News From the Dancing Taras

Teaching the Mandala Dance of Tara has been an exhilarating, inspiring, and deeply rewarding experience. For the last 26 years I have traveled about this beautiful ball of earth sharing the profound practice of Tara’s Dance. Every day I receive letters from students and friends describing their experiences with the dance. It is a journey of consciousness. On these pages I will share with you some of the stories and pictures from our Tara Dhatu family. I will also share some insights about the practice as it reveals itself to me. Feel free to comment, to question, to contribute Prema Dasara

Dancing Tara in Olympia

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Kim Abbey holds a Tara Dhatu circle in Olympia, Washington. She writes…

Here’s a photo of the Nalanda Institute in Olympia where we have ‘circled up’ for two years now. Monthly, on 2nd Sundays we gather to dance the precious Tara Dhatu Movement Meditations.

Oh, how I love the Medicine Buddha DVD! I practice with the video for many hours. It is always a joy to listen to Prema. 

This month there were six of us. We had some wonderful new people! Hailey Maria met Phyllis and Noelle at the Buddhist Festival in Portland last fall. They connected her to the Olympia Circle since she lives here. The Pacific North West shares!

Robin Landsong is an artist in Olympia. Pam Finley  brought a transparent glass, Medicine Buddha statue!  It was so cold and clear, the blue sky outside our windows was like the statue

We opened with the dances of Refuge, Motivation, and Tara’s 21 Qualities. Then, we all enjoyed the 13 minute Medicine Buddha practice, which we did seated in a circle, bathing in the vibrations of the recitations of the mantra. I read the meditation, we visualized the offerings and bathed the Lapis Lazuli King.

Annual Tara Retreat Golden Bay, NZ

Catherine Walker has been offering a Mandala of Tara retreat at the Shambhala Center in Golden Bay, the far north of the South Island of Aotearoa, (New Zealand) for five years. This year the group met in November. Catherine writes …

Dear Prema,

You wished us a “Sublime and Precious Retreat”, and that it was.   In the extraordinarily beautiful and peaceful Shambhala, we gathered again this year and gently let go of the outside world and entered our Inner Tara realms.

The riches that were revealed to and through us were profound. From all of us down here in Aotearoa we THANK YOU Prema for this Precious Tara Practice.

    Here are some reflections of our time together:

 “I loved the sense of being held in a circle of Tara sisters – warm, kind, smiling, and of being held and sheltered by this beautiful landscape. Being in the circle and the landscape evoked a feeling of other worldliness, of gentleness and of integrity…a very precious memory to take away with me, and to sustain me into the future.  A spacious and substantial Retreat.”   Wendy Pullan

 “I’m so grateful for all the effort Catherine and Fiona generated to bring us an absolutely wonderful celebration of Tara. I’m also grateful for the amazing flow of energy in the Tara Circles with everyone very present and focused.  We gelled well together under Catherine’s skillful guidance.

    I’m truly grateful for Shambhala and its exquisite beauty on so many levels. Thank you John! (owner/manager)” – Siena Ammon

“I feel so lucky, so blessed, so fortunate to have been able to be part of this wonderful time here at Shambhala, with our wonderful teacher, Catherine and the beautiful Taras.There are so many aspects I feel so grateful for … Being in such a stunningly beautiful environment, both outside, bush, sea, sky, birds, mosaic paths, mandalas, exquisite Tea House, and inside the Meditation Hall.

The lovely shrine we all created, the flowers, the Aroha (Love)

Sharing delicious food, going to sleep and waking hearing the sea.  Tara smiles, hugs and warmth.

The opening ritual at the Sea … Letting Go  Letting In

Dancing!  Learning Gold Tara.  The challenges to learn the steps, co-ordinate, yet so supported by Prema and Catherine’s teaching and by each of the Taras.

The music  –  the movement   the space to honor – the space to be  – to cry  to be touched  – to feel hope  –  to be encouraged on this path.

The teachings, meditations so relevant to issues, questions that I have been struggling with “what is happening to the planet”  “my part in the “mess” and how to hold faith and act compassionately.

Hearing Prema’s email about choosing not to hold their Kauai Retreat … about the trees being cut, the trade winds not arriving, it being too hot to dance, linked into the heartbreak and then we moved, we danced  we listened we learnt we shared.

Today I was sitting with another Tara as 5 other Taras (including Catherine) danced White Tara of Six Shields while our tears flowed, such beauty, such heart, such healing.

The Medicine Buddha Dance radiating healing.

So many…questions raised “who do we see as our teachers, enlightened ones?”  Challenging and yet such a gift to take up in my learning and deepening of my commitment to this practice.

A Tara teaching us Mala making

A Tara singing

A Tara laughing.  We all dance together

Thank you so much for this Practice, for the teachings and this Retreat.”    Ali Symmons

Tara Retreat 2019

Spacious nature

Inside and Out

Darshan of the manu/birds

Welcoming us to their home

Learning to honour Vasudhara

As waves and thunder and heat came and passed.

Dance as Ritual

Coming together

to learn and offer

plenty of time

to walk and chant

to the cows

to offer mantras

step by step

mala bead by mala bead

pradakshina around

the Buddha who

observes the ocean

while a Californian quail

brays from the umbrella

above his head.


is something

we talked about

on Friday pm

What are we aiming for?

Who are we invoking?

Tucked up in bed

I read to the end of Prema’s book

and learnt I can offer grace

for feeding the Goddess Tara.


Abundant One


Both Buddhist and Hindu practices

I dance with an absent friend

and sing to the cows

a devotee of your name.”     Liz Byrne

Spontaneous Dance of Tara’s Qualities in the Ozarks

Adrianne LaBry Smith is a Level 3 Tara Dhatu teacher, living in Lafayette, Louisiana and on her family retreat land next to the Katog Rit’hröd Mountain Retreat Center in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. The founder of the Center is Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche. Adrianne writes…

On October 19, 2019, in a valley amidst the Ozark Mountains, twenty-seven courageous and inspired individuals participated in a spontaneous dance of Tara’s Twenty-one Qualities.

It was day fourteen of the 15th Annual Pandey Norbu Shedra held in the new temple of Katog Rit’hröd Mountain Retreat Center, where attendees received in-depth teachings on the wisdom of true nature given by Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche. 

It is not uncommon for the shedra to include an hour or two of karma yoga each day, however, this year’s shedra (Tibetan for “school” or “study”) was extra-ordinary. Several hours a day we were all engaged in preparation for consecrating nearly 200 deity statues and stupas, among them eight large stupas, a larger-than-life-sized Guru Rinpoche, a life-sized Kuan Yin, and twenty-one small golden Taras. 

All was readied for consecration – statues cleaned and measured, sacred substances collected and wrapped in bundles, pages of mantra rolled and tied, and all arranged beautifully as offerings. We continuously chanted mantra in Tibetan and Sanskrit, including these words of Shakyamuni Buddha, “Do no harm whatsoever.  Fully perfect all virtue.  Completely tame your mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha.

Most of the statues and stupas are to be housed on site, within and on the grounds adjacent to the new Katog temple.  This new temple is still in the process of becoming.  Many sangha members have devoted long hours to its design, construction, and beautification.  

When talk of building the temple began, one of the sangha members, Andy Chapman, had already commenced formal study of the Tibetan art of thangka painting at the Sechen Institute of Traditional Tibetan Art in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Throughout this past year, I have had the honor of working under his direction and alongside several dedicated sangha members and artists.

Some of the paintings have been done on panels in a working studio space, others directly on the walls of the temple while on scaffolding.  There are architectural details being created by hand in clay and cast in hydro-stone, which will then be painted and attached to columns. Motifs include offering clouds, dragons holding wish-fulfilling jewels, dharma wheels, garlands of gems, and lotus buds and blossoms.  Yet to come:  murals of deities and offering goddesses.  All of the details have symbolic meaning and are meant to inspire the practice of taming the mind, obtaining the state of freedom from suffering and developing our innate essence of wisdom and compassion. 

This summer, I spent nearly three months painting dharma motifs almost every day, and while engaged in this right action, I practiced diligence and contemplation, working with my mind to ensure that I was also engaged in right thought.  Inspired by Andy, a few of us set up a shrine in the work space and began each session with prayers of Refuge and Bodhicitta, and ended with  aspiration prayers and dedication of merit.

