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Foundation for Sacred Buddhist Arts of Nepal
Prajwal dancing Singhamukhi, The Lion-Faced Dakini
The Dance Mandal troupe practices a sacred Buddhist dance form that for hundreds of years has be virtually unknown outside the circles of those who perform it. This ancient ritual dance dates back over more than 1000 years and is a religious discipline of the priests of Kathmandu, who perform the dance as part of their esoteric meditation practices, ceremonies, and rituals.
Dance Mandal, Foundation for Sacred Buddhist Arts of Nepal, established by Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya in Kathmandu, is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Charya Nritya and the related traditions of instrumental and vocal music, choreography, and the crafts of making the masks, costumes, and jewelry used in the dances. Since its inception in 1996, Dance Mandal has performed in Asia, Europe and North America. Classes and workshops are also offered on this sacred art form. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Westerners can learn the dance as a spiritual practice as well as a sacred performance art.
Nritya Mandala Mahavihara-
Portland Buddhist Temple, Study Center & Home of Dance Mandal
A view looking inside from the Temple Gates
Portland, Oregon is home of the first Nepalese Temple in the West. The lineage holder of Newar Vajrayana Buddhism, Prajwal Vajracharya, and his dance center, Dance Mandal, along with co-founder, Helen Appell celebrated the completion of Nritya Mandala Mahavihara in 2009. The Mahavihara is a study center which includes the new temple and focuses on movement, sacred arts, meditation and teachings for anyone interested in devoting practice to reveal their inner nature.
The center serves as a major step in the preservation, expansion and exploration of all Newar meditative arts, while concurrently welcoming all those interested in inner practice to share the environment.