan woman who ever witnessed the Tara dance. She was the wife of a very high Sakya Rinpoche, and was famous throughout Tibet for her ability to “dream”. She was known as an emanation of White Tara and it was truly amazing that we were able to dance for her.

She gave a wonderful speech after the dance. She congratulated us in may ways, especially touched that the dancers would be wearing saris. “Buddha Is from India,” she reminded us. “ Wearing a sari shows respect for that culture.

The next day she asked to see me and she reported several dreams that she had indicating that she was to support the Tara Dance, first of all by offering empowerment to the dancers. Then by inviting us to dance in the Sakya Temple. Prema and several of her senior students have made an effort to offer the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara every year at the monastery. 

For the past several years Parvati has organized and offered the mandala in fulfillment of Dagmola’s request. This year a group of Tara Dancers from all over the US and Canada joined Parvati for the offering. Carey Avery, a Level 2 Teacher, residing in Phoenix, Arizona wrote …….

What an opportunity – dancing in a Tara mandala in the Sakya Monastery in Seattle.  I have held this aspiration for many years, it was fulfilled over the weekend of October 4-7, 2018.

We began Thursday evening with a Green Tara initiation from H.E. Dagmola Sakya for the Tara dancers and Sakya Monastery community.  The initiation and many of the weekend’s activities were held in the Shrine Room, which is a visual feast for the eyes and nourishment for the heart/mind.

It is an exquisitely beautiful and inspiring space:  clouds adorning the ceiling, the monastery’s lineage tree painted on one wall, the Buddha’s first students on another, and beautiful statues including White Tara and Green Tara.

It was such a comforting and supportive environment in which to embody Tara.  Several times during the weekend I would glance at a painted figure or statue and feel they were looking directly at me, encouraging and guiding.

Parvati, did a superb job of organizing and leading the Mandala.  Friday evening was an Introduction to Tara and we danced through the Qualities.  Saturday and Sunday morning we prepared and practiced; culminating in a luscious offering Sunday evening.

It was a wonderful blending of new and experienced dancers.  Women traveled from California, New York, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Oregon to be there.  With so many coming from out of town, Kim Abbey found a rental in the Ravenna neighborhood and 7 of us were able to stay there.  That added an extra element of joy to the weekend – ironing saris and enjoying delicious home-cooked meals together.

We join our heartfelt prayers to Dagmola’s that the Mandala of the 21 Praises of Tara continue to be danced in the Sakya Monastery.

Many thanks to Gail Fredrickson, our liaison with Sakya Monastery.

For many years she has organized the needs of the dancers in order to fulfill Dagmola’s request that the dance be offered at Sakya at least once a year. As a special blessing for Gail, this year her son brought his whole family and it was the first time the baby was in the presence of the Mandala Dance of Tara. Om Tare!!!