__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

(44

0 0

w 0 U 0

I

0 0

0

2

3


Cdito/s !Report Jai Meher Baba! ne of our Beloved’s dearest has been called home, to—I am sure—her greatest relief! Our tribute to the much loved Dr. Goher begins with our centerfold. Only the indefatigable Bhauji keeps on truckin’ on around the world—spreading Baba’s message of Love and Truth. Back home in India, the door to the wineshop closes yet a little more. Hurry—make it to Meherazad before it’s too late to taste of His precious wine from the ones who served Him their whole lives! The response to our call for photos and stories of Dr. Goher was overwhelming. We received so much that we are having to split our coverage into two issues, as we did for Mohammed. In the January issue we will tell you about the Interment ceremony and give you Dr. Goher’s story in her own words. This is taken from the book Lives ofLove by Judith Garbett and is a treasure trove of stories of the women Mandali [available in the Love Street Bookstore]. It will be an appetite whetter for Goher’s own autobiography that Shel ley Marrich, her companion of 20 years, was helping her with and is now faced with the long job of editing it. Sheriar Foundation will be releasing it late 2005. A few coincidences were brought to our attention: On th the 9 ofJuly the Pope announced from St. Peter’s Square that the remedy for today’s world problems can be solved through Silence and that we should observe silence the next day—July 10th! Hmmm, I wonder if he really ckc have a direct line to God?! Many ofyou know Allan Cohen as the author of that wonderful book (still out of print!) Mastery of Consciousness. I count him as a friend and so was very shocked to read on the Meher Baba List serve of his somewhat precipitious passing. I had

O

2

received an email from him not three days earlier and so thought it extremely precipi tious! The report said he was an author and from Walnut Creek. It hadto be our Allan! I emailed friends in the Walnut Creek Sufi community to question its veracity and was told they knew nothing about it. I emailed the man himself and was happy to hear

D Goher with her sister Katie Irani in the 198O

he was as right as rain. A few days later I received this email from him: Remember my “death”—the other Allen Cohen? Well, remarkably, it turns out his ex-wife was tak ing care of him in Walnut Creek, and the hospice folks sent out a hospice nurse—one ofthe Sufis!! She recently visited DC and reported that he had a pretty peaceflil transi tion with lots offriends around... Ah, His ways are indeed amazing! Cathy Riley told us ofan unusual use for the LampPost:

“I was with Winnie Barrett the other day in the emergency room of our local hospital as she had to have an emergency ap pendectomy and I brought the Love Street LampPost along to read to her. It worked wonders to distract her from the pain and discomfort before the transport fellow ar rived to take her up to her room for the pre surgery. You never know what the LampPost gets used for: Pre-op distraction techniques! PS Winnie is home recovering and doing well!” We’re so happy to hear that Winnie. Glad the LampPost could be of help. I would like to give a big thank you to those of you who responded to our call for donations over and above your usual yearly donation so that we could pay tribute to our dearest Dr. Goher in the fashion we have. The results ofyour generous donations lie in your hands right now. This full color issue cost us well over $6000. I hope you agree it was worth it. Cherie, who put together the section on Goher, and Pris, who designed the rest ofthe magazine, both had a wonderful time doing it. It certainly is artistically exciting and gratifying to work in full color and to see the results of your labors so beautifully pre sented on this glossy heavyweight paper. I wish we could do that all the time. But then we would need a 30 donation per year instead ofthe $15.50 it costs us (per person) per year. Thank you again. If you know of people who are not subscribers and who would like to obtain this issue, or you yourself would like extra, we will be selling them for $5 each to help recoup costs. If you have a Goher story and have not yet sent it in—please do so by November 16tI.

In His love, Dma


rn Cab/ornth c ul/er o/ o Joa!ar JJ(eJer J3aa Cen/er 5 IfpuJthaLthn o/IJe 7

Love &recrLimpPosr fturs

. co .. m ef e Love Street £ampPost is dedicated with love to Avatcir 1/leher 13aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to ci sense of 1 J communitj among ciii 21is lovers by providing ci place for sharing 1 is remembrance. LA!! members of the EBaba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love.

