On February 1st 2014 Parvati led an introduction to Tara morning session in Prescott, Arizona. Carey Avery had arranged this meditation and dance session as a special event for a dharma sister’s weekly meditation group.
The group has done a number of different practices together, most of them drawn from a Chinese lineage focused on Amitaba. Because the group was accustomed to starting with a Chi Gung practice, I decided to start our 3 hour class with Chi-lel. We moved on to the preliminary dances of Motivation, Refuge and Bodhicitta.
We then sat down to have each person share their name and expectation for the day. One of the women was thrilled to note that they numbered 21! Perfect!
After I heard who was there to dance and who was there despite “the d word”, I shared with them, in a dramatic fashion and in full storyteller persona, the birth stories of Tara. Since this group was so attuned to Amitabha, the Lord of Infinite Light, it was a fun and perfect place to start the story of Tara!
After the stories we shifted into meditation mode. The group was accustomed to spending time in sitting meditation so we lingered for a nice long time. We then worked with Tara’s Mantra. Meditating on our own body as Tara, we rose to dance the 21 Qualities of Tara and the Mantra Dance.
It was a delicious morning with plenty of space to really dive in deeply and develop a strong experiential foundation of the practice that peaked perfectly and triumphantly with the Tara Dance.
Eh Ma Ho!
Since the gathering, there has been some talk about the possibility of doing a full Tara Dance Mandala weekend. It was such a pleasure to see the great joy the practice opened up in this group, newly meeting up with The Dance!
Om Ah Hung!