Mama’s Fire and the Sacred Works Project is bringing the the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour to Salem Oregon

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Salem Relic Event Flyer 2014

Relics of Buddha offered by HH Dalai Lama

Relics of Buddha offered by HH Dalai Lama

It is maybe the greatest birthday present of all time.  A year ago I asked the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour to come to Salem, Oregon.  The Loving Kindness Tour is an International Tour of the Relics of the historical Buddha and many other great spiritual Saints from Tibet, India, Korea and China.  The mission statement of the Loving Kindness Tour is: To bring the blessings of the Relics and the experience of loving kindness to as many people around the world as possible by creating inspiring events, encouraging respect and genuine openness resulting in widespread happiness and the conditions for world peace.  They have graciously agreed to come to Salem, Oregon and will be here July 11th, 12th and 13th- this coming week!  They will be on display at the Masonic Temple in West Salem with the Opening Ceremony starting Friday July 11th from 6pm to 8pm and then will be on display Saturday from 10am until 8pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

welcome

Maximiliano Nealon

The opening night ceremony is going to be a really good time.  Dan Zeit, 37th level Masonic Master will be opening our ceremony with a talk on loving kindness.  This will be followed by one of my closest friends and a great musician Maximiliano Nealon. He will be singing songs for a golden age. Here are some words from his bio:  “My songs are the most sincere way I know of sharing what is important to me. They reflect what I feel and what I’d like to believe.   Nothing touches as many hearts and minds as music does. Music is magic. It truly heals the soul.”  If all goes well I may even get to open for Max, reading one of my poems with the musical accompaniment of Mark Babson. The Ceremonies will close with a teaching given by Venerable Karma  Rinpoche who is the main teacher for the Drukpa Mila Center in Salem, Oregon.  I hope to see you all there.

We will also be having pet blessings and there will be places to practice with the relics.  It will be such a great time.  You can follow the tour on Facebook for more details.  I am looking forward to see you all there to receive the blessing of the Buddha.  I certainly will be there.

Kangaroo blessed, Alice Springs, Australia, 2012Sacred ingredients…Enlightened taste.

Mama’s FireTibetan hot sauce in a dessert?

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Mama's Fire as it looks on the shelf today

So, in all my years of making Mama’s Fire Tibetan hot sauce, I would hear over and over again, “Wow, this stuff is addictive it is great on every thing”  My response was usually, “Yes except maybe desserts or cereal.”  And now much to my surprise both have been proven wrong.  I was told a little while back that a devoted fan of the sauce loves Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce in his oatmeal.  “A savory breakfast dish” he called it.

Two times proven wrong,  I love being proved wring if this is what happens.  My right had man Clint decided he wanted to have a challenge over Facebook to see if a dessert could be made with Mama’s Fire Tibetan hot sauce.  Three cooks took on the challenge. Here is our winners description and recipe for the best rice krispie treats I have ever eaten (and I do love my rice krispy treats).  Jane is a great cook and my supervisor at my day job.  Hot sauce has yet to pay the bills but it continues to be a great joy to me because I get to be a part great things like this contest.   I find out things like, “Wow, my supervisor can cook!”  And, oh yeah, a dessert can made with Mama’s Fire!  Jane has created a masterpiece that is both easy and tasty.

Here is Jane’s description of her experience:

When Clint first asked if I was up for a challenge, I said I couldn’t answer that unless I knew what the challenge was. He clarified the challenge,  “if I had a box of rice krispies, a chocolate bar, a bag of marshmallows, a bag of almonds, and a jar of Mama’s Fire Hot Sauce could I make it into a dessert.

He and Jesse, and several other people, knew the sauce was great in savory recipes but they wanted to know if it could be used in a sweet dish.   Since I like to cook, and especially like to bake desserts, I accepted the challenge despite being very skeptical that this sauce would work with the ingredients Clint specified.

My first reaction was to say “forget it; it can’t be done and be edible”. But, I perused my various rice krispie treat recipes and did a little research on the addition of chili to chocolate, bought my groceries, and developed a recipe for Mama’s Firey Rice Krispie Treats. I wasn’t too sure about them, but when I had my husband try it, he liked it; even though he had no idea what he was eating. He said they were better than regular Rice Krispie Treats.

I took a pan of the treats to Clint. He tasted a piece. Then he ate 3 or so more pieces. He said “Hmmm…” a few times. He seemed to like it. Then he had Jesse try it. He had the same reaction. “Just the right amount of sweet and spicy”, he said. I still wasn’t sure about them but was very happy at least 3 people liked them. Clint gave me a big piece of his to take home so my husband could have another piece since he liked them so well. That night my husband said, “You should make these more often”. Clint also told me that Jesse’s family liked them too. I guess they are a hit. Try them. You might like them too. Mama’s Fire Hot Sauce can be made into a dessert. Who knew? I’m up for another challenge to try the sauce in another dessert.

Jane

Just because it is no fun to read about something this good and not be able to try it for yourself, here is her recipe.  Thank you Jane!

