Editor’s Corner Dma Snow Jai Baba to our ‘old faithftils’ and all of our new readers. Everyday a new email comes in “please let me subscribe to the LampPost, I’m tired ofborrowing my neighbors!”We would love for everybody to have their own copy. Remember, the more readers we have, the more submissions we get, which makes it all the more interesting for you to read. So keep those stories coming in. People have asked me why we don’t have a Letters to the Editor page. Frankly, it would be too embarrassing! We really do appreciate the very warm loving letters we receive telling us how much the magazine means to you. (Your enjoyment seems to increase exponentially the farther away you are from other Baba lovers!) But we could the whole magazine with these, and that fill would not make very good reading for the rest ofyou. However the following letter I felt we just had to publish! We the staff, and our many contributors who labored long and hard to bring you Meher Baba in Italy, felt so gratified when we read Payam’s letter. Ifwe only helped one person that way we are satisfied. Hopefully we can do the same for Baba lovers travelling to Switzerland. Read on, retrace His footsteps, and enjoy. Next year, we hope to do the same for Spain, Egypt, and England. Ifanyone has any stories they would like to submit, let’s hear from you. This being October, we again are featur ing the top sellers in the Bookstore to help you choose your gifts for your Baba friends and family. Remember we can gift wrap them for you too. Gift giving made easy! Read on —
A dream comes true with the help of the Love Street LampPost In April, my sister and I unexpectedly began planning for a mini-trip to London to visit a friend. Our plans quickly devel oped into a two-week vacation when we realized that this was a great opportunity to
visit other cities in Europe. After reading Kitty’s book, Love Alone Prevails, several years ago, it had been a dream of mine to visit Portifino and this seemed to be the perfect chance to finally get there. As we were preparing for our trip, I began asking other Baba lovers about their trips to Italy and the specifics about the places Baba had been to. I got many email addresses, names ofpeople to contact, and references to look up, but some howwith the limited time and busy schedule, I just wasn’t able to get de tailed information about HOW to get there. So, I resigned myselfto the fact that somehow, with Baba’s help and guidance, I would find the various places. And ofcourse, Baba pulled through yet again! Only three days before our departure, we received the Love Street LampPost whichjust so happened to have a special section on all the places Baba had been to in Italy. We couldn’t believe that we not only had the detailed narratives about the areas at our fingertips but also maps to go along with them! So, during the long flight to London, I had plenty of time to review all the infor mation. I read it over and over again. Then, when we got to the Italian Riviera, I underlined all the places and was ready to go on our adventure. As we were searching for Baba’s villas in Portifino and Santa Margherita, we had the Love Street Lamp Post in our hands, literally tracing and pointing to the spots on the map as we were walking. It was so useftil; we just showed the various store owners or waiters in the res taurants the places we were looking for and they’d just simply point us to the right direction. It was as ifwe were on a scavenger hunt. What was so amazing was that both in Portifino and in Santa Margherita, after searching for half-hour or so, reading and re-reading the LampPost, we realized we had been standing right in front ofthe Baba places all along! And what to say about the beauty and magic ofthis most precious part ofthe world Baba had laid His feet on. Words cannot express the feeling we experienced tracing Baba’s footsteps. Thank you Dma and all the Love Street stafffor your hard work and dedication in putting together the Love
Street LampPost. And I thankyou especially for taking a part in making my dream come true! Payam Ajang
Errata: Regarding comments on pg 31,July/September Issue ofthe LoveStreet LampPost, please note: Baba did travel to England and Switzerland in June and July 1934. This is documented in LoveAlone Prevails, by Kitty Davy, as well as numerous accounts ofBaba’s visits to Zurich and Fallenfluh as mentioned in Hedi Mertens’ diary and Chanji’s diary. After the 1952 accident in America, Baba did visit Switzerland, but stayed with Hedi Mertens (Walter had died in 1945) in Solduno, near Lucarno in the south of Swit zerland.
He Sang With All His Heart Bhau Kalchuri
n the early ‘20s, [after Upasni had thrown the stone at Merwan, which started his de scent to conciousnessj Merwan would lie down in bed, but His eyes would remain wide open; He still did not sleep. Early in the morning by four o’clock He would be up, walking about the house. As dawn rose over the city of Poona, He would start melodiously singing the Zoroastrian monajats— as He had done throughout His childhood. His sweet singing delighted His family and neighbors, who would long to hear Him each morning. Merwan’s voice had a special quality—it was ftill offeeling— He sang with all his heart. Whoever heard Him felt the meaning of the words of the prayers; His voice stirred their spirits, urg ing them to love God. It has been said that, “His voice carned like waves rising out ofthe ocean and all things would merge with its sound.” From LordMeher, Volume 1 Bhau Kaichuri © Lawrence Reiter
Apublication ofihe Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljfornia
£ove&reet Lamjlost welcome...
The £ove.Street £ampJ ost is dedicated with love to 2 Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. Allthe members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove.
A Novice’s View ofMyrtle Beach
deadlines: for the January March issue: -
April June issue: July September issue: October December issue: -
Raine E. Gannett
Heather Nadel 13
Mani’s Day, August 2000
various contributors 14
Avatar’s Abode 42nd Anniversary
Meher Baba in Switzerland various contributors and staff 18 Dieter Lange 29
Map to Fallenfluh
submissions, subscriptions, donations:
James Cox 10
Mary-Lloyd Dugan 32
A Visit with Irene Bib
Pam Topley, England
What’s Happening in Meherabad
Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.
1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737
The 12th Midwest Gathering
Your stories, photos, art work, poetry letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love and Truth.
Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
Young Adult Sahavas
Barbara Robertson 39
The LA Silence Day Sahavas
February 8th May 8th August 8th
The Love Street Bookstore
staff 17 Dma Snow 34
various contributors 36
various contributors 42
various contributors 43
Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 6 and 10pm
310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax
Bababook@pacbell.net credits: editor: Dma Snow
design and layout: research assistant: distribution: cover:
Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Barbara Roberts Marc Brutus and volunteers
Baba in Switzerland, 1934, photo courtesy ofToby Mertens
The £oveStrectJarnpcTi2ost is published quarterly, in January April,July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern
California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT India
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pic tures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission oftheir Board of Directors. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and pho tos of Meher Baba © AMBPPC’I Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.
Musings on the Young Adult Sahavas June 23-27, 2000, Meher Mount, CA here to begin? You see, the Young Adult Sahavas is such a unique experi ence filled with laughter, tears, deep connections, sillyconversations, pky dance, working together, eating, supporting each other, snuggling, letting our guards down, opening, intimate discussions about life, God and how the heckwe’re to cornbine thern, and so rnuch rnore that I’rn stumped astohowtodoitjusticeinthis article. \ Well, to start with, I’d have to say that the new connections made and the old ones renewed and strengthened are what I ap preciate most about the Young Adult Sahavas; for they are made with beautiful people who are at similar points in their life and who are also in a relationship with Meher Baba. That alone blows me away. I’m relatively new to the Baba com munity and have spent a lot of time with other youth groups and organizations that have a similar Sahavas feel. But the thing with them is that it’s “generally spiritual” or “empowering” but we don’t share in the love ofGod through Baba’s form. Furthermore, I may have a wonderful time and deep connections but I usually never see any of them again because there isn’t the same specific life focus. This is a big reason I have such a deep feeling ofgratitude and ap preciation for the YAS. It’s because it feels like I’m reuniting with “old” friends and am investing in supportive empowering relationships that can easilylast the rest ofmy life but that have also spanned many lifetimes. Another aspect of the YAS that makes it urnque is its location at Meher Mount. Meher Mount is a place where the Avatar has walked, but it is different from other Baba centers in that not much has been developed on the property This is one of the reasons that I feel Meher Mount quite aptly matches the young adult “energy”. It is beautiflil and magicaliyvibrant, yet has a wild and undevel oped feel. Meher Mount is perched atop a mountain with a grand view ofthe gorgeous Ojai Valley. Only one permanent dwelling exists, along with a couple trailers. That meant most of us slept in tents or out under the stars. Showers were created out of plastic PVC piping and 4
by Ryan Brown blue plastic tarps creating square cubicles that we could bring a “Solar Shower” bag ofwater into and hang up within the cubicle. Compost toilets made out of big rubber tubs with toilet seats attached to the tops of them and woodchips inside were the brain-
child ofMerwan Scott and had a similar tarp, piping, cubicle construction. Meals were eaten outside on long tables that were all put together to create a “thanksgiving” meal atmo sphere. Arti was under an old tree Baba sat under when he visited in 1956. Baba’s Tree, as it is called, has big branches that arch to the ground creating a cozy womb-like effect inside. Discussion groups were held at various locations around the property, and swimming was available in an old cement poollreservoir with green sulfur smeffing water. In short, the accommodations were perfect for the youthful adventure seeking spirit, typical in our generation, and the inconveniences were actually quite convenient in adding to the unique flavor that is Meher Mount’s Young
Adult Sahavas. The rustic accommodations also seemed to aid in taking us a bit out of our comfort zones and bring us closer together in community But best ofall we had the oppor tunity to sleep upon the ground that the Ava tar has walked, in ways that He too sometimes slept when on the New Life or out traveling with His mandali. The aspect of the Young Adult Sahavas that attendees seem to ap preciate the most, and has started to characterize the YAS in general, are the work projects. The discussion groups were great and meaningful, arti was magical, and the evening programs rocked, but the most excitement and fulfillment seemed to re volve around the work projects. Everymorning at 10:00 a.m., after breakfast and our morning meeting, we would divide up into work teams and experience the community of working and serving together. The aim was to “give a little back” so that others could enjoy the magic and mystery of the land as much as we do, not to mention helping out the caretakers Pam, Billy and Annabel Goodrum with the monstrous task of Meher Mount’s upkeep. Quite a fun time itwould always turn out to be. One ofthe projects was the garden. A fully landscaped flower garden was put in with an entranceway leading to the veggie garden, wherein the walkways were upgraded with woodchips and carpets to help with weed abatement. The fence around the garden was heightened to help with protection from deer. General weeding and planting were also done around the main building. Another very important addition to the garden, which was lead by FreniWaidelich,was a selfcomposting worm farm. Others would choose “trail blazing” as a work project option. With a lot ofhard work
and swinging of pick axes we were
Fall calendar ofEvents
able to finish the Prasad Orchard Trail, which was started during the AVATAR MEHER BABA CENmizoSouTHEpN C,UIFORN YAS in 1999. It winds down through the orchard Baba blessed, OCTOBER Sunday 4:00-6:00 Nov 26 Sunday 4:00—6:00 7th events unless oilierOct 22 along the side of a picturesque hillwise noted are held at Thanksfor Giving The Twins Again! side; zigzag’s up a steep incline and Sunday 4:00—6:00 Twins weekend continues Oct 1 the Center. Its Thanksgiving weekend Arts Festival 1214 S. Van Ness Ave. with another joyous gather- and we’ll rediscover what comes out at Babas tree. This is the The annual A.M33.C. of S.C. ing with our dear friends Los Angeles, CA 90019 we’re really grateful for first such trail built at Meher Mount festival of creation. Artists, from India. when we watch videos of 323.731.3737 musicians, dancers, filmBeloved Baba. Hosted by and was created to make the beauti makers, poets. . . to partici wsvwMeherabode.coni Charlie Morton. fial Meher Mount property more ac pate, call Richard Sterner at Oct 29 Sunday 11:00—2:00 Meetings are free snd 310-367-6521. Flip or Treat: D E C E M B E’R open to the public. cessible to visitors. Almost Halloween Have ideas for tuturc All this and so much more is the Pancake Breakfast Sunday 4:00—6:00 programs? Contact Sunday 4:00—6:00 Sliht1y fattening, complete- Dec 3 Oct 8 Young Adult Sahavas. The cherry The View from Poetry Workshop Nancy teterwan at Iy tree, So yurnmy it’s scary. Melier Mount Unveil the poet within. on top of it all was Bhau’s visit and There’ll be a Halloween cos It’s been a year that our dear (323) 650-5481 Create your own ghazal, tume promenade at 1:00 for Billy and Pamela Goodrum talk with us on the closing day. He sonnet, or haiku. Hosted by the kids. Jaunty tunes by have been caretakers at Adams and Michelle Ten led a discussion that was down-toFarsi Meetings Pris & Chris, (Center closes Meher Mount. They’ll share Yacso. 3:00.) at Held on Sundays from earth and quite relevant to us in the their experiences of life on 2:00 to 3:30. N 0 V E M B E B• high. Music, too! 20 and 30-somethinggenerations. It Oct 15 Sunday 4:00—6:00 Oct 8,22 The New Life Dec 10 Sunday 4:00-6:00 Nov 5, 19 also continued a theme that seemed Nov 5 Sunday 4:00-6:00 Baba said: This Nero Life is Meliera ‘5 Birthday Dec 3, 17 to characterize the 2000YA Sahavas. Esfandiyar Vessali endless and. . . it will be kept We celebrate and remember at was Mr. student Vessali a All meetings are dedi alive by those who live the life This theme took shape, in part, by a the beloved of the Beloved, Babas Preis”t Ashram in the the “purest soul in the uni cated to discussion of cfcompletc of renunciation letter from Enich J. that we all read Meher Baba, falsehood. lies, anger, greed and twenties. 1-ks wondrous verse.” Hosted by Wendy tales of this profound period Ward. lust... together at the beginning of the Coordinated by A participation program— in Baba’s work are always Mshmoud Ajang. Sahavas. The tone of his letter enthralling. Moderated by Dec 17 Sunday 4:00-6:00 share what the New Life Lorkalantari. Mehemoush Don’t Worry, Be Jolly. seemed more serious and urgent means to von as a metaphor -& It’s our annual Mehermas in your tile. Hosted by Don than in past years. In it, Baba’s right Arti Douglas. Nov 12 Sunday 4:00—6:00 Event—both a celebration On Sunday oieeting hand man Enichj. summoned us to and a ceremony acknowl rookie and Edge! days the Center is open edging the birth of He who rise to Bab&s call and to live a life Oct 20 Friday 7:30—10:00 Two of our family nwmbers comes again and again in frorn3:OOto7:Oa Arti Baba wonderful share some The Twins! is held in hahn’s room the tree, befitting those who have been given Trim midst. our stories and treasured audio Come welcome Baba’s in the Dome at 3:30. and gift a music, games, Mandali. the amazing gift of knowing about nephews. the incomparable tapes of Baba’s exchange. liosted by Rustom and Sorhab, and Baba. Furthermore he beckons us Deborah Ashe, and Mia, and enjoy an evening of music Nov 19 Sunday 4:00—6:00 Glenn Russ, not to shrink from our worldly re Teens/Kids and mirthful storytelling. 100% Honest-tj The Teen Room and sponsibiiities but to embrace them Karin Levitas and Robert Children’s linom art’ while living a life exemplif5ring the Oct 21 Saturday 4:00—6:00 Sen host a scrupulous meetopen during nicetmg Baba’s ing on principle of Holiday Break Twins Peaks times. peace, love, purity and beauty that 100% There will honestv The next two Sundays fall The twins will be at Meher be music, and also dance, Baba is showing us through His life Mount in ojai for tea and a on the holidays. so the pottery. (All right. we lied Center will be closed. See talk Meher Mount info: and our living relationship with about the pottery) ynext year! (805) 640-0000. I Him. Though itwas a bit heavy feel‘ I ing it was also liberating, for in asking us to heed Baba’s call, Eruch was Letyour4/e re(f6eA’ymtiowge çfYoi’eanitruth ri’ othen:” — Avatar Meher Baba thereby acknowledging that we are “c9 special ones of the Beloved. As the gravity ofEruch’s message hit home, tears were the recognition ofthis precious op has some great non stinky moisturizing lo Liquid soap for the few things you may pormmty tion). Hat a must Sunscreen a must Toi wish to hand wash (mostly cold water washFor more information about the YAS check let paper (available in ‘Nager but scratchy) ing). Clothes pins (pegs) to hang clothes. out www.yasahavas.com, or email likewise bath towel and face cloth. Rub- Soft pillow or neck roll. Nail brush and firstname.lastname@example.org. manicure kit. Calculator (for those Bazaar ber thongs, no bare feet germs and worms! forays) Aloe Vera Gel or Tea Tree oilloint (minimum your camera Plenty of film for ment is great for insect bites, sunburn, and “Laser Photo” film--Kodak 100 available at other itches. batteries. Moddowntown ‘Nager) extra Bring your email address list for use at est clothes no shorts for women, long ones Heres a check listforyou. the Cyber Cafe in Nager ifyou’re into that. bare midfor men Teen girls please note, no First the obvious things: There are two now in the same complex. tight tank tops. riffs, low cut blouses or lashlight (torch) small and large extra Loose pants no tight clothing of any kind. Some swear by the one on the upper level, batteries. Hair dryer (ifyou simply have Remember you are here to commune with others by the newest on the lower level. But to have one) that is 240 volts. Adapter to fit God not drive the local guys crazy! its up to you. At least they both have air the Indian sockets. Insect repellant (Avon Some not so obvious ones: conditioning!
Going to India?
A No&e’s Very No&e View ofMyrtle Beach Pam Topley—Devon, England
was not at all sure what to expect of Myrtle Beach—a sort ofman-made na ture reserve? Type of holiday camp for the exclusive use of the Baba Community? There surely couldn’t be anything like India—no Tomb, no Seclusion Hill no Mandali, so how could one expect His pres ence? So—let me tell you how it really is—for me anyway. I am sitting by a natural fresh—water lake Where beyond the strip ofwoods and dunes I hear the oceath waves Resounding on the white sand shore. The coots float in a line across a Stretch ofwind free water.
A water spider runs across to Reach the boathouse landing. Turtle heads bob up and down Like periscopes, to check their course. The alligator crossed an hour since— Lake at Myrthie Beach
I missed him yet again! Tbe still waters reflect the abundance oftrees Their images stretching way beyond the ‘it my eye has set. i leaps up to catch gift offood, -ie crows, relentless even here theirway across the lake mding us that they alone ,ae almost everywhere a bird has flown. The osprey fly high to reach their nests. ,
The pelicans, quieter in their approach, Making theirway to the ocean To dive head first into its cool waters. God gives in abundance here. A scarlet flash in the lakeside bush
Man and God have worked,
Protected from the elements and cared for by man;
And appreciate the love and dedication Such perfection demands.
But it is man now who feels protected on entering this Barn Comforted by the love, the peace
I must explore all now that I am here So I must force myselfaway from
The harmony ofsilent communion. Oh yes, His presence is here!
This deeplyfragrant paradise. Through more woodland paths I walk Treading carefruly the snake my main concern But eyes swiftly seeking a sight ofdeer, a flower, Some bird still new to me. So I come to the place they call the Barn— Conjuring up thoughts ofhay and animals snug and warm
There is still yet more to see and feel Anso hastening my step
I fmd the Lagoon Cabin To sit again in Baba’s peace. I think perhaps I have seen and felt As much as I am meant to, And then am told I can spend a night
Acknowledges the cardinal as king. The rowboafs oars sound their Rhythmic sng as it carries
Its enquirmg passengers To learn anew nature’s boundaries. Time to go now along the woodland ways.
A racoon darts across my path
First giving me the pleasure ofhis Startled stare before vanishing
In the undergrowth. I reach my destination Where just the day before Cleansing tears had run unbidden from my eyes. I sit in God’s own garden
Wondering at the perfume ofthe flowers, The colour, the gentle peace Given to this place by the
Hands and heart ofa man Blessed by a God who,
With careftil deliberation Chose one whose awareness reflected His love Ofnurturing nature’s colourftil palette. Now my sight unhampered by tears
I am allowed to see the beauty
In the Guest House—Mehera and Mani and women ofthe Mandali Lived and slept and cooked in here, With Baba spending time in the hammock Looking out toward the lake. The special energy and peace Pervading this house is incomparable to Anything —yet experienced there. So very strong the power, So deep the sleep one may enjoy here. Again I will sit by the lake And contemplate on all That I have seen. I will sit again by the lake And wonder at all The places I have been.
