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EdjiQi’s Jai Baba Folks, Happy New Year! was about to start with the usual “and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year”, but then I remembered the many, many Baba lovers (as well as the rest of Humanity!) to whom those words would ring hollow indeed—our friends recovering from Katrina, FEMA and worse, in New Orleans and Mississippi, the Muhligs whose lives were saved but lost their all when their house went up in flames, the Maguires here in Los Angeles with their son still in a coma after being hit by a drunk driver; the list ofthe recipients of Baba’s blessings goes on and on. I just keep praying He never finds me worthy of His blessings. We can only pray to Him for the strength to withstand them! There is no Bookstore report this issue because it is now the 22 ofDecember when this issue is supposed to be in the mail, but Cherie has only just finished putting it together because I was so late in getting everything to her. And whywas that you might ask? Well, blame it on the October issue arriving so late and our many good readers who couldn’t help themselves upon reading about all the goodies we had in the Love Street Bookstore! The orders are still coming in today! I had to chuckle when one ofHis lovers called with a large order on the 2Ot1 and I asked her “You don’t want this by Christmas do you?” And she said “Well Amazon can get it out in 2 days.”Wow! We give the impression of being like Amazon? When it’s really just me and sweet Michalene who comes twice a month to help pack orders? Ah the blessing of haying the Avatar for a Boss! (I don’t need any other blessings!) Kendra Crossen Burroughs (Myrtle Beach) sent in this delightful story: A friend who works in insurance claims, and is not a Baba lover, wrote to me: “I received an average report of storm damage including photos today, and leafing through it to check it, I saw a beaming portrait ofBaba in one ofthe bedrooms with what looks like some kind of ribbon and a memento hung across the frame. How nice and how funny to find him smiling up at me from out of a claim! He really is quite the jokester! Of course these people, whoever they are, immediately go right to the top of my payment pile.” He may not think he is a Baba lover, but I would say that letter smacks of—at the very least—fondness!

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Errata: (we seem to have more in the last issue than ever before.) In the article on senior care and the aging we wrote: “Ron Festine, former Area Agency on Again Director in Northern California It should be “Area Agency on Aging” And also, Ron Festine is the sole contact for the senior care website and his email is rfestine@mac.com. The Senior Care website address is www.meherbabaseniorcare.org. We certainly do have some very inteffigent readers who have been immersed in Baba’s words and notice it immediately when we misquote. Take this letter from Tom Talley ofMyrtle Beach: “Congratulations on another great issue of the Love Street Lamp Post. One little thing was bothersome to me. In the article by Bhau about the 50th anniversary ofMeher Baba’s “Highest of the High” message on page 52 there is a section set in larger type in quotations, which gives the impression that this is a direct quote from Baba’s message. It is not. It is Bhau summarizing in his own words what he feels the gist of that message to be. Nothing wrong with that, but it should not have been set off in large type and quotations, then it would have been clear that it was Bhau’s words, not Meher Baba’s. You can compare for yourself. Clearly, they are different. The first thing that struck me in

reading the article was the phrase “lowest of the low.”That phrase never appears in Baba’s message, but Bhau uses it three times! Ironic that on the very next page of the LampPost ) is an article titled “On the Writing of 3 (p.S Meher Baba’s Words.” Tom went on to give us Baba’s exact quote from that all-important proclamation comparing it with what we had written in Bhauji’s talk. As Tom says: “Clearly, they are different.” We feel for archival accuracy this is ofsufficient import that we will be publishing it in its entirety in the April issue. Regarding the photo of Mani on pg 22, our sincere apologies go to the Estate ofWin Coates as we mistakenly attributed the photo to Paul Comar. The Eagle Eye Award of 2005 goes to Ken Neunzig! In the article on Memo and Bobo we printed what looked like the perfect family portrait, but Ken told us that Lord Meher, in the combined volume one and two, page 194, wrongly identified him as Baba’s father, Sheriar. David Fenster, who has the job of correcting all the mistakes in the U.S. edition of Lord Meher, was able to identify the gentleman as a paternal cousin, Shayr. (I’d love to know the story behind such a family portrait! Where was Sheriar?!) Note the resemblance in the composite photograph. In His Love, Dma

The Imnifamily, Poona, 1912-1914 (left to right) standing brothers Beheram andJal seated Merwan, Shayi; brotherAdi, Shireen andJamsheci Insert: the real Sheriai:


f pUJd/19z2 o//& iuaIar JJ(e/er &z&z Cenler o/c ou/&rn Cah/ornth 5

Love cStreetiarnjIosr m efc e .. o

features

i: Street £atnpJ2ost is dedicated with love to .Avatar J4leher i3aba. Dts irimary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all 21is lovers by providing a place for sharing 2lis remembrance. .4ll members of the 73aba fatnily ate invited to contribute to this feast of Cove.

PUMPKIN HARVEST

MARK RINEY

10

1955 SAHAvAS COMMEMORATION

WARD PARKS

12

WELCOMING TALK—AvATAR’S ABODE

ROSS KEATING

IN LOVING MEMORY OF FRANCIS BRABAz0N

14 15

A MIRAzUL0US RAINBOW IN MEHERAzAD

BEHNAz ZOYA MALEK

15

SuBSCRIPTIONS:

BABA GOES TO CHINA

The magazine actually costs us $16420 per person per year domestic, and $25-$30 for overseas. Subscription is by donation only. Donate whatever feels right to you.

TIAN XIN

17

LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

SAB00KI

18

SACRED GARDENS

SHARI KELLER

19

A DOCUMENTARY FOR YOUNG LOVERS

PETER SUMNER

24

SuBMISSIONS:

AN UPDATE OF DANNY MAGUIRE

JEFF MAGUIRE

25

Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love and Truth.

THE BOOK

DON STEVENS

45

SEND T0

A

JIM PETERSON

48

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST PRo

&

CON THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

MEHER BABA ROMANCE

BHAU KALCHURI

26

MITCHELL ROSE

28

Lovc Street £am(Post’

Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 .

.

website: www.meherabode.org email: Bababook@pacbell.net

depctrtms EDITOR’S PAGE

2

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD

DEADLIN ES:

for the January issue: April issue:

J uly issue: October issue:

.

November 1st February 1st Maylst

REVIEWS

Augusti st

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABODE

29

PASSINGS

30

LOVE STREET BOOKSTORE:

Dma Snow Gibson (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax

email: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.LoveStreetBookstore.com or www.MeherBabaBooks.com

PING PONG

,

A SWAN SoNG, PHOTO RESTORATION,

LETTERS FROM THE GoD-MAN, ARTISTS COLONY

20

DARWIN SHAw, ANN CONLON, MARGUERITE POLEY, ESFANDIAR VASALI

ANNoUNCEMENTS

47

WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS

51

CREDITS:

editor: Dma Snow Gibson

assistant editors: Kathy Hill, Becci Robbins design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, proofreaders: Kathy Hill preflight: Thomas Hart distribution: Pris Haffenden, Ray Madani mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616 1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. front cover: Meher Baba in Toka, 1928, photo taken by G. M. Shah 1 £oveStrcd.La P ostis iiip published quarterly, inJanuary April,July, and October.

All contents © 2006 Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. All quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPC India

dk.y.ou We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the }4eher J3aba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street ,t: amptPost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperey ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baha © Avatar Meher Baha Peipetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahrnednagai; India, and © Lawrence Reitei: Unau—

thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.


WIrn1’s 2Iappcninj at J4’Ielicrctbnd with a good, fast serve, and with a subtle “ffick,” said Bill, Baba returned the ball with such speed that it landed on the far ofPhilippe’s court and went sailing 20 feet beyond! Philippe took the ball and served a sec ond time and this time, with that same small “ffick” Baba sent the ball to Philippe’s opposite far corner and beyond the table the same way! Baba just put down the paddle: No contest! Meherwan laughed and said “oh yes, He could do that.” Meherwan told of a day at Guruprasad after Baba’s second automobile accident. Baba wanted to play table tennis with Francis, who was quite a good player. But because ofHis injuries from the accident, Baba had to play sitting down on a stool. Meherwan remembers how Baba sat there on the stool returning every ball, while Francis ran from one side to another frantically trying to keep up! Passing the telling back and forth like ping pong players themselves, Meherwan and Bill went on to tell us about marbles: Bill said Baba had played marbles with them during the Sahavas, showing them the Indian style of shooting. Meherwan said Baba had played marbles with the children in the ashram when Meherwan was a boy. “Baba would jump around from one side to the other just like a kid. He would do that to engage us, to capture our interest.” How relaxed and amused we felt that day in Mandali Hall as Bill and Meherwan went on to describe kite-flying and playing checkers and cards with Baba. Their way of conveying Baba’s humor and liveliness brought home the fragrance of His Divine Humanness. I couldn’t help but wonder at the manyways Baba plays with us all, through the games of life—jumping around for us from one side to the other—to engage us and capture our hearts.

9 ASwan f Lw25ou iis c2IQC 2leather 2”Iadel, JlVlelierazad

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19 December 2005 adacha bungala,” murmured Moham med Mast as he was wheeled around the brand new Meher Pilgrim Centre in 1980: “Baba’s bungalow.” We were surprised at the time: he had always reserved that accolade for the old building where he lived. But we were thrilled too—Baba’s bungalow! From the 5th plane, this new, so big, untried brick structure looks like Baba’s bungalow! Wow! Looking back on twenty-five years of the Pilgrim Centre as we are wont to do these days, there must have been several hundred times when that name has struck me as perfect for this place. It actually started to seem like “Baba’s bungalow” before it was even built, when the little MPC model made the grand tour of Meherazad and all the mandali put in their two cents worth (and a bit more!) about the design. And then again later, when Padri wrote out several of the rules in his own hand, and Mani fixed the number ofpilgrims it would hold, and Goher got us a wonderful housekeeper; and when Eruch finally acquiesced to the kitchen’s serving bananas at breakfast. This feeling ofits trulybeing Baba’s Bungalow sprang up again on the Pilgrim Centre’s inauguration day, when Mehera opened the front gate with her own key and enjoyed her first ofmanylunches in the Dining Hall. And then again a couple of years later, when she danced there (with Havovi at a silver anniver saryparty) to the music ofher own piano. And then when Bhauji began bringing officials there to discuss the Trust’s development over tea, and then when he began to give talks to pilgrims in that same Dining Hall. And when Mani chose to have her spectacular creation for Baba’s 100th Birthday performed for the mandali there. Throughout this whole time, whenever all the mandali would come for lunch for some occasion or the other and eat with all of us Baba-lovers, the crowd would overflow onto the verandahs, and afterwards Mehera and the ladies would rest in the Playing rnarbles,flying kites andplaying women’s rooms. giii-danda and cricket are also included in the And then again when so many of Baba’s affairs ofthe universe, but they unburden the old-timers from the East and the West came burden. It is like coming down a hill; it is more to stay there and would graciously share their a relaxation than an exertion. —Meher Baba. continued on page 8 LordMeher Vol 15 p 5309 (on line).

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Tusk Drene 2lolt, J4leherabcid has been said that being at Meherabad and Meherazad during September and October is sometimes “like the old days” in the sense that the number of pilgrims tends to be less than later in the season, giving rise to a feeling of intimacy among the Baba lovers and with the mandali.There was a charming feeling like this recently on a Tuesday in Mandali Hall at Meherazad. As Baba lovers trickled in and took seats along the walls and in the chairs at the back, Meherwan Jessawalla and Bill Le Page began to reminisce about the Sahavas with Baba in 1954. Known as the “Three Incredible Weeks,” that program culminated in Baba’s Final Dec laration. Meherwan described the atmosphere around Baba on the day of that meeting as incredibly intense. Bill tried to draw Meh erwan out a bit to speak more about that, but Meherwan wanted Bill to describe his experi ences during the Sahavas. With a chuckle Bill graciously agreed and began to describe the lovely intimacy of being with Baba during the early days of the Sahavas. In contrast to the intensity of the Final Declaration meeting, those earlier days were very relaxed, filled with Baba’s humor and companionship with the Sahavasees. Bill gave as an example the time Baba came to play ping pong with the men. They had been playing among themselves and Baba said He would play their best man. They all agreed it was a Frenchman named Philippe who was their best, so Baba took up the ping pong bat opposite Philippe. Philippe started 4

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£ticrs from

theo&A’ian, circa thc 1920s

[Editorc note: On Tavern Thik, thank God. You may be sure that even ‘Heart Thlk”presents an ongoing the continual severest of fasting is no series ofletters to andfrom Baba. I Kamal [greatness] in the spiritual point have chosen aJèw that suirised me, ofview, but only the outcome of strong made me smile and were generally will and staunch habit. Never credit a amazing. Notthe wayyou would cxsaint from the standpoint of austerities. pect the Avatar to speak, having read Fasting does not mean perfection. God Speaks, the Discourses or any f Truth is something else. Fast_J His laterpronouncements, allofwhich, ing (even if it be for years and most iVierwan ( yr. iflii Ramjoo to my mina soundedvery solemn and severe) does not root out Kam [lust] God-like. Following are letters to Di Ghani, I love Syed Saheb’s with the greatest and Kanchen [gold], but Truth Does. And whom Baba calledSaheb, RamjooAbdulla and brotherly feelings and tell him to rely on Truth overwhelms one, only when the time His brotherAdi, with examples ofBaba atHis comes. this aspect. l4ghtest andfriendliest. God saying ‘a ta” is please let Ramjoo read this letter! How is Shamsh? priceless, that is British baby talkfor goodbye. Ta ta, Merwan Andthen there is the deligh’ful: so don’t be Merwan cross oldchap!You being ofthe circle aught not Ahmednagar Dadar to be so small 1 minded Your letter made me in— 29-4-23 14-1-24. tendslappingyou whenyou are here. “Ifyou are Doctor Saheb Dear Doctor on line andnotalready receiving Thvern Thlk, .your letter pronounces in clear wordI cath understand your always imagining my the way to request receiving these marvelous ings your utmost satisfaction in enjoying the indifference to you! For God’s sake do not enter findings is at the end ofthe article. Dma] domestic atmosphere; hence you may stay at your old mood; Be fresh with

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,___J .

“...

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8th April 1922 Dear Doctor Saheb, To hand your letter which speaks of nothing but lack of courage in facing the expecta tion! Fear not, God is great and true not merely in name but in (unfathomable) action! Remember Truth never fails, so pass the re maining few days as dictated and when you feel disheartened name the Almighty Allah a hundred times! Will call you when I find it suitable! Tell Latiff to act likewise! Don’t any of you lose heart! Tell Usman Sahib to let me know as to what he did as regards the Solicitor’s money! Did he file a Suit! Forward myregards toMunshiji and tell him not to entirely throw my humble self aside! Many remarkable incidents have happened, known to all which Bro Gustad will let the circle know! Why don’t you make inquiries as to why you have not as yet received the medicine? Tell Syed Saheb that one who desires name and fame is likely to flatter! But flattery or fear cannot be expected from one who has fallen to the lowest state ofexistence! Yet tell him my sincere prayers are for his welfare, may God accept! The only man in whom I have full faith to befriend others in need is Munshiji! And notwithstanding his destructive mental attitude God is sure to befriend him!

home as long as you like; and ifthat is settled I would advise you to obtain somejob there to help you maintain your household affairs! As I had last informed you, you would either have to work here, staying with me and send the amount home every month or if you would not like to undergo the trouble of serving, the question of sending money home every month would be out of question. Now you may decide one way or the other. Only you will have to observe my orders strictly till the time settled between you and me and in any way you will be with me in the Spiritual point of view. This applies to Ramjoo too. Show him this letter and both of you may reply your decision separately. You and Ramjoo must be present in ‘Nagar on the 6th to attend Rustom’s marriage which will take place on the 9th. Merwan Immediate reply from both of you! Usman Saheb has been paid up the amount ofRs 2000/-

hopes, however vague they may seem to you. “Although the destination is not visible don’t be disheartened for there is never a road which has no end.” [Translated from the Persian script.] Never for a moment think that I will ever forget you and the work that I am bent upon for you! Though you have not understood me up to no a day will come when you will thoroughly understand your greatest friend in this world. This fever and delirium ofRamju has caused me great anxiety Tell him not to worry much about trifle lafras [botherations]! Please convey him my message. I’ll call you to see me shortly. Merwan

Arangaon January 1925.

Dear Ramjoo and Doctor Sorry I could not let you know earlier of Padri being unable to come to you; because I am entering the room tomorrow to remain locked there thru 1st February, God willing and Padri will stay outside the room. Please don’t take to mind. Don’t lose heart in any matter but with a Dadar free-mind and a brave heart go on with your llthJanuary 1925 work. I’ll meet you chaps in February and talk Dear Doctor over things, ifl come out alive. Received your and Ramju’s letter. I intend Merwan coming to Poona in a few days and there will Arangaon enjoy Abdul Rehman’s songs; so I did not 12-4-25 like to give you the unnecessary trouble of Dear Doctor coming here with him. Since the last 9 days Received your letter. I am really sorry of I am again substaining on pure water, and your ill health which I came to know through though a bit weak am healthy and energetic

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your brother. Don’t be anxious you will be well Soon. Also don’t be disheartened as to you being entangled in the Zaghdas [disputes] there. It’s all play and be a sportsman throughout. You may come here whenever you like. Not that you should be here on every ceremonial occasion. I never meant that. As you say on other occasions that the special ones, we can enjoy each other’s company better and to our satisfaction. Merwan

Arangaon. 13th March Dear Doctor and Ramju Have you entirely forgotten me? you could not even inform me the day you do moorat [opening ceremony] of the Khandula mill! Maybe you chaps have no need of me. And so nowadays no letters from you too. Well anyway I have need of you both. As regards the death ofJamshed, you know me better than one to feel for such matters. Thousands and thousands ofsuch brothers ofmine daily die and are born; and in my sight none dies nor takes birth. That day I was in the jolliest mood; and mind thejollyness was not feigned. Hope you chaps are well. yours with love Merwan Dear Adi 1.) I have found a nice little bungalow for you, Goolmai and Dolly to stay in. 2.)Itisin averygoodlo cality and the situation and surroundings very nice Adi 3.) Newwith six rooms, two bathrooms, electricity and garage. 4.) Rent is Rupees 50 per month. I am engaging it from the 1st or 5th of October, according to the flush latrines newly comple tion. 5.) You, Goolmai and Dolly should start on 5th in your car, and be here on 7th evening. 6.)Janghir the parsi boyhas gone to Bom bay to see his wife and decide their future. 7.) By the 5th see that everything is finished according to My instructions; and stay in Nasik for a few days before coming. So that after coming here you have no need to go Nagar or Nasik. 8.) The Mendli must all be here by 7th October latest. 9.) Give My love to Gulmai, tell her not to worry and to leave all to me. MS Irani

Dear Adi I am happy about Gulmai feeling better. If Parmar is the artist Nilu so highly speaks of, Gulmai should feel better and better. I hope you bring the Udleywith you when you come to Lonavia. You will go on telling Me you have no time to find the Udley and I will go on telling you you must find one. Does it matter if you don’t believe that I love you most dearly and wish you not to be a fool as I wrote you last? And what is this rubbish about My going to West? No one here knows anything about it and I Myself have never thought of it. As a matter of fact I don’t intend going to the West any more. All those who have told you have been fooled and have made you a fool. P.T.O. Well anyway don’t worry and give mother my best love LOVE MS Irani 24th Sept. 1926 Dear Doctor received your letter; you! And to misunder stand me? From your letter (in which you give the ultimatum “I won’t take back the sum”) it means you thought I asked money from you indirectly as the return of the lended money, whereas no such thought every crossed in this mind-less mind! You borrowed no money and I lent none, so don’t be cross old chap! You being of the circle aught not to be so small minded! Your letter made me intend slapping you when you are here. with love Yours MS Irani Sept 26 1922

Dear Doctor received your letter; you must have re ceived my yesterday’s letter to Ramju! Don’t you trouble your head much about these things; I don’t want Padri’s sum back from you; I did not think about it and don’t want to; As soon as the bungalows are sold, your sums will be returned; Don’t think about mortgaging the mills; Ifyour father receives the pension and becomes willing to lend as a loan till the bungalows are sold, it will be most helpftil here, so try to send it ifyou can; but if he hesitates don’t be anxious at all! Try your best to dispose of the bungalows; with the efforts that Ramju is undertaking, theywill be sold soon; dear chap, don’t be anxious; With love Yours Ms Irani

[Below is the tenth Heart Talkietter from Baba to Dr. Ghani.] Dear Doctor Received your letter. As for the world teacher ofMrs. Besant I have explained fully to the mandli here! It is nothing but whim fancy and a hypocrite fraudy whim too. I’ll explain to you when you come here the next time! Don’t be anxious. You have met a real master in me. I have enclosed a passage of Swami Vivekananda’s remarks on Theosophy and be done away with it: So you consider love to be messaged through correspondence? And so ask me to write to you ifl love you? Damn you, he who loves not has to write external letters and not he who loves. Love’s correspondence is internal. with love yours Merwan Sept26 Dear Ramju and Doctor Received your letters, also noted the contents ofthe latest in which you say of sending 1000/- and ofpaying 400 ofthe rice by taking 200 from Babu and 200/- from Sadashiv; very well do so; also it would be best ifby the 1st (instead of25th) you chaps could send 3000/I know you chaps position, but be sure you won’t be placed in a fire. As soon as the bungalows are sold, I’ll pay you back, you, Doctor Sadashiv and Babu. And you are the 4 chaps that have been aloof from directly serving me, and so this special and dhadak dhujaaraa [anxiety causing] service has been given you by me; mind it’ll be the greatest service, as the need is most urgent; so try your best to I. send 3000 by the first, and II. to sell the Sachapir land for 5000 (1000 less) and the small bungalow for 13000/- and the big one for 26000/with love yours MS Irani .

19th November ‘26 Meherabad Dear Doctor and Ramjoo I intend starting from here on the 25th, stay at Poona for a day and then at Lanavla for 5 days and thence to Bombay. We are in all about 20 persons 13 male and 7 females. Can you arrange for a building which may have 2 separate rooms and yet in the same building, so as to facilitate the accommoda tion of the ladies according to my usual way and attitude. continued on page 8


iIie !j•esaytjon :f 0 ¶Jøi of S 2I’tchcv (:b 1 .lIIartin Cook and JPat Sitmnei, [Originallypublished in the Meher Baba Ausinilia newslettei edited by Gusi Carpentei: Gusi tells us: “When Iwas in India in December 2004, Ispent a bit oftime working with Pat in the Trust office andsaw the work being done restoring Babaphotos andcame to have in mypossession thephoto on the cover ofthis quarter Meher Baba Ausinilia. I also saw many other images that have been improved and was shown an original negative in which only apair ofsandaledjèet couldbe seen which has now revealeda beautfulpicture ofBaba. This is veiy exciting work. The workshops are in Ahmednagar and supported by Baba lovers and the Trust. 7 en Mani was Chairman of the Trust she wanted Baba’s image to be freely available to His lovers. She also wished for archival preservation centres to be created in other continents as Baba’s image should be available to all. She collected many original negatives to try and make this happen. The Trust also made some great finds and there is a treasure trove ofimages that have never been circulated. The camera original negatives are deteriorating, the acetate base is decomposing and the ‘ gelatine has marks from handling over the years, some also have ftmgus. With the advent of high resolution digital scanning, the marks can be removed and negatives that were unsuitable to print and give a pleasing result can be printed outside of the darkroom. Digital scans can exhibit a greater tonal range and retain detail that would be lost using conventional gelatine photography. The means ofreading digital images may change over the years and migration of files may have to keep pace with technology. High quality fine grain sheet ftlm is being used to preserve the state ofthe photography as it is today so that further deterioration of the image is arrested. Three new positive films are been made of each negative in the collection. The equipment and materials being used have been donated for this work. New images are becoming available which have stunning pictorial quality and are being made available for purchase on the web through Sheriar Foundation. The digital printing process is a unique printmaking process developed in the USA using museum permanent pigment inks and acid-free rag paper from Germany. Efforts are being made to convert digital files to conventional chemical processing also, either by a sub-master made from fibre-optically printed digital file on to colour paper and then remas tered to monochrome conventional film, or by the making of an intermediate nega tive from one ofthe high resolution digital prints.The photographic process has a unique quality and where acceptable results can be obtained, a non-digital duplicate negative can be made. The negatives of Meher Baba span His lifetime—almost the history of photography, photographs exist taken on studio plate cameras, simple box cameras, miniatures and medium format. Many were taken by Baba’s mandali. Meher Baba said that even people who have not have had the op portunity ofmeeting Him could benefit by seeing His image on film and that it could help liberate them from the bondage of illusion. Photos above right: this cracked glass plate negative is titled “Baba and Mastan the Mast” and dated 1929. It is said that Mastan was the first ever mast that Baba brought to Meherabad so the mandali could practice while learning about masts and their behaviour. Photo left, Babe and Eruch at Mehembaci

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Letters continuedfrom page 6

I hope this won’t be bothersome to you chaps as I knowyour pecuniary circumstances and still old chaps fikar mat karaa [don’t worry written in Gujarati script, in three languages Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati—in a humorous way] Wih love yours MS Irani Copyright 2003 AMBPPCT. To subscribe to tavern talk go on line to: http://avatarmeherba ba.org/mailman/listinfo/tavern-talk and fill out the form as instructed. -

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Swan Song continuedfrom page 4

stories of Divine Romance. And when new lovers would tell us they’d dreamt of Him, felt Him, drawn closer in their hearts to Him while staying in the Pilgrim Centre. Several times over the years walking down the empty Pilgrim Centre verandahs in the silence oflndian summer, I’ve been struck by a thought: that the whitewashed walls and bamboo-mat ceilings ofthese rooms hold so many heart-secrets. I always think ofnight, of pilgrims lying awake (from jet lag? mosqui toes? excitement?) staring at the top of their mosquito curtains, communing with Him in silence. The secret, intimate exchanges between Beloved and lover, the inspiration of His Love, the revelations of His hand in one’s life, the hard-won acceptance and peace and strength to follow His wish: surely all this Love has permeated the very bricks and teak doors and glass panes of this bungalow ofMeher Baba’s by now. This year, ofcourse, is the Meher Pilgrim Centre’s last season, and naturally we run into lots of”lasts.” Behind us is the last of the Silence Day notes floating around the Dining Hall, and the last Diwali ofmarigolds and oil lamps on the eating tables, and ahead is the last Christmas Eve steamed pudding, perhaps the last NewYear’s Eve partybefore and after midnight Arti, the last Baba’s Birthday 4 a.m. wake-up bell, and in March, the last Monday popcorn with tea, the last donut day. of course, ahead will be many fabulous “firsts” for the Pilgrim Centre, as it trans— forms into its new role as a centre of services to pilgrims. It only recently occurred to us that the Pil grim Centre accommodated pilgrims during the era of Beloved Baba’s mandali—during that precious time when Baba loaned His dearest ones to us all, to share His ways and His Love in their incomparable, irreplaceable style, to open up sublime glimpses of His humanness. How lucky we’ve been!

The new Meher Pilgrim Retreat on the hill opens 15th June 2006. When we move, we’ll be going to a place pioneered by Bhauji, and visited by Meheru, Katie, and other close ones ofHis. We’ll be going to a building that will already have been enlivened by three Amartithis fttll of pilgrims, who report that the winds ofHis Love blow strong and clear up there. We’ll be welcomed by so much art (some of it created by artists staying and working up there right now), and a structure made possible by so much love. And we’ll experience an atmosphere wholly new: a pilgrim accommodation for His lovers on Meherabad Hill itself. In fact, the Meher Pilgrim Retreat was named after the other “Meher Retreat” on the Hill, Baba’s ashram building with the tower where Baba housed His followers from the East and West together from 1938. When we go up to the Pilgrim Retreat, we’ll take some treasures from the Pilgrim Centre: the Baba photo Mehera and Mani garlanded when they inaugurated the MPC, the framed Hafiz quotes gifted byMeherazad for its foyer; and the plaque of a Baba quote specially sent by Mani for pilgrims to read as they entered the MPC. This Baba quote is from a Meherabad Sahavas and describes a gift our Eternal Beloved promised His pilgrims, a gift He surely goes on giving, whenever they come, wherever they stay: “I may give you more, much more than you expect or maybe nothing, and that noth ing may prove to be everything. So I say, come with open hearts to receive much or nothing from the Divine Beloved. “Come to receive not so much of My words but ofMy Silence.”—Meher Baba Tavern-Talk@ambppct.org http://avatarmeherbaba.org/mailman/ listinfo/tavern-talk

_/4 $OflfJ by JPciul Wy!de JI4eher—J44eher )3ou can turn the darkest night into the brightest day )3ou make all the difference in the world. Oh J44eher—...7I4eher

)3 ou can thaw the coldest parts )_ ou can melt the hardest heart the spring to this wintenj world. bring Eon

Oh J44eher—J”Vleher

7ime and again nothing changes .9 od remains the same 7ime and again throughout the ages )3on remain the same... love alone. Chorus: EJ3aba .Sun shine on shine 13aba sun shine on 13aba sun shine on shine on Ei3aba sun shine on.

are our love )3ou are our light )3on are the bread, and the wind, and We are all hungry in this famining world for you l/leher—J44eher, 7 J’ )_ ou

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OHMYBABA Oh Baba you are everything and beyond everything. You are the Universe and beyond theUmverse 1 the air and everywhere. You are the Lord ofall Lords. You are the God ofall Gods. And you are every soul. •:.