DuNcAN KNOWLES How TO CARVE MEHER BABA PUMPKINS SAHAvAS DAY SILENCE ANNUAL H LovE—3OT OCEAN OF

1 photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. E our stories We seek expressions of E&tba’s message ofLove and 7ruth.

Subscriptions:

CYNTHIA BARRIENT0S

10

DR. BURLESON, PRAGUE & MEHER BABA

MICHAEL BURLES0N

18

A DHUNI EXPERIENCE

KATHY HILL

20

MEHER BABA ON WORK DISHING THE DIRT ON MEHERAB0DE

DINA SNOW

21 23

UNDRAISER BHAU TOAST/ROAST BURN THE MORTGAGE AUCTI0N/F THE DEVIL MADE ME Do IT

Suggested Donation: $16.00 per year

Submissions: Love Street £arnpost

4

AVATAR’S ABODE ANNIVERSARY A FAREwELL TO DR. G0HER

DINASNOw

25

SAM ERvIN

27

RAINE EASTMAN-GANNETT

29

VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS

32

THEATER MEHER BABA AVATAR OF THE AGE AT THE PALACE ASSEMBLED BY KATHY HILL

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

web site: www.meherabode.org e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net

58

departments

Deadlines: for the January issue: April issue:

July issue: October issue:

November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

Love Street bookstore:

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

2

EDITOR’S REPORT BOOKSTORE REPORT REVIEWS MEETINGS PASSINGS WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD ANNOUNCEMENTS

6 8 31 32 56 62

e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net web site: www.LoveStreetBookstore.com or www.MeherBabaBooks.com

Credits: editor: design and layout: proofreaders: Goher tribute layout: preffight and prepress: color printing: Cover Photo: mailing list information:

Dma Snow Pris Haffenden Cherie Plumlee and Dma Snow

Cherie Plumlee Tom Hart Colorcom (www.colorcom.net)

Photo ofDr. Goher taken in 1978 by Mitchell Rose Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779

thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copgrights to the ]1/1eher EBaba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street Lamp2ost readers.

Please call with address corrections or questions.

Love Stred..Camp2osris published quarterly, injanuary, April,July, and October.

All contents © 2004 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

holders All words, images andgraphics in thispub/ication areproperty ofthe copyright

Meher Baba and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Reiter Unau Lawrence © and India, ; Ahmednagcn Trust, Charitable Public Perpetoal

thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.

3


-: 2 Iow to Carve JiVtehcr Baba 2urnpk ins or 2lctI!owecn

f

Duncan < 2 nowles,

T

ibetan Buddhist monks spend a long time painting a mandala from grains of colored sand. When they finish, they pour it in a river. It focuses them on the impermanence ofthis gross world. Carving a Baba pumpkin is a little like that, for the

Walnut Creek

cut into it, the hard surface seals out air and keeps it firm and moist inside.

Shape and surface Select a pumpkin with a shape that will allow you to carve Baba’s face on it. Avoid pumpkins that are too tall and narrow or wide but squashed down. Look for ones with a surface whose vertical ridges and val leys are not too pronounced. The smoother and flatter the surface, the easier it will be to work with.

Negative space

pumpkin loses its form within 24 hours of cutting. If I had my way, I’d keep it fresh forever. But, alas, nature has taken that de— cision out of my hands. So just know that before beginning. Also, if you have young kids who want you to carve a pumpkin with them, a simpler design may be more fun for them. This one requires time and detailed work.

