From Prema’s Diary On Tour – March 2014
I rarely lead Mandala of Tara Performance weekends anymore, never without senior teachers present who can dress the Taras and make up for those moments when I just need to rest.
There are two, third Level Tara Dhatu teachers in Tucson, very long time trusted friends. Elizabeth Breck and Teresa Newberry are joined by Amita Graham, a dance teacher and lover of Tara. When we discussed the possibility of me leading a weekend workshop in Tucson, Amita asked if we could do a Mandala Offering and include a simple re-commitment ceremony with her hugsband, Aaron. It has always been my intention that the Mandala Dance of Tara’s 21 Praises would be offered in this kind of celebration so I was delighted to agree.
The big surprise on my arrival was to find that all three organizers were going to dance with their teenage daughters. It was thrilling to share with these young women. I knew Arabella and Heather since they were a dream in their mother’s bellies…..both danced Tara as embryos….how amazing to now dance with them in the beauty and power of their young womanhood.
- Amita’s daughter, Lily, had some experience in the mandala as well. And treat of all treats, Parvati drove down from Phoenix with her mom to dance with us. This meant that most of the dancers were well versed in the dance. It was wonderful for me to be able to relax and enjoy the meditations rather than spend all my time as a traffic director!!!
A very special moment arose because of my dear friend Peggy Hitchcock. I was a guest at her lovely home for the week but she couldn’t dance because she was involved in a new project being developed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She had meetings and classes to attend. However she promised to come to the Mandala Offering and then decided to bring one of the instructors, Geshe Lobsang. After the offering I asked Geshe-la if he would like to say a few words. He was visibly moved. He spoke briefly of his appreciation of the power of the offering. And then said, “ In the introduction to the dance Prema mentioned that many people in the audience have tears. I could not imagine this, but I confess at a point in the offering I found my eyes misting and realized the depth that the dance had touched me.”
We had several extra dances offered. I have been practicing a new performance piece to the Powerful and Magnetic, Red Tara, Kurukulle. It has been many years since I created a performance piece, complete with my Classical Indian Dance ankle bells. The experience of dancing this piece is ecstatic for me.
Elizabeth offered a dance of Vajra Yogini that she had created, another powerful red goddess.
Carey helped me lead the 8 Precious offerings so we could be joined by our three organizers.
I am so grateful that I can continue to share the power,
the inspiration and the joy of dance and dharma.