Jacquelyn Sendak Zavaleta has been leading youth workshops for Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment for over 11 years. She is a Level 2 member of the Tara Dhatu Student Teacher Program. She writes…..
This summer I was asked to contribute towards the A.R.E.West Coast Youth Retreat in Asilomar, Monterey, California. I teamed up with my Tara sister from Southern California, Jill LaBatte. Our friendship began during the Tara tour to India/Nepal in 2001, and has blossomed through the years. In 2004, we danced with Felicity Oswald in Japan, and in 2010, Jill participated in some of the Level II activities I led in Berkeley. Together we designed and implemented our “Angels and Sacred Movement” for the youth retreat.
At the beginning of the event, we had the children fill out some informational surveys about themselves, and why they were at the youth camp. Many of them said they were forced by their parents to be there. Some were resistant to the workshop and each other. Jill wanted to help them bond with each other, and I was determined to help them tune into their Divine Mission.
We met many obstacles including a change in scheduling and location. Accepting the situation, I took inspiration from the recent Tara Dhatu Retreats in Hawaii that I attended over the past few years.
We left the cloistered classroom at Asilomar Lodge and headed for the beach. We started by demonstrating the prayers of Motivation, Refuge, and Bodichitta and then added dharma dances and aspects of the Dance of Tara’s Qualities. What a transforming experience! Combining proper motivation/movement, the students magically fell into step, relishing the beauty and power of the Tara prayers/dance along with the scenic backdrop.
Dancing on the beach created the perfect setting—it was simultaneously peaceful, beautiful and invigorating, and generated a sense of group well-being. The youth participants opened to the experience and everyone bonded. When Tara’s energy came through, the energy of the participants changed.
We ended our workshop with my husband, Ridgzin, (also in the Tara Dhatu Student Teacher Program) leading the Mayan handshake. It reinforced our sense of unity and oneness, as we joined hands and affirmed our togetherness in this great spiral galaxy and we spread the light of our joy to all beings.