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

Tara is Dancing in Golden Bay, Aotearoa

P1010341 Catherine Callaghan has been leading the Tara Dances in New Zealand for six years. An accomplished dance teacher, she has ongoing circles of Tara dance in Nelson, South Island and Golden Bay. They recently offered the mandala at the Shambhala Center in Golden Bay and ended the year at a private beach front residence. Her students have written eloquently about their experiences….

Jo Leyland writes…

From Golden Bay Shore

I sit writing this under a tree on the beach at Pakawau, Golden Bay. The tide is coming into this wide, expansive, sloping bay and a group of black swans are gently bobbing on the ripples in front of me. Last night we celebrated the year end together here, the Golden Bay – Nelson Taras, dancing White Tara with a group of young women from Shambhala. One of them had seen our offering there last month, of the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara, and had been so moved that she brought friends to learn and share Tara’s dances.

The November offering at Shambhala was pure magic, connecting and sharing with lovely P1010348women.

This summer I was blessed to attend the retreat on Kauai. I encountered a Hawaiian saying that perfectly describes an experience dancing in the Mandala of Tara. ‘He wa’a he moku, he moku he wa’a’. This loosely translates as ‘A canoe is an island, an island is a canoe’. When you paddle together as a crew and you are all in perfect sync, your waka (canoe) seems to fly through the water and you are one. These are precious moments when that happens. They rely on hard work and team training, knowing each other, playing to each others strengths and giving each other support within our shared space. Om Tare!!!

Myrriah writes…

It was a privilege to dance Tara at the beautiful Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Centre in Onekaka New Zealand. The hall overlooks the ocean and is a wonderful setting for the Tara prayer and ritual dance. There were 11 participants from Nelson and the Golden Bay region. The altar was magnificent.

Dancing the beautiful and moving prayer, praising the 21 emanations of Tara, is a magical ceremony of hope and renewal.

Bree Ormond writes

Catherine, it is with a joyous and open heart I offer my thanks to you for holding the container for us all this weekend. We felt embraced in love and light. You showed us what we are capable of when connected to Tara.

The spiral was created and the energy grew throughout the weekend as we wove and spun and focused the energy to send out to all the world. The Dance continues in my heart and I am filled with Tara’s power, compassion and wisdom as i step into everyday reality. Thank you.

Kathy Lunzman writes…

Catherine, I just wanted to let you know how utterly transformative the work you offer is. I will never be the same: the whole world is more vibrant, detailed in every aspect. It has afforded me a breakthrough to develop my Compassion, Courage and Joy. I shall always be grateful.

Liz Burn writes…

Stretching on the cushions in the meditation hall, looking out across the expansive waters of Te Tai Tapu, we opened to receive Catherine’s guidance in coordinating the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara. Dance, color, devotion, connection, meditation … I open Prema Dasara’s book, Dancing Tara – A Manual of Practice to understand in my head what my heart experiences in the dance. It is my great good fortune to be connecting to the essence of True Refuge and Remover of Sorrow.

I lie back to stretch and my head feels like it is nestling into a female lap. Odd yet so easy to let go into the warmth of a mother, unconditional, protective love. Oh, there it is in Prema’s book, a section on dreaming, encouraging us to invoke Tara’s help, protection and guidance by nestling in Her lap before falling asleep.

I will always remember this experience as a blessing. Through giving myself to the practices, I enjoyed an exploration of my own potential. May I always be able to rest in the nurturing lap of Tara.

Catherine writes….

Our Mandala Weekend together was a moving experience of open heart, beauty and transformation.

I began by welcoming all who gathered with several chants in Maori. As the indigenous culture of Aotearoa, honoring the ancestors in this way set the stage for our workshop. “Wahine Toa, Wahine o te Atua o Tara (Courageous Women, Women of Tara)” led to “Whakataka te Hau” a beautiful waiata dedicated to settling inner and outer conditions.

Throughout the weekend, everyone gave their undivided attention. Strong and dedicated we held this profound space within us. I am so grateful for everyone who made our offering a success.  Being in Tara’s Pure Land with these dedicated women was indeed an exceptional opportunity.

Om Tare!!

 

 

Myri Leads Cincinnati Sangha in Dancing Tara

Myri Dakini

Myri Dakini

Nita Rose

Nita-Rose

Nita-Rose has been leading a circle of dancing Taras at her sacred abode in Cincinnati for several years. She invited Myri Dakini to share a weekend of Tara Dhatu dances. She writes…

Our Tara Sangha in Cincinnati experienced an incredibly beautiful week-end workshop this October led by Myri Dakini. It was something sacred, something powerful, something beyond words … the deep connection of a community who collectively turn the mind towards awakening … using the methods of powerful visualization, uniting the voice in mantra, the sound filling the room as with one voice… the dance … a moving meditation …. swaying bodies swirling and turning and linking arms … embodying ancient spiritual practices through movement so beautifully choreographed …

When immersed like this, with the community in one pointed concentration, led by a devoted and skillfully trained teacher, it creates an incredible energy.  It felt as if we were in another time and place, as if we were transported into a heavenly realm … wrapped in a blissful embrace … held in the arms of the Divine Mother.

Cincinati group

The participants have been writing to me as they continue to experience the lingering fragrance of this week-end of devotional, sacred dance.

I am so grateful to Prema for creating this expression of the teachings, this profound method of embodying the practice as a community.

I echo the refuge prayer with heart felt sincerity. I am inspired, my path supported by my won

derful teachers.  I am deeply grateful for Prema’s dedication as she continues to turn the wheel of the dharma by training teachers like Myri who are able to led workshops with the skill and the power that set up the conditions for a truly transformative experience.