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Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai Remember Say every night and eat orange candy. :

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Ai1isis’ Coionj k

a hand on His hip and holding His alphabet board, long curling hair blowing in the wind, with Masaji holding an umbrella over His 3rene . lolt 2 head and other mandali in accompaniment, Pilgrim Retreat, the new building Jurgis Sapthe work evokes a powerful feeling ofwalking I at upper Meherabad, is due to open kus, originally with Baba in Meherabad of old. for full-time pilgrim accommodation next Lithuania, Upstairs on the first floorlanding Annie de season, June 2006. Construction is corn- is a well-known Jong and Marcdlla Cozzi, ofSpain, are painting plete and the building is now undergoing Baba sculptor another large mural, this one in stunning tones furnishing and decoration. While furniture from Los Anof gold and tan depicting scenes from Baba’s building, administrative preparations, and geles.WhenJu New Life travels. A montage which extends the outfitting ofkitchen equipment are going rgis arrived early around a corner onto a side wall, the piece is on, another aspect offinal preparation is the in the pilgrim frill ofdelicate details and tells in pictures many installation of many works of art and deco- season, his first of the stories known from the New Life ration by a number of talented Baba lovers. taskwas to trayMarcella looks down from her ladder For this purpose, a little colony of painters, elto Makhrana, perch, brush in hand, to comment on the decorators, sculptors, and picture framers has Rajasthan, to work and the building as a whole. “I love been established in the building itself. From acquire a large it up here. I feel so much a part of nature. Detail ofJurgis sculpture August onwards several artists-in-residence piece of white The sunrises and sunsets are wonderful, the have been working on installing their pieces marble for his life-size sculpture of Baba and atmosphere is so peaceful.This building is for while they live in a few of the rooms at the Mast Mohammed. His trip to get the marble a new generation!” Retreat. Meals are delivered to them from the is a story in itseif, a success, and his work in There are many, many more exciting inPilgrim Centre. the courtyard atMPRis shaping up beautifully. stallations, some already complete and others The atmosphere is one of quiet dedica Mohammed’s laughing face and Baba’s tender to be completed. Stained glass windows, oil tion and long work hours. A tour through embrace are captivating as they emerge from paintings, stunning archival photographs, the rooms, halls and courtyards shows an Jurgis’s expert chisel strokes. The luminescent photographic engraving, etched stone benchamazing variety of pieces being created and marble, of the same type as India’s Taj Mahal, es, a plaster frieze, and a tile wall are the many installed, and the total effect is truly impres is harder and more prone to splits than the media represented. The dedication to Beloved sive in magnitude. Notable too is the number Anzonan marble Jurgis has used previously so Baba from the hearts ofthese artists is filling ofcountries represented by the artists. There he finds this aspect of the work challenging. the halls with an unfolding glory, like the are contributors from America, India, Spain, Jurgis intends to finish the piece by the end of blossoming of a perfect rose. * England, Serbia, Australia, Lithuania, Iran December. See the October issue ofthe Love Street and perhaps some I’ve missed! In recent weeks Anna de Polnay of England is a mural LampPost. there have been seven artists in residence at artist who has created a large, eye-and-heartTo receive this information on line, the Retreat, another six or so at Meherabad capturing piece on the wall in the central hail email Tavern-Talk mailing list Tavernworking on some ofthe projects, and at least ofthe building. Showing Baba standing with Talk@ambppct.org; http://avatarmeherb another seven artists who have works which aba.org/mailman/listinfo/tavern-talk will be installed over the next few months.

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Out of a great need we are all holding hands and climbing. fAlot loving is a letting go bitt the terrain around here is much too steep and dangerous for that.

J4lark 9iiney, J’iyrtie J3each

“and basically I just had this feeling that Meherabad would be a great place for an orphanage.” Reinforced in no small part by the fact the Baba had instituted his own home for needy children in —Hafiz via Dan Ladinsky A}imednagar years ago, aybe need is its own language. When Charlie began to tally it’s sufficientlyloud and clear, we move. up the practicalities When it translates well, things happen. Four of the matter, i.e. years ago, in the midst of an Indian pilgrim- that there’s going to be age, necessity got the better of one Charlie more and more people Gard’ner ofAthens, GA. The result: Today, staying there, retiring The Pumpkin House Orphanage, Ahmea’nagar a fresh-scrubbed, newly appointed home for there; there is also a lot orphans stands a mile up the road from Me- ofyoung kids that come for six months to stay. old baby lying in the gutter andjust picked it herabad awaiting the arrival of its first eigh I thought this would provide an incredible up and took it home.”The unmediated appeal teen little residents. Appropriately enough, resource offairly well-educated, vibrant sorts of this approach was not lost on Charlie, “I’m the facility was discovered both conveniently of people—doctors, acupuncturists, social thinking, okay, I can dig that. That’s my style.” placed and pumpkin-colored in keeping with workers and the like. I imagine a lot of these And yet for this Westerner on a mission in Inthe vision of its founders, members of sister people won’t really want to be just sitting on dia, such instant gratification was not to be his organizations Pumpkin House USA and the porches of their condos. They’d want to lot. Charlie was careftil from the outset to keep Pumpkin House India. be involved.” in step with the larger project of development It began at Charlie’s instigation, with rentHowever airtight this fit must have seemed at Meherabad. In this, he received encourageal car payloads ofWestern Baba lovers, having at first, the pieces didn’t quite flow like melted ment from Baba’s mandali, from Bhau, from plundered the shops of Pune, dropping by butter. Bureaucracies, it turns out, are a lot Dr. Goher and others, but always with the the B.S.S.K. (Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra) like toddlers in that they contain no great same proviso: The Trust, particularly in this orphanage for a visit, not unlike the way Baba internal urge to make sense, and yet demand post-9/1 1 era, could not help to shoulder the himselfhad visited similar homes throughout large helpings of time, patience and nurtur burden.Theywould root for the dream to take his lifetime oftravels. Witnessing the simple ing. It was the time factor that caught Charlie wing, but Charlie would have to fly solo. joy of connection and play that was sparked by surprise. Several years of trial and error Back in Georgia, Charlie began with there, a possibility dawned on this adop brought home some of the basics of what a what he had, what would turn out to be tive dad. Back home on the Pilgrim Center complicated, trans-cultural, multi-hemispheric the fundamental building blocks of his porch, amidst lazy, hazy hours ofbeedies and challenge he had set for himself His preferred kibitzing, the concept began to take shape, method would have been much more direct, as in, “Just do the thing.” The new Chairperson of Pumpkin House India, Stella Manuel Pillai, had had a prescient encounter with Mother Teresa years previous, one that not only presaged Stella’s current role but also would give voice to Charlie’s eventual feelings on the matter. As he retells it, the Catholic icon described to Stella how her workwith the orphans of Calcutta started, Pumpkin House Board ofDirectors. Fiona P1//ui, Ste//a P1//al, Nina how she “was walking Schubert (USA represeiziative ofPumpkin House in India), Nirmal down the street one day Garewa/, Kai/ash Bonekar and Shweta Kaigaonkai: Next to her is and found this tiny dayShwetac rnothei; not invo/ved in PH India

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organization: a telephone and a feeling of inadequacy. It was the second of these gifts—that timely inner voice that chimes in with, “I haven’t the faintest idea how to do this,”—that made Charlie network, assembling, with a few fits and starts, the team that could make Pumpkin House Orphanage a reality. An initial attempt to partner across state lines proved less than fruitfhl, refocusing the effort on a local level. Hometown Athens, as it turns out, held that rich field of experienced and committed individuals that PHO needed to charge out of the gate, speeding unencumbered to its first roadblock. “So we had these meetings. And they never really got anywhere. I was leading the meetings. And I’m not good at doing that sort of thing.” It was a strategy, innocently derived or not, that proved decisive: Step 1.) Attract exceptional talent with the inherent rightness ofyour vision; Step 2.) Irritate them. Enter Randy Overdorff of Gainesville, GA, marriage and family therapist and former executive director for the ‘Family Relations Program, Inc.’ Drawn in by Charlie’s kindred purpose, Randy soon found it impossible and! or pointless to conceal his frustration with Charlie’s process, and told him so. “One day at one of the meetings,” Charlie reports, “he was sitting there looking somewhat dejected, and he suddenlyjust put up his hand said, ‘I’d like to propose that you elect me the chairman ofthis board.” Delighted, Charlie wasted no time: “Seconded. Let’s vote! Everyone, I’ll give you money to vote for this guy!” And so was the Chair of Pumpkin House USA properly filled.

But this heart-rooted, clear-sighted, very American crew was soon to discover that, as it is in many places, what happens in Georgia stays in Georgia. Funds had been raised, professionals drafted, proposals offered and discussed and discussed and discussed, all ofit logged in the minutes and still India remained unimpressed. PHO realized that without a native Ahmednagar contingent they were engaged in an empty ritual. Into this Bhau Kaichuri gives the inaugural address breach stepped Nina Schubert, a doctor and researcher at the University of Georgia. A poetry meeting led at Meher Baba’s home. Safe to say, Nina was to a PHO meeting and then an intriguing won over on some unanticipated levels, and proposition: Would she care to relocate to a while this is, indeed, a whole other story let us tiny village in India to finally implement the note for our purposes simply that the work got group’s efforts? Though not a Meher Baba done anyhow. She quickly familiarized herself follower, she was at a crossroads, newly unat with the delicate challenge of endeavors such tached from her marriage and on the brink of as Pumpkin House, in particular how “each advancement in her career. “I caught myself person’s little project is not an isolated thing saying, ‘Yes.’ I had a choice between taking but it affects the whole Meherabad community this new job and earning more money, or and beyond.” Within three months, Nina had going to India and having no idea what I’m drafted Meher English SchoolPrincipal Stella doing, being financially ruined. It was a no- Manuel, who, along with her deep commitbrainer. I just knew this is what I have to do. ment to the children of her village, brought And I’ve never regretted it.” twin whirlwinds ofenergy and controversy, two Fresh off the plane, minutes after her ar essentials in any Baba project. Charlie is un rival at Meherazad, this transplanted Bosnian equivocal, “Nothing was happening until Stella found herself invited by Dr. Goher to begin came on board and then it started.” Regarding her life anew at age 34 as a working resident the experience of working with Stella: “I’m

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House, it was barely a week and a half and the thing was put together and actually happened. I wasn’t even ready for it.” The I orphanage’s current location, right in the Meherabad neighborhood, was also Stella’s find, built on months of Nina’s investiga tions. At present, with the physical plant shipshape and a host of volunteers at the ready, all that remains before the kids can Harry and Sharon Muir sing, accompanied by Kevin Pillai move in are a couple comfortable but sometimes uncomfortable. of mounds of governmental paperwork to It’s like I’m in third gear and she’s in fifth gear. be scaled, one in each hemisphere—short But that’sjust a matter ofstyle.” Nina concurs, work for the capable minds of the Pumpkin “She’s absolutely a champion for the children, House boards. In the meantime, the cause has and she’s been able to actually manifest things. been re-inftised via a third annual flindraiser From the time that we brought up the idea of at Athen’s charming Seney-Stovall Chapel doing the inauguration ceremony for Pumpkin with encore performances from Coleman

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1955 StJtnvas

Barks, Dan Ladinsky and a circle of talented compatriots. on the cusp of fhlfillment, Charlie keeps an eye open for new avenues of growth: annexing the current orphanage with nearby properties to accommodate more children; dovetailing the Pumpkin House mission with other relief efforts, perhaps Anne Spears’ AIDS work (Project Positive Hope), or Wayne Galler’s ‘Touch of Love’ group; and in the long-term, constructing a new, forward-looking facility tailored to the munity, incorporating intensive medical care and alternative fuel sources, modeled after the widely-admired Pune children’s home that drew him into the world of adoptive parenting in the first place. What he’s demonstrated in action, Charlie has no compunction about reinforcing in words: Service in Baba’s home town has been a gift for him, one that’s multiplied itself and splayed out to embrace a growing family of friends across several continents. Without romanticizing the struggles en route, he advocates the experience. “I don’t think that people should feel shy because there is a need. There’s plenty of opportunity.”

Commrnoration

Ward 2arks, 7v!eherabad

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hough early November is nal 1955 Sahavasees were back usually a quiet time in the at Meherabad again, and their annual Meherabad pilgrimreminiscences, shared with the season cycle, not so this year! A assembled gathering under a three-day gathering (2nd-4th pandal on the Hill just a few November) commemorating steps from the Samadhi, were a the great four-week Sahavas true feast for the heart. Indeed, that Meher Baba held at Meas many people commented, the herabad a half-century ago commemoration gave a whiff drew over a thousand people, of the fragrance and feeling of and there would have been what it must have been like to several hundred more but be there in 1955. for record rainfalls in coastal The Sahavas commemora Andhra that made travel dif tion proper took place over two ficult. days, Wednesday and Thursday, As many attendees cornin morning and afternoon mented, the whole event was sessions. Bhau opened the a kind of mini-Amartithi, programme with a talk on the with this difference: its aim first day, and the next morning, Photos ofBaba and chartcfrorn God Speaks were on display. and focus was specifically to Meherwan Jessawala provided remember and, as it were, imaginatively relive four one-week sessions with four groups, an overview that began with the commencethat wonderftil time in 1955 when Meher the first, speakers of Gujarati, the second, ment of the New Life and included several Baba showed to a select group ofHis Indian of Telugu, the third, Hindi, and the fourth, vivid episodes from the Sahavas’s first week followers—and, through them, to all poster- Marathi. Attendance was by Baba’s special with the Gujarati group. Another twenty ity—what He meant by “Sahavas” and what invitation only. About 800 men were invited, speakers or so related their personal experi He wanted His relationship with His lovers and about that number came. This last week, ences, many of them quite poignant. A few to be. That 1955 Sahavas took the form of half a century later, some thirty of the origi ofthem, as they recounted to us, came to the 12


tion and the ten states of God. The speakers’ programme came to a close Friday afternoon with an exposition by Bhau, who of course had been among Baba’s resident mandali when God Speaks was dic tated in 1953-54 and had played a role in its preparation for publica tion. In addition to talks (interspersed with musical performances) each day, the commemora God Speaks sessions under the Pandal with Raine among the attendees. tion included a film 1955 Sahavas as skeptics or even outright dis each night immediately after arti. The first believers in Baba, but on encountering Him night’s film was based on a musical renderfirst hand, were overwhelmed. It was indeed ing of the poem-prayer by Bhau (with many moving for many ofus in the audience to hear couplets added by Baba), “You Alone Exist.” these men, most ofthem now in their seven- The second night featured a film on the 1955 ties and eighties, describing this great event Sahavas, specifically created for this year’s that had so transformed their lives. programme; and on Friday night we saw a The third day (4th November) of this film on God Speaks. To watch these films year’s commemoration had a different focus. of Baba projected on a large screen in the As so happened, God Speaks, Meher Baba’s pandal on Meherabad Hill, with the bril great masterwork on the theme of God and liant autumn stars shining when one stepped creation, was published exactly fifty years ago out from under the canopy, made for a most in the same month as the Sahavas; so a morn- exhilarating experience. ing and afternoon session were given over to Though the commemoration proper that subject. It made for a fascinating study wrapped up on this note, the next day, in contrasts: in the original Sahavas Baba had Saturday, came with a special bonus. Each shown Himselfin such a personal and human year since 2002, in the autumn season the way, while God Speaks explains about God Bombay group has brought to Meherabad a in His impersonal, oceanic Reality. Enlarge- new dramatization ofBaba’s life, starting with ments of the twelve God Speaks charts had Baba’s childhood and continuing up through been prepared for display at the commemo the 1940s. This year’s play, a frill, two-hour ration, and throughout the morning session production with a twenty-person cast and the speakers, pointer in hand, expostulated continuous prerecorded musical score, carried on such topics as evolution and reincarna the story ffirther on through the New Life. Many of the famous episodes were played out before us: the original shock announcement in the Meherabad meetings in August 1949, the begging, the “strike” (led by Doctor Ghani), the gathering in Mahabaleshwar, and the Manonash seclusion at Meherazad. Naturally much of the audience’s attention centered on the role of Baba, which Mehernosh Metha enacted charismatically, photos by Dawn Dolan capturingwith vividness

many of Baba’s characteristic movements and gestures. Throughout the performance the theater in Outer Meherabad was packed, with standing room only. The whole four-day event was extraordi narily rich and diverse; as in the past, I was struck by the creativity ofBaba’s family, which takes so many different forms of expression from so many parts ofthe world. The source of all this, of course, must be our Beloved Himself whose divine life, like a great river, will water the fields of human culture for centuries to come.

IDawn

Do/an of Ca/fornia was a/so present, and adds thefoiowing comment.]

It is always so very heartrending to try and capture the true feeling of one’s experience ofthe Divine beloved when in the company of His lovers. The wine just poured out! As people began arriving, chaos seemed to hit Samadhi Hill.Then, in such a very short time, as more and more of the pilgrims began to pass through the doors of the Samadhi, an excited stillness began to pervade the entire atmosphere seeming to bind us all into a family. The men who came to speak of their experiences of that life-changing event of 50 years ago brought the Beloved present to us all in that moment ofsharing. And the songs.... we were even treated to the loving song prayer ofMadhusudan—feeling that he was singing to Baba standing right in front ofhim at that very moment. Indeed, the speakers addressed the audience with their words and attitudes showing that they knew Baba to be the heart of this audience—He was so very present!

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WCkOmWg Avntar’s J1bode .J&rniversary, une 2005 <cating, .Sydiiey, ./iiistralia .Ross 7 en I was asked to give a welcome talk this evening I began to wonder how Baba welcomed people during His physical lifetime. From all accounts, everyone who came into Baba’s presence felt intimately and profoundly welcomed. How did this happen, I thought? What was the nature of this welcome? What makes these questions still more intriguing is the fact that a simi lar quality of welcome is also found in the stories ofpeople who came to Meher Baba after 1969, when Baba chose to put aside His physical body. They too felt intimately and uniquely welcomed by Him. And from my own experience and that ofmany others, when visiting Baba places like Meherabad and Meherazad in India, or Myrtle Beach in America, and here at Avatar’s Abode, Baba continues to make people feel welcomed into His presence in His own way and in His own time, as if He was still physically present amongst us. So it seems to me that not only is Meher Baba true to His name, the “Compassionate Father,” but He is also a very welcoming Father. Often, during His lifetime, when Baba greeted people for the first time, they would be disarmed of all their emotional and mental pretence and spontaneously burst into tears. From these types of accounts it seems that Beloved Baba’s welcome was a deeply awakening experience in which a person’s own inherent freedom and divinity were aroused. It was as if Baba introduced Himself—as the deep Self within the person—to their conscious, workaday self and initiated the beginning of a true friendship between them both, and this, I think, is what Baba has continued to do: awakening Himself in us and making us aware of His inner presence at the heart ofour being. This is perhaps why everyone’s relationship with Baba feels so intimate and special. As part ofany human welcome the name and physical image of each person involved are exchanged. Although Meher Baba is no longer physically present with us He has left His name for everyone to hear and His Im age in thousands of photographs for all to see whenever they wish. (I think Baba had photography invented during His lifetime for this very reason.) But a more integral aspect ofany human welcome is the exchange

ofthat soul-spark which mysteriously jumps through the eyes of one person and makes contact in the heart of the other. It is the glance that says everything and can lead to a communion of souls, to a deeply nourishing friendship. But where now is Baba present for this contact to happen? And where do we meet His eyes to receive His penetrating glance, so we can be nourished and have our friendship deepened? One of the most distinctive features of Meher Baba’s physical presence, ofHis divine humanity and into which people were wel comed and lovingly greeted, is actually still in our midst. It is something that Baba did not put aside in 1969, and that is His all-enveloping silence. His silence is still present with us. It skips across all boundaries and thresholds, real or imaginary, such as so-called life and death, as ifthey did not exist—And for Him they never did nor ever will exist. My sense of Baba’s near 44 years of si lence is that because He dwelt so much in silence, silence has now become charged or impregnated with His compassion and love and it exists like a kind of safety net underneath all of our human actions. Beneath the grind and noise of city traffic, for instance, is B aba’s ever-tranquil silence; underneath mind’s anger and aggression can be found His peaceftil silence, patiently waiting for us; as words increasingly become hijacked and the integrity oftheir meaning abused so that people cannot comprehend each other, His understanding silence will still mysteriously exist. His reassuring silence will persist when the social fabric frays, when the last skerrick of political statesmanship has been surrendered. Beloved Baba’s consoling silence is equally behind all those who are depressed as well as those who are happy. His majestic Silence knows no limitations; it can never be turned into anything else than what it is, it charges no fee, it is beyond nationality and fashion, and it cannot be compartmentalised. For me, Baba’s physical silence has now become B aba’s ever-present compassionate silence in a noisy world and it is here that we can now experience His presence. But what of Baba’s eyes, where can we meet His beautiful penetrating glance? While His silence is now released into the world, His eyes have become the places in the world

where He most lived and stayed. In Australia they are Meher House in Sydney and Avatar’s Abode in Queensland. They are His eyes in pools of loving silence shaped upon this land. This is where Baba welcomes us most intimately. This is where we gather in His sight and offer praise to Him that arises out ofthe silence He has released into our hearts for as Baba Himselfhas said, “All that is real is given and received in silence.” Coming to Avatar’s Abode for the Anniversary ofMeher Baba’s 1958 visit is to be welcomed into His divine yet human, silent presence and receive His Glance. Let me conclude by reading the lyrics of one ofBaba’s favourite Western songs, “Wel come to My World” to which He would add His own hand gestures when it was being played as if He were singing along with it. Let me read it as coming out of His reas suring silence and speaking to each one of us personally, here, at the beginning of His anniversary:

Welcome to my world. Won’tyou come on In? MIracles I guess Still happen now and then Step Into my heart; Leaveyour cares behind. Welcome to my world BuultwIthyou In mind. Knock and the door will open; Seek andyou wlllftnd; Ask andyou’ll be gIven The key to thIs world ofmine. I’ll be waiting here With my arms unfurled Waitingjustforyou; elcome to my world.


7fl Loving kmory o Our Tact .AIandah

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EBnibazon 24, 1907

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24, 1984.

9Iiazal 14 LA Poet is a man condemned to exile ecause within his heart there is no guile; 3 i 4 philosopher without a systems rule L/ 2laving mastered and transcended every school. 4 poet is an old man in a child, L’ Vise to the world yet easily beguiled.

1e goes to bed cold sober every night 2 ,4nd wakes dead drunk to welcome mornings light. LA poet is a ruin over treasure, deep LA ocean that none hut9od can measure. 2Ie eats ruitli dogs his pillow is a stone, Site swings on gates oftides and tunes bees drone. 4 poet is a stronghold you caii trust. L’ LA poet is a bit ofsinging dust. In Dust I Sing, Francis Brabazon

ç71’Ieherctztid ctnd 2tow A1eIwr Baba Came to A4e Bc1iiiaz

first traveled to India in January 2001, to be part of the one of the greatest spiritual gatherings on this planet, the Maha Kumbh Mela. The millennium presented the last great Kumbha Mela of this present cycle, the mela in the 144t1 year. I had the greatest urge to be there, to become one with the 70 million Hindus and non-Hindus who had chosen to be at Allahabad, for the sangam (merging) of the three holy rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Thousands of monks, sadhus, and swamis traveled days to be at this event, and to share their wisdom, to sit in meditative silence, and to show their powers and austerities. Thousands oflittle tents were set up beside the banks ofGanges.The sun was at its height. was looking for Babaji, the great-great-grand guru ofParmahansa Yogananda, a swami who left India for America because ofthe message he had received from this ancient Himalayan master. Paramahansa Yogananda has a large following in America, and the SelfRealization Fellowship in Los Angeles, California contin ues to spread his Kriya Yoga technique. I read in several books, and specially in the famous Autobiography ofa Yogi, that this im

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mortal master shows up at each Kumbh Mela, sometimes in the body ofa boy ofl6 surrounded byhis disciples. I waslooking for the impossible, to meet Him or to hear about Him. I met many masters, ascetics, and visited many camps including those of Parmahansa Yogananda, Shirdi Sai Baba, the Babaji.net camp, and so on. I even stayed at Pilot Baba’s camp, a self-made swami who was an ex-pilot in the Indian Army. The 2001 Kumbh Mela Project, consisting of a team ofwriters, musi cians, filmmakers, and artists, ofwhom I was part, recommended this camp to me, and I had no choice but to stay there. I learned much later that there was a lot of controversy regarding Pilot Baba and many other gurus at the Kumbh Mela. By then I had stayed near the Ganges river for about a month and still found no one to my satisfaction. Our taxi was leaving the Allahabad mansion, the grand house at which my team mem bers and I occasionally stayed. There were four of us in the taxi along with the ever-patient Indian taxi driver. Bennet Stevens, writer and photographer, Charlie Baba (Charles Krafft), Artist and Painter, and Nadeem Udin

of Samsara Films, who later produced the Kumbh Mela, Song ofthe River film, were ac companying me in my ride out ofAllahabad’s Kumbh Mela to the city of Shiva, Varanasi, (Varanasi). I looked over the huge kumbh tents. Thousands of tents were gathered in a hot dry desert dressed in khaki colour. Pilgrims wearing old rags or dark clothing who were awfully skinny covered the whole area. The scene was reminding me ofmankind’s last day on earth, very much like the analogy described in the biblical books: spirits rising, awakening, waiting for the Day ofJudgment. The world was sun dried, and my heart was melting with it. I thought deeply, as if there was no other thoughts, feeling overwhelmingly stupid for traveling so far in an unknown land, trying to find an immortal, Mahavatar Babaji, hoping to meet him and receive a spiritual awakening. I told Mahavatar Babaji: “Well, I came all this way, to meet with you, I gave everything up, and there I still have not found you.” At that moment, Bennet Stevens suddenly told me: “Didyou know that Lahiri Mahasaya’s great-grandson lives in an apartment in Varanasi.” I was startled. I calmly asked him: Is


“Would you take me there?” He looked at me seriously, and nodded. The conversation was left at that. In Varanasi, I had the most magnificent experience. I feel that this city is truly the city of Shiva, the city of wonders—a city where everyone is traveling long distances, hoping to die there, and to end the cycle of births and deaths. Hindus believe that ifone dies in Varanasi, where God Shiva, the idol of destruc tion, reigns, they will not ever be reborn. The water ofthe Ganges is murky so deeply rooted to the bottom of the river, so dark, with linen wrapped corpses floating by, so slowly moving, showing an everlasting presence to the depths ofthe mysteries ofour own ocean oflife, and yet, the city is so energized, so alive. My stay at Varanasi was truly strange. Magic happened. I would receive answers by mere thoughts.To write about my experiences in Varanasi would take a few chapters. There I stayed in Suraj Guest House with a few foreigners, including Isa Esasi, a Gypsy and master tattoo artist. I had a vision ofShirdi Sal Baba which was so real that it is unexplainable. He healed me from an ear and throat infection that had prevented me from talking. Twice I tried to visit Shibendhu Lahiri’s ashram, first with the help ofBennet Stevens, and the second time, by passing the many Ghats myself. After leaving Varanasi and traveling to Bodhgaya, Bihar, the city where Buddha gained enlightenment under the Bo dhi tree, I finally received Shibendhu’s darshan. The whole meeting with Shibendu Lahiri was a coincidence, or a granting of a wish. For me it was a chance to meet a great master. Shibendhu Lahiri told me in my second and last visit to him that I had to clear my karma by going to Bodhgaya, and only then I was able to meet up with him. Bodhgaya is in the poorest state in India but ironically has the greatest amount offertile land. At the time of Buddha itwas a rich city, but Buddha predicted that it would become one ofthe most destitute states in India. Shibendhu Lahiri indirectly guided me to follow Ramana Maharshi or Tiruvannamalai, ofArunachala. His guidance helped me focus on a clear spiritual path, the Advaita Vedanta, and nonduality. In Bodhgaya, in the Buddhist Monastery I had a vision ofAvatar Meher Baba in a dream state, where He asked me to follow Him. The vision and Meher Baba were very real, which is perhaps another reason why I am also connected to Him. But prior to seeing the vision of Meher Baba in Bodhgaya, I had read about Him briefly in Swami Sivananda Radha’s work, “In

the Company of the Wise.” In this historic book, Swami Radha explains about her encounter with Meher Baba and his strange silence. What attracted me to Meher Baba was His name, which in Persian means kindness, a qual ity which I truly appreciate. It was many years after my India trip that I started to read and get familiar with Lord Meher, with the help Nima Ghaemi. Prior to my re cent visit to India, I had a strange’ dream where Meheru and Gohar Banu, a Zoroastrian lady whom I have met at Meher Baba gatherings in North Vancouver, guided me in a tour bus in Meherabad. In the dream Meher Baba told me to visit Meherabad, and “welcomed” me. This dream inspired me to visit Meherabad in August of2005. For the first time, I visited the mandali: Bhau Kalchuri, Meheru, Katie Irani, Arnavaz, and the remaining less well known people. They had a profound effect on me. It is one thing to read about them, but another thing altogether to see them and hug them. On my second last visit to Meherazad, on September 6th 2005 at exactly 12:30 p.m., a strange phenomenon occurred. I was returning from visiting the Mandali in Meherazad and was about to board the bus when my friend Richard Rarrick informed me that there was a strange rainbow outside. I went outside to see it as I have a strong passion to take pictures whenever I go. With great difficulty I saw a beautiflil and extremely large rainbow around the sun. It was a very sunny day and I hardly could see the sky since the sun was radiating ftu1l force. With luck I took photos. I believe this miracle, like many others, is emanating from the energy ofthe divine. The following is what the Meherabad librarians, Urmilla and Gokaran Shrivastava, had to say about this strange happening once

they looked at the rainbow pictures: “This was unusual in the sense that the rainbow is mostly in the form ofa bow true to its name but this particular day itwas a circular shaped rainbow defying the general rule of physics. A rainbow is usually formed either in the eastern or western sky when the sun is near the horizon. Two cloud screens in opposite directions are needed. One moist cloud covers the sun and filters the rays like a prism so as to separate out the rainbow colours ofthe sunrays which fall on the opposite direction cloud cover like a cinema screen to form the rainbow. But in this case a circular rainbow was spotted at midday when the sun was at its zenith. Such a phenomenon would require two overlapping layers of clouds having sufficiently distant placement over each other. The uppermost cloud layer will separate out the rays into seven colours and the image of these colours will fall on the on the lower cloud screen. In this the rays from the entire periphery of the sun are participating and thus a circular rainbow is formed instead of a bow type of rainbow. Another reason for this phenomenon to be rare is because man rarely looks upward to the zenith during daylight. So even ifsuch a thing occurs, it is not seen. Whatever may be the reason, it was really very interesting and a rare phenomenon which may be ofgreat interest to scientists and climatologists.” My trip to Meherazad and Meherabad was very special indeed. As confirmed by continued on page5O