Mama’s Firey Krispie Rice Treats, Recipe Created by Jane Silbernagel

4 Tbsp margarine, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces

6 cup miniature marshmallows

1 milk chocolate bar (7 oz. size), chopped

¼ c almond butter (grind chopped almonds in food processor until paste forms; alternatively, you can buy a jar of almond butter or use the grocery store’s grinder some have for this purpose)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp Mama’s Fire Hot Sauce

6 cup krispie rice cereal

Pour the krispie rice cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Melt the butter and chocolate pieces in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn heat to low and stir in the almond butter and Mama’s Fire Hot Sauce. Once all is melted together, add the marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are mostly all melted (this takes several minutes) then stir in the vanilla, ginger, and cinnamon.

 

Once fully melted, pour the cereal into the saucepan. Stir lightly to combine. Turn off heat. Dump the mixture into a greased 9×9 in. pan. Let it cool up to 5 minutes if necessary. Flatten the top with greased hands or a greased rubber spatula. Allow to cool then cut into squares.

Chocolate, cinnamon and Mama's Fire Tibetan hot sauce, a fantastic dessert.

Chocolate, cinnamon and Mama’s Fire Tibetan hot sauce, a fantastic dessert.

Sacred ingredients…Enlightened taste.

Mama’s Fire introduces the Sacred Works Gallery!

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One of the statues now for sale in the Sacred Works Gallery

Exciting news! A dream that I have had since I began this journey with the Sacred Works Project and Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce, is now a reality.  I am very excited to share that we have created the Sacred Works Gallery to sell items as a means to support artisans and spiritual practitioners who are working to bring about bodhicitta loving kindness on our world.

We have begun this effort with two product lines to go along side our tasty sauces.  The first is a line of Tibetan Buddhist statues and shrine items which are exquisitely made and beautifully painted.  Seventy five percent of all profits made on these lovely items will go to the Venerable Karma Namgyal Rinpoche to support his gurus request that he perform one hundred and eight Chenrezig fire pujas in the United States.  Each of these ceremonies has many offering that must go into the fire.  So there is a financial burden with each ceremony. The Sacred Works Project has deemed that this is an effort that meets our mission and one we want to support.   It is truly a great thing to take part in, I have been to three over the past two years.  It is an envocation of the Buddha of compassion, a powerful sadhana which blesses all who take part in it and the land on which it is done.   In the ritual herbs, spices, candy, salt and many other items are offered to him by pouring them into the fire.  It is something worth supporting and so I have made it possible for all of you to do so through buying his products online.

The second line of offerings is a line of hand made malas.  These prayer beads are hand crafted by a wonderful woman named Emily, she is a graduate of the first class of the School for Yogis, a Dharma study of Tara’s wisdom taught in the basement of Addictions tattoo parlor in Salem, Oregon.  It was an outrageous offering of Dharma made by yours truly over the last three years.  She is pouring her devotion and her practice of honoring the great mother Tara into making malas for the Sacred Works Project.  She is generously offering all of her profits to the Sacred Works Projects efforts to bring the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour to Salem, Oregon. To see all of her offerings check out the gallery which can be found both at Mamasfire.com and Sacredworksproject.org.

A store to support efforts of Bodhicitta loving kindness this is truly my dream come true!  I do hope you all find some wonderful gifts an items for yourselves and buy with the knowledge that your investment of financial energy is being directed at loving kindness!

Sacred Ingredients…Enlightened taste

A Tara Tale from from the founder of Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce

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The great mother as Coatlicue in all her glory!

 

It is a tough bind being in business and having such a dislike for commercialism, let me clarify is is not so much commercialism but its lack of kindness that gets to me.  I believe that this consumerism is telling us something is missing and we have to find it.  What we have to find is in us already.  The loving kindness of the great mother.  The truth of the matter is the only thing that has kept me going with the Sacred Works Project and Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce is the idea that I am healing with hot sauce and working to bring bodhicitta loving kindness into the world.  It has been my way of finding what is missing in myself and my hope is that it will help you all to find the same kindness which resides in you.  This is how we can meet the dark age with living kindness.  Here is my black friday post, a new Tara Tale as my way of acknowledging the power of the material world.

Quatzequatel’s Wound

The Birth of the Dark Age

 By Jesse G. Thompson

         “So now we come to it at last.” Tara smiled, “I now introduce you my children, to mother law. The great double headed Serpent Coatlicue with all of her coils. This, my students of ancient lore, is my final tale; it is the tale of how the dark age began.”

         I have shared before with you all how the bull headed demon came to hold the greatest goddess mother Tara law. When the time was right the law changed and once again I was able to bring about the golden age with my sisters and brothers three. Well before the King of the demons received his boon there was a wondrous time and in that time a great yogi held my law. This man’s name was Quatzequatel. This is the story of how he lost his boon, my law to the King of the demons. This is how the dark age of Kalima was born.

         You see, Karma is adamantine and the law had changed and my sweet yogi brother gave it all to the demons, one gift after another, until he could only float away on a raft of serpents into the sunset.

         You may not know Quatzequatel’s tale, in fact I am sure you don’t as this is my first telling of it. Let us all rejoice and feast, children; settle in with your parents and listen to the tale of Coatlicue’s child.

         You see, my children, he was a man who held my law correctly and loving kindness reigned supreme. Understand please all of you for this is essential, he was a heart son mahasiddha, who, like the later Christ, Krishna, Ram, Hanuman, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Gareb Dorjo, Nargajuna, the 84 and the great Karmapas; all those brilliant beings in the Kagyu and Ningma lines, Bodhi Dharma, Drulepa Kunley and so many others. I hope that clarifies the lineage.”