Pumpkin size A bigger pumpkin is better. Search for one at least 18 inches high. A larger one lets you leave more “meat” between the spaces you carve out, reducing the chance a piece might break. The smaller the pumpkin, the less room for error. Also, a larger pumpkin has more visual impact because you present Baba’s face life-size. But stick to the typical orange ones and avoid the large tan-colored variety, as their walls are too thick. Pass over pumpkins with bruises, cracks or broken stems, because they tend to rot quickly. Pumpkins can be found at lots in metropolitan areas and occasionally at supermarkets, but you may have to search for a larger one. It’s fine to buy it weeks ahead of Halloween because as long as you don’t

4

You will be working with L I “negative space” —that is, leaving the darker areas of Baba’s face and carving away all the light ones. In room lighting, this carved pumpkin won’t look like anything, and midstream you’ll wonder how I this could possibly turn out right. But when you put a candle in it and set it in the dark, you’ll be delighted to see Baba’s face become all light. (On the Cox website belo look at the portraits, some of which show pumpkins with room lights on and off)

poke dots through the paper with an ice pick to create the image, then re-trace the lines using a Sharpie pen. (Go ahead and darken in the mustache, hair, eyebrows, and areas you’re going to keep. In the dark, no one will notice the pen marks.) I like to take a slide ofa Baba picture and, in a dark room, project the image on the pumpkin and then use a permanent marker to sketch on the areas I want to keep solid. Ifyou want to erase any lines made with the Sharpie, use Qtips and alcohol.

Tools See wwwcarvingpumpkins.com for photos oftools. I suggest 1) a solid kitchen knife to cut out the top andlarge pieces. 2) A scraper—big spoon or ice cream scoop to whittle and clean the inside. 3) A smaller thin-bladed paring knife. 4) A cutting toolwith a small saw blade. The ones available at most pumpkin lots are okay, but prone to break. You’re better offbuying several Xacto #15 & #27 saw blades and Xacto handles. 5) An Xacto #26 cutting blade

Choosing your image ofBaba Go easy on yourself. Choose an image that, when you carve it, you can leave connections from one sec tion to the next so it will all hold together. Remember the dark areas are the ones you’re going to keep solid. So in the picture you’re considering, see if Baba’s eyebrow is close to his hairline (both will be solid) so you can connect the two without being too obvious. This will save you grief later.

Getting the image on the pumpkin If you can draw, you can sketch Baba’s image on the pumpkin using a Sharpie fine point pen. Or you can make a large photocopy ofyour Baba picture, tape it to the pumpkin,

and a handle. 6) An ice pick or electric drill for the pupils in the eyes. 7) White votive candles or a small battery-powered light. The Xacto saw blade and cutting blade will be your tools ofchoice for the detailed work. Review pumpkin-carving websites . Review some websites to see how others carve. You’ll learn a lot. Try: wwwcox-internet.comlkcoleman!index.html wwwcarvingpumpkins.com www.jack-o-lantern.com


Use slow, steady sawing motions. The thinner the area you’re working on, the more. vulnerable it is to breaking. If you think the action of the saw blade would put too much stress on thin areas, use the long Xacto blade to gently whittle these away. . Remove carved por tions by gently pushing them in or out. Never force a piece. That can rip out others. .

Getting ready to carve Begin carving on the afternoon of Halloween. Any earlier and the pumpkin may sag before the night is over. Allow 3+ hours for carving. This is messy, so spread newspapers and be close to water so you can wash your hands. Use a plastic garbage bag for the carved-out pieces. Cut out the top around the stem, angling the point of the knife in toward the stem. This is so later the top will fit in the hole like a cork and not fall through. Scrape the inside walls clean with the scoop and remove the seeds and strings. Scrape the inside bottom flat for your candle. On the wall where Baba’s image will be, scrape the inside wall so it is about 1 inch thick. Okay, now you’re ready to begin. Take your time and be very careful. Cutting tools are sharp and you won’t enjoy Halloween ifyou’re wearing bandages.

Carving tips .

Start by drilling out the pupils of the

eyes. You’ll be working to leave two main horizontal bands across the cut out spaces: 1) the eyebrows, eyes, and the bridge of the nose, and 2) Baba’s mustache and the lower part of his nose. Make sure you leave points of support to hold them up. . Where you start is up to you, because your image of Baba will have unique needs. Use your own judgment. I usually do the pupils first, then carve out the areas around the eyes. When I do the forehead above the eyebrows, I take it out in smaller pieces one at a time. Starting higher up lets the still-solid cheeks underneath support your work above. When you do the mustache, leave the chin underneath until you’re finished. These are just suggestions. Again, approach it in a way that works for you.