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7ian Xin L/4i 9unther, 40 ’oornbye, 1lustrctlia 1932, instead of break-

InJune ing His silence in Hollywood as

scheduled, Meher Baba sailed for Shanghai, saying that it was first necessary for Him to visit China. He arrived in Shanghai on 22 June, visited the busiest and the poorest districts, mixed with the crowds, received visitors and was invited by the locals to a banquet (!). Baba also went to Nanjing during this visit. Three months prior to His own arrival, Baba had sent six of His mandali members to China to await His call. One of them, Rustom, was called to meet Baba in Hawaii, and was instructed by Baba to proceed to Australia and New Zealand. Rustom, however, was not allowed to land in Syd ney due to the strict immigration laws. One cannot help wondering what magical cables Baba must have laid between these two countries, since it was through the connection with Australia that I and many others from China have come into Baba’s fold, though seventy years later. In January 1992, I landed in Sydney on a scholarship from the Australian government to study English literature at University of New England, Armidale. Havingleft my oneand-half year old son Qjndi back home and myjob as a university lecturer, I felt somewhat disoriented with this new role and missed my child very much. One afternoon, Geoff my supervisor showed me a photo ofMeher Baba with “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY” on it, and said Meher Baba was a saint from India whom his daughter Sophia loved. Like everything else, it was all new and slightly strange to me who knew little about saints and even less about God. And nothing more was said about Baba for the next several years. Somehow it was around that time that mylife, which byworldly standards had been secure and promising, started to run out of control, accompanied by considerable suffering, self-doubt and questioning. Geoffwas at that time a Buddhist practitio ner but had been to Meherabad in 1984 and

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has since carried with him that photo of Baba given him by Mehera. Perhaps it is also worth noting that ofall the Armidale residents, Geoff was the only one who had been to Meher Baba’s Samadhi and Avatar’s Abode. When in the beginning of 1997 Baba re-emerged in the picture, I had been quite humbled by life’s lessons. Geoff now my husband, Ojndi and I came to house-sit for the Isaac-Youngs on Meher Road next to Avatar’s Abode. As soon as we arrived, Geoff took me to Baba’s House. And, unprepared, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere in Baba’s room, charged with a powerful and fragrant presence. It felt most special, as ifin another dimension of space and time. Itwas followed byintensive reading. When I finished Much Silence, I thoughtMeher Baba was the most selfless, intelligent and ideal person I had known. Reading God Speaks was hearing God speak directly to my heart; to everyline mywhole being resounded with “Yes,Yes,Yes!”I closed the book, abeliever in

God and a lover of the God-Man. In the meantime, Baba’s room had become a final home ofsecurity and acceptance, where I wept each day, for about four weeks. During the June Anniversary that year, Bhau Kalchuri came and encouraged me to translate Meher Baba’s books into Chinese. When the translation of Discourses was completed, a group of academics came to study English at a local university where I was employed. Amongst them was a young professor of Chinese language and literature, also a spiritual seeker. She visited Avatar’s Abode, offered to read the whole manuscript, and came up with invaluable sugges tions that greatly enhanced its quality. While reading through the manuscript, she decided to put three chapters on a website where a group of seekers gathered and discussed spirimality Next I received an email from someone called Sakshin in Beijing, thanking me for translating Meher Baba’s words. We have been in com munication ever since and his story gradually unfolded: many years ago when he was seventeen, Sakshin became interested in the spiritual path, due to some big personal loss. Seven years ago, he came across Meher Baba’s name in one of Osho’s ( Rajneesh’s) books, then immensely popular in China. A month later in a friend’s home, Sakshin saw Baba’s photo on the cover of Discourses, which he said, “sowed the seed of love.” He and some Gurdjiefffollowers tried to read Discourses in English, which he felt threaded together the different systems and traditions he had experimented with, despite the linguistic obstacle. About two years ago, Sakshin (who by this time had read the com plete Discourses in Chinese, of course) had a dream in which Baba revealed to him that all his previous paths were necessary, while some were valid and some not. In the dream, Baba looked extremely tired. After the dream, the relationship took a new turn. Sakshin told us that when he read Discourses now, it was as if Baba were talking to him lovingly, and during continued on page 49


£nguage of Ilte 2Ieart:

The Ren1 rDialect EBaween Civilizations JParisa mid .J1rnir 5abooki from 7ii.e 2’Iew )3ork .J1rts J/I4agazine “The chamber region ofmy eye (located between the arch ofthe eyebrow and the eyelashes) isyour house, so relax and be at homefor this is your home. Hafez this ghazel Hafez invites all those who are his friends to come to Shiraz. When anyone of importance comes to Shiraz we welcome them with the recitation of this poem. It is written everywhere in Shiraz. Hafez is the most famous poet oflran and perhaps, of the world. He lived in the 14th century. The meaning of”Hafez” is: one who memorizes the Koran and so Hafez was the pen name of Moham mad Shirazi. There are more than 6,000 verses in the Divan of Hafez. He composed lyric po ems about the Lover of God and God, the Beloved. This Book of Hafez has a celebrated place in every household in Iran, and the people consult it for all impor tant matters. A proverb in Iran says: “Hafez is in the blood ofthe Iranian People.” It shows how close Hafez is to us. The Tomb of Hafez is situated in Shiraz, a city that was once home to countless philosophers, poets and artists. It is rich in roses and nightingales, filled with perftmed gardens, especially with the intoxicating fragrance oforange blossoms. One becomes drunk from the fragrance without wine here.The beauty ofthe flowers in the tile works elevates one’s being to nearlylosing one’s consciousness. Shiraz means City of Secrets. We cannot reveal the secret of Shiraz, it is for one to learn the secret for himself Laurie Blum had the great honor to be the first artist to ever have her works exhibited at the sacred Shrine of Hafez quite near to his tomb. Laurie has traveled from America to Shiraz three times since 2003. She says, “Shiraz “

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reflects what has been mysteriously enchanting and symbolically beautiftil to me from childhood. I see my heart turned inside-out in the beauty of its nature. The chanar and cypress trees, the long-tailed Zaaghi (the Iranian raven), and the magical mountains transport me into a living Persian miniature painting.” She explains to me, “The miracle ofthe beauty of Shiraz is the key to the door to my inner garden. It was lost to me once, because this beauty is secretly hidden deep inside, but when

Magic occurred during her exhibition on Christmas Day. Even though it rained, the people flocked enthusiastically to Hafez’s Garden to see the paintings. They said that Laurie painted like a Shirazi artist, using the Shirazi colors, and that her subjects were also close to their hearts. Mr. Hassan Golbon, the Director ofThe Cultural Institute of Shiraz, told her that he hoped in the future that she would become part of the Shirazi Artists and be introduced in the ftiture as one of them. Mr. Mehdi Faghih, one ofthe oldest actors in Iran, agreed with Laurie: “Though we come from East and West, we speak the same universal language of love of the heart. Our symbols of beauty are One.” I, Amir Sabooki, said of her painting of Roses and Nightin gales, “Shiraz is in this it should be called Shiraz.” I felt the spirit ofher rever ence for Hafez was in her works. Mr. Navid, the number one publisher in Iran, said “Laurie Blum comes from the West and we are from the East. Laurie shows the real dialect between civilizations in her paintings.” Though the exhibition at Hafez was of short duration due to bad weather, we have promised Laurie to have a grander exhibition for her inner gar den when she returns later this spring. I

The Thrnb ofHafiz

I came to Shiraz, the joy rose from my heart and beckoned me to paint unceasingly. When I paint, the door opens within to that inner sanctuary. Hafez has spoken of the Tavern in his poems where he is without worldly wine. It must be the sweet nectar ofShiraz that is in the breeze and fills the atmosphere with such vitahty and life! Hafez speaks of the Friend in his poems and I believe that in the joyous surrounding of Shiraz I found myse1f, the Inner Friend.”

p-cow doyou like mypaIntIng?”He asked. The artist looked round when Baba pointed to the beautiful scenery outside. ‘&ll this is my painting.” —

Meher Baba, from ThePeifectMaster ©1976 Sheriar Press


&icred aj:dcns £tiurie B1urn, LiIigIitingdcs mid Roses, 5kimz, ran An Art Cxkibit !Review by 51tctri 7<eller, 2’Iew )3ork have always held a deep signifr cance for Laurie Blum, as they had for gardens the great Persian mystics whose poetic visions are memorialized in her paintings. Years ago, Blum created her own Persian garden, replete with a rare assortment ofrocks, waterfall, and

We become intoxicated by the stillness of the place in her expressions in Hafez’s Tomb. We are transported by the almost tangible fragrance of the roses in Blum’s de piction ofNightingales and Roses,just as the nightingales are who sit among them—nearly

The exhibit has also been displayed in Meher abad, India and in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It will be displayed in Istanbul, Turkey, in Teheran at the Shah’s Palace Art Museum, in Esfahan, Yezd, and again in Shiraz, Iran. In 2004, the Shiraz Institute of Cultural Affairs granted •J=’;

pool. Since that time, she has traveled to Iran, where she discovered, in the secret alchemy of gardens, a passageway to the mystical interior of one’s self. For those who seek with the “eye ofthe Heart,” Blum’s Broadway Gallery exhibition depicts the ethereallmmanence of the Divine garden. Laurie Blum has made three trips to Iran and the Middle East in recent years, each time painting in the gardens and scenes represented in this exhibit: In the garden of Hafez’s tomb shrine, the tomb of Sa’adi, the Garden of Paradise (Bagh-e-Eram), by the Majnun tree, and the Cypress tree (Sarv Naz). Blum says she considers Shiraz to be the most beautifhl place on earth. Shiraz is also the burial place of Hafez, the great Sufi sage and poet. Hafez captured the ineffable in rhyme; to this day in Iran, his poems are regarded as sacred oracles, transfiguring visions of a mystical Absolute. Blum’s fanciftil yet representational style is ideally matched to the mystical quality ofher subject.

lost in rapture. We are struck by the majestic nature of the cypress through Blum’s Cypress Tree—the cypress being a symbol of inner strength and poise in the poetry of the Muslim Mystics. And her Conference of the Birds, inspired byAttar’s story ofthe mythical Simurgh bird, bespeaks, with enchantingly innocent excitement, the quest ofthe soul to find its maker, only to be guided, in the end, to look within. Blum’s painting medium is gouache on paper, which gives an effervescent quality to her work, a subtle, dancing light across the paper. Her striking Shiraz-style greens and blues, her sharp contrasts in color and tone, capture the vibrancy of the meeting place between the two worlds—the Visible and the Invisible—which is what the Persian garden, finally, symbolizes. Shari Keller’s article can be read in its entirety at www.laurieblum. corn. Laurie Blum exhibited “My Inner-Outer Garden” at Broadway Gallery fromJuly 1-July 15, 2005.

Blum the honor ofbeing the first painter to exhibit her work at the tomb shrine of Hafez in Shiraz, Iran. Editorc note. Go to Lauriec website to see the incredibly coloiful beauty ofher paintings. Reproductions (that are ofsuch superb quality they appear to be originals,) are available through the Love Street Bookstore.

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_7l/kIier EI3aba on Love & War &: the 2lumctn Cxperience eloved Archives has recently released this new CD, the second in a series of medita tive narrations, with readings by Naosherwan Anzar. The CD has 2 tracks: Meher Baba on Love, 27 minutes, and MeherBaba on War and Beyonc4 44 minutes. While Naosherwan read, Fred Van Keuren accompanied him on keyboards, Philip Ludwig on Bass and Lou Caimano on Sax and Flute. The readings are taken from the Discourses as well as from other messages and discourses in the Beloved Archives never published before. The extremely reasonable priceis just $10.

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worldwide. Phyllis graduated (cum laude) from Harvard, with majors in Architecture and Philosophy. Among her professors were some of the greatest minds of the post-war generation. Her sister Bea Silverman married Norman Mailer, who served as the catalyst to break Bea and Phyllis free from their middle-class Jewish morality and who years later became Phyllis’s lover. Phyllis’s story is the spiritual quest for the source ofthe Self. She struggled to accept her role as a woman, as she observed how downtrodden the female sex seemed to be at all times and in all places. Her father, a disabled hero ofWorld War I, instilled in her the love of “wounded” men, and she married three men who had significant physical handicaps. Her third husband was noted artist Lynfield Ott, slowlygoing blind as the two forged their path together, a path that led them to India, to the feet of the renowned spiritual master, Meher Baba. Phyllis, Lyn and their four children became the only people to reside at Meher Baba’s American ashram, the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She still lives at the Center, painting, traveling, and entertaining hundreds of visitors each year. Her paintings can be viewed at www phyllisott.com The book is co-authored by Barbara Scott, author ofthat great book about Meher Baba’s ‘Darshan’ in Asheville North Carolina in 1967, Golden Thread. Behler Publications. Love Street Bookstore discounted price $16.

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3ilnt Review b 11 .Rachel JDacus ftyyears to the minute after Meher Baba’s automobile crashed into an oncoming car in Oklahoma, Baba lovers pressed their foreheads to the soil where He had spilled His blood on America. A beautiful new film of the gathering at Prague, Oklahoma on May 24, 2002 has been released. It movingly presents the events of a four-day celebration in which more than 100 people honored the Avatar’s sacrificial gift to America. If you missed the event, you can be there through this compeffing fim, which has a special bonus: footage of Meher Baba in 1932 giving His message about America’s hyllis Ott is a recognized expressionist spiritual destiny. painter who studied under Hans HoffAnne and Chris Barker and Lynn Wilhite man. Her paintings are owned and displayed envisioned and organized the gathering and

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asked Sufism Reoriented to ftlm all key events, including manytaiks, avisit to the accident site, excursions to the Prague Historical Museum and Prague Clinic and a dhuni fire. Genial and ftmnnyJeffMaguire hosted the events. Among my favorite moments in the film are Leatrice Shaw Johnston’s enchanting descrip tion of Baba’s embrace, and also her story of summoning the courage to look deeply into Baba’s right eye. Also poignant is Charmian Duce Knowles describing the way the town responded generously to “The Accident,” even helping with the blood-soaked laundry Other eyewitness accounts are also riveting. Dr. Burleson’s daughters Margaret and Beth relating childhood memories of Baba, Phil Lutgendorf’s story of his 1970 pilgrimage to Prague, when Dr. Burleson called Baba “the perfect patient.” Dr. Burleson said Baba and his partyprovided them a glimpse ofhowJesus and his followers must have been. Esfandiar Vesali, a Prem Ashram boy, movinglyconveys the divine love that is the answer to all questions ofhow to follow Baba. The musical offerings by partici pants are vibrant, heartfelt and ignite a strong sense ofthejoy ofBaba’s presence. The f]m shows the commemoration of the exact moment of the accident—1O:15 a.m. —with prayers and devotion. Later, Murshida Carol Conner made inspiring comments on how the accident fulfilled Baba’s plan for revital izingAmerica spiritually, and that the “accident” was no accident. A wonderftil aspect shown in the fim is how levity followed seriousness—sheer exuberance at Baba’s palpable presence released into spon taneous dancing and laughter. As far as I kno no Baba gathering has ever been documented


as fully as in this film. Even more important is the way it lovingly documents the special joy, humor and devotion that are released among a diversity of Baba lovers from all over America and India. Surely this is a preview of how the newhumanitywiil unfold: in radiantunit high humor spontaneous devotion and unbounded harmony. What a deeply moving experience it was to see “Oh, Whata BeautjfldMorning”attheLos Angeles Baba Centeryesterday. K’ were spellbound—Ijèltas fIactual& attendedthe2002 Gathering in Oklahoma. Sarah Dwyer

through the Georgia woods: the air is clean, the grass smells like spring, and the Oconee River runs cool against the rocks. The sounds on this CD surprise and amaze. Who might have guessed that Rumi goes well with a banjo, guitar, fiddle, flute, and mandolin? And Barks is having a good time, a grand time. You can hear it in his voice. He’s back home and he’s in the timeless cosmic space where he chats with Rumi. It’s real, it’s alive, and for over an hour you can place your ear against the wall and eavesdrop guiltlessly. Backfrom Afghanistan is Barks at his best, Producedby Sufism Reoriented,2005; DVD performing many of Rumi’s poems live in only. 2 hours. $22. front of an appreciative audience in his beloved backyard at the University of Georgia in Athens. Every word is true. AU proceeds from the sale ofthis CD go to Pumpkin House for Children USA, a nonprofit corporation supporting the orphanage Pumpkin House for Children, India. $13.

There are a couple ofbonus treats listeners might enjoy. The last song, Out ofThe Path of The Morning Star contains a beautiftul reading by Murshida Carol Conner. I have also included the song Tonight by Brian Darnell. This song has definitely become a number one song for Baba singers and lovers everywhere and with very good reason. It’s a perfect Baba song. I love to hear it and sing it. I hope this version will please the listener. $20.

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I saw Muddy Waters at the Cellar Door in Georgetown; I saw Jethro Tull in Central Park; and I saw Coleman Barks at the Seney Stoval Chapel, in Athens, Georgia. Muddy sang about the hoochie coochie man; Ian Anderson sang songs ofa thousand mothers, and Coleman Barks didn’t sing at all, but the words he spoke made the pomegranate flower blush, made the cypress strong, and whispered to thejasmine, ‘You are what you are.’ For he spoke the words ofthe 13th Century Perfect Master, Jalaludin Rumi, the most-honored son of Afghanistan. Visit Amazon.com and you will find 62 books listed under Coleman Barks’s name. Many of these are his translations of Rumi’s mystical, sublime, and close-to-home poems of the sweetness of sugarcane, the eloquence oflanguage, and the love ofthe One to whom everyone and everything belongs. Read Barks’s Rumi and you find a place of solace; you let go; and thoughts of the madness of King George melt away. Experience Coleman Barks and you forget yourself Rumi’s words as expressed by Barks become a confluence of the road to Mecca

&ico 2’Jctdel, J4lelternbad n case you have not heard the news, yet another new personal invitation has arrived for you to explore for yourself the Great Mystery in the form of a brilliant new book, Infinite Intelligence. This is the latest book edited for publication by the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, admirably designed and printed by Sheriar Foundation. I highly recommend it. The book is an edition (along with supplementary materials) ofa manuscript penned in the mid-1920’s by an unknown scribe at Meherabad. The original text records in series an organized sequence of “talks” Beloved Baba gave the mandali at that time. He does not appear to have intended His talks primarily for publication; that is, He was not dictating a book. Rather, they seem like elucidations delivered for the benefit of His close ones. Perhaps, looking instead towards the years ahead and the challenges they would bring before His “boys,” He used these regular informal occasions to encourage and to train them. What would they need in the future? What would be useful to them? Love and obedience, of course, but also agile minds

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J4/lischa .Rzttenberg am very happy to announce this new double CD of songs celebrating our Beloved, Meher Baba. Many companions have mentioned that they often sing Baba’s name to my songs. I thought I would make this an easier practice by making a double CD as fol lows. CD 1 is the songs sung with lyrics. CD 2 has the same songs sung with Meher Baba’s name. So here it is... Love IsAll That Matters Now and Love IsAilMeher Baba is. I hope that listeners will enjoy the selection ofmaterial I have chosen to cover in this new collection. There are songs about The New Humanity and Baba, Masts and Baba, me and you and Baba, everything and Baba, ups and downs and Baba, Baba, Baba and Baba. I think the title sums it up!

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:apable of responding rapidly to new ideas. To teach this, He gave them many luminous ew ideas of His own. Today, you may read the content of those same discourses, expe ience some of the fresh vitality of that era md marvel at Baba’s mastery, authority and 1egant presentation. It will challenge you. All texts focus about the theme ofInfinite [ntelligence and its six roles, which parallel the ten states of God that are familiar to us From God Speaks. Perhaps the first question many people will ask is: “What is ‘Infinite Intelligence’?” It is the Natural Light of God, His Es3ence, in all God’s states, stages and roles. In this book Baba describes the original ‘Beyond State” (or the “Original Beyond State of God” in God Speaks) of this Intel[igence in these terms: “When not thinking, the Infinite Self, ilthough abiding in the Real Light or Natural Light state, does not experience Light but Natural Darkness instead” (Infinite Intelligence, p. 151). The Infinite Intelligence ofGod—i.e. your 3oul—directly, completely, spontaneously and perfectly knows whatever is before it. In His Original State, where “what is before Him” is Natural Darkness, He knows Nothing. Meher Baba in God Speaks describes this state as the ‘Sound Sleep State,” and says that this state is neither conscious nor unconscious, but mind You don’t conftise this with our daily sleep: God is not dozing here. Natural Light, i.e., Infinite Intelligence, aireadypervades Everything andwill eventually spawn the capacity for consciousness, thinking and all their related experiences. It Knows. The riddle of our mind comes about because our mind is so very close to the soul and illuminated byNatural Light.Thus the mind becomes both the primary object of Inteffigence’s Knowing and Its tool for gathering experiences. Throughout the new book, the cascade of Creation unfolds in sequence similar to God Speaks, but the starting point and point of view are slightly different. Further differences arise because God Speaks is primarily a book which details the “the Theme ofCreation and Its Purpose.” The materials comprising Infi nite Intelligence, by contrast, began not as a bookbut as the records ofBaba’s presentations to a group ofliving listeners. As the mandali in attendance grasped the new ideas, He built upon their increased understanding. When you read it today, you will quickly find yourself part of that audience in Meherabad, circa the mid-1920’s. As you become eager—like the original mandali-audience did—you will thrill to His skillftil exposition. 22

The tale ofthejourney ofthe soul in God Speaks is “the Ocean and the drop.” It begins with one unconscious soul, the drop. Infinite Intelligence moves back, forth and around the Ocean of Inteffigence. In God Speaks, near the start of Part 8, “Evolution of Consciousness,” in the first footnote occurs the only mention of “evolu tion and production.” It reads thus: “The whole Creation has come out of the Nothing. Out ofthe Nothing two things have emerged, evolution and production. Out of the Nothing, seven states of gas came into being. The seventh evolved state is hydrogen. Out of this seventh gaseous state evolution and production came into being. From the Nothing, most finite shadow and infinite shadow emerged simultaneously.” This same thread appears as a major idea all throughout Infinite Intelligence where it expands and develops into the major theme. (You can find this in Infinitelnteiigence in “Series 10. Ishwar, Imagination, and Thinking,” “The Crossing Lines ofThinking and Imagination,”which begins on page 174. The chart summary is on page 178.) Farther on in the same chapter of God Speaks, Baba sketches hints ofDivine Myster ies in a few beautiful lines: “As in the nature of the man state, so also in the nature of every state of God, God consistently asserts directly and indirectly, apparently and really, His infinite triune attributes of Creator, Preserver and Destroyer at one and the same time. Thus it is that the triune attributes of God, as God the Creator, God the Preserver and God the Destroyer (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh or Shiva) assert independently as well as simultaneously in all things and in every creature and in all beings, in every state of God at every stage in the evolution of consciousness, and on every plane in the involution ofconsciousness, (God Speaks, p. 111 or p.ll , depending on your version). 8 The deeper beauty pointed to by the above quotation is drawn, colored and revealed in great detail by an entire chapter of Infinite Intelligence, (Series 10, “Ishwar, Imagination, and Thinking,” pp. 174-21.) Although The Nothing and the Everything (by Bhau) and In Godc Hand (by Baba Himself) have already introduced to us some topics that appear in Infinite Intelligence, be assured there are many new surprising ideas here we have never heard before. My personal favorite is the revelation how each ofthe dif ferent yogas bring about the annihilation of sanskaras in different manners. As far as I can . . .“

gather, this was never explained before, even in the Bhagavad Gita. The editors have organized this initial presentation of the manuscript in a natural, straightforward way. The additional structure they provide via headings, synopses, side bars, charts and figures, indexes, the layout of the text on the page and other design decisions, delineate for the reader the main threads of the discourse. The original prose is lightly and delicately edited for style. The non-English phrases and passages are sensitively and faithfully rendered into smooth readable English. (The longer Gujarati passages are reproduced verbatim in the supplement.) Most of the words are unchanged; the play and flow of ideas and the sequence of Baba’s argument remain untouched. The first foundational chapters are re petitive, like the switchbacks that ascend a mountain. From the elevation of the peak, the view astonishes us: behold the precise nature of the uniqueness of the “Sadguru,” ( or God-Man and Man-God as Baba refined that terminology in later years). This jewel of revelation crowns the book. A splendid figure, “The Sadguru and His Two Hands,” summarizes this on p. 310. MI the original charts, an important part of the original manuscript, are given in the supplement as facsimiles. In the primary text they are presented in a form beautiflilly redrawn and translated for clarity The editors and artist have created additional new charts to summarize and draw together main ideas in many sections. This book is a doorway. It is clear, thorough, and honest. It is the most important book published yet thus far in this new mil lennium. It is undoubtedly the first of many that will be written about these texts. You will enjoy it. And when the manuscript becomes available online sometime in the coming year, this edition will help you to explore ffirther on your own the profound content of the actual original multilingual manuscript pages. These are an astonishing, immediate record from the life of the Avatar of the Age and a deeply moving record of an occasion of His giving to His close mandali in the opening years of His advent. Hard bound, 776 pages with charts and illustrations $75.


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Is Dying By Loving is a new CD by Raine Eastmaneing Gannett and Sam Saunders; songs by Francis Brabazon.

It is a work of art begun by Beloved Baba’s own poet, Francis Brabazon and brilliantly mastered into CD format 34 years later by the Beloved’s nightingale, Raine Eastman-Gannett. Francis began this project as a play, actually what is called a “dramatic song cycle,” during 1972 and 1973. The original drama/song cycle was a monumental work, consisting of 25 scenes set within a 24 hour time frame, from dawn of one day to dawn ofthe next day, and took three hours to perform. Raine has perfectly transformed this three-hour production into a one-hour alchemical synthesis of narration, song and melodious delight. Through this dramatic song cycle, we receive a glimpse of the deep despair, longing and ultimate realization of Baba’s continual presence in our hearts as the Beloved’s dear Francis did in the early years after His Lord dropped the body. Being Is Dying By Loving begins with five travelers who have each been told by their Beloved to meet Him on the beach at dawn. These pilgrims do not know each other, and travel by five different roads, converging on the beach eager to see their Beloved, only to find He I. is not there. They sit together, singing songs ofpraise and complaint to their missing Companion. To celebrate the release of this new CD, Raine staged a production of it in the theater at Meherabad on November 13th. There were four narrators and 2 percus sionists in addition to Raine’s vocals. The speaking parts were performed by Eric Solibakke, Sky and Shar Wiseman and Suzie Imura. Larry Thrasher and Joe Cool gave great . percussive accompani The stage was beautiftilly swathed with bolts of cloth in many shades of ocean blue and the ac tors, who sat on the stage in lotus positions, wore -...

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white with colorful turbans. Deafening applause and standing ovations from a packed house rewarded the cast. This is truly a briffiant accomplishment. Raine, being the trusted and devoted friend of Francis Brabazon that she was, has done a remarkablejob putting this together, with the help ofSam Saunders, who also plays guitar and sings on the album. The play is equally as compelling, and Raine has already been asked by five Centres to come and perform Being Is Dying By Loving at their Sahavases. This, all with the very preliminary release ofthe CD! You are really in for a treat! $14. Photos: Thp ofihepage: Eric, Sky, Shai; Suzie, Raine, Larry andJoe. Left the author and oct Francis Brabazon; middle left, Eric and Sky; bottom l/i, Lariy andJoe; right, Raine; bottom right 1 to i; Eric, Sky, Shai; and Suzie;

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LA Docurncntwj for oung Layers rJPctcr .Siiiiiiicr, L/lustrcilia e would like to invite you to be part of making a very special program that will focus on youth, and help awaken young and prospective Baba lovers to the uidance Baba gives us for living our lives Ln the 21st century. It will be directed by the Australian actor Peter Sumner, and features his son Luke onscreen as the main character )n his spiritual quest. Production begins Jan 2006 in Meherabad and will be completed by April 2006. Christopher Gordon, music :omposer on the blockbuster film Master and Connnande has agreed to be involved too! [nitially the program will be 52 minutes but we can also have a longer DVD version with extra material.

