One Billion Rising On Maui

By Rebecca French

With a shared mission to uplift and empower women across the world, Prema Dasara, the Executive Director of Tara Dhatu, shared the Dance of Motivation and the Dance of Tara’s Qualities with several hundred Maui residents and friends.

The V-Day event, ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE. was celebrated February 15th in collaboration with hundreds of gatherings through out the world. It was a beautiful alignment of positive forces.

One Billion Rising is a global movement to end violence against women, to rise for justice and to promote gender equality. With a mission to bring healing to the Earth, peace to the heart, empowerment to women and men and to send blessings and prayers into the world, the Tara practice Prema shared was a powerful part of the evening program.

The Tara dance originated on Maui over 30 years ago. There are now hundreds of dancers on the island, many of them joined the circle to help lead.

The dance has been shared with thousands of women and men across the world, including several groups of Tibetan nuns and lay women. Tara Dhatu’s work with Tibetan nuns demonstrates how an inspired and empowered group of people can initiate great change.

Tibetan nuns traditionally were the poorest of the society. They had little opportunity for education and were not trained in the ritual arts that brought sustenance and support within the culture. When Western women started taking teaching from Tibetan Lamas they challenged this condition and through their persistent efforts they got the attention of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan dignitaries.

The Abbot of Kopan asked Prema to teach the nuns of his monastery. It was a revolutionary situation, providing the nuns with a skill that could engender support.

A group of nuns from the Kopan Monastery were introduced to the Tara practice in 1998 and gave their first  public performance in 2001. A video was made of the Dancing Nuns of Kopan and this was projected on a screen behind Prema during her preliminary teaching at V-Day (see image below). So inspiring to see how together, we can rise up and show collective strength for a better world. 

To dance or witness the Tara dance is a phenomenal experience. The V-Day gathering was a powerful and potent opportunity for us to come together and dance for the benefit of all beings!

“Through the combination of mind, body and spirit, the dancer is psychologically transformed. Dance gives the opportunity not only to transform our self perception but also our perspective of the world. Movement, our first language, touches the center of our being beyond the reach of reason. It communicates from the inner most soul, that which cannot be expressed through words.” – Prema Dasara 

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