Fixing a break If a section is accidentally removed, insert a toothpick in the sidewall of the severed part. Leave a small piece sticking

Displaying the pumpkin Mount the finished pumpkin in a place that will display it well. It’s okay to put it at adult eye level as long as kids can see it too. If overhead lights wash out the effect, turn off that light or screen it off with tinfoil and duct tape. Make sure there is darkness behind the pumpkin as well, as light will be distracting. It’s better if the visitor doesn’t see the candle’s flame through the front of the pumpkin, so ifyou need to, screen it off with one ofyour throwaway pieces.

Taking a picture To photograph your pumpkin, keep it in darkness with the candle burning. Turn off your camera’s flash or you’ll kick yourself later! A flash will wash out the candle’s glow and only show you the outer skin of the pumpkin. Put your camera on a tripod or beanbag or rock-solid surface. Zoom in so you have the carved head filling the frame. Then set the camera to automatic exposure and let it do its own thing. I like to shoot a lot of pictures to end up with more choices later.

Fooling Mother Nature I’ve read that, after you’re done, if you spray your pumpkin with straight lemon juice (inside and where you carved), it will last longer. I haven’t tried it, but I’m passing it along. Another suggestion I’ve read is to cover it with saran wrap and place it in the fridge or cooler to keep it from dehydrating. In the end, though, im permanence rules. But that’s the way Baba set it up! Jai Baba and Happy Halloween! out—about 1/2 inch—or cut it shorter if you need to. Then carefully stick the section back in place.

/

\

oto

.

S


rom the J3ookstore Jai Baba Folks, ecause this issue had so much to pack into it I decided to cut short on the Bookstore report. I do hope it doesn’t ruin your gift giving/requesting plans. We have many new items, so do check the Reviews section—quite a few new CDs. Pictured on this page we have the delightftil Don’t Worry

B

V four inches high by four-and-a-half unches C wide and comes in three finishes: white, 00 bronze and bronze with a touch of verdigris. Very beautiful, they sell for only $35 and would make a lovely gift for the Baba lover in your life. The God Whistle. Ancient people believed the eagle-like shrill from a whistle could carry their thoughts & prayers to heaven. A God Whistle can assist you in this same spirit toward an inner challenge or outer adversity. Make the call—the answer will come. Can also be used for coaching, intervention or just letting off steam. Its a great conversation piece as it hangs around your neck! Colorfiil—$7. Before Bal Natu returned to Baba and \\%\Q could talk with Him directly, he was workmg on another of his Conversations books. This one is called Flowing Conversations. I intimate relationship with all the customdon’t have a price on it at the time ofwriting, ers. Cheerful and helpftil all the time. She but it should be around $12 and available by dotes on my tattoo! (it says Love is The December. Remedy I’ve had it for about 30 years) We received a fun letter fromJim Migdoll Speakingwith herl realise thatl mustfind that in Australia the other day. As all of our quote ofBaba’s about it being a Divine Art to customers know, you always receive more than you ask for in the package of books and videos you order from us. Sometimes when I have a vol unteer to help me with the packing, they ask “What freebies do we put in the box?” My response is 4 5 that I leave that up lathese ;onis be inscibcd injvw Jat: to Baba—my hand 11 12 Nothing is Real but God. Nothing matters but love for God. hovers over the shelf 18 19 full of freebies and Avatar Meher Baba I wait to be guided to just the thing I T: feel (or Baba knows) inthe O’: you would want. It’s tr letyou down. not even a conscious n-t’n ufebruary )5 decision! But Jim’s letter tells me that Order your 2005 Meher Balsa Calendar celcbraEing t I I years of Meter Baha’s Athent! It’s fitted with beautiful photos of Meher Baha and imponant quotes and Baba is indeed there $ . eac dates. It features a larger dale formal, secular holidays, cream laslro paper, sepia guiding me: or $8.50 when like photo reproductions, wonderful quotes, and more! “Today I’m at 10 or more are Purchased the newsagent buyLove Street Bookstore ing my lotto tickets. Avatar Meher Baba center of Southern califttmia Meherabode The woman there Dma Snow: 310-837-6419 from 9:00-4:00 PM Weekdays • Fax Number: 310-839-BABA (2222) is something else. 1214 South Van Ness Ave. • Los Angeles, CA 90019 • E-mail: BabaBookfpacbell.nel Has this beautiful

I

.