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The Story Luke Sumner, a 21-year-old Aussie, jourrieys to India in search of spiritual meaning. Baba’s Birthday (the working title) is a one[iour documentary on how young people find true and lasting values in today’s increasingly tense and confttsing world. We follow Luke to Meherabad where he will celebrate Avatar Meher Baba’s birthday, and be involved in the production of the Baba play. Along the way we see the bustling culture of Mumbai, the Pilgrim’s Centre in Meherabad, and places of pilgrimage for many thousands of people each year. The documentary concludes with the Dhuni fire ritual—a special occasion for surrender and rededication to God. Baba says, “Love and happiness are the only important things in life, and they are both absent in the dry and factual knowledge which is accessible to the intellect. Spirituality does not consist ofintellectual knowledge of true values, but in their realization.” The constant theme and inquiry of the documentarywill be: how do we realize those true values in our daily lives? Luke arrives in the chaos of Mumbai

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Airport and begins his journey ofdiscovery on the road to Meherabad. After settling in at the Pilgrim Centre and paying his respects at Baba’s Sama dhi, Luke meets up with Alan Wagner and learns of his involvement in the play to be presented on Baba’s birthday. Over the following weeks, we fol low Luke as he talks with Bhau Kalchuri, the other Mandali and the many young Baba lovers from around the world. Between rehearsals Luke visits Baba’s home in Pune and Babajan’s tomb and the many special Baba places and people around Meherabad. The documentary gathers momentum as the rehearsals become more intense. On Baba’s birthday Luke joins all the Baba lovers at sunrise at Baba’s Samadhi, and the opening night of the play reveals the delight of the audience as they follow another story from the life of Avatar Meher Baba. The production ends in a gentle sequence around the Dhuni fire where Luke and several young lovers speak about their love and life in Baba.

How You Can Help We are hoping to raise funds globally within the Baba communities. With a team of experienced professionals, we intend to make this documentary to TV standard, although we have no guarantee of broadcast. Key participant’s fees are being waived. Our producer and camera person is covering most essentials but ffirther costs are inescapable, such as accommodation, airfares, equipment for audio, camera, lighting, music licenses and editing, and even other personnel needed while we shoot for a month. So, we are humbly asking for donations of $1000 or more... and 40 or 50 contributors would raise the required budget. Our personal resources are very limited, but we are so committed to the project that we intend going ahead in February even if the full costs are not yet covered. But it is our sincere desire to maintain a high standard of production and that is where your kind

Luke in Babajanc tomb

donation will help enormously. We would welcome any amount you care to contribute and are happy to answer all your questions about the project. A copy of the completed production will be available to everyone, and ifit were deemed suitable, com mercial sales of the documentary would be sought, with profits returning to the Trust. Also, ifyou are planning on being in Meherabad in February we would welcome your help in the production as we lead up to the shooting ofBaba’s play. If you would like to participate and help us see this project blossom, please email us for more information. Also, our illustrated script will soon be on a website. We welcome all enquiries! Thank you. Email: babasbfrthday@mac.com Cl- P0 Box 1092 Queen Victoria Building, Sydney NSW 1230, Australia.

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hese days Danny is like a dolphin that J4laguire, Los ...Angeles smiled with surprise, “The music is making comes to the surface, dazzles us for a mo me feel happier, not sadder.” I agreed, and ment, then submerges again, leaving us staring others, is actually leading a life of inaction, when I came home this evening, I found that at the horizon. Just as I start to worry about whereas someone who seems to be inactive, Lynn, with assists from Ten and Misti, had him ever coming back up, he rises unexpect like Danny, maywell be very active on another put up our outdoor Christmas lights. edly, providing hope and wonder once again. plane of consciousness, moving toward the On the 11th Dannyenjoyed some highbrow Last week when Danny moved his hand goal. I don’t pretend to comprehend it, but entertainment when Elizabeth Pitcairn, an ex several times per Misti’s requests, I thought somewhere inside me the concept resonates tremely talented concert violinist, came to play we were witnessing a big breakthrough. I fell and helps as I spend my day with my son. for him. Just as wondrous as her playing was victim again to the trap ofraised expectations Meanwhile, all around us this past weekwe the instrument she played, a Stradivarius made and was laid low the past several days when found tragic reasons to be grateftil that Danny in 1720 and possessed of a colorftil history he failed to repeat the feat or show other is still in our presence. Here in Manhattan that inspired the movie The Red Violin, which substantial signs of improvement. Beach, a traffic accident took the life of a coincidentally was Danny’s favorite movie of With the trach out, his nutrition and blood high school girl Friday night, the only child 1998, a decidedlyodd choice for a 13-year-old. work good, and his spasticity leveling off (if of devoted parents. In our adopted town of At one time, the instrument was owned by not receding), there is little for us to do but New London, New Hampshire, a great guy the composer Felix Mendelssohn. It resided wait for the brain to heal, wait for him to named Bobby Andrews, aged 45, died sud in Berlin during the Second World War, then surface again. Having never been a patient denly, leaving a wife and three children. And found its way to NewYorkwhere eventually it person, I find this very trying. Jaylin’s dad, Al Carter, who founded a hip- was given to Elizabeth by her grandfather who And then of course, it’s Christmas time, hop record label, had one of his artists shot bought it at a 1990 auction. And now Danny which this year feels strange and uneasy. The dead last week while walking home from Al’s has been added to the history ofthe violin.The season often makes me a little melancholy any- studio in South Central L.A. concert was arranged by our friends, orchestra way, remembering loved ones no longer with us, With my limited consciousness I can’t conductor Carlo Pond and his wife Andrea, a or growing nostalgic for the days when Danny fathom why there’s so much sorrow and grief wonderftil violinist in her own right. We were was little and I’d load him into the car at night in the world. My heart aches for the loved ones all struck by how enraptured Danny was by and we’d drive round the neighborhood admir of the deceased and afflicted. Again, I take the incredible tone and passion of Elizabeth’s ing the light displays until he fell asleep in his car some comfort in the Gita, wherein Krishna playing. Between numbers Danny drifted off seat. The past weeks, amid all the decorations maintains that our consciousness “is not born to sleep, but as soon as the music resumed, and the soundtrack ofthe old familiar songs, it’s and does not die; having been, it will never not his eyes were wide and focused on the violin, hard not to let my thoughts drift into the rosy be; unborn, enduring, constant and primordial, clearly listening careftilly as he always does past or the uncertain fttture. it is not killed when the body is killed.” when music is played live for him. So it’s been a tough few days, and I have In this cynical age, when so many things Back on July 19th, Lynn wrote, “We love to confess, my faith was getting kind of shakyc seem to be going wrong throughout the world, you Danny, please come home,” on a three-byBut throughout Danny’s “adventure” I’ve rarely it’s still hard for me to believe that ifwe make five card and placed it on Danny’s pillow on his gone very long without feeling some sense of a purposeftil effort to surrender our hopes, bed here at home. At the time, his homecom the divine. Often, reading the words of Jesus, fears, happiness and sadness to our higher ing seemed like such a slim possibility that Meher Baba and others, has given me strength power, things will work out all right. Hard to it used to choke me up every time I went to and kept me buoyant. This week I was com believe but true. Maybe not according to our kneel alongside his bed to pray for him. Today forted by the Bhagavad—Gita, or “Song of the expectations, but all right nonetheless. I went in there and got “pooky” (Lynn’s word) Lord.” Reading for the first time the ancient Yesterday, I concentrated on letting go of for a different reason: we have arranged with Hindu scripture which inspired Thoreau, T.S. the sadness and fear and trying to be in the a transportation service to bring Danny home Eliot, Gandhi, and billions of others, I was moment with Danny, without expectations for for Christmas. We’ll put a hospital bed in the moved bythe admonition ofLord Krishna that the future or nostalgia for the past. After I left, front room, near our piano, and put up some we should carry out our duties and fulfill our Danny spent most of last night “vocalizing” screens for privacy. We’ll borrow his feeding responsibilities without expectation of reward, to Misti. She worried that he kept his room- machine from CareMeridian and give him striving to remain detached from the results of mate Miguel awake, voicing many syllables sponge baths for the time being and see how our labors. It was a reminder to me to treasure she hadn’t heard from him before. And then we cope, with an eye toward having him home myopportunityto serve Dannywithout putting today, he smiled several times, comfortable. for good. The plan now is to take him back to a yardstick or timetable to his recovery leaving But I’m not letting my expectations get the CareMeridian on December 27th. But I’m the results to God. better of me this time. On another positive already wondering how we’ll ever let him out Krishna, as God in human form, frtrther note, Danny has spent between 2 and 4 hours ofthe house again. Let’s see what happens. As explains that it is the destiny of each one of in his wheelchair each of the past four days I keep saying, Danny has alonglonglong way us to eventually merge our consciousness with no blood pressure issues. to go, but he’s already come a miffion miles, with God’s, that this is the real goal of life Today, Lynn asked me to get our Christ- step by step. Fve also said on more than a few and that a man who seems very active in the mas CDs down from the attic. I did so with occasions: thank you for all your continued world but who is not progressing toward this trepidation, worried about the emotions prayers, good thoughts and love. Thank you goal by serving others and loving God in they would raise, but after a few songs, Lynn for participating in miracles.


cissiQn of the Christ” 2 w :J 1 ‘7 Continuedfrom thejanuary 2005 issue] April 17, 2004, the Ahmednagar Cen tre Baba lovers watched The Passion of he Christ. I wanted them to see the compas ion and love ofthe Lord for those who were nfficting violence upon Him. People cannot magine that human beings could be so brutal, )ut the violence shown in the film is nothing :ompared to what actually happened. How could anyone inflict such violence ipon the Lord? Because Lord Jesus Himself vanted it to happen. It was His Wish. And :herefore, no one should be blamed. He, Who gave life to the dead, Who gave ;ight to the blind, could He not save Himself? Hie wanted those who brutalized Him to see :hat when He was crucified, He displayed )nly compassion and love. And how powerftil vere His words to the apostles, “Love those vho are crucifying Me.” There is a spiritual post called the Post of Thrist or the Post ofAvatar occupied by the Dne Who remains eternally free yet eternally )Ound to Creation. Christ is eternal and canriot be crucified. He always handles His work through this Post, and when a Universal Push is required, He comes down on Earth. Sometimes He is called Son, sometimes Avatar. At other times, He is called Messiah, the Prophet or Rasool. But He is the same Ancient One Who has responsibility for the whole of Creation. When Illusion grows so 1oes ignorance, and in order to minimize it, Fle comes down upon the Earth. Everything happens according to the Divine Will. The Devil (Maya or Satan) works under Divine Will. A leafcannot move without Divine Will, and the wind cannot blow without it. The Divine Will cannot be understood. It must be experienced. But the Divine Wish can be understood. When the Avatar comes down on Earth, He creates awareness in people and gives them love so that they may be rid ofignorance in order to follow His Wish. And ifyou follow His Wish lovingly, you can gain awareness of God and ultimately experience the Divine Will. Though the Devil is Shadow, God gives Him power to become the medium of His work. And just as God is in everyone and everything, the Devil is also in everyone and everything, but in different forms. The Avatar comes upon the Earth to weaken the Devil’s force so the evolution of consciousness—gas, stone, metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal and human beings, the last evolved

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form ofwhich none is greater—may progress naturally. The Devil’s work in Illusion remains in every kingdom of consciousness until the end. Then you realize that the Devil is just the Shadow ofGod and that you never passed through evolution or involution. You never made anyjourney; the Devil was showing you a dream. But this dream contains innumerable dreams. To realize Truth, you have to pass through them until, ultimately, you wake up from this long dream. Creation was created for this purpose. On April 18, 2004, I went to Meherazad and spoke to the ladies and the residents about The Passion ofthe Christ. Theywere very interested, and I thought it better to mention the beginning of the film. Jesus Christ was praying to His father on the Mount of Olives when the serpent and the Devil appeared. The Devil was dancing to show His power and make fun ofJesus. But when Jesus saw the serpent, He stepped on its neck. This indicates that He comes down on Earth to crush the power of Illusion. When Jesus finished praying, He came back to His apostles and found them sleeping. He said, “Can’t you keep awake with Me a little while?” Just after that, Jesus was sur rounded by Roman soldiers. To make them recognizeJesus,Judas said, “Hail Rabbi” and kissed Him. And the soldiers arrested Jesus. J udas was the Lord’s treasurer, responsible for marketing. He loved Jesus so much that he wanted the Lord to manifest Himself as Realityc Outwardly, it appeared as ifJudas had

betrayedJesus. But do you think His treasurer would betray Him for a few coins? It was not greed that caused Judas to commit this act. J esus internally madeJudas do it. Afterwards, Judas realized his mistake and felt so much pain because ofhis treachery that he hanged himself During the struggle with the soldiers, one of the apostles cut a soldier’s ear. But before the apostle could kill him,Jesus said, “If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Then Jesus put His hand on the soldier’s ear and healed it. The Lord allowed Himself to be crucified by those afraid they might lose their right and position. I don’t want to go into details regarding the film’s violence, but I will mention certain important aspects. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crows. As Jesus was being brought before Pontius Pilate, a Roman said to Peter, “I’ve seen you with Him! You are one of His apostles!” “I don’t know this man,” Peter replied. Peo ple may think that Peter denied the Lord out of fear, but Peter had no fear. Actually, Lord Jesus wished Peter to deny Him, and He made the apostle do it. About this incident, Beloved Baba said that Peter wept so continuously that he developed grooves in his face. Mother Mary had tears in her eyes when esus J was beaten. As the soldiers were taking Him to the cross, what did He say? “Mother, I am creating a new world.” And what strength was there in His words? Her tears stopped. When He was about to be crucified, He told His disciples, “Love those who are crucifying Me.” How powerfttl were these words! They gave His apostles the strength to remain composed, and they did not utter a word. But nobody has any idea what was going on within them. As He was being crucified, Jesus said, “0 Father, forgive them all, for they know not what they are doing!” What compassion and what love Jesus had for humanity! People see this in the film, but they cannot see how much burden He took upon Himself by allowing Himself to be crucified. And what is this burden? The impressions (sanskaras) of Illusion which bind everyone so that they forget God. In fact, our mind is the seat of the Devil. And what sustains the Devil? Our own deeds, thoughts and words. This is the food of the


What a game the Lord was playing! NoWhen the Avatar is in a physical body, He Devil. And unless you get rid of your own knows the secret behind it. We observe limited mind, you cannot get rid of Illusion uses His Infinite Knowlege for His Universal body Work. He does not use His Infinite Power and discuss the violence, but we don’t underand ultimately the Devil. it happened according to the Wish The Bible says that God asked Adam and and Infinite Bliss. He suffers physically, men- stand that His work is beyond understanding. Eve to remain in Paradise and not eat the tally and spiritually. But after He drops His ofJesus. can you bring it under the limit of fruit from a prohibited tree. But the serpent physical body, though He suffers mentally How When you do, it becomes Illusion. offered fruit from the tree to Eve. Then Eve and spiritually, He is free to use His Infinite intellect? Truth can only be felt through the heart, offered the fruit to Adam, and Adam ate it. Power, Infinite Bliss and Infinite Knowledge. The His work is beheld under limitless So God became angry and threw them out He connects His infinite consciousness with and when everyone and everything, and therefore a Truth, it remains the Truth. of Paradise. His love is unimaginable, and should make It is a very beautiful story. Adam was the physical body is not required. Gradually, He down to Him all the time, in such a first One Who came into Creation. The cleans the burden He has taken upon Him- us bow we never lift our heads. Only then serpent is the representative oflllusion. Eve self. So gradually people receive awareness, way that become aware of the Lord’s love and represents original Maya (Satan or Devil). and 100 years after the Avatar drops His body, can we compassion. Though we are all His mischie Because original Maya is the first Shadow His Universal Manifestation takes place. But in the case ofJesus, His manifesta vous children, our Compassionate Father of God, it always remains with God. And ignores us. because God is always One, He is indivisible. tion occurred more than 100 years after the never significant that the film was released is It die not did Jesus Because Why? So throughout the evolution and involution of crucifixion. Baba’s birthday, as celebrations Beloved on buried, was He after days Three cross. the consciousness, God is there in everyone and on all over the world. I believe on going were and Thomas apostles His With up. rose He everything, and the Devil is also there. Meher Baba inspired Avatar Beloved that to on and Burma, to walked He , No one has any idea how the Lord suf Bartholomew and direct this film. It write to Gibson Mel seclusion, in was years,Jesus many For fers for Creation, not so much for the lower India. touched my heart and made me realkingdoms, but a lot for humankind. When walking from one place ofpilgrimage to an- really how great is the love and compassion the intellect grows because of ignorance, it be- other.Jesus visited everywhere, from North to ize One has for Creation! Ancient Nobody lectures. no gave He walking. comes very difficult to believe that God is South, a time has come when the Devil is Now He Ultimately, was. He Who know real. There are so many interpretations of came to working very hard. All low desires are increas God, and everyone wants to understand Him. dropped His body in Harvan, Kashmir. ing. We must pay attention to the Lord and af but active, remains always The Avatar But God is beyond understanding. The more try to remain detached from the world. The is work His n, Manifestatio you try to understand Him, the more you ter His Universal Devil will cultivate these attractions more remains ss Consciousne Infinite different. His misunderstand Him. and more until, ultimately, we will become If everything. and everyone with When religion forms, rules and interpreta connected completely helpless. No Earthly power will be love, with ly, wholehearted Him tions oftheTruth are made bythe priest class. someone calls able to help us. Only the Lord, the Compas attention no pays He But call. They turn religion into rituals, ceremonies He answers their sionate Father, will not fail us, and, therefore, 400 why, is Him.This call not and tradition. The Devil encourages religions to those who do it is high time that we pay more attention n, Manifestatio Universal His to employ these so that people just follow or 500 years after towards His Wish. This is the only solution grows. ignorance work, them mechanically. God is forgotten, and because ofthe Devil’s the world situation goes from bad to before the and changes world rituals, ceremonies and traditions become The situation in the from worse to worst. and worse again. back Avatar has to come very popular. and Sisters, these are not mere Brothers 0 wants. He what do To So what is our duty? This is why God has to come down on something behind the film, is There words. even others, love and Earth age after age, not only to express His We should love Him, realize it now, one day don’t ifyou even and feelings bad have not Divine Wish, but to make people aware of our enemies. We should The Lord will recourse. is no There will. you Divinity Each time He comes, the world is for anyone. us realize His make will He and us, fail not a approach Ifyou But how to show love? different, and He has to express His Wish We will look Him. follow to order in Wish love So time. no in tiger, he will devour you accordingly. and the Him, after go and Him, towards Don’t him. embrace As I watched the film, I remembered the the tiger, but don’t try to happen, to going is This us. follow will world we everyone, love last phase ofBeloved Avatar Meher Baba’s life, hate anyone. Ifwe cannot does. it before time is there but should We others. when there was internal (though not external) at least should not harm Though the Devil’s work is going to the violence. At the time of Lord Jesus, external do no backbiting, we should not hate. We simultaneously spirituality is going zenith, our control violence happened when He was crucified. should not deceive, and we should And in order to achieve that zenith. the to don’t we But Meher Baba’s suffering was so much more. low desires out oflove for Him. must follow His Wish. we spirituality, Devil. One day, as He was suffering from spasms, follow Him, we follow the to follow the Lord, not the duty our is It Jesus Lord The situation was such that He said, “When I was Jesus, My crucifixion our desires and wants control to and Devil, it when And lasted only for a day. But now I am crucified had to create external violence. Lord will take care of The temptations. and utter not did happened, what did He do? He every day, and no one has any idea.” are my Brothers and you as And us. of all him seeing When Jesus was crucified and took on a word against those bent upon with you, but I pray plead only not I Sisters, priests the the burden of humanity why did people not crucified. It was Jesus who made that the world may so all, you for Lord the to He Him. immediately recognize Him? Beloved Baba and soldiers inflict violence upon love you have for and compassion the realize deny Peter and has explained that the Avatar’s first workis for also made Judas betray Him Lord. the actions their His Circle. Next, He works for His lovers, and Him. This was His work, and were all because of His Wish. His third work is for the whole world. 27


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J4/Iitchell 9?ose, Los ./lngeles (While in LosAngeles recently, Bhau requested is their fault thatJesus is killed—even though that I watch The Passion ofthe Christ. I did the crucifixion is God’s Plan. Mel Gibson had a way out for this which and sent my reaction to the movie to Bhau.,) he did not use: there is one brief scene in Dearest Bhauji, which one oftheJewish leaders says, “Where thought I’d let you know that as per your is the rest of the council—why are you dorequest I have watched The Passion ofthe ing this in the middle of the night?!” Mel christ. While I found the level ofdevotion in Gibson could have followed through on that the movie to be laudable, and while a follower and portrayed those who insisted on Jesus’ of the Avatar can’t help but be moved by the persecution as being a zealous minority But suffering oftheir Master, to be honest, I have he dropped that thought. It is soon clear mixed feelings about the movie. that all the Jews hate Jesus and want Him Here are some ofthe reasons: I found the dead. When Jesus is first arrested, the Jews depiction of the Christ to be a little superfi throw Him off a bridge twenty feet down, cial. To me He was represented as being too dangling on the end of his chains. This is much “a man”—a man who had contact with not in the Bible, and it leads me to think that God—rather than being truly divine Himself Mel Gibson has little regard for how he has In the beginning He is in agony struggling portrayed the Jews in the movie. He should with God’s Will that He should soon under- know that movies are very powerful and that take the crucifixion. I found this too “mortal.” this sort ofthing can fttel anti-Semitism in the And for much of the movie, Satan is trying world. Nevertheless, I did find much of the to tempt Jesus. That’s what happens to a movie interesting and thank you for urging man—but the Avatar is untemptable. From me to experience it. what I understand of Baba, when He had Much love in Baba, His accidents, He was resplendent. Although Mitchell Rose J esus’ body would have been in tremendous pain, I have the feeling thatJesus would have ( Bhau response) been exuding a deeper happiness over being My dearest Mitchell Rose, able to carry out His Work so successfhlly. I am really happy that you saw The Pas I found that the movie was too skewed sion ofThe Christ as per my request, and I am toward the cruelty of man, rather than the touched with your love and devotion. But compassion of the Christ. The nonstop whatever impression you have got out of this beatings, the stumbling to the ground over movie, it is natural for you and I can very and over and over, and the abject cruelty was well understand. There is no doubting the numbing after awhile. Making the same point exaggeration of the violence, but we should thirty times does not make the point stronger remember the touching words, which He had or better, and it often diminishes the point. said before the crucifixion to the apostles—He Lastly, I would also say this: I grew up in a said, “Love them who are crucifying Me” and J ewish household. I am not a practicing Jew, at the end when He was about to be crucified, and my love of Baba satisfies my spiritual He said, “0 Father, forgive them all who know life without needing to fit into a religious not what they are doing.” doctrine. However, there is Jewish blood in When the Ancient One comes down on my veins and, if not a religious Jew, I can’t Earth, there is nothing for Him but to suffer help but be a culturalJew. From this point of for humanity. He goes on suffering and suf view I found the movie troubling. For twenty fering and nobodyknows. At the time ofLord centuries,Jewish people have been persecuted J esus people could only realize the external for being responsible for killing Christ. This suffering. But internally, how He suffered, no movie can only exacerbate that I’m afraid. The one knows. He did not die on the cross. He J ews are at the center of cruelty and hatred rose up from the grave in three days and He in the movie. The Roman leaders are por went walking to India. He walked around the trayed as being sympathetic—having to bow whole oflndia. He went to the places where to the political realities in order to preserve Ram, Krishna and Buddha were born. He also the peace. Herod is an idiot and so can be visited the places ofpilgrimage and ultimately, discounted. But the Jews are truly evil and it after many years, more than 100 years, He

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dropped His physical body in Kashmir. And therefore, nobody knows His internal suffering. They know onlythe external. But external suffering cannot give any idea ofthe suffering that He was feeling internally. You are somewhat right about its creating anger in the Jews and I accept it. But whatever Mel Gibson has done, his attitude was not to show the love but to show the cruelty toward Jesus, and he focused the movie on cruelty. Whatever it may be, it touches the heart. At least it touched my heart because I have observed how Beloved Baba suffered and suffered during His seclusion from 1967. And one day He said, “When I was Jesus my crucifixion was only for one day, but I am cru cified every day and no one has any idea.” And because of that, this movie on The Passion of the Christ touched myheart. And, I could feel somewhat His internal suffering. It was very, very difficult for the Mandali to be with Beloved Baba observing how He was suffering. He would get spasm after spasm, and six Mandali members would catch hold of His body, and still His body would go up and down. And He would say, “I have taken this burden for the work ofthe Universe and I will offer the body to the universe in the form ofpowder.” It was unimaginably difficult to be with Him and witness His suffering. The crucifixion was quite different and more severe than what is shown in the movie at the time ofJesus. You are right, everything happens according the Divine Plan, and He suffers according to Divine Plan. Because whatever work He has to complete, He cornpletes according to Divine Plan. Though He has the authority to change the Divine Plan, He seldom does so. Whenjesus was there, at that time, only the Western world accepted Him after His Universal Manifestation. At this time, Beloved Baba has said that the whole world will recognize Him because this is the end of a cycle of cycles. This was the reason why Beloved Baba visited so many countries. And you will be amazed to know that people from Russia have started coming to Meherabad, and people from China are in communication with me, and the Chinese group may come to India this year! Bhau


What’s 4 2Iappenin9 at JkieherctbQdc

Duncan Knowles,filrn makerpar excellence, attended the Los Angelespremiere ofhisfilm Oh What a Beautiftil Morning about the Prague OK5Oth Anniversary of Baba sccident

Ursula Reinhart told us (‘in a most amusing manner) ofher meetings with Baba in the 60s when she was a total world traveling hipie.

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visitungifom Australia with their book table was theirfavourite spot!

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This quilt ofBaba T-shirts so beautfiilly made by Marta Velasquez soldfor $125. 29


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Celebration ofJivcs Benutifui1y Lived

EDarwin 5haw 1 Ann Conlon 1 cA1arjuerite Tokj and Esftindüir 7)asiIi rDmurn SIigiw Steve Ei3emj,

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arwin Shaw went peacefully to beloved Baba on Sunday, October 2, surrounded by his family in Asheville, North Carolina. Darwin and his wifejeanne first met Baba in NewYorkin 1932, a meeting Darwin described by saying, “As He and I shook hands, we looked into each other’s eyes. For me, it was an inde scribably glorious moment. This was our first glimpse into the infinite pools of Divine Love that were Meher Baba’s eyes. His handshake might have reached down through some two thousand years to clasp mine at that moment. I saw Him as the Christ, and no words can adequately describe what poured forth from my heart as I recognized the Beloved—the living Christ. I felt instant rapport with Him and experienced a great spiritual upliftment. It was like the fttffillment of an “impossible dream.” Darwin became a tremendous and loving force in spreading Baba’s message. Baba told Darwin in the 1930s, “I give you and your work all my blessings.” Darwin and Jeanne began holding Baba meetings in their home in upstate NewYork in the 1930s, something that they continued to do for decades. During the 1940s, Darwin was very involved in the development of the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. The Shaw family spent time with Baba in 1952, 1956, 1958 and 1962. Additionally, Darwin was one of the fortunate men who spent Three Incredible Weeks with Baba in 1954 at Meherabad. As a result ofso much deep inner and outer contact with Baba, Darwin also became a much sought-after speaker. Wherever he went there was a rich, palpable feeling of Baba’s loving presence all around him. In his last years, Darwin completed his recently published book, As Only God Can Love. A Lj/ètirne of Companionship with Meher Baba (Sheriar Foundation, 2003).

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Leatrice and Darwin The following are Darwin’s words, ex cerpted from this book, pp. 552-553. “In trying to describe our experiences with Baba, we often tell stories ofevents that took place in the past, especially so since Baba dropped His physical body. Thus, many lis teners are misled into thinking that a personal relationship with Baba the Divine Beloved, cannot have the same quality ofintimacy and revelation now that he is not in the physical body with which we identified him. Many bemoan the fact that they missed seeing Him and do not even suspect that a ftill-force, vital, living relationship with him can and should be a part of their lives right now. I base my recognition ofwho Meher Baba is on my personal experiences with Him, both at the physical level and at the inner level of the Spirit. During His physical lifetime, Baba repeatedlyexplained that He was not his physi cal body, but Infinite Consciousness. Baba cannot be confined to any limited period of time, nor can He be limited to conditions ofhaving a physical body through which to manifest Himselffor his Universal Work. It is true that while He was with us, using His physical body as a vehicle to draw us toward Him in the Spirit, He was able to reveal so much of Himself that we experi enced love in extravagant abundance and were astounded. However, that experience did not end, but continues!