Many things I have not mentioned here, as I have tried to keep the experiences to those things which are a permanent feature of the Meher Spiritual Center, at Myrtle Beach. There were however always things happening—Musical Evenings, Discourse Readings, distinguished visitors like Esfandyar Vesali who giving interesting talks and answering innumerable questions with great patience and humour, Darwin Shawwho made the Discourses so easilyun— derstood and more meaningful. The devo tional music we all enjoyed with Jane, Jeff and Nan, the blues andjazzwith Bobby and Jerry; with Lisa and Mark kindlyjoining in. Lesley with her guitar and vocal talent, to mentionjust a few ofthe musical treats. We had films of Baba, superb Spanish dancing by Viola, a show ofpaintings by Will—who also took us out in the Gondola—The paintings and photographs in all the cabins and public places by many wonderfblly tal ented people. That really beautiful Easter
I ... ..“
Baba in the Lagoon Cabin, 1956 .4
Sunday dawn having Arti overlooking the lake in Baba’s garden, the very warm wel come given by all the staff who can never do enough to help you enjoy your stay de spite their busy day—the delight at meeting new people who so very often had some
connection with someqne you met somewhere before!
Muhammadc Twin I Know The one you are looking For. I call that man Muhammad’s Twin. You once saw Him, so now your eyes Are weaving a great net of tenderness That will one day Capture
God. Beach paehfrorn Barn
From The Gjfi, Translations by Daniel Ladinsky, Penguin Group © 1999 7
The 12th Midwest Gathering F
lying into Chicago for the first time and being met by the lovely Alisha Kovalevych and whisked off to the Chi cago Public Meeting for Bhau was pretty exciting. The Church Hall looked great with many paintings of Beloved Baba I had not seen before. Bhau was in fine form and the presence of Beloved Baba was strong with the atten tion to detail everywhere. This was to be Bhau’s last weekend in the U.S.A. and then on to England for the first “European Youth Sahavas” in Devon for three days (inspired by Aussie, Margaret Bowling) and then back to I1 ha. I spotted ]reeman, Mary and Janice and felt reassured about Bhau’s comfort and also a little more comfortable myselfthat some re ally old friends were around. After the talk, meet and greet, book store and refreshments, I Bhau “On the road again...” was taken back to my host’s home, the incredible tireless worker for the Beloved, Carol Kovalevych. Carol and her husband Myron live in this wonderfiil old four story brick building right in the city. One of the apartments in their building is the Chicago Baba Centre. Up early the next morning, all packing done, the cars were loaded with bedding, food, clothes, flowers, musical instruments etc. Then Bhau and party arrive with Kyle, Mary, Freeman and J anice, and off we all drive in a 5 car caravan ofBaba Lovers for 3 hours (bad traffic) to this amazing retreat “The 8
August 4 6, 2000 -
by Raine Eastman-Gannett, California
Downstairs is a big room for the Baba Bookstore run by Helen Miller. This Conference centre is on 360 acres on the Rock River and it is somewhat like being in Europe on the Rhine. Very re laxing, peaceftil and picturesque. As one of many musicians I sang on the Friday night before Bhau’s talk. The singing was followed by a reading of some of his ghazals, but not from Bhau’s large, tattered loose leafed book that we are used to seeing at all his meetings, but from his new book Sun Rays. This is a publication of all those ghazals we have been listening
Stronghold,” in Oregon Illi nois. We managed to keep in that caravan most ofthe way. The sound equipment was in Tricia Alexander’s big van andthathelpedto keep us together! The Stronghold is a Castle and Carriage House that includes a wonderful kitchen area and dining room. Those at the Gathering actually get to stay in the Castle. The accommodation rooms surround a huge meeting hall ideal for talks, music, and film.
Bhau with oldfriendsfrom Ahrnednagar
to over the years! This book is very well done and has a Lyn Ott painting on the front cover, beautifully suited to the book’s cream color scheme.The contents speak for themselves. Bhau’s talk was, as usual, good and energizing. It was hard to believe that he could go the whole day through in the heat, give a long talk at night, and still not tired! Baba inspired indeed. Arti at 7:00 the next morning, I heard just how many good singers are in this .
group. Then breakfast followed by a pretty walk on the estate with Bhau—at 10:00 we met again for songs, poems and a talk in the big hail. The food at this gathering was superb and all pitched in for chopping, clean up etc. under the guidance of a very good Baba chef.
Freeman and Mary discuss whatc next
The evening program was billed as a va Jazz, riety show, and what fun it was Blues, Pop, Rap, computer generated Art Video, Mantra and song from a Baba Sufi Dance Group—so much talent—all in our desire to entertain Him and try to relieve Him perhaps ofa moment ofHis suffering. Oh by the way, Bhauji did not get off com pletely free! He too was in the Variety Show. He told a couple of hilari ous stories and no one could stop laughing, least of all Bhau! Lisa Nelson from Pretoria —
was the M.C. all weekend and did a good job of it too, to say nothing of her fabulous sense of humor. On the Sunday after Arti and breakfast, another walk with Bhau and then our last meeting and talk. Debbie Nordeen sang for us; one particularly beautiful song was that lovely one composed by Heather Nadel, about the begging bowl of our hearts, and trying to make it a little bit bigger every day. One could feel that gradually happening over this weekend gathering of His lovers. Bhau’s talkwas motivating, urging us to hold on with two hands, keep faith, and don’t let the pressures of the world distract us. At the end, Janice lead us in “Meher, Come” and a family that was formerly from Ahmednagar who came down from Canada for the last day, lead us in “Gaatay Cello” and we all danced and conga’d and glowed and had a wonderful Baba ending. Heading back to Chicago itwas hard to believe that everyone on the freeway was not in the same altered state we were in after 3 days in Baba’s company. I got a briefglimpse ofthis enormous Midwest City and knew thil well why the Beloved is strong here, and has a cen tre, with Mandali visiting and a Sahavas every year. Jai Baba to the Chicago Group! Thankyou for thejoy and the gathering together in Hislove and name. Iwiil defi nitely make it back next year, to be with my old friends and new, at the Midwest Gathering. You can visit their Meher Baba Infor mation Center Chicago web site at: http ://www. students .uiuc. edu/ ‘kovalevv/meher/main/chicago/
A Note frJrh Our Trust-walli Lynne Berry Ifyou’ve been thinking that sometime you’d like to make a 1ove-dona tion to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher BabaTrust runs a first-rate school, provides medical care forvillagers and maintains Babas ; : tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries ofthe trust :: whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of theseworthyprojectswere specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many oftheTmst’s charitable projects and outreach projects ai carried out by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, howeverrequire the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as Indiaraises its standard ofliving, the cost of materials and lab& is on the rise also. ; More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touchedbyBaba that mean so much to all of us. Ifthis appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 -
Audio Tape Lending Library you ever find yourselfin a ‘dry spell’ spiritually? Are you bored listening to the same old negative news, weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would you rather have something inspiring to lis ten to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings. ? Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectu ally stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What un suspecting treasures to behold! Don’t waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry (official tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMB Lending Audio Library do Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173.
Carol and Lisa, the Queen and attendant Princess
What’s Happening in Meherabad byjames Cox
Meherabad Minor Miracle Saturday,June 17, 2000
ur southwest monsoon seems to have completed its initial attack with an ac cumulation of about 1 1 inches since May 15, and Lake Meherabad is once again back in business. The Pilgrim Center just re opened to a less than capacity crowd and the temperature at night falls to about 20 C (68 F), almost perfect. It hasn’t rained for the last five days and the remaining mud has mostly dried up with the sunny, cool weather. In one month, green has replaced brown as the predominant color and you no longer need to sleep under a fan at night. At the center of the universe, this is about as good as it gets. In contrast, it reminds me ofthose early, dry days at Meherabad, when we used to listen to Padrikaka tell stories ofwandering sadhus and mendicants, attracted by the fra grance ofthis place. They seemed to always be hungry and having a soft corner in his heart, Padri usually fed them. Often, as a thank you, they would pass on some bit of useful information, such as describing an unknown local herb and its healing properties, or perhaps give their blessing in some form or another, but over the years, these type of travelers seem to have decreased in number as motorized traffic has slowly increased, and I hadn’t heard any good stories in some time. But tonight, as three ofus sat by the Sa madhi discussing the frustrating coincidence of each having lost our house keys during the last day, I once again tasted the flavor of Old Meherabad when Dadi Kerawala re lated an incident which occurred this afternoon. It seems that a wandering Muslim mendicant from Ajmer and his teenage compan ion called at Dadi’s door, but Dadi, thinking that they were making the Meherabad rounds trying to extract money, told them they better go. However, the boy asked Dadi if he might just give them a little salt and perhaps some food, as they weren’t after money. Dadi readily agreed, saying he had plenty offood. After the boy ate, the man picked up a small pebble, put it into Dadi’s
palm and closed Dadi’s fingers around it. Dadi held it for about 40 seconds, and felt something change in his hand. When he opened his fingers, there was a small Mus lim pendant. The man told him not to show it to anyone, and that Dadi would become very prosperous, which was somewhat timely, as Dadi had the day before discov ered a substantial amount of cash missing from his room. The man then told Dadi that he would come back in November, just to make sure his blessing had come true. By coincidence, this story reminded me another of episode involving a Muslim re lated pendant, one ofSai Baba which Meher Baba had remarkably “given” to me on Meherabad Hill last February, only to be intentionally swallowed by a close friend in Chandigarh two months later. This happened under very bizarre circumstances, and is too complex to relate here, but in retro spect, it became clear to me that Baba had intended that result from the beginning, and it probably saved both ofus from some very serious harm the night it occurred. Anyway, I told Dadi that ifhe really did become rich, and the two mendicants actu ally came back, I would be very happy to feed the boy also. Just let me know when to start cooking.
Still Silence Day Thursday, July 13, 2000
t’s now the morning ofthe 13th, and ev erywhere else in the world Silence Day is a memory, but here it lives on in the atmosphere of the crowds that have been around since the 9th. Silence Day is becoming like a mini-Amartithi, and this year there were well over 1000 people staying overnight, darshan lines taking over one hour even with volunteers hurrying them along. At Meherazad, barricades were erected to handle the crowd flow, and pilgrims greeted the Mandali from mov ing lines. The majority of persons were from Andhra Pradesh, a neighboring state, and many were poor. In India, people don’t traditionally take vacations as they do in the west, they go on pilgrimages to holy
places, which take on quite festive and chaotic characteristics at times. Large crowds here seem to always have a pecu liar dual nature, a charged generous ex citement of Baba’s presence and also an insensitivity to certain niceties. For instance, there are prasad wrappers and paper which have been casually dropped on the ground at the Samadhi everywhere. When new people at the Samadhi ask me what I do living here, I usually reach down for a piece of litter and tell them that I pick this stuff up. On the 10th, we had our traditional quiet volleyball game, with lots of partici pation from visiting Indians. That day, no one managed to keep score, and Mr. Meherabad Volleyball, Gary Kleiner, didn’tjoin in, the speculation being it was because he couldn’t yell at anyone. The rains have once again picked up and we are pushing 15 inches for the year (since the middle ofMay), not bad at all. At this moment it is windy, cool and overcast with a light mist in the air. The landscape is luscious green and last night it drizzled throughout the Dhuni. Endless lines moved quickly over a wet platform with a single tarpaulin stretched over the fire as the participants tossed their sandlewood into the flames and moved on. No one sat and sang. Onjuly 9, before the big crowd arrived, one ofmy engineers happened to be looking at the stairs running down to my basement when he noticed a brown, five foot snake descend them and crawl into a drain pipe which leads under my house and into my cooling system, from which the whole house can be accessed with a little slith ering. Nilesh, the engineer and an edu cated fellow, said that it looked to him like a cobra, so we immediately stopped up all ofthe air holes inside the house with cardboard and spread sand outside the drain pipe so we could tell by its track when the snake came out. So far we are still waiting, it seems he likes it under my basement. A friend of mine staying here said he saw the snake in his meditation and that the snake was very scared. I’m in a bit ofa dilemma: how do I make the snake comfortable enough to leave, but not enough to set up housekeeping?
And continuing the stories of zoological interest, yesterday afternoon I looked up to find three donkeys munching the flowers from my garden just outside my window while my sewer of a dog was asleep under a nearby bush. These are working donkeys who belong to a Wadari next door; they move dirt. This fellow casually lets them go when they are not employed, and like almost all the animals from the village, they are encouraged to forage on someone else’s land for food. Properly incensed at this intrusion, I emerged from my front porch like a banshee with Tiger, my dog, guiltily and sleepily hauling himself into action. Donkeys, contrary to popular belief, can move when they want to, and we shortly had them running down my drive and out the gate. Tiger, now fully awake, didn’t stop there and chased them around in front of the railway track for about 20 minutes, much to the amusement of me and the consternation of the Wadari. In Arangaon this type of im pression goes a long way, and should save innumerable flowers. The pilgrim season is now filly underway with the Mandali a little older, the visi tors a little bolder and the climate greener and colder. What are you waiting for, Meherabad will never be better than it is right now? -
Kawaalis At Khuldabad August 3, 2000
or some months now I had wanted to make an overnight trip to Khuldabad, the village in the Valley ofthe Saints, above the Ellora Caves, about two hours drive north of Nagar, but for some reason or another it had never quite worked out. Khuldabad has an incredible history in the annals of Sufism, and for more details you can refer to Carl Ernst’s remarkable book, The Eternal Garden, but it was there that Nizamuddin Ahuwalia Chisti ofDelhi sent 700 ofhis followers around 1294, and there that an incredible flowering of spirituality occurred in the 14th century. It was there, by invitation of the Bamani Sultan, that Hafiz sought to go when he became disgusted with his life in Shiraz, and it was there that the Perfect Master, Zar Zari Zar Baksh prepared Sai Baba in his previous life for realization, and there that Burhan al Din Gharib held his charge over the Deccan.
Some even go so far as to say that at one point it was home to the entire spiritual hierarchy of world. I have no way of knowing that, but I can say that even now 700 years later, it is still one of the most special places on earth, and Baba visited there many times. Eruch said that Baba would at times act on what appeared to be a whim, packing up the Mandali and shifting to Khuldabad for a few days. During these times, Baba would visit Zar Zari Zar Baksh’s cave where Sai Baba meditated, wash the feet of the poor at the durgas of the saints and perfect masters who had lived there, and at night often listen to qawaali, the ecstatic music of Sufism which continues on into the small hours and sometimes until dawn. It was for this experience that I wanted to stay in Khuldabad, and if you have never heard good qawaali live, I can only tell you that it bears little resemblance to what you might have heard on tapes, perhaps something like the comparison between reading a love story and actually living it. Raju Qtar Husseini, a 14th century saint to whose tomb Baba bowed down 6000 times, said of qawaali, “When I say my prayers during namaaz, my mind wanders this way and that, but when I listen to qawaali, it goes straight to God, like an arrow.” When the time is right, Baba always gives you what your heart desires, and after sev eral tries, five of us left for Khuldabad last Sunday afternoon,not knowing where we would stay, or whether we would even find anyone to sing. We had tried to make res ervations at the Khuldabad Government Guest House, where Baba had stayed on occasion, but they had reftised us, saying it was not available to outsiders. However, upon arriving at Khuldabad, we went straight there, because in India, we knew anything is possible, and sure enough we got a couple of cheap rooms with incredible views, but no towels. When traveling in India it is always a good idea to take your own. The next issue we had to deal with was where to hold the performance if we were able to find musicians, and by a strange “co incidence,” that same morning someone had explained to me where Baba had sometimes stayed and where He had listened to qawaali, so we started there. It was a small mosque just inside the gate ofthe Guest House, and when I walked into the courtyard, I got goosebumps. I knew this was the place, but the attendant said we couldn’t hold the program in the mosque and that we should go
to a durga. However, knowing that all things are possible, I keptlooking around the building and finally found the rooms where Baba stayed and the verandah upon which Baba sat for the qawaalis. Fortunately, the atten dant had no objections tb us using that back porch which has an incredible view for miles, so despite the questionable acoustics, we agreed on that location. Then all that was left were the qawaals, but theywere arguably the most critical part of the evening. At one of the durgas, we were directed to the “subse acha hai (best) qawaal” in Khuldabad, Nooruddin. Winding our way through the narrow streets of this ancient town, we came to the referenced tea stall, but Nooruddin had gone to Aurangabad, 24 km away, and they said he would be back in half an hour. In India, half an hour can mean anything, so we left word for Nooruddin to wait for us with instruments and we went to eat. Miraculously enough, when we came back, he was there. I was getting convinced that Someone was having a hand in all ofthis. The only ques tion remaining for me was whether these guys were any good or not, and that was to be decided soon enough. Some months ago, while thinking about this adventure, I had the feeling that we should arrange the program at the Mosque of the 1400 Saints, the place where the Sufis first performed namaaz after arriving from Delhi, but I had never been able to find it. This verandah we chose is only about eight feet wide, the hill falling off sharply with hundreds of points of lights in the valley below and millions in the night sky above. At this spot, there is no electricity, so we brought a kerosene lantern I rented for 25 rupees, and as we spread out our mats to set up, I asked the qawaals about the location of the Mosque ofthe 1400, and they told me, “That is where you are now.” J ust as magnetic tape cannot capture the magic of live music, neither can my words do justice to what happened on that Somvati Amavasya, holiest of new moon nights. I can only say that in the flickering light of the kerosene lamp, those five qawaals took us somewhere else for four hours, sailors in a boat of ecstasy which rode on praises to the Great Ones. Technically it was not perfect, but tears filled my eyes as I rocked to the motion of the waves, and at times became utterly lost in the Sea.
by Irene Holt
Meredith Klein July 2000 ver recent years the Trust has published a number ofcirculars with news of the work of the Archives, Museum and Research Committee (AMRC). Now, with the advent of Tavern Talk, the AMRC is very happy to be able to share news with the Baba world electronically. This first re port is about recent events connected with the new Meherabad archive building, which Meheru suggested should be named “Manzil-e-Meher”. Major strides in planning the furnishing and equipping ofthe building resulted from the November 1999 Meherabad visit by Nobuko Kajitani, chief textile conservator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Nobuko’s time with us was fo cused on examining the collection, especially reassuring. We were gratified to find that so many ofthe methods we are using to care for Baba’s precious articles were re-affirmed by a world renowned expert. Based on Nobuko’s comments and the specific needs ofthe collection, a floor plan has been drawn up for the placement of cus tom designed cabinets, so as to maximize the available space for the requirements of the collection. This plan has also been re viewed by Nobuko, who remains very interested and involved in our work here. In recent months, discussion has been underway with some Indian cupboard manufacturers to provide prototypes of the specialized units, which must be larger than standard sizes (so that precious textile items will not require more folding than absolutely necessary) and manufactured in such a way as to provide maximum archival protection for their contents.Justwhen it seemed that none of the companies would be able to meet the requirements, a very technically proficient small company was located nearby. The quality of their existing work assures us that they can meet all the requirements and they will soon be producing a prototype. The AMRC has approved the final layouts for the cupboards, as well as the tables, desks, chairs and other necessary furnishings. While waiting for the cupboard prototypes to be prepared, the committee is moving forward with contracting for the fhrniture and equipment for the rest of the building.
