Remembering Tara….. Mekare’s Journey with Tara

In my late twenties I began having dreams. Dreams of a Great Green Goddess, who nursed me at her breast, and gazed into my eyes, who held me and comforted me. The dreams were very precious to me. I loved that this Great Mother was green, a deep vivid nurturing green. I had never heard of Tara.

One day, in a local bookstore’s religion section, I looked up and saw from across the room the Great Mother who I was dreaming of gazing brightly back at me. It was a photo on the cover of the book Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna by China Galland. I was stunned and bought it immediately. I was spellbound by her story, tears in my eyes. From China I learned Tara’s mantra and began repeating it over and over. From China I also learned of Prema Dasara.

I have always loved to dance. From the time I was a wee little girl I took classes and danced nightly in our living room. A student of Art and Anthropology in college, I discovered the Classical Temple Dancers of India. I wanted to go! Oh, how I wanted to go to India and study Temple dancing! When I read of China meeting Prema, a western woman who was a Classical Temple dancer in India, I felt a surge of energy. China told of how Prema helped her navigate the train system of India and taught her the prayer of the 21 Praises of Tara. I immediately went to my journal and wrote a prayer request: “Please guide me to Prema Dasara.” A Temple dancer who knew Tara!

Several months later I found a copy of Tsultrim Allione’s Women of Wisdom in Susan Weed’s library at her farm in Woodstock, NY. I sat entranced, soaking in the teaching stories of the women of Tibetan Buddhism. Other than China’s book, this was my first introduction to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsultrim’s own personal story deeply touched me as well. I went to my journal again:Please guide me to Tsultrim Allione.

The magic of the Universe…..the guiding hand of Tara herself…. touched my life and changed everything. I received in the mail a few months later, a flyer from Tsultrim’s Center, Tara Mandala, in Colorado annoucing a retreat with Prema Dasara. I was stunned……delighted, surprised. How did they get my name? Why, Tara of course! I could not attend the retreat, but I called the center and asked for Prema’s address. The man could not find her address, only her phone number. wow! Back then I was very very shy. Did I have the courage to actually call her?

Yes. With trembling hands I dialed…..and she answered! I told Prema I had read of her in China’s book and wanted to study with her and couldn’t come to Colorado. Was she going to be anywhere else closer to the East Coast? Prema replied that she would be in Fayetteville, Arkansas that fall and gave me the number of a man there who was an organizer of the event.

A series of more “Magical Tara Events”, as I call them, happened. I was given a full scholarship to the workshop and one of my clients, who worked for an airline, gave me a plane ticket to Arkansas! I arrived in Fayetteville not really knowing what I would be doing at all. I was picked up at the airport and taken directly to iron saris. I had never even seen a sari. They were so beautiful. The women were ironing to Prema and Jeff’s tape of the dance music and chant. I was overwhemed with the beauty of the music, the mantra, and the silks. My heart was already cracking open. I was then taken to Pam’s home where I was to stay for the weekend. Pam’s family was one of the families that hosted Lama Kunga Rinpoche when he came to Fayetteville. They had built a tiny beautiful cottage out back for him. That weekend he was staying with another of the host families, so I had the cottage. How amazing! I hadn’t even known of him or that a Lama would be at the event. With every turn I was opened to new things and there was so much magic! And the dreams of Tara continued, with Her smiling deep into my eyes.

The weekend of that Mandala Dance was incredible. Prema was a force of beauty, power, and clarity like I had never encountered in my life. I cried with that feeling of “being at home” the entire time. Lama Kunga gave a Gold Tara Empowerment after the ritual offering of the dance, (my first empowerment) and I took refuge with him that night. I flew home to NC a different woman.

The journey has only gotten deeper and more magical over the years. The next summer I was traveling to study Movement and Mask Dancing in Indonesia and my plane stopped in Hawaii on the return flight. Feeling a bit more courageous than the summer before I again called Prema, this time asking if I could visit and study with her on Maui. Through that visit, in which I was very very ill, my connection to Tara and my connection to Prema strongly deepened. I invited Prema to come to North Carolina to lead a Mandala Dance weekend.

Then the amazing union of “Prema and Anahata” happened! And plans for the 1998 Pilgrimage began. When Prema and Anahata arrived to lead the first Mandala of Tara in NC in the autumn of 1997, I realized that another incredible powerhouse of beauty and insight had arrived in my life ~ Anahata Iradah!

During that auspiscious weekend of the first Tara Mandala in NC, the message came for Prema and Anahata via my voicemail that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had granted the request for an audience with our pilgrimage delegation in Dharamsala, India. And as if the journey had not already been magical enough for a lifetime, the magic continued. And continues……and continues….

From dancing “Irresistable Truth” for 21 Days on the 1998 Pilgrimage to dancing the Dances of the Tarot in Brasil. From starting Tara circles in North Carolina to leading an Introduction to Tara at Findhorn in Scotland. From the awe I feel dancing before great Lamas to the awe I feel alone on my cushion chanting Tara’s Praises. From the beauty and power of our Tara Camps in Hawaii to the beauty and power of dancing Tara solo before the altar of a Southern Baptist church. And soon the possiblilty of Bhutan…..

And most beautiful of all…..my deepest, most intimate, most personal relationship with Tara. Once after seeing me dance in a Mandala, an older Indian man approached me, saying “Many lifetime, many lifetime… you have known Tara!” Yes. And I am more grateful than words could ever describe. More grateful with each passing day. “Remembering Tara All Poisons Transform ~ Demons and Disease Completely Disappear ~ For All Beings Where Ever They May Be ~ The Praises of Tara Fulfill All Desire ~ Dissolving Any Obstacles ~