Twice a week, in the evening, I led Tara dance in the cave temple. The space is small, unpretentious and seldom used for formal gatherings.  It is often cool and damp as a result of rainwater seeping through the limestone rock and trickling onto the floor.  But it has an air of magic, mystery, and power. 

The first empowerments in this cave temple were Green Tara and Thröma, offered on the same day by H. H. Getse Rinpoche in 2010.  A stone Buddha approximately three feet high sits on a make-shift shrine.  A few years ago while Khentrul Rinpoche was on retreat there, an udumbara flower spontaneously appeared at the heart of the Buddha.

There is a timeless quality in this cave that enhances the practice, and we were happy to meet there to dance.  Our evenings usually included Motivation, Refuge & Bodhicitta, Tara’s Qualities, Eight Precious Offerings, and White Tara of the 6 Shields, and a couple of evenings Shantideva’s Prayer, and on occasion Calling Tara from the Heart .

I continue to make aspirations to lead the dances of Tara here in the Ozarks of Arkansas.  The retreat land is remote, in mountainous country, and often one is barred from entry or exit due to inclement weather.  Housing is limited, and the staff is small, volunteering countless hours of hard work to accommodate the hundred-plus attendees of shedra. 

With so many people in attendance and the constraints of time and space due to the statue consecrations, it seemed impossible to think there would be space and time to offer dances.  Daily Khentrul Rinpoche began teachings by encouraging us to generate the intention of little desire and great contentment.  Putting this directive into practice, I continually let go and immersed myself in listening to dharma teachings, contemplating, meditating for the two weeks of shedra.  And lo and behold, on the day of the statue consecration, Rinpoche requested that we offer Tara dance! 

Following the consecration ceremony we gathered to dance beside the newly consecrated stupas, symbols of enlightened mind. They had been carefully filled with sacred substances representing the qualities and activities of the Enlightened Ones.  With Rinpoche and on-lookers seated on the steps of the new temple, we danced our offering at their feet.  It was a joyous culmination of our days of intense study and effort, dedicating our merit and sending out the light of Wisdom and Compassion to benefit all.

Photos by
Eric Swanson Photography

Tara Danced at KCC Portland

 Phyllis Moses is a Level 3 Tara Dhatu teacher.  She has supported the Tara Dance since it’s inception on Maui 32 years ago. Now residing in Oregon she has been offering Tara Dance introductions and classes in the area.  Recently she was invited to teach and offer some of our Tara Dhatu dances at the KCC Center in Portland. She writes…

Tara has a way of winding her magic where it’s needed! A friend suggested I teach a small group to offer something for the Kagyu Changchub Center in Portland, OR. They were having their annual – “Blooming Lotus Vajriety Show & Fundraiser”.I was delighted to be able to share some of our dances with women who have been a part of KCC for nearly 25 years. This year the title of the show was “Turning the Wheel”. It was an evening of deep devotion, good belly laughs, and serious fund raising.

The children from the center did an opening procession singing ‘Om Mani Padme Hung’ and then we Tara Dhatu Dharma Dancers came on. We could feel Tara’s blessings pouring through us. We were especially inspired by the beautiful on screen backdrop. We offered the Prayer of Motivation and Shantideva’s Prayer of Refuge and Bodhicitta. Everyone loved it! Afterwards some people said they felt it was the most potent experience of the evening for them.

There were many creative offerings like The Sit Up’ (sung to tune of The Git Up); juggling; The Ballad of Lama Michael (who started the center and is now stepping aside to welcome the next resident Lama, Lama Eric); Samsara Blues (sung to “downtown Blues” – you get the picture of what kind of night this was!

The funniest part was when Lama Eric acted in a short skit called “Dharma Analysis”. Crawford played a therapist who in the end wound up in the patient’s chair!

A couple of weeks after the offering I continued to hear from dharma friends that our offering was really well received and helped set a sacred tone. As KCC adjusts to their new teacher and life settles in again after the transition, I hope to offer more dancing there. The center was founded in honor of Bokar Rinpoche, one of Prema’s main meditation teachers, who loved the dance.

Dancers left to right: Linda Grove, Cynthia Irvine, Phyllis Moses, Celedra Gildea, Carolyn Peck


Tara, Dancing in Phoenix, Vermont, Guarapari and Maui

It was a powerful approach to the full moon, November 8-10.
We had three mandalas turning that weekend,
one in Phoenix, one in Vermont and one in Guarapari in Brazil.

Myri in the center with the Tara Dancers of Guarapari. Several Taras flew in from other cities to support the group. They did their offering on Saturday so the group could go together to a Zen monastery in the countryside. The leader of the Guarapari circle, Daison, is a Priest there. The group has sponsored Myri for several years and are developing beautifully.

Parvati led the group in Phoenix. It has been four years since the Phoenix circle has offered a public mandala and it was well attended. Carey Avery mentioned that while dancing in Seattle for Dagmola she realized that the dance was a healing presence for the audience, and this understanding enriched her experience in Phoenix. Carey is a wonderful support for Parvati as she leads the local dancers in their monthly meetings when Parvati is traveling. A mix of new and experienced dancers were present with many from out of town.  The group enjoyed live music nourishment from Shivadam Burke and Bernie Skydrummer. 
One witness to the Offering wrote “Watching the dances was a joy. It was so wonderful seeing all those women just being free, letting their inner exquisiteness out“.










Janice led the group in Vermont. Several of the Taras drove over from upstate New York to keep the wheel turning







The next day, Monday, was full moon and Prema led the Maui Tara Dancers in an evening meeting. A very special guest was Āinalei, Jocelyn’s little daughter, who delighted us all with her lively presence.





The circle in Vermont was delighted to have Amber join them with her musician friends  from New York,. They are learning the Tara Dance material.  She is determined to have her Tara Band ready to play when Prema and Myri lead a weekend retreat in June in Upstate New York.





May the Precious Wheel Of Dancing Tara
Continue to Spin Through Our World
Bringing Blessings and Inspiration,
Peace and Joy






Tara Dances In Virginia Beach

November 2019 Jacquelyn Sendak-Zavaleta and her husband Rigdzen returned to Virginia Beach to share dances of Tara with a group that has been gathering there. She writes….

Despite the cold and rainy weather, Black Friday sales traffic, city road construction, and the Thanksgiving holiday, I was pleasantly surprised to welcome many long time Buddhist Practitioners to our Tara Dance and Dharma presentations.

Our first night Jeremy, one of the local Buddhist leaders, attended. Keith, another seasoned practitioner who helped us set up Tara Dance events in Portsmouth also joined us.

Tara and Mike, who have helped host our Tara events at their home, surprised us! They recently sold their Virginia Beach home to relocate to South Carolina. We were so grateful they took time to dance with us, and say goodbye.

During one session my sister, Annette, provided live piano music for us to free dance.

Our Dzogchen community (Namkai Norbu) was having a 24 hour round the clock Tara mantra worldwide event during our dance practice. We tapped into that, dancing and chanting Tara’s mantra. The energy generated was directed towards healing the elements, the earth, and all sentient beings.

Our last class was attended by a couple who were expecting a baby boy next month. Sweet to have a future Buddha baby receiving Tara’s dancing blessings.  This class was focused on White Tara. Everyone enjoyed the Tara meditation lead by Rigdzin and the White Tara dances.

As we left the church, Susan, the scheduler, ran up to our car. She thanked us for bringing Tara’s energy to the church and added, “see you again, in summer 2020?” “Yes! Definitely,” we replied. Tara Dancing is alive and well in Virginia Beach!!

Felicity is Dancing Tara in Japan

Felicity and Yasuko

Felicity Oswell is resident in Sydney, Australia and has been leading a circle of Tara Dancing there for 22 years. She has lived in Japan and has worked as a tour guide taking Australians to Japan for 25 years, some of which were pilgrimages and Design & Architecture university study tours. This year marks 30 years of running workshops in Japan such as Mandala Art Therapy work and in 2000 she established a circle of dancing Taras. They have offered the dance in many sacred places in the country and are very committed to the practice. When the nuclear power plant accident happened in Fukushima things became difficult for our dancers and Felicity’s tour guide company folded. Yasuko has kept the group together. The following year the Japanese Taras danced on Mt. Iwate volcano in the heart of the affected area. Finally Felicity has managed to get back to her beloved Japanese circle. She writes…

I timed this visit to Japan to coincide with the quarterly meetings of the Tara group in Tokyo; and it just happened to be my birthday too. Needless to say we had a lovely gathering and went on to have a great party in the evening and danced our little feet off.