With Gratitude,

Nita-Rose

Kauai, HI Annual Retreat 13-21 Aug 2016

Kauai banner

~See Below for 2016 SPECIAL OFFER ~

Kauai is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Jagged peaks covered with brilliant green rainforest dive into the brilliant

blue Pacific Ocean. Haena is a remote area on the North Shore.

Nestled in the neighborhood, right on a golden sand beach is the

YMCA Camp Naue.

During this eight day retreat, Prema Dasara and Guest Teachers will guide the group in celebrating the divine feminine through music and dance, meditation and dharma dialogue. Focus of the camp will be on the 21 Aspects of the Great Mother Tara.

~SPECIAL OFFER~

The First 15 Tara Dhatu Members

!!!Full camp for just $595!!!

*All invited: Become a member for just $21  to

take advantage of this special offer!*

Tara Dhatu Members after the first 15 people   =              $695

Non-Tara Dhatu Members before June 15th =             $800

Non-Tara Members after June 15th =                         $850

Please visit our webpage with full details and registration details of this international retreat ~ Click Here ~

VIDEO 11/11/11 – Prema leads Maui Taras in Mandala Dance Offering

Prema leads a group of Maui Taras

in offering the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara

at a celebration event 11/11/11

Brasilia – Retreat Into the Heart of Tara

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Ricardo rehearses the three teenagers before recording.

Back in Brasilia we focused our attention on getting some songs recorded in Portuguese before           heading out to our annual retreat. Ricardo gathered a group of young teenage girls with Maya and Maira’s young sons to put some vocals to the chorus in Tara Tames the 8 Fears.

Songbirds Aradna and Ivana

Songbirds Aradna and Ivana

 

Just before the retreat Ivana arrived from Argentina to record some of our dance music in Spanish. It is so exciting to have these dance pieces available in Portuguese and Spanish on the Tara Dhatu South America Web Site.

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Our Annual Tara Dance Retreat in Paraiso na Terra (Paradise on Earth) was a powerful experience. Half of the group were very new and half of the group were very experienced. We had women from all over Brazil, a group from Chile, and a couple of Taras from Argentina.

DSCN3931Everyone bonded together the way Tara’s do.

The retreat center is on the cerrado, the high plateau. With rolling hills in the distance, the retreat area is on a flat plain covered with brush and wild flowers. The land is carved with a rushing river creating 11751815_721914364585636_6249960927340336038_nnumerous waterfalls and pools of crystal water. The center is on a large tract of land, owned by the Theosophical Society. Wild life abounds. Last year we were blessed by the appearance of a wolf, a rare sighting in the area. This year we were visited by two snakes and an owl. Our host, Oswaldo, informs us when something is present and handles each situation with great respect for the local wild life.

These are carrots Oswaldo carved into goldfish to adorn our lunch buffet table.

These are carrots Oswaldo carved into goldfish to adorn our lunch buffet table.

He also carves vegetables into enchanting characters to surprise us when we go into the dining room for one of the luscious vegetarian meals

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Red Dakini Day we had a ritual fire to burn our attachments and increase our power to love.

Every day we celebrated a Buddha family by wearing the color of the element. We started with white Space Dakini day, the next day was devoted to gold Earth Dakini, then red Fire Dakini, Blue Water and Green Air. The wisdom wove about us as we formed our mandalas of Tara’s Praises. Introducing the new ladies to the dances, guiding the Student Teachers, Tara’s Pure Realm pulsed within and around us.

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Every day a group went off to the waterfalls.

 

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Every late afternoon we entered the marble pillared temple, resonant with sound, and meditated as sun set behind the rolling hills.

 

 

 

The last day we dressed in saris and danced for a small group of guests, and for the staff that had served us through the week.

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We felt the power of the blessings of Beloved Tara pulse through us into the world.

And with all our hearts we prayed,

DSC_0202May All Beings Be Happy

May All Beings Be Free

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Next year’s retreat in Brasilia is scheduled for

May 21-28th 2016

Hope you can join us!!!!

 

Tara is Dancing in Virginia

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Jacquelyn Sonam Lhamo has been introducing groups to dancing Tara for many years. She was recently in Virginia and this is her report…

Spreading Tara and Dharma dances is such a great joy.

For two years I have done Tara Dance programs at ARE, Edgar Cayce’s Organization Center in Virginia Beach, Va. This year Curtis, one of the attendees of these programs, helped set up two Tara and Dharma dance programs in the area. Acting as an ambassador of Tara, he got the word out to local dharma communities.

The first location was the Church of Inner Light in Virginia Beach. Most of the attendees were new to Tara’s dances. They truly enjoyed themselves. My talented sister, Annette, provided live piano music for us to dance to. The majority of attendees were Buddhist practitioners. Their interest in Tara was profound.

The second event happened at Sattvic Space. My hat is off in praising Maury who gracefully made the effort to find this  space for us to dance in Portsmouth,Virginia. A friend of my niece’s came to direct Tara’s healing energy in honor of the annual passing of her beloved dog. She was so inspired by the teachings.

I love sharing the dances in our Tara Dhatu program, they provide such a pleasant introduction to Buddhist teachings! Dancing our prayers helps embody and ground the Tara healing energies in our physical bodies and into the earth.

Dancing the dharma and Tara is fun as well as educational. One attendee felt the effects of our dancing days later and thanked me for all the connections she made enabling her to follow up continuing Buddhist practices. Dancing our prayers was so much fun I could have danced all night.

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The blessings of our dances in Virginia permeated the area and spread to all sentient beings. May the circle of Dancing in the Dharma continue to grow.

Headed South – From Ocean to Mountains Dancing Tara Brazil

 First Stop, Florianopolis, On the BeachFloripa

From Bahia to Brasilia, we had only a couple of weeks to catch our breath and then we headed off to one of our favorite cities, Florianopolis. This southern island paradise has three circles of dancing Taras. We were put in a lovely apartment on the beach and enjoyed many wonderful walks and swims. The weekend workshop group was large and willing to go deeply into every practice.