16 June, 2000
unday afternoon a group of six Meherabad residents had a small ice cream party under the tin shed on the hill to celebrate the completion of the painting and waterproofing of the exterior of Meher Baba’s Samadhi. Headed by Ted Judson, the small team completed the work during the months ofMay and early J une this year. The work went on smoothly and qui etly throughout the hot weeks as local Baba lovers continued to come for darshan daily. Hindered only slightly by some er ratic early rains and a few solvable technical problems, the team felt the work was gently guided by Baba’s hand to its completion just in time for the new season’s beginning in June. The stone walls had a breathable, waterproofsolution applied to their cement mor tar portions, which have been known to transmit moisture to the inside ofthe walls, thereby damaging the murals inside. The upper parts ofthe Samadhi the dome and plastered portions above the walls, includ mg the symbols ofthe world religions at the four corners and the “Mastery in Servitude” emblem on the front, were all repaired and repainted with waterproof paints. Ted has been working on maintenance ofBaba’s Samadhi since the 1970s, when he was taught by Padri procedures for keeping the tomb waterproof structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Though the dome has not been a source of water penetration, the flat part of the roof and the clerestory windows used to leak dur ing the monsoons. At the time ofthe res toration of the Samadhi murals in 1990, this problem was solved by the applica tion of a waterproof membrane and has not leaked since then. This year the stone pointing of the walls has been waterproofed using a new product which was carried over from the U.S. and which will hopefully offer better protection for the plaster and painted surfaces inside the Samadhi. What most Baba lovers will notice im mediately is the bright and beautiful look the Samadhi has assumed from the new paint job. Gleaming and beaming in the sunlight, Baba’s tomb is ready for the opening of the new pilgrim season. -
In the building itself the installation of custom made doors and windows, as well as the plumbing and electrification, is well under way. The wiring for the computer network will also soon be installed. The building is really starting to look and feel like quarters worthy ofhousing our Beloved Baba’s precious articles, as well as the correspondence and audiovisual materials connected with His advent. [ Ifyou have a computer & receive email, you can subscribe to Tavern Talk. This is an electronic means ofkeeping up to date with what is happening in Meherabad and Meherazad as given to us from the Trust. To subscribe to the Tavern-Talk electronic news letter, send a message to: Listserv@ambppct.or In the body ofthe message place: subscribe tavern-talk.]
If at all you must worry, let it be how to remember Me constantly This is worthwhile worry because it will bring about the end of worry. So do worry that you will not forget me. Do your best—then don’t worryt Be happy in my love Mthei Baba
JVIani’s Day, O
Mani’s Day, August 19th, the anni versary ofher reunion with Baba four years ago, a green carpet of grass covered Meherazad and Meherabad. I’m sure Mani would have smiled to see the number of young people coming up th. Hill through the green that morning for her anniversaryArti at 10 a.m. They were there to join Meheru and Roda and many others for garlanding prayers, Arti, and songs at tL Samadhi. You could easily pic flare Mani sitting with us all before Baba’s door, looking in the marble covered with roses and fresh flowers, as we sang her songs “Oh Baba, Meher Baba, my heart is calling You, “Of. Up the Door” and “Baba Nu Naam,” a song in Gujerati that translates “go on taking Baba’s Name.” The Iranis and Parsis kept throwing in verses, and everyone kept laughing trying to pronounce them right! I remem ber Mani saying once in strong support of diversity, “If everyone was a cello, there would be no orchestra” and she would have loved this mixture: Baba-lovers from all over India and the West (including Hamirpur, Andhra, Israel and Brazil), of all ages and personalities. And how she would have enjoyed watching the little kids gathered around Baba’s gaadi (dias) under the tin shed, garlanding Baba’s picture and then, at Meheru’s prompting, all together singing a little song of Baba’s Name. Mani went to Baba on August 19th, 1996, and recently one of her friends realized that Maui’s letter from Baba, in which He invited her to come and live with Him, was also written in August. He wrote her from a ship, and she called that letter her “invitation from the Ocean.” Looking up the dates as to when Baba was sailing, the friend came to the almost cer tam conclusion that Baba had written Mani her invitation on August 19th, 1932, four years to the day before her Reunion. On the afternoon of the 19th, Jamie gave a concert in the Music and Arts Centre, one in a series of music and dance concerts given by Baba lovers that we’ve had here over the past fewyears. This season they have been held on Saturday afternoons. The theatre stage was decorated for the concert with a beautiful, impressionistic, 10 feet tall painting of Baba
AUGUST2000 Heather Nadel, Meherabad from last year’s Birthday pla flanked by panels depicting the 6 planes in the style of Rano’s
chart for God Speaks.There were heart-melting songs (“Ifyou’re traveling to MeherabadJ where the wind blows wild and free,! you may see my own true love, !won’t you give Him a flower from me?”), an enthusiastic crowd hanging on each word and note (no kidding!), and of course tea and pieces of Alan’s sump Pious cake; certainly Mani’s idea ofa celebra tion. It struck me how Baba, in His own most natural way, is bringing about the fulfillment of a wish He expressed to the early Trustees: that theyencourage the sharing ofHis life and message through music and many other forms of art. No one could have established this in the Trust’s first years more actively and effec tively than Mani, with her loving enthusiasm for every kind ofcreativity for Baba. The Dhuni on August 12th was a different kind of gathering, one with an inner fo cus. In a long line that snaked off the plat form, 150 lovers, including many from Poona and Bombay who had come for the weekend, welcomed the dhuni-lighting with a loud “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!”The harmonium and tablas began, introducing a devotional song as the flames leapt up to meet stick after stick (and all the attachments) dropped into the sacred fire.The line moved slowlyforward, the guitars came out and struck up a few East! West sing-a-longs like “Baba Bhagwan, “Vic tory Unto Thee,” and (Mani would have beamed at this one) a Baba-rap with a great call-and-response: “Who’s the Man?” sang Wayne, and the crowd shouted back “Meher “
Baba!” over and over. Begun at sunset, the dhuni went on for over an hour. The rain that threatened did not fall, and as the evening came on, each heart had its moment with Him kneeling before the fire. A couple ofhours later, I saw a group of young people sitting around the smoldering embers, talking quietly. A line Baba wrote about this dhuni came into my mind: “You are My fiery staffperformingyour duties through My order of mercy.” And what mercy! In the P11grim Centre dining hail the other morning, there wasn’t a soul over 25 years old to be seen, even though four tables were full: one with under-12 kids, anotherwith teenagers from the Youth Sahavas, another two with young adults. (All the elders had fled.) I remembered something Mani had said about young people after a program in Mandali Hall. In the program, a 13 year. old boy had read a poem he had written about Infinite Consciousness. The poem was aston ishing in the scope of its ideas, and I mentioned afterwards that I was surprised that a boy ofhis age couldwrite something like that. Mani said, “What’s so surprising about it? Where do you think all the old souls have gone?” Several of them were gathered around Eruch in Mandali Hall this month on Thurs days, as he sat on the window sill teffing Baba stories, listening to Baba-stories, and teasing people. As most people know, Meherazad is now closed to visitors on Saturdays due to the Mandali’s age and frail health, so Sundays have become very full--so much to do, so little time!--with a program of music or skits or dance and a Baba movie in the Hall. In Meherazad this August, people still climb Seclu sion Hill (nowlush with flourishing trees and grass), or find a moment ofintimate stillness in Baba’s Room (what Mani called this “most special place on earth”) or of remembrance in Mehera’s and Mani’s room; children still push each other on and off the swing and go wild on the see-saw. And when she can, Goher still gently greets people on the men’s verandah from her mobile chair as throughout Meher azad the other Mandali go on sharing their lives, stories, advice and affection with new generations and whomever is lucky enough to come into this garden. 13
Avatar’s Abode 42nd Anniversary June
Raine Eastman-Gannett (California), Elischa Isaacs-Young (Australia) Photos by Leander Bruford & Raine
eher Baba came and stayed on this property in 1958. He named the property Avatar’s Abode and said it would become one ofthe great places ofpilgrimage in the world. Since 1959 the Anniversary of Meher Baba’s visit has been celebrated each year. Francis Brabazon, Meher Baba’s Poet, who purchased the property and lived here wrote: “Avatars Abode is a stopping place on the road to the Beloved, for He stopped on the road to our hearts and took over the lives of those who came and gave themselves to Him. The place was ac quired at His request and He gave it the name it bears. No stopping place can be a destination except that place where mind stops forever and one knows that one is God. Your destination is your own heart in which the Eternal Ancient One eternally lives, but because Avatar Meher Baba, the eternal all bying one stayed here, the perfume of His love may refresh and strengthen you on your way to His Feet.” The Flag Raising at Avatar’s Abode is to symbolise the arrival ofAvatar Meher Baba in Australia at the place he named Avatar’s Abode. Bill Le Page raised the flag this year, to shouts of”Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!!!” Bhau Kaichuri’s poem “Salutations to you oh Avatars Abode” was read out by guest Raine Eastman-Gannett: Oh Avatar’s Abode, You are the Abode ofLord Meher
Avatar ‘S Abode! Avatar’s Abode! Salutations to you, oh Avatar ‘s Abode! You are the abode ofLord Meher! The wineshop’s trade will continue herefor ages, And he who drinks the cup ofdefeat will be victorious. Oh Avatar’s Abode, here loss is gain. And defeat is the only victory. To bow dowii at the Beloved’s feet is not easy, Since bowing the head swings an axe through the self Here at Avatar ‘s Abode one has to wipe out name and fame With the Eternal wine that flows
For the early arrivals from all over Australia, and some from overseas, the first 15 minutes silence at noon is quite a discipline when they all want to chatter and catch up with the past year’s happenings. A picnic lunch and videos in the Library followed the Silence. The Youth Program was kicked off in their own Marquee (enor mous function tent), and ran a number ofconcurrent programs including discussions about previous ! and future Youth Sahavas’ in both Australia and America. Baba’s House was open from 7:00 A.M till 9:00 P.M. every day, and morning and evening Arti was held in Baba’s very beautiftil flower filled room. A huge marquee is set up behind Baba’s house each year for the performances during the day and night. The Meeting Hall in which Baba gave some talks in ‘58 is used for smaller talks and workshops. The dining is done in yet another marquee down a slope of this exquisite mowed lawn propertc The food committee this year did a great job and as seems to be a feature of Baba gatherings all over the world now, the food was top notch. The addition of the .
from the tavern. Avatar ‘5 Abode! Avatar ‘s Abode! Salutations to you oh Avatar’s Abode! You are the abode ofLord Mehei The Beloved Tailor has stitchedfor you peifectfitting garments, But this can only be worn when the clothes you wear now are removed. Each garment is old and ugly. Beauty is in the burning ofthat dress, in the fire ofLove, at Avatar ‘s Abode. All dealings at Avatar ‘s Abode are transacted through the language of heart Oh Bhau, youfool, by using the language ofyour mind. The only work is to forget everything- rest resides in total forgetfulness. The memory ofthe days of spring neverfades at Avatar’s Abode For the Beloved’s garden is the Wineshop of Love. Oh people of the world, come here to Avatar’s Abode to drink, Come here to kiss the only Beloved. Avatar’s Abode! Oh Avatar ‘s Abode! Salutations to you, Oh Avatar’s Abode! You are the abode of Lord Meher! Raine with her Baba contact of32 years,AdrianRawlings
p property. I stay at the Isaacs-Young “Daramshala,” as I have come to think of it, and love the family atmosphere there. Up early each morning to get to Arti , quick cuppa, straight to His \ beautiful room, •1 filled with the fra grance of flowers mingled with His unique fragrance. His bed, garments, and chairs glow in the early morning light. AfterArti we singjust as ifwe are at theTomb in India before heading for the Dining Hall for brekky (come on you can translate that). Poetry lovers still inspired from “Poetry Lov ers Corner” sometimesjump up and shout out :
Youth hiring a Cappuccino machine added to the wonderfhl Cafe atmosphere. Near the dining marquee this year was a circle spot hosted byjeanette Isaacs-Young of “How I came To Baba” stories. People would sit thru some or all of these stories and laugh or reach for tissues, it was a great feature each day. After Arti and dinner comes the evening program, the first evening was hosted by Michael Le Page. Robert Welsh sang Francis Brabazon ghazals. Bill Le Page narrated stories during the “Three Incredible Weeks” film and then spoke of how he came to attend that Gathering and some lovely moments he hadwith Baba.Then Raine sang a few favourites. The highlight of the evening was a musical skit directed and tuned by J ohn Isaacs—Young and Sam Saunders “A Hobbit Joins the New Life.” Bernard Bruford was a very convincing and hilariously endearing Hobbit and Peter Davies played the Master Gandalf. The Wineshop Singers brought atmosphere to the story with Francis’ Hobbit Ghazals. Three elves, Moon Bornstein, Kendra and Elischa Isaacs-Young included other great Francis poetry. Jaunty, funny, deep— everything one could want from a play. After this is the Australian Supper which of course is not a meal but our term for refreshments and lots oftea (strong enough to stand a spoon up in! and bickies (Aussie for cookies) and laughter and chatter until it was “Time to depart in Baba.” Which is Nanaker’s term for the Aussie “Linger no longer.” Folk stay with various friends or nearby motels, hotels or camping grounds which have permanent site caravans ( trailers). Some workers can stay on the
how we laughed! Kendra and Elischa pre sented “Bogus News.” The Brisbane Baba Youth did a play called “Who Wants to Be (a Millionaire) God Realised” Mehera Milne played the host of the show. Her direct humour and often daunting questions gave the contes tants some ideas to debate and think about concerning Baba’s cosmology. The suspense and excitement which filled the tent as contestants hovered on the fourth plane perhaps to plummet to solid stone state with the buzzzer and an incorrect answer, would surely match the atmosphere in an Olym pic Stadium. The talent of the actors and the skill of the young playwriters and the overall love and humour had Baba chuckling along with the rest of us. Then came rock-rap-classical guitar; somehow Yvan as Zoe slipped into this Youth evening —it fit —he is one fanny guy (regardless of the Youth calling us “The Olds”).The night finished with testaments of Meher Baba’s Godhood, Teachings and His Toothpaste (Meher Baba 4 Toothpaste) from the Queen, Bill Clinton, Princess Di, Bob Marley, Cher and others. It rained throughout the entire Anniversary and what r a quagmire—it got to the point ofbeing so muddy one laughed about it all the time and it gave us all the blessing of close indoor (In Marquee that is) friendship and conver sations. The Sunday was more Arti, singing, workshops and talks for Youth and Elders too. A feature was a talk given by Robert Rouse on Francis Brabazon’s India years —so well researched, so moving— hopefully someone taped this masterpiece. 55
a poem or couplet. Then the children have time with songs etc. withJoanna Bruford and Chris Hines.The morning is filled with ac tivities—How I came to Baba, Rani Didi Bhajan workshop, youth music, and a talk by Bill Le Page on money, work and materialism. After lunch more workshops, gospel and art. The games of volley ball were cancelled (mudded out!). A tallcwas given byjoyce Bird and John Grant of times with Beloved Baba and Gusi Carpenter hosted a talk on Meher Baba and Parenting. After Arti and dinner, came the Satur day night program “Fruit Bats From Mars”, where for the very first time the Youth were presenting the entire nights entertainment for the Beloved. This turned out to be 2 hours ofside splitting laughter. The host for the evening was Mehera Saunders (brilliant young woman). A short film made by the Youth at their Sahavas in January 2000 was so silly and great at one and the same time,
After 15 minutes silence and then lunch, he afternoon concert was held. The talent!!! orraine Brown, Rani Didi with Bob Welsh Lnd Gabriel Rein making his debut enteraining the Beloved on tabla to the Bhaj an’s lifficult rhythms. Rob Blair played superb lassical guitar, the Wineshop Singers sang )erfectly as usual and Adrian Rawlins gave I poetry reading. Too many great performrs to mention everyone. After Arti and dinner, on this rainy ;unday night, with host David Bowling on tage, came a feature-length play from the v1ahabarata—the story of Droupadi the :2_ueen lost in a dice game by her proud iusband, who, once lost to the wicked dice
layers, prayed to Lord Krishna who engthened her sari infinitely, so as she could :iot be defiled.The costumes and attention to
detail in this play, which seemed to involve most of the community, were stunning. BernardBruford shared stories of his childhood in a Baba family and then the shock and wonder of being a teenager around Baba and also moving to the country to Avatar’s Abode from thelarge city of Melbourne. It was very moving. The “Ek Taal Bhajan Group” which Rani Didi gave workshops for over the Angela Pemberthy as Droupadi weekend, gave perfor their mance, and Suzie limura was given a graduation title of Seshu Didi (sister). Gabriel Rein played tabla again and Robert Welsh played pakwaj and sang. The Indian Sanskaras pervaded the night until...Sam’s Gospel Workshop people poured onto the stage after the Wineshop Singers finished their great selection. Gospel—what a unifier!!! All clapped, sang, swayed— Fantastic. We were so blissed out watching the film ofBeloved Baba. Monday means good-byes and it is hard to focus on the happenings as friends leave at various intervals and one just wants to hug and get an extraJai Baba in, but we made it to Arti,singing, brekky, story circle and singalong, before our last lunch together—even the ram was respectful and stopped. The flag was lowered by a chosen Youth and we began to de part—just as Beloved Avatar Meher Baba did those 42 years ago.
Left to rightJohn, Dennis and
Beef Potroast bylvyO.Duce
making a beef potroast, after the meat is cooked the cook keeps the liq uid boiling until only the real essence re mains for the gravy So the essence, the real meaning of all our experiences, is packed down in our subconscious where it remains for our next life. The ego has its roots in the subconscious. Ifwe died in a hideous fire, we may in our next life show some fear of fire but we will not have to reniember the agony. If our cousin happens to be someone we cheated or injured in our past life, we will not avoid him but will inevitably make it up to him, because the law of karma demands that we balance such things. By the same token, we may regard as luck something wonderful done for us, but it will represent another debt due us, paid by someone.
There is no such thing in 1ft as getting somethingfor nothing, and nothing that happens ever happens by chance. S t. Paul talked about “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” From WhatArn IDoIngHere? by Ivy 0. Duce © 1966 by Sufism Reoriented, Inc.
Hypocrisy by Meher Baba
here is a demoralizing cleavage between what man is and what he wishes to appear to be. When hypocrisy comes into play it works much greater havoc within one’s own psyche than in the outer sphere. The perceptible damage in the outer sphere is great, but the unperceived damage in the spiritual realm is stupendous. The truth of one’s own perception and realization is the only road by which wholeness may be restored to the inner psychic being. In no other way can man obtain release from the chains that tie the limited ego-mind the colossal cos mic illusion which hides from him the perennial spring ofthe Divinity within.
nita.11ren 1S iorner â€”,1
42 (, \\
eher Baba in Switzerland is a product of the accumulated efforts of many people including our LoveStreet LampPost staff. Mary-Lloyd Dugan as the primary author, compiled and edited from the sources listed below, wonderfttl articles on the Mertens’ meetings with Baba, Fallenfluh, Max and Gisela Haefliger’s meetings with Baba, as well as her own story of her time spent with Irene Billo in August, 1980. She also gathered many delightful photographs from Lawrence Reiter, Irene Billo’s collection, and Jim Wrobel. Dieter Lange’s personal work on a project telling us about the trek to Fallenfluh with accompanying photographs, was graciously donated to the LSLP for our reader’s enjoyment and use. We wish to thank him for all of his hard work and dedication to helping Baba’s dear lovers find their way to one of His very special sites.
Many thanks also to Wendell Brustman, Max and Gisela Haefliger, Eruch Jessawala, Toby Mertens andjim Wrobel.
