This December 2012, Barbara Patton, a local woman who danced in Tara’s Mandala several times, asked me to begin a circle here in Pacifica. Her friend, Nancy Victoria Davis, was willing to offer a space in her beautiful Shelldance Orchid Nursery, inside the orchid greenhouse.
I have been dancing Tara, walking the golden spiral, for six years. Within two months of my experience I requested Prema to guide me through the practice. I am so blessed to have a relationship with such an amazing teacher, supporting and helping me along the way. Her kindness, patience and non-judgment have helped me heal many old wounds, identify what holds me back, and has helped me feel more stable. I have been able to honor and grow into my womanhood with clarity through my connection with a teacher, and the discipline I have developed during the practice. I am so grateful.
For the first couple of years, I cried every day while doing my daily practice, tears of relief, of beauty, of forgiveness. Connecting to our local Lotus Circle at Marie Elena’s I found the support I needed. By doing the practice with the experienced Tara Dance leaders I met there, I was able to show up, grow up, and find my own ways to give back. This practice has helped me to understand much about myself. It resonates with me on all levels of my being.
I have been blessed to go to the annual Tara Dhatu retreat in Kauai, Hawaii for past five years. For the past two years I assumed the job of Head Cook and work closely with many of the participants through this position. I love being part of the international community of dancers who come from all over the world. Dancing in Hawaii is one of the most amazing offerings. The elements respond to our constant devotion. A great and insightful healing takes place in each of us as we dance there.
I have never had any desire to lead a group. I was happy with my role as a student and supporter of whatever circles were turning in the Bay Area. When Barbara invited me I called Prema for guidance and advice. She was packing, leaving for Pilgrimage the next day, but took the time to give me the blessing to “just say yes…”
Arriving at the orchid nursery to meet with Nancy, I was greeted by a huge painting of White Tara. Nancy painted this beautiful Tara from an experience she had in Tibet. The sun was setting, an orange and pink glow off the ocean surrounded us, filling the nursery. I was in awe.
Barbra arrived and I invited them both to dance with me. We danced Motivation and Shanti Deva. We sang Homage To The Rare And Precious and ended with May All Beings Be Happy.
The sun went down. As darkness embraced us, the painting of White Tara glowed in the candlelight. Breathing in lush, moist air from the plants, the full moon peeked over the hill kissing our dancing Tara circle of three.
After the dance we moved into a warm room, filled with more delectate, flowering orchids. A cup of tea warmed us and completed our sense of inner satisfaction. We decided to begin a Tara Dance circle every Thursday from 5-7 pm.
At our first meeting we had four dancers and no music. It was amazing to see the women softening as they danced. The second week came quickly, and we had five dancers. This week we had the music, and could begin the Qualities. The music puts me more at ease. The group is moving along really fast. We danced the Qualities, and I was a bit unprepared for the section of the mantra dance, “offering all that is precious”. I did not want to scare them away with fancy footwork. As we moved into “taking and sending”… I realized….it worked.
Week three our circle had grown to six dancers.
Week four the full moon approached. I set the intention to announce our circle and we agreed to open to the greater community, one Thursday a month. We can feel the room becoming a refuge, a sacred space.
I am learning much about myself. I do not have so much experience in dancing the Qualities. While initiating this circle, there were a few mudras that I forgot. The group was very kind when I made a mistake. I was amazed to see the faces of each woman, so inspired at the end of each meeting. We are doing it together!
This is our official announcement…THE CIRCLE IS OPEN. When they are available I will invite senior teachers to come to the circle, once a month. Prema will be with us in the Bay Area March 29-31st.
I will continue to do my best to share the practice as it has been given to me. I am confident because I can ask questions of my mentor, and I have available a comprehensive collection of resources through the Student Teacher Program. This is such an amazing opportunity for me. Yes, I had some resistance, but in saying “yes”, I can already see the inspiration and dedication of this tiny group here in Pacifica, this little foggy beach town on the coast of California I call home.
In service to the divine in all of us…with great gratitude!
If you are interested in joining the circle contact Pia