Mantra Dance (excerpt from Rhye Gray article)

The heart of the Tara practice is Tara's mantra.


OM indicates all that exists, TARE, Great Respected Mother. TUTARE describes Her as the remover of all obstacles, while TURE describes Her as the giver of all needs, bestower of great fortune. SOHA is a seal for the mantra, stating that this is, as it ever has been and ever shall be.

Tara, Great Mother who Removes Obstacles & Satisfies Needs
So Be it!!!

These sacred syllables, having been used by countless generations of Tara practitioners, have impact on the minds of the dancers and the world around them. The movements reinforce the meaning of the words.

In the mantra section of the dance, the dancers sing the mantra while concentrating on receiving Tara's light, blessing the earth, making offerings, receiving blessings, and sending them to the world to heal the suffering of all beings. This meditation of compassion encourages the dancer to engage in compassionate action in life. Dancing as Tara encourages practitioners to act with wisdom and compassion in their relationships and view of others.


Mandala Dance ( A brief outline)

The Tara Mandala Dance is a unique form of meditative practice. Participants become Tara by dancing Her 21 Praises.

The practice begins with refuge, an honoring of the lineage of teachers, the enlightened ones, their teachings, and the community of practitioners, those who are engaged in the practices that will bring about enlightened mind. It is followed by a vow, affirming that the goal of the practice, enlightened mind, will bring benefit to all beings. The next step in the practice is to visualize Tara as a radiant feminine presence, sitting in the sky before the dancer. Engaging in ritual hand gestures called mudras, the dancers invoke Tara within a crescent moon mandala. When this is complete they visualize themselves as Tara. Prepared to dance as Tara, one by one the dancers are born out of the intricate mandala formation to dance one of the Praises of Tara as an offering to the world. By dancing Tara's Praises, dancers reveal their inner nature as an aspect of the Goddess Tara.

After dancing the 21 praises or qualities, one of the most significant moments of the practice happens without movement. The dancers are instructed to ”Completely let go. Mind, vast, infinite, space.“

Out of this pregnant emptiness, Tara's mantra arises.

The dancers unwind the mandala as they sing the prayer of benefit.

Next the dancers enter the Mantra dance.

After the mantra section the dancers enact a ritual of "passing the light", acknowledging that whatever inspiration they receive that they will pass it on.

The dance ends by enacting the prayer of dedication...

May All Quarrels and Wars Be Forever Ended
May Poverty and Sickness Be Removed From This Earth
May the Truth and All That's Auspicious Increase

May All Beings Be Happy
Blessed By The One Who Blazes With Glory

by Rhye Gray, a Tara Dance Student Teacher from Baton Rouge, LA
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