We are excited as next year will be the 20th anniversary of dancing Tara in Japan (can’t believe it!!!) and next weekend we’ll be looking for an amazing spot to have a retreat and offering somewhere up in the mountains in Yamanashi 2020. Will keep you all posted.


Much love,  Felicity


Om Tare!!!











Nritya Mandala Mahavihara Celebrates 10 Years

Nritya Mandala Mahavihara is an authentic Newar Nepali temple in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Prajwal, the resident priest, is the son of Ratna Kaji, who introduced Prema to the sacred Vajrayana Dance of Charya. The Nritya Mandala is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with multiple events.  They just held their Opening Celebration September 21–22, 2019, hosted at Henjyoji Shingon Temple. Third Level Tara Dhatu Teacher Phyllis Moses joined the opening ceremony …. She writes…

The opening day of the 10th anniversary was really precious. Noelle, Kim, Ingrid and I offered Tara Dhatu’s Refuge & Bodhicitta. I shared a bit about Taradhatu and participated in the Dance of the 5 Wisdom Buddhas. At the end of the evening, after wonderful dance performances by Prajwal, Helen and their senior students, Prajwal mentioned my Tara Dance circle and was able to share about Prema and Myri’s Oct. 9th event.

We were delighted to receive this special video from a Nepali TV station…


You are invited to continue to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Nritya Mandala Mahavihara this autumn enjoying A Mandala of Gems – The Treasury of Nepal’s Buddhist Heritage. The Vihara will offer events celebrating the practice & culture from the ancient crossroads of the Nepal Mandala, now shining in the West. For more information go to

Dancing Tara in Virginia Beach

July 2019 Jacquelyn Sendak-Zavaleta and her husband Rigdzen returned to Virginia Beach to share dances of Tara with a group that has been gathering there. She writes….

Despite temperatures of 100 degrees, and construction closing the street near our location, Fellowship of the Inner Light, friends came to join us for our yearly Tara and dharma dances in Virginia Beach.

We had a mixed group of long time Tara and Dharma Practitioners, local church members, Sharon, the wife of the Church’s founder and several first timers.

After dancing, everyone commented on how they could feel Tara’s energy. How vital these Tara and Dharma dances are during these interesting times.

Rigdzin led an extensive Tara meditation as well as a question and answer session.  Time seemed to fly by.

We will be returning for more Tara dance activities November this year.  One of our group responded, “Woo Hoo! That is great news. It will be wonderful to see you again and do more Tara dancing.”

Tara is Dancing in Woodstock

Amber Roniger recently joined our Tara Dhatu Educational Program as a Level 1 facilitator. Inspired by the activity generated by Hope Jinishian’s efforts to introduce the dance at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, including arranging several sessions with Prema Dasara, Amber decided to help institute regular Tara Dhatu meetings in the area. She arranged a meeting for Full Moon in September. She writes…

The meeting was wonderful! We had such a large group! It was a highlight seeing everyone settle in after I played your opening meditation on “Dance the Goddess”.

Hope led the “Om Ah Hum” dance and it was beautiful! Everyone laughed so much and enjoyed even the learning mistakes. It was a great bonding experience.

Marie, Jeff and Peter played Mercede’s White Tara mantra to end the evening, which was just perfect.

I am setting the aspiration to create “An Autumn Afternoon with Tara” Om Tare!!!


Tara Danced at the Sakyadhita Conference In the Blue Mountains Australia

Felicity Oswell is one of Tara Dhatu’s most senior teachers. Her residence is in Sydney, Australia where she has worked with a group of dancers for more than 20 years. June 2019 the Sakyadhita Conference was in the Blue Mountains of Australia, right around the corner from Sydney. Felicity represented Tara Dhatu, offering three sessions of dance as well as a performance. She writes…

I had the great pleasure of attending the Sakyadhita conference in the Blue Mountains along with Karen and Arjuna Weiss (our musician), Katrina our Blue Mountains teacher, Diane a local Tara and 900 or so others! There were around 500 nuns from all over Asia which was such a blessing and I got to catch up with many old dharma friends, as well as meet so many inspiring women and nuns.

We had 3 workshops and Katrina and I danced the 16 Offering Goddess Dance in the Cultural Evening, each one was amazing.

The first workshop was on the first day and in the foyer of the Fairmont Resort in Leura where everyone stayed. This large rambling resort has big open fireplaces, grand views of valleys and rocky outcrops in the mist of the winter landscape, and all was buzzing with a sea of bald heads – I felt like a giant!

The foyer where we offered the Dance of the 21 Qualities of Tara is an enormous open, noisy space where many of the 900 attendees transited. It was challenging to focus the energy of the 80 or so participants, many of the nuns didn’t speak any English and the mike didn’t work well.

Yet the dance generated so much energy in the space, people kept joining in and circles grew in all directions. The dance finished, Arjuna continued to play and people spontaneously went back into singing the mantra and then improvised several circles and other variations of the dance. It was amazing and exhilarating!

On the second day Katrina and I offered the 16 Offering Goddess dance at the Cultural evening. It was a joy to dance for Tenzin Palmo, Joan Halifax and so many inspiring women.

The second workshop was in a more confined space and I led the Dance of Motivation, the Tara Mantra Dance and a Beloved Tara Dance; Karen led several Dances of Universal Peace; Gate Gate Dance and Kwanzeon Bosai which the Korean Nuns loved. It was very well received by around 30 participants, and everyone wanted endless photo opportunities at the end.

Finally, in the 3rd workshop I presented Anahata’s Tara’s Refuge Dance. We did it in 2 circles calling and responding to each other and it was a hit! When we reached the chorus of Namo Gurubya…, it felt like the whole space took off. People said it could be heard through the whole resort and many came just to watch and bask in the energies.

Another highlight was making Kimchi with Korean Nun Jeong Kwan of ‘The Chef’s Table’ fame,– so delicious and she is such a character!

It was such a wonderful sharing and I felt so happy to be a part of this giant wheel of dharma. The breadth and depth of Buddhism shone through the amazing women gathered there and I’m definitely going to the next one!





Dancing Tara at the Portland Buddhist Festival

Phyllis Moses is a Level 3 Tara Dhatu teacher.  She has supported the Tara Dance since it’s inception on Maui 32 years ago. Now residing in Oregon she has been offering Tara Dance introductions and classes in the area.  Recently she and Noelle Faulkner had a booth at the Portland Buddhist Festival and introduced Tara Dhatu dances. Her livelihood and volunteer work has been in the healing field, offering yoga, meditation, and more, for the past 26 years. She writes… 

Tara is dancing ~ at the Portland Buddhist Festival! It was one of those beautiful, sunny, perfectly mild temperature days in the Pacific Northwest . Springtime can be so enlivening when we shed our layers of coats and feel the sap in the trees and drink in the beauty of the rainbow hues of colors of all the blossoming flowers. About 17 different Buddhist groups gathered in Colonel Summers Park in SE Portland, OR. to share the richness and the diversity of the paths that have nurtured our Being.

Noelle Faulkner and I had our Taradhatu booth, which felt like walking into Tara’s Pure Realm. Noelle’s creative touch had hand –painted the canopy and found the beautiful brocade Bedouin type curtains to grace the booth. Her last minute creativity came up with a beautiful Tara Dhatu plaque. It was an easy flow day with people coming in and out all day, even while the speakers had 30 minute spots in the nearby pavilion every half hour from 11 – 4pm.

At 2 pm – right in the middle of the day, we presented in the brick pavilion built in 1921. The doors were made by laser-cut steel plate of trees motif, overlaid with flora and fauna patterning, creating a forest-themed composition. All the speakers beforehand gave presentations, speaking to the audience. When I came in it felt right to not say much, but to just get everyone up and in a circle to start out with the Motivation Prayer. That seemed to magnetize others so that by the time we finished with that, the circle had grown twice as large, just in time for Shantideva’s prayer.

The main organizer also felt the shift in energy and said it was good to have some movement after all the speakers and people sitting earlier.