When Baba dropped His body, He did not disconnect from this world, but continues to remain conscious of us and to draw us to Him on the inner journey to the divine Beloved He always is. In one of my first meetings with Baba, He said, “Through love you will see Me as I really am.” And in India in 1954 He said, “After I drop My body you will love Me more and more and see Me as I really am.” Even while He was still in His body, Baba revealed to : us some measure of the awesome beauty and sweetness, the unqualified, measureless and timeless nature of His Being of Love. What is ofvital importance for the world to know is that Meher Baba is still completely and continuously accessible; His sweet love is still available to us. It is like a secret treasure: the most valuable and wonderful treasure in creation. My own experience is that He is as real and as intimately with me now as He was while in the body. In the Master-disciple relationship with Him, I am aware of Him in the Spirit. Baba Himselfdescribed this relationship in a cable to me “Those who are united in love are always in spirit and know no separation.” Since dropping His physical body, He has manifested and continues to manifest His pres ence and timeless love for us.

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5Iüiniii T969 21rni Peterson, Walnut Creek have dear Rick Chapman to thank for finding Darwin andJeanne in Schenectady, NY,just minutes away from my parents home in Ballston Spa. I had written Box 1101 for more information in December of 1969, having heard of Baba in June of 68 in the 11th grade, from AndyMedina. I was Debbie Peterson then. Rick took the time to look at a map while answering my request for more information. I immediately took my parent’s car and found the Shaw’s home, a small white

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a few nights later. Soon to see ifyou need help at the Center.” Kitty: “Right. How old are you?” after I arrived and we Me: “Eighteen.” settled into their living Kitty: “Right. You want to leave your room, they handed me home. I suggest you make Darwin parents’ soon As button. Baba a your new family and attend their Jeanne and to it had I I as touched are frill ofBaba’s Love.” Click. They meetings. forehead. my it on place Kitty was That of Divine waves I felt I finally did move to Myrtle Beach and Force circling my head, started volunteering at the Center, which led They layer. layer upon hired as the first receptionist at being my to me. watching were silent, Pine Lodge, where guests opened newly the touch Baba “Did Meher received. were said they this?” I asked, I would always see the Shaws when I re “Yes.” V/e sat silently home to visit my family.The meetings turned Baba’s for a long time as made up only ofyoung people. By then were and Love grew stronger Wolverton, Ken and Barbara Jeff time this light and wood two story house at the end ofa dead end stronger. There was nothing but Denny Moore, Bill Cliff , Rick Richstad, was love, pulsating, breathing. This is what it street, 2 Castine St. etc. had come and even Dreyden, Nancy and Theyweren’t home so I left a message and like at the Shaw’s, always. would drive down. Boston from lovers some More young people started coming, includ drew a picture of an angel and wished them vibrant Baba lovers. wonderful, many a merry Christmas. When I got back home ing Ken Lux and mybest friend in high school, So and I married California in live Now I my mother said I had received a call from a Virginia Reamer. The meetings were a lifeline onjuly 9. We Creek, ofWalnut Peterson, Mr. Shaw and he left his number. I called and for us. To hear the truth ofMeher Baba’s words Jim Beach and we had d Myrtle in Darwin invited me to the next meeting, on a and actually share Baba’s presence with long- honeymoone Summer and Darwin with visit sweet Saturday night. His gentle voice and manner time lovers who were like living fountains of a very whis only could Darwin 11. July Turner on His light! What a rare privilege! quickened my being. old and times old about chatted We would meditate on Baba at the end per but we I imagined Darwin would have long grey smiled We light. with shone eyes hair pulled back in a pony tail, and he would of the meeting, sometimes holding hands, friends. His wear a turtleneck andjeans and work as some and then Jeanne would serve apple juice and and gazed at each other a lot, sharing Baba’s sort of craftsman. Jeanne would have white cookies and there was everyday talk. After Love, as always. hair worn in a bun and wear a shawl and she the blissfial meditations, I think these chats would be a potter. Imagine my surprise when helped bring us back to normal so we could Darwin opened the door and I saw him and drive home safely. J eanne, the essence of normal. There were Darwin and Jeanne became my spiritual also five or six elderlyladies already gathered. mother and father. We would meet for lunch I felt out of place until Leatrice, beaming or dinner (they loved cafeteria style), and at me, said “Oh look! We’re both wearing sometimes they would come to my parents’ house to visit or to pick me up for some outpurple skirts!” Their small living room was stuffed with ing. They loved to drive in Adirondack State comfortable ffirniture, tables with lamps and Park and have picnics. One favorite place was photos, a hi fi, bookshelves, a cabinet with Lake Lucerne, where Darwin was born. We Baba treasures, including Baba’s sadhra. There played Frisbee on the beach and swam. Darwin were doilies on the couch and chairs. It was exercised regularly, he even ice skated in the just like a grandparent’s home, so cozy and winter; he stayed in great shape. We sometimes visited Leatrice and her comfortable. But normal it wasn’t. It was husband John and daughter Shari, who was permeated with Divine Force. Late, by rnyscij I sat next to Darwin at that first meeting. two years old when I met her. She was angelic. ill the boat of niyscif As he read from the Discourses, I began to One day, as Darwin and a young man I had hO lijjlit and no land feel I was on fire. I felt I wouldn’t be able to brought to visit were having a very intellectual aiiyn’liere, sit still! I wanted to cry out, “I know! I know!” conversation about God, I noticed Shari on thick. cloudcover I couldn’t believe the ladies sat so quietly, in top of a chair we were standing near, rocking 3 try to stay fact one was asleep, snoring! (Jeanne said it back and forth singing, “Baba says Love! Baba just above the surface, was the only place she could get good rest). says Kiss!” That was my philosophy too! Darwin kept turning to look at me with J eanne always remembered birthdays and E et D’m already under those deep blissful eyes and his radiant chest holidays and would write often after I had and iiving and electrified breathing. I was in heaven. moved to Myrtle Beach. It was Jeanne who fl)if J eanne and Darwin invited me to come suggested I call Kitty Davy at Meher Center 7 he Ocean. back alone so we could get to know one an- to see if the center needed help cleaning The Illuminated Riimi, © Coleman Barks, other. Fortunately my parents didn’t keep a cabins etc. Here’s how the call went: 1997, page 63. Me: “Jeanne and Darwin suggested I call tight rein on me and I was able to drive over 3’ -


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L?QVS ir1 b Darwin Sliciw eeing him, Norma said, “Wait here; maybe Baba will see you for a moment.” Then she walked quickly over to meet Baba, spoke to Him, and pointed over at us. Baba nodded yes, and they came directly over to us. Norma introduced us, and we shook hands with Baba. As He and I shook hands, we looked into each other’s eyes. For me, it was an indescribably glorious moment. This was our first glimpse into the infinite poois of Divine Love that were Meher Baba’s eyes. His handshake might have reached down through some two thousand years to clasp mine at that moment. I saw Him as the Christ, and no words can adequately describe what poured forth from my heart as I recognized the Beloved—the living Christ. I felt instant rapport with Him and experienced a great spiritual upliftment. It was like the fuffillment of an “impossible dream.” I was overjoyed. Baba’s beauty the sweetness of His love, which could not be expressed in words—the joy, the sparkling wonder of His Being! One could not prefigure Him. One could not imagine how it would be, what He would be like. He was more than one could imagine—much more, immeasurably more. Although this meeting with Meher Baba was very brief, it seemed for an instant as though time stood still, and I caught a feeling oftimelessness in the presence of the Timeless One. J eanne, on the other hand, was somewhat distracted by seeing Baba in those Western winter clothes and did not have the same wonderful reaction I had when meeting Him. As we parted, with Baba and Norma walking toward the elevator, andJeanne and I walking toward some chairs in the hotel lobby,Jeanne was irresistibly impelled to turn, in order to get another glimpse ofHim.To her surprise, just as she turned, Baba,whose backwas to us, also turned and, looking directly at her, folded His hands and bowed slightly to her. Jeanne turned quickly away, feeling that she had been caught trying to sneak alook at Him, but then she could not resist turning twice more to look at Him. Each time, Baba also turned as she was turning, folded His hands and bowed to her. As a result ofthese rather furtive intimate exchanges, with Baba responding to her as He

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did, Jeanne realized that Baba was, indeed, an exceptional being. We both had much to think about as we sat down. We were soon joined by a little elderly lady, Bessie Allen, whose appointment with Baba for that day had also been canceled. She had baked a cake for Him, and she felt confident that we would all get to see Him that afternoon. We, on the other hand, were content to have seen Baba as we had, and we did not dare to hope to see Him again that afternoon. Great feelings had already been awakened within us, and we were very as it was.

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beautiful, and He greeted us with a smile and motioned for us to sit beside Him on the bed. Bessie Allen sat on Baba’s right, and Jeanne sat on the left side of Baba, with me sitting next to her. Such close proximity to Baba was too much for Bessie, and she threw her arms around Him and exuberantly exclaimed, “My Master, at last I’ve found you!” Meantime, Jeanne started to weep uncon trollably. She became quite distressed about this, thinking that this was spoiling our time with Baba. Baba quickly responded to her dilemma by disengaging Bessie’s arms and then reaching over with His right hand and it on Jeanne s left wrist Im ,J placing mediately Jeanne s tears stopped as 4 if (as she described later) a water tap d been turned off and she became calm and poised. While still holdingJeanne’s wrist, Baba looked past her and into my eyes. He went to work right away: I felt that He was looking over my inner consciousness and at the same time planting seeds for future work that I would be doing for Him. There was little conversation. We did not come with questions or for an intellectual contact, but to offer ourselves in His Cause and to be ac cepted by Him. He said, “I am very happy that you came” and “I have been helping you always.” Simply being in His presence was quite enough for us. He was already working with us at the heart level while we, like sponges, were soaking up the Divine Love that enveloped and permeated us. I could also feel Baba putting me to work right away on inner levels; it was as though He was rearranging my sanskaras (impressions) and programming me for work to be done for Him in the future. Baba turned to Norma, who was leaning against the heat radiator, and told her to make an appointment for us to see Him again on Friday, two days hence. “But Baba,” Norma said, “there is no room!” “Make room.” Baba said. Later on Norma arranged the time for the appointment with us.We were actually with Meher Baba for just a few moments, but they were timeless and priceless. Baba filled our hearts with His love and beauty We were exposed to a spiritual greatness such as we could never have anticipated. Truly, there is no such thing as a “brief contact” with the Infinite: It is a timeless moment measured in eternity and it stays with one forever. -

Baba giving Darwin prasaci Leatricefar left,

Jeanne behind Baba and Renae to Darwini right. As it turned out, however, Bessie Allen was right. After a while, we noticed Elizabeth Patterson coming from the elevator toward us. When she reached us, she said, “I guess you are the ‘three people sitting in the lobby’ that Baba wants me to bring up to see Him.” We were surprised, but gladly followed her to the elevator. On the way up to Baba’s suite, Elizabeth explained that in the midst of a string of interviews, Baba suddenly held up His hand, indicating that there should be an interruption. Then He held up three fingers and, pointing them downward, conveyed, “Go down to the lobby and bring up the three people who are waiting there.” After waiting a few minutes in the living room of Baba’s suite, we were told that we could go in to see Baba, who was receiving people in His bedroom. As we entered the room, we saw Him sitting on the far side of the bed. This time He looked completely different. His long, dark hair was hanging down to His shoulders; He wore a long, white Indian sadra and had sandals on His feet. Norma stood nearby, and Chanji was there to read Baba’s alphabet board. Baba looked very


Baba sat with one foot on the carpet and the other leg crossed over His knee, and this placed His raised footjust a few inches in front of me. I could scarcely believe my eyes as, looking at His lovely foot, I realized that here was the sacred foot of Christ. Scenes of Mary of Bethany washing the feet of Jesus and wiping them with her hair came to mind, and I was consumed with a -o by LernardBru/brd, Meherazad, 1981 longing to kiss Baba’s foot. But as I Jeanne, Francis and Darwin at Meherazad in September ‘82. looked up, I felt a bit awkward about Friday, December 15, in the afternoon, it with everyone looking. Then, a moment together with Donald Holloway and Faith later, to my surprise, I noticed that everyone Valentine, we went to keep our appointment seemed to be preoccupied and not noticing with Meher Baba at the Shelton Hotel. As me. Even Baba was looking away. Instantly we were entering Baba’s suite of rooms, we recognizing this as my opportunity, I bent noticed Tallullah Bankhead, a well-known forward and most gently and lovingly kissed movie star at that time, as she was leaving. His foot. As I straightened up, it seemed as After depositing our winter coats and hats though no one had noticed, but then Baba in the entrance room, we were directed to a reached forward and drew me close to Him. large living room. There we saw Baba, stand- Not knowing what He intended, I bowed ing to greet us, looking radiantly beautiful, my head, but Baba gently lifted my chin and wearing a white sadra and Indian sandals. kissed my forehead. While we were with Baba, time seemed His abundant, wavy hair flowed down to His shoulders. Baba’s secretary Chanji, was the to vanish far, far from our consciousness, but we actually were with Him on that occasion only other person in the room. Although it was a sunny afternoon, with for about twenty minutes. The experience ofbeing there with Baba sunshine streaming in through the windows, there seemed to be a special light in the was so incredibly wonderful that I found room that emanated from Baba. As I looked myself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be wonderat Him, this lightness became, for me at ful if Baba gave us something to keep as a least, a luminous glory, and it was thus that memento of this occasion?” Instantly, Baba I beheld the Christ, in the glorious radiance motioned to Chanji to bring a rose from a nearby vase. Then He gave each one of us a ofDivine Love. Baba sat down on a wide sofa and mo pink petal, saying, through Chanji and the tioned for us to sit on either side of Him. alphabet board, “This is something for you Donald and Faith sat on Baba’s left side, while to keep as a memento ofthis occasion.” I was Jeanne and I sat on His right side. But I felt truly amazed and very grateful. that somehow I must get closer to Him. The instant that I felt this, the idea flashed into my mind that I could kneel and sit back on my heels on the carpet right in front of Him. I have since come to believe that Baba flashed that idea to me in response to my longing to be nearer to Him. So, there I was at the feet of Christ. He was so beautiful, and being so close to Him was truly heavenly. As on the previous occa sions with Him, there seemed to be no need for words, but He did speak to us—via the alphabet board, with Chanji reading—about love. Baba said, “Through love you will come to see me as I really am.” At that time we al ready saw Him as the Christ and were almost overwhelmed by what we were beholding, so we could not imagine His unveiled spiritual Darwin with Baba at the 1954 Menc Meeting. splendor. -

Baba filled our hearts with love and light. Being with Him was a taste ofHeaven itself. We left Him, feeling secure in the sanctu ary of His love and knowing that somehow, someplace, we would see Him again in the future. As Oniy God Can Love pp. 27-30 ©2003 Darwin C. Shaw

A Cuioy for Darwjn .A4ark 2<eller did not know Darwin Shawwell at all, not as a human personality But I don’t think it’s inappropriate for me to stand here talking about him, because I believe that my experi ence with him was emblematic of so many peoples’ experiences, whether they knew him better as a man, or not. When Darwin told his tale ofBaba, I experienced Baba’s presence in that individual profound, yet sharable way that was uniquely Darwin’s. And later, upon reflection, I realized that it hadn’t really been Darwin Shaw beaming at me with that ferocious joy; it was Meher Baba, welcoming one more soul that was rightfully,joyously His forever. It never mattered to me ifl ever saw Dar win Shaw again. My meeting with Darwin had not been a meeting between Mark and Darwin, but between Meher Baba and Mark. Darwin knew it, and I knew it. Darwin had given me a glimpse ofBaba that would never leave me, and that was all that mattered. He had done his job, and Baba had done His. Twenty-five years later I did, in fact, meet Darwin again, when his granddaughter Shari and I got married, and he came to Myrtle Beach for our wedding reception. Darwin greeted us outside the Lantern Cabin when we arrived, and, being a mere 90 years old at the time, grabbed my suitcase and carried it into the cabin for me. When I met Darwin, I knew I had met a friend of God—I had met one of those who are set apart for that special, direct personal relationship with the Divine. And frankly, I was impressed that Baba had friends of this caliber. I knew that Baba saw Darwin mdividually, fully, perfectly, with absolute love. Darwin didn’t earn this grace, and he knew it. Remember his description ofBaba peering deeper and deeper into his eyes, uncovering layer after layer, finding lovely things, then turning aside, as irrelevant, the not-so-lovely things, until He had struck that core ofbeing where the love had lodged. No one can earn this kind of grace. Darwin Shaw was about the smartest, bravest, most dedicated man I

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will ever know; but he knew, as we all know, that nothing merits this grace. This is the unmatched, undeserved bounty of Avatar Meher Baba, and when we see a bit of it in one another, or in one as especially graced as Darwin Shaw, we feel humble, and, that rarest ofemotions, grateful. We knowwe are seeing a glimpse ofthe Divine Beloved, who loves us more than we could ever love ourselves. Ten days before Darwin passed, I read him a verse from Rumi, that he really liked, and I’d like to share it with ‘)U )iCiJ, O1))OI: who are like a gIveyoursefftp wIthout remorse That In reconijiensejor the dop yint Inaygamn the Ocean.

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To w6om, InL{eeds6ouldjortune LIke t6Is 6W(:? .:4 Sea has 6 ecome the suItor for a d’oj q god name, In god name, çive a d’oy andtake In return the Sea ‘WhIcI Isftu((fyear(c! Iii çod’s name, In çjod’s name, Do not make anypos,ponement, for these word come frotn the Sea f grace.

Darwin Shaw made no postponement. He gave himself up without remorse. I entered his room about half an hour after he died. I surveyed the fallen warrior who had given his all for his Master, Commander, Lord and Friend. There he was, utterly spent. And I am happy to say to you that as far as I could tell, that man was gone. He was about as gone as gone can be. Darwin Shaw knew where he was going, and who was calling him, and he was absolutely out ofthere. And for that I say, “Thank you Baba! Thank you for Darwin! Thankyou for all ofyour precious dear ones. And thank you, Baba, above all, for You!”

A. ik.ers: 7oiit JRiley, AsItville, 2’IC August of1967 Darwin Shawwas sched uled to speak in Woodstock, NY. There were perhaps 15 people in Woodstock devoted to Meher Baba at that time. My sister-in-law Maya Andrau and I were a committee of two who set about preparing the greater community for the upcoming event. We secured a wonderfiil, small theater for the Visual and Peiforming Ai-ts right in the middle of town. The event would be on Saturday evening.

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We secured interviews with the local papers as well as the radio station in Kingston nearby. We made and placed posters with Baba’s photograph throughout the community announcing the public talk. Darwin’s recollection of the planning of this talk mentioning Fred Winterfeldt, was incorrect. Fred was in no way involved—as a matter of fact, he was in New York City and didn’t even attend. It was a Saturday evening—the weather was perfect; the number of people arriving was extraordinary. The Baba people had vanous responsibilities at the Kleinent Hall. I had to leave for 15 minutes or so before the start of the program. When I returned, I noticed right away two big shiny motorcycles parked out front. Inside, the Hall was filled and people were standing against the walls. A central aisle led night up to a low stage. Two steps up, Darwin was seated. I introduced Darwin, who then began to inform the people about Meher Baba and his own relationship with Him. I was in the back, and noticed the two motorcyclists standing against the wall, half way down the noom.Theywere obvious to identify because of their size. They wore bandanas, T-shirts and leather vests and an assortment ofbracelets and chains. The bigger man wore a Celtic warrior’s torc [braided metal neckband] around his neck (I later found out that his name was McGraw.) He was especially muscular and decorated with a variety of tattoos. His hair was long and formed into a thick braid. Dense hair covered his arms and protruded out from under his T-shirt! Both men’s arms were folded determinedly! About ten minutes into the talk, I heard a commotion against the wall. The bigger biker was making his way toward the center aisle. He looked upset. Everyone looked towards him as he hastily made his way straight up in front of Darwin. Without any hesitation he raised his fist and said angrily, “I want to ask you somethin’ buddy! How the hell do you know Meher Baba’s the Avatar? How the hell do you know that?!!!” Someone spoke out, “Oh sit down and let the man continue!” Instantly the biker whirled around and shouted, “Who’s the one who said that?!” The crowd shrank back in silence. Darwin looked at this man with a perfectly poised smile and began to tell him about his relationship with Jesus Christ as a child and into his manhood, when, as he said, hardly a day went by when he wasn’t involved with the desire to realize the presence of Christ in his life. Darwin explained that as time went by, he transferred this preoccupation to Meher Baba and that he would clarify this.

At this point the biker made his way boldly back to his place against the wall. Things settled down, the talk continued and the audience was focused, sensing in Darwin’s message something very much beyond the ordinary. Questions were asked and answered. The event came to an end. The Baba people who assisted wore Baba buttons. A sizable number of people stayed on after the talk, seeking us out and asking questions. People had gathered around Darwin also, asking questions. I was astounded to see the biker standing there with his arm around Darwin’s shoulder. Both of them were laughing and talking. I heard the biker comment seriously, “I wanna tellyou somethin’, man! I reallylike what you said about them sanskaras; it made one hell ofa lotta sense to me!” The conclusion of this story is a really amazing one! In the fall of 2003 my wife Cathy and I were spending some time in Briarcliffe Acres, next to the Meher Center at Anita and John Dennison’s house. John and his son are fine arts dealers, doing the big antique shows in Boston, Washington D.C. and Miami. Long before, I had told John about this very story ofthe biker at Darwin’s talk in Woodstock in 1967. Now, John was telling me about a most amazing experience that he had just had in Miami! He and his son were getting ready to set up their show at a giant antique exposition. These shows generate a tremendous energy and attract people from all over America and the world. They were on their way to lunch in the city and noticed hundreds ofparked motorcycles everywhere and nearby, in a big plaza, a vast number ofbikers were gathered, listening to another biker on a raised platform. The crowd was listening quietlywith rapt attention. This occasion offered nothing particularly interesting to John and his son until they heard the speaker mention Meher Baba’s name! They immediately moved closer in. The man talking was about 65 years old, big with tattoos, a leather vest and boots, and a Celtic torc around his neck! Sure enough, he was telling all these bikers about his experience of discovering Meher Baba in Woodstock NY in 1967 through one ofBaba’s people there! J ohn turned to a biker near him and asked, “Who is that man?”The biker looked atJohn incredulously and said, “You mean to say you don’t know who Johnny McGraw is?!” John looked up and the big biker was saying, “I’ll tell you one thing, I was disrespectful to that wonderful man back then—and I made a damn fool ofmyself! But I can tell all of you out there that on that day my life changed, -


I left thinking he had not really given me It was no real hardship for Darwin to re and I experienced a reality and a presence he had focused on what helps shortcut; a he was from Baba, for apart physically main a beyond to me that proved of me inside and therein, I have learned, lies people other to Baba attuned acutely and deeply mystical one, and all are that we of doubt a shadow secret. the Darwin of master cheerfulness, A within. God!” but matters that nothing Darwin was in the process of becoming a once said that from the very beginning of .LKfl..i1($ flfliUii his life he knew that God was in charge and master ofself-effacement. “Ifyou are lucky” he that everything was taken care of. He added once said, “you become nothing. Baba makes Summer 7urner, South Carolina that he thought everyone knew this. Then he you nothing; he reduces you to nothing. And here is nothing Beloved Meher Baba realized that he was “a square peg and couldn’t because there is no aspiration for anything, he fills your cup.” Now that Darwin is free of won’t do to kindle the fire oflove in those fit into the round hole of the world.” everything, how his cup must be overflowing quick-witted known for his was Darwin truth and for who make even a feeble choice in the Ocean of Love—and Light! was him, “Who I asked time, One humor. work to express even a shred of wiffingness He were born?” on the you day president the to Editorc note: Summer also told us the fol— for His Cause. In my case, I was whisked that of no have memory “I actually replied, 1994 and lowing: Myrtle Beach from Florida in early Iplan one day to write up some things about placed under the solicitous care and spiritual at all.” Even when illustrating a spiritual conto illuminate ajoke crack could Darwin cept, Darwin, including hisJiinny ‘Darwinisms,” training ofJeanne and Darwin Shaw. on discoursing he night, was One point. his but right now I am concentrating on finishDarwin once said to me, “Baba wants us we how serve and to ofwillingness the topic a ing up my editing chores on Darwith second for work; we have to work. Each of us is He said, our willingness. on conditions place book, a collection ofinspired essays called Ef— light, and He uses us to kindle light in others, his telephones man who the young like “It’s fort and Grace. While Darwincfirst book, like a candle lighting other candles. That’s ocean the deepest swim ‘I’d and says, beloved As Only God Can Love, seems to be infused our work.” Well, you could say that Beloved for you, desert widest the I’d cross for you, with the sweetness ofdivine love, the second Baba doubled—teamed Jeanne and Darwin The for you.’ mountain the highest I’d climb one seems to radiate the tranforming power and used their fervid incandescence to ignite over coming you are ‘So, says, woman young ofdivine truth! the candles ofmany souls over the years. When Darwin no longerjèltable to see Center My early days with Darwin and Jeanne tonight?’ He says, ‘Sure—Ifit doesn’t rain.” his in sharing generous was Darwin visitors, he would refer them to hisfirst book. were magical—so much was happening October On insights. and helpful And when people would try to get stories out of within my soul, and such warm confirmation wisdom I had secret. revealed a spiritual in my book. he him by telephone, he wouldsay, was pouring from them! As they pulled me 22, 2001, kind of wini a I’d experienced ook that representsDar Haveyou readit?”Thatb closer and closer, I recorded inner and outer mentioned have said, “So he and to continue that day, unable workforBaba in a way hefilt events in my journal, including Darwin’s breakthrough wisdom imparted at Discourse meetings and I.” I asked him if he was seeing Baba every- doingpublicly. It even has an introduction that during impromptu talks. I also recorded his where. He took on a look ofdeep inner seeing reveals all he ever wishedpeople to know about stories of the Old West, his days at work in and said slowly, “No, I’m seeing the Ocean of hisprivate ljfe. As one on thepath ofse’f-effacement, Dar Schenectady, NY, and his quick-witted howl- Love—and Light.” He added, “It’s important of Ocean this describing to also say Light in win always expressed the importance ofplacing ers I call Darwinisms. is looking “Everyone one-pointedfocus on the Beloved, which, he Outwest in the summer of1927 and 1928, Love.” Then he said, They or not. know it would explain, meantpuiing in our psychic at age 17 and 18, Darwin said he felt the in- for this, whether they ner spiritual vibrations very strongly, and he look for it in the form of ambition, lust, and tentaclesfrom all mental diversions. Much more about this in the second enjoyed living a contemplative life as a work- all sorts of things, not knowing what they’re book—Effort and Grace! So, itc back to work ing cowboy, traveling from ranch to ranch in really seeking.” On behalf of all of us, I said, after a few for me! many states. He found that the expansive view Darwin’s second book will likely be expanded his consciousness, and he enjoyed a stunned moments, “Darwin, you have worked Is there a published about a year from now by sense ofcomplete inner freedom. Later, he re your whole life to get to this point. Sheriar Foundation. a]ized that this period corresponded to Meher shortcut for the rest of us?” “Yes!” he said emphatically, still absorbed Baba’s Prem Ashram work, a correspondence in that inner realm. that Darwin felt was significant. When he didn’t say any more, I prompted During his early years ofwork in the traf fic department for the City of Schenectady, him. “Well, what’s the shortcut?” Here is his reply: “It helps to see people Darwin’s duties included sign painting, which required him to be out among the people of as looking for this Ocean; that helps them. the citc He would speak ofthe greatlove and Picture them as finding this, even when they spiritual connection he felt with the people. seem to be looking for something else.” Since we had been working on his forth“I knew that this was my real work,” he once said. He also used to say that Baba wanted coming book of spiritual essays, Effort and him “out in the field” working for His cause, Grace (2006, Sheriar Foundation), he added, instead of living physically close to Him in “This is what we’ve been calling First Cause. India. One day he said, “For years I had a You could say it’s changing the paradigm, longing to be in India with Baba. Then I since we’ve been using that word lately, and it’s actually an easy shift to make.” realized that my work is in the West.”

