A Newar Buddhist priest, the well-known dancer and international teacher Prajwal Vajracharya, will be offering a weekly three-month online course, Sacred Buddhist Dance of Nepal, in collaboration with host Yangchenma Arts and Music, from 20 February–8 May.
Prajwal is a 35th generation tantric Buddhist priest, and a ritual practitioner of mandalas, mantra, mudra, and dance. Newar Buddhism is considered to be the oldest known extant form of Buddhist practice. It has been preserved in two dedicated Nepalese family clans: the Vajracharya and Shakya. The Vajracharya clan today includes the priest Prajwal, his uncle a Sanskrit scholar in Liepzig, and his brother, Gautum Ratna Vajracharya, one of the top traditional painters in Nepal. In this ancient form of Buddhist transformation, dating back to at least the sixth century, it is recalled that the Buddha’s enlightenment was an experience not an idea.
In Newar Buddhism, enlightenment and full understanding of the Buddhist teachings of transformation of mind, entails singing and dancing. Specifically, it means meditation, which is equal to dance, and mantra, which is equal to singing. Meditation being a process and condition of the mind, these ancient teachings lay out clearly how to divinize oneself in an experience of emptiness, using mudra and movement.
Anthropological and scholarly interest in this oldest form of Buddhist practice is great, but it does not compare to knowing and embodying these ancient transmitted practices. Prajwal is offering a three-month weekly course live on Zoom in three parts: Part One: Foundations; Part Two: Avolokiteshvara, Dance of the Buddha of Compassion; and Part Three: Tara, Dance of the Female Buddha of Liberating Activities.
For full details and registration, visit: Sacred Buddhist Dance of Nepal (Yangchenma Arts and Music)
This course is a rare opportunity to learn one of the oldest known forms of Buddhist practice. It will expand your mind to that ancient place where dance is religion and meditation is a way of life. Do not be intimidated by the Sanskrit, and gestures and chanting; Prajwal is a seasoned teacher. There is much to be gained and learned from Prajwal, from his example itself. It is a wonder in this modern world, that such ancient practices continue to exist, and be effective.
Sacred Buddhist Dance of Nepal (Yangchenma Arts and Music)