DSCF4738Gramado, in the Mountains

Our next flight took us further south. Myri had another R & R planned for us at Gramado, a city famous for its waterfall.DSCF4759 It took 800 steps to get down to the thundering bottom……and then 800 to get back up again.

Gramado is also famous for it’s chic shopping and unbelievable chocolate confections. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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Khadro Ling – Tres Coroas11154847_10152734092447014_7453413432067143733_o

From there we were picked up by a convoy of Tara Dancers and taken to Tres Coroas home of Chagdud Rinpoche’s Gompa, Khadro Ling. Unfortunately Khadro, his wife and an old friend of mine, was not there but she had given instructions for us to be housed in her private apartment above the main shrine room. It was rather interesting knowing the last person to sleep in 10841936_10153304636059343_1283224144127927395_othe bed I was offered was Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Myri’s bed was in the very top of the roof, surrounded by statues and paintings of deities.

We were treated with wonderful affection and respect 11157456_10153304640784343_7120674132437066005_ofrom Khadro’s staff. Our goal was to dance in front a group of statues that had been carved of the 21 Taras in Orissa. It was a powerful experience, dancing at Kadro Ling. We offered dances throughout the vast and powerful grounds. We hope to one day help consecrate the mandala of statues and dance the praises before them.

Caxias

Caxias was our next stop, a bustling tow11203145_811458085595177_1195777827663932815_nn a few hours drive from Khadro Ling. Michele Trentin is a professional dancer, the owner and main instructor of Rakaça Templo de Dança. Michele opened her dance school to us and we danced a powerful mandala weekend in her charming space. She has held an ongoing Tara Dance circle for the past year and each meeting the circle grows.

Her dance school specializes in Middle Eastern dance. Every other year she takes a group to Egypt. She has hinted at taking a group to dance Tara in Egypt. Doesn’t that sound like a powerful place to offer our dance.

 

 

Prema Dances Tara In Brazil

Myri Dakini

Myri Dakini

Myri met me at the airport in Salvadore, Bahia and we were whisked off to a hotel on the beach for two days of R and R. Having just come from a month of traveling and teaching across the mainland USA I was delighted to have the time to rest and prepare myself for the next stage of my round the world teaching Tara adventure.

It was quite a contrast, flying from snowy upstate New York to steamy equatorial weather. This first event of my Brazilian tour was a first in many ways. Myri had arranged for me to teach a group of adults in a four day retreat, how to teach children the dance drama I created, Tara Tames the 8 Fears.DSC08567

The retreat center was privately owned by a friend of Myri’s. Once an exclusive horse farm, the surroundings were elegant, the practice room  enormous. We were given a palatial house for our residence.

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The attendees were delighted with the material and danced with the abandon of children. They were also intrigued with the philosophy demonstrated through the dance drama and we had some lively discussions. The eight fears are our negative emotions personified by fearful elements in ancient Asian society.DSC08648

We started with a traditional gesture of dance that I modified from my Classical Indian Dance Training. I call it Earth Blessing.

Today I will do my best

I do it humbly

As I open to the world

I am a dancer

All the world is carried inside of me

Mother Earth, we ask your forgiveness and your blessing

Divine Ones, Angels, Buddhas, Protectors

Please come and make this a good class.

We then progressed through the preliminary dances of The Prayer of Motivation, Refuge and Bodhicitta and Shantideva’s Prayer, all in Portuguese. Myri had arranged for Ricardo to DSC08607provide live music and Maya as my most excellent translator.

Each session we focused on one of the fears. We started with the Snake of Jealousy, the easiest of the emotions for children to relate to. We then progressed through The Fire of Anger, The Lion of Arrogance, The Elephant of Ignorance, The Ocean of Desire, The Thief of Wrong Ideas, The DSC08597Prison of Greed and the Demon of Doubt.

The last day the group performed for the wonderful staff who arranged for our food and comfort, and the charming owner of the center.DSC08640

Tara Dhatu South America has taken this as one of their main projects, to raise the money for the music to be translated, recorded, the songbook to be printed, and the teachings to be recorded as a DVD. When we have all these materials developed we will establish a training program with the intent to take the mateDSC08550rial into the schools.

We ended the retreat with a day at the beach.

Om Tare!!!

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If you would like to be a part of this great project you can support it by purchasing the materials in Portuguese, or sponsoring a set of materials for an aspiring Student Teacher. Click Here

To make a donation to the project…go to www.taradhatu.org

scroll to the bottom, hit the donate button and send an email to info@taradhatu.org

May We All Sing and Dance Our Way Out of Fear

Northwesterners Dance Tara in Indonesia

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Kim Abbey was a member of our pilgrimage to Bali and Yogyacarta. Deeply involved in supporting the dharma in Seattle, Washington, she submitted an article about the pilgrimage to the Northwest Dharma news. She touches on some of the high points of our time together…..check it out!

 

http://northwestdharma.org/2015/09/northwesterners-dance-praises-to-taraat-the-14th-sakyadhita-conference-in-indonesia/#post-9165

Borobodur Stupa at dawn

 

2015-07-01 06.55.15

Update On Nepal Retreat House Restoration Project – Andrea Abinanti

For several years I have been planning to restore these dilapidated five retreat houses for the nuns on Manjushree Hill, one of the World Heritage Sites in Nepal.  I am Andrea Abinanti; I’ve been living in Nepal for 40 years and residing on this hill for 38.  After the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015 all of these houses have become unlivable.  I was in my house when the earthquake hit, it was a terrifying experience and a miracle that it did not completely collapse.  As I’d been saying for years, ‘my house is held up by prayers.’  All of my friends were amazed it was still standing, though unlivable.  Six Newari (Nepali) nuns, myself and a helping Nepali family live in these retreat houses.  The nuns and myself perform daily rituals for the well being of all.  Because of the earthquake, this restoration project has now become an urgent issue for the practitioners’ dwellings to be restored quickly.

