We recently reported that an old cassette copy of Dayanandi’s talk “The Symbolism of Tara,” one of the many talks not yet digitized and online at Free Buddhist Audio, was discovered by a mitra at Dharmagiri Retreat Centre in Sweden. The audio includes a talk and a beautiful invocation given at Taraloka - important both as a historic record of Taraloka and as one of the earliest talks given by a female Order member. Realizing it was not yet online, our Dharma brothers and sisters in Sweden teamed up to digitize the audio for the archive and send it to us.
We contacted Dayanandi herself to tell her this story, and she wrote back to say:
“I’ve just listened to the talk and found it very moving and interesting to hear that 34-year-old me talking about Tara - from my 59 year old vantage point! If it was given in 1988 I would have been ordained for two years and I remember that my meditations and retreats were very much inspired by and devoted to Green Tara. I used to wear a lot of green, in fact I just came across a photo of a Green Tara Order visualisation retreat and we’re all wearing green!
“I was very devoted to Tara and saw my life at Taraloka as caring for Tara’s realm, making it as beautiful and welcoming as possible so that women who came could easily feel the influence of the Dharma. It might have been a bit later that I had a personal myth of being Tara’s Apprentice and I would think - “what would Tara do now?” It brought a lot of meaning to my day to day life at Taraloka. I did feel a bit unsure about listening to such an early talk but ended up enjoying it! It brought back lots of memories and I was impressed by how much I had already reflected on in those days! Thank you for making the talk accessible - I hope people enjoy it - and the chanting.”
She was also kind to include a couple photos of her for comparison which you can see here - an up-to-date one and another from the period around 1988-1990!
You can read more about the story of the lost cassette tape and listen to the completed audio here.