Phyllis Keeps Tara Dancing in the Pacific NorthWest
Phyllis Moses has been dancing Tara since its early years on Maui. A few years ago she decided to get more active and become a Tara Dhatu Student Teacher. She has been invited to facilitate a number of offerings this year. She writes…..
Tara Dancing in the Northwest this spring was a busy time with two different Tara offerings in March and one in May.
I was on the planning committee with the Northwest Buddhist Dharma Association as a sponsor for Tara Dhatu. Unique in the USA, NWBD is a central coordinating hub for dharma activities in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia in Canada. They usually have an annual meeting, but this year they coordinated an “Arts as Buddhist Practice Day” in Seattle and Portland.
We were given an hour to represent ourselves, so I decided to “talk less, and dance more”! I gave a brief introduction and then nine of the local Tara Dancers formed a crescent moon and danced the Prayer of Motivation, Shantideva’s Prayer of Refuge and Bodhicitta and finished with the Dance of the 21 Qualities of Tara.
The audience was entranced, in rapture! I It was such an enriching day that the sponsors all decided we should have it again next year.
Two weeks later I led a full Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises weekend workshop and offering in Seattle. Sarah Bien, one of our local Taras, was turning fifty and decided to sponsor the dance as her birthday celebration. We joined with Gaia’s Temple to bring together people who had never even seen or danced the Mandala before.
Tara worked her magic and the blessings were generated from within and poured out to all. It is so gratifying to be witness to people opening their hearts and stretching their limits, taking time out of their busy schedules so that we can all attune together through song, dance, and prayer.
The transformations of this dance ripple out. In our personal lives we can see and feel the power and beauty of the dance. One of our new dancers, Katie Carter, sent me this message….
“Words cannot express how much this weekend has meant to me. Sunday evening and all Monday I was still in our sacred space basking in the feeling of the dance and with Tara. I was nervous before we danced and at one point, I looked up at Tara. My nerves fell away as I let go and welcomed Her within. To feel Her and for those moments be Her was incredibly powerful. Thank you so, so much for sharing the dance with us; it was truly an honor to be a part of this wonderful weekend.”
It was also gratifying to have feedback from all the newcomers in the audience about how extraordinary the experience of watching the dance was.
Tara certainly does take us beyond words, into the living breathing heart of our True Nature.
Whidbey Island Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara,
May 18, 2014
On a beautiful Spring day I arrived on Whidbey Island for a weekend retreat/dance offering. No one was at the center at 6:30 pm, when it was supposed to start, and I began to wonder about if it was even going to happen. I heard Tara’s voice gently reminding me to let go of thoughts and projections and to simply stay present and available.
We had 8 wonderful dancers join us that evening – one of them was 88 years young, brought by her loving daughter who didn’t want to leave her alone at home. Right from the beginning, Tara unfolded Her magic. Everyone was ignited with that wonderful glow that only being in Her Dance can fully describe.
Maureen, organizer of the weekend and owner of www.butopia.com (a beautiful, hidden in the forest, 11 sided structure) had never seen the dance before. She wrote, “Last evening we gathered to honor and learn about Tara and her Dance of the 21 Praises. I was so surprised by the energy that we raised. It blew my heart and energy system open in a way that I never expected….with such gentle vast loving waves of bliss! I am still pulsating upon awaking….so grateful and happy to be preparing to sing and dance her 21 praises once again today and tomorrow. Glory be to the Goddess within us all!”
We had a small group for the weekend Mandala. I had never danced a Mandala with such a small group, yet the message from Tara was, “Just do it!” We each danced so many praises! Dancing many praises felt like a quickening of our energy, a mirroring of the way the world feels to me now – we are each being asked to give our all, yet doing it from a very centered and grounded awareness, trusting Guidance.
The audience on Sun. was mostly people who had never seen the dance, although some had heard about it for years. They were all enthralled with the magnificence and blessings of Tara’s Grace flowing in and around and through us all. Ahhh……another sacred Mandala shared.