There were many booths including Pure Land, Thich Nat Hanh, Zen, Vajrayana, Vipassana, non-sectarian groups, and the Kids’ Canopy which was busy with stories, crafts, play, and fun.  Our dear friend Prajwal of Charya Nritya Dance had a booth and also spoke and did a short dance for the public. It was especially gratifying for me to share such a beautiful Spring day with so many people of like mind on the path of Awakening!

We had a steady stream of visitors and between Noelle and I, all had a chance to learn more about the realm of Tara. We gathered more names for the monthly email I send out and we were delighted to have a wonderful circle at our next gathering a couple weeks after the festival. For Noelle and myself, being relatively new to the area; it felt wonderful to be part of this rare celebration in a city that has such a wealth of dharma options.

Tara is on the move!





Dancing Tara for Women with Disabilities

Amina has worked with disability most of her life. She has often represented the differently abled, advocating for their rights and place in society. Several years ago she became a Facilitator of the Mandala Dance of Tara and has led a small circle of disabled women in the dance practices.

Last year she applied to the 2019 World Parliament of Religions to present a paper she had written, “Tara as Divine Feminine Contradiction to Ableism(discrimination against people with disabilities characterizing them as inferior to the non-disabled) for Women with Disabilities” Her paper was accepted and she presented her workshop. Here is her report…

My workshop was scheduled for the very end of the Parliament, Tuesday Nov. 6 at 3pm. The Parliament’s last session was the next day. It was good to be able to see how others skillfully led their various dance sessions since I only had 45 minutes.

My dear friend and Tara sister, Jenny Mish helped me to sort out what were the three most important things to get across in my session. 1. Ableism/disability oppression information, 2) information about Tara and how the practice was developed 3) a real experience invite the participants to dance the Qualities of Tara

Parvati had made up some Tara cards that we passed out to let people at the conference know about our sessions and I boldly went up to every woman with a visible disability (using scooter, wheelchair, walker or canes), introduced my self and invited them to my session. I also gave them the paper I had written because it explained what I was trying to convey.

There were many other sessions running at the same time, though I was quite encouraged as I had 21 people in my session. Fortunately several were experienced Tara dancers, which boosted my confidence.

It was very helpful to be blessed with Shivadam’s musical accompaniment since flexibility was needed. I first gave out information about how the negative ableist attitudes experienced by women with disabilities gets internalized and we can mistakenly believe that is who we are (a burden, unreliable, fakers, lazy, too emotional, dangerous, too much trouble, unattractive, better off dead, etc.).

Then I explained that after many years as a disability advocate, when I saw the 21 Praises of Tara Mandala offering I was struck how this was the best contradiction to sexism and ableism I had ever seen and I set out to learn the practice and then to make it available to women with disabilities and chronic illness who don’t have the ability or stamina to dance the full Mandala.

After giving  a little background on Tara and her many names in various cultures and Prema’s story of how this practice came to be, I invited them to do the Prayer of Motivation with me. Then I led them through the refuge and bodhicitta practice and invited them to do the dance of Tara’s Qualities with me. The participants were enthusiastic and beaming as they danced the qualities of Tara. I had the pleasure of seeing those beaming faces and watching Tara in action in my life once again!




Tara Is Dancing In The Encyclopedia Of Women In World Religions!

Several years ago Phyllis Moses was asked to write a lengthy article about Taradhatu. When Barbara Patton, a TDEP Facilitator of Pacifica, California noticed it, she mentioned that her sister, Susan, was editing an Encyclopedia and put them in touch. Although The Mandala Dance of Tara is not considered a ‘religion’ by Phyllis, nor many who participate in it, she thought it would be a great vehicle to help get the word out about our beloved Dance.

When Barbara wrote to her sister, Susan replied:”I could use the article if it underwent a major revision. It has to be objective, meaning not a personal story, “I,” and “we” have to be edited out. There is plenty of information in the article to re-make it, so if she is interested, please let me know.”

Thus, the birth of Phyllis’s current article in  ‘The Encyclopedia Of Women In Religion – Faith and Culture Across History’, edited by Susan De Gaia with cooperation, insight, and feedback from Prema Dasara.

You may read the article

The Encyclopedia is a beautiful collection of ‘herstory’, magnificently edited by Susan de Gaia. For a list of all the articles and authors, go to:

And if you’d like to help get it for yourself, or let others know about it, (such as: the reference library of your local college, or community library), it’s also available on Amazon.

This is the original long article: final.Mandala(ed).copy:photos

There was an additional ‘further reading’ that did not make it into the Encyclopedia, but is also quite relevant to our Dancing Taras.

From the included blurb of the book,

“Sixty Four Yogini Temple Hirapur”

by Suresh Balabantaray


Lying in the midst of paddy fields and vast water shed, barely six kilometers from the temple city of Bhubaneswar the Yogini temple of Hirapur, surrounded for years with such a veil of secrecy that its existence became public knowledge only in the year 1953. Built in 9th Century A.D. Hirapur temple is the smallest of all Yogini temples and measures only thirty feet in diameter, with stone walls barely eight feet high. Yet the atmosphere that exists within it is quite awe-inspiring. This miniature circle conveys an impression of overwhelming power and seems to transmit the potency and dynamic strength of its sixty-four Yoginis.

Prema Dasara used to go there (early 80’s) when she lived in India and was studying with her teacher Guru Ramani Ranjan Jena. She had not seen him in over 25 years and when Prema returned to India in 2013 I joined a pilgrimage of 20 of her student dancers. We met her teacher and his wife and son at the Hirapur temple. We danced for her Guruji and he said to Prema, “I knew you would not do something traditional, yet i knew you would do something great”. To read his eulogy:


Charging the Wealth Vase

For some years our good friend Andrea Abinanti, who lives on Manjushri Hill, Swayambu, Kathmandu, Nepal, has kept a Wealth Vase for Tara Dhatu. Every year a Puja is performed at the Thuckche Choling Monastery to honor the God of Wealth, Dzambhala. It is said that he grants spiritual wealth and financial stability.

Each year local residents bring their wealth vases to be re-energized by the prayers and mantras of this puja. Andrea is kind enough to place ours in the blessing area.

In the early morning Yamantaka is propitiated to remove all obstacles. Then the various wealth deities are called upon and innumerable mantras are recited.

In the afternoon the protectors are invoked to remove obstacles that plague all beings and create the cause for all to have material means to survive comfortably.

Prayers are made that the natural elements are in balance; that there will be abundant crops, successful businesses, good jobs and all societies treating everyone with loving kindness.

On the final day when the initiation was to be given, Dhrubtop Rinpoche’s yangtse (re-incarnation) came to oversee the last part of the annual puja. The previous Dhrubtop Rinpoche graciously received the Tara Dhatu pilgrimage of 2001 and told us of finding the self-arising Tara in the jungles of Parping. Now as a young child he listened with great happiness to the teachings.


May the power of Dzambhala’s prayers and mantras,

And the mantras of all the gods and goddesses of wealth,

Shower their blessings on all 

Bestowing the prosperity of wisdom,

Wealth, health and happiness!







Prayers for Our Dear Elizabeth Breck

Elizabeth Breck dancing Tara of Irresistible Truth

Teresa Tara Noor is a long time Tara dancer and leader who lives in Tucson and has shared leadership with Elizabeth Breck in Tucson, AZ for many years. Below is a letter from her and a call to our global Tara Sangha for prayers.  Prema offers the below prayer and says, “Please tell everyone to visualize Elizabeth surrounded by Tara’s Loving Light.”

*** (See the bottom of the page for the most up to date information.)***

Dear Ones:

For those who do not yet know, our dear Tara sister and teacher, Elizabeth Drolkar Breck has been missing since last Sunday [Sunday January 13, 2019].  We are all very concerned about her well-being and the police have issued a missing person’s alert.  Here is a link to the news story which includes a phone number to call if you have any information or have seen her.

In the meantime, we are requesting prayers for her well-being and safe return to family and friends. We will still be meeting this Sunday as scheduled from 2 to 3:30 and will dedicate our practice to sending prayers and intention for Elizabeth’s safety and well-being.  I sincerely hope that she will be located and found safe and well before then, but in any event, we will dedicate our practice to healing, balance, and blessings for Elizabeth and her family.

In addition, Prema Dasara, Founder and Spiritual Director of Tara Dhatu ( is urging us to engage in the practice of White Tara and has written the beautiful prayer below:

Prema asks that we picture Elizabeth surrounded by Mother Tara’s love and light.

