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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.

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