Join the Dance!


The November 4-6th 2011 Mandala Dance Offering at the Disability Center here in Phoenix was a powerful and beautiful event made all the more glorious with live music provided by Shivadam , John Hinton, and Debra Podjed.
The event was brought to a perfect culmination with Dances of Universal Peace lead by Shivadam and John as well as Yamuna Pamela and Jennifer Freedman.
May All Beings We Well and Happy!
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha

2010 Past Week-End Mandala Dance Retreats with Parvati

Annually Parvati leads a Mandala week-end retreat and offering in
Seattle, Washington's Sakaya Monastery. Here is a report from October 2010

Dagmola Kushog, The revered Mother of the Sakya Clan, requested that the Tara Dance be performed once a year in the Sakya monastery in Seattle. Parvati Forrest Burke, Assistant Director of Tara Dhatu’s Student Teacher Program, fulfilled this year’s request. The weekend dance workshop was held at a private home. Parvati writes…..
Our week-end began early Thursday night. Her Eminence Jamyang Sakya, familiarly known as Dagmola, gave an empowerment of Green Tara. The Sakya temple is a remarkable and beautiful place, adorned by much deep and profound spiritual practice and teachings as well as magnificent traditional Tibetan painting and statuary. In this setting of romance and beauty Dagmola performed a powerful and illuminating ceremony with care and elegance. She gave each person present a transmission of Mother Tara, Her body, speech, and mind.
The dancers gathered Friday night at Edgewood Estate outside of Seattle. Our gracious hostess, Ilga, had offered her private home for us to retreat in for the weekend and she prepared a lovely meal to welcome us. It was a place of grandeur and beauty. Walking down a gravel path, through the extensive gardens, into the incense filled “ballroom” we were to call our workshop home, my eyes filled with tears. The sensation of arriving to a new Tara nest all prepared for our ritual to unfold reminded me vividly of so many such scenes in the 12 years since I joined the dance. The moment of arrival, before the lotus unfurls is so pregnant with all that will unfold—the beauty, the power, the moments of struggle and catharsis, the profound sense of sharing with so many precious beings… In a flash I felt the familiar sensations of gratitude for this precious and auspicious opportunity.
Saturday morning with glass windows and skylights allowing us to feel the outside world all around us, we entered into the heart of the Mother Tara through Anahata’s beautiful music, “Beloved Tara, luminous and beautiful, with devotion, I request you guide us to your blissful state.”
We had twenty dancers, a beautiful mix of those who had been involved with the practice since its birth and those who were entirely new to the dance. I was moved by the quality of the group’s attention and focus. I am always impressed how each individual meets the challenge and the happiness of becoming one with a moving, breathing organism made from the sum total of all. It is a poignant experience of interconnectedness that is ever present but not always so easy to see or feel.
When one had a physical need to stop, we stopped…no shame, just the truth revealed. Such a simple and elegant revelation that showed each one so much about how they move inside and outside… every ripple touching all. And so entwined, we danced and danced and danced. Toward the end of the night we broke into small groups by Tara color-Buddha family wisdom and worked on solo praise choreography. The energy rose once again and we flew through to the end of the night’s work.
Sunday morning we practiced all the movements for the ending prayers of dedication and then put it all together. By 2:30 the group had packed up and driven the hour or so back into Seattle and was practicing a final round in the Sakya monastery shrine room.
This room is extraordinary. Behind us there is a wall of immense statues representing our sources of refuge, towering above us as we dance. Divine mandalas adorn the ceiling. What a delight, to dance in such a beautiful space that is so saturated with auspiciousness and the sacred.
As we danced all the way through the entire practice for the last time before dressing for the evening offering I found myself profoundly moved by the sensation that as we passed the light through the spiral, one heart to the next “Faith. Surrender. Send out light” that the source of the light spinning our spiral and sending Tara’s wisdom and compassion into the world was none other than Shakyamuni Buddha. His huge likeness there on the shrine above us, third eye glittering, sat so still and yet I felt such a real warmth and presence… the profound love for all that led him to devote his entire life to liberating all beings from suffering by helping each one to know the truth of their nature, of the nature of all. And it is from this same heart of true love that Tara is born to ferry all across the sea of suffering… And so the light, the wisdom is passed on to the next and through this we see the true face of all.
What an amazing and auspicious thing, to dance, to practice with Dagmola there radiating Divine Mother’s love, wisdom, and support. My heart throbs with gratitude to her for her dedication to support and guide, inspire and uplift! Gratitude to Prema for this amazing revelation of a practice! Gratitude to the local organizing team, Gail and Rhiannon, for helping to manifest the week-end. Gratitude to Ilga and Mike for hosting us in such supportive and inspiring circumstances. Gratitude to all those at Sakya that supported the offering in so many ways. Gratitude to Mother Tara for guiding and supporting us and so many, making the impossible, possible, over and over again! Om Tare!

Phoenix, AZ
12-14 November 2010

Workshop and Performance Offering
Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara
Green Tara Blessing with Geshe Jampa Khechok & Divine Mother chants with Sister Mattaji of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashram
The Mandala Offering was moving and inspiring with Taras from all over Arizona, Blythe CA, and as far as Wisconsin. Those present dove deeply into Tara's heart and the result was powerful and beautiful . The protectors held a strong container and offered much vitality to the Taras as the were born into the world, each one moving with such grace and inspiration.
Geshe Jampa provided support and inspiration throughout the week-end and gave a beautiful blessing to all present. I can still hear the sweetness of his voice as he chanted the 21 Praises of Tara and shared a chant to Prajna Paramita. Matta-ji's chanting was equally lovely and the information she gave about the universality of "Ma", the connections between cultural references, and uses of the words for Peace and Amen were truly illuminating. The evening was brought to a perfect close with Dances of Universal Peace, lead by Yamuna and Jivani. These dances joined all the Taras together--those in sarees and those who were not in sarees. What an auspicious occasion! The Phoenix Tara Sangha is already looking forward to the offering 2011 November offering! May all beings be happy, blessed by the One who blazes with glory!
Pictures will be posted soon to tell more of the story!
Held at Emaho Foundation: 1402 North Miller Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85257


June 25-27 2010 Grand Rapids Mandala Dance Report

This June Parvati, Penny, and Brenda traveled from Phoenix to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a magical and moving week-end of delving deep into dance and prayers, meditations and the warmth of a community full of sincerity and heart. Hosted by Beth and Bob the group gathered, as is customary on Friday night to enter into Tara's profound path. Dancing in the lovingly cultivated gorgeous garden we were delighted by the sparkle of fireflies and the charge of the gathering energy. All the workshop participants went home to do personal contemplation on the prayers and Praises of Tara and gathered Saturday morning to see what wild and wonderful things the day held. After dancing through the five families of the Buddha family wisdoms we settled in and decided which dancer would carry each of the 21 quality of Tara into the world. Our hostess very appropriately took True Refuge and her Beloved that of Protector, how appropriate! After some fancy footing and much learning all found their place and we danced, and danced, and danced some more with break only for feasting in the middle! Saturday evening we all went our own ways for nourishment, rest, and contemplation. On Sunday morning we gathered, prepared the space outside and in and with the corners of our hearts swept clean we made a precious and sincere offering as the rains poured auspiciously down all around. I was very touched to find the community so focused and willing even though it was new to nearly all of them . A special quality was brought to the event by the fact that so many of those gathered were family of either blood or heart. I felt very at home and had a perfectly delightful time, finding myself very rejuvenated by the high level of Bliss that abounded! We are already sketching out 2011's June dance plans. May All Beings Be Happy and Free!