(3’ !€ \
Sources: Conversations with Hedi Mertens, Toby Mertens and Arndt Fuhrmann; with Irene Bib; and Max and Gisela Haefliger. Visits to Fallenfluh (Schwyz), Carona (Lugano) and Haiden (St. Gallen).
The God-Man by Charles Purdom Love A/one Prevai/s by Kitty Davey . LordMeher by Bhau Kalchuri • Meister Vo/kommene der Baba, Meher n Shri von Fragen undAntworte Hedi Mertens’ Diary from July 12, 1934 F. H. Dadachangji’s Notes from Fallenfluh, 1934
C:. 4 i/•
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Babafirst visit to Switzerland April-May, 1932 Lugano and Mt. Generoso
aba with Adi Sr., Dr. Ghani, Chanji, Baba’s brothers Beheram, Jal, Adi Jr.; and Minta, Delia Kim, Margaret Craske and Kitty Davy left Paris for Lugano by train. The Eastern men trayeled in one compartment and the Western women and Baba were in another. —
“Almost immediately Baba settled down for the night and, covermg His head with a shawl, lay on one side and started His spiritual work. His fingers moving rapidh Suddenly He would stop working, sit up just to see that we were all right and then lie down again and work. This He did until about 2 a.m. and then slept till about 5 or 6 a.m. He once explained to us that whenever He stayed three days or more in one place, the work done there had to be recorded and registered. So far as we couldjudge it was a record ofseveral days in London that 11e was making with His unseen agents or workers who, He said, could see us and loved us all.” Kitty Davy LoveAloize Pirvaiic, p 54.
The group breakfasted on the train and arriyed in Lugano at 11:00 a.m. A bus met them and took them to the Hotel Eden on the shore of Lake Lugano with a terrace which overlooked the lake. They had the entire second floor to themselves with adjoining balconies looking out across the lake at the snowy mountaintops. Much of the time the weather was bad, but good weather ensued for a trip to the mountain behind the hotel where all spent a happy afternoon. Baba and the Eastern men played an Indian game then later He gathered all together to taik about spiritual things. “As dusk descended, we made our way homeward down the ftmnicular, and I remember one small incident. Baba at odd mo ments would askfor food. On thisoccasion, we hadjust changed from one funicular to another and had to wait fifteen minutes. Baba suddenly announced that He was hungry All laughed and said He must wait till we got to the bottom and had tea. But unseen by Baha, I got out of the car and knocked at the door of the only house visible and, getting no answer, walked into what seemed a kitchen and in broken German asked for butter, “brodt and kase.” It was understood and bread, butter and cheese were procured and brought back to the funicular. Baba’s eyes and Lice smiled all over, not at the sight of the food, hut because His rishes had been fulfilled. Spirirnallv, this was important to His work and to those who wanted to serve.” Kitty Dav LoveA/one Pi-evt,iic, JJ. 55.
corridor. Kim sang a few Negro spirituals. In the evenings they would usually go to a movie or other sho and they once saw a group of Spanish dancers whom Baba enjoyed watching. To get some relief from Lugano’s weather, Kitty arranged a boat trip to Mt. Generoso leaving the hotel at nine the following morning. A humble Swiss laborer sat opposite Baba on the boat, for almost an hour andleft the boatwhen it stopped at a small harbor. As he stepped offthe boat, he turned and smiled at Baba. Babalater asked ifthey had noticed anything unusual about him, then he explained: He was my agent. I have come here for a complete rest, and in order to do that, 1 must temporarily hand over the work to someone else. This morning, I have done that with this man. I had to raise him from betveen the second and third plane to between the fourth and fifth, so that he could take on the work I am giving him. The transfer of my work must take place either in a thick jungle, on a high mountain, on water, r in a crowd.That is why he smiled, looked at me and went off You should have noticed how he answered my taps with his stick on the boat by giving properly—timed taps with his stick in reply to mine. —
Baba then explained that for the last four days He had been working universallylaying the foundation ofHis work in Europe next November and that at two o’clock that morning, it had been completed. They reached the 5,000 foot, snow-covered top ofMt. Generoso, and the sun came out at last. Baba was very happy and playftil and threw snowballs at everyone.
One day Baba and the group traveled to a spot nearby where the Locarno Peace Treaty had been signed, then went into a church built on a mountain where He sat for ten to fifteen minutes. Paintings of Jesus and the disciples were on the walls and a large crucifix was over the alter at the front ofthe church. He explained that as it was He who was on the crucifix, He did not remove His hatwhen entering the church. As theyleft, they saw an old white bearded man sitting on a bench. Baba sat beside him and took his hand. He motioned to certain of the group to give some money to him, remarking “He is a good soul; I know him well.” At the hotel, Baba played some very spirited games ofping pong with Ghani. Afterward, they listened to records. Baba liked the rumbas and asked Margaret to improvise dances on the spot in the hotel 20
On Mt. Generoso in Switzerland, May 1 932: left to right: Beheram, Kaka Baria, Adi Sr., Delia DeLeon, Ghani, Baba (‘in trenchcoat), Maigaret Craske, Kitty Davy, Chanji and Minta Toledano
Afterward they ate a lunch ofradishes, cheese and potato chips at a hotel on the summit. In a good mood, Baba gave some more explanations of the inner spiritual planes to the group, and later they played ping pong at the Hotel Schweizerhof. They hiked around the nearby hills and enjoyed a wonderful excursion with Baba. Refreshed by the outing, they returned to Lugano the next evening. The next day, May 4, they received word that Baba’s father had died on April 30th and Baba took His brothers Beheram and Adi Jr., aside and explained to them about death. He then told them that their father had been emancipated and given liberation. On May 7th after ten days in Lugano, the group left and arrived in Paris the next morning.
Zurich, Bunishof aba and His companions arrived in Basel, Switzerland on July 6th at 5:30 a.m. where He detrained to have a bath and shave in the station’s restroom as He would be too busy meeting people once he reached Zurich. Reboarding, they arrived four hours later in Zurich. Theywere met byWalter Mertens who drove them 12 km. out of the city to Bunishof his house in Feldmeilen near the lake where Baba had stayed during His short visit in December, 1932. Anita de Caro was also there. Rano, Nonny and Ruano came from Paris, Margaret and Mabel from London, and Enid Corfe arrived from Italy. They stayed at the Hotel Raben nearby as there was no room for them in the Mertens’ home. Before coming to Switzerland, Baba asked the Mertens to find a quiet, lofty place where he could spend a day in seclusion. [See article written byMary-Lloyd Dugan on Faflenfluh, pg. 28 for extensive coyerage ofthis part ofHis visit.]
In Lugano, Sv,itzerland, April-May 1932. left to right: Margaret, Delia, Baba, Chanji, Ghani, and Minta.
Babac second visit to Switzerland December, 1932 Zurich aba arrived in Zurich on December 15th. With Him were the mandali, Norma, Elizabeth, Enid and Todd. Please see “The Merten’s Family” story written by Mary-Lloyd Dugan on pg. 26 which goes into detail about Baba’s meeting the Mertens and oth ers who would become important in His work in later years. Baba stayed overnight at the Mertens’ home at Feldmeilen and left Zurich on December 16th at 10:15 a.m. arriving in Genoa that evening.
During their stay Kitty was responsible for Babas food, and shewould consuitwith Hedi as to what Baba would like. She was an excellent cook and the food she prepared was delicious “One ;:special meal I made was an Indian dish of cucumbers with an herb and cream filling, called “dodhi” in the Hindi liruguage. I dont remember ifBaba liked it, as it can be a little insipid cooked English-fashion, boiled in water. I do recall that 1 told Baba He was having “dhobi” for lunch in mistake for “dodhi”—the one being the vegetable dish, the other being the washerman! We Westerners, or perhaps I must speak for mysell could not distinguish between Indian words similar in sound. Toour insensitive ear what or where was the difference?” LoveA1onePrevai1s K Davy
While Baba was away inspecting the Failenfluh area, Elizabeth Patterson arrived. She had been busy managing the affairs ofthe film project on Baba’s behalf Norma had previously contacted the director Gabriel Pascal in Paris and disputes had arisen between them. third visit to Switzerland Pascal had missed seeing Baba in Paris, so he came to Zurich on July, 1934 July 8th, along with Rosmond Wise, a painter friend ofAnita’s. Pascal was a temperamental man and had reached the j\ boiling point feeling that Baba wasted his time Lj b i with the project. As Babawasn’t there when Pas cal arrived, he was upset further. Elizabeth re A 1 ceived a phone message from Baba instructing her to give Pascal a choice peach to eat and tell him that Baba would be coming soon. This simple gesture had a profound effect upon him as he later confided that peaches were his favorite fruit and his mother had always used to save hirn.the best ones. After awhile Baba arrived and asked for Pas cal. As he entered Baba’s room for his intewie Baba gently smiled and Pascal’s anger melted. He meekly asked Baba “What do you wish me to do?” Baba had him sit near Him, touched his hand and inquired about his work. Now peaceffil, Pascal told Baba how he wanted to .“bring out the expressions ofinner feelings and the deepest being ofman by portraying the spiritual side oflife in a way that had never been done before.” Baba told him that He wanted Pascal to proHis film. He said to Pascal “You are my duce Baba in the Mertens’ garden with companions. .
Afterbeingwith Baba, Pascalleftfeelinghappier thanhe had ever been n his 1if. He later recalled “I had come like a lion but returned like a lamb!” Discussions about the film projectwith Pascal and Karl Voilmoeller the scriptwriter, went on continuously for three days. Baba, with His close ones would go for dallywallcs, but as His pace was so fast, theywere often left behind. During one walk, Rano Gayley had the urge to catch up to Him as He scaled the hill. Baba turned and held His hand out to Rano. When she reached him, suddenly she felt weightless as ifshe were floating; then they went up the hill together. That wonderftil experience sealed her fate with the Avatar.
continue her studies for three months and wait for His call to her to come to India. Baba also visited Hedi’s brother-in-law’s house and met the Swiss people gathered there. After a time Baba remarked “Someone I was expecting has not come. Now I will have to come back again.” He was referring to Irene Billo, Otto Billo’s daughter whose rendezvous with the Avatar was quickly approaching. After two days in Zurich, Baba, Chanji and Kaka took a train back to Paris on November 8th.
“It was there,” Rano remembered, “that I really began to realized that I was in contact with the Avatai A slow process ofbreaking up started to take place in my being. I would wait for everybody to go to sleep and then sit outside at night alone, looking at the lake in the beautiful moonlight. I was churned inside out, upside down. I would think: ‘What’s happening to me? This is terrible. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep!’ Now I understood what Ruano meant when she said she wept for ten days after meeting him. LordMehe Vol. 6 and 7.
Babacfifth visit to Switzerland August, 1952
Fallenfluh Meher Baba left Feldmeilen for Fallenfluh on July 12th at 6:00 a.m. The articles on Fallenfluh and Baba’s seclusion work there are on pages 28 31. -
Bunishof Baba returned to the Mertens’ home at 9:15, July 12th. The next day was filled with private interviews from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. QnJuIy 16th Baba departed for Marseilles by train with the three mandali, Norma, Elizabeth, Rano, Nonny, Ruano, Delia and Todd. Baba was dressed in European clothing with His sadra un— derneath. He turned to Rano on the train and asked “I feel rery uncomfortable in this outfit. Would it be all right if 1 took off my coat and pants?” Looking around the train compartment at the stern flices ofthe Swiss, Rano replied that it did not matter to her but it : might be embarrassing in the presence of the other passen gers. This would have shocked them. Baba smiled, gestured a hit sadh “Yes, I guess I had better not,” and stayed in His suit. LordMcher, XTol 6 and 7, pg 1906.
Babafourth visit to Switzerland November, 1936 Zurich, Bunishof “Baba was in seclusion in India from the summer of 1935 to the early spring of 1936 when he opened a center at Rahuri for the mad and masts, 23 miles from Meherabad. It was not until early November of 1936 that Baba returned to the West and a completely different phase of work started. His object during this short visit was to arrange for our group from England and others from Europe and America to come and stay in India.” states Kitty in her book Love Alone Prevails. Baba, traveling with Norma, Elizabeth, Margaret and Kitty, Baba, Kaka and Chanji arrived in Zurich, November 7. They were met by Hedi and Walter Mertens and their children. Anita de Caro had been living with the Mertens while she studied art at Otto Haas Heije’s school. Baba told Anita to go to Paris to 22
Zurich, Solduno On August 6th, 1952, Baba along with Mehera, Donkin, Sarosh, Adi, Rano, Delia, Goher, Charmian, Meheru and Mani flew into Zurich. Irene Billo received them at the airport with two cars made available for their visit. By car they proceeded to Locarno, where they stayed at Hedi Mertens’ home Casa Ronco Di Fiori, in the suburb of Solduno. (Walter Mertens’ had passed away in 1945.) Baba stayed in the adjoining house. Irene and Hedi having both lived with Baba at Meherabad were overjoyed to be His hostesses. The men mandali arrived the fol lowing day. Many people in Locarno came for Baba’s darshan, including Anita and Roger Vieillard for three days. Max Hae fliger and his wife iLher Ru/rn wa/kinçr on Lul/IC/7eS oiccived liv Gisela stayed at Di: ]Zonkin Hedi’s to help with the arrangements. Their story is on the following page. Max had heard ofBaba in 1941 but this was their first meeting. Baba played with their daughters Rona, Monica and Verena. All three were drawn to Him. Max drove Baba and Donkin to the doctor one day. He remem bers that Baba was like a “commander.” The doctor advised mas saging Baba’s arms and legs and some exercise. A local masseur was called to massage Baba daily and He also had to walk on crutches. In great pain, but with Donkin’s help, Baba was able to take a few steps. [While in Switzerland following the Prague, Oklahoma accident, Mehera also visited a plastic surgeon in Lucarno. The surgeon took the scab off the wound and told her that the skin was all right and would grow back. She needn’t have any further surgery. Baba asked Charmian to look at it:]
Meetings with the Avatar Max and Gisela Haefliger
ax and Gisela Haeffiger first heard of Meher Baba at Christmas time, 1941. Baba had instructed Hedi Mertens to send out hundreds of the pamphlet “Fragen und Antworten von Shri Meher Baba der Volkommene Meister” (Qiestions and Answers by Shri Meher Baba, the Perfect Master), and the Haefligers re ceived one in the mail. Their interest was piqued and led to a friendship with Hedi and a lifelong relationship with Meher Baba. They met Baba in 1952 while He was recuperating at Hedi’s in Soduno ( near Lucarno) after His accident in America. In September 1954, Max flew to India for Baba’s darshan, and met again with Him in London, 1956. Both Max and Gisela traveled to Myrtle Beach in 1958 to be part ofthe Sahavas Program at the Meher Spiritual Center. In 1969 theyjourneyed to India for the Great Dars han Program. They now live in Bern and have generously acted as Baba’s Fallenfluh tour guides for years!
Irene Bil1oc Collection Meher Baba in Soldno, 1952
“They took off the bandage and kept it covered with ointments for several days and the wound had completely healed except for some slight swelling over one eye, with hardly a scar. So she seemed to be all right then.” According to Charmian, Baba paid constant attention to Mehera: “Incidentally, as busy as He was with all ofthese people He yet found time to see that we all were busy and had things to do. Never a day passed, away from Him, that He would not call Mehera, or Mehera call Him, to see that each was well and happy. I don’t think a day passed when they were away from each other in the States or Europe when I was present that I did not put in a call for Baba or Mehera or vice—versa with an inquiry about how things were going and the well-being ofthe other person.” Quoted from Lord Meher. Baba resumed His work looking for the ideal boy. Irene brought her nephew, Konrad Koethner, aged fourteen and a half to Baba. He liked him, kept him and assigned him two hours of duty each night along with Rano and Nilu. Konrad played a trick on Baba changing the time on Baba’s clock to one hour ahead so that he could go to sleep one hour earlier. That left no one to watch Baba for one hour. Baba was amused by the boy’s cleverness and reduced his duty by one hour. On August 14th, Baba sent Gustadji, Adi, Meherjee, Sarosh and Nilu back to India. Of the men mandali, only Dr. Donkin remained with him. Baba went on sightseeing trips with the women, and on August 18th, proceeded with them to Geneva by car where they spent the night at the Carnavan Hotel de parting Geneva for Paris then on to Karachi, August 15. This was the last time Meher Baba visited Switzerland on record.
iVlonika Kochowiec, California
hen I met fvleher Baba in Solduno, Switzerland, in 1952, I was a little girl of 11 years. My mother had told my two sisters and me that Meher Baba was one like the Christ. So, ofcourse, I believed it. I wanted very much to see with my eves how He was in His body different from the usual human beings. How did He eat? How did He move? Flow was His skin, His hair, how did He live in that body? So I looked and looked as much as I could without being blatant about it, since we had to mind our manners. It seemed to me always, ifl could just stare a hit longer, I would find out, but I never did. I especially stared, when He sat in the wheel chair vith his back on me. Fie looked natural, alive, suffering, svm— pathetic, cheerful, very alert, the dancing fingers held me spellbound, but He seemed so totally human. Since 1 vas con— riiced that no matter what He seemed to me, He was God, I felt puzzled, never doubting, but wishing to get the secret behind it. The woman who cnvned the house in which the men mandali slept gave my mother a photo she had taken a while back from her garden. She had photographed the flowers, but rliei it was developed, there was a Christ figure in the photo. It impressed me very much. During the nights in Solduno, the crickets were jubilating their fullest. The air was vibrating with their music. 1 loved their singing and knew that it was out ofjoc I thought they couldn’t help it, i\Ieher Baba caused them to.
The Mertens Family Switzerland -
urich in the 1920’s and 30’s was one of the most dynamic cultural and intellectual centers in Europe. The city embraced all the bold new colorful ideas ofthe times: from German Expressionism, to Art Deco, to Americanj azz. The atmosphere was elec tric. Zurich was teeming with writers, de signers, seekers and scientists, and sparkled with all the latest in art, architecture, Eastem philosophy and psychology. This was where the Mertens family made their home. Walter Mertens was a successfiil landscape architect and a friend of Carl Jung; Hedi had studied with Paul Klee and Kandinsky at the famous Bauhaus design school in Munich. Their world was filled with cre ative ventures, exciting ideas and largerthan-life personalities. Little did they know what lay in store for them... In mid-December, 1932, an artist friend of theirs, Otto Haas-Heije, put together a reception for a mysterious holy man named Meher Baba at his art school. He wanted to introduce the silent perfect master (“Der Volkommene Meister”) to the Zurich community and he included his friends the Mertens in the event. Walter already knew about Baba from Otto Billo (Irene’s father) and he was happy to attend, but it was more difficult to convince his wife because at that time, Hedi was following Ramakrishna. At last, she agreed to go. There both Hedi and her husband met the Avatar of the Age. From that moment on, their lives were changed; their hearts were caught in Meher
by Mary Lloyd Dugan, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Baba’s net; and theyvisited with Baba during each of His subsequent trips to Europe.* Walter may also have heard about Meher Baba through his association with the fa mous psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Earlier that fall, Baba had ordered Quentin Tod and Princess Norma Matchabelli to travel to various cities in Switzerland, Germany and Italy and plan a tour for Him. During this time, Norma contacted Albert Einstein and Carl Jung, who were both very interested in meeting Baba.Though this trip never materialized, Norma subsequently sent Jung a pamphlet entitled “Fragen und Antworten, von Shri Meher Baba, Der Vollkommene Meister”—which the Mertens had translated into German and published privately. [Ed. note: This pamphlet was originally published by Herbert Davy in 1933 through the London Circle Committee and titled “Questions and Answers by Shri Meher Baba, the Perfect Mas ter.” Meher Baba did not call himself the Avatar until 1954.] Upon receipt of the pamphlet, CarlJung sent a thank you note to Princess Norma, promising to read the book as soon as he had time. In any case, after Walter Mertens met Baba he gave his friend Jung a very enthusiastic report, fill oflively comments about how much he had learned. The Mertens acted as hosts for Baba whenever He came to Switzerland, perhaps most significantly in 1934, when Baba was a guest at their “Feld home mellen” in Zurich. It was during this time that Meher Baba visited mountain where He spent the day in seclusion. [see accompanying ar tic/es.] Hedi and \ \\
Courtesy Lawrence Reiter
Hedi at Meherabad, 1938 drawing a map.