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After continuous tremors this retreat house had to be braced with bamboo and metal rods.  A corner crack is being filled so the rats can’t run in and out.

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The nun’s retreat house on the far side of the courtyard completely collapsed on the first day of the earthquake.

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Six nuns and Andrea standing in front of one of the nun’s retreat houses after the first earthquake.

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The proposed restoration will employ traditional building style and materials.

If you would like to make an offering towards this restoration project, please see below:

Tara Dhatu, a non-profit organization, has posted our project on their website.  Originally this was posted a month before the earthquake. You may click on the following link to find out more about the Retreat House project and how you can make a tax-deductible donation.

http://www.taradhatu.net/programs/swayambhu-retreat-house/

If you would like to see pictures of the houses after the earthquake, under Featured Articles, click on ‘Devastating Earthquakes in Nepal ~ A Call for Action’. Then click on ‘Read More About Tara Dhatu’s Community Relief Activity’. Next scroll down…among the projects they support, there is one titled ‘Photo Gallery Update from Andrea’.

Our organization is small and we can personally guarantee that all of the donations will go directly to the restoration of the nuns’ retreat houses.

Tara Dances In South Africa

Nita-Rose, one of our Tara Dhatu Dance facilitators, took a group of the Tara Dance community in Cincinnati to her former sangha in South Africa. They shared White Tara and the Six Shields with them. Nita-Rose reports ….

My sangha in South African truly loved the experience of White Tara. The group from our Tara circle in Cincinnati, Ohio that traveled with me made it really easy to share the feeling of the practice.

We  loved seeing how much my South African Tashi Ling Sangha enjoyed it. It was wonderful being able to offer it to them. We are so grateful for the beauty of what has been created with this music and meditation.

The Tara’s in Cincinnati that shared the dance in South Africa were amazed at how much they have grown and learned having taken the workshops with Parvati and with Prema. They helped me teach the dance and realized how far they had come with the practice. It was especially precious to share it with a community that already does Tara practice. It moved them deeply, they embraced the practice with so much love

We are looking forward to dancing with Myri in October. Our male Tara’s are very excited that they will be learning the male deity practice of Guru Rinpoche.

I have left all the information with Melanie who is leading Tashi Ling if they would like to continue the practice about how to connect with Tara Dhatu and how to download the music meditation. However, Melanie does not have a computer and the sudden power black outs, limited wifi and internet connections that are painfully slow make this unlikely.

Mounting crime makes it difficult to get anything by post into the country. There is a deep need for healing on many levels.  By sharing the White Tara Dance of the 6 shields we brought nourishment and healing as our gift.

Dancing Tara in Austin and the Abode

Austin – In the Light of Guru Rinpoche

Palri Pema Od Ling dharma center in Austin is a magical display of Guru Rinpoche’s pure land. Last year I danced Kurukulle for the resident Lama, Lama Lobtsul was enchanted with the dance and invited me to return to offer the Mandala of Tara dance. He agreed to give a Green Tara empowerment as part of the weekend celebrations.

It was a magical event. Lama Lobtsul assembled a beautiful practice manual of Green Tara. I have been working on a new dance to Green Tara and some of the poetry I selected from a sadhana of Dudjom Rinpoche was in this beautiful manual.

There were many points of inspiration in Austin. The main organizing was done by Elizabeth Geraurd with the support of Tara Dhatu Student Teachers Anjali and Katherine Henderson.

3 Women, 3 Spiritual Paths

Suzanne, HeatherAsh, Prema and Katherine

Monday evening I enjoyed sharing a presentation at a local bookstore – 3 Women, 3 Spiritual Paths: An Evening of Inspiring Dialogue.

HeatherAsh Amara, a spiritual leader from the Toltec tradition, and Suzanne McAnna a Priestess of the Wiccan tradition joined me in giving the audience a wide range of possibilities in answer to their spiritual questions.

A Night of Blessings

Tuesday night we entered another magical realm, the

Zen Practice Centre of Sumi Komo. A professional dancer, once featured within the Merce Cunningham troupe of modern dance, she later entered the Zen path of practice and is committed to manifesting a series of dances based on the qualities of Quan Yin.  We enjoyed an evening of the practices of increase, of Vasudhara and the 8 Precious Offerings in her exquisite studio..

 Dancing Tara at the Abode of the Message

From the balmy weather of Austin I flew to upstate New York and ran into a weekend of snow!!!  Aimee Johnson organized a Mandala of Tara in the shrine room of the Abode of the Message. The many years of powerful spiritual practice done in this sanctuary lent itself wonderfully to our weekend of dancing Tara.

Dancing With the Dakinis – Prema On The Road

Things have been moving along magnificently and intensely and though I have the best intentions to keep up with my reports, I have fallen far behind.

Finally I have enough of the right kind of time to fill you in on some of the amazing adventures this tour has generated.

I left Maui for Pacifica, California in March to stay with my dear friend and student Pia Hagan. She has been rallying the Bay Area Taras in the name of Tara’s Dance for several years.

Celebrating Abundance

We kicked off my tour with an evening of honoring Gold Tara and the Abundance of Our Blessed Life, at Shell Dance in Pacifica. Pia has been facilitating a weekly class in this enchanting warren of beauty. It was a lovely circle of women and it is always inspiring to wander around Nancy’s Orchid’s and artistic displays.

Dancing with Vicki Noble and the Dakinis of the Bay Area

The weekend with Vicki Noble was a magnificent experience. Pia and the Bay Area Taras had scoured the area to find a suitable venue and at the last minute we connected with the new Terra Temple in Oakland. It was perfect.