         Tara was becoming more wrathful than her students had ever seen; she became a fury as she shared her tale. Her eyes flashed like diamond razors and her hair dance in the breeze of radiant bliss flowing out of her like a storm.

         “For you see and know it well from this moment forth my law is the vajra law. If you hold it right you receive oceans and oceans of Bodhi bliss, all karma met. The Buddha called this vibration, my vibration bodhicitta, Christ the kingdom of heaven or the grail. ‘My law, my vibration,’ proclaimed Tara, ‘is the holy grail and it is the law of bodhicitta, as she spoke these teachings words changed into a terrible hiss.  Her body changed in front of the crowd.  Right before their eyes, Tara transformed into a double headed serpent with rainbow scales and wings of such radiant bliss. She wore a necklace of severed human hands. A skirt of all the venomous serpents ever known writhed around her legs, so beautiful indeed, giving birth to a child in the very moment of the ring of fire.

         “Now you see my children, my manifestations of Marici, Tara as mother law. I am God’s consort and it is I who reside on the tree of life. My apple is karma and it will be met in adamantine fashion. “Take a bite of my apple,” Tara hissed, “and you will know the great whore. Know my law, Bodhi bliss, and you will quickly meet her to her very end and give birth to this display, the great queen of the Nagas in Bodhi bliss, rainbow serpent form.

         “Quatzequatel held this his mothers law you know her as Coatlicue but she is also mother Mary, and yes, that’s just another manifestation of me. He wasn’t tricked as you might think by those three black sorcerers. They had their way with him to be sure but it was the changing of an age, so he had no choice. Just as the Bull King had no choice when I ripped his throat out and drained his blood.

         “The sorcerers helped Coatlicue’s son, my son,” Tara said in her double serpent glory, venom dripping from her fangs. They helped indeed; the karma changed, he became it rather than met it when he crossed the line with his sister, he should not have slept with her and he lost his penis for the act. Stabbed a hundred times, then cut off and thrown in the dirt for good measure. All my karma met in one nasty bite.

         Tara, now both diamond heads smiling, fangs glistening with venom, skirt all serpents striking out at the air. She gave a hiss that made the children scramble into their parents arms. “Then the poor soul he had to leave his kingdom. To lose as entire kingdom; what a fall.  He walked and bled, bled and walked; at each stop a demon waiting to take his due, when all of his powers had been given to the Bull Headed King of the demons, he stopped and waited, bleeding into the ocean as the sun set, until a raft of serpents came to meet him.

         Then he sailed away upon my coils taking the all the Nagas with him. He left behind him hell in all realms, until I was called by my brothers Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva to take the law back once again and give birth to the golden age.

         Tara had settled again on her throne. She smiled, still serpentine and settled in to finish her tale.

         My great retinue of glorious beings, this is what it looks like when you meet my great law with Bodhi bliss.

         Tara rose into the air, her coils glistened like rainbows sparkling in the cloud. This is what Quatzequatel held up with his yoga. I have such love for him and all who hold me up as the Rainbow Feathered Serpent. As she said those words she vanished into rainbow light.

         “And now you know the tale of the great wound of Quatzequatel.” Her voice resonated, “and how it brought with it the Black Age, the dark age of Kalima.”

The End

Mama’s Fire, a fun memory for all as the holidays approach.

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Hello to all.  The founder here to share with you a fun memory.  I have been at work completing my book Tara Tales and now finally find my way back to my blog.   I wanted to share with you all my memory of the first time I bought my sauce, the sauce I had started in my back yard and in my kitchen, at a Whole Foods Market.  It took me five years to get my sauce onto the shelf of Whole Foods Market and a great deal of auspicious coincidence.  I started the process with a friend of mine.  He offered to walk a bottle of my hot sauce into the store manager of the Boulder, Colorado Pearl Street Whole Foods.  Every few months, when the buyer ran out of sauce I would send him another bottle.  This went on for years until in 2008 His Holiness the 17th Karmapa came to the United States for his first tour.

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Here is were the story takes a fun turn.  I received an email from an artist who had help the 16th Karmapa create the image of the Dream Flag (the image at the heart of our label of the yellow wave of bodhicitta loving kindness meeting perfectly the blue nature of mind).  Here is a youtube of the 16th Karmapa performing the black crown ceremony in his last incarnation just for fun and to give you an idea of who I am talking about.

The 16th karmapa had seen the image of the Dream Flag in a dream and had said that, “Were ever this banner flies the Dharma will flourish.” My intention was to fly this image in every kitchen I could, all around the world if possible.  This artist, who had helped the Karmapa to record the image from his dream, was very angry with me.  He stated in his email that I must remove this image from my web site immediately and that it was a sacred image which should never be used for branding.  I wrote him back and explained how I say Tara mantras over every batch of sauce and how my intention was to sneak bodhicitta loving kindness into every bottle of sauce.  Enlightenment though hot sauce.  Needless to say, he like many others did not believe me and told me in no uncertain terms that I would have to ask the Karmapa’s permission to use this image.