Walter both had the privilege of ac companying Him there. In 1937, when Hedi and her daughter Anna
Katherina were spending time with Baba in Cannes, Baba invited Hedi to come to Meherabad and be part of the Western Women’s Ashram. By that time, the Mertens had also introduced the famous Swiss artist Helen Dahm to Meher Baba. Baba invited her to the ashram as well, and gave Helen the honor of painting the murals in His Samadhi. Hedi, an accomplished artist in her own right, was Helen’s assis tant in the project. In November of 1938, Walter also had the chance to visit India. His profound stay at Meherabad led him to write: “I wake up at two o’clock in the middle of the night. My inner being is clear, calm, ofshining energy. I know Baba is the Truth. And He is the Truth in me. In this truth I can live a wonderful, creative life. And work for His work. For about two hours, I am in this pure happiness, freed from all the give and take of polarities.” By 1939, Meher Baba had sent both Hedi and Walter back home to Zurich to be with their family for the impending po litical crisis. Baba did visit Switzerland one last time in 1952 and stayed with Hedi at her home in Solduno to recuperate after the accident in America. In 1980, Hedi was living in Carona, a tiny town carved out ofthe hills high above Lake Lugano. My friend Jim Wrobel and I were thrilled to have the chance to visit her on our way to India. We boarded an old bus from the busy city below and began the climb. Our excitement was tempered by the rhythm of the rickety bus—it took its time clanking up winding roads, struggling up the narrow mountain pass, squeezing its way through a one-lane tunnel, past a church, and up to the only hotel in town. By evening, we had arrived. From what we could see in the twilight, this was an enchanted village straight out of the Middle Ages, with cobblestone streets and stone archways leading to secret sunlit courtyards. As we got off the bus, there were few people to be seen, but animals were crowded everywhere into the street, donkeys, goats and hens—all settling down in the evening quietude. Exhausted after the long ride, we took our cue from them, had a quiet meal and went to sleep. The next morning we found that the medieval buildings at the heart oftown opened up to colorful hillside
meadows A few months later, filled with back in Meherabad, wild flowers. Hedi received a letter Hedi lived on from Walter with news the far side of that the children had L: one of these been very ill. They’d had fields. We set pneumonia and even the out for our doctors were worried. visit, with me Walter scolded Hedi, de gathering manding that she come bouquets home at once. As Hedi along the sat on the edge ofher bed way. weeping, Princess Hedi’s Norma Matchabelli cottage was came into the room. Courtesyjirn Wrobel Courtesy Mary Lloyd Dugan at the end of [This room is now the Corona Goat, 1980 Hedic children in thegarden, 1938 a country Study Hall at Upper Melane. Jim and I knocked and entered, flowers herabad]. in hand, to find an old woman sitting in a “Hedi, darling, whatever is the matter?” His head. He looked up at her, “Hedi, when hospital bed, wel— she asked. you first came to India, I said I would hold coming us with a Without a your family in My hands. Don’t you trust bright smile. She word, Hedi Me?” lookedverystately, her “Yes, Baba, I do trust You,” Hedi insisted. handed long white hair Baba began cheering her up. “I can see the Norma the brushed off her face 1 e t t e r. children no” He twinided. His tone was light and falling onto her Norma read and upbeat, almost joking as He comforted shoulders.Though she her. “They are sitting under a large umbrella it over and had suffered a stroke out in the garden with their grandmother. She then, in no and couldn’t walk, is about to read them a book. And one of the uncertain Hedi was alert and children has his finger up his nose!” Everyone terms, anenthusiastic about had a good laugh, especially Hedi who felt nounced, visitors. She put us at tremendously relieved. “Hedi, you ease with her gracious A few weeks later, another letter arrived simply manner and invited us must take from home. As Hedi hurried to open it, a to sit with her in front this to photograph fell out: of a large picture There were the children sitting under a Baba. You windo which had a large umbrella out in the garden with their must!” Hedi Suiflower, 1980 magnificent view of grandmother . She was about to read them a So, letter the valley and Lake Lugano below. “Meher in hand, Hedi ran offto find Meher Baba. book. And, sure enough—one of the chil Baba visited this area,” she remarked.Judging When she gave Him the news, Baba shook dren had his finger up his nose! from the atmosphere, I was not surprised! *[Jt has been difficult to discern exactly where Hedi wanted to hear all about Myrtle the Mertens Beach, since she’d been there for the 1958 first met Meher Baba, but the Sahavas program, and then she began to main points of share her stories oflife with the Avatar. This this paragraph is the tale that impressed me the most: are true: they In 1937, while in Cannes, Meher Baba did attend the asked Hedi to come and live in India with reception of the other Western women. This was an un— their friend, usual opportunity—Hedi had two small Otto Haas children whom she would have to leave be— Heije and did hind in Switzerland. Still, she recognized meet Meher Baba at this re her great good fortune and accepted, even ception. Also, though her husband Walter was not happy Walter did hear about the arrangement. Byjune 1938, Hedi ofBaba through was traveling to India with Irene Billo, Otto Billo.] Helen Dahm and Nadine Tolstoy. They ar— rived just in time to take off on the Blue Bus Tours. Courtesyjim -
Viewfrom Hedic window, 1980
the summer of 1934, Meher Baba traveled from London to Zurich, where He was hosted by Walter and Hedi Mertens at their home “Feldmeilen.” It r was during this stay that Baba orches trated His famous visit to the mountaintop aiiennun wnere e neict a meeting with the spiritual hierarchy. Fallenfluh rises dramatically out of the heart of Switzerland and stands thousands of feet above the little town of Schwyz. The surrounding area, with its rich alpine valleys and ravines, is full of historical and spiritual significance. From above, one can see numerous convents, churches and monasteries grac ing the landscape. Einsiedeln, the fa mous ninth century Benedictine community is nearby; Nikolaus von Flue, the saintlyhermitwho saved Swiss peace and unity in the Middle Ages, lived in a neighboring canton; and even the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has set up an international meditation center in the region! it was also out ofthis spot in 1291 that the Swiss Republic was born. Schwyz was one of the three states (cantons) to make up the original Confederation. However by the mid-lSth cenmr the enlarged re public was on the brink of civil war, and the diplomatic recluse Nikolaus von Flue, “Bruder Klaus,” was called upon to help end the conflict. The spirit of modern day Switzerland rose out ofhis influence. When my friendJim Wrobel and I journeyed to Schwyz in 1980, we were met at the train station by Max and Gisela Haeffiger. It was a grisly day—terrible foggy wet weather—and Max remarked that it was just like when Baba had been there so manyyears ago. A nice association, but still, we were afraid we’d miss out on the view from above. We drove three-quarters of the way high up the mountain road and then walked a short distance through the mud until we reached a forest of stately pines. “On the other side of these woods is the precipice where Baba spent His day in seclusion,” said Max, “I’ll show you. He sat right on the edge.” The trees seemed to be standing at attention, like steadfast soldiers proudly guarding the entrance.We entered and made ourwaythrough the thick, dark forest in silence. There was no sound, not even footsteps— long pine needles had blanketed the ground—and there was a reassuring calm in the quietude.
Baba’s arrivaijuly 7, 1934, He visited there and found it acceptable. “Our house at Feldmeilen near Zurich was full to the brim with Baba and his mandali, plus the English,American,French, and Ital ian devotees. There simply wasn’t room for everyone, so some had to find a place to stay nearby. [The visiting party included Kitty Davy, Delia DeLeon, Norma Matchabeii, Anita de Carc Rano &Nonny Gayley, Ruano Bogislav, Margaret Craske and Elizabeth Patterson. Men visitors included Adi, Kaka, Chanji and Quentin Toc4 GabrielPascat and Karl 1”illmoellei among others. Ofcourse, the Mertens andtheirmany children were alsothereU “Baba explained that within the next few days he intended to hold a meeting with advanced souls. His mandali would be coming with him, He said, but all the women had to stay at home. The usual preparations were made: tents, provisions and so on, and the whole house with all the guests seemed to participate! Looking at the huge, ever-expanding heap of luggage, I found myself wondering how in the world we would ever fit all ofthat into the car! The evening before we set out, Baba called all ofus together andwent over the plan for the day. “Next morning, we started out early. As Courtesyjirn Wrobel it happened, I had to drive because Walter Fallenfluh Clf[198O had seriously injured his hand the previ ous day. [Hedi was the only woman on the trip to Fallenfluh.] We had a big car, but it Eventually the trees thinned out as we to accommodate Baba, four of his had came to a sudden, dramatic drop-off point. my husband, myself and of course mandali, This was the spot where Meher Baba had I don’t know how, but we did the a1l luggage. been— He had spent the day sitting on the room for everyone and ev to find manage edge ofthis startling cliff that fell thousands the car was parked on Fortunately, erything! offeet below. Despite the continuous rain and slope, so starting out downward slightly a fog, we found ourselves able to enjoy an eter didn’t take off Naturallywe a problem. wasn’t nal view ofvalleys and streams and far away without calling on Baba, and giving Him full farms. responsibility for the trip! We stood there thinking about Baba and “For about half an hour, we drove along gazing into the mist, feeling very bold to be Zurich. Itwas so early—everything was Lake standing so close to the precipice with only a still quiet, and there was almost no one on modest fence for protection. the road as we passed village after village. Baba Thefoiowing excerpts arefrom Hedi Mertens’ insisted that I drive faster, so I did. diarywritten inJuty ofl934duringMeherBaba’c “Before setting out, I had adjusted my evenzfiultrip to this spot: rear-view mirror so that I could see Baba’s “When Baba announced he would be visit- face as I drove along. He was seated in the ing Switzerland, he asked us to find him a quiet back between two of the mandali and His place beforehand where he could spend a day head was covered with a big shawl— His face in seclusion. He wanted it to be out in the open was in shadows. For a long moment I couldn’t (out in Nature). With the help of Meinrad look away. Though I held the steering wheel Inglin, our writer friend from Schwyz, we did firmly in my hands, I felt like my own conour best to find the right spot. On the day of trolwas slipping away; it felt as though as we Introduction & editing by Mary Lloyd Dugan .
friends to allow broke through a gate, and our way was me to lie down cleared. , and be left alone “We drove on home (to Zurich) where we because Iwasvery were welcomed by those who had stayed behind. tired. After lunch “Baba called all ofus into His room and, they called to me with his alphabet board, told us all about His to come and see meeting with the advanced souls. He menthe dramatic tioned that He’d drawn a circle around Swit heavy clouds roll- zerland [NB. Switzerlandwas not involved in ing in. We all the Second World War], and he went on to give went outside to us more details about the day: look at the scenery “The Mandali had stayed behind to keep Fallen-fluh was anyone and everyone from entering the forshrouded in dark est, telling them that electrical experiments clouds, but Baba’s were being conducted. In case some poor spot at the very farmer suffered a loss from not being able end of the ridge to work in these woods, he was to be cornwas covered in pensated, according to Baba’s order. Baba Falleqfluh Pines, 1980 bright light. How- was accompanied through the forest only were floating on a cloud, with the wheels ever, in front ofthe light, there was heavy rain by Kaka, who set up His bedding and scarcely touching the ground. I kept my eyes pouring down! I knew the men had tents so guarded the spot. always fixed on Baba in the mirror. His face I wasn’t worried. “Then I related what I had seen from was glowing more and more! Someho at the “They have light up there,’ one of my below in Schwyz during the storm. I de same time, I remained attentive to the wheel. friends remarked. (Later I would ‘paint’ the scribed the light on Baba’s mountain pul Eventuallywe came to a road that crossed over scene this way: A large dark room with a win- pit. No rain had fallen where Baba was sta the lake; it was ftill of potholes, so I had to dow in which a lightwas shining, and in front tioned, and the light around Baba was so drive very carefully. Still I kept looking at ofthat light, heavy rain pouring down.) strong that His radiance would have killed Baba’s face so clear and radiant. Then sud “At about five o’clock, I left my friends anybody who was not prepared for it. denly I felt as though I were discharged from a in Schwyz and started the climb back up “(My thoughts wandered back to my circle andwas driving againwith ease.Thus, care- the mountain. I remember that I did everychildhood: Once, a Franciscan monk, whom fully and slowly, we arrived at the mountain. thing naturally and calmly: opening and I used to greet on my way to school, gave “Then we came to a very narrow moun closing the gates, getting out of and into me a little picture of St. Francis at Santa tam road winding high into the steep hills the car again and again, and driving around Maria degli Angeli. In the picture, St. where cattle were driven into alpine mead the cows which the herdsmen were control- Francis was surrounded by his disciples and ows. The road was fenced offon both sides ling. Although I had no wristwatch and everyone was encircled in his light. When and partitioned by wooden gates, so we had never saw a clock, I arrived at the meeting the people ofAssisi saw the light, they beto stop again and again to open and shut place at precisely the same time as Baba and lieved the place was on fire, so they hurried the gates. The weather was splendid; the the mandali. to extinguish it!) whole world seemed to be on holiday! But “Everyone was very happy; Baba men“Later that evening, Baba called to give me driving the car required all my attention; I tioned that he’d done good work. We had a sweetThank-You oflove. I stayed awake for had to concentrate. At the same time, I ex coffee at the top ofthe pass at the Ibergeregg a long, long time that night until at last I lost perienced something very strange, something Restaurant with some cheerful mountain myself in the gentleness of the universe.” that had never happened before: My face be- peasants, and soon afterwards we drove gan to take on the appearance of Baba’s face, home. The road was stony, the same face I’d seen in the mirror, as though wet and washed out. The I were wearing a mask. It happened a second cows were standing under the time and then a third. Throughout the entire fir trees now because of the experience, I felt very calm. rain and so we were unham “At last, we reached the top of the pass. pered until we met a man who The road sloped down a bit and we came to was driving his goats and the junction where Baba and the men got sheep into the valley. He was out. Baba asked me to drive back down alone very annoyed with us and re to Schwyz, join my friends there and try to frised to drive his animals to spend some time alone. I was to come back the side to let us pass. When to this spot at exactly 7 o’clock to meet him. I blew the horn, Baba patted I lingered for a moment, watching Baba and me on the shoulder: “Why so the men turn and walk away, laden with lug- impatient? This peasant was gage, toward their appointed place. never in such good company!” Courtesyjim “When I got back to Schwyz, I asked my A short time later the animals Falleifluh View, 1980 -Jim, Mary Lloyd, Debbie Neese, -
and Gisela Haefliger
The Day ofSeclusion (Fallenfluh) [Thkenfrom RH Dadachanji notesfrom the l934ManuscriJptfile, andcopiedbyAdi,Ahmed nagaiJuly 1, 1970. Wefrit there was no way we could Wdy up’ChanjisEnglish, so we thought we wouldletyou enjoy theflavoi] This morning—early at six—Baba and party drove in car to the mountains for the place selected by Baba last Saturday, for his sitting in seclusion. Party included three boys (Adi, Chanji, Kaka) and Tod, Walter and Hedi. Hedi drove the car (5-seater Buick) with 7 of us and the various packages of our luggage. Typical ofBaba’s party..nasty weathersince last evening clear up til now all these days Maya working in opposition, as usual. (Walter falling ill all of a sudden causing change from 11th to 12th.) We drove for 2 hours across the lake (of Zurich) and beautifbl scenery in the surroundings of Schwyz, (a small town in the heart of Switzerland), guide taken from friend of Walter, a very nice man who knows moun tam side and roads, stood at the back on the luggage carrier. [Ed. note: This may have been Meinrad Inglin, the Mertens artistfriend whofound the pkicefor Baba.] The walk up: (Note: Hedi drove only about halfivayup the mountain.)With the packages of luggage, through rough muddy fields, to avoid detection, half an hour of breath-taking task, a good trying exercise in rough life, perhaps it was needed.The ffies,verybig and so insistent and so many all ofthem troubled us a lot. On the spot: Beautiful spot. Breakfast with Baba (tea, bread-butter and fruits, distributed by Baba) and then He explained the instruc tions: “It might last an hour later or earlier than 7, it all depends on the work, when it is finished. You all stay here; watch-duty two hours each (Tod, Walter, Adi, Chanji). Kaka to come with me and stay a hundred yards away. Au are to fast, not even to drink water during the period. Rest ifyou like after duty hours (you) may talk but not loudly.” Baba leaves us with his hat on his head, overcoat on shoulder and other things in hand, Kaka following with his bedding, etc.We take to watch-duty:Tod 9:30-11:30;Walter 11:301:30; Adi 1:30-3:30; and myself3:30 onwards. We had practically very little or no sleep; the flies might bite and cause irritation, besides the rain which began to pour in since 11, and we, as a precaution for heavy downpour, prepared a roofabove the place with branches
oftrees, etc.This tookus three hours ofhandtearing labor and when we all completed the task, and went in to rest, it stopped raining, the sun came out, and with it did we come out to dry ourselves. We had fire lit up and some folks came to the woods, but Walter explained and made them go back. Baba’s explanation re: “Working”: “Whilst thus working, I leave my physical body which would be dead to all feelings of touch, and I wouldi* feel even ifthe bodybe hammered and slit up. Best I draw a boundary all round at a radius of 50 yards, so that none can come in. Anyone trying to cross that boundary line towards us would drop dead. That is why I took Kaka to keep watch at a distance oflOO yards”. Baba returns at 5, earlier than expected, but quite happy satisfiedwith the work done, “More than at Assisi.When I worklike this, meeting is held, where spirits (my agents) attend in num bers, unseen by the common eye (but sometimes rumble. bootsteps maybe audible).” Walter tells his experience how he felt inwardlybetween 11 and 12, also howwhen he was asleep somebody called him and he woke up and walked toward the sides, but found that there was nobody. . .
Rain: Cave made after 3 hours labor, but when finished, it stopped raining. But Baba was not wet at all, in spite of all the wet space around and pools all around. Fire, prepared by us for Baba to get warm, supposing he might be wet, duly soaking due to rain, but to our surprise we found him quite dry unaf fected by rain at all. How? He simply smiled, a significant smile which those alone understand who have been with him and seen him smile like that. Breaking offast: At 5:15 p.m. food (fruits) distributed by Baba personally.