Beloved Mother Tara,

Our dear friend, sister, student, teacher Elizabeth Breck has gone missing and we are worried about her, Mother.

Please hear our prayer that she be returned to our loving arms. Keep her safe, Mother, and let our love be a beacon to her that she return to us safe and sound.

 Tara, Mother, you bring peace to the worried heart. You surround us all with your protective light and help us to heal in this world of intense challenges. Elizabeth has turned to you most of her life, Mother with great faith and sincerity. So now we all turn to you, vibrating every element with your mantra, sending our wishes and prayers that this concern be quickly resolved.

We think of all the families who are missing dear ones, knowing the pain of the heart and as we pray for Elizabeth so we pray for all who suffer. May our love and light bring Elizabeth home and bring healing to all hearts.

Om Tare Tutare Mama Ayu Punye Jnana Pustim Kuru Soha

Great Mother Who Removes All Fears, Who Bestows Good fortune Give us Long Life, Wisdom, Merit, and Good Health

Here is a link to a beautiful version of  White Tara Mantra:

Love, peace, and blessings to you all,

Teresa Tara Noor



Weekend of March 30th 2019

The Vermont Tara community invited…

“We are coming together to honor and celebrate our Tara sister Elizabeth Breck at the Spring Equinox, with a Saturday night gathering to share our grief and praise for our Elizabeth and her many gifts – a time to share stories or images or anything we need to and just be together. That will be Saturday March 30th,5-9 pm at the upstairs space at The Plainfield Co-op. Then on Sunday, March 31st we will re-convene 1-5 to set the Mandala and dance the 21 Praises of Tara. Followed by the Offerings dance led by Ivy Garland , who is flying in for the weekend. Then we will dance White Tara and the beautiful prajnaparamita dance to close.”

Location: The Plainfield Co-op 153 Main St Plainfield, VT 05667

For more information please visit the FaceBook event listing:

Suki, Elizabeth’s dear friend and long time Tara Dhatu community member shares the following on this FaceBook group: “i would like to open up this space for people to share how they feel about Elizabeth and her disappearance and how we can come together to share those feelings and thoughts and praise and grief.. please feel free to share in here


In the California Bay Area Pia invited…

Join us Sunday the 31st from 3-6PM at Shelldance Orchid Gardens 2000 Coast Highway Pacifica, CA as we come together to honor our beloved Tara Sister Elizabeth who is still missing. We will dance the Mandala or the Qualities depending on the turn out and end the practice with White Tara Of The Six Shields. After we will have a pot luck. Come dance in the beauty of the Orchid Gardens. With all the crazy things going on in the world dancing together in this sacred way helps to lift our spirits and connect with each other.
Contact Sugessted donation $21

For more information please visit the FaceBook event listing:

Pia, another dear Tara sister of Elizabeth and Tara leader Mandala leader shares the following on this FaceBook group:

“8 weeks ago today…Missing our missing one. In some ways it seems like if anyone would just disappear it would be Elizabeth…poof… gone… here for a minute gone in the next. A blink of a lifetime…lifeline…life shine…I continue to see her and worry about her…

Last time she was here she was on an 8 hour layover after her personal visit with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India.
I picked her up at the airport brought her home and she took a very, very, very long shower. I made us lunch, as I had just gone to the farmers market. Rice noodles with veggies & cilantro ginger pesto.

She really helped me with some of the politics of dancing that I was having a really hard time with. She had many more years of experience and it was like Tara sent her to me for support. Hand in hand we went to see Prema Dasara who had just arrived in Pacifica…The timing of this was divine…Mother Tara stay with us until the end of time… here one minute gone the next…

I wore the cord of protection she gave me until it disintegrated… we continued our talks over the years about our practice and the politics of dancing…We went for a quick walk on the beach as our time was running out…

She went through a bag of clothes I had and she found so many things she had to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothes because she had no room in her luggage.
She arrived pretty thin in her beautiful and delicate dancers body and left with a “few extra pounds”. We laughed a lot, we cried also…

One thing about the soul connection of our Tara Sisters is we have been together for many, many lifetimes…It is clear when we dance together, meet each other eye to eye, hand to hand, heart to heart… sometimes no words are ever spoken…our connection is surreal…in devotion…

So today 8 weeks you are still missing…here one minute and gone the next…I hope you dissolved into rainbow light in bliss…Or you are dancing in the sky beautiful Dakini…I pray no harm has come to you beautiful one…no pain or suffering…the not knowing is hard for us here…”The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences”
Here one minute gone in the next…Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Soha…”

And… circles gathered all over the world including circles lead by Prema and Myri in Brasilia and Parvati, Amina, and Carey in Phoenix…

The Global Tara Dhatu sangha is offering prayers all over the world for the well being and safe return of our lost Tara sister and friend. Om Tare Tutare Mama Ayu Punye Jnana Pustim Kuru Soha

(We have heard no new news of her whereabouts. It has been months since she went missing near Tucson, Arizona where she lived. Please contact us if you do have any information.)

Here Elizabeth and her daughter Arabella are pictured after a Mandala offering with the other Arizona mothers and daughters dancing that weekend together.

June 3, 2019 Note From Elizabeth’s Brother

Posted on the GoFundMe page set up to raise money to help pay for the private investigator and pay her bills….

Update 9
46 mins ago


Thanks again for following this situation. Since January we have been searching for Elizabeth after she went missing from Sierra Tucson’s treatment program and was assumed to have departed on her own terms. We have no evidence to say what happened as she was never spotted on camera or by an individual outside the facility but we feel after two exhaustive searches of the grounds that the likelihood of her being on the grounds is limited. Our family with your generous donations and personal funds hired a private investigation team from the Tucson area Patriot Shield Investigators. The team consists primarily of ex or retired police officers with expertise in missing persons and homicide investigations, including a former head of search and rescue. In other words this team really knew what they were doing and followed up every lead. To date while we have uncovered a lot of possible pieces to outline Elizabeth’s mental state and events that lead up to her seeking treatment we have no solid leads after her disappearance. While our PIs have exhausted all of the obvious leads there are still things that can be looked into to ensure no stone is left unturned and continue ground searches in a wider area. We want to thank everyone for your support and help during this trying time.

Finally I’d like to answer a few common questions that continue to come up.
1. Elizabeth has been reported as a missing person and entered as such in the national database that includes liaison with the FBI.
2. Elizabeth’s DNA has been entered into the missing persons database so that any discovered remains can be ruled out as possible matches.
3. The police/law enforcement have been overall phenomenal and have done everything in their power to find out what happened.
4. We appreciate all volunteers that have expressed their desire to assist and continue to do so, however we currently do not require volunteers but if we do I will reach out.
5. We continue to liaison with local groups and organizations to search the areas and keep their eyes open.
Any further questions can be directed to me or our investigators, Patriot Shield.

Thanks again for all your support.


Tara Dances at the Parliament Of World Religions

Parvati led a group of Tara Dancers in presenting a Tara Dance workshop at the Parliament Of World Religions in Toronto, Canada this November. She writes…

The Promise Of Inclusion

The Power Of Love

With the inspiration to join hands and hearts in commitment to justice and the well being of all – including Mother Earth Herself,

With the courage to say yes and step into the circle of the unknown and share our hopes, hurts, fears, dreams, truths, and highest aspirations,

With the innate awareness that there is an inherent unity bigger than each individual one, out of which all are born and unto whom they must return,

With eyes, ears, and hearts open to both the beauty and the horror,

With a desire to share in sacred space and practice both of and outside our own traditions,

With compassion and conviction, over 8,000 beloveds from over 80 countries joined together as religious leaders, musicians, dancers,  scholars, students, and delegates of this world’s faith traditions along with atheist friends.

The first Parliament Of World Religions was held in Chicago in 1893 and the 2018 Parliament was held the first weekend of November in Toronto.  It was WONDERFUL and POTENT and… the Taras were there dancing!

In 2015 I attended my first Parliament in Salt Lake City and was blown away by the some 10,000 heart/minds who had come together, committed to inclusive social justice, planetary unity, and holistic well being for ALL beings. They had gathered together to share and connect, to give and receive information, to inspire and be inspired.