On fire from his scathing emails, I called the head office for the Kagyu lineage in the United States up in Seattle.  I had done this before and every time I got a machine.  On this day I was so driven by the artists angry words, I entered the extension for the head office of Punlop Rinpoche.  The phone rang as I burnt with hurt and frustration, three times it rang and then a voice picked up on the other end of the line.  I was stunned and stammered out my name and that I was calling from the Sacred Works Project and Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce.  Then my mind was truly blown, the voice on the other end of the line said, “Is this the Jesse Thompson who used to work at the Homeless Shelter in Boulder, Colorado?”  Now keep in mind I was calling Seattle, Washington from Dallas, Oregon.  My mind stopped as I thought I was talking to Punlop Rinpoche.

I said slowly, “Yes, yes it is.”  The voice on the other end of the line became sweet kindness, all of my aggression fell away as he said, “This is Tim how are you!”  I remembered Tim fondly, we had worked together at the shelter and it was an amazing auspicious coincidence, there is no other way to describe it;  I guess miracle might be close.   I let him know that I wanted to offer His Holiness the 17th Karmapa an offering of Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce.  He connected me with the woman who was running the Karmapa’s households while he was on tour on the spot.  The next morning the sauce went out to her and just arrived hours before she had to leave for the tour.  The offering was made and had it not been for the artist’s angry words it would have never happened.

For two weeks I waited as His Holiness toured the states.  No word.  Finally, the tour having come to a close, I called the woman, whose name I have lost to the mists of time.  I asked her, just as the artist had requested if there was any feedback from the Karmapa.  She said that she was able to offer the sauce to him at each stop on the tour, and that she had heard nothing in response.  Her closing words were, “You made an offering with very good intention, that is enough.”

We ended the call and in that moment I learned a great lesson.  When you make an offering don’t expect anything in return, it is an offering.  I sat with this for three hours letting the realization sink in and then my phone rang.  It was the buyer from Whole Foods Market out in Colorado.  He stated that they were ready to add Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce to their product list.  My sauce was to be place on the shelves of Whole Foods Market.  Here was the Karmapa giving his blessing.

The story goes on, his blessings shown in other ways, but since that day the Dream Flag has become the image of the Sacred Works Project and Mama’s Fire, our slogan like the wave in the dream flag, “Oceans and oceans of kindness.”

The memory I thought to share at the beginning of this tale is that of buying my sauce for the first time from a Whole Foods.  Here is a picture of me at the Pearl Street Whole Foods Market, in Boulder, Clolrado,  buying my sauce.  It was the coolest feeling ever.  It was like a dream.  I could not stop smiling for hours after the purchase.

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Please join me in this feeling of buying Mama’s Fire as the holidays approach and make Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce a part of your holiday feasting!

Sacred ingredients…Enlightened taste.

Tara Tales a book by Jesse the founder of the Sacred Works Project and Mama’s Fire Gourmet Sauce

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Tara Tales

Another blog entry to share my writing, this is something I have been doing as a practice like making my hot sauce.  This is a piece that I wrote after I finished working at a child abuse assessment home.  It was my way of turning the poison into something beautiful.  Sarah’s Dream is a retelling of the old testament story of Sarah and Abraham.  I hope you all enjoy it.

Sarah’s Dream
by Jesse Govinda Thompson

Sarah shuddered, her raven black hair matted and tangled.   She tried to remember where she was, it had all been so vivid.  Thousands of years had opened in front of her, lives of women from her lineage, like a river falling from her loins, calling out to her asking her to see.  She shook her head, what was it she had been shown.

As she rubbed her eyes the plight of her children returned to her and shook her deeply.  The sheer magnitude of suffering her daughters and their children endured in the dream rattled her soul.   Oceans of blood and tears, wound after wound.  The pain and sorrow of her children was unending.  It was a great soup of bones, blood and death.   Why had she been shown this?  What could it possibly mean?  Woman raped and treated as the property of men.  Children enslaved and unprotected from every manner of horror.  It was the woman’s role to protect.  How could things possibly go so wrong?  What could bring about this…?

Wait, she mused to her self, it was just a nightmare, only a dream from the night before.  Even as her musing began she knew in her cells that this experience was more then a dream it was something like a vision.  Sarah had heard from the old crone who lived and practiced her esoteric secrets in the cave above her husband’s property that dreams can be teachings, guides not to be ignored.

“I will pray”, she mumbled to herself rubbing the sleep from her eyes.  “If it is a vision of guidance then the lord will surely come and help me understand its meaning.”