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rDInmn Shtw JJI4ichael J 1/latliias, Poet of the Silence, 1 California Dear Darwin, just seems like yesterday Bill Cliff and I stayed uplate oneAmartithi inAlbanytaping the music and poetrythatBabawas inspiring to pour through me all nightiong. In the morning, when Bill played the tape ofmy poetry for you, you said,”This is notjustMichael’s first lifetime with Baba, but all his previous lifetimes with Baba.” Then you made that fateful decision that changed my whole life—you asked Bill to drive us down to Myrtle Beach to play this tape for Kitty Jane and Lyn Ott. Andy and Peggy Muir were there too for that private concert for Baba alone. “Do it for Baba,” Kitty kept saying. “Play it again for Baba.” I was in tears, bathed in sweat. The fire of Baba’s presence was like an atom bomb going off breaking my heart into a thousand pieces. “Baba made Margaret Craske dance on the rocks!” Kitty said. “I can’t! I can’t!” I cried.Then I looked up and sawBaba’s fieryfree form over all ofyour heads. I broke into tears. “Baba, Baba,” I cried, “be with me forever!” And I saw Baba’s fiery free form just as I had seen it in Dr. Kenmore’s office, in his healing room, for the year 2000. “Baba will make you his poet,” Dr. Kenmore said. “He will huntyou down and ravish you like a lover. Even if you try to run away, Baba will hauntyou down. You’ll be his poet forever!” And I sawblindinglight! Sun beyond sun beyond sun beyond sun beyond disc beyond disc beyond disc beyond the geometry ofa million suns! “Baba,” I cried, “don’t ever let me leave you!” For weeks afterward, the tears kept pouring through me in the Lagoon Cabin. I saw Baba everywhere. Wherever I walked I saw His fiery free form. He had taken my heart and broken it into a thousand pieces. “The heart must be broken many times before it can hold God,” I wrote. In the Lagoon Cabin His words made spasms throughout mywhole body. Not even the five-vessel coronarybypass surgery that Ijust had recently was as powerful as His words to me:

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Baba’s words created spasms that shattered and shook my entire being; it was an atom bomb ex perience! There was never anything small about Baba. Baba is always awesome to me. Baba is always epic.Unfathomable! Epic! Darwin, epic! Whenever I ran into you, I wept. You showed me Baba’s stone that you carried in your pocket: “Baba would suddenly toss me a stone to see if I was awake.” You showed it to me and said, “You must always be awake for Baba.” Darwin, my beautiftil friend and teacher I think always ofthe magical moments that Cathy Riley, Bill Cliff Ken Neunzig and I sat at your feet. The incredible light around Baba’s sandals! The incredible light ofBaba surrounding you! When we met recently in Baba’s bedroom, I gave you a preview copy ofmy autobiography, The Cosmic Mouth, Part One, to ask you to bless the manuscript, as you have always done throughout all my days of writing poetry for Baba. I said to you, “This may be my last hug, Darwin, Baba may be taking me to His fire forever. Please pray that this writing will honor Baba forever!” Who could tell that afterwards I would sur vive heart surgery and that I would be returning to you once again to askyou to prayfor this new dream that Baba has inspired in me! Darwin, please pray that Poem ofFirewill go out to bless all the children of the world with dreams and visions that Baba will inspire for the New Age. The New Age is here, Darwin! The New Age ofBaba’s fiery free form is blinding us with His immortal light.This is history, Darwin. Poem f Fire is now history! When I was in the hospital, Darwin, my friends played Cathy Riley’s new recording of “Poem of Fire” and I was so happy that your voice was on the same recording—that we were on the same recording together after we had that long, long Baba hug. Darwin, thankyou forbeing myftrst teacher ofBaba and for a lifetime of prayers.

“Your Song ofthe Wind” gives Birth to “my Poem ofFire.” nbrLn. L••••i 7<endra Crossen 13urroughs, i’iyrtle

Beac!t was once with Darwin and a few others in 5:rorn the nortl; the library reading room at Meher Center rorn the sout 6 when a New England friend came in with a woman acquaintance of hers who was new from the east to Baba and whom she had brought to the rorn the west Center for her first visit. The woman must ft am arriving throtqhyou! have been prepped by my friend for being 9lwake t e natIons thatstp In ny torn 6 ’ 6 introduced to Darwin, because she seemed J3eho1 am rnovIng arnongyou! aware that he was someone special—her eyes were sparkling at him, and she had a ques Visionfrom the Bridge ofFire, p. 42 tion ready. The gist ofit was something like:

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“When you met Meher Baba, did He raise you up to His level ofspiritual consciousness?” I was startled by this question and wondered how Darwin would respond. Without batting an eye, he simply smiled and replied: “He gave us more love than we could have ever imagined possible.”

aidee utd CQQkk$ t 2 Cistui Str rken RicIistad, South Carolina here were no cookies. What kind of Baba meeting is that?” my daughter exclaimed recently after attending a meeting in a new town. Having been raised myselfas a new Baba lover in the early ‘70s at Darwin and Jeanne’s house at 2 Castine Street, Schenectady, New York, I knew that all Baba meetings should end with applejuice and cookies. First we’d pull into the cul-de-sac where Darwin and Jeanne lived, tucked into trees at the end, on the right. Straight ahead was an elementary school playing field, and across the street lived Shado the black cat who would hang, splayed, by all four sets ofclaws, on their screen door during the Discourse part of the meeting. (I suppose that cat is a Baba lover somewhere now.) We entered from a small open porch into a close, warm living area packed with comfortable chairs and a couch, flowers, pictures and photos, books, letters, knicknacks and so forth. Jeanne usually sat in an overstuffed rocker to the left. In winter she became a bundle ofblankets from where she told charming tales of times with Baba while she smoothed the antimacassars on the chair arms. She also directed traffic—so and so should sit here, and someone else there—and Darwin should turn up the heater and read that poem. Darwin sat in the middle in the living room archway facing the couch. My favorite spot became the rocking chair directly to Darwin’s left where I could keep a close eye on his profile, while the other seats were filled with the rest of Darwin and Jeanne’s “Baba babies.” Ken Lux especially enjoyed the floor. It was a perfect place to stretch out on during the end-of-meeting moment ofsllence, which he would sometimes end for us with a snore. I even remember what I wore to that first meeting I attended more than thirty years ago—gray slacks and red espadrilles. We entered, and the first thing I saw was Jeanne’s beautiful face and twinkling eyes. She took my hands in her soft ones and welcomed me like an old friend. Darwin and Jeanne had held Baba meetings for many years under Baba’s direction

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for the talk I made it a point to go. But before Beloved One. In Meher’s grace, may we hold I arrived all the classrooms were emptied for more and more to HIM alone. Irnaygiveyou more, much more thanyou expect, a bomb scare! So when the talk finally cornmaybe nothing, andthat nothing mayprove to or in wandered many people menced it seemed So I say, come with open hearts to eveiything. be classes. from all the emptied or nothingfrom the Divine Beloved much receive talk Darwin’s Strangely, I didnt connectwith much ofA4y words but of]V[y notso to nceive Come going till it wasiñ or the f]m ofBaba shown, so Baba —Meher Silence. in the time first to the Meher Center for the winter of1973 and being stronglyencouraged to not miss the almost weekly “Discourses” rneet ings held by the Shaws, that I started driving up to Albany on a close-to-monthly basis from Steve EBerry, Los Angeles my home about 70 miles away. Often I would in go with a question that had been brewing sfandiar, the last of the Prem Ashmylife or mind during the previous days, and it ram Boys joins his Beloved. One seemed every time I wouldn’t even need to bring of Meher Baba longtime gems left our it up, for Babawould answer it, though Darwin, world and united with his Beloved Baba naturally in the course ofthe evening. on November 23rd at noon in Iran. From 1973 till 1989, through a number Esfandiar first met Baba when he joined of life changes, I continued attending when I the Prem Ashram at the age of twelve, could, and when the Shaws moved to Myrtle during the late 192’s. During his two-year Beach I was able to do the slight service ofdriv stay at Baba’s ashram, he could not coning two trips with Darwin in a U-Haul full of centrate on his studies and only wanted their worldly goods. This was nothing in corn- to see God. Baba met with him many parison with all theyhad given me to deepen my nights and taught him how to control his life in Baba’s love, but I mention it to indicate thoughts and become the master ofhis mind. how close our relationship had grown. When Baba closed the Prem Ashram, What was Darwin like? I might say anyone Esfandiar was sent back to Iran to conwho has met him, or seen him, or heard him tinue Baba’s work there. He went on to on tape, or now, read his book, can tell you, for hold Baba meetings and to publish Baba Darwin seemed so wholly centered in his love books that were banned by the Islamic and service to Baba, so soft and unassuming government. Many times Esfandiar was in his manner and so pure in his heart that he questioned by Savak [the Shah’s secret po really was all of a piece over all those years, in lice] about Baba and the Baba meetings. all circumstances. He was also a deeply private Many years later, Esfandiar moved to Los man, and from my experience, few ifany outside Angeles. He was ajoyful person to be around, family knew him much beyond his “public” and gave to all a sense ofpeace, security, love, Baba life. And yet his deep modeling of Baba’s freedom and pure joy. He had a gentle sense love in his life has clearly been an inspiration of humor and it was heavenly to be around to so many. him Although he has over the last few years been One hour before Esfandiar’s passing, he less and less available, many must feel his loss in was on his bed with his hand outstretched their lives. In the early 1990s I was blessed (in a toward a picture ofBaba. Esfandiar’s son witway) to have had to feel the pain ofletting him nessed a flash oflight travel from the picture go and thereby awakening to his importance as of Baba to Esfandiar’s hand. And the entire a mentor to me, due to a personal issue between room became filled with light. us that struck so deep it effectively ended any Esfandiar’s friends will be writing more contact. The experience didn’t end my love or about him in our next issue. Ifyou would like deep respect for him, but forced me to take him to send in your remembrances, please do so. offthe pedestal I had sometimes had him on. : U 4 For me one lesson to remember, if Darwin wit iQ in his humanness can love and be loved by <en £iix, JMaine 2 God so profoundly then so might I still aspire J9 3fl$ first heard Darwin at a public talk on Meher to love a little closer to that degree. And so Flagg Kris completed the enormous Baba in the fall of 1971 at SUNY Albany for myself after more deeply forgiving both oftranslating and editing work and quantity to come slowly Fve for humanness. our of us occasionmy fiancé I visiting where was ( near home on November 5th. Since his called was should what for and responsibility take see Baba to more drawn more and I been had ally). since first having an inner contact in 1968 in have been obvious, that I was by far the more daughter died in 2004 we have no one to ask NewYorkCity through a briefcontactwith the human-weakness-filled one. I feel no loss, only to write about him. Friends of Flagg, tell us group there, so when I saw a poster on campus happiness for him in more deeply rejoining the about him!

(that’s why they had so many chairs), but the first young person was Debbie Peterson, who showed up at their doorstep one day, asking about Meher Baba. After Debbie followed a long line ofyoung Baba lovers. By the time I arrived at that famous doorstep, Debbie had moved down to Myrtle Beach to work as recep tionist at the Meher Spiritual Center. I heard about Baba from Ken Lux, who was supervisor of sorts for some college work I was doing. He first invited me to one ofthe regular mid-week Baba meetings at his apartment one Wednesday, where, among other people, I met J effWolverton and Ken, who were, at that time, pale young spiritual types, thin and raggedy, smoking endless cigarettes. Jeanne used to givejeffand Ken new socks. I suppose because when they removed their shoes at her door she couldnt ignore the pungent odors. She sure had a sense of humor. Darwin would begin each meeting with a poem—often one ofJeanne Foster’s, a spiritualsensitive from the Schenectady area who had met Baba in the 1950s. Then he would read a Discourse, expanding on it and explaining it as he did at meetings at the Center and elsewhere for years. The Discourse part of each meeting ended with a moment of silence; then we crowded around the kitchen table, where Jeanne would serve us apple juice and cookies. After cookies, we headed back to the living room for music, always a guitar and singing. Occasionally Darwin would show us an 8mm fib-n he or his son, Lowell, had taken of Baba during the 1950’s at the Center. Before video, DVD, and the libraries offtlms we all own now, these movies were a huge treat. Finally, Jeanne would lovingly send us home. Darwin and Jeanne’s home at 2 Castine Street shimmered with energy love vibrations, and Baba’s presence. I mean that literally. Their house was like Brigadoon—It didnt really exist on a regular street in a regular town. Walking into their house was walking into a magic place. They taught us to be sensitive to Baba’s presence, to make Baba part ofevery moment, and to think ofBaba with every sip ofjuice and every bite of cookie. Writtenfor Darwinc birthday 2002.

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]r on her bedpost and was smil ng as he looked at her. But as soon L5 she sat up and put her feet on the oor, she knew she was awake and 3 aba’s divine image disappeared. Ier friend and the friend’s sister had gone to see Baba, and when they returned, Ann narrated her experi :. Shortly afterwards, Ann drove to the Center in Myrtle Beach, where she met Elizabeth Patterson and Kitty Davy and was drawn closer into Baba’s “love-orbit.” While at the Center, one day in the Lagoon Cabin, Ann sud denly felt a wave oflove come from Baba (though He was in India) go through her and return to Him in a circle. There was now no question ofWho loved and who was loved. For the first time, Ann could truly say she loved Baba—but only because He had first given her the gift of His love, which she was returning to Him. In the ensuing years, although correspon dence with India was mostly banned, Kitty and Beryl Williams were allowed to write to Mani and Mehera, and they would always add in their letters how much Ann wanted to meet Baba. Replies would come to the effect, “Baba realizes how much Ann wants to meet Him and sends her His love.” Life went on like this until Ann reached the point where she almost could not stand to be with anyone who had met Baba, when she had not. Then came the Family Letter of May 1961, informing about the relaxation in Baba’s seclusion and the two-week period of darshan. However, by the time Mani’s letter was received in America, one week had already expired. Ann’s first reaction was of ab solute panic. She felt strongly that this would be her only opportunity. She was frantic. She had no money saved, but her friends came to her rescue by offering to pay for her trip, not as a loan but as a gift. The next morning, Ann booked her ffight. Baba had mentioned in the circular ofMay 5 that He did not wish His lovers living at long distances to come, incurring so much expense. So before Ann departed, she sent a cable to Baba: “No distance too great, no expense too high,” and she gave the date and time ofher arrival. Fred Winterfeldt had also decided to go, but Ann was not about to wait for anyone, and she flew to India on May 25. Filled with joy for Ann, her friends saw her off at the airport—so happy were they for her. At last she would be meeting the beloved God-Man. ,

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/bm CQ:fl1Qfl’$ c5tot!I j31trnt 7<cilchuri uring the last two weeks ofMay 1961, a newspaper journalist from upstate NewYork named Ann Margaret Conlon, 29, was expected any day at Guruprasad. Baba’s nephews, Sohrab and Rustom, knew nothing ofthis, but on May 26, they disguised Sohrab as a young lady and hired a taxi to take him to Guruprasad. Pictures had been sent to Mani of Ann at the New York birthday celebra tions, so when Eruch and Meherjee saw a tall woman arrive, they went to greet whom they assumed was Ann. Sohrab was so well made-up he managed to deceive them. No one except Baba recognized him. He was even taken to meet Mehera, but Baba gave orders that Mehera was not to embrace “that woman.” It was all in good fun and Baba was happy Sohrab had fooled everyone. Ann had first heard ofBaba in 1956 from a woman friend who worked for the same newspaper she did in upstate New York. The woman had met Baba two weeks before in New York City. When she told Ann that Meher Baba was the Christ, Ann’s reaction was: “Everything inside me just turned over. I accepted Him immediately. Itjust had to be right. He could not be anybody else.” Despite that tremendous experience, Ann did not go to see Baba in Myrtle Beach that May because she felt she did not fulfill the prerequisites of complete love and obedi ence to Baba meant for those invited to the Sahavas. However, the last night Baba was in Myrtle Beach, Ann, sleeping at home 800 miles away, suddenly woke up at 4 a.m. and experienced an apparition. She saw Baba standing at the foot ofher bed. The apparition frightened her. Baba was wearing a blue coat and looked as He did in earlier years. He had one hand on His hip, the

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Ann had been told to telephone Mani at Guruprasad from the Napier Hotel in Poona. When she arrived on May 27, Eruch came on the phone to say, “Baba says to stay at your hotel and rest. Someone will come to pick you up between 3 and 3:30 p.m.” At 3 p.m., Meherjee drove her to Guruprasad. Ann got out of the car, and when she stood up, the front doors were open and there was Baba seated at the back ofthe hall. Even from that distance of about 75 feet she could see His eyes. Then suddenly all she could see were His eyes! Ann later related: “Baba’s eyes filled that room. There were shafts oflight coming from behind His eyes. I thought: If He drops His eyes, I’ll drown in that light. Then everything went back to normal. “I went running up the steps, past Meherjee, and when I stepped into the hall, I felt again the same wave oflove that I had felt at Myrtle Beach, only so much stronger that it stopped me in my tracks and my knees started shaking. Baba looked at me and smiled. He held out His arms saying, “Come on!” “I went running into His arms and burst into tears. It was the first time in mylife that I felt that I had a home. I had never felt so completely safe, so completely loved and so completely protected in my life. I had always thought that I had brought myselfup from a little child, done everything on my own; but at that moment, I realized that it had always been Him—that He was mother, father, ev erything. There was nothing else to look for. I had found it all.” When Ann stepped back from Baba’s embrace, she was stunned to see that Baba too appeared to be crying. She stood looking at Him for a moment and Baba nodded. “Do you have any questions?” He asked. “No, Baba,” she whispered, thinking: “Anything Baba wants me to know He will tell me. I won’t have to ask.” Mehera, Mani and the other women had been watching Ann’s meeting from behind the louvered doors. Baba called them out and introduced them. For the next 15 minutes or so, Baba asked about her health, whether she had slept and other mundane questions. He then asked Ann to sit at His feet and inquired, “Did you read the Family Letter?” Ann thought: “Uh oh, He is going to throw me out and tell me I should not have come. But I don’t care. All I wanted was to see Baba’s eyes and I have done that.” “Yes, Baba, I read it,” she answered. “What did it say?” “It said people should not come great distances or at great expense.”


!! “You came anyway?” “Yes, Baba.” “It is all right. I am glad you came in spite ofthe letter. What are you going to do when you leave here this afternoon?” Ann said, “I was planning on going home on the Air India ffight tonight from Bombay, but they tell me I can’t make it. There is not sufficient time. But I’ll try.” “No, no, you can’t make it,” Baba mo tioned. “So what will you do? There is not another flight for five days. No sightseeing!” “No, Baba. I guess I willjust sit in the hotel and wait for the plane.” Baba stated, “No, come here every day for five days and sit with me until the plane goes. What will your office think of that?” Scarcely believing her ears, Ann said, “Baba, they said it would be fine if I stayed, just to let them know.” “Well, make sure you do,” He replied. Mr. Neen’s teen-aged daughter danced for Baba that day. One dance depicted the life of a Gopi absorbed in her love for Krishna. In the course of the conversation there was a reference to the songs ofMira. Baba asked Ann, “Do you know the story of Saint Mira?” She said she did not, and Baba gestured to Eruch to relate a few incidents from Mira’s life. Afterwards Baba remarked: “Mira was not born at the time when Krishna manifested himself as the Avatar in human form. Even then her love surpassed that ofthe Gopis. In this sense her love is unique, unparalleled. The same can be said about Francis ofAssisi’s love for Jesus Christ. He had not seen Jesus physically but his love for Christ excelled that ofPeter, the Rock. Because Francis never met J esus, his longing and love were that much greater.” Baba looked at Ann and stated quite seri ously, “Mira was not concerned about offending her husband. Her only concern was about offending her Lord. She never put anyone or anything between herself and Krishna.” Baba repeated the last sentence again, and Ann knew there was a message in it for her. Baba asked, “Have you read any of my books?” Ann said she had and mentioned a few. “Did you read God Speaks?” Baba inquired. Embarrassed, Ann said, “I tried, Baba. I got to page 64 but did not understand a word of it.” Baba laughed, gesturing, “Never mind, forget it. It is not important.” After a few more songs in praise ofBaba’s Godhood, newcomers were introduced to Baba individually by the group heads. At one

point, seeing that Ann was uncomfortable sitting at His feet, Baba gestured, “You were not born to sit like that.” He had a chair brought and put against the wall. Rano Gayleywas called to sit next to Ann to keep her company. Throughout the dar shan program, Ann kept her gaze steadily fixed on Baba. Several times Baba turned around and asked, “Are you happy?” Ann was so lost in His beaut Rano had to elbow her in the ribs and whisper, “Answer Him.” By the end of the day, Ann was exhausted from being in the presence of Baba’s overwhelming vitality. The next day, Fred Winterfeldt arrived. That afternoon Fred saw Baba alone. His wife, Ella, thought it best to remain Ann in the newspaper room at The Patent Trader 1959/60. home, although she was longing to see Baba again. Commenting on her devotion, Baba remarked fl: CQHIQfl ..CN:.Ktk1d 4 , to Fred, “You are here with me, but I am there 3itrrougIis 2<endra Crossen 7 with Ella.” He also stated, “Your being with nfl Conlon had a bit of a temper. I me is immaterial. It is my being with you that witnessed it one Wednesday afternoon matters. So keep me with you always.” Baba asked Fred, “How did Ann manage when she was leading a discussion in the to get here?” Fred told Him, and when he got library reading room at Meher Center. This to the part ofhow her lady friends had given was around the early 1990s, when the Center Ann the money to come, Baba had tears in had increased the number of meetings in His eyes. He stated, “I am touched by such order to defend its nonprofit status, and Ann was one ofthe people who were hosting these love for Baba and for a friend.” When Ann saw Baba later that day, Baba additional meetings. When newcomers are given a tour of the stated, “Fred has told me how you were able Center, the tour usually ends at the library, so to come. All helped you.” on this day the tour guide ushered a couple in, “Yes, Baba, it is true,” Ann replied. “All helped you because I helped you,” showed them the library, and then left them there with us. They joined our little group, stated Baba. “I wanted you to come.” Baba told her He had sent her friends a who had been sitting and talking quietly telegram. He asked Eruch to bring a copy for about Baba. We interrupted our discussion her to read. It had been sent in Ann’s name to greet them and ask where they were from and read: “Baba says because you have helped and how they had come to know about Baba. me come to Baba, you have made Baba come The man launched into a detailed story, and closer to you. Baba sends His love to you both. though at first some ofthe people in the group were urging him on with friendly smiles, it Love, Ann.” “Do you think they will like it?” Baba soon became clear that he had taken our polite inquiry as an invitation to recount the asked. story of his life and work at length. He was Ann grinned, “Of course!” LordMeher, Vol. 17, pp. 5845-5852 ©2003 a self-styled spiritual teacher, and informed AMBPPCT us that he was currently planning a series of seminars. 39


I turned to look at Ann, expecting her, as leader of the meeting, to explain to the man that the subject of the meeting was Meher Baba and that we should resume what we had been talking about. We exchanged glances, and I could practically see the steam coming out of her ears. She lurched out of her seat, muttering something about needing a ciga rette, and I got up and followed her, to the man’s bewilderment. Outside, Ann fumed, “I know what he’s nrkshops!” up to, ti’-’ ute-d ft 4rr q f v tuuies she calmed down, ed to tL 111, and the problem 1 dissipated on its own. The incident caused me to reconsider the assumption I had made that the appropriate response would have been to tell the man directly that the topic of discussion was supposed to be Meher Baba. I realized that Ann had done the best thing under the circumstances. She removed herself from the scene because, I believe, she knew that if she spoke up she would explode with anger and Baba wouldnt have been pleased with that. I learned something new from the way she seemed to accept and allow her natural fiery reaction while at the same time obeying Baba by not venting it on the person who had provoked it.

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7}irginia9loor 5adowsky, 2’Iew )3ork met Baba in 1956. Soon after, Ann Conlon, a news reporter, started coming to my home to pick up a column I wrote, and we began a friendship. Interjected in our chats were tales of Baba, but without my saying too much, as Ann was a Catholic. My sister Elizabeth Sacalis visited one day and, not having the time or desire to mince words, blurted out that Baba was the Christ. To my surprise, Ann didn’t even ffinch! By 1958 my sister, daughter Dedee Eaton and I, were excitedly preparing for the May Sahavas in Myrtle Beach, but Ann was not, since she did not feel ready to meet Baba. At one group interview in the Lagoon Cabin, I began thinking about how to get through to Ann about Baba. Suddenly out of the blue, Baba wheeled around, pointed to me and asked, “What do you do?” Shocked, I stated: “I fish.” For a moment I was embarrassed by this answer that came from I knew not where. Immediately, Baba gestured that beautiful wave He had that said, “It’s airight—it’s taken care of;” or “don’t worry—it’s done.” Soon after returning home Ann wished to be at the Center, and Liz drove back down

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with her. Kitty was their hostess on a nowempty Center. Then came the time when no one knew if Liz Sacctlis, Rew )3ork we were ever to see Baba again. Monday night nn Conlon was a reporter for a Westmeetings at Fred and Ella Winterfeldt’s were chester, New York newspaper in the our solace. One night almost two years later, 1950s. My sister, Virginia (Ginny) Gloor Fred read aloud a cable from Baba, which adowsky S wrote a column, which Ann picked said anyone could come for five minutes the up at Ginny’s house during the week. One day in 1957 I visited Ginny and met Ann. My sister had been hinting to Ann for months about who Baba was. I blurted out that He was the Christ. Ginnywas horrified that Ann, being a good Catholic, would be frightened away. Instead Ann accepted it! Ginny, her daughter Dedee Eaton, and I went to the Myrtle Beach Sahavas in 1958 but Ann didn’t feel she was ready to meet Him. During the Sahavas, Ann had an experience about Baba. When we returned to NY, Ann felt she had to go to the Center. I turned around and went back down with her. The Center was closed by then so Kitty Davy had I to come stay there too Kittywas probably the I r I’ a 4%. best Baba person for Ann to meet. Ann Con/on, photo by Shei/a Krynski. As time passed, Ann and I became good friends. We had many mutual interests such coming weekend! Liz and I had no choice but as camping, hiking and nature. We bought to “get rid of” Ann. We couldn’t handle the five acres in the Berkshires in 1960 that we responsibility ofifihing in for Baba any longer, called “Merwan Hill.” We built a small cabin, so we pooled our savings, and I tookAnn into an outhouse, and had a well put in just for Manhattan the next morning to get the trip weekend camping. Over the years we had in order. Once there we started running, first Baba people come to visit. Margaret Craske to the passport office at Rockefeller Center, was teaching at nearbyjacob’s Pillow in sumbirth certificate and newphoto in hand, where mers and we occasionally picked her up and we were told it would take six weeks. Using brought her to the camp for the day. Enid Ann’s job as a reporter, we fabricated a tale of Corfe came up in her Volkswagen camper an interview she had with the Maharani of Baroda in Poona, implying an earth-shaking and stayed for a few days; my sister came up with friends; Teddy Kenyon and her husband importance. To our surprise several clerks also visited one day. quickly agreed that she had to go, saying, They were wonderful days fill of Baba. “Come back later, we’ll have it!” There was We attended the New York Monday night more running, with Ann in top form—ten meetings at Fred and Ella Winterfeldt’s. blocks to Air India—and we weren’t even There were get togethers with Beryl Wil winded. There was only one ffight a week to hams and her sister Bernice Ivory. We were Bombay and that was in several days, but in like sponges soaking up Baba stories. It truly time for her meeting with Baba. With ticket was life at its best with Baba as our center of in hand ($1700, a fortune back then), we ran focus. By 1960 Ann was almost beside herself back to Rock Center, and with passport and wanting to meet Him. The opportunity came ticket together we dashed to Grand Central and I hope you all know of her miraculous Station to return home. Before the fast ap trip to India. proaching weekend, we (Baba) delivered Ann There’s one word to me that best describes to Idlewild Airport, where we watched from Ann Conlon, she was a person of”integrity” an observation deck as she boarded the Air She continued working at the newspaper India ffight. We jumped up and down at the and won journalism awards for her stories. magic ofBaba’s love, and at His relieving us working ofour “burden” ofbeing a temporary stand-in She became an editor, sometimes the point of exhaustion. When the Editor to for Him. We finally took a deep sigh of relief, in Chief retired, she was next in line for the and the rest is Ann’s story with the Beloved. job. She never got equal pay as a woman and was told that men had families to support. It

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made no difference that she was putting her younger sister through college and supported her mother who was living with her. They brought in an outsider as the Editor in Chief. That was the final blow. Ann quit herjob. Her mother went to live with her married sister and by then her younger sister had finished school and had become a nun. Ann moved to Myrtle Beach sometime in the early 70s and the rest is history. She will be greatly missed by those who knew her. I’m sure she’d say it was a great Baba ride this time around!

alone” and we would not be able to understand them, but that other parts were said in His language and in ours.The first part ofthat statement has become a very handy excuse for dismissing anything we don’t like, and the sec ond part is totally ignored. But nowhere else does He say that any statements were made in “my language alone.” The most ludicrous

Wht rDQL...s THAT Jikm•? 4flfl L-’

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eher Baba seems to have been asked that question enough times that at one point He said to a questioner “Ifyou don’t understand what I’m saying, look it up in the dictionary” Ifwe really believed that, and acted on it, it would certainly put a good-sized dent in the middleman business. A decent dictionary costs about $15 or $20. A professional middleman can, over time, run about $15,000 to $20,000. We’re probably all aware these days that even Baba’s simplest statements can throw up that question “What does it mean?” Now, some who ask that question really mean what they’re saying; they don’t understand what Baba said, even though most ofwhat He said is very clear and you don’t have to be a genius to understand it. But I think many times, when that question is asked, it means “I get it, but I don’t like it.” It is amazing to me what lengths some people will go to in order to avoid knowing precisely what Baba said on a subject, as well as who it was intended for. I have seen what amounts to dissertations aimed at proving to others—and to oneself—that what Meher Baba said doesn’t apply to them, either because they weren’t present when He said it, or because “He couldn’t possibly have meant THAT!”They then see both opinions as leav ing them free to take it or leave it. Is it that easy to brush Him offwhen His wish doesn’t suit our pleasure? Baba did say we were free to interpret what He said, but that can be a very slippery slope. Among the more interesting interpreta tions I’ve heard over the years is the one that says ifyou don’t understand what Meher Baba said, then you apply the explanation that He gave concerning His Final Declaration. He made it clear that only very specific parts of His Declaration were said in “my language

