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.
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.