The return: After breaking the fast at 5:15, walk-back, asking short-cut through fields, at the junction going wrong way (K. right), but it was meant perhaps to see the 2 good soals who had the opportunity to talk to Walte; explaining about roads while Baba stood op posite, listening. His steps in the fields Arrive at 6 p.m. Hedi drives up in car 5 ruinutes later, and all drive this time another way, on purpose, of course, for his work, but ap parent reason oftaking coffee in a restaurant, up above on Ibergeregg. The beautiful scen ery all around, quite resembling Kashmir and reminding of same. At the restaurant: The gay atmosphere,
music, singing (loud, merryvoices) and dances, a very entertaining time, enjoyed by all, a fine variety and contrast to the hours of seclusion spent in mountains. But in spite ofits gaiety there was something of a cleanness and pu rity in that atmosphere, which made it all the more lovely. Otherwise, Baba wouldiñ have come over, much less liked or waited there. Drive back: 7:15 to 9:15. Two hours of a long drive, after a day of special work he had done, was rather tiring for Baba. He rested after a while, when it was dark and the fa mous Monastery ofEinsiedeln had passed. Theherdofgoats and the herdsman[EdNote: still on the mountain Fallenfluh] a very obstinate fellowoaldiftgivewayfor halfan houruntil all had gone, and revolted against motor horn blown to tellhim togiveway His obstinacywas intoler able, never seen or expected anywhere, perhaps meant on purpose for the man to keep Baba’s company for the time and to teach lessons on toleranceto all, especiallyHedi andWalter,whom Babapatted several times,signingwith his hands not to worry Baba’s working on the Fallenfluh moun Ian [as narratedby Kaka who was on watch duty
lOOyards away. CopiedbyAdi, Ahmednagai 1 July, 1970]: “After the bed for Baba to lie down (in) was spread and everything prepared as He wanted, He lay on His bed, with the curtain (mosquito net) on His breast at 9:30 a.m. He had His sadra and shirt on and covered Himselfwith two sheets and the curtain over it. “He lay down, at rest, for 21/2 hours, turned on the side and flat again and raised His knees for about halfan hour and sat. At 12:30 noon, He sat up, removed the covering from over His face, (clapped with His hand giving Kaka a call). He called K. and told him to come nearer and sit at a certain position at 50 yards away, and then He covered Himselfwith the net and lay down again. “After 3 hours, at 12 noon He moved slightly and raised His knees. He lay in that position for 3 hours and then at intervals He got up for an hour, sat in the same position, then lay down again for an hour on the same side and in the same position that He first lay down in, got up again after one hour then lay down again,This continued almost every hour, sitting up, lying down, til 4:30. “When He got up at 4:30 from a sitting position, He moved out of His bed, put on coat, pants, etc. and started for retreat.”
Map to Fallenfluh
Excerpted and adapted from Dieter Lange’s Fallenfluh project. his is a map showing the way to the Fallenfluh which is more fully illustrated by photos taken in September 1997, on the two following pages by the Langes on their pilgrimage to this special site. From the train station in Schwyz to Grundel the road is relatively broad. After Grundel, the road is narrow but paved up until you park your car at #9. Thereafter, the footpath is broad and graveled taking you up to and into the forest #10 and 11. The last stretch is a very narrow but marked footpath covered with stones and roots through dense undergrowth for which you need good walking shoes (#12, 13, and 14). In the summer season there is a bus from Schwyz to Ibergeregg. The bus leaves at the post office in Schwyz and you have to get off at Grundel. From here you continue on foot following the same directions as traveling by car.
View point Fallenflue Kanzeli —)
SGrundel ‘to St. Karl
to farm houses
Getting to Fallenfluh from Schwyz Photos courtesy of Dieter Lange Fallenflub
Schwyz train station. If you come by car from Luzem you will pass by the trainstation on the outskirts of Schwyz in the southwest _
When you are in front of the train station you see the Fallenfluh ahead ofyou Follow this road for some time.
Facing the building with its big painting of historic events you can see the Fallenfluh to the left of the townhall in the background. Follow the street marked in the picture.
3 W hen you com’N Muotatal to this intersection in the centre ofSchwyzfollowtbis sign in the direction oflbergeregg. After crossing the road you are in front ofthe townhall (next photo).
s;::::tE:/ Here is the car park in Rickenbach. You can see the Fallenfluh on the right. Keep following this winding road.
When this street forks after abouta hundred metres keep to the left and follow the sign Rlckenbachl Ibergereggwhich is in the direction ofthe arrow above
After passing 2 restaurants on your left (Restaurant Windstock and Berggast-haus Hand with a ski lift) through some forested areas, you will see abig house on the right. This is Grundel, about 6 -7 km from Schwyz. (Ifyou have come by bus you must get off at the stop Grundel.)Just past the house is thisjunction and you take the turn to Ferienhaus St. Karl.
Proceed straight until the road forks as shown in the picture. Keep to the right to Fallenfluh.
After some time you see a littledearing on your left. Ifyou have come bycar,parkhere.Walk straight and youwill see asignpostontheright.Tumrightfollowingthesign”Fallenfluh Kanzeli”.
0 W a1c along untilyou see the Bruder-Klaus MemoriM shown in this photo Turn left here.
Walk on this path until you come to the signpost for Fallenflue-Kanzeli.
Shortly before Fallenfluh you will find yellow marks on the trees and the stones which delineate the path.
4 T his is the viewpoint Fallenflue-Kanzeli from which you can enjoy the view from two red benches. 31
A Visit with Irene Billo
was late August, 1980. We had traveled all day long on a spectacular train ride from Lienz, Austria, over the Alps and fi nally to St. Gallen in Switzerland. That’s where Irene Billo met us in her spunky little car. “Hello! Hello! Get in! Let’s go!” Smil ing and waving, she called out to us to come meet her as we tumbled off the train. Irene seemed like your basic friendly, jovial type ofwoman. Itjust so happened that she had lived eight years ofher life in the ashram of the Avatar of the Age. After some brief hellos and hugs we soared off into the rolling hills above the town ofHaiden with Irene at the wheel until at last we pulled up to her charming little Swiss chalet. Straining our eyes in the twi light, we could barely make out Lake Constanz far below in the distance. But, despite the growing dark, we could easily see a proliferation of cheerful red gerani ums calling out from her window boxes for us to notice them. They seemed to be com peting with the sunset as the sky paled. Irene made a few last comments about our travel plans for the next two days. The light was fading fast. We emptied out of the car and ventured over to her house in the dark; Irene was calling out directions from behind. There were no lights. Never mind, the orders were clear: “Carry on! That’s right! Over there! Here we are!” She was searching for the light switch, arms filled with groceries, singing out instructions. “Oh, I don’t know what it is about these Baba people,” she bubbled merrily, as we all tripped over the threshold together, “But I always feel so familiar with them!” (I wondered ifshe thought we were all in the dark together traveling along the spiritual path). Irene was so personable and charming, it started me thinking about her whole charmed life. I knew that she’d been very sick as a child—so seriously that she’d al most died—but she miraculously recovered, and her mother wrote in her baby book: “I dedicate this child to God.” I remembered Irene saying that years later as a young woman, while searching for chocolates in the house, she had come upon a photograph in her father’s closet that took her breath away. It was a picture ofMeher Baba. Soon afterward, she had the opportunity to meet Him! Up here in this setting of beautiful 32
by Mary-Lloyd Dugan
Dahm, a famous painter from Zurich, to name just a few. Irene was 21, the sweet young country girl of the Meherabad ashram, with a simple love ofbirds and ani mals and flowers. Aside from having her work in the hos pital, Baba put her in charge of the pets. Now, so many years later, she still had that girl-like innocence, and she was still an avid animal lover. her roommate was a rabbit! We settled into her little house and turned our attention to dinner. Irene continued chattering gaily all throughout the meal and into the night while the rabbit poked his way in and out of our conversa tion. At last, exhausted beyond words, I found my way up a centuries-old ladder and into the loft. Happily, I fell asleep with Baba’s sadra tucked under my pillow. “Ofcourse you can sleep with this, dear,” Irene had coaxed earlier, placing the sadra in my arms, “After all, you’re the guest.” The next day, she insisted on being our tour guide, and spun us all over the mountainside, pointing out historic homes and farms and lakes along the way. I don’t think she ever stopped talking the entire time, but I enjoyed her chatter, because she talked mostly about Meher Baba. IfI had only one word to describe Irene it would be this: Enthusiastic. The Ethio pians have a saying: “When the heart overflows, it comes out through the mouth.” Irene was like that— bubbling with enthu siasm, and constantly chattering. Enthusi astic. It means “filled with spirit.” Certainly true of her. She had an overflowing heart. Of course, in India, Baba did put her into silence once for a whole year. Both Irene andNadine Tolstoy. But, according to Margaret Craske, that didn’t stop either of them from continuing to communicate. They simply signed in silence enthusiastically! It’s worth noting that Irene’s enthusiasm got her to India. In 1937, as a friend of Hedi Mertens, Irene was invited to come to Cannes and help Kitty Davy with the housekeeping at the Caldana Villa. Dur ing that time, she experienced a taste ofwhat ashram life could be like, with all its various personalities, opinions and styles. Although she was engaged to be married and could have chosen a different kind of life, her heartfelt enthusiasm led her instead to ask Baba if she could go to India to live with Him. Meher Baba gave his consent and so . .
Irene Billo and her rabbit
Swiss hills—the land of gnomes and fairy folk, her life seemed all the more magical. Irene’s wooden house was hundreds of years old; the ceiling was so low that my friend Jim (who was 6’6”) never did have the chance to stand up straight the whole two days we were there. In fact, he bumped his head almost immediately upon entering, and as I spied a fat animal hopping under the dining room table, I screamed. I thought it might be a rat. “Oh, not to worry, dear,” Irene laughed aloud, “That’s my pet rabbit. He has the run ofthe house.” I should have expected something like this—after all, I said to myself Irene was a great animal lover! Wasn’t it she who took care ofthe animals on Upper Meherabad in the late 1930’s? Irene had been the youngest of all the Western women at Meher Baba’s ashram in 1938.Just 21 when she arrived, she suddenly found herself mixing with mature women in their late 30’s and early 40’s, women whose lives had been fully formed by the world before meeting the Avatar: PrincessNorina Matchabelli, who had worked in theatre with Max Reinhardt; Elizabeth Patterson, who had been the first woman insurance broker on Wall Street; Kitty Davy an established piano teacher from London; Margaret Craske, a wellknown ballet mistress who had personally known Pavlova and Diagilev; and Helen
sharing her stories of life with the Avatar, and acting as a lively Swiss tour guide.. As for us, after playing tourists all day long, we were anxious to get back to her cottage, have some dinner and rest. Irene had promised to show us her personal collection of Baba photos, so there was still plenty to look forward to. Just as we were nearing her home, we spotted a tiny wounded animal in the road ahead. Irene stopped the car and got out to take a closer look. In a minute she returned holding a baby rabbit in her hands. I “He’s still alive,” she whispered. “He’ll spend the evening with us.” She slipped back onto her seat, tak ing great care to place the rabbit 4 gently in herlap. All nightlong, she cared for that little creature with such tenderness, it could have been S her own child. And every once in a 4 while, she’d remark, “How lucky this little rabbit is! To spend his last few hours of life with humans! It will take him so far.” The bunny died while we were busy admiring Photo by Irene Billofrorn her collection Irene’s Baba pictures. Meher Baba in Can uies, 1937 By this time, I was beginning to (flrstphoto ofBaba .taken by Irene) see Irene as someone who lived on the inside of a fairy tale. From the byjune 1938, Irene was on her way to India mysterious alpine scener y, to the animals, with Hedi, Nadine Tolstoy, and Helen to her cheerful exchan ge with everyone we Dahm.Just a fewweeks later she would find met, she was certain ly a colorful character, herself packed in tight with all the others but I never dreame d just how right I was on the Blue Bus. until that second night at her house. “I really think Meher Baba must be called Once again I was in the loft; everyone the greatest psychologist,” she once re else was downstairs. In the middle of the marked, “putting all those women together. night, I heard someo ne hacking and coughAll those personalities. .1 mean, you ing. I realized it must be Irene, because she couldn’t escape, you had to face one another suffered from severe asthma, so I decided and see your bad points. At home, if there to venture downs tairs and check on her. was difficulty I could always get out of it— There she was sitting on the edge of her I could go for a walk, or ride my horse or go bed, wheezing and coughi ng, trying to catch to my room and slam the door. But in Baba’s her breath. I sat down and rubbed her back, ashram, you couldn’t escape. You had to doing mybest to be ofsome comfort. All of learn poise, to control your moods. You had a sudden, out ofthe blue, a tinywoman ap to keep smiling.” peared out of nowhere. She was dressed in Irene remained in India for eight years; a flannel nightgown, with long sleeves and in 1946 Baba sent her back to Switzerland. a high-buttoned neck. Her hair was in braids She remained actively in touch with Him and in one hand she held a candle. She and helped to organize His trip to Switzer looked like someo ne’s fairy godmother. The land in 1952 after the accident in America. old woman smiled : (Meher Baba stayed in Solduno with Hedi “Would you like some tea?” only she said IViertens.) it in Swiss German. (If any language could By the time we met her, she’d been liv- have hills and valleys —ups and downs beng in St. Gallen for years, generously open- tween the words— this is the one. It ng her house to devotees of Meher Baba, sounded lyrical, more like she was singing a /,
sentence.) “May I help you? Would you like some tea?” Irene nodded. The old woman disap peared—POOF!—as I sat there wide-eyed, wondering if I’d been invited into a world where people just magically appear. Sud denly, there she was again with a whole tray oftea, asking iflrene needed anything else. Something in me wanted to ask her for a pot ofgold or some ruby slippers, but I held my tongue. Irene thanked her, assured her she’d be fine and said goodnight. Then she turned to me and whispered confidentially, “Baba takes good care of me.” “I’ll say,” I thought as I floated back to my room. The next morning when it finally oc curred to me to ask about the old woman, Irene had a hearty laugh. “Oh! That’s Frau Trudi! She and her husband look after me. They live on the other side of the house.” “The other side ofthe house?” I thought to myself—her house was tiny— but I qui etly accepted her news about secret passageways and worlds beyond her dimlylit rooms in the night... Too soon it was time to leave. Irene, as efficient as a Swiss clock, packed us up and hurried us down the mountain to the train, all the while chattering good-natured goodbyes. As we climbed out ofher tiny car, she handed us each some photographs of Meher Baba, singing, “Here you are! Have a good trip! Fare well! Jai Baba!” And now, as I remember waving to her from the train, I’m thinking ofa quote from Kitty’s book, LoveAlone Prevails Something Meher Baba had said about His dear Irene: “that it was rare to find someone with so many noble traits of character.” [From LordMehe Vo16 and 7,pg 20441: “Baba visited Hedi’s brother-in-law’s house and met the Swiss people gathered there. After a while, Baba remarked, ‘Someone I was expecting has not come. Now I’ll have to come back again.’ He was referring to a young Swiss lady, Irene Billo, whose rendezvous with Him was soon approaching.” [Also on page 2202 of the same vol ume ofLord Meher]: In Cannes, August 1937, Baba had asked Kitty to arrange for two maids, but she had been able to bring only one from London... He asked if there was a daughter of one of his European disciples who could come and help with the household chores at Villa Caledona. —
his is the month that we think “De Christmas, cember”. Gift giving Hanukah, or just plain giving for the sake of love, to yourself or a friend. For our new readers, this is something we do each October issue, to help you de cide what Babaphenalia or Mehermem orabilia you would like to buy. We list the best sellers of the year along with the items that have just arrived at our Bookstore. The Number One item ofthe year, if not the Century, is the book In God’s Hand. We have been telling you about this book in the last two issues, but for those of you who may not yet have heard the word—here it is: This book is a beautiftilly presented 9 x 1 1 hardbound photographic copy of Baba’s handwriting that only recently came to light. In His writing, He explains the nature of God. Very historical! First time in recorded history that we have God talking about God in His own handwriting. The rest of the book is the writing in type with explana tions. We finally have the books in stock. $30 Another new release is a book for every Baba lover’s child. Two years ago Rob Narke requested children’s drawings ofBaba to iilustrate a book he had dreamed ofcreating— a sort of Dr. Seuss’ version of Baba called Baba Baba Everywhere.The first 4 pages say Baba Baba in my soup, Baba Baba on my stoop. Baba Baba in my hair, Baba Baba ev erywhere! I gave it to my book crazy grand—
daughter who was only 22 months at the time and she fell in love with it. Who knows what the young children born in the last 1020 years were in their last life! It seems to be Niki’s form of Darshan to very quietly and deliberately put her hand over Baba’s face and hold it there for a few seconds, as she is doing in the photo on page 17. Because the book is in full color it was very expensive to produce, so when we say we are selling it at $22, know that this is well below cost. It was a labor oflove from Rob and his wife Jean to the Baba community. They only had 200 printed, so when those are gone—that’s it, unless of course we can find a benefactor to print more... Thanks to the folks who donated money so that we might have Filis Frederick’s wonderful book The Path ofLove reprinted. Sheriar Press is printing it as I write; so I am hoping by the time you read this, it should be on our shelves. For those who don’t know, Filis published the magazine TheAwakener
Rob andJean Narke with Bhau
from the early SOs up to her passing in the late 70s. Baba gave her many ‘scoops’, giving her His words before anyone else so that she may publish them in the magazine. The Path ofLove is a collection of the most beautiful writings by Baba. Paperback $12 Those ofyou lucky enough to be able to
make the Gatherings that Bhau attends across the country—and indeed the world, will be familiar with that large binder of loose leafed, very dog eared sheets that have his beautiful ghazals written on them. Someone always has the honor ofreading a few of them before Bhau begins his talk. Well all those loose leaves have finally been put together in a beautiful paperback vol ume ofthe Kalchuri Ghazals. It is titled Sun Rays and sells for $12.95. Check our Reviews page for more details. The magnificent series ofthe Lord Meher volumes penned by the above-mentioned Mr. Kalchuri, is reaching its end. Each volume is in a double edition and Lord Meher Volume 17 &18 has 560 pages and over 140 photographs. We should have this in stock by the end of October. Published by Manifestation, Hermes tells me the last one, 19/20, will be ready late 2001. All the double volumes are hard bound, with heavyweight glossy paper, and many photos you have never seen before. $80 The Next Wave is another new release. Carolyn Ball has written the tales of many Baba lovers, each unique in it’s own way, telling us how they were ensnared by the Beloved. You will recognize many ofthe names and think to yourself’so that’s how they became a Baba lover!’ $13 Check our Reviews page for more details. A video just in is from Meher Prasad titled To Be Natural is a very heart warming interview with Eruch—Baba’s Main Man! It was filmed in 1982 and Eruch is in fine form with Gary Kleiner asking him the questions we wish we could have. He byingby opens his heart and soul for anyone who is willing to hear. $30 If you have an artist friend or family member, we have two excellent art books that not only contain full color portraits of Baba but tell oftheir life story too. In Quest ofthe Face ofGod by Lyn Ott is $30 and Because ofLove by Rano Gayley is $35. They are both 9x11 hardbound books, and Rano tells of her day-to-day life in Baba’s Ashram as well as showing beautiful pencil sketches of Baba. She lived in India from the ‘30s till she died in the 70s. A new art book that is simply gorgeous is by Sharon Muir—Meditations in Color. These are all paintings she did in watercolors with great vivid splashes of color. All the fa miliar scenes in Meherabad and Meherazad. Each one could be cut out and framed they are so beautiful. 9 x 12 hardbound $25 Another art book that has been around for