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interpretation of that one came from several people who felt Meher Baba’s very strong messages on not using illegal drugs couldn’t possibly have really meant that! There had to be some other explanation. As far as I know, some ofthese people are still looking for the “other explanation.” If we spent as much energy on trying to follow what Meher Baba said as we do on twisting it, we might actually make some progress. Granted, the progress is hard, but not as hard, I think, as sitting on our hands trying to figure out how to get Meher Baba to say what we want to hear. If that’s what we want to do, then why would we call ourselves Baba followers at all? Then there’s the theory that ifwe weren’t present when He said it, we’re off the hook. In other words, when He said at the 1962 East-West Gathering that “the way of my work is the way of effacement,” ifwe weren’t there, we can go merrily on our way enjoying the biggest ego trips we can manage. If we weren’t there when He told His followers to start treating each other like real family, then whoopee, meanness can reign unchecked. Does that make any sense? In the end I can only come to the conclu sion that what Meher Baba really said about anything was extremely simple: try, and then try some more, and while we’re trying He will always be with us. What more could we possibly want? © 2005 Ann Conlon. Reprinted by permission from Sheriar Foundation. All of Ann’s columns, “All (Baba) Things Considered,” are archived at sheriarbooks.org

AaT91iL:flt: April4, 1909

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,t:indct 2avala, Los Angeles n November 14, 2005, Marguerite Poley gentlypassed into the loving arms ofher Beloved. She had been a resident of several convalescent homes in the past five years due to an anesthesia accident suffered during a knee replacement surgery which left her un able to walk. Her hearing and sight gradually diminished yet she remained strong, bringing the living spirit of her Beloved to the many devoted Baba lovers who visited her over the years. Dearest friends and devoted caregivers Marian Weiser and Heidi Hormuz were with her virtually on a daily basis, attending to her needs and keeping her spirits bright. Recently, despite the devoted efforts of her caregivers, she moved closer and closer to the Beloved until she quietly slipped away. Marguerite was a woman of extraordinary character; cheerftii, warm, canny and percep tive in a practical, loving way. She was always thoughtful, and would frequently put others first, as in giving away her food gifts to the next Baba lover who came to visit even though she herseiflived on an extremely modest ftxed income. She would accept an organic chicken, so lovingly given to her by a friend, and cook it up for her 17 cats, her darling babies; then she would happily eat rice and beans knowing her cats were really happy. She was a truly cheerful person. Her cheerfulness seemed not an avoidance of reality but a reflection of her understanding ofBaba’s words, “Among the many things the aspirant needs to cultivate, there are few that are as important as cheerfulness, enthusiasm and equipoise.” Perhaps Marguerite’s ability to be cheerfiil was etched on her soul by the extreme pain she suffered in life being coun terbalanced by the bliss she received from her Beloved. At a young age Marguerite learned to ride a horse and became an ardent enthusiast of the horse kingdom. Later, this led to an intuitive connection with Meher Baba as the Kalki or White Horse Avatar. Over the years she drew and painted many images of Baba riding triumphantly on a white horse. In Hindu tradition, Kalki is the name of the tenth and final Maha Avatara (Great Avatar) of Vishnu the Preserver, who will come to end the current Kali Yuga (The Age ofDarkness andDestruction). The name Kalki is often a metaphor for “Eternity” or “Time” or “The Annihilator oflgnorance.” In Hindi

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kalki avatar means “tomor row’s avatar.” the Sanskrit uage, one neaning is imply “White Horse.” Before Baba arrived in the 50s, Marguerite was one of the earliest Baba lovers living in the Los Angeles area. She shared in the preparations for His 1956 visit withJean Adriel, Agnes Baron, Hilda Fuchs,John Bass and others. She met Baba in Hollywood at the Roosevelt Hotel, again in Meher Mount in 1956 and at Myrtle Beach in 1958. Sadly she was not able to travel to Baba’s home in India due to her head injuries and other circumstances. Marguerite’s presence at Baba meetings was always a joy and she contrib uted to the Baba community in many ways, including offering her paintings to support Meherabode’s activities. Marguerite was born in Zurich, Swit zerland April 4, 1909. As an only child, her parents were completely devoted to her happiness. Her father, an artistic professional photographer, took many wonderful photographs of Marguerite, using her as a model, and taught her to ride horses at an early age. She was also encouraged to draw and paint. In 1925, when just a teenager, her father died. She and her mother emigrated to Amer ica, booking passage on the Cunard liner Rll/IS Berengaria. On arrival in Pennsylvania, Marguerite, having been educated in religious schools, decided to enter a Catholic convent while her mother found work as a seamstress. After being there forjust two weeks, one day a very clear inner voice spoke to her saying, “Why do this again?” The voice was so strong, she left the convent immediately. She pon dered what to do next. She decided to try to make a living working with horses. Being an excellent rider, she was fortunate find to work with Adele Parker, who started the Parker Ranch School near Cleveland, Ohio, where amateur and professional horsemanship was taught. She eventually became a professional stunt rider, and moved on to work in traveling circuses as a bare-back rider on magnificent Belgian Percheron horses. She lived the life of an itinerant performer, working 16-18 hour days, sometimes not getting paid, traveling on trains, going hungry, sleeping on any surface that would allow rest, .

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learning animal folk remedies, living with all laughed and mocked the idea. She looked Gypsies and other unusual people throughout at the paper and saw His photo and never the U.S. and Canada. thought ofit again until much later. In the off season she worked for other The second occurrence came in one of people caring for their pets or chauffeuring her terrible dreams. She found herself in a (highly unusual for a young lady in the 30s), Chinese torture cage made of bamboo. She such people as Georgejessel, the well known could neither sit nor stand. The pain became Master of Ceremonies and his actress-wife excruciating and she felt, “I can’t take this any Norma Talmadge. longer.” AU of a sudden it occurred to her to One day while performing a stunt on a completely surrender to God and she said to horse, she suffered a serious back injury when herself, “Oh God, if it is Thy will, I can put the horse fell and rolled over on her. After up with this forever.” In this surrender she recuperating for several months, Marguerite felt great reliefand internaljoy. She then saw and her mother moved to Los Angeles, Cali a very slim and beautiful woman in a long fornia to pursue a different life. blue gown with large luminous eyes walking On a fateftil hot, drydayin November 1944, towards the cage. Taking Marguerite by the her life changed forever. She was working inside wrist with alovely smile and holding her gaze, a large power shear in an aircraft parts factory she freed her from the cage and led her onto Suddenlyshe realized that her hairnet had been a path, then disappeared. Several years later caught and she was being pulled into the shear. when Marguerite was looking at photos of She struggled to save her life and her hair and Meher Baba’s women mandali, she pointed scalp were pulled offbefore the machine could to one of the ladies and said to Jean Adriel be stopped. Later she would realize that the ac in amazement, “This is the ladywho I saw in cidentwas a decisive life-turn towards a spiritual my dream who released me from the torture life. While she was lying semi-conscious, not cage.” The woman in the photo was Mehera, knowing if she was dead or alive, she heard a Meher Baba’s chiefwoman disciple. voice from within say, “Wake up! Wake up!” One night during another one of her She knew she was going to live. She endured dreadful dreams, in desperation she declared, more than two years of hospital care during a “In the name ofJesus Christ, please deliver long series ofskin grafts. me.” Nothing happened. She said it again For several years after her head injury, and again, ever more firmly. Again, nothing suffering from the skin grafts which didn’t happened. Finally, she declared, “Only if this take, frequent shaking spasms, and trying is thy will, oh God, then let it happen.” She to come to grips with the loss of her scalp and beautiftil auburn hair, she contemplated suicide many times. Horrific, wrenching dreams plagued her every night. She would awake drenched in sweat. While the dreams continued, her friends tried to interest her in spiritual movements to ease her internal anguish. When the path of the spirit she was destined to follow was revealed, the frightening dreams began to fade. One daywhen she was reading a book on Eastern thought, she read, “When the pupil is ready, the master will appear.” From that point on she began to feel inwardly happy. It was not until some time later that Marguerite realized her life had aireadybeen touched byMeher Baba before she actually knew of Him. The first time was when Baba visited the U.S. in 1932. She overheard the circus people around her reading the newspaper aloud and talking about how an Eastern master was claiming Top ofpage and above, Maigaurite with herfathei: to be the same as Jesus Christ. They


felt suddenly relieved. The devils didn’t stop appearing, but it was the beginning of her conscious surrender to the will of God. In 1947 Marguerite and two ofher friends heard that a spiritual master was coming to Meher Mount in Ojai. After one friend said, “Oh, no don’t go there, he is too erratic. No, don’t ever go there,” she and the other friend looked at each other impishly and immedi— ately got into the car to go to Ojai. There they metJean Adriel, saw Baba’s photos, and bought Jean’s book Avatar. Marguerite said she was unimpressed with the whole experi ence. A few weeks later, Baba turned the key. Suddenly, while reading Avatar she realized that Baba was the real thing—God Incarnate. She felt struck “as ifby a lightning bolt.” She fell into bliss for three days. She knew that she had “come home.” Outwardly she continued to live a normal life, doing odd jobs, but inwardly there was a deep and profound awakening. For nine years she and others in LA eagerly awaited Meher Baba’s visit to the United States. Marguerite distributedletters received from Baba and Mani giving news of Baba’s activities or orders they could carry out to share in His work. Marguerite recalls that in 1950 Dr. Donkin arrived from India to tour a few cities asking devotees to share in Baba’s work. She remarked that he was such a charismatic person that she forgot where she was driving and drove to her home in Canoga Park instead oftaking him to Malcolm Schloss’s apartment in Hollywood. Since she had not met Baba physically, it was exciting to meet Donkin and hear stories of Baba in India. The wonderftd day came when Meher Baba arrived in Los Angeles in 1956. Marguerite met the other members ofthe welcoming cornmittee at the airport. They were embraced by Baba. When He embraced her, she remarked

afterward, that she did not feel that He had a physical body. She felt that they were in the clouds together and there was nothing else in the universe except them. Later, they rushed on to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to greet Baba on the steps as He came in, but again Marguerite was in such a trance that she got lost and suddenlyrealized that she had to move quickly to get to the hotel. When they arrived Baba had aireadygone in. Baba received people at the hotel the next day and then on the third day Baba, the rnandali and a few lovers went to Meher Mount. Sadly, they said goodbye as He boarded the plane for San Francisco on the fourth day. She was inspired to start painting and began what became a series called the “White Horse Avatar” paintings. The first painting was sent to Baba’s home at Meherazad. In 1948, she sent “Pegasus,” a winged horse flying toward the heavens. Mehera wrote back, “So often Beloved Baba’s eyes have lighted up when looking on it. One little child had asked ifit was really Baba’s horse and we had said, ‘Yes, it is flying towards the light and the light is Beloved Baba.”

U L—R Marguerite, S. Livingston,Jean Adriel, 1 949

As Baba had told them to “forget the world while you are here with me,” Marguerite felt the bliss of being with the limitless oneness which the God-Man personifies. Marguerite continued to live in Los Angeles until her ninety-sixth year, giving those she touched inspiration and joy in knowing someone who put into action the lessons she learned and the transformation she experi enced from Her true Beloved.

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ear Marguerite Poleywas riding towards the Beloved, and she must have reached Him by now. She was very loving. She lived for Him, and she passed away to Him. Her love for the Beloved was so deep that it cannot be understood. She was ajoy for all the L.A. Loonies. She took a long time to drop this body and be with Him because she wanted all the Loonies to know that this life is mortal and that one day, she would reach the immor talAncient One, whom she felt so strongly in her heart all the time. And now the Beloved has at last given His Divine Embrace to her. Words cannot dojustice in praising Margue rite. So the only thing for us to do is to have the longing to reach Eternity and be with the Beloved eternally. May Beloved Baba keep dear Marguerite Poley with Him eternally. May He at least give us a glimpse of Eternity so that we may have more and more longing to reach Eternity forgetting the gross, subtle, and mental spheres completely until we reach the goal of Life at last—as dear Marguerite Poley now has.

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After Baba had dropped His body, Marguerite sent another painting in 1971. In a letter Mehera wrote to her she said, “When I first saw it, I felt my Beloved has come to me on His beautiful white horse. I feel the love which has inspired this painting. The whole effect is indescribably lovely and ethereal as though Beloved Baba, the God-Man, is corning down from the Beyond state.” Marguerite completed about twenty paintings of Baba. Since she could not travel very far, with her head injury, the paintings were a continuing source of communion with Him. In 1958, Marguerite had the second op portunity to meet Baba in Myrtle Beach. She resisted going for all kinds of reasons, but Dana Field insisted she go. Dana, Marguerite and a few others took a plane and experienced the harrowing trials of many hours of air travel in those days, arriving late and dishev eled. Baba called them immediately, leaving no time for them to compose themselves.

ckhr lowtt 2iàtw*s The Month ofSilence, July 1949

by JI/targiterite Poley ccording to Baba’s orders,July 1949 was to be a month kept in complete silence by His lovers and devotees residing at Meher Mount, Upper Ojai, California. As it turned out, we were ten, as follows: A young couple, both school teachers, from Palm Desert, Calif. (the husband was the only male person in the group).Two ladies

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from Palm Springs area, also California; these first four were Jean Adriel’s friends...I might add that to her delight one ofthese ladies was allowed to bring her dog for the stay. Agnes Baron knew the rest, namely Ruth Chace, a Quaker from Los Gatos, Califor nia, and Mary Beasley. Mary B. was a Sufi, had met Inayat Khan and respected Meher Baba. She was to be our spokesperson when accompanying Agnes into town for supplies. She was not committed to silence. And finally, Agnes, her dear friend Margaret Craske,Jean Adriel and myself. By evening, June 30, 1949, we were assembled. After being shown individual sleeping quarters there was a briefing: Never go outside in darkness without a lit flashlight due to rattlesnakes (these creatures hunt at night). Plus, ifany snake is seen in daylightwarn others by sign, i.e. point hand toward ground, follow with zigzag hand motions. Carrying pencil could be useftil for intercommunications. Meals: We were to have two a day. Breakfast: (from 7:30 am) Tea, coffee, fruits, cereals, breads. Dinner: No red meat: Vege-meat, veg etables. Fish, 2-3 times a week, beverages, dessert (we never worried what to do with leftovers. There weren’t any). Ample water was always available. Meher Mount water is sulphuric, therefore not potable. A period of silence in Baba’s Name was held after the briefing. Amid smiles we bid one another good night, went our separate ways. One could feel an undercurrent of trepidation regarding this swiftly upcoming month! How does one suddenly switch from a ‘talking world’ into absolute silence? Good question! But rest assured, by the third daywe finally were s-i-l-e-n-t. No more hands flying towards one’s mouth in dismay at having spoken, and dear Baba forgave us, too! Activities: Plenty! There’s never a time at Meher Mount with nothing to do. Agnes found assignments for all; there was always brush to be cleared. In 1949 there were several apricot trees ready to be picked.The fruits had to be sorted, cleaned, halved and laid out on long-stretched out gunny sack racks, placed in the sun and each apricot half had to be turned over daily. Agnes sold these ‘cots’ to health food suppliers.There was also watering to be done and let us not forget K.P. Rest and Recreation: Rest during the day’s hottest hours. Swimming pool available. Ball playing. A piano to use. Reading. As regards Baba literature we had a variety of articles, mostly printed in India, Discourses, and Jean Adriel’s recently published Avatai: I would 44

also like to mention that two of us were allowed to paint. Ruth Chace had movement difficulty and I was not 100%. Agnes was solicitous, al lowed us a glass of milk or buttermilk noontimes. Anyway, paint and paint and paint we did.. .I’m now taking the liberty to describe Ruth’s unique works: She would start dead center of her canvas and from there outwards in all directions, using geometricals only: triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, polygons, etc. These all became larger the further from center. With her knowledge of color, the end result was stunning. I was fascinated. Mandalas, indeed! I worked seven canvases. The young couple from Palm Desert took one home and I forget who got ‘Golden Hour,’ this one depicting a sunset seen through the oak trees—from a black-and-white Kodak print taken during the month ofsilence in 1949 atMeherMount (Proceeds—not a great deal—for Meher Mount). Now to the wonderful daily highlight! Around seven PM we gathered in the veranda ofthe main house. There we sat on the floor or chairs for an hour, or a bit more. It was a special, precious time, with Baba’s Loving Presence so powerftilly felt! Jean had a record player nearby. Our departure signal was when “A Song oflndia” played. Slowly, we did so, and I may say, reluctantly! On July 29t1, there was a chill in the air. Agnes had a fire going in the living room of the main house where that evening’s gathering was held. It was so powerftil! Now that I think back the closest comparison I can come up with is when Baba was with us in the Barn at Myrtle Beach, SC, in 1958. We simply lost sense of time. I’ve no idea how long we stayed in that room. And besides all that I’m reasonably sure we were aware that very soon we would part to individual destinations...af ter an unforgettable month spent together in silence. Apropos that particular evening: Jean told me as I drove her to Hollywood August 1, that she saw Baba slowly walking in the living room. He touched everyone, placing His hand on a shoulder, or arm, or top of the head as He glided among us!

Akkr c2kiwnt 4 knwris Ii April1950

J4larguerite Poley an you manage it?” said the voice on the telephone. It was Agnes Baron who wanted to knowifl could stay at Meher Mount for a couple ofweeks while she visited friends up north. “Yes.” I replied, “My mom is here and my painting commissions have no deadlines.” So in April 1950 Agnes gave me a chores list. I was to: 1. Take care of Kali, her Collie-Mix dog. And Pundit and Fana, her two cats. 2. Activate the electric water pump (down a steep hill) every other day. Do some watering if/when needed. 3. Weed a large strawberry patch located on a slope. In all these activities Kali was my constant shadow! It was a unique experience—with Baba so near in this tranquility the silence—so far away from everyday life. Sometimes Meher Mount was surrounded by fog and you found yourself on an island. Cold nights. Drizzle. Clear, sharp days when the Channel Islands stood out of the Pacific like sentinels; once, wet snow lasting only overnight. Some moonlit nights, magic! And always Baba, Baba, Baba... I chose to sleep on a cot. The front porch ofAgnes’s little house served as bedroom; Kali always by me. During this sojourn I saw no one except for Jean Adriel, who came up with David and Sunny Livingston for a visit. Agnes returned a dayearly, and the daybefore that, the strawberry patch was finished. Just in time! Agnes had a wonderful time with her friends, and so did I, thanks to Beloved Baba, thanks to Agnes...and thanks to Magnificent, Mystical Meher Mount.

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çr/Ifl 3fltTVWW with ,7PkI,cniim 3essaiiki n Aujust 9, 2003 1?itrt Don C. &evens and £cturcnt VeicIibcrgcr, 2”Iovenibcr 2005 his article is based on a transcript of an interview with Meherwan Jessawala by Don E. Stevens and Laurent Weichberger conducted on August 9, 2003 at Meherazad, India. The transcript has been reviewed, cor— rected and approved by both Meherwan and Don, and the article contains only minor edits to retain the conversational flow. In this article, we use (inaudible) when we cannot understand what is being said on the recording, and we also use the curly braces [to help describe the “when there is a situation), and three dots long pause, or an interruption in the flow of conversation. Any words inserted by the edi— tors appear in [square brackets] to differentiate from what is directly transcribed. This article representsjust over fourteen minutes ofthe in— terview itself Part three will be coming soon. This is part two of the article: The Book, An Interview with Meherwan Jessawala August 9, 2003 which was published in Series in Neti Neti International Meher Baba Newsletter, April 2005, and also in Love Street Lamp Post October 2005. [Meherwan [MJ] Don [DES] and Laurent [LW] are sitting at Meherazad].

T

“. . .

MJ: Anyway, so, I think it might corroborate if you recollect what year you saw the bundle’, what happened, and we don’t know. [Note 1: For those who did not read the first article in this series, the phrase “the bundle” refers to Meher Baba’s book (The Book) written by His own hand, which Meher Baba himself showed to Don Stevens at Meherazad in the 1950s, as we will soon hear from Don] DES: Well, I know approximately. Let me tell you that little bit of the story and how it happened. We had not been very far into the publishing and making public the first edition of God Speaks when Ivy Duce. so ofcourse this is about ‘54 ‘55 something like that at the latest. Ivy Duce said to me on occasion, “Don, you get to see Baba very fre quently now and now you and I have finished a bigjob ofediting GodSpeaks, so when you see Baba next time will you say, ‘Baba, you were very pleased, we understand, with the editing work we did on God Speaks. Baba would you entrust to us the editing of Your , so it can now be brought out?” [Note 2 Book 2: The phrase “Your Book” here means The Book written by Meher Baba in His own hand] And, so, I have to confess, Meherwan, . .

. .

ence of The Book in, certainly within the I was not enthusiastic about carrying this two-three years of Baba’s dropping the last soldier, good was a I But message to Baba. So, their knowledge that it was still in body. Baba and Sufis the of Boss and she was the and in the locked box in Bombay existence can help you every her .give had said, been much later than when Baba have to had this bring to bound Don.” And so I felt duty me. it to showed the was this And Baba. message from Ivy to story I got from Perviz. the is This MJ: later no say would I only time. now this. delighted to know that it was am I Yeah. DES: than ‘56 or ‘57. it out ofthe locked box. took who Ramjoo in arrived I when So, this was the only time be the last, last ten feet. not may it But MJ: see to brought I India to visit Babawhere was to the locker and return be a might There but Hall, Him immediately, not in Mandali knows? Who again... then surprised this sitting in Eruch’s shack. And me, because always before I was always in DES: Who knows. I don’t know. Mandali Hall where I would meet Baba. So MJ: We don’t know all this, that’s lost in antiquityc at any rate, after Baba puts His questions, you That’s lost, yeah. DES: starts He know, sleeping, diet and so on, and thing is, it was put in Baba’s Principal MJ: I must to talk about other things, I remember later on, when people asked Then hands. forget put Ivy’s question early otherwise I’ll Eruch himself stayed in see you Eruch, So it because I wanted to forget it, frankly. asked Baba, seeing His once Guruprasad, answer I put it to Baba, and Baba made no of health, “Baba, what condition delicate got to me, and He gestured to Eruch. Eruch do you want to do? What Book? The about end up in [the] shack, walked to the opposite will ask. Baba says, people and it, is Where of the room where there was a big wooden worry” don’t after, looked well is “It box with I think a lid that opened up on the he may not So tells us. Eruch what That’s in top. He took out a package and put it the package with did Baba what knowing be is Baba’s hands, and Baba said, “Don here possession. Eruch’s in it was after The Book.” DES: Well, the last Eruch knew it was back MJ: He said that? in the lock-box in Bombay. It is absolutely DES: Yes, right. And it was in Baba’s hands, clear from my conversation when we were and He was showing it to me. And then He said, “Don, this is not the time for it, perhaps both at Baba’s entombment. later.” Gave it back to Eruch. Eruch put it MJ: Oh! It went back. back in the wooden box. So, all this was in DES: It had to have gone back, it had to. Eruch and Elizabeth were very clear that it the mid-50s somewhere. had recently been in the lock-box. MJ:Ahhh. MJ: I see. Rarnjoo died before Baba. So, I don’t DES: So it was considerably before... know. It’s all very confusing. Anyway, so this MJ [interrupts Don): It could be that [inau dible word) in the ‘50s. And that Ramjoo is a digression from what I was saying. DES: Please. must have handed it over to Baba. , do 3 DES: Well, but in the ‘SOs, I have the impres MJ: So, Eruch tells me, “Just look at this 3: The [Note Book?” The is sion from the telephone conversation with you think it at the look means here this” Elizabeth Patterson that it had been in the phrase “look at scribe’s unknown in an locked storage box considerably after I saw manuscript written hand, given by Eruch to Meherwan to read, it in the 50s. I had that impression, but she did NOT say, “Last time I saw it was ‘56,” now published by Sheriar Foundation as the book, Infinite Intelligence, after having or something... not at all. been edited by Bhau, Meherwan, Ward, MJ: It may have gone back to the locker. DES: It could have gone back. I don’t know and others. For more information, read the booklnfinite Intelligence which gives a com what... prehensive account of the editing process.] MJ: We don’t know. Now, Eruch asks me this question, so he may DES: But my impression from the conversa tion with both Eruch and with Elizabeth, not have seen... 4 discovered is that they had both known of the pres DES [interrupts): This recently “. .

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45 -

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manuscript [Note 4: It was not “recently discovered,” as Meherwan explained that the manuscript was actually found in 1969 Laurent] MJ:Yeah. LW: Don, do you see what he’s saying? Eruch asked him, “Do you think it’s The Book?” Maybe Eruch never saw the actual pages of The Book. DES: Oh! I’m sure Eruch didn’t. It was not open. MJ: Yeah. It was not allowed to be seen by anybody. DES: And Eruch never told me anything about seeing The Book. MJ: No, he didn’t. DES: Baba didn’t volunteer to have Eruch untie the package! MJ: That’s right. DES: I can tell you that to me, obviously, the package consisted, first of all of probably two school notebook-size things, maybe so thick. [Don makes a size measurement with his handj MJ: Ahhh. DES: On this there were piled, obviously in this package, because the packing paper fol lowed the contours ofwhat was inside, on top ofwhat was approximately the thickness of two school-sized notebooks, was a thicker but a much smaller-dimensional block. And I said to myself—well, Baba probably started with the big books and He ran out ofpaper and was using smaller ones. And I made, just because my mind works this way, I made a quick... MJ: Were there loose sheets... DES: The package was not... MJ: ...on the top? DES: The package was not... MJ: No, on the top, did you follow the contours on the top? DES: No, the smaller top part was almost all the same size. MJ: All the same. DES: And I thought to myself these are block note books, block note paper that Baba then used, no indication that they were spiral bound or anything like that, but let me tell you, because this is the most important point that unconsciously I gathered. These were all written in long hand. So I made a quick calculation into my mind, because I was so busy writing things under Baba’s direction—pages, and how many pages, was important constantly, so I just made a calculation and said—well, that’s in Baba’s long hand, written as long hand, if it were then typed off because I so much typing offinto computers by that time, what was in 46 -

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..

there certainly could not be more than two hundred pages ofprinted material. So it was a relatively short work. So when, for instance, I think the thing that interested me greatly when Bhau said, “Baba gave me notes which are included in The Nothing and The Everything, and it constitutes 10% ofThe Book.” Ten percent oftwo hundred pages is twenty pages. So twenty pages, just as a rough esti mation, ofabout four hundred pages 5 in The Nothing andThe Everything, is avery small quantity. [Note 5: It is important to realize, however many pages are there, that the format of The Nothing and The Eveiything is highly unusual in that there is much less text per page than a regular book, it is more like poetic formatting. —LW] DES: So I asked Bhau, “Can you identifywhat is. what the passages are in your book?” I didn’t say, “Bhau, it’s a pretty small portion and we should know which is Baba and which is Bhau.” So I said, “Can you identil5i which is the material in the printed book that came from notes from Baba?” And he said, “No, because the notes were stolen, and I have no way to look.” MJ: Yeah. Unfortunate. DES: So,what those twentypages mixed into the four hundred and where they are, we will never know. So here’s another thing lost. MJ: Baba had given him points...And then he elaborated it, in his book [The Nothing and The Everything]. But they were just points that Baba gave. DES: They were points that Baba gave him. MJ: And he tells Baba, “Baba, I don’t know what all this is. and Baba says, “Don’t interrupt.” DES: “You will understand.” MJ: Yeah. ..just take down those points, you will understand later.” DES:Yeah, and thosewritten points,under dic tation from Baba, he says were then stolen. MJ: That’s right. DES: And he dictated them, uh, rather wrote his The Nothing and The Everything includ ing from memory, Baba’s points. But he does not remember anything about where those points were included. MJ: Why does Baba do this to us? DES: To keep us on our toes, scratching our head. MJ: Yeah, he won’t let it be pinpointed.Any way, so, what happened is that Eruch gives me this and he said, “Do you think this is The Book?” And I tell Eruch, “How should I know? I have no idea what The Book was, and how could I say?” And he says, “Okay.” MJ: Yeah. So, he says, “Go through it, and see what you think about it.” And he left me with ..