It was the first time I ever shared a weekend workshop with someone I had never me, and Vicki was the most perfect connection. We decided to divide the sessions into Wisdom Dakini presentations. She shared her wisdom and rituals, I added occasional commentary and our sublime dances.

We had a lively group of almost 40 women. Some of the highlights….Vicki started by talking about some research Dr. Shelley E. Taylor had done on tending, the female response to stress, as opposed to fight or flight. Elaborating on this Vicki pointed out that the research proved that for a man to have a long and healthy life he had more of a chance of succeeding if he hung out with women, or had a significant relationship with a woman. For a woman to have a long and healthy life, she should also hang out with women.

There was a good deal of biological references that Vicki shared. It was a dynamic reinforcement for my personal experience in our groups of dancing Taras. The loving support of the group is as important to our profound experience of well being as the profound teachings, and dynamic energy that we share through the dancing practice.

It also reminded me of teachings I received from my Hindu dance teacher. The very presence of the female dancers gives long life and good health.  Thus the dancers were treasured, married to the deity, and called to dance for the long life of the king.

The next day we celebrated the opulence of Gold and Red Wisdom Dakinis. Vicki had  volunteers make a breast shaped torma  which we all ritually consumed.  We worked with rising the energy through the chakras and entered the full mandala of the wisdom dakinis through a practice that Vicki had developed.

Sunday was a day of healing practices. In the morning we worked with Medicine Buddha and the fierce dancing dakini, Troma. In the afternoon we invoked White Tara, ending our time together with a modified version of White Tara and the Six Shields. We placed Vicki in the center of our pulsing, dancing mandala of feminine love, nurturance, healing and blessing.  Her receptivity and our overflowing gratitude for her great generosity opened us all to a profound experience as we merged in the rainbow light of the practice.

 

May Special Price Offer Kauai Retreat 2015

An Exceptional Opportunity

We have a great offer for you.

Huge Discount for the Kauai Tara Retreat

May/June Special Offer:

Tara Dhatu Members 

$500 for a week in Paradise

All are invited:  

Become a member for just $21   

to get this special offer!  

Because of the small number of people registering for our August Camp on the North Shore of Kauai, we are left with a tricky situation. If we cancel the camp we risk loosing not only our deposit but also our position in securing the future dates that are the best weather for our purposes…..calm ocean, limited rain, gentle breezes…..truly an experience of paradise.

We have come up with an idea….. we can drop the price – and strip things down a bit to make it possible for us to move forward. For this year only – for people who are willing to fully engage in the infrastructure of the camp….meal preparation and clean up, set up, break down, bathroom and cabin maintenance.  We will dance, sing, pray, play, cook, and clean together in community.

This means we will have limited staff so all campers will work together to help the camp function and flow. We will relax the schedule somewhat in order to make space for this engagement.

Prema will orchestrate the day’s events and teachings. The elements will remain much the same as in previous years but somewhat rearranged to allow us all to work together to prepare meals, etc.

Teachers and staff will accept  dana to support their efforts.

 Are you interested in this offer?

 Click Here to Read More and Register

Hawaii Dreaming

Come join us in retreat on Kauai this year.

 August 15-23, 2015

There is no substitute for retreat. It is a time to dive deeply into all that sustains us throughout the year. We need inspiration and a sense of communal support.

 

Considering the great dance of impermanence, do not take for granted the opportunities offered to you this year to retreat. We do not know how long our teachers will be with us, offering all of their gifts , encouraging us to go as deeply as possible into the essence of our own mind’s freedom.

 

Camping on the ocean’s edge in Kauai we are so in touch with the powerful elements of our world. The sun, the wind, the sea, the towering green mountains…the elements are powerful on the North Shore and we are in the most sublime situation to merge with them, to honor them to deepen in their message to us.

Need Your Support
There is one more thing to consider. The facility we rent is in high demand during August, the best weather for that area. Ocean is usually calm, limited rain, excellent soft tropical breezes mark mid August. If we do not maintain our reservation we risk loosing this preferred position. We need your support to be able to continue sharing this work in this exceptional spot on the North Shore.

 

The retreats are the place where we can really deeply receive the transmission, where we can assemble the mandala in a comfortable way…..and can train our budding dance leaders.

So let us know asap if you can join us in Kauai this year. We need to know that we have enough reservations to cover the costs of running the camp.

Register Now ~ Click Here

 

 Contact Parvati, the registrar at: info@taradhatu.org

If you cannot join us, consider sponsoring someone who would like to attend. We have an excellent Scholarship Program.

 

 

Scholarships Available for Young Adults
We have raised enough money to sponsor three YOUNG ADULT SCHOLARSHIPS…..so if you know of a Young Adult from the ages of 18-30 who would like to help with the infrastructure of the camp in exchange for full tuition paid…..let Maurizia know. It is precious to have the youth with us…..and precious for them to be exposed to these powerful teachings.

Click Here to Learn More About The Young Adult Scholarship Fund and Retreat Opportunity

 

 

Comments from former Kauai Camps
Here are some comments from previous campers….

“….inspiring and empowering.”

“…outstanding, well organized.”

“…solid teachings, variety of activities, the power and beauty of the dances.”

“… a wonderful and fun way to learn about Tara and the Dharma.

…. a beautiful paradise Kauai … great way to meet amazing goddess sisters from all over.”

“…. rich with learning, people helped me kindly and welcomed me graciously”

“….. insightful for everyday guidance.”

“…the central axis of my year, guaranteed deep spiritual nourishment & transformation”

“…great feeling of community, positive energy.”

“…great dancing…great music”

“…Prema’s dharma talks are precious, an extraordinary opportunity to sit with her.”