Imagine yourself in an airport full of radically inclusive people passionate about living the spiritual ideals of love, compassion, generosity, patience, forgiveness, and radically committed to being the change they want to see in the world. This was what we found at the Parliament and there was no question in my mind that our Tara Dance sangha needed to connect with this community.  With the support of Phyllis Danu, Johanna Leseho (who valiantly agreed to do the leg work of actually submitting the proposal for our session), Shivadam, and Amina, I stepped up to offer an session of our 21 Praises of Tara.

We had only 90 minutes to share so we treated it much like a Friday night introduction of the fuller Mandala Dance Of The 21 Praises Of Tara retreat weekend.  Opening with Motivation, Dancing Refuge and Bodhicitta, sharing a couple of stories about Tara’s birth and a bit about our beloved Teacher and lineage, we concluded with the Dance of the 21 Qualities of Tara and the Mantra Dance.

We dove right in. The group that joined us was packed into the room and each person brought such a wonderful quality of presence to their enthusiastic participation.  Some knew Tara and some were completely new to Tara but all were right there with us every step of the way.

There were over 40 sessions in the same time slot as our own and with so many rich offerings, including another one focused on the 21 Praises Of Tara, I was elated that we had such a rich group join us.  It was a joy to share the session and the week with sister Taras Johanna Leseho, Jasmine Judith, Aimee Johnson, Jenny Malika Mish, and Phyllis Danu, as well as my own beloved wise and wonderful mother Amina who also  led a powerful Tara session on dancing Tara as a contradiction to internalized disability oppression.

It was also beautiful to have the celestial musical support of my own divine minstrel Shivadam who played for both Amina’s session and ours. Phyllis’ s own beloved Habib also joined in with his drum for our main Tara session.  As all the Tara leaders know, having live music is such a gift both energetically and in terms of logistical flexibility. Both Shivadam and Habib had originally been scheduled to play with the Dances Of Universal Peace in their session but since that session was, by some cosmic joke, also scheduled in the same time slot, we felt very privileged to have them playing for us.  And so our 3 concentric circles danced with great joy and exuberance… we did not get an official count but we guessed we had about 45 participants.  Thank goodness for cordless mics!

Our session was just one of hundreds offered each day of the week and in every time slot there were at least another 5 or so workshops, each one we wanted to attend.

Dr. Vandala Shiva was among the most powerful speakers and communicates with such wit and elegance about the circumstances on our planet at this time, the causes and conditions that got us to this place, and some very creative solutions to help us heal both ourselves and our planet.

So many enlightening and empowering voices of wisdom from over 80 countries and every religion I can think of. While grabbing a quick bite to eat with several hundred other people at the free lungar lunch being offered by the generous Sikh community before going to set up for our session, Shivadam and I ran into a woman drinking tea who introduced herself and as we chatted we realized she was leading the other 21 Taras session!

She had planned to go on the 2001 pilgrimage but was one who felt she needed to stay home for family reasons… a small and beautiful world so full of magical connections.  She showed me her newly published 21 Taras deck of cards, we laughed, and hugged, and went off to lead our sessions!  While I had once worried about our sessions being offered at the same time I felt the magic was just multiplied. How perfect!

I cannot recommend this experience highly enough and will be sure to tell you all when they announce where and when the next Parliament will be held. Thank you to Prema for all the inspiration and support and for gifting us all with this precious and powerful practice.

Om Tare! Om Ah Hung!







Tara Dances in Chile

The Flowering

Of Divine Mother Tara

In the Andean Lands

Myri Dakini has been cultivating a group of young women in Chile for several years. This November she offered a five day retreat in Chile.  Myri writes …

Through the loving spirit of One Being, we become aware of our responsibility to follow with joy and surrender the path of awakening.

We retreat, practicing Tara, meeting to strengthen and share our luminous nature.

It was with this dedication and vision that I accepted the invitation for Tara’s third retreat in the Andean lands. To cross the mountains of the Andes is to feel the female presence of Pachamama, her mystery, her magic and welcome. This brings back the memory of the ancestry of a people dedicated to cultivating and honoring the Divine Mother.

We shared four days full of magical moments, of harmony, beauty, color and joy … the expression of the gifts of femininity in splendor.

The group was mostly women. we had one male protector, who was welcomed with love by all.

We opened the circle with fire, gathering in the round, all ready to receive the transmissions of light and nutrition for the mind heart.

This year’s focus on this retreat was to learn in depth the Dance of Tara’s Qualities, the movements, mudras, and dharma teachings. We started at 7:15 am and finished at 9:30 p.m. only stopping for meals. Everything and everyone was in their place and enjoyed every moment.

The evening session was very interesting. It was a time of personal sharing.

My first question to each dancer was what motivated them to participate in the retreat. Wow! It was incredible, very touching. Everyone shared with an open heart.

The last day of the retreat was a celebration of intense gratitude. We did our practice on the beach, facing the mighty pacific ocean. Looking at the infinite space of the brilliant blue sea we connected in spirit with our beloved Prema on her island in the midst of the great pacific ocean. We felt that there was no distance when we are all interconnected in the heart.

Back at the retreat center we circled around the fire to thank the invisible and protective beings of the place. We were so grateful forthis precious opportunity to be together in the way of the Dharma.

I specially want to thank the precious teachers of our Tara Dhatu Educational Program; Valentina, Maria Concepción, Atma and Karian, who organized and prepared the retreat. It was was built with wisdom, compassion, power and love …

From my heart great gratitude, Myri Dakini


Maria Concepción

To begin to put into words all the beauty that happened in our last Tara Retreat would seem to be unfair, given the language limitations, to the reality and manifestation of this precious event.

It required a long preparation. A retreat carried out with so much love. Every retreat’s detail and moment was thought and felt with great love.

At the beginning the four organizers faced decisions that meant a big challenge to us as an organization, we knew to read the signals that Mother Tara was sending every moment, regarding a leap of faith and to trust that everything would be given in order to manifest this retreat. Praying deeply, receiving profound inspiration, surrendering at Her service , the retreat was manifested and raised with great splendor.

Personally I felt this retreat was a great success, intensely enjoyed by each of the participants, who surrendered themselves to live the experience of our 3rd Tara Retreat in Chile.

I was especially pleased to note the harmony existing throughout the retreat. It was a friendly ambience between all the participants. We enjoyed the harmony in the center with its natural beauty that was in tune with the work we were doing. The two women owners of Las Coincidencias ( were so helpful, accommodating, caring and receptive to us and our work. It was a convergence of auspicious factors that made this retreat an unforgettable experience, a memory treasured with love in our lives.

With deep gratitude to Great Mother Tara for manifesting herself inspiring us, her organizers, with so much beauty, love, compassion, generosity, wisdom and perfection.

Profound gratitude to our Teacher Myri Dakini, who shared with so much Joy, and trust in us. Every time she has come to us in Chile she shares her knowledge, with so much generosity, seeding the wisdom and awakening seeds in every participant. Inmense gratitude and admiration to our Teacher Prema Dasara for her amazing work all of these years creating the beautifull Dances of Tara for our awakening path.

Feeling ultimately, a heartfeelt call and vocation to keep walking this precious path of spiritual growth, I dedícate myself for the benefit of all beings.              SOHA.


Being part of the Organization group taught me many things on a personal level as well as the collective level. Together we learned from many challenges.

In the personal level I could see my relationship with abundance; how my mind passes from very positive to negative, how I create expectations, and so on.

As the Organization group we lived the experience in a closer and more democratic way of working, trusting each other and everybody taking her place, everyone trusting in the other’s work.

The energy of this retreat was different as I can see the community in Chile becoming more cohesive.

I lived the retreat intimately. I had no tension of organizing since we could foresee situations and harmonically organized with others, The work was shared so no stress. I was able to connect with the retreat experience and enjoy the dances, dive into the meditational practices.

I am still digesting the experience I am in a life cycle of many changes, self-reflexions of what my path has been, and what I want it to be.

In that way the retreat was a space to integrate my soul´s restlessness.

I am so thankful for the experience, both individual and collective and grateful for Myri’s trust and dedication.


I decided to join the organizational team when I felt my fellow’s enthusiasm, I wanted to give them support and cheer them on in this adventure of organizing the retreat, encouraging them, and being by their side on what I could, I don’t know much about technologies and computers, but they could count on me if they needed an opinion to make decisions concerning the venue’s choice or visiting different places, feeling the place’s energy and cheer them up on all that would be possible.