. .“

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those books . There were two notebooks of 6 foolscap size. ruled. You know you used to get... [Note 6: The phrase “those books” means the manuscript oflnfinite Intelligence before it was typed and edited. —LW] DES: Yes. MJ: And in very fine handwriting somebody had written those.. it was a transcription, obviously, of something very profound. And I just turned over the pages, head or tail ofwhat it was. And after cursorily going through it, then Eruch comes back after some time and says, “Well? What do you think?” I say, “Eruch, I really have no idea. I don’t know what The Book was about, how could I say that this is The Book, or something?” He said, “Airight, just let it be. Put the thing back in that...” DES: Eruch was busy. MJ: He was terribly busy. So, he kept that little leather bag, and then Ijustleft. Later on what happened was that Rhoda Dubash came from Karachi and settled down here along with Adi Dubash. And she would come to the Trust Office and pester Eruch quite a bit, “Give me some work, Eruch, give me some work. I want to do office work.” DES: “I want to serve Baba.” MJ: Yeah. So Eruch would not know what to give her.TheTrust hadn’t started functioning very well, there wasn’t much. Suddenly he got a bright idea to get her off my chest, he brought out those books that he had shown me, and he tells her: “Do one thing now, Rhoda, take these books, these are hand written pages, type them out in fair. And make three copies of them, and do that.” DES: Um-hmm. so she didn’t pester him for two years again. MJ:That’s right. LW (to Meherwan]: Do you remember the writing? Was it hand written in English, or Gujerati, or Hindi, or all of them? MJ: I’ll show you that, I have it. So, anyway, so then he gives her those books and then he says, “I’ll give you Bal Natu, to assist. And [a few inaudible wordsj in doing this, but you do it quietly. We don’t want this to be, sort of—tom-tommed—about.” So they sat in the room which is now at the backside of the Trust Office, the Happy Library, or something. And in that room they both sat for a couple ofyears I think. And Bal would give her the book, and she would start typing. And he would help her to type it out. Part III:The Book or NotThe Book?, wherein our interview concludes as we move from the first typing, as overseen by Eruch, of the continued on page 48 ..

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ç4nnouncemcnts 3flflfl tiw .Jhchives A414XiU1I and !Researck Committee of the Avntar J4’kher EBaba 7rust In the Footsteps ofthe Beloved is a new series from the Avatar Meher Baba Trust Archives. The unique photos are posted in a new PDF format that we will be using from this week onwards.The photos and adjoining text can be viewed at http://www.ambppct. org/museum/footstep/footstep2.pdf. Ifyou have difficulty in downloading this format, please let us know at: laurel@ambppct.org. If you are unable to view this document, you may need to download and install the lat est version ofthe Adobe Reader. To download Adobe Reader 7.0 directly from the Adobe website, follow this link: http://www.adobe. com/products/acrobat/readstep2.htniL

Colorado, featuring guest speaker Allan Co hen and musical guest Michelle Shafer from Chicago. For registration information, contact Janet Dascalos at 303-274-8261 or daaman7@yahoo.com. EBeau:tiju1

painin.!

information, instructions, and where to send Baba materials for New Orleans. For all other requests to help financially, or with material goods for victims of Katrina, contact Joe Burke at 601-278-6245.

Iew Orleans 3flZ estI5nIuwas.

Visit the website below to view Austra The Avatar Meher Baba Center of han artist Tricia Migdoll’s artwork: http:// New Orleans, living the New Life after groups.msn.com/art4love/triciasartwork. Katrina, would like to extend an open msnw?Page=1 invitation to all who feel the call to come and share Baba’s love-wine and heart songs in a city of music that must be revived. LA ebirth in 2•kw We are planning a Meher Baba Sahavas at lississippi 4 J2&r Rippa J the New Orleans Jazz Fest come the first The Avatar Meher Baba Center of New weekend of May, 4th to 8th. This will be Orleans was inaugurated on November 12th, no formal affair but brought together by 2005 with two Baba dhuni fires just after a blending of Baba’s Grace with our own sunset, one for the city of New Orleans and work and prayer. Our little Jackson, Misone for the beginning of the Baba Center at sissippi/ New Orleans Baba Center family fljfl: 1w•ic all day long! J oe Burke’s house. The city dhuni was held on will work hard to provide suitable accom with food and transpor Now you can do your work while having a the walking bridge over the Bayou St. John modations, help initial setup of a planned huge selection ofBaba music gently streaming across from Holy Rosary Catholic Church. tation, and the music, prayer and a dhuni. from your computer. Go to the Meher Baba Participants wereJoe Burke, Peter Rippa, and festivity with an initial seed grant donation to Internet Radio Station via the following steps: Bill Abboud. Our prayers to Beloved Baba We have were to make this new center and New Or- help with some start-up costs but will need 1. Log on to http://www.avatarmeherbaba. leans a spiritual place of rebirth and renewal much more for overall expenses. We are planorg/ in Beloved Baba’s light and love, helping the ning to have at least two to three apartments 2. In the center column of the Home Page, city and its people recover from Katrina’s available for dorm-like accommodation near about 2 inches below Baba’s photo find the Baba Center and Jazz Fest site. Since devastation and hardship. Radio Broadcast; click on Station Link. It had not rained in two months in New this is a famous and important music festival If that doesn’t work click on Player Link. Orleans and was so dry, dusty and dirty from in New Orleans, especially in the wake of Musicians who would like their music played all the clean up and debris. The day after the this year’s devastation (thanks to Katrina on this station only need to send their CD dhuni Sunday November 13th at about 2:00 devastation) this Sahavas will be dedicated to Joe Stewart whom you may contact at pm it rained nicely for about a half an hour to the revival of music in our city Our ap stewart@ecc.edu. and gave everyone some relief from the dry peal and need is for serious Baba musicians, and dusty conditions. There was also a beauti who can cover all or part of their own costs. EBaba 13OOkS 21ceded ffil rainbow over the Bayou St. John and the There will be no charge for attending the Sa the Shrivastav, Urmilla and Gokaran walking bridge. The newspaper showed the havas and we hope to keep accommodations Hill dedicated librarians at the ‘Meherabad rainbow over the place where we held the free depending on the fhnds we can raise. We Library’, would be very happy if old Baba dhuni.Joe and I felt this was a direct sign from have our own restaurant facility arranged for books, many of which are out of print now, Beloved Baba’s guiding hand in the formation the Baba music and programs. We also need could be donated to them. Meherabad Library ofthe Center, which is being moved after 23 serious Baba crafts people/ artists to help with caters to the needs of all pilgrims, residents years injackson, Mississippi, to its “New Life” our BabaJazz Fest booth where we will showand other visitors to Meherabad. Donated in New Orleans. case wonderful Baba music and art. It will be books will help in enhancing the facility of We are appealing to all Baba Centers a mela-like opportunity to have thousands of this prime library at Meherabad. The books and organizations involved in the printing J azz Fest attendees see Baba’s pictures and may be sent to the Love Street Lamp Post and/or distribution of Baba’s materials, such distribute to them His Universal Message and editor for passing on to Meherabad Library as pictures, books, messages, music, etc., for our Sahavas program with Baba’s photo on it. or given to pilgrims. a helping hand in donating to the New Or- Of course volunteers will be needed to help Center and supplying it with abundant with the preparation and running of the Sa leans A1mnttiin zoo6 LAnmui Baba materials so many could be given away havas and we are hoping fellow Baba lovers 5ah.as from the heart or at a reduced cost. Please from neighboring or close-by states would 23-26 February on held contact Peter Rippa at 601 355-8959, 601 attend and help, driving to arrive early on This event will be noon) Sunday through 317-0848 and mailing address 3404 Casa May 4th. All participants who also wish to (Thursday evening continued on page 48 Springs, Colorado near Grande Circle, Jackson MS 39209 for more at La Foret Camp, 47


F:

prA J4teher i3nbn 2rnnnc voice seriously, however, and wrote a letter to Hana reminding her of our past connection, informing her : a bit about my life since 1970, and asking her if she would like to be my pen pal. I later learned from Hanawhat happened when she received thatletter. She first thought it was from her friend, “Jean” Peterson. She took the letter outside to read on the back steps. As she held the letter, she noticed it was from “James” Peterson and she suddenly said to herself: “Oh, my God! I’m going to marry J im Peterson and move to California!” Hana didn’t tell me this news however, and I just enjoyed getting to know my new pen pal through many letters and emails over the next three or four months. Once I had been teffing her how my son and I had visited sixty-seven stone circles in the United Kingdom, but that my favorite sacred site in America was Sedona, Anzona. Hana, in the meantime, wanted to tell me that she had studied body work with John Barnes in Sedona, and she felt I would really enjoy visiting such a spiritually “potent” spot. Our two letters crossed each other somewhere over the continent, perhaps close to Sedona! So we decided to have our first face to face meeting after thirty three years in Sedona in June of 2003. As Eruch would say, .to cut a long story short. Hana moved to California and we began the process of really getting to know each other. We had lots of adventures, many romantic times, fttnny incidents and awkward personality clashes. Our souls were already united, but getting to know the sanskaric habits of our present personalities—with plenty of quirks—was not always easy. ByJanuary 2005, I was still being cautious and figured there was no need to rush into a marital commitment. Hana and I were invited to a dinner partywith a friend ofours who had just gotten backfrom a big Baba celebration at the Universal Spiritual Centre in Byramangala, India. After dinner we were chatting and she said, “So, Jim, I just met your good friend Freiny Naravala in Bangalore. And the first thing she said to me was, “When is Jim go.

Jirn andHana Peterson ‘ irn J&terson,

vValnztt Creek

Baba is always guiding us and helping us, that we know. But there are those ]Jeher special life events in which Baba so clearly reveals His grace. And it’s thrilling to share such moments with other Baba lovers. The story ofmy romance with Hana Meyer is such an event. My pal Bob Holcomb and I had first met Hana in Myrtle Beach, when her name was Debbie Peterson. It was the summer of1970 and Debbie and I seemed to hit it off I can remember clearly having the thought, “Debbie and I should get married because we’re both named Peterson.” But then, after a couple of months of Berkeley to Myrtle Beach correspondence, we lost touch. In the intervening years Debbie married, had a son and divorced; and I married, had a son and divorced. Now thirtyyears later my friend Bob comes into the picture again. He had relocated to Washington D.C. for a fewyears, and one day he called me and said, “You’ll never guess who’s living here: Debbie Peterson; but she calls herselfHana now” I took that information in, but I didn’t get excited or feel any urgent need to get in touch with Hana. I simply thought, “That’s interesting, we’ll no doubt meet again sometime.” Well, that attitude didn’t last long! Sometime, shortly after Baba’s birthday, 2003, I woke up in the morning and heard a clear voice saying, “You have to contact Hana. She’s an old friend ofyours.” Now, even though in my book, The Secret L/è ofKids, I write about such experiences with children, I’m not the type to hear other-worldly voices. I took that 48

“. .

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ing to marry that girl??!!” Even friends in India were teffing me to quit stalling. And you know, Baba turned the key and I was ready. I proposed to Hanajust one weeklater. We had a delightftil summer wedding in Washington D.C. our mutual pal, Ellis Pines, as the moderator and narrator ofthe wedding. He very humorously told the saga of our thirty five year relationship, and in addition to the incidents narrated here, he included many other synchronistic and fanny events in our lives together. In fact he told our story in such a funny way, people were doubled over in laughter. In any event I am so happy and honored that Beloved Baba has brought Hana and me together once again. And I’m happy to have been able to share a bit ofour story in these pages. The Book continuedfrompage 46

original scribe’s handwritten work to the evolution of the edited manuscript, which became a book called Infinite Intelligence.

Jazzfest continuedfrom page 47 attend Jazz Fest would need to cover their own admission to that event, about 35.00 per day and contribute toward their meals. We will try to provide some communal meals but some lunches and suppers will be up to each participant. Donations of any amount are needed and ifwe raise more than we need, any extra will be donated for needed projects at other Baba centers, or we could make a donation to one or two needy families in New Orleans who lost their homes but want to stay and rebuild. Please contact Peter Rippa at 601-317-0848 or 601-355-8959 until January 25th and after March lst,Joe Burke at 601-278-6245. Our emails are peterrippa@gmail.com and burkeno@aol.com. Please be aware that if you plan on flying into New Orleans around this popular Jazz Pest time you need to purchase your tickets early. We hope to see you there!


The responses were quite overwhelming: divine love prevails and conquers! Dear Tian, give-andone person followed the story with “Avatar thank you for your translation, your underhis meditations there as a moment Meher Baba ki Jai!” seven times; one said, “I standing of Baba’s meaning is accurate, and take oflove between him and Baba. to son my unhesitatingly bow down to Beloved Avatar the subtleties well handled, I could hardly find In April 2004, on my way with Beijing, in Meher Baba!” Some thanked the translator any fault. I shall melt myselfinto Baba’s Path of see my parents, I met with Sakshin fam for the beautiful and touching story. Another Love until the consummation ofthe lover and and spent two evenings with him and his beamsaid: “Meher Baba is the most beautiftul person Beloved. Ifpossible, I’d like to do something ily. It was so touching to see Baba’s face ing in the living room ofa Chinese household I have ever met, in His eyes is the pure light of concrete to help spread Baba’s message.” “This book is one of the very few most in the centre ofBeijing. We talked about Baba eternal wisdom and compassion, and it is the spiritual books I have ever read, and important name His hear to life in my and watched the newly released DVD God in greatest privilege brought me great Dharma bliss. it has reading Human Form. Also present were two young and see His face.” concise, in the fewest words is extremely It some quite for ofBaba “I have had a photo friends of Sakshin’s, both immediately drawn the richest informa contained is possible internot are who to Baba. Sakshin later described how he felt: time now, and even those one finds proftmdity words, Baba’s In tion. and Baba to attracted “After watching the video of Baba, for ested in spiritual stuffare rational exposition, and in love simplicity in several days I was in a state of overflowing say He radiates power.” when least expected. ng lines heaven-shaki ofBaba the photos Someone else pasted all love, imbued with a steady calmness and basic religious two the combines system Baba’s fearlessness. And such a feeling stayed with me he could find from other sites. it is Buddhism, and Christianity of systems forum, web Since then, every day at the throughout the day—no matter whether I was helping religions, all understand to key the authority walking, talking, sitting or sleeping. While in it, Baba’s words are quoted as the final I felt I could bow down to anyone without the in discussions, and questions are asked about people bypass the external forms of religion slightest sense of hesitancy, inappropriateness Baba’s life and messages. Some are fascinated to directly realize the essence of truth. .The or conscious humility. It is only ‘as it is’—no by Baba’s mast work, some by Baba’s five Mas translation is near perfection, and I hope this other thought. I could say this is the first time ters, and some by the story ofthe “Mischievous bookwill be soon published in China to benefit I ever fell in love (for I am more a head than Chicken.” It seems that they all know about more people.” “At last I have a copy ofDiscourses. I shall a heart person), and this love is mutual. That God Speaks and talk enthusiastically about its all other books that my room is filled leave is, the moment I think ofHim, I feel my love uniqueness. with, and read Baba’s Discourses. I have been It seems thatwhen Baba goes to China this flow towards Him, and simultaneously, a much in the wilderness for too long and walking stronger current of love flows into my heart, time, He goes all over. Since the first copy of that I have heavy mental blocks. I need the Chinese Discourses went into China last know f1Iing me with a sustaining ftillness.” mind down and approach Baba’s my Through Sakshin, Geoffand I got to know December, there are at present 20 cities in to calm heart. The moment I opened my with other seekers and were invited to host the mainland China that hold one or more cop- words it is inexhaustible.” knew I Avatar Meher Baba forum at a Chinese BBS ies, from capital cities to remote towns, from Discourses, today with a blast of arrived “The book [Bulletin Board System] website dedicated to north to south, east to west, and in the middle. in a state of ecstasy. are we all great spiritual paths. It is called “Boundless Copies have also been sent to Hong Kong and spiritual energy; wait to study hardly can I and My friends Space” and went into operation almost simul South Korea. humanity lead will message And from the readers, loving and encourag it. Meher Baba’s taneously with the launching of the Avatar in the is bathed One of truth. Meher Baba Chinese Website. And it is run ing letters have poured in. The following are a into the realm rare so radiance, spiritual loving warmth ofhis few excerpts from our correspondences: by some Chinese seekers in Melbourne! soul sincere A world. in the “Dear Tian, Today I am extremely happy and much needed In their invitation letter to other Chinese spiritual websites, Baba’s words were quoted and blissful, for the first thing I saw in my cannot help but feel unreserved respect and at length: “There is no general rule or method office was Discourses. I can’t tell you how my love for Meher Baba.” “It is very, verygood and I finished reading applicable to all who aspire to realize God. heart rejoiced at the sight of Baba’s book and Every man must work out his own salvation, photo. I know I am destined to enter into the it almost in one go, reluctant to put it down. Of and must choose his own method. And existence ofanother spiritual master, and I am all the spiritual books I know, this is the only I was surprised to find that already quite a intoxicated byyour beautiful translation at the one that is so comprehensive and profound. few people knew and liked Baba. One said same time. With the Lord, how miraculous Meher Baba’s height is indescribable, and the he found all his knowledge of various Bud- everything is! I have some fellow seekers who value of this book is indescribable. I thank dhist systems integrated in Baba’s teachings; are longing for Baba’s message. Could you send Meher Baba from the bottom of my heart, and thank you very much for translating it however what most appealed to him was the a copy to each of them?” “I have lent my copy to a Buddhist friend. into Chinese.” (Geoff says this sounds like a unsurpassable and inimitable compassion and wisdom in Baba’s eyes. Another said in her She likes it very much and says she had no idea promotional campalgn.) The translation of Discourses is a labour of email that she could feel divine love radiating such a book existed that explained enlightenlove, and every small effort is rewarded tenfrom Baba’s eyes and reckoned she was one of ment so clearly.” “In the process ofreading, with the poetic fold by Baba’s unconditional Love, His hands the ‘bananawailas,’ unable to hold tears when flow oflanguage, I feel that Baba has placed on almost discernible all the way.When the initial thinking about it. As Baba’s birthday special, we translated my path all that is necessary for the liberation draft was finished, I was not confidentwith my the story of Baba’s parents—part of a series of consciousness, just as streams flow to that translation and contacted a translator friend in “Who Is Meher Baba?” together with Bhau’s infinitely vast and deep beauty Once again it the UN for advice, but he wasn’t interested in testifies to the truth that there are no two hearts spiritual books. Baba in His own way sent the birthday message. between saints, no two Taos under heaven, ideal proofreader and critic in the professor 49 Baba Goes to Chinafrompage 17

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from a prestigious university After working and reworking on my translation for a number oftimes over seven years,just when it reached a point of what Geoff calls “diminishing returns,” Baba got Bill Le Page into action. Bill advised that it was time to have the book printed, and brought along the publisher, the printer and the patron. When the Chinese Discourses was printed, Bill and Diana Le Page took the first copy to Baba’s Samadhi to lay it at Baba’s feet. The instant the book touched Baba’s tomb, down came a heavy shower of rain. Both Bill and Diana felt deeply that it was Baba’s blessing and acknowledgment. After copies had been sent to more than 10 major cities in China, I thought: “Baba went to Shanghai and Nanjing. What’s going on there?”Within a couple ofdays, an email came with “I love Meher Baba very much! I read Baba’s words at your website, and they are so powerfid. Such a Master is rare to find. I’d like to buy the Discourses and all books by Meher Baba in Chinese.”—from Shanghai! When the second order came from Shang hai, Geoffcafled out: “Come on Nanjing! It’s your turn!” An hour later, we checked our inbox, guess what! A letter from Nanjing: “I came across your website by chance. I am moved by Baba’s love and depth and grateful for your hard work. I became interested in spirituality ten years ago at college, and have read many books with a skeptical mind. Now ten years later my doubts are slowly dispersing like clouds, though I haven’t had any master or spiritual practice. I knowl am full of sanskaras. I love Baba because His teaching is not religion but pure love and truth. Baba explains things more clearly than Osho. I’d like to be your friend and buy a copy ofBaba’s Discourses.” And when Baba goes to China, he goes straight into the heart ofthose who seek Him. Khyentse from Beijing is along-time practitio ner ofTibetan Buddhism and a recent captive ofthe Beloved: “I had wished to have a photo of Meher Baba whom I regard as my inner spiritual Master, and one dayl was given the gift ofHis photo. I was told that Baba appears in dreams of those who have a connection with Him. But I didn’t expect this blessing, since I felt that any demand forced on the Master would only create illusions... The next morning at 4 AM, the time of my usual spiritual dreams, Baba appeared. He was wearing a white turban, young and slim, with a beard, His eyes as bright as bright stars, He was sitting on a chair, barefoot, under a white robe, and this image persisted with great clarity for a long time. My mind had only this image, no

room for other thought or conceptualization, simply pure illumination. When I woke up in the morning, a strong sense of contentment filled my whole being, which lasted for days. I feel strongly that the essence ofBaba’s teaching is selfless love, and this has affected my heart and action. Khyentse also told us that one morning after reading some excerpts of God Speaks that I had translated, he felt extremely sleepy and fell asleep. Waking up, he found himself in a powerful meditative trance of non-self that sometimes happens after concentrated meditation. Itwas very difficult to describe, he said, and completely different from his normal mental state. Because he was not prepared for it, it took him quite a while to adjust to his surroundings and to pull himself back into duality consciousness. In a recent letter, Khyentse wrote: “I strongly feel that Baba is not just that person, therefore he gave up speech—so that people could be liberated from the wondrous teachings and only focus on Baba (Baba is not a body, not alimited individual). To know Baba, we must first go beyond our own illusory sight. This is the secret ofBaba’s not using language ( Language is inadequate). The central secret is—just to love Baba, nothing else matters. I don’t know whether I have made myself un derstood. But this is the strong realization I suddenly had. Boundless love to you in Baba! I thank Baba for empowering my blocked heart.” “Although I haven’t read many of Baba’s works like you guys,” Khyentse once said, “yet I feel in my heart that Baba, like my other Masters, is one with me, and that Baba and I will never part from each other till death.” It makes me feel that Baba has never been away from China, and that His coming and going is just part of His Divine Leela, to claim and reclaim His lovers, somewhere and everywhere, in His “Middle Kingdom,” now and always. Praise to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba! .

Rainbows continuedfrom page 16 my dream of Meher Baba, I not only had a tour of India, but of Shanghai, China. It was strange how everything happened so naturally and well planned considering that I had very little time to prepare for the trip. Most importantly, apart from meeting the great mandali, I learned many things and came back a different person indeed. Behnaz Zoya Malek works and lives in Vancouver, Canada. She can be reached via email at mountainechoes@yahoo.com. Ed.

kbti Was DeUghted tis We Thrended thc.. A1kys 4 2terbert Davy mmediately we had had tea Baba said that he wished to go round the city and mix with the Chinese crowds. I had had very little experience of Baba’s ways and was still rather awkward in his presence. I took them along the Bund, and from the French settlement by tram through the British to the war-stricken districts near the North station, thinking it would interest them. Not at all. There were not enough people. We took a tram back and saw Nanking Road, the now brightly lit Chinese stores, Chungking Road, racecourse, along Tibet Road. The streets were densely packed with long-gowned clerks and short-coated coolies, endless rickshaw-pullers with cheerful faces and poverty-stricken appearances beseeching us to ride not walk; the narrow streets were hung with paper lanterns and waving banners. Baba was delighted as we threaded the narrow, perfumed alleys, and the Chinese turned to stare at us in a not too friendly manner. Baba was delighted and liked them. After dinner we drove round the three cit ics—French, British, and the fringe of the Chinese city with its gay lights, restaurants, hotels, and haunts. on Thursday, the 23rd [ofJune, 1932], Baba saw some visitors[...] Next morning 24 June we were met at Nanking by my servants. In my minute house we were nine persons. After breakfast I took Baba up the battlemented citywall, and there we walked along to the left, where at the foot ofthe sixty-foot wall was the great lake, to the right the cit and ahead the Purple Mountain[...] On Sunday we went to the national cinema in the Chinese city, we also drove through the swarming Chinese lanes, so narrow that the car almost touched the walls on either side, the open shops that display a hundred handicrafts and trades, to the temple of Confucius. The Chinese coming Buddha is called Milo Fu. I had in the house a statue in lacquer, which I gave to Baba. We left by train for Shanghai. My ser vants all came to the station and asked to say goodbye to Baba. Baba left Shanghai on the Kaiser-i-Hind, and I sailed for Dairen six days later.

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The God-Man, C. B. Purdom, © 1971 Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.


Woridwide J4cher EBnba Jkiectins Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area of NewYork, NewJersey, and Pennsylvania—bi weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 PM. Frank Bloise, 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360. thloise@earthlink.net

Thefihlowing is iirmation about the various Baba grozps around the country and aJèwfivm overseas. If your local data is not includedplease send it to me and shouldthings changefivrn thepublisheddetails,please let me know that beJbre the next issziec deadline. —Dma

TEXAS

Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker 936-5602631, 3101 Skyline Drive, 75965. rockbl@yahoo. corn

DOMESTIC ARIZONA

Tucson—Irma Sheppard, 520-321-1566, 7320 N. Village Ave., 85704. ihs222@theriver.com.

WASHINGTON,

CALIFORNIA

San Francisco BayArea—CaU for information regarding meeting times and related informa tion: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259, Benleet@earthhnk.net. The Northern California ing the gatherings at 1 PM starting with potluck, Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 work: Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931 wwwMeherB then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, 8 evenings 9, 207-594-196 home: 207-594-090 abaMeherBaba.org and weekends; P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, 04859. Sacramento—Meetings first Friday of the publisher@sevencoinpress.com month at 7 PM. Marilyn Buehler, 916-925-4451. Noreen O’Brien, 207-354-7005; P0 Box 42, premsay@sbcglobal.net. www.premsay.com/Me Rockland, ME 04841. ompoint@yahoo.com herBaba Ken Lax, 207-594-6391 P0 Box 108, Rockland, Los Angeles—Meetings are Sundays, 1 1 AM to 1 04841. kenlux@aol.com PM, held in our center “Meherabode,” 323-731MASSAcH USETTS 3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center CA 90019Jist east ofthe intersection ofArlington Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle. and 12th Street. The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at www lpgp@verizon.net Meherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, MONTANA activities and announcements to the Baba cornMissoula—Andy Shots, 406-549-5949; 336 Conmurnty and the public. nell, 59801. COLORADO

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Denver—Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 PM at Liz Miller 603-749-3668. mceliz2001@yahoo.com. various homes in the Denver-Metro area. The NEW MEXICO contact person for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona is Barbara A. Roberts, 303- Santa Fe—Robert Reser and Edle Andersen host meetings on the last Thursday of the month at 7 238-4649; 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO PM in their home, 505-983-6621; 1921 Fort Union 80033-5543 (near Denver). babara@fone.net Drive, 87505. robertreser@yahoo.com FL0RI DA

Tampa—Jane Paladino, 813-962-8629. Clearwater—Tom Decker, MD, 727-536-9282. HAWAII

Maui—Meredith Moon, Phone: 808-573-1 188 or 808-572-6556, Fax: 808-573-1189; 1940 Olinda Road (or P0 Box 1269 for mall) Makawao, Maui, HA 96768. mm@dreamcircle.org. Molokai—Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dharn”, 808567-6074 or 808-567-6383, Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363; 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729, (mail: P.O. Box 177), Kuala puu, Hawaii 96757. salapa@aloha.net.

Lou ISIANA New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center for monthly meeting and film program please contact: Joe Burke 601-278-6245 for the date, time, location and directions. burkeno@aol.com MAINE

Spruce Head/Rockland—We meet once a month on the third Sunday and take turns host-

NEVADA

D.C.

Pamela Butler-Stone, 310-946-0236, friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeimages.com/Me herBaba WASHINGTON, STATE

Seattle—Meher Baba Group Meetings: Fridays at 8 pm. Also gatherings for special events (AmartithilBaba’s Birthday). Location rotates each week in homes. Mail do Cynthia Barrientos P0 Box 16081, Seattle, WA 98116. 206-713-9905 cybar7@comcast.net

I NTERNATIONAL ENGLAND

London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08. www.meherbaba.co.uk FRANCE

Marselile: C. Dallemagne, Le Sylvereal Al. des Pins, 13009 Marseille. Ph: 4 91 39 02, Marc Molinari Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Cailas 83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Ph: 4 94 41 39 02 St. Nazaire: Christiiie and PhillipeJoucla, 7 Alee des Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon. Ph 2 97 46 13 19 Connerre: Andre Grimard, Champ Brule Duneau, 72160 Connerre. Ph: 2 43 89 01 94 Paris: Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris.Ph: 144593006 ISRAEL

Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Israel 93513. myb@netvision.net.il

LasVegas —Dick and CarolMannis, 702-326-1701. MEXICO Meetings at 5 PM, followed by potluck dinner 10809 l Villafane, Ph from US: 011 City—Rafae Mexico ol.com Garden Mist Dr, 89135. rkrnannis@a 52 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 5027225. Email is best as I travel slot: raal@royerlabs. NORTH CAROLINA corn. We have meetings about every month at 7 Asheville—Winnie Barrett, 828-645-9252, 10 Sunny PM—no particular meeting day—people on the list are Ridge Dr, 28804. winkiebai@mac.com. contacted prior to any meeting. Email addresses are Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, 28803 preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at nordeens@msn.com times, so email me ifyou will be in those areas. Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, 27408, bikewafla@gbronllne.com

Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area—Jeff and Cindy Lowe Ph from US: 011 52 755 544 6303 cindearaba@yahoo.com any time there is a request ChapelHill-Durham-Raleigh—CarolVerner 919- We will have a meeting ifyou’re going to be in contact us Please one. for 933-3550; 120 Taylor St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Ixtapa area. Zihuatanejo/ the nc.rr.com carolverner@ TRI-STATE AREA

Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, Angela and George Chen, 124 Pondfield Road West, 10708. info@MeherBabaHouse.org www.MeherBaba House.org SI


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Meherabad, circa 1930s. back left to right. unknown, Pendit, Edke, Adiji: Rustorn, Vishnu, iVlasaji [in solar topeej, unknown; front• unidentjfted, Jal, Babu Cyclewalla ,

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Love Street Lamp Post 1st Qtr 2006