Rev. Jacquelyn Sendak Zavaleta, also known as Sonam Lhamo, and her husband Rigdzin Zavaleta are intensely active dharma practitioners and supporters. Both are members of the Tara Dhatu Student Teacher Program. Jacquelyn is constantly making connections with different people and groups to further the practice of Tara’s Dances.
She has started her own circle in the Bay Area and writes…..
After the March weekend of Prema teaching both Green and White Tara dances in Sausalito, California I gained a sense of inspiration and community. Attendees were both new and experienced Tara dancers, including members represented from three of our Northern California practice groups! It was apparent that if we work together, magic can happen. In this spirit we have invited Prema and Myri to return to the Bay Area on their way back to Maui in June. .
April brought me two groups of people to introduce to Tara dance activities, one in Sonoma and the other in Albany, Calf. I am so grateful, thinking of the
invaluable and supportive teachings of Senior Tara Dhatu teachers Bonney Meyer and Mekare Fiske. Last year I aspired to share the Tara Dance teachings at the Edgar Cayce Center in Virginia. Mekare drove hours from NC to to hand hold me through that experience.
A year later Bonney invited me to lead the practice of refuge and Bodhicitta at a Sonoma meeting. I had been taking private lessons with her and even though she drilled me until I felt confident in her presence, I stumbled on my words before the group, I was so nervous. Some of the more experienced dancers made mean comments but Bonney stepped in and saidm “Jacquelyn is learning and we all must support her in this! “ I pray that I may learn to be as supportive to those learning around me as I develop my dancing and teaching skills.
Recently a small group of Namkai Norbu’s Dzogchen sangha members met to do Green Tara practice. In Sonoma, Calf. We were inspired to go outside where I introduced the Tara Dance of Motivation, integrating what Rinpoche’s teachings with our song and dance. We then danced the Green Tara Mantra Dance to help heal the planet, to balance and purify the elements.
Tara sister and Dzogchen practitioner, Raga, was a great support during this event and we renewed our aspiration to start a circle of Tara Dancing in Santa Cruz where Raga lives. I pray we may all dance, encouraging each other to embody Tara.
I now have a small group that meets monthly at the Albany, California library. This next practice we will focus on Prema’s bardo prayer, since there has been so much death in our sangha.
I often spend time in Mt. Shasta and would love to have the Tara Dance turning for that sangha. I really believe in the blessing of this dance work and want to make it available to as many people as I can.