About this event
Nina will spend time in chanting and learning the prayer and sharing in readings about the names of the Goddess as She appears in the chant “Devi Pranamah”, from her album “Anubhav”. This is prayer is a collection of verses of the essence of the Chandi Path (700 verses in praise and invocation). Chandra will share teachings on meaning/iconagraphy of Tara Bhairavi and a guided meditation. As usual we will spend much time chanting/singing mantras as well.
Chandra and Nina have known each other for many years and share a deep interest in the complementary wisdom and devotional traditions of Tibet and India honoring the divine feminine. They will weave together mystical stories, visualizations, meditations, mantra repetition, and singing chants. Chandra will guide us through the intricate and fascinating tapestry of practices of Five Wisdom Dakinis and the 21 Taras. Nina will share prayers to goddesses from the Chandi Path and kirtan invoking and opening to the Great Mother, Ma. While each program in this series varies as we explore aspects of the many pathways, you can join at any time and no experience is required.
Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Buddhist teacher and translator, studied Buddhism and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB’s religious studies department at which time she co-translated Sublime Dharma, A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published by Vimala Publishing, 2012. From the very beginning of her Buddhist studies, Dorje Lopön Chandra recognized the profound need to bring forth the voice of the sacred feminine in Buddhist theory and practice. Due to this, in 1999 during her first pregnancy, she met and then later began to study with Lama Tsultrim Allione, pioneering female Buddhist teacher, national best selling author, and founder of Tara Mandala Retreat Center. Dorje Lopön Chandra is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Authorized Teacher at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. She serves on the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees, develops programs and curricula for Tara Mandala, as well as teaches nationally and internationally. In September of 2015, during the final day of the White Dakini Drubchen, Dorje Lopön Chandra was enthroned as the Dorje Lopön (Vajra Teacher) of Tara Mandala under Lama Tsultrim Allione and given the name Lopön Yeshe Dawa Zangmo by H.E. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche who presided over the ceremony with Lama Tsultrim. Dorje Lopön Chandra has had the good fortune to study with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Jennifer Welwood, B. Alan Wallace, Gyatrul Rinpoche, A.dzom Paylo Rinpoche, and Lama Pema Dorje. Lopön Chandra is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the San Francisco Bay Area. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her family. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com or www.taramandala.org for more info.
Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das business manager and assistant, often touring with him playing cymbals and singing. In 2007, she recorded the track ‘Nina Chalisa’ on Krishna Das’ CD “Flow of Grace” and in January 2013, she released her debut album, “Antarayaami – Knower of All Hearts“. She released her second album “Anubhav” in 2018. You can find her interviews on a number of podcasts, online courses, and documentary films on Bhakti Yoga, kirtan, and chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. Nina regularly leads retreats, kirtan, and chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York and beyond. When Nina met Lama Tsultrim she felt immediately drawn to the stories of the wisdom women in the Tibetan tradition and the Five Dakini Wisdom mandala practice. Tara Mandala is one of her most favorite sacred lands ever visited, reverberating with beauty and depth of practice. For more information visit NinaRaoChant.com