The TARA CIRCLE
The TARA CIRCLE is a monthly meeting . . .a sacred space, a day of refuge, community and “body prayers” for women of all streams of life.
The TARA CIRCLE meetings encourage openness, kindness, acceptance, friendliness, support, connection, discovery and vulnerability . . . as well as inner wisdom, courage, strength, passion and taking action when needed.
The intention is to meet in a safe and enjoyable space for women to nurture, regenerate, heal and celebrate themselves and each other in somatically (body-oriented) inspired ways.
What will we practice: Organic yoga and somatic movement, breath-work, bodywork/contact and touch, meditative presence, personal creative expression, meditative inquiry, and verbal sharing.
Although the practices will be guided by Ateeka, the intention for the TARA CIRCLE meetings is to be a "monthly day of refuge and community" rather than a "seminar.”
Generally, a day in the TARA CIRCLE meeting will look like this:
Morning Practice: Guided Yoga, Somatic Movement, Breathwork and Relaxation/Self Healing Meditation and Meditative Inquiry
Lunch Break: It is suggested that you bring a simple vegetarian dish to share with others and we share a meal together. You also have the freedom to take space for yourself during the lunch break.
-Verbal Sharing Circle or Meditative Inquiry in Partners and then Nurturing Bodywork and Partners Contact Session.
Each woman will give and receive body from another for about 1 hour. The bodywork practices are guided and you will learn new ways to be with another through physical and energetic contact.
Ongoing Community: A Group Online Forum will be established where you can share ideas, inspirations and also make appointments to connect for bodywork or practice support between our monthly meetings.
WHY IS THIS GROUP CALLED “TARA CIRCLE?”
I have been deeply inspired by the ancient story of Tibetan wise woman Yeshe Dawa who is said to have vowed for all time, that she would choose to become enlightened only in a woman’s body and after much time and arduous practice, become the embodiment of Goddess Tara, the Mother of All the Buddhas, the Goddess of Compassion, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, the Womb of Enlightenment, Prajnaparamita, Wisdom herself. This circle’s intention is to meet our deepest wisdom and wisest compassion, through practice in a woman’s body.
At the end of this page, you will find a beautifully written story of Yeshe Dawa in more detail.
Dates & Time: One Thursday each month from 10 am – 4 pm:
Place: A location nearby Oslo
For Who: Open to all adult women, of all streams of life. No experience is necessary, and you are encouraged to bring new women friends to join our circle.
Your contribution: 500 kr. Per meeting.
How you can register:
If you would like to register for the next Tara Circle please contact ATEEKA at firstname.lastname@example.org
A STORY OF TARA
Once there was a woman named Yeshe Dawa, “Wisdom Moon.” She lived in a time long ago when people belived that in order to be enlightened one had to have a man’s body.
Wisdom Moon was so developed in her understanding, her compassion, her wisdom, her patience, her concentration, and her generosity – in all ways – that people came from all over the kingdom to seek her counsel. Crowds sat at her gate. Finally all the monks and holy men in the kingdom gathered around her and told her, “Wisdom Moon, you are so close to being enlightened that if only you had the male form, you would be fully and completely enlightened. You must pray to be magically transformed into a man. Please, for the sake of everyone, pray either to be transformed in this lifetime or to be born again in a man’s body, for the moment you have the male form, you will be a Buddha”
Wisdom Moon was quiet for a moment. She knew that the monks and holy men meant well but that their vision was limited. Finally she addressed them.
“Thank you very much, but I have thought about this matter for a long time. Worldly beings are always deluded on this account. Nowhere can I find what is male, nowhere can I find what is female. These are simply forms, no more separate from one another than a wave is from water. But since most buddhas have chosen to come as a man, perhaps it would be more useful if I became enlightened in a woman’s body. Therefore, “She said slowly, looking at them each lovingly, directly, “I vow for all time, until all suffering is ended, in all worlds for all beings, in all universes, I will become enlightened only in a woman’s body.”
Wisdom Moon did not achieve her enlightenment overnight. Some people are enlightened instantly, spontaneously; for others it is a long and arduous process. For Wisdom Moon, it was a process that occurred over a period of time beyond calculation. Once she had vowed to become fully and completely enlightened, nothing could stop her or diminish her desire to be of benefit to all beings. She would not eat breakfast until she had “saved” a million beings, that is, until she had taken the taken the anger or the greed or the hatred in their hearts and transformed it to loving kindness and compassion. Then she wouldn’t eat lunch until she had saved another million beings, and the same with dinner. So every day, life time after life time, for thousands and thousands of years, she saved millions and millions of beings.
Then one day she was fully and completely enlightened. She was no longer Wisdom Moon or Yeshe Dawa, she was Tara. She had burst into bloom, imperceptibly, like a flower. People came to know her by many names. Her Tibetan name is Drolma, Mother. In Chinese, she is Kwan Yin. Her Sanskrit name is Tara, which means “liberator,” “Saviouress” and “Star”. Of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, she is the quickest and most compassionate, the one who rushes to your aid the moment you think of her, even if you have never believed in her or call on her before.
Called the Mother of All the Buddhas, the Goddess of Compassion, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, the Womb of Enlightenment, Prajnaparamita – Wisdom – and the Buddha herself, this Buddha Tara has at least 21 forms, some say 108 and some say her number of forms is beyond counting. Her forms are both peaceful and fierce. Though she can enter a state of complete liberation now – bliss, nirvana – she chooses instead to stay in the world to relieve the suffering of others. Avolokitshvara (Chenrezig in Tibetan), the Lord and Bodhisattva of Compassion himself, had to be saved by her. He had taken a vow to save all beings from suffering, but he had given up. For every being he saved, he lost another. Finally he began to weep in despair, Tara arose, Green Tara this time, from the tears of one eye, and White Tara from the other. She told Avalokiteshvara not to worry, she had come to help him. Together they would save all beings.
Tara comes in whatever form you need to see her in order to believe in her. She is like Wisdom in the Old Testament, Sophia, she comes to you as you go to her. She is known especially for removing great fears and for granting long life and healing.
This story of TARA from the book:
“The Bond Between Women” by China Galland