‘…yogic practice with Phyllis was restorative, relaxing, very peaceful and loving.”

“….Myri is so delightful and a great teacher.”

“…precious Parvati, always ready to help…”

“…delicious, healthy, abundant food, I felt nurtured and satisfied.”

“…always a joy to be part of this offering on Kauai-beauty, beauty, beauty.”

“…such amazing fun, an experience I won’t forget.”

Join us in dancing for world peace, for inspiration, for joy.

May Mother Tara Continue

To Pour Her Light

Upon Us All


May 10 2015 Pabitra Relief Photo Report

Your donations in action!

Thank you to all the donors who helped make this relief possible!

Infinite gratitude to Pabitra and the Bright Nepal community who are working so hard to care for so many!

Pabitra writes…

“Yesterday I went to Chenay’s village to distribute the tents and some of food items like rice, beaten rice, salt, oil and soap… It is a remote place out of Kathma

ndu Valley. The name of village is Lagerchey which is in Sindupalchowk district. It takes about 8 hours to reach by bus and then again we have to walk about 2 hours. we had called the village people to carry the relief needs.”

This goat was orphaned by the earthquake…

Anahata explains how lucky he is that Pabitra is his gaurdian angle, “Part of Pabitra’s Dharma in the Himalayas is to tell the tribes that they don’t need
to make animal sacrifice. Somehow over a long period of time, some of the people call
themselves Buddhist, but they make animal sacrifice for certain festivals. Pabitra feels strongly about helping people understand that there are other ways to accomplish the goals of the pujas (prayers and offerings).”

May All Beings Be Well and Happy

Click Here to Donate Now

 

May 8 2015 Pabitra Photo Report

Beauty and generosity in action! Thank you Pabitra Subba Yanghyang Lama for your efforts on behalf of all and to Anahata Iradah for keep us all informed about the activities there in Nepal….

The following photo report is taken from a Face Book post Anahata made on May 8 2015.

 

Meanwhile in the Himalayas, Pabitra is trekking up and down the mountains getting aid to those in need. She just sent these pictures and this narrative.

“I distrubuted some of the tents to a group of people. they live a little away from Kathmandu. The people in the village that I went to are affected by leprosy, but they are treated. Their houses are cracked and damaged and it is dangerous for them to live inside the houses thus they are living inside the tent. They needed tents so I went today and gave them the tents. There are physically disabled children too. I also distributed snacks to all the 100 children..” ~Pabitra

 

 

 

Handing out tarps for temporary shelters…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary shelters being built…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Small things making a big difference…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handing out some food to children…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snacks for the children…

 

 

 

 

 

 

A journey on behalf of many… Thank you!

Devastating Earthquakes in Nepal ~ A Call for Action

Contribute to the Nepal Relief Fund ~

 

Read More About Tara Dhatu’s Community Relief Activity ~

Click Here

Dear friends,

In recent days I wrote to request your prayers and donations to offer support for all in Nepal after a devastating earthquake and numerous aftershocks caused much destruction.

 As the reports continue to come in we are relieved to say that we have heard that most of our community are OK.  There are a few friends unaccounted for, our search for them continues.

 Big thank you to all who swiftly responded with generosity to our Tara sister Sophia’s call to action as she works to provide relief in the form of Rice Kitchens and medical support.  Because of your timely response, we quickly reached our initial fundraising goals and are in the process of working on getting the money you gave translated into food and direct aid.  Sophia has said that she will share pictures and report to us about how the project is unfolding.

As the situation continues to develop we will continue to asses where we can best provide support.  With infrastructure poor before this disaster, the situation is very serious in the aftermath of the earthquake. Many of the Nepali people are without food, water, transportation, medical care, and shelter from the rain and cold.  The basics are the focus. 

We are continuing our fundraising efforts because this situation is one that will be developing for some time. In addition to the ongoing risk of more quakes and aftershocks monsoon season is about to begin.   We will will continue to assess where future donations can best be utilized.  We are grateful to have Sophia on the ground working to care for those she and her volunteers can reach now.

Many of you have sponsored people in Nepal through Tara Dhatu’s Humanitarian projects and some of you have traveled there with our community in past years. Naturally you want to know about the Tibetan community, the families of Atisha School, Pabitra, the children of Bright Nepal, Andrea, and more…  We have heard that
these friends are safe for now but many are in tents because the structures are not considered safe.  We are working to better understand what we can do to support them and will continue to share news.

Sophia went to Boudha on Tuesday and ran into some graduates of Atisha School who agreed to volunteer in the soup kitchens.

~photo Laxmi Tamang

Your generosity is much appreciated…

Please friends, keep your prayers pulsing.  

For the dying, the dead, the injured, the lost,  

the homeless and the terrified in Nepal.

 May we always bless  

and balance the elements within and around us.

With great respect and gratitude for this precious life

on this precious planet,

 we send our prayers to all who suffer.

 Om Tare Tutare Ture Svaha

Fundraiser Spotlight – The Swayambhu Retreat House Restoration Project

Andrea Abinanti shares:

For the last several years I have been wanting to start the Retreat House Restoration project on Manjushree Hill, a World Heritage Site in Swayambhu. With the kind support of Tara Dhatu, as well as some pushing from the Federation of Swayambhu Conservation and Management Committee to be part of the ‘living museum’ plan as quickly as possible, Manjushree Pragya Gyan Vihar Sangh organization is now ready to begin a fund raising campaign.

If you have friends or know any organizations that might be interested in supporting this project, please share this page.We thank you for your interest and generosity in helping to bring this project into fruition!

Andrea

Click the link below to find out more about the project and how you can make a tax deductible donation for a great cause!!