Sarah went to the shrine which held her husbands relics of the lord and the stones and many objects he had collected over the years from each of his experiences with the being whom he referred to as the Lord Almighty.  She always thought that his passion for this lord and zeal for the respect he deserved was more then any one god deserved but he had come from the east and spirituality was done differently in the land he had journeyed from.
She smiled as she remembered their first meeting.  She had known the moment she had seen him that he was different.  It was his eyes, they looked into her as if he could see her very soul and as she looked into them the first time she saw oceans of light.  In that moment she knew that this dusty traveler with his haggard beard and dirty wind worn face would be a part of her life for many years to come.  She fell in love with his deep eyes and she knew that like seeing a jewel in a pile of dust there was much more to this man and she would one day love each and every part of him.
The shrine she sat before which reminded her so of the man she loved had many small rocks arranged beautifully into a circle.  Inside this circle was the symbol the lord had shown him so many years before that spelled out the lord’s name.  Knowing this name was what made it possible for her husband Abram to have the direct conversations with his Lord Almighty and to share the lord’s wisdom with his followers.  Above the circle on the wall was a drawing her husband had painted of what he had seen the first time the Lord had come to speak with him, white light shining out in all directions from what looked like a sphere or globe in the center.  It was beautiful in its simplicity.  Not just the picture but the entire shrine was beautiful and reminded her of light she had seen in her husbands eyes that first day.
Sarah sat in front of the shrine for a long time not quite sure how to begin.  She had seen the man she loved do this many times but as far as she was concerned it was just something that he did and there was no real reason for her to follow his example.  The deal was simple she would take care of the worldly affairs so that he could take care of the affairs of spirit.  But now here she was.  The dream was probably the only thing that would have brought her to this place. She had to know the meaning of that dream and she had to know if it was something more then a nightmare.  Because if it was then she knew in her gut that she would have to do something to make sure what she had seen would never come to pass.
Nothing came to her; the Lord did not seem to appear for her just because she sat at the shrine.  She knew it was sacrilege for her to be doing what she was doing, yet something in her also knew it was right in a way that was beyond this Lord’s rules.  But because of these rules it meant that asking her husband for help was out of the question.  He was ruled by laws and covenants, so to break one in this way was innately against his nature.  She had to find another way.  The only person she could think of that might offer her help was the woman in the cave.  This thought scared her because no one except for her husband talked to the crazy homeless woman who lived in the mountain.

For some reason Sarah mused her husband seemed to respect this crazy woman.    But she could not imagine why that might be.  The crone was wild eyed and unpredictable.  It seemed preposterous to even think about it, but as far as Sarah could tell there was no other way.
Realizing that this visit was truly her only course of action, Sarah decided that she would not wait.  She must go.  Get it over with, and hope that the woman would send her away with the knowledge that this nightmare was only a silly little dream.

Sarah had learned enough from watching her husband to know that if she wanted this woman to help her she would have to bring her a gift of some kind for her services.  Sarah looked around her house to see if anything that belonged to her jumped out as an appropriate offering. As she looked around her bed room she saw a small Egyptian box covered in opal and obsidian.  The stones were cut and laid into the box so that the black and white smooth stones formed the shape of a spider whose legs were reaching around the lid and holding the box shut.

It was an amazing illusion and the craftsman must have been proud of his work she mused as she picked up the box to take a closer look.  As she did so, Sarah realized that her gut had shared the information she needed.  This was the gift she would offer to the  crone in the hill.
Now that she had a gift there was no reason to dally.  Sarah washed and dressed herself and embarked on the journey to the old woman’s cave.  For a moment she thought about telling her servant Hagar, but then she thought better of it.  The servant woman would only tell her husband and bring trouble for her.  Ever since Sarah had begun the conversation with her husband about him taking Hagar, so that she might bring him the child Sarah could not, she had found the presence of her servant more and more distasteful.  She made her way up the rocky mountain side and to the entrance of a cave without a word to anyone in the encampment.

Her breath was taken away as she walked, her way up the side of the mountain. Sarah found herself standing on a granite ledge and a two hundred foot drop into space. Only fifty feet away across the chasm was another ledge and in between was a rope bridge.  Chills went through Sarah as she realized she must cross this bridge.

