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Master’s Market: A true test of community
February 11th, 2011

This month I wanted to give my best possible testimony to our awesome market here, which serves as an integral hub of our “downtown” activity.

In this time of economic hardship, the market is struggling to make ends meet. Hearing this, we decided to try an experiment: make Master’s Market our first place to shop. After keeping track of how much we’ve spent over these past two weeks, I’ve found that although I could have saved a few dollars by shopping in town, the difference is truly inconsequential when compared to the benefits.

The staff is absolutely wonderful, serviceful, and helpful, always looking for ways in which to serve the customers in new and better ways. On Saturday we were assisted by the ever joyful Cate, who is always happy to help with anything we need.

Sunday I stopped in after Service to pick up a loaf of Market made sweet potato bread (which Caitlin loves!) and some other various items, as well as placing my order for a 5 pound bag of walnuts (we can place bulk orders which can make a huge savings!) and a crate of young coconuts (for the raw recipes we’ve been experimenting with). Bulk ordering with them has made a huge difference for us, cutting back on packaging, shipping, and ultimately, the cost.

Monday was a brief stop, just picking up enough split yellow peas to play musical bingo with in my classes, and Garret was kind enough to bring out some small salad dressing containers to hold them. Where can you find that kind of service? Garret also made a fabulous lunch this past Wednesday, Moroccan Stew with Lemon Rice – yum!

When you walk into other stores, you don’t often get the small market welcome, where the customer is the most important thing. Here at Master’s Market I found people willing to get to know us and our specific needs, even offering ways that we could save money: for instance, by buying health and beauty items through their wholesale catalog. I showed some interest in a new protein powder, and Margaret was kind enough to say that if I didn’t like the taste, I was welcome to bring it back. This was very helpful, as it turned out to be way too sweet for us, and was a large tub that wasn’t exactly cheap. When I told them that I wasn’t crazy about putting them out for a loss, they said with full confidence, “We’ll put it to use – somehow!” I walked away a very satisfied customer, ready to come back and support this kind of business.

In a recent talk with the manager, Timothy, he expressed his enthusiasm for the Market not only to be the “community kitchen,” providing everyday lunches and two dinners a week, but also a place where people can take a first step into the vibration of Ananda. For people who aren’t ready to commit to a class at the Expanding Light but want to get a feel for what Ananda is, the market is a perfect open door where people can come in and check us out without being conspicuous. Recently, SRF nuns came in to see for themselves what the Ananda people are like when their “guard is down,” doing everyday things, having everyday interactions. They stayed for hours, asking questions and observing.

Dining at the market is also a treat, with wonderful Wednesday night dinners by Jackie which Caitlin absolutely adores, offered for only $5 – with gluten free options as well! Friday lunches are also favorites, cooked by Tyler Hansen, who worked at Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura with Mary Grayr, an award winning vegan chef. Everything we’ve had from Tyler has been fabulous.

And of course, everyone loves pizza night! For as long as I can remember, the market has been offering fabulous pizzas, fresh from the oven, and has even started making gluten free crusts, which is fabulous for us! Thank you Jake, Emily and Melody!

I’m hooked as a customer – I love walking into the market with the feeling that I’m part of its energy. You can immediately feel the vibration of Ananda infused in the goods, the staff, and the consciousness. Discount stores can certainly save you some money, but the energy and consciousness really can’t compare. Is this an elitist attitude? I’d rather think of it as discrimination: energy, vibration, and consciousness are infused into everything we eat, and it’s really made me pay attention to where I shop.

The only spending I did outside the market was at a local Whole Foods-style market in Grass Valley, where I picked up some odd specialty items which our market can’t stock due to it’s limitations. That’s it!

It is so easy in these times of economic hardship to slip into poverty consciousness, but just as cutting back on tithing never works to bring about financial security, I really don’t believe that shaving off a few dollars a week by shopping in a less than beneficial energy is worth it to me and my family. I truly hope that we can all help to support these wonderful souls working in this very down-to-earth ministry.

 

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7 Responses

  1. Patricia says:

    Thank you for a great article about a wonderful resource right there at Ananda Village. You didn’t even mention how much gas money you would save by shopping at Master’s Market and I would think convenience would be important too. But in truth, the beneficial energy would be the most desirable quality. I hope Master’s Market survives these economic hard times. It would be sorely missed by so many of us who come for classes, SRW, and other activities, as well as Ananda community members.

  2. Nayaswami Rambhakta says:

    Let me add my testimony. I worked at Master’s Market the last 18 months I lived at the Village before moving to the Ananda community in Mountain View. I found it in every sense “Master’s” market. Second-best job I ever had, barely behind working on Ananda’s legal crew (two great jobs in a row!). Master took care of us who worked at MM. Tom, the former manager, created the cafe addition so that folks at the Village would have a place to relax and be natural – not a place for meetings or formal worship, etc. It was a wonderful place to meet the community and serve. I remember calling in sick a couple times. Tom, a former Marine military policeman, was a soft-spoken but tough guy. He would say, “Well, we don’t have a backup…” I would drag my sorry body down to the market in the winter cold to serve – and very soon I would find myself feeling unaccountably cheerful, and finding remedies that worked. I swear I got better faster for coming down and serving. Still miss that job!

  3. Chris says:

    This was very helpful to me! It managed to convey the ambiance to someone like myself who has never been near an Ananda community and only recently discovered Swami Kriyananda, and through him Paramahansa Yogananda, on the internet.
    I also like the attitude it portrays towards work.

    These blog entries are so valuable, maybe even more so than the bloggers suppose. : )

  4. Dambara says:

    David, God bless you for your positive energy in reminding us all how wonderful the Market and the folks in it are. :) Great photos, too!

  5. tyler h. says:

    thank you david, for such a radiant example of the ananda spirit and for your support in these times of change and growth. the market belongs to master and he’s certainly in the process of beautifying and expanding it…just like us i suppose.
    jai ma, tyler

    p.s. your raw food creations are delicious! please do share more.

  6. Lorna Knox says:

    Thank you David – a lovely testimonial and a sweet reminder to all of us who are not there, that the blessings of this path can come through us in every environment we are in. The vibrations are so tangible there, they make an impression that continues for years – I can feel Master’s market in my consciousness and draw on that energy even way up here in Portland. Joy always, Lorna

  7. Aumkara says:

    Great Article – I always love shopping in the Market whenever we come to the village and look forward to helping keep it open by doing all our shopping there someday soon!

 

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