The Retreat House Project on Manjushree Hill in Swayambu, Kathmandu, Nepal is for the purpose of restoring five houses for practitioners to retreat and live in a secluded, holy area.

The buildings were originally built in the 1930’s. Since that time, nuns, monks, and lay practitioners have been using the buildings despite the houses being in various states of dilapidation. Two of the houses have become completely unlivable and the other three, if not restored, will soon be dangerous to live in.

About seven years ago a local supporting group formed the Manjushree Pragya Gyan Vihar Sangh Organization to be the caretaker of the houses and the restoration project.  Andrea Abinanti, our Tara Dhatu representative in Kathmandu, has been living in one of the houses for over 25 years. As part of the organization, she has appealed to Tara Dhatu to help her assemble the funds to support the rebuilding of the houses.

When renovated, there will be rooms that will be available for short term retreats, as well as for those who come to the monastery next to the houses, for teachings and to participate in monthly full moon ceremonies.

Manjushree Retreat House Intro PDF

Full Project Details & Cost PDF

As a Tara Dhatu sponsored project, all donations are tax deductible. You may pay with a credit card by using the donate button here.

                                                           

Or, you may pay by check made out to Tara Dhatu.

Send the check to:

Tara Dhatu

P.O. Box 63252

Phoenix AZ 85082

USA

Please send an email alerting us of your donation to

info@taradhatu.org

Be sure to indicate it is for the Manjushree Retreat Center. If you would like a letter for your tax files let us know.

Great merit is generated by supporting people to retreat and to engage in dharma activities. We are so blessed to be included in a project like this. Wishing all prosperity and success to Andrea and the Trust in manifesting the means and materials to accomplish the renovations.

Om Tare

Tara Dhatu Council of Trustees

Tara’s Wisdom Cards Ready to Print

FANTASTIC GOOD NEWS

The Long Awaited

Tara Wisdom Cards

are

Ready for Printing

My niece Jessica Zebrine has designed a unique deck of cards based on the manifestation of the many faces and forms of Tara, Goddess of Wisdom, Compassion and Power.  Following the structure of a traditional Tarot, the deck includes 22 major arcana, 16 court cards and 4 suits of elemental minor arcana.  They incorporate traditional Tibetan iconography with photographic images of the beauty in the natural world.  All are designed to bring the wisdom of the dharma into your readings or meditations.
In the Light and Power of the waxing moon she has opened a Kickstarter campaign to get her originally designed deck of Tara Wisdom Cards published.  Donors receive rewards, including a copy of the deck for a donation of $40 and above.

Click here to explore the cards and some of Herstory

Jessica has  been practicing Tara’s dances, mantras,
and meditations her entire adult life.  She and I are co-authoring an accompanying book.  Please support this project  so we may continue to share Tara’s divine inspiration with the world.

Click here to make a kickstart donation

May All Beings Be Blessed by our Exuberant Creativity
Om Tare!!!

 

Ruth Denison – Dancing in the Clouds

Ruth at a retreat in Wood Valley on the Big Island

A dear friend and profound dharma teacher, Ruth Denison passed away Thursday morning, February 26, 2015, at her Joshua Tree home, surrounded by loved ones.

Ruth is a Great Soul. She was a pioneer, a profound dharma teacher who integrated dance and movement in her teachings of Vipassana.

Ruth’s personal journey began in Nazi Germany where, as a young woman, she struggled to survive.  She immigrated to California in 1957 where she met and married Henry Denison, a spiritual seeker and former Advaita Vedanta monk.

Through the sixties and seventies their beautiful home in the Hollywood hills hosted many seekers who shared their explorations in new consciousness.  Such illuminati as Alan Watts, Aldous and Laura Huxley, Fritz Perls, U.G. Krishnamurti, and Timothy Leary were all part of their circle.  In addition Ruth and Henry traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe to study with the foremost spiritual teachers of the twentieth century.

My husband met Ruth and Henry in India where they developed a close friendship. We visited them often at their home and enjoyed many hours of their fantastic stories.

Ruth was treated by the literati as an eccentric, but her teacher, the Burmese master U Ba Khin, recognized her inner accomplishments and encouraged her to be a dharma teacher.

Ruth was playful, innovative and highly creative. She never wore robes, dressing in colorful outfits, costume jewelry and marvelous hats.

She was a dear woman, adored by her students. I can easily imagine her dancing in the clouds as we think of her during this time of transition.

Dance on, Ruth!! Thanks for the great inspiration of your life and teachings. I pray we may meet again in auspicious circumstances.

Prema Dasara

 

 

Dance Tara on Maui w/ Prema – Kihei – Feb 3

In the Ecstatic Dance
Of the Divine Feminine
We Find the Treasure
Of Awakening

Join the Maui Tara Dancers

Tuesday, Feb 3 – Full Moon
6:30 – 9 PM

In Maui Meadows at Linda Gentiluomo’s beautiful home

Dancing the Goddess Tara is uplifting, inspiring and empowering.
It helps create the conditions for our personal awakening
and is a prayer of peace
for the world.

The Tara Dancers are a precious, international community.
Come and celebrate the beauty
and the joy

Feel free to invite
new dancers, friends
and to bring pupus
if you feel inspired.

Suggested Donation $10

Linda’s house is a fragrance free environment so please respect that condition by not wearing perfumes or heavily scented lotions

It is also a vegetarian environment so if you bring pupus…..
no meat or fish please

Om Tare!!!!!

Tara Dancing at the Theosophical Convention

Marlene Butler, one of our Tara Dhatu facilitators in Napier, New Zealand, was invited to share Tara and the dance at the 118th National Summer Convention of the Theosophical Society January 11th. The theme was “The Way Forward for Humanity: Achieving Universal Brother/Sisterhood”.  Held at the Napier Girls High School, attendance was from all over New Zealand, Australia and as far away as the Philippines.