The rope was old and sun worn as it stretched out in front of her she was not sure it could even hold her weight.  Sarah thought about turning back.  It did not seem worth it to her to risk her life for a dream even if it had been vivid.  What if it had been a vision through?  What if it was something that would come to pass?  It was just too awful to ignore.  Before giving it another thought or letting further doubt in, Sarah stepped onto the bridge.  Ropes gave and boards creaked as she made her way to the other side but the bridge held true.  She now stood on a small rock ledge with a cliff above her and a cliff below.  The entrance, at least she assumed it was the entrance, as there was no other, was a small jagged opening in the side of the mountain.  It looked as though the rock face had been cut with a knife just tall enough and wide enough for a person to squeeze though if they passed through the entrance standing sideways.
Now that Sarah was at the entrance of the cave she didn’t know what to do.  Did she really want to call out to this crazy woman?  It could mean opening a can of worms that she might not be ready to handle.  The images of woman and children being tortured flashed in front of her eyes and she called out with out another thought, “Hello, is anyone in there?  Ah, are you home?”
“Who is yelling outside my cave?” an ancient voice crackled like burning paper.
“My name is Sarah, I have come to ask you if you can help me to understand a dream I have had.”
“A dream you say, what kind of dream?”
“I have had a dream, it was so real, so life like, it was more like a vision,” answered Sarah.
“Eh, what’s that you say, vision.  Do I truly hear a woman at the door of my cave telling me that she has had a vision?”
The old woman’s voice had been so filled with such loathing as she spoke these words that Sarah was not sure she wanted to answer.  She thought about leaving the cave and the angry woman behind her.  But as she turned to leave the spider box fell from her bag and hit her hard in the foot.  It brought back in a flash of intensity the horror of a blond woman tied to a bed being cut as two men forced her to horrible and humiliating acts of pleasure as each man in turn looked on with an evil smile and the glint of pleasure in their eyes.  The images and the many others of the dream made her skin crawl as though poisonous insects crawled all over her body and could not let go and walk away.  She could not turn her back on so much suffering.  Sarah took a deep breath pushed through the fear in her clenched stomach and answered the old crackling voice which had echoed out from the cave.  “Yes, it seems like it is some kind of a vision.  Ah, it may only….
A boney arm and long skinny fingers, the skin white and stretched thin over the skeleton came out from the cave followed by a skull covered in wild long grey hair that stood out in every direction.  From the skull steel grey eyes looked directly into Sarah’s own, “If you have had a vision then you are the woman I have been waiting for, won’t you please come in.”  The old raspy voice crackled like a fire popping when the wood is to full of sap.  With these words, the woman disappeared hand and all back into the slit in the stone wall that was the entrance to her home.
“Waiting for,” Sarah mumbled to herself a little taken aback, “How could she have been waiting for me?”  This thought brought more fear then the old woman’s anger from just moments before.  It also brought to Sarah, as it would to any strong hearted woman, a sense of curiosity.  She wanted to find out how this old woman had known she was coming and so she let go of her fear and entered the cave without the faintest notion of what to expect. With a leap of faith Sarah gave her trust as a further offering that the mystery that was about to play out before her would be worthwhile.
Sarah stepped through the tight opening and let her eyes adjust to the darkness.  As her eyes were able to take in her surroundings she saw a cave unlike any she had ever seen before.  It was more like a home then a cave.  The rock walls were smooth as though they had been sanded and as far as Sarah could tell there was one big room and two small rooms that were connected.  The floors were all covered with beautiful rugs one overlapping another.  In the back of the main room was a bed carved into the stone and covered in furs and blankets.  Sarah could only partially see the two small rooms but one looked as though it contained a cooking fire and racks for drying herbs and meat.  She could see to her amazement what looked to be a chimney above the fire place through which the smoke could make its way out of the cave.  The other room looked as though it was a place of worship for the old woman.  There were cushions and a shrine space that had been placed into an elegant simply carved niche in the wall.  The walls of the shrine space were pained with fantastic images of what looked to be strange female deities with teeth bared and very little clothing on their bodies. The old woman beckoned for Sarah to come over to her and take a seat next to her on a fire orange cushion on the floor.
As Sarah sat the woman the lit candles and incense on a small alter that was set up on raw wooden table next to them in the middle of the main room.  The crone frail and dry as a reed turned her deep electric grey eyes to Sarah, smiled at her and said, “Don’t think about it just tell me your vision.  Tell me every detail you can remember.  Begin now.”
Stunned, Sarah started speaking.  “Ah, I was standing on a white sand beach that looked as though it was laced with diamonds.  The Surf was a deep blue tipped with white foam.  As I stood there appreciating the view my servant Hagar’s voice spoke as though it called out from the space itself, “Betrayal.” The word resonated into my very cells and before my eyes the scene changed into horror.  The water became blood and the stench of rot and death took away the fresh smell of the surf.  I watched as men killed each other over and over again thousands of times.  Then the real horror began.  These barbarians who so brutally killed each other turned their attention on the women of their own tribes.  There were thirteen tribes in all and they covered the entire world with their people.”
“The thirteenth tribe was so hurt, so angry it was as though their wounds could not be healed and they killed and fought the other tribes when they turned their attention on the woman they took away all freedoms.  Rape and brutal beatings became the norm.  The twelve tribes worshipped their mothers but something was missing. Women were seen as servants.  The barbarians took them all for granted as though they were property.”

“The worst is yet to come.”  Sarah took a deep breath her hands began to shake as she remembered this part of her dream.  It turned her stomach and beads of sweat broke out on her forehead as she tried to continue recounting the dream.  The nameless crone spoke in a gentle nurturing voice.

“Go on I am ready to hear it.”
“The dream then showed me what happened to the children when the women of the tribes were not allowed to protect them.  Children beaten, raped horribly, treated as cogs in machines to make these men rich.  Chained to machines themselves forced to work until they died only to be replaced by another child.  Children sold into prostitution, asked to pick up guns and fight wars.  Children killing children,” Sarah sobbed hard as she spoke these words.  Tears ran down her face as she began to wail and tear at her hair.  The sobbing became deep retching cries.
“What could this mean…? Why, why…?”  Before the crone could speak Sarah cleared the hair from her eyes and said, “There is more.   Hagar said one more thing at the end of all of this terror.  Her voice said ‘you did this, because of you this will all come to be.  You evil whore.’  She called me an evil whore, why?  Why did I have to see this?  Why, please tell me what it all means.  I must know.

“If there is any way I can stop this I must know how, I will do anything if this is really a vision to make sure these horrors never come to pass.”  Sarah was now ranting faster and faster as though she could not stop talking but had to get all of the horrible vision she had seen out of her being.  As if it were a poison that she must vomit up or die.”

“Child,” the crone interrupted, “Take a breath, here wipe your face and have some tea. Calm your nerves my dear the hardest part is behind you now.”

Sarah sobbed, tears streaming down her eyes and snot running from her nose, her body shook as she took a white linen cloth from the old woman’s hand and began to wipe her face.

“Don’t try to talk any more my dear, just breath.  You are safe here with me now.  The dream you describe is truly full of hate and cruelty. It took great courage for you to share it with me.  Now settle and I will bring you a cup of tea as I promised.”

