Nita-Rose is the Tara Dance Facilitator in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was invited to Gar Drolma, the Drikung Kagyu Center in Dayton, to lead her Tara Dance circle in the White Tara Dance of the Six Shields. The Center was sponsoring Garchen Rinpoche for four days of empowerments and teachings. It is traditional to end an event like this with a Tsok, a celebration of offerings. The Tara Dancers were invited to open the Tsok offerings.
What a lovely offering of White Tara to Garchen Rinpoche. It was so sweet to see Him smiling while we danced and then at the end he clapped with so much enthusiasm. He also made a special announcement about his appreciation of the dance offering.
He told us through his translator….“Rinpoche wants to thank the Tara Dancers because the dance reflects the meditation of Tara on the outside. When we meditate in this way, then through it, we can merge with the deity. The deity really then merges with the mind.
We stayed at Gar Drolma for 4 days in retreat and received 13 empowerments. I stepped into the power of the blessing of being allowed to be in the breathing space and in the intimate setting of such an amazing presence. To think that I did not need to climb a mountain or travel the distance to Tibet … and to think of how very unlikely it would have been to be allowed into the monastery in Tibet to receive even one empowerment! And so – with this feeling of deep appreciation for this unique and profound moment in my life … I began the 4 day retreat.
We have been practicing this White Tara Dance every full moon for a year, since Myri and Prema taught us during a weekend retreat. We were well prepared to do the offering – and yet, our care and concern stimulated not only great joy but also great anxiety … there were so many people on retreat, 150 people watching us, and most importantly, H.H. Garchen Rinpoche! Wow!
After the offering we came together at our regular monthly meditation and shared our experiences. So many of the dancing Tara’s found themselves during the dance looking up towards Rinpoche … their eyes met his … and each Tara felt Garchen Rinpoche’s attention as if they were the only one he was looking at. When I was reaching my arms up overhead swaying to the translated words of the mantra, “Oh Divine Mother … you remove all fears … you give long life …” at that moment my eyes connected with Garchen Rinpoche and his face wrinkled into a huge smile as he held my gaze.
Throughout the dance Rinpoche sat, leaning forward on his meditation cushion, totally engrossed, becoming more enthralled with every gesture .The encouragement and love for what he was witnessing was evident in his broad smiling face shining with approval and appreciation. We felt his love for each of us as we moved mindfully in the practice, directed and connected.
It was wonderful having our men dancing in the circle with us. My husband Larry, who loves this practice, took it on himself at the last rehearsal, to help everyone individually who were nervously struggling to remember the movements.
I have returned home transformed. Something has turned and shifted and changed in me … I feel different in my body … different in my mind … I feel like I have in fact, climbed the mountains of Tibet and breathed the thin air …
My heart is so full of gratitude to Prema and Myri for creating the blessing of this expression of the practice … to think that we are able to share something so incredibly powerful with each other in this very unique manner . Because of this practice in movement, we were able to have this intimate connection with this amazing and wonderful Teacher and his community of practitioners. It is so precious to be a part of this blessed work.