Be Happy mugs along with the old favorite Smiley face. Sure to bring a smile to you early in the morning with your tea or coffee. It is a good 10 ounce mug and sells for $8. Because we got a special sale price on the Mischievous Chicken mugs, that hold 16 ounces, we are able to offer that one also for only $8. Jurgis Sapkus, the artist to whom the Mandali entrusted the plaster casts of Baba’s feet, hand and footsteps (which we also sell) has created a bust ofMeher Baba. It stands

2005

Avatar Meher Baba Calendar

.

2005

-‘


always appear cheerftil. So what comes today with the book?! That card with the quote. Second part: I’m cruising through the Sheriar website a couple ofdays ago longing for just one or two particular photos. One of them comes back forcefully that it used to be one ofmy 3 or 4 favourites, and I no longer seem to have it. I must get it. It was in the separate envelope with the book!” Ah! Thank you Baba! It’s things like that that make my job so incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling.

The above is Ten Adam’s drawing, “Compassionate Father.” She says, “The Compas sionate Father is one of a collection of Baba pastel drawings I made from 1969 through 1976. My best known drawings are those that I gave as gifts to the Mandali in the early 1970’s to Mehera and Mani.” The 8.5”xll” prints are available in the Bookstore for $35 each.

7__

Another gorgeous Hafiz calendar with Danny Ladinsky’s renderings of Hafiz and illuminations by Laura Goode. 12” square, 24” when hanging. Love Street Bookstore discounted price ofjust $12 Laura and Danny have also had 12 different greeting cards made to match the months on the calendar. A pack of 6 assorted ones sells for $12—separately $2.25 each. Ifyou don’t have a catalogjust ask us and we will send one out to you (free, of course) and you can also visit us on the web at www. lovestreetbookstore.com. All the ways you can contact me are on page three. Happy shopping! In His love and service, Dma

Painting ofihepansies in the Garden ofParadise in Shiraz by Laurie Blum—18” x 24”, $125

tV —

-

,

‘?

What started out as a school project turned nto a love project armed stiaght at the heart.

1

Under the d rection of Robert Fradenoks the students ofthe Meher Engltsh School magnWtcenty illustrate and narrate thss protundy simpta tetting ofwhat happened when young Merwan rant grew up to become known as Avatar Meher Baba. For children and adults of att ages.

Bonus Feature: Howthefilmwasmade,

L

toldby Stella ManueL Principal ofthe Meher Enghsh Schoot

Prectconceeed byMaS Med.thwebatwve.daababa.coemewan.ha Copght RobedFrededa2OO4 MRhtsReserved ATechnoBabaFikn

\“e’hen AAerwciri Grew Up

When Merwan Grew Up is a unique film, written for children and made by Bob Fredericks with the children of the Meher English School. The project was conceived by Bob and Mrs. Stella Manuel, the principal of the Meher English School, as a way of teaching students about Baba’s life of love as the God-man. The students created the artistic images of Baba used in the film, and a 12-year-old boy narrates it. The film tells of Meher Baba’s life and work in a simple manner, and its simplicity turns out to be the perfect telling. Lively music, colorful images and expressive narration make this an excellent film for children but also for anyone of any age to learn about the life and work ofAvatar Meher Baba. Debbie Nordeen tells us that after it was shown at Meher Spiritual Center a man walked up to her and said, “If you had these for sale right now, I’d buy 10 of them!” Hmmm... can’t wait to see it myself and also to show it to my young grandchildren. Available only in DVD for a mere $20 7


