Myri Dakini Naves is an outstanding dancer and a sincere dharma practitioner. In Tara Dhatu South America she is the moving force of all the accomplishments. Because of her careful nurturing we have circles of Tara Dancers all over Brazil and Chile. She is our Assistant Director of Tara Dhatu’s Educational Program and teaches the movement and the dharma with joy and depth. This year she engaged in a five week teaching tour encompassing Chile and the South of Brazil. She writes…
Following in Prema’s Footsteps
“Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree lying in the soil of the Malayan forest absorbs the scent of sandalwood from the damp leaves and branches, so you will remember who you follow. “Patrul Rinpoche
Tara inside us, Tara that we are, Tara around us.
Tara in the elements; earth, water, fire, air,
Dancing within infinite space!
What a wonderful opportunity it was to share Tara’s dances in so many different communities. I delighted in opening, throughout this journey, the path of dedication, mind training, and the open heart.. Our dancing bodies provided the means for a transformation of consciousness. Together we supported each other, in all our differences, our ways of being. Keeping the teachings revealed through the dance, we dove deep to reveal the inner treasure.
Tara is Dancing in Chile
My first flight was to Santiago, Chile. A committed group of Tara Dancers have been diligently developing the sangha of Tara Dhatu in Chile. Maria Concepción, Atma, Valentina and Flavia came to the retreat this year in Brazil and felt the call to deepen in the path of Tara. They made all the arrangements for my eight days in the country. It was an incredible experience.
I was so happy to be able to connect with Vera, the first student/teacher from Chile who invited me to teach there in 2010. Three years ago she had a great personal challenge and finally, this year, was able to return to dance with us.
My first class was in the heart of Santiago, the capitol city of the country, sharing the Dance of The 8 Precious Offerings. The next day we went to a beautiful retreat center outside the city, a precious place where the presence of Mother Mary welcomed us. The center wrapped around a beautiful garden with a statue of Mary surrounded by white flowers. Mary and Tara, the two faces of the Divine Mother. We danced the Mandala of the Praises, it was very powerful.
After the retreat we had breakfast with Maria, a medicine woman of the Mapuche, the indigenous culture of Chile. It was very interesting. She came with her husband Jose, and following the tradition of the Mapuche, greeted the trees, the cat, everything on the path from their car to the house we were in. They stopped at the door and questioned Flavia.
They have certain criteria for entering a strangers house and must know that they are meeting with mutual respect.
We then sat at the table and talked about her work and ours. She works with a circle of women to keep the customs of the Mapuche. She believes the circles of women meeting all over the world will help the earth. She was cautious with us, but over time developed trust. She works with all kind of medicine for women. The Chilean government killed a lot of the tribals so they are very careful.
She asked Flavia to make sure the Tara Dancers of Chile brought the flag of the Mapuche to the Monlam so we can keep connected.
Her husband said that I have a great heart, that I live what I teach. They acknowledged that their lives, like ours, were devoted to empowering the women, bring blessings to the earth, balancing the elements.
Next we had a meeting with all the teachers of our Educational Program. I was able to guide them, answer questions, share teachings. The Tara Dhatu sanga of Chile grows and new students keep entering the Educational Program.
My last event in Chile was at Viña del Mar, in the South of the country. There I connected with Valentina’s group and taught Gold Tara.
On to the South of Brazil
The next day I flew to Porto Alegre in the far south of Brazil. There are several groups in the area and we had a lot of agendas. We drove several hours to the city of Caxias. Michele had opened her own dance studio and we had a glorious weekend of classes and performance.
I returned to Porto Alegre with Edith. She and Lia have been working with the children at Lia’s school. I offered one session of Dancing Tara to their adult circle and one session to the children of
Lia’s school. It was so precious with the children. They danced a few verses of Tara Tames the 8 Fears as an offering to me, and then I taught them to do the mudras of the 8 Precious Offerings. Children love to play with their hands. We then danced Manjushri to awaken their intelligence and the Wind Horse, a piece of music that Prema created to Chenrezig, Lord of Compassion. We had a great time.
Santa Cruz du Sul
The next day I took a bus even further south to Santa Cruz du Sul. Luciana has been gathering a sincere group of dancers. We dove into a medley of dances; Dukkar – the 1000 Armed White Umbrella Tara, the 8 Precious Offerings, , Calling Tara From the Heart, Vajrasattva.
The Perfect End to a Perfect Tour
I returned to Porto Alegre to get a plane to Guarapari, Victoria, a town a little south east of Rio. Daisen and Celeste had organized a day of teachings for me. They started this group with Daisen’s daughter, Grazielle, and I enjoyed giving a full introduction to Tara’s Mandala.
By special request we danced through Medicine Buddha and Vajrasattva. And then in the evening I gave a little performance.
I also had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time at the beautiful beach. What a relief it was to relax in the arms of mother ocean.
The last day of my tour Daisen and a small group of dancers went to a Zen monastery and danced in the beauty and the peace of this special place. Daisen is a member of the sangha there and arranged for us to meet with the priest. We were discussing our aspirations to have a retreat center for dancing Tara somewhere in Brazil and he mentioned that the monastery might have just the place. We looked at the lovely grounds that are available to us and I went home dreaming of Tara Ling, our own retreat center with Prema as resident teacher half the year.
And so another year comes to a close and I think of all the wonderful experiences I had dancing and praying for our world. How much learning, how much growth. Every city where I shared Tara’s dances felt the support of our beloved Prema, who always inspires and guides us, directing us to uncover our true nature.
I have great gratitude to all who created the conditions favorable to my journey and pray that Tara’s Wheel of Blessings continues to turn.
Om Tare Tutare Ture Svaha
Myri Dakini Naves