Pia Hagan has been dancing Tara for seven years. Well known by attendants of the Tara Dance Camp in Kauai as our expert Head Chef, she moved into the realm of Level Two Tara Dhatu Student Teacher this year. She has been maintaining a circle of dancing Taras in her home town of Pacifica, California for the past year. Because of the many different Tara Dance circles in the Bay Area of Northern California she decided to gather the dancers together and organize a Mandala Dance of Tara Offering to celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
If someone had told me 7 years ago that sacred dance would be one of the most important things in my life, I would have laughed. I have always loved to dance but consider myself more of a musician, a singer songwriter. Of course life takes us in many directions and I have dedicated most of my professional life to the art of cooking.
It has been a creative adventure for me for sure. It has now been one year of sharing the Tara Dance with a small group every week at the lovely Shelldance Orchid Gardens. Introducing others to this amazing practice has given me a way to give back I never expected. The satisfying smiles as we conclude each week is enough to keep me coming back and giving more of myself.
Since my daughter was two I volunteered in the public schools until she graduated. This idea of giving back was something I learned in the CO-OP in Berkeley at her Pre- School. I always have made a space in my life to give back and have grown in so many ways by doing so.
When my daughter graduated I began a Master Composting Program that would require me to donate 100 hours of my time in the community. It was so inspirational I ended up doing 200 hours. Through educational outreach to the public I found a way to share something positive with my community and be a part of the change.
Around this time I danced my first Mandala of the 21 Praises of Tara in El Cerrito, a life-changing event for my dear friend Mary and I. Something shifted with in me and I “knew” I needed to continue this practice. The dance did not come easy to me, though my years of Tai Chi definitely helped. Being a self taught artist I had always created & choreographed my own dances when modeling, when in a band and as a performance artist. Having no formal training the Tara Dance was quite intimidating to me.
I began as a student of Prema 6 years ago and would have been happy with my supportive role and having her guidance on my internal journey. I was called to share my experience with a small group of woman last December.
Working with the Dance of Tara’s Qualities was new to me, as we had never worked with them in any of the other groups I went to. Learning something new and sharing it was a very powerful experience. I really think it gave me humility and an understanding for others who are beginning. It also reinforced the devotion to the practice via repetition and consistency. Using Premas book “Dancing Tara” and staying connected was a key to passing on the dance as it was given to me. I am witnessing the result of a weekly commitment as it has touched every area of my life in a positive way. I am also witnessing the divine in others who are dancing weekly or just passing through.
Dancing through all the seasons in the Orchid Garden was an amazing gift in itself. We began in the total dark of winter and in the summer we danced in the full light. The room has absorbed the blessings that we send out to the world each week. Doing our practice together and then sending the blessings out for the benefit of all has been enriching well beyond my expectations.
Last year we were blessed with Prema visiting us 2 times once with Myri Dakini from Brazil. They shared some new dances, we worked together for a whole weekend , it was such an amazing gift!
This January we were able to offer the Mandala of the 21 Praises of Tara to our community. We were blessed to have Mekare from North Carolina lead us. Since we have so many experienced Tara Dancers in the Bay Area, North & South we were able to assemble the Dance Offering in one day.
.It was uncanny, having the perfect number of dancers for the space, the praises were perfectly selected for every one of us, even the rug we practiced on was the same dimension as the stage. We included 6 protectors adding a new element to our Bay Area community.
Dancing each week in an Orchid Garden, meeting and befriending amazing woman from all over the world who are changing their lives through dancing Tara, helping others to feel for a minute this profound peace, giving it away for the good of all humanity and our beautiful planet, seeing Tara’s blessing in every thing I do, making the world a better place by dancing, using my daily practice to continue to develop as a woman and seeing what unfolds. – I am in Love!!!!
I am a beginner, and am thrilled to say this every day. I have found a way to give back and would not change a thing.
None of it would be possible without having a Teacher I trust, who inspires me to be my best, but also will help me when I am not.
May all quarrels and wars be forever ended,
May poverty and sickness be removed from this earth may all that is auspicious increase.
May all beings be happy, blessed by the one who blazes with glory.
In service to the divine, I look forward to dancing with you!
Pia Hagan 2/6/14