The economic part was complex, but we encouraged each other, generating a conviction and trusting one another. In every meeting ‘ideas and inspiration rain’ were flowing. It was an opportunity for lots of learning and personal and collective work.

With confidence, the most auspicious situations took place. I was alert to the signals that life and the environment were sending me. When we visited the venue ‘Las Coincidencias’, to me it was key to see a hummingbird over a bush full of flowers… I felt that was the signal to choose that place, and then, when we saw that beautiful spiral room, I knew it was perfect for dancing.

And then we had to spread the word, inspiring others, transmitting enthusiasm for them to come to the retreat. Everything flowed harmoniously. Little by little people were signing up and we saw with great surprise new people who had never danced before were excited about participating. This was a great present and joy.

My friends have done a great and enormous work. I try to be always positive and optimist in all situations of life, so I felt that the people coming to the retreat would be the right ones, regardless the number of participants. I was thinking: my wonderful Tara is in their hearts, and the right ones would be inspired to participate.

Near to the retreat’s date, on October 8th, a family crisis arose. My granddaughter Rafita, only 2 months old was diagnosed by the doctors who gave no chance for her to survive. This has been an ‘earthquake’ in the life of my family. At the time I devoted myself completely to my son, to be present, to support him, be by his side and encourage him on everything. I took refuge in the mantras and danced with all my heart, connecting from the purest place of my soul, asking for strength and guidance for this sad and painful time.

I decided to fully live day by day, in the present, enjoying and feeling gratitude for every second that we were able to have our precious Rafaela with us. I cheered my family, demonstrating that was the way to be with her, encouraging her, with joy, support, strength and much love, filling her with sweetness with all our soul.

I became more aware of the impermanence of life, living every minute the best way possible. It was complex to decide whether I would go or not to the retreat. But things got stabilized with the seriousness and I felt the compromise to be in support of all this great organization work. I went with the intention to come back (to my city) in any moment if something happened to my Rafita. I am so thankful that everything got even more stabilized. I realized I would a be bigger support to my family by being in the retreat. I danced connected to my family. It was very beautiful all the support and love I received from everyone. It was a joy and strengthened me to see how everything flowed wonderfully in the retreat and to see how every participant was enjoying and connected to each dance. It was something really formidable, moving, and inspiring.

I thank with all my heart every smile, each word of encouragement, and the support on my beautiful Myri, her company, and advice. I am very grateful. I came back strengthened to re-join my day-to-day of life and keep living this experience with so much love for my family.

This 2018 retreat has left us many teachings and an even deeper connection to our beloved Tara.



Tara Retreat at Shambhala, Golden Bay, Aotearoa

Catherine Walker has been a devoted Tara Dance teacher for many years. She has kept the dance alive in the Nelson area of the South Island of New Zealand and in the exquisite area of Golden Bay. For four years she has offered a retreat in the area at the Shambhala retreat center, an exquisite sanctuary overlooking the sea. She writes…

The sound of the Karanga, a Maori ritual calling new Taras to join us, opened what became a rich and moving weekend for all, including me, the teacher! The Karanga, has the ability to move one out of the body and into the outer realms. Once we were inside our beautiful haven for the weekend, I felt myself return. It was a deeply spiritual start to our magnificent weekend.

Greetings and introductions were made, we warmed up our bodies moving to Taras Mantra, and continued creating the Sacred Space with our invocations to the Enlightened Ones. Following that we went outside and honored Hine Moana, Goddess of the Ocean, with a simple dance to the music   “There is so much Magnificence in the Ocean”.   Each one of us, stepping forward and offering our bows of Gratitude for being in her magnificent presence, as we let go of our busy lives in the external world and eased into our own Inner Tara Magnificence.

We then entered our dancing shrine area and danced Tara the White. The November Full Moon Meditation brought us much inspiration.

Saturday was a rich and fulfilling day for all as I introduced and taught two new dances, Dukkar, the 1000 Armed Protector Tara, and Premas Long Life Prayer that was written by one of her students in the US. We then developed a creative interpretation of Om Tare Tu Tare/Om Mani Padme Hum.

Saturday was also a day of Silence, a time to be quiet and reflective. To support this, there were creative spaces set up for those wishing “to do something”. A green glass bead Tam was made in one corner, stones were painted, writings and drawings noted.

Sunday morning, the keen Taras met at 5.30am on the beach to farewell the night and greet the new day…. the Karanga was offered again , and Tara’s Mantra floated out towards the changing sky.   A water cleansing ceremony unfolded and we held the space for each Tara who wanted to release unwanted negativities, hurts, pains, and distortions of their true beautiful nature.

We stopped off at The Tea House Gazebo, overlooking the sea, as the perfect place to go for a hot cup of tea before breakfast.

All our delicious meals were prepared, shared and served by a rotating group of Taras. Each meal was a feast for the eyes as we offered our Sacred Food Blessing.

It was with much Love, and Gratitude to Prema for bringing this life enriching Tara Practice into the world that we closed our Circle on Sunday afternoon.

We all left with a deeper appreciation of ourselves and each other, our environment and our Lives.

Some thoughts from several of the dancers…

Big heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making the Tara Dance weekend such a totally wonderful experience. This was only my second experience of Tara Dance and I fell in love with it!

 I had been really stressed recently at work and when I went back on the Monday my colleagues were all saying ‘where have you been ? you are glowing, wow!’

 Every aspect of the weekend gave so much in terms of beneficial energy and experience that could then go back out into the world. 

It supported, strengthened and inspired my own practice.

I felt cherished, held, delighted, expanded, challenged (in a positive way), uplifted, and profoundly nourished on all levels.

 Aroha nui to our dear teacher Catherine and her student Fiona.

Birthday good wishes for Prema Dasara, and gratitude for her teaching, wisdom and love.

Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha

Ali Symmons

“” to move , meditate , and dance in silence was an especially meaningful day, it gave depth and focus and a stillness to the experience that was so valuable, its one Id like to repeat. For all this in our 2 days together  I remain so grateful for Prema’s continued wisdom, aroha  and new blessings in the form of dance, and Catherine’s  dedication to pass this on …… they are enormous gifts so deeply appreciated .

In gratitude

Helen Bracefield

Sacred Space unfolds

Taras gather together

Souls meet, dance begins.

Laughter rings out through the hall

Joy, acceptance, belonging, celebration

Silence begins and Stillness allows

A coming together in a different way

Bodies swaying, eyes meeting

Connection, compassion, inner peace 

Mother Tara

Blessed be your gift.



Giving Tues 2018

Your support makes it possible for us to spin the wheels of of light and inspiration all over this beautiful blue green ball of earth and share the tools in Tara’s chest of treasures.

Thank you for your generous support.

Visit our donations page to give now.

Om Ah Hung


Tara’s Masks Dance the Mandala in Caxias

  For many years I have had the impulse to create masks of Tara for the dancers, and this aspiration has gone through several incarnations. One Retreat on Kauai the dancers created masks in paper mache  …. it was an experience that was very inspiring for the dancers. Those masks adorn the Golden Lotus Studio on Kauai and are used during special occasions.

My vision finally came to fruition when Mekare Fiske went to Bali and through many magical connections had a set of masks and crowns made for Tara Dhatu. It was an important part of my vision for the Monlam that we offered in Brasilia this year.

Noelle Faulkner created complimentary wigs and costumes and the masks had their debut at the festival. It was a very moving experience for everyone.

Mekare led the dancers into the mystery of the masks, sharing her vast and deep experience as a masked dancer. She organized each masked dancer to have a protector dressing her, dancing behind her, and leading her into and off of the performance area. This was an extremely powerful experience for the dancers.

As things developed it became obvious that there was not enough time for the masked dancers to train in dancing in the mandala formation. Mekare and I developed a choreography that was workable for the situation and everyone was inspired. 

Myri felt very strongly that we should continue to try and manifest my vision of dancing in the Mandala formation in the masks. She approached Michele Trentin, one of our senior teachers who has a dance studio in Caxias, the far South of Brazil. This October, together with seven other senior teachers of Tara Dhatu South America, they accomplished this vision.

Myri writes …

Faith, Surrender and Trust

Mother Tara when I felt the wind caressing my face I heard your voice whispering in my ear “Do not fear. I am your Refuge!”