Marlene writes…

Marlene and Tania

I have been presenting Tara’s dance and Tibetan bowl guided meditations at the Theosophical Society from the end of 2013 through 2014.  Chris Hensley, the President of the Napier chapter of the New Zealand TS, asked if I would like to present a Tara Dance meditation and talk at the convention.

There were sixty five men and women who joined me for the session. It was magical. All were very present and willing to join in the dancing. We were mainly a group of middle aged folk with a very mature young woman of 90, Tania, who was incredibly joyful that she could join in and experience the beauty of the moving meditation.

We danced the “Prayer of Motivation” which we in Napier call the “Tara Haka”. Some of the men in the group especially connected with this prayer. We followed with the dance of the “Mantra of Tara” and then I introduced the “21 Qualities of Tara”.

The convention was held the week the world was saddened and shocked by the tragic shooting that took place in France. Contrary to the intent of the terrorists, the world came together in a profound and unifying way.

I set the intention that we dance Green Tara’s 21 Qualities for the coming together and unifying of all people, linking our hearts with the heart of every man, woman and child.. The beauty and power of the dance touched us all and it was requested that another session be organized for the following day.

During the dance Tania stood next to me and held my hand.  She reported being just a little dizzy but when I suggested she could sit down she said, “I’m loving this dance and I will manage fine!”

The next day Tania was there waiting to once again participate. This session was just as enriching and well received. There was another woman who had some sort of injury and was hobbling with a walking stick, and she participated both days. Don’t you just love it when this happens?

Murray, from Auckland, one of the leaders of the TS, has offered to help with any logistics for Prema’s Auckland visit in July.  The TS has a quarter yearly magazine TheoSophia  and they are publishing my article, “Alchemy through Trust and theTara Dance” in their March edition. It was truly a refreshing and inspiring experience.

Om Tare!!!

Alchemy Through Trust & The Tara Dance

Marlene Butler, one of our very active Tara Dance Facilitators in Napier, New Zealand was invited to write an Article for the fifth edition of ALUNA TEMPLE MAGAZINE dedicated to ALCHEMY. 14 Authors from All Walks of Life gathered to Birth this edition on Solstice Eve. They explored Alchemy through Breath, Dance, Sacred Sexuality, Singing, Walking the Land, Colour and Dancing with Trust this Sacred Labyrinth that Life is…  Marlene’s article is on Page 36

Alchemy through Trust and the Tara Dance”.

Or you can click this link to view the article as a pdf file:     ALCHEMY – DECEMBER 2014 – PDF

Prayers for Long Life and Good Health

Andrea Abinanti, one of our senior teachers and a long time resident of the Kathmandu Valley invites Tara Dhatu every year to participate in sponsoring prayers of long life based on the aspect of Tara called Ushnishavijaya (All Female Buddhas are “Taras”)

During the time of the empowerment of the deity and the prayers of long life she reads out names that are sent to her for special attention. We have made it a custom to invite our members to submit names of people who need healing or who have recently died. The offerings were generous this year so not only were we able to help sponsor the empowerment and the 1000 offerings but  Andrea and friends will also have the Swayumbu Stupa painted and decorated on new year’s day.

When the Buddha turned thirty-eight, through his clairvoyance, he saw his mother had been reborn in the Realm of the 33rd Heaven, Tushita. In order to repay her kindness, he went there to give her teachings. He stayed for the duration of the rainy season. While residing there, the god Supratistha heard a voice saying he was to die in seven days. Brahma and Indra told him they were powerless and unable to come up with a remedy. Touching their heads to the Buddha’s feet, they requested his help. The Buddha entered samadhi and perceived the mandala of Ushnisha Vijaya and the Nine Gods…the Wisdom of all the Buddhas in the form of the great Mother (Yum). Her name Vijaya means ‘Total Victory’, because no harm can happen which she is not able to dispel, especially harm that leads to death.

During this time the god Sthiramati also heard a voice not only telling him he would die in seven days, but he would take rebirth as a filthy pig. In great despair he approached the Buddha. From the Buddha’s crown, ushnisha, rays of light radiated out, lighting up countless universes. As the light rays reabsorbed into the Buddha’s crown, Ushnisha Vijaya’s mantra resounded for the duration of seven days. As a result he took a precious human rebirth…

The offerings of lights and prayers to Ushnishavijaya…

The main altar with the mandala of Chenrezic behind…

The long-life stupa and vase of the goddess used in the initiation…

Ghen Gyalpo, presiding over the ritual. He kindly came out of retreat to offer us the initiation…

Andrea reads  the names our members submitted of those who need healing and those who have recently died.

Ghen Gyalpo bestowing the initiation and Luca Corona kindly translating for us!

Ghen Gyalpo offering us the long-life pills…

Happy New Year to all!

Andrea

Tara Dhatu members contributed to the offerings and Pujas performed in Swayumbhu kathmandu arranged for us by Andrea Abinanti. She sent these pictures with commentary for us to enjoy.

May All Beings Be Blessed with Good Health and Prosperity

The Long-life Ushnishavijaya puja offered on New Year’s morning. The prayers began at 5am…May all beings be happy and have good health!

Offerings for the goddess of Long-life…

This Arya Tara statue spoke to Drubthop Rinpoche, she told him she wanted to stay here in this monastery, while the Shakyamuni statue sitting next to her said he would not stay…the next day some devotees came and told Rinpoche they were building a monastery in Boudhgaya …they requested the Buddha statue be given to them…

Chenrezic with a thousand arms…in Tibet Gelong-ma (nun) Palmo stood in front of this statue reciting prayers for the well being of all. She is the lineage holder of the Nyung-nye practice.

The first of the lamp offerings for the New Year…

The beginning of the whitewashing of Swayambhu Stupa…