a year or two is the verybeautifiil Dreaming of ing for a certain photo, or want one from, say, Billy Goodrum must be doing something the Beloved. These are tales of Mani’s dreams Baba in His 20s or SOs or 70s... We also carry right—besides entertaining us. He has ac that she felt were directly from Baba, illus the posters that were so popular in the 60s— quired Most Favored Status with the Farrelly trated by Wodin. It is 9 x 11 hardbound in the Dont Worry Be Happy, You andlAr e Not Bros. Have you noticed that a Goodrum song ftiil color. $22 We But One and JAm TheAncient One. The has been featured in the last 4 of their mov Two new books released in the past few photos cover a large range ofprice s, the post- ies? Everybody’s favorite seems to be J1’ Should months have also proved very popular. ers, $4 each. Always Be Togetherwhich he wrote at the Sa DonStevens wrote a new biography, Meher For those of you who do not subscribe madhi. Baba TheAwakener ofthe Age. $15 We also to The Glow, the magazine started by Billy gave his concert at our Sahavas and carry this book in Spanish Las Ensenanzas de Naosherwan Anzar (our guest at this year’s the next morning all 30 of his CDs flew out MeherBaba $15. the Bookstore! But we are Prof Hazra, author ofthe cult stocked up no so order away. classic Memoirs of a Zetetic col Here’s a hint, ifany ofyour offlaboratedwith Keith Gunn on Of spring attended the Youth Men and Meher Baba, fictionalSahavas or Young Adult ized (but amazingly true) stories Sahavas, buy them this CD. ofpeople discovering Baba. PaperBilly plays at those events and back $10. the young ones go crazy. Our Then of course there are the Billy G is turning into a real old favorites: Thati How it Was, Rock Star! There are 7 choice Eruch’s tales in Mandali Hall, pasongs for only $12. perback $15, cloth $25, Gift of The other CD that has God Arnavaz’s autobiography, paproved most popular is a much perback $18, Norina’ Gjft the quieter one, by Judith biography of Princess Norma Shotwell—No Strings Attachee4 Matchabeffi. Cloth $20, Letters of love songs with harp and voice. Love, byJane Haynes, an accountThere is a lovely selection of ing of her life with Baba and the music here starting off with a letters flowingbetween them. $25 Sephardic tune. She sings the For the lovers of poetry, we three main Artis and also the have many books to satiate the ever popular Ocean of Love. broadest tastes. The most beauti $15 fhl one is produced by Carolyn For those of you who atParker, and her production coytended the 1999 Sahavas atPil ered every aspect short of writing grim Pines and loved the music, the poems herself She grew the a CD has finally been released roses, cut them, arranged them, displaying the great talent ofthe photographed them and then many musicians we had playing chose the poem to sitwith them— there. Each musician gets a track a different poem to go with each to show offtheir very best. It’s a bouquet of roses. Hardbound, great CD and sells for $16. large format, it is an exquisite work Photo by BfSoper Some ofthe young adults toThe Gates ofMeherazad of art in itself Her choice of po dayhave grownup with Michael ems is also beautiful from traditional English Sahavas), you will have missed the magnifi Campagna’s music at our Sahavas. Michael to Eastern to Modern. The Poetry ofRoses sells cent photo—in ftill color—that was on the has his own band and plays downtown for the for a mere $20. cover a few months ago. It is a photo of the great enjoyment ofthe dancers. His CD is not Continuing with the poetrywe have three Gates at Meherazad with the Flame tree in Baba music, but I know so many people enjoy renderings ofHafiz by Danny Ladinsky. The flill bloom. Very beautifhl indeed . We are his work; I had to include it here. Blues & Subject Tonight is Love, $10, IHeard God selling the 8xlOs ready for you to frame and rock—Uby Uby U $13 aughing $14, and The Gjft $14. The latter is create a stunning gift for a friend. $12 For Rumi fans we have a beautiful CD ;till the best selling poetry book across the The three most popular CDs would make by Mischa Rutenberg When Days Have No :ountry! These renderings of HafIz’ poems a great gift for music lovers. Nights $15. For Hafiz fans the Sufis have nto modern day English make the poetry of The runaway best seller is the latest from released 3 tapes and CDs that have set 3aba’s ‘favorite’ so much more accessible to Jim Meyer Ways ToAttain The Suprem eReal Danny Ladinsky’s renderings to music— hose ofus who do not speak Farsi. Since they ity. This is a superb 70 minutes of not only Come to My House, Dance Dervish Dance lo not mention Baba per se, simplyThe Be- great music, but the words you hear are Baba’s. and Whisper I Love You. All of these, oved, they can be given as a gift to any sensi He gave them to Malcolm Schloss to set to whether tapes or CDs are the wonderfully ive soul. poetry in the ‘SOs, and now Jim has set them low price of $9. Gabriella Tal has released a We have many many photos of Baba and to music. Absolutely fabulous! Oh, and the beautiful CD GracefulandMagnflcent $15. he Mandali. Best to call me ifyou are look- book—long out ofprint—is included! $18.50 Bob Een’s Your Ljfe is Not Your Own is a 35 ‘
wonderfttl display of his most unusual tal ents, vocal and cello. Great CD! $12. Pris Haffenden (Pris is an LSLP staff member and is designing our new Cata log—three cheers! and a web site for the Love Street Bookstore) has also created a beautiful CDRom to tranquilize your cornputer! Titled Meditations on the One it has photos taken on a walk to the Samadhi musically backed by Jane Brown singing Baba’s song, Ishtake. The second set is pho tos of the Beloved backed by Pris on guitar and her husband on oboe playing Begin the Beguine. It is very beautiful, but we realized it is only for those who have a Mac G3 or better and for a PC Pentium 2 or better. She will be creating one for screens with a lower resolution. But ifyou have the required cornputer, when your work is tying you in knots, slip this in the CD holder and get swept away. Get serene! Get Meditations on the One—for only $10. The Still Yet More Chamber Players (Chris and Pris) have released a CD Summertime Serenade that features the unique combination ofguitar and oboe playing an eclectic mix of Classical, Gershwin and other popular melodies. $12 A listing ofthe videos we have would be very long. I will just mention a few of the best. But unfortunately the best are also ex tremely expensive, which I have found keeps the majority ofpeople away. Alas, I have no control over the price, that is governed by the producers. The best of the best are all around $50—Beyond Words, Luis Van Gasteren’s 1967 top quality film of Baba— 28 minutes. Eternal Beloved has great footage of Baba in excellent quality film with interviews of the Mandali telling us what Baba was doing in the previous frame. 40 mmutes. Meher Baba Lord and Friend is an intimate time spent with Mehera, filmed in the 80s, it runs for 60 minutes but this one costs $55! The latest 2 from the Witness series are on Eruch in Closer and Closer to Him, and Each One His Duty—a rare onehour talk with Dr. Goher, but both of these are $48. MeherBaba theAwakener is an excellent hour long video made for PBS that tells you about Baba and explains who He is. This one is only $30. I could fill the whole magazine with all we have in the Love Street Bookstore—the one Bhauji calls “the biggest Baba bookstore in the world’Y But no space here, so ifyou want more tips on what to buy, call me at home in 36
the evenings 6-10 PDT and I’ll be happy to help you. Remember that we will wrap your gift for you (in the appropriate paper) and direct mall it, with a card, to the happy recipient of your largesse! (For a small extra fee.) So get outyour gift list and start shopping! See you, At the Bookstore! Dma
Reviews SUN RAYS BY
new collection of one hundred and thirty eight Ghazals is Bhau’s way of sharing and beckoning all ofus to find the real Beloved that resides within each ofus. Published by Scott &Ann O’Neil. $12.95
Graceful and Magn ficent
A new album by Gabriella Tal Reviewed by David Silverman
Everyone who has enjoyed songwriter, poet, and performer Gabriella Tal’s previ ous albums will be delighted with her newest gift to Baba and His lovers, entitled Graceful and Magnflcent. Dedicated to Baba’s sister Mani, and with a beautiful Baba art collage on the front by Marilyn Seides, this CD covers a wide range ofmusical and poetic ideas, moods, and styles. Gabriella’s talented musical friends, including pianist Mark Malachi, guitarist Michael Kovitz, and vocalist Karma Miller, to name just a few, royally support the wings of the songs flying out of Gabriella’s heart. This album begins with a chant song repetition ofBaba’s name, which sounds like it could be issuing from the bema (raised dais) of a synagogue, and seems to completely merge the river of Gabriella’s Jewish roots into the Ocean which is Meher Baba.
The second track is a love-paean to Baba’s Mansari, ancient (though ever-young in Baba’s love), faithftillywaiting on His hill for sight ofher Beloved and for reunion with oNE
\ NL\\ CC)LLELI ()\ (.)[ HUNORLI) AND FL1H.1 V Hull
Him.Then Michael Kovitz plays a short r GIIAZALS
guitar prelude a simple and touching ar rangement of Bhau’s Hindi arti (Aadi Sachaytana) leading to “You Are Nurtur ing Me”, a song of acceptance and appre ciation of Baba’s ever-flowing nurturing supportive love, even though His grace sometimes flows invisibly within darkness and in silence. -
Sun Rays A New Collection of One Hundred Thirty Eight Ghazals by Bhau Kaichuri Reviewed by Scott O’Neill hau Kalchuri is an Indian scholar, poet and close disciple of Avatar Meher Baba. Bhau has written more than 20 books of prose and poetry, including a 6000 page biography of Avatar Meher Baba. In Sun Rays, whether Bhau praises or complains about his Beloved, each line is firmly rooted in the love relationship, and is a delight to read and re-read. When Bhau addresses the “people of the world” or “intellectuals” or “social workers” his challenges are loving and insightful and inevitably conclude with
Bhau beckoning one and all to come and find what he has found in his Beloved. This
A bouncy rhythm spreads over, envelops, and fertilizes the “Lord’s Garden”, ostensi bly Mehera’s garden of love and care seen all over Meherazad, but which extends to include the garden of all creation Baba’s -
face and all of us souls living in it. “Love, Go Before Me” is dedicated to Marguerite Poley, a longtime disciple of Meher -
Baba, dedicated to her love for Baba, a love guided in the same way as the spring flowers bloom toward the life-giving sun. Here, Tim Smith’s flute reaches upward in spirals, like a bright flowering vine toward the sun’s light. “Song For The Universe” is based on words of Bhau Kaichuri in Meher Baba Manifesting. Mark Malachi’s catchy piano rhythms support the hand of Gabriella’s
voice in pouring the wine ofthis song about love and wine and song, about the Avatar and His lovers, and about the fire of His love that burns through them. Gareth Calway wrote the words to the next track, “Angel”, which Gabriella set to a gentle lullaby of devotion and apprecia— tion for her Beloved. “Master Your Will For My Song” to me marches along somewhat like a church anthem or chant, with choral harmony and with a lovely soprano obligato by Karma Miller. Lis ten to some ofthe poetry in this song: “The swells of the sea are turbulent within these days, And full of surprise when you dive beneath the waves, Sometimes you feel guided, sometimes lost in a maze, The Lord surely moves in mysterious ways.” Rhythmically sometimes advancing, sometimes retreating, always buoyant, al ways cheerful, accompanied sprightftilly and spiritedly by guitar and flute, “I’m falling” is a song about surrender to the “greater inner eye”, to Baba’s nazar, the appreciation ofwhich, the realization ofthe presence of which, means the soul’s freedom. There is a sweet unforgettable quality to the melody in Gabriella’s musical coloring of Baba’s message “Love and Devotion”, called here “Love Burns”. Dorothy Kitchen’s violin beautifully fills out this musical portrait oflonging for love, for God, for the Beloved. A lovely rhythmic harmony ofvoices on the chorus makes “It Is All You” memorable to the ear and to the heart. Gabriella’s strong yet mellifluous voice soars toward the moon in her adaptation of Rumi’s verse (via Coleman Barks), titled “Wild Dar ling”. Again Dorothy’s violin is an indescrib ably beautiftil partner in this song. Cute and clever, rhythmic and profound, “You Imagine” draws on the ample talents of Gabriella’s musical partners Mark Malachi, Karma Miller, and Tim Smith to accompany and support her playftd phio sophic question and answer of Who is dreaming whom. “Before Dawn” is Mark Malachi’s solo piano contribution to this album. Delicate and subdued shadings and harmony perhaps describe the sorrow and struggle, and then with more forceftd rhythm and harmony, the intimations of victory, at the dawn of the soul’s awakening. How do we know God, how can I know -
You Baba (now that You have dropped the body), not in night dreams but in my eryday ordinary experience that is the chal lenge and the longing of”I FeelYou”. It wells up from the heart’s depths in a beautiful fibral tapestry of intertwined voices and har monies, sung by Gabriella and Karma with beautiful guitar and saxophone by Michael Kovitz and Tim Smith. Baba’s sister Mani has had a deep effect on Gabriella, and this song, “Oh Mani,” is both a call and a promise by Gabriella that they will meet again. In it there is a beautiftul refrain of anticipation and longing, backed by a girl’s chorus, that is very very touching. The album concludes with the title track, “Graceful and Magnificent”, a regal and powerful anthem of Gabriella’s dedication and surrender to Baba’s formless infinite aspect, even at the cost oflife’s dreams, and in the midst of life’s joy and sorrow. The whole choral ensemble (composed in large part of Baba lovers from the Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Durham area)joins in to support this rousing conclusion to a magnifi cent album. Congratulations, Gabriella, on another bright milestone in your musical odyssey to the Source ofall our songs and poems! As your friend ofmany years, I can say that you have inspired me in many, many ways, and this album is yet another petal in that flower ofinspiration, that flower which is your life, that you are laying down at the feet of our Beloved Baba. -
low the concert in chronological order, the producer selected the highlights ofeach performer and has strung them together like a skilledjeweler creating a sparkling necklace. What results is an aural adventure from one song to the next. The first song of the CD, His Love is Everything, is soulfully performed by Rob Thornburn backed by the concert’s band. Rob’s heartfelt performance on this song sets the tone for the evening resulting in a wildly enthusiastic crowd response. One can im mediately notice the superbly recorded qual ity ofthis live CD, the high standard of musicianship, and the essence of Baba’s love. In slot two is George Gerdes doing his song Child is Father. Gerdes, armed only with a solo acoustic guitar and his amazing voice, delivers a whimsical message with his trademarked style and seasoned musicianship. Next up is Robert Een performing Sea of Fire. Een, on cello, is at the cutting edge of passion here, and produces a unique and stirring voice from his instrument, while lighting up the song with his voice. Michael Campagna’s contribution begins
The 1999 AMBC SC Sahavas Concert CD Reviewed by Cathy Thornburn If you were to ask almost anyone who attended the 1999 Sahavas, the Saturday concert would be remembered as a very spe cial night of music. Nine unique Los Angeles performers each presented the very best oftheir musical gifts to Baba in a dra matic concert style setting. This year’s professional lighting and velvet curtained back drop seemed to evoke performances that rose far above the ordinary. Each musician performed for twenty minutes, resulting in over three hours of music. The variety and stellar performances of each artist made what might otherwise have seemed like a long concert, fly by. The album entitledThe 1999AMBCSC Sahavas Concert, contains ten songs, one se lection from each artist, plus the musical fi nale in which the performers came together to end the evening. Rather than try to fol
999 AMBC SC Sahavas ,ournc hwqu recordn irnsts
with a great jazz intro Longing, and then launches into Babac Blues with the band. His guitar sings as the crowd audibly relates to his story of futility on the path. Mike is followed by Raphael Rudd’s Coming Home, which he dedicates to Mani. This instrumental combines Rudd’s classic, passionate flair with simple but sensitive melodies. Next, The Still Yet More Chamber Players—Chris and Pris Haffenden—give us Waltzfor Marguerite. This was written for Marguerite Poley, one of LA’s favorite few who met Meher Baba in the body. This waltz is classical sounding with catchy phrases, and features the unique combination of oboe and acoustic guitar. Deborah Ash follows with Not l4 but One. This well written groove piece shines with 37
Deborah’s vocals. One can feel her rap in the middle is a trulyinspired moment.AtThis T%y Moment is Harry Thomas’s offering. With a smooth voice reminiscent of the jazz world’s Michael Franks, Harry reminds us how ever present Baba is with a refreshing approach musically as well as lyrically. Billy Goodrum takes our breath away at spot number 9 with We ShouldAiways be Together. For those unfamiliar with Billy, he is one of the few professionals in this community who has had commercial success, with several songs appearing in contemporary movie soundtracks. Billy has a strong pop sensibility and a great voice, beautifully captured on this cut with his solo keyboard accompaniment. The rousing finale, Oh Baba, will leave you with a taste of the exuberance of the evening and an urge to hear the CD again and again. That’s it in a nutshell. Two sentences about each artist hardly does this compilation jus— tice. I highly recommend this CD for all. You would be hard pressed to find a better sounding live recording with such great talent and diversity 80 minutes $16
completely to Him, and worked in some ca pacity or another for His cause. No through their inner recognition of Meher Baba, and inspired by those who knew the Beloved, the “next wave” steps forward to tell its story This delightful compilation offers a small sampling of tales of those who rode the next wave. Most of the storytellers will be familiar to many readers: Heather Nadel,JeffWolverton, BifSoper,Will David,
Michael Campagna & The Average Johnsons UByUByU Reviewed by G-Man ImmedeiaWire Svc From TheInside,IfIWereMadefStone, Thati What Love Can Do and the title track have a smoothpropulsion thatis delicious. Each ofthese songs is as strong as any single released in the past five years. Most numbers (by Campagna alone or with famed session drummer Gary Malaber) are very modem yet classic at the same time, much the way the latest Santana album seems timeless. Although many ofthe tunes are blues-based in structure, they take you into the realm ofpop withjust a dash of percolatingjazz. Campagna’s guitar work is superb, but it’s the incredible interaction of the quartet that makes this album aworkofgenius.With musicianship at such a high level, it is ajoy to put on this CD and dance the night away.
Meher Baba’s Next Wave:
CD Review by Raina Scott
Ordinary People’s Encounters
The first song on the CD, CallOnMe, is one of Billy’s newer songs. Listening to the song I can only imagine it is written from Baba’s perspective, reminding us to always call on Him. Two ofthe high points on the CD are songs that are in major motion pictures. AiwaysBe Together from Kingpin and The Way from Therei SomethingAboutMary. These are twoverysweet Baba songs. I reallylike the simple arrangement ofA/ways Be Together that features primarily acoustic guitar and voice. The Way has an eletric guitar drone throughout the song that reminds me ofa tamboura. I have heardBillysingDeepAsthe Ocean with his acoustic guitar many times so the arrangement ofthe song on this CD was a bit ofa sirprise. Itfeatures a strongdrumgroove alongwith sitars, tamboura and electric guitars layered into awall ofsound. In the end part ofthe song Billy sneaks in a sample ofRustom and Sorab singing “Meher Baba”, but listen close or you will miss it. The song Mtny is reminiscent ofSimon and Garfunkle. Billy’s friend, Josh Clayton, who passed away last year, sings background vocals. Ange/is a sweet and haunting song that features
with God Reviewed by Winnie Barrett
here was a great surge ofBeloved Baba’s love pouring into the world during the 1960’s and the early 1970’s, and to many, it seemed unlike anything before or since. While some ofthat love was reflected in outward events ofthe day; on an internal level, Baba’s universal work was being felt by many, many souls. In the West, Meher Baba drew countless young ones into His orbit during those years, and most of them did not meet Him in the body. But even so, He drew them near, and they found in Him that which theywere seeking—the embodiment of Love and Truth. It is the story of this generation of Baba lovers which is the fo cus ofMeher Baba’s Next Wave. The tales ofthese Baba lovers are ofa personal connection with the Beloved in their hearts. But the stories also tell ofthe awe inspired by those who had been Baba’s longtime followers, the “old guard.” His “first wave” were special souls—Elizabeth Patterson, Dar win Shaw, Kitty Dav Margaret Craske, Fills Fredrick, Adele Wolkin, just to name a fe and ofcourse, all ofthe Mandali. Most of them had met Meher Baba while he was in the physical body, and some had even lived with Him in India. They had dedicated their lives
Cathy Riley, Jane Brown, Gil Alvarado, Winnie Barrett, Richie Blum, Peter and Debbie Nordeen, DamienTrouleyre, Summer Turner Carolyn Ball, and Sheila Krynski. Each story is unique in the manner in which Meher Baba played His game ofbide and seek with the teller. And yet, as Carolyn says in her own chapter, “Coming Home,” there are univer sal components to each one’s tale as well—an experience ofGod as a child, the search forTruth as ayoung adult, the series of”coincidences”which brought each to Meher Baba’s feet and He into each heart, and the feeling ofcomplete familiaritywith the Beloved. In keeping with the time, each story has drama, humor, and pathos.As I read,Ilaughed,I cried, I sighed. I was surprised and amazed. And I also felt,”Well, ofcourse!”This littlebookis full ofheart,poignant,intimate andrefreshing. Baba’s signature is seen in each and every page. This is tnily a great read, and I’m afready looking forwardto the nextvolume.Arti Books, Publisher; Sheriar Press, Paperback, 2SOpp., $13.00
Bob Een on cello. The last song on the album, Touched, reminds me ofthe Musts, whose deep experiences of God are so often misunderstood by most people. Accompanying Billy are his L.A. musician friends John Button, Charlie Campanga, Pete Maloney and Dave Allen.