The old woman rose from her cushion and went into the back room were the cooking fire burned cheerfully and began the process of heating tea water in a copper bowl.  “Sarah, your husband has been kind to me over the years.”  The crone called out from the kitchen.  “He has given me many offerings in return for teachings and spiritual conversations.

“But, in truth many have been kind to me over the years.  Many people have come from the east to study the wisdom that I have been fortunate enough to have attained.  All these things you see in my house are offerings.  Things people have given in return for the precious teachings I have shared with them.

“You see I am not just a crazy homeless woman. That is the illusion I present to the world, so that it will leave me alone.  And now you have come with your dream. It is a dream I have waited many years to hear.  Do you also come with an offering of your own?”

The old woman’s words seemed to have a magical effect on Sarah.  As she spoke Sarah found that she was no longing living within the images of her dream but found herself back in the cave with two new questions burning in her being.  Before she could catch herself her first question was out of her mouth.  “Old crone,” she began, “What is your name?”
The old woman smiled and said, “I thought you would never ask.  My name is Tara.  I of course know your name Sarah, so it is very nice to formally meet you.  But, you did not answer my question.”

“Oh, ah yes,”  Sarah found herself a little taken aback by Tara’s directness.  “I have brought a gift, yes.”  She fumbled to find her bag and to take the spider box out so that she could formally present it to the old woman who was now getting up and walking into her kitchen area to prepare tea.  Sarah took the box from her bag and waited patiently for Tara to return to her seat.

As Tara made her way back to her seat with two steaming raw clay cups in her hands Sarah found herself nervous and having a hard time waiting for the right time to present her gift.  The old woman sat with an ease that made it impossible to tell her age.  Sarah took one of the cups from Tara and set it on the table beside her.  “I brought you a gift, here this box is for you.”

Tara took the box from her and looked it over.  “A very nice piece, is there anything inside?”
Sarah  didn’t know what to say.  She hadn’t looked in the box.  She had just grabbed it and put it in her bag, but before she could respond the old woman had opened the box and was smiling at its contents.  Inside the box was an exquisite hand crafted golden serpent with ruby eyes and ivory teeth.  Six inches long and ready to strike as Tara took it from the box it was as though she was holding a living being in her hand.  Tara nodded in appreciation and after a few moments of looking over both the box and the snake she smiled and said, “Sarah your gift is perfect, your request for teachings will be granted but first I have a question for you about your dream. The woman, your servant, when you described her voice she sounded so angry and full of self righteous pride, why, what made her so angry so you think?”
“I don’t know it was in the dream, only a voice in the dream.”
“Think Sarah, remember the moment her voice resounded within you, what was the feeling in your cells, what did her voice remind you of?”
Sarah sat on the fur covered cushion in the dark cave and thought; she contemplated the old woman’s words.  Slowly as if a curtain parted on a black stage she began to glimpse something and then as more time passed it was as though the lights came up, as though the light of god himself shined down on the little stage, she understood.

The feeling that she had when these words were spoken was that of humiliation as each woman in her tribe looked down on her for her inability to bear her husband a child.  She was old and could no longer give her husband progeny.  Each time a woman looked at her she felt the barb of this inability.  She felt the fire of humiliation burn as her purpose as a woman could not be fulfilled.  For what good was she to her husband if she could not give him a child to pass his lineage on to.
Abram always said that his lord had told him that she would be able to meet this need, but lately she was starting to loose faith in the word of this lord and had concocted a plan.  All of a sudden it struck her as though an avalanche of stone had fallen from her throat to her stomach.  Her plan to have Hagar take her place, to bear a child in her stead, was the very thing that would make this dream of hers into a reality.  She was not the whore no even worse she was making her favorite servant into the whore in her stead.
As these thoughts came together she looked up and saw the skeletal face of the old woman smiling and nodding her eyes full of glee.
“Yes my dear you understand don’t you?  You know what this dream is, but dear that is only the beginning.  How will you make sure that it never comes to pass?”
“I don’t know how, what can I do?”
“‘I don’t know?’  You talk like you have no power.  You are a woman and the consort of a prophet; take some responsibility my raven haired beauty.”
“But, he so wants a child how can I let that go, how can I disappoint him by letting him know it will never be?”  Sarah said, still unable to let go of her desire to meet her duty as a woman.
“First you must understand that you are not weak or small Sarah.  You are acting as though you were a naïve, simple school girl and yet you sit before me a grown woman.  How could you come to me as such an immature silly prattling woman?  I am disgusted hearing you talk.  Do you truly not understand what it means to be a woman?”  The crone’s demeanor had changed the instant she had heard Sarah’s last comment.  She had become a scolding mother ready to spank her child for some awful deed.
Shocked, Sarah shook her head as though trying to shake away this little woman’s words and her wrath.  When she could not she finally spoke, “It is the duty of a woman of the tribes to bear children so that our people may flourish and prosper.”  She spoke as if to say how dare you speak to me in that tone of voice.
“Duty,” the old woman’s voice crooned with delight again, “Duty you speak of now.  I know how we need to precede you and I.  You come and talk with me when your husband is away or in retreat and we will speak of this duty.  I will share with you the teachings I have been given and found on my own and then you will decide for yourself what it is for a woman to do her duty.  If you agree to this there is one condition, meet it and I will offer you all I know freely. Don’t and we are done forever.”
“If I were to agree to this strange idea what would that condition be pray tell.”  Sarah said sarcasm a little hesitant now.
“You must let go of your need to have this child any other way but by your own body.  This is very important can you agree to this?”
Sarah moved on her seat in discomfort and the hermit woman spoke again, “if you decide that my teachings are in some way lacking, then you may do what ever you wish.  But it seems to me before you go about trying to have a child, you should learn what it really means to be a woman.”
“And you can teach me this?”  Sarah asked curiosity rising within her.
The old woman nodded her head in assent.  “If you are willing to agree to this one condition I certainly can.”
Sarah’s husband had told her on more then one occasion that this woman held great wisdom and now she was willing to give those teachings to her.  She knew that some how her dream had lead her to this moment and even though she felt the pressure to give her husband a child, she knew that he would understand the delay if she was studying with the “cave woman” as he called her.