It is with great joy and gratitude that I can share this adventure of determination, faith, confidence, focus and love!

Having the opportunity to guide a group to dance the complete Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara with the masks we had made in Bali was a dream come true. When I offered to do this job I was open-hearted and sincere. I knew it would be incredibly challenging. I also knew it would be an ecstatic experience. It required my total surrender!

I worked hard with the text of the Mandala, so that it was tattooed on my body. I needed to be prepared to work with the ways I might need to adjust the movements to be able to guide the dancers to dance confidently. With our Tara masks there is limited peripheral vision, restricted air flow for breathing. All of this had to come into consideration.

We were fortunate to have a group of women who had already had experience in the complex movement of the mandala.. We had seven of our precious senior teachers; Michele, Angelis, Lia, Ruth, Edithe, Natália, Mariana and Jeniffer.

Michele offered her beautiful temple, her students, and her heartfelt experience in organizing workshops and events. I thought that I would not dance in the Mandala, wanting to direct from the outside. I invited Michele to be the Central Tara, giving her my full support.

I ended up having to dance a praise to take the place of a beautiful woman who had to step out. We were together, this group of incredible women turning the mandala of Divine Mother Tara’s blessings. I have great gratitude to every dancer. We held hands and together created the circle !! Thank you for trusting me!

To open the group’s connection with the masks I led a simple exercise from my long time association with studying the Kabala and moving with that orientation in masks.

I guided them to come to class without makeup and to look into a mirror at their own face with the clarity and certainty that they were walking on the most profound path. Then I asked them to open themselves to feel the mask as the face of Tara, to merge their face with the mask and feel they are Tara Herself, the two faces, inseparable! After putting on the mask I directed them to move. manifesting the quality they represented, getting familiar with the restrictions of the mask, dancing the body of the Goddess! The focus of this preparation was Faith and Surrender!

Prema has often said that Tara has her own agenda. I shared this message with the precious dancers, also quoting Prema … “ we are in our spot!”

I offer my sincere gratitude to Tara who has helped us assemble favorable conditions to turn her amazing Mandala of Prayers!

I offer my gratitude to the precious teacher Prema for trust, guidance and support.

I offer my gratitude to dear Mekare for her excellent and inspiring work with the masks.

And I offer my thanks to the women who created the magic circle of this initiatory mandala with me.

I sincerely wish that as the wheel of life keeps spinning I can continue to share this beautiful Tara Mandala with or without the masks. May I find circles of women willing to manifest the enlightened feminine, to awaken to their true nature for the benefit of all Beings!

I open my heart to the many dancers who will follow us, turning the Mandala of Tara, your face merging with the mask, Tara’s face, your face, we are all united in the magic and wonder that is Tara!

I send my love and pray that we may always be connected in the Light that is Tara.                    Myri Dakini

 It is with great joy that Michele tells us about the experience of Myri’s guidance leading a group of women dancing Tara’s Mandala in the masks in her beautiful Temple Studio, Rakaça Templo de Dança. Michele writes…

During the four days of training everything was very smooth, serene, despite impermanence playing it’s tune. Tara was guiding us finding the perfect position for everyone.

Myri`s leadership was exceptional, precise and perfect! With her skills and experience the mandala developed smoothly. We were ready to dance the Mandala of the 21 Praises of Tara with the Masks!

Myri asked me if I would be willing to take the position of Central Tara. She needed to be able to be outside of the mandala, directing everyone. I never imagined that I would be in the place of Central Tara. It was a gift but also an immense responsibility! My mind and heart were fully concentrated to make the mandala spin well.

I am so grateful to Myri for  trusting me. It was a great empowerment. I was able to focus, learned so much about leading the mandala. I feel much more secure to work with the Mandala Dance of Tara in the future.

Thank you Myri that you chose us to have this precious mandala with the masks to turn here, in our dance temple. You have brought so many blessings to our dancers, to all who were with us as audience and our community. I am always open to  help and to do everything that Tara Dhatu wants to accomplish.

We are all grateful to Prema for transmitting this practice in such a profound and precious way, a practice that uplifts hearts and souls!

And many thanks to the brave, patient and courageous dancers who formed our mandala! Each one was amazing.

Filled with gratitude,         Michele

In this video you can see some of the preliminary work, some close ups of the dancers in mask and costume and a bit of action with the audience dancing Om Ah Hum and Tashi Deleg with the performers.







This video focuses on the birth of each Tara and a bit of Her dancing.

this imbedded video is the Mantra Dance

This is the dedication dance









Tara is Dancing in Guarapari

A few days after Myri Dakini arrived at her home in Brasilia, after traveling more than 24 hours  from Portland, Oregon, she headed out to the North East of Brazil. She was invited to lead a workshop and performance of the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara in Guarapari,  Spiritu Santo. For two   years Daisen Marchito has been leading a group of dancers at her clinic “Integrating Psychoanalysis and Integrated Therapy Training”. Here is a rough translation of Daison’s report …

We were happy to once again receive Myri Dakini, to experience her excellent training in the Mandala of Tara, the meditative dance of the Enlightened Feminine. Myri is a wonderful presence among us, teaching with such confidence and excellence.

In our bi-weekly meetings, most of the time there are seven participants so it was lovely to have a group large enough to make a bigger mandala.

I am delighted to see the evolution of those who have come consistently in our group. The dance brings discipline, concentration, joy, generosity, self knowledge, balance, harmony, creativity, respect, just to name a few of its benefits.

I am including testimonials from some participants . We are really inspired to keep meeting. We are forever thankful to Prema Dasara for giving us such valuable teachings and for Myri’s tireless dedication. We hope to have Myri and her lovely charisma with us again next year.

“For me, the dance means freedom.  It is such a different experience, to realize TARA is inside me.”                      

Rosimery Claret – Therapist

“The dance for me was a divider. There was a Fran before the Dance and another one afterwards. It takes care of me every day, makes me a better being. I have so much Gratitude.”            

Fran – Yoga teacher=

“This meditative dance gives me a connection with the divine. God’s feminine presence is in me. Every gesture, every movement is a form of the elevation of the mind through the body. We are integral beings and the dance provides this perception in ourselves.” 🙏🏿😊 Luciana







Congratulations – Two Tara Babies Born


At the monlam this year we were treated to two of our lovely dancers pregnant, and only a few days apart in their anticipation of birth. Dani and Jocelyn delighted us all with their enthusiastic participation and very obvious swelling bellies.












Dani Acosta is one of our main dancers in Brasilia. She is beautiful, sincere and talented, often playing the drum to accompany Ricardo, and one of Myri’s picks for the new Dance of the Five Wisdom Dakinis. She portrayed Padma Dakini, the Red Goddess who is Irresistible, magnetic, carrying the power of discriminating awareness wisdom.

She gave birth

To baby Eloah

15 October, 2018.




Jocelyn Rainbow Wolfe resides on Maui and had made a commitment to sing at our Monlam festival before she knew she was pregnant. Lucky for us she did not let that stop her and diligently gathered the funds necessary to join us.

Before she left for Brazil she had an ultra sound determining that her child to be would be a boy. Her participation in the monlam was precious, her voice supremely powerful and beautiful. And big surprise, when she arrived back on Maui the next ultra sound, done during the 21st week of pregnancy, showed baby to be a girl!!!

‘Āinalei was born Oct 24, 2018

Congratulations to these two beautiful young mothers and lovely sweet babies. May they all always rest in Tara’s arms.


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!!!






Tara Dances at KTD Woodstock, New York

Hope Jinishian works in the bookstore at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, the seat of his Holiness the Karmapa in the USA. This dharma center, nestled in the forest above Woodstock, New York, is a powerful Kagyu monastery and has hosted the Tara Dance numerous times.



Hope is dedicated to the dances of Tara Dhatu and has organized workshops for Prema, Parvati and other senior teachers.

As a Level 2 Tara Dhatu teacher, she has offered the dance at various retreats, and has helped organize for any Tara Dance teachers that visit KTD to share their method of teaching the dance.

Recently, Elizabeth Breck, a professional dancer and Level 3 Tara Dhatu Teacher volunteered to teach at a two day teens and family weekend retreat. She taught White Tara of the 6 Shields. She wove the dharma into her class in a delightful way that was enthusiastically received by the teenagers and the nuns and lamas who joined.

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