Constant Companionship The LA Silence Day Sahavas Barbara Roberts, Colorado want you all to make Me your constant companion. Think ofMe more than you thinkofyour own self The more you think of Me, the more you will realize Mylove foryou. Your duty is to keep Me constantlywith you throughout your thoughts, speech and ac tions.” —Meher Baba July 1-4 the companions ofthe One Com panion of all, Beloved Meher Baba, gathered once again at Pilgrim Pines, California for the annual Silence Day Sahavas, sponsored by the hard-working Los Angeles group. (‘Sahavas’ means ‘in the company of God’.) We began with an Ice Cream Social, funded by a very generous donation to the Sahavas Committee as a way for us all to break the ice, meet with old friends and make new ones. Whilst enjoying our sweet treats, we were serenaded by the Still Yet More Chamber Players (Pris Haffenden, Guitar; Chris Haffenden, Oboe), who provided the musical background for a most enjoyable time.
in memory confusion and working together. After we finally found our places we each in turn read our parts. This being near Hollywood, soon all were acting and dancing Baba’s lovely words. The first guest, Naosherwan Anzar, who was held in Baba’s arms when he was just 3 months old, re minded us that we are gathered together to listen to our Beloved’s Voice in our heart, and to feel Baba’s pres ence. Naosherwan said, “every word which Meher Baba has uttered has significance”. This was expressed in the course ofhis discussion ofthe re cent launching of the Beloved Archives, which is an astounding wealth
Photo ofEnlarged Baba beaueflhlly decorated by Ten Adams andfriends
of documents he has collected over the years. On the other hand, Eruch once told Naosherwan, “These words were given to us in order to awaken us to His love. We need to get beyond words.” In a poem Naosherwan sent to Baba, he wrote, “When you remove the dark that clouds your eyes, you will see the secrets ofGod...The path to Godhood so long. Why do you seek Him when you can see His smile in your heart?” [Read Naosherwan’s talk in the January issue] Jeff Maguire humorously introI duced the next guest, Bhau Kalchuri, L saying, “We are most fortunate, be: Cathy Broadley overseeing thep/acernent ofthe Prayer cause they aren’t making Mandali members anymore,” and that “Bhau After the social, we continued with every- is a lemming, come to lead the rest ofus lem one playing a most clever game, one where mings over the ciffto drown in the Ocean of we were each given a card on which was writ- Love!” And so it was, we companions swimten a word or short phrase from the Master’s ming in the beauty of all the Baba tales. Prayer. We stood in the large courtyard in a Bhau observed that Sahavas is a losing circle and then tried to put ourselves in the game, four days to forget the world. We cancorrect order ofthe Prayer, a hilarious exercise not buy this game. It is our love, our remem brance of Baba that allows us to play this losing game. What we are losing because ofHis companyis our false life of Gameparticzpants who havefoundtheirplace in l feeling separate
from God. He added that those who could not come due to difficulties are also included in the Sahavas program. Bhau talked about the upcoming publica tion, In Godi Hanc4 reminding us that everything is in God’s hand. Baba once said of His
Naosherwan Anzar displayingpages ofthe new bookln GodiHand
book, written with little regard for grammar, etc., “If you see the language, your seeing is from here (pointed to head), but if you see beauty, it is from here (heart).” “When we come in contact with the GodMan,” Bhau explained, “Baba changes our lives. What He is doing behind the curtain, no one knows. We do not do the initial contacting—it is the Beloved. His work is our awakening. He alone does everything for ev eryone. Life is not in our hands—it is in His 39.
“Remember Him so was a skit ofan encoun it becomes natural that and Baidul ter between on remembering to go by played Kaka Baria, in everything we Him thes those professional He does ev do, because Kaichuri pians, Bhau erything. Vesali. and Esfandiyar “When we remem We were told that while ber Baba, He becomes and Baidul with Baba, to us, to help us. bound got often Kaka Baria possible for not is It that into altercations anyone ignore to Him but escalate, tended to is everyone. He because on were that now they Love is the roses and the ‘Other Side’ all that the thorns. What is had passed. animosity there to get from Baba? toThey were brought I You have to lose, and gether from the Astral S Naosherwan and Bhau g the cover of is there to take. Baba see plane, but as you can the new book In Godi Hand roses but they He gives A not in the photograph, last a Thorns will dryc much has changed! “Meher Baba embraces the saints but He doift time, so long long, On the second also embraces the sinners. He has remarked for roses—long long for evening, the musical that ‘The sinners are My liabilities; the saints J _J gain_____ _ 4 is Losing thorns! Billy guest, the famous are My assets. Myjob is to turn My liabilities Bhau and Efandiar as Baidul and Kaka ing. We must lose ev Goodrum gave a coninto assets.’ erything. Unless im cert. And what a con“Baba creates our thirst so we may be able forget the world. cannot we are lost, pressions Rob friends his by cert it was, backed up to drink water from His Ocean. It is really our strong. become and we Him Remember Thornburn greatfortune thatwithout our doing anything, ‘My says, Baba Meher Him. in lies Strength and Charlie He has accepted us and given us this Divine in everyone.’ am I that is experience C a m p a g n a. thirst: ‘Don’t ask for anything and I will give “He does not want rituals or ceremo One ofthe au much more than you expect.’ wants love. His Ocean absorbs the nies—He dience favor“He will give us a clear path to our destiny. His Ocean absorbs our stinking perfume. ites was the Have faith in Him and He will take us to the wants to take everything from He garbage. song, “We Divine Destination. We must remember to retain. For this, we suffer want we but us, Should AlHim,” Bhau continued. He’s following us to complain! we then and ways Be ToLater that evening, our Beloved chuckled to keep it. We are want we it all, but take gether”, fea with us as we enjoyed another ftin-filled edi very, very difficult. We His work making tured in the tion of “The Bobby Manonash Show”, with Him, good and to everything offer should Woody Har Billy Goodrurn Jeff Maguire as the host, Bobby, and Fred Prayer of Rethe us gave Baba Meher bad. relson movie Stankus as Mr. Manonash’s side kick, Ed ly, for our wholehearted repeated pentance, to song “Kingpin.” In the movie, it is a love McMaya. The show was sponsored by that Beloved, the accepted have We forgiveness. writHarrelson’s girlfriend, but actually itwas most excellent product, “Unwind It”, which is we must so us, accepted has Beloved the and ended ten by Billy at the Samadhi to Baba. He a liquid sanskara remover: “While you sleep, and foraccepted He has that faith the have anda his set with a rousing version ofSatchadan it unwinds even the toughest sanskaras!” One us.” given dancing that had the crowd on their feet ofthe highlights ofthis very entertaining hour Bhau noted that everything belongs to around the room for a good ten minutes, with and we are the caretakers. We should Baba, go Bhauji exhorting him to “go faster, sleep well, remember Him, don’t well, eat faaaaster.” enjoy, for that is how to live in and worry The next morning, Bhau again gave Bhau wrote in his ghazal, with As world. the he a talk. Through one ofhis ghazals, “Want what I want, and do speaking, Baba asked, “Why make differences and dis Me.” please to I ask, what appoint the Beloved within...You have “Baba’s Eternal Infi entitled talk her In no idea how the Beloved suffers beShaw Johnston Leatrice Presence,” nite cause ofyour failure to obey Him, and her first meetof impressions some shared yet you later blame Him.” 10, 1952, at May on Baba Meher with coning our “We should make Baba a kind of felt said she in love She are we Center. When Meher r stant companion. with Him, we pass through different happiness that is indescribable—Baba was situations, and then we become strong. familiar and natural but not ordinary. “We Do for Him and not for ourselves, have were introduced to parts of our own being Fred Stankus doing his Manonash Calypso to a blues beat faith, and then He is our Constant with which we weren’t very well acquainted. with the help ofDanny Maguire andJosh Lee Companion.
hands. Whatever we have done, it is Him. We are His children, but very mischievous chil dren. He does all for us.
I discovered the core of myself” She ex sees Himself and He is not only pleased strengthen that inner guidance from Baba plained when Baba was with women there but joyous. Because of His love for us, we by our obedience and willingness to listen was wonderful rapport. It felt like He can dare to long for the highest—all that is to Him. We obey His inner direction, not brought out the best ofwhat it was to be a noble, beautiful and loving . He sees our through logic but by faith. “Keep yourself woman. highest. Our potential becomes a reality in centered in the heart and He will reveal the Baba asked Leatrice and her sister answers in a way you can understand.” Renae if they would do whatever He His love is unconditional. It has noth asked them to. When they both anrng to do with being unworthy. Feeling swered yes, Baba asked if they would unworthy is based on fear and feeds the jump into Long Lake with the alliga illusion. Giving all to Him says, “I’m re tors, and again the answer was yes. Then lying on you, Baba.” Before doing anyBaba stated, “I am in the snakes and al thing, ask Baba for His help. That’s how ligators and the deer and everyone and we get ourselves out of the way. Through everything. Ifyou knew that, you would \I His love, He brings about a transforma not be afraid of anything or be upset by tion. anything.” At a panel discussion on the last day When Baba embraced Leatrice, He of the Sahavas, concerning Baba’s will, held her face so she could look directly Naosherwan quoted Mani, “There is no into His eye, which she knew took dar free will, only free want.” Naosherwan ing. “I kept on looking, and there was added, “Everything that happens is ac no end. There was light and I was in it. cording to His Will, and we need to be It was complete beauty. It was endless Child Care waiis Raina Scott & Mehera Makeig with afrw happy with that.” oftheir charges, all enjoying His constant companionship and formless and timeless. He showed Bhau echoed those thoughts, “What me He is eternal. It doesn’t go away—that’s our own eyes, so that we aspire to be that. is destined, it happens. There is only One His eternal divine Presence.” Then longing is given. The longing for the who can change that, but those changes are Baba gave His darshan in the Barn, al highest becomes a divine action which pro- also in the Divine Plan. The Avatar is the lowing everyone only a briefcontact so that duces an energy force strong enough to Master and Author ofthe Divine Plan. Our He could touch each lover at the heart level, throw offall that stands in our way to being duty is to follow His Wish. We do not have before the mind could kick in. Some were all that Baba wants us to be in His love. The to renounce the world. Don’t worry-this so dazed they would have wandered into the energy oflonging is such a mighty force that world is illusory. Though illusory, we must lake ifthey had not been stopped. can cut through that self which stands in take it seriously by trying to solve problems, At one point, Baba had all five Shaws the way of its fulfillment. Then we experi but we must solve them for Him. We will gathered around Him, and no one else. He ence the fire of love and we are willing to get the strength ifwe give the problems to started pouring His love, soaking deeper and burn in the Beloved’s flame of love.” Him to solve. Love is free from fear.” deeper, and they experienced a deep sense The next day, Leatrice gave a workshop Leatrice had a last wish, to be able to hear ofHis rhythm and oneness ofHis love. on the transformation of consciousness, His Voice, and ofcourse, to love Him. She At the Sahavas in 1958 at the Meher which somehow takes place for all of us reminded us the time is now for each of us Center, Leatrice realized that “We don’t just awakening to Baba’s love. We get a whiff of to take advantage of the opportunity to take His Love, we give it back. We give Him His divine presence and the flow ofHis love, deepen our personal connection and direct everything, making room. We need a big- and this becomes His startin g point. If we communication with Baba within, while His ger cup. We begin seeing each other through are fortunate to come into the love orbit of love is flowing and He is so readily availthe eyes ofLove.” the Avatar, suffering brings about manifold able, this being His manife station. As Jeff At Guruprasad during the East-West results. Love from the Avatar cushio ns the Mylettwrote in his song, House ofthe Lord Gathering in 1962, Mehera, Baba’s Beloved, blow and sustains us while we are being “He is standing there waiting, arms open ;aid, “Now remember, when you really, re awakened. He makes us do the kind ofwork wide, beckoning each traveler to come inilly think about Baba, He’s really, really with needed to stay in His love orbit, because we side.” iou.” are imbalanced with our burdens. “Through Bhau expressed that “since January 31, For a long time, Leatrice could not put unfathomable ways, I lead you. Accep t My 1969, Sahavas is continuous, and will be un nto words the experience of meeting the rhythm.”—Meher Baba. til we no longer need Sahavas.” 3od-Man, but one day the following came It’s up to us to call Him and listen to And so concluded the Pilgrim Pines 0 her: “When the Highest of the High is Him. Leatrice asks Baba to be very clear, phase of Sahavas, and we went back into )efore us in all His shining glory and splen and He spells it out. Baba tends to the littlest the world to experience Sahavas there in br, in one sense, we cannot help but feel details of life—everything, ifwe let Him. every aspect of our daily lives, buoyed by he lowliest of the low by comparison. Yet Leatrice explained it’s up to each of us the renewed awareness of Meher Baba’s ecause our Beloved Meher Baba comes to to make constant small surrend ers. We have Constant Companionship, gained through ur level of being, we are able to approach to decide, “Does this injustice really mat- our inner contact and through everyone we lim and feel natural in His presence while ter? Or is it keeping me from Baba?” If so, meet. eeling His greatness. We dare not think of it is time to find a solution, or to see the ttaining such heights, but He gives us the problem in a different light. Solutio ns come ision and the inspiration to dare. In us, He through inner contact with Baba. We .
In the Beginning...
erwan and Cecilia Scott with their beautiful baby Kayla Anne. She was born May 19th at 8.23 pm weighing in at a dainty 6lbs 14 ozs. (3%
Ifyou are interested in Hafiz and Rumi
( and have a computer!) you may want to
“http:// site: this check out www.zbnet.com/hafiz. It was set up by Shahriar Shariari who is a very nice and talented Zoroastrian from Iran. He participated in a couple ofpoetry programs at Meher Mount a year or so ago. He is not a Baba lover himself but a friend ofone ofthe L.A. group. In his book “Thus Spake the Real Zarathustra,” he imagines a series of conver sations with Zoroaster in which he questions him about various things. It’s sort of like Bal Natu’s conversations, but with the emphasis on ideas rather than the relationship of love.
ob Underwood tells us that a group of Baba lovers with an appetite for the Great Outdoors have been getting together periodically. In their hikes, they seek to enjoy His presence in the majesty ofHis cre ation. Every May 20—or the nearest weekend to it, John Foreman leads the Asheville NC Baba group (and anyone else who shows up) to Caesar’s Head South Carolina, a high cliff overlookjust offThe Read, where Baba and His Mandali stopped for the view in 1952. J ohn then takes the more adventurous on a two-mile hike to a scenic waterfall nearby. Bob Underwood and Jerry Llewellen have lead a few hikes inThe Linville Gorge, a rugged, jungle-like canyon east of Asheville NC. The Linville Gorge is one of the great natural gardens of the world. In the spring the sunlit overlooks are ablaze with flowers. Bob also likes to lead hikes by the light of the full moon and has another scheduled for October 13 2000. If you are in the area and would like to participate in this wonderful adventure, call Bob at 336-299-9683 or email him at email@example.com for more informa tion.
Dios Habla—God Speaks in Spanish— has finally got the go-ahead from the publisher. Don Stevens, who has labored long and hard to bring this about, tells us it should be available in 2001 You will hear about it here, first! .
Ivy 0. Duce he Old Testament starts with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Thirty-one verses later it states, “And on the seventh day God noted his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” With all due respect to the translators of old, Moses had too great spiritual attainment to have said “day” unless it was his purpose to veil the Truth. What it really means is that God created seven planes ofexistence and He Himself “rests” —that is, is quiescent and unmanifested—in the seventh plane. We are given to understand that these planes are not really places in which to live, but rather are states ofconsciousness, and one can evolve to the point ofbeing conscious of and operating in these various states while still in the earthly body. This earthly body is sometimes called the “gross” body to distinguish it from the “subtle” bodywhich interpenetrates and su.ffiises it. ifwe think ofhow water can fill a bath sponge without changing its character, we can picture how our two bodies fit together. Everything that ex ists is based on the atomic structure, and the atoms ofthe subtle body are much, much finer than the atoms ofthe gross bodyThe scientists nowadays tellus that the atoms in a desk or table run around with the speed ofexpress trains, so why shouldwe not have them rushmg around in us too? One can be aware of the subtle body by realizing that when we go through the process called death the feet grow cold first. This is because the subtle body withdraws at this time from the gross body, beginning at the feet and emerg ing from the top of the head. Actually, it does this every night when we are asleep because it tires of being cramped in our everyday form, particularly if we happen to be sick. However, it stays close by and we need have no fear that we will lose
From What Am I Doing Here by Ivy 0. Duce Copy©Jeriy Mankatos right 1966 by Sufism Reori ented Inc. atoright)• GerryMoline,JerryMankatos, Cathy .
¶J2oetry ¶1age The Hill
J ack McTamney
I ran up the hill as quick as I could my heart beating fast just to see you at last Maybe this time I would I’d thirsted so long for this moment of fate Been so close before when I got to the door I was too late Shedding my jacket I started to burn in the depths of my soul with the legs ofa foal on it’s first sojourn Then like a great lantern alone in the night Through blossoming leaves ofthe bushes and trees Your house shone so bright My pulse pounded harder and my lungs were so sore My knees felt so weak as my trembling hand reached to knock upon the door And when the door opened I knew it right then A man warm and mild with a comforting smile said you’d be back again I walked down the hill with my heart in my throat choking back the tears holding very near the words that you wrote As I reached the bottom my soul was seared to see And it broke me like a child for all ofthe while You were waiting here for me
IfI want to escape this prison I’ll have to stop constructing Walls and Bars and Locks and Cells. Iflwantto escape thisprison I’ll have to open my eyes to Look and See who I really Am. If’ want to escape this prison I’llhave to truly know lam the Jailoi; Guard, Warden, Lock-makei; Key-holdei and Inmate ofmy own Personal cell. Stop shaking the bars, Rattling the cage. The door is always open. Itjust swings the Other Way.
Family Bridget Robinson, California Families of origin: seems that we are put in them to find our worst self to become our best self Its clear they look like us but in angst, they are not like us and someone says “Youre exactly like your mother!” and you think “Not even in warm weather!” Yet you later learn the truth, which turns your stomach in a vise when you hear the spiritual facts about old family ties it
Knowing that maybe, no more like probably you once were: the wife ofyour sister the son ofyour niece the father ofyour grandma in lives now deceased So you gargle some strong mouth rinse and wonder with a wince: “But doesnt that mean spiritual incest? Glad I dont remember it, even if in jest! In the next days you stare at your family for the clues you think you missed, about who they are and who they were and who they might have kissed But soon you see the Genius as it becomes to you quite clear that we are recycled quite efficiently until were without fear So family then becomes interesting, like: “which one brought me in?” each ones veiled from the mystery ofwho they might have been But finally the truth sublime unfolds before your eyes that who they are in this life time is really quite divine And so you see yourself in them no more feeling ofbeing alone since your life is not with strangers but with those youve always known. -
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