“I will agree to this condition for the dream is something that must never become a reality.  How now shall we proceed?”
Leave now and come back to me the next time you husband leaves.  Lie with him when the desire is there for either of you and trust his lord, for I too have met him and he has both great power and deep insight.  This lord knows when the time is right for you to conceive, until then come and study with me and let go of the poison you have been carrying in your being about not being able to have a child.”
“Then I will leave and see you again soon”, Sarah said.  She then got up, brushed off her clothes and left the cave through the small slit of an entry way and made her way back to her encampment. As she went down the mountain side something inside her uncoiled.  It was as though a great weight had been lifted in the short time she had spent with the old crone.

Sarah’s stomach which had been tied in knots of anxiety from her dream, now felt relaxed, at ease, almost giddy from her visit.  She could feel a huge dark shadow leave her and the light of love that she had not known in many years make its way back into her being.  Sarah knew deep down that something had changed.  She was not sure what that something was but in her cells she understood that it was a change that had taken her from one path and put her on another.

If Abram every asked what it was that had happened to her while he had been away she was quite sure she would not be able to tell him.  In her heart she felt it was secret like the experiences he had with his lord.  The experiences he never chose not to share with her.  But, more then that Sarah didn’t think that she could put the mornings experience into words.

As she came into the encampment settled into the green of the valley, round tents sprinkled around the gurgling stream.  It was the stream which ran through the desert that made the oasis in which she and her husband had chosen to settle.  As Sarah made her way down into the valley she saw her servant Hagar drawing water from the crystal stream under an old willow tree.  As Sarah approached, the beautiful red headed woman rose from her knees and bowed down to her owner.  Sarah gave her the gesture to raise her head and as she did so Hagar spoke in a deep and sultry voice.

“Sarah, where have you been, I was so worried.  I came into your tent this morning and you were gone.  Your husband’s men have been out looking for you all day.”

Sarah had not thought she would be missed.  In fact she did not think at all. The dream had been so vivid and the intensity of it all had been so distracting she had left without letting anyone know were she was going.  She had left without a thought of what her absence might do to her community.

She was about to apologize for the trouble she had caused when she realized that her meeting with the crone was far more important.  She also realized that the time she spent with the old woman on the hill was not something she wanted to share with everyone in her tribe.  She knew right on the spot that if she told Hagar it would be public knowledge by nightfall.

Sarah made a decision right then and there that the only person she would talk to about these meetings was her husband and even then she was not sure about how much of went on in the cave would be shared with him.  In that moment she lied.  “Sarah smiled at the young Egyptian slave girl whom she had saved in a moment of kindness from a life of prostitution by outbidding the town madam, and said.

“I felt like a walk this morning.”

“A walk?” Hagar said her voice filled with a little more concern then she had meant to express to her mistress, “You left without telling anyone to take a walk?”
“Yes,” said Sarah her voice hardening to her servant’s insolent tone, “I am a grown woman.” As she spoke Sarah remembered Tara’s disgust at her childish behavior in the cave and with that memory found a new strength.  She felt in that moment it was time to take her power, her seat as the consort of a profit.  “I know that you and the tribe were concerned for me and I feel blessed to have such love around me but I am protected like my husband by the lord almighty and feel quite confident that I can take a walk now and again on my own if that is my desire.  And know that I am thinking about it, I will be taking many more walks in the future.  The time to myself brings me joy.    I want it known right now that I will not be questioned about were I am going or why I am walking on my own.  Is that understood?”
Hagar bowed her head, deeper this time then the last in a gesture of acknowledgement and responded in a humbled voice, “Yes my lady.”
“Good, please bring my mid day meal to my tent and then you can have the afternoon to do with as you will.”
‘Very good my lady,” said Hagar, Taking her bucket of water and running back to the central kitchen of the encampment.

Sarah smiled to herself as she watched her servant scurry away.  The warmth and joy of her meeting and the taking up the reigns of her own fate by choosing to have more such meetings, to keep those meetings secret all felt very right.  She knew that the pretty red headed Egyptian woman would not be having a baby for her as had been her plan.  This knowledge somehow made her feel even better then she had just a few moments before.  Which, she thought would have been impossible except that it had happened.  Sarah would have her own babies.  She would learn from the old woman.  Empowered by this knew knowledge she made her way to her tent to break her fast with peace in her heart.

Close the Door

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Close the door.

Its the end.

Your Universe has restructured itself.

To what you ask,

You lowly yogi you.

To the door to the realm of the demons.

Let the golden age begin!

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