Eana Rose has been studying and working with Prema for over 30 years. A Level 4 Mentor in the Student Teacher Program, she has long facilitated a Tara Dance Circle on Kauai. A sincere dharma practitioner she has taken teachings and engaged in retreats with several profound Lineage Masters.
The paper mache masks were made by Tara Dancers during one of the Annual Tara Dance Retreats on Kauai. Eana recently opened The Golden Lotus, a studio for dance and massage training. She decided to take the masks out of storage to display, and organized a day of retreat for dancers and a public offering for friends.
Dancing in the Masks!
“As the…veils fall away..”
Tara, great respected mother, flows through me. Gratitude beyond description fills my body, speech and mind, inspiration, peace, celebration and sisterhood unfolds. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, we offered the Tara Dance at the Golden Lotus Studio. I designed the event to be a mini retreat for the Tara Dance community on Kauai.
It is so nice to have the time to create sacred space together. We set up the altar and got out all the masks with plenty of Ooooowwwwooos and Aahhhhhhs as each mask was carefully unwrapped and set out for display. I then lead a guided check in and the dancers shared their current hearts yearning. This level of transparency informed which praise most expressed and supported the dancers for the offering and masks were then chosen accordingly. It was a beautiful process with a number of us who were familiar with the praises intuitively suggesting which praises fit the moment for our sisters. And then to couple that with the masks was amazing and inspiring.
A number of first time Tara Dancers showed up. They were grateful and encouraged with the wisdom of the practice of Tara, spinning a comforting web of love and light around them. I taught the Dance of the Qualities. We formed a crescent moon and as each quality came up the dancer assigned to the quality moved to the center of the room, surrounded by the crescent of dancers, and danced, as the rest of the mandala did the standard quality gestures. There were 11 dancers so we each danced 2 qualities.
We had a wonderful practice and then it was time to break, take some nourishment and get ready for the guests to arrive.
Tara flowed through me as I talk a bit about Her and the story of the dance practice. My love and trust in Tara’s place in my life path encouraged me to let go of inhibitions and just share from my heart
Then we read from Prema’s book, dancing Tara. I led a practice that Prema uses when teaching the mantra: “I am Tara, My name is (Eana), I dedicate this offering to (all those suffering from alcoholism)” All the dancers and each member of the audience participated, naming themselves and offering their own dedication in this format. It was profound and set up the offering as a opportunity for dancers and guests alike to engage fully in the meditation while making the offering relevant to each one’s personal life circumstances.
We went directly into the practice of offering the Dance of the Qualities. After dancing the Qualities I invited the guests into the dance circle and taught the Mantra dance for all to participate. We focused on the 3 meditations associated with the Mantra Dance. We could have gone on and on. I am so grateful and honored to be able to host this event at the Golden Lotus Studio.
Witnessing the awe and transformation that happens through the practice, especially among first time dancers, is precious. There is a recognition…..”Yes, I am a sacred and divine expression of feminine wisdom! I can train myself to respond to life in a way that is healing and encouraging for myself and those I encounter along the way.” Om Tare!
Dancing in the masks is challenging and requires an expanded level of trust and focus. Masks and costumes are an ancient skillful means practice that encourages a further letting go of our ego personalities to more deeply manifest the wisdom qualities of the deity. It feels so right to begin to incorporate this into TaraDhatu’s activities. We will be hanging the masks up for display at the Golden Lotus as part of our featured art this spring.
We had a good showing of guests. Part of the intention to have an offering in a public place was to reach a greater circle of women and to invigorate our Kauai Tara Dance community. It was wonderful to have new and long time dancers at the event. We also are committed to drawing attention to the August Kauai Camp. The donations from this event are earmarked for the Youth Scholarship fund and the local scholarship fund for this years Camp. We brought in $170; 10%= $17 for Tara Dhatu and $153 for the scholarship fund. It is so lovely to make offerings!
May all beings we well and happy,