!::Reviews The 9ctrden of Surrender: Poems to the Divine ‘Beloved. :Review b 11 jamie Rewell, Tennessee ith The Garden of Surrender. Poems to the Divine Beloved, Brian Darnell once again displays his wonderful gift of poetry, and his considerable ability to express beautifully and sincerely the heart’s longing of the spiritual aspirant. This moving col lection of poems/ghazals is a unique blend of ancient Persian motifs and contempo rary imagery that evokes scenes that many readers will recognize from their own lives following Meher Baba, and especially from pilgrimages to Meherabad. Many ofus know Brian only through his beautiful songs, es

the reader has the sense of traveling with a companion who has shared their heart’s longing, and who has traveled a very similar path to their own. Especially moving for me are the specific references that will ring true for many devotees ofMeher Baba. For example, “Eruch called from the shade of a neem tree —Baba and the Mandali having a picnic. and a love feast. /0 pilgrim, have you heard the wondrous tale ofthe wayfarer who fell in with God’s companions? /Surely, a life of remarkable adventures awaits such a fortunate soul!” How often we forget how fortunate we are to have been invited to this immeasurablywonderful picnic. Throughout his book, Brian’s poetry reminds us of this good fortune in many different ways, and he provides us with many opportunities for quiet reflection on thejoys and challenges of the spiritual journey. As he observes in one poem, “Wipe away the tears to see clearly the magnitude ofHis generosity You’ve shed a lifetime oftears. When will you weep for others? /0 child of God, you are the most fortunate man alive—undeserving and yet loved! Loved by God Himseffi” This book is a wonderful, soul soothing sojourn that gently coaxes the reader to enter deeply into meditations on God, the spintual path, and, most especially, into an ap preciation ofthe unique and wonderftil gifts ofthe soul that so many ofus associate with the name ofMeher Baba.This book would be a wonderful gift for anyone (especially for yourseffl), and has been beautifully designed by Ed Legum, who has also designed the Mehera-Meher books, and many of Don Stevens’ offerings. .

.

Dictmond or Stone pecially his hit “Tonight,” recorded by Buz Connor and sung regularly by many others. With this new book, Brian shows us just how deep into the journey of the heart his poetic muse is capable of taking him, and us, his readers. The book is divided into four sections, subtitled: The Path; Wine; Devotion; and Surrender. With the very first lines Brian takes us along with him into the world of the spiritual aspirant’s longing for God: “These are the heart-tears, tinged with blood; my Beloved knows every hidden grief” As one continues through the book, 8

LA

new CD b 2Iectle Lundgren

e havejust completed our second CD, entitled Diamond or Stone. In this work you will find musical adaptations of the illumined poetry of Rumi. We also visit Western shores, with songs inspired by the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and William Blake. In addition to the vibrant, subtle percussion tracks ofEnic Peterson and sultry vocals ofSheila Gambill, Diamond or Stone also features the work of violinist Bruce Lebovitz, and cellist Monica Palta. Add to this the nuances of acoustic guitar in rich, alternate tunings, these sounds together cre

W

ate a relaxing yet energizing folk-pop fusion ofEast and West, a direction which Cypress continues to explore in its work. To listen to mp3 samples, just click on http://www.nealelundgren.com/works/ works diamondbuy.html and you’ll be right there! Following are some reviews from happy listeners: Don Stevens (author co-editor of Meher Babac God Speaks, who now resides in Paris and London,):

The lovely recording of the latest Neale compositions and interpretations arrived as I was leaving for the last ofthe seminars on the East Coast, and the first thing I did on arriving home was to find it and play it. I am a very bad judge ofwhat can be popular in modern singing, but I can certainlyjudge my own reactions. I have always felt that [Neale has] one ofthe most pleasing singing voices I know and this work confirms again that feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed the CD, and also the compositions and the accompanying artists. Many congratulations for establishing Neale in his niche in music history. He certainly deserves it. EdmondH Legum (Atlanta, GA): I’ve been listening to Diamond or Stone,

which Sparkles and Rocks. For the past two weeks, I have relaxed my brain and floated downstream with Neale Lundgren’s latest Cypress CD, Diamondor Stone. On this one remarkable work, Neale has drawn deeply from the mystic poetry of William Blake, the spiritual beauty of Danny Ladinsky’s translations of Hafiz and Rumi, and the inspiration ofMeher Baba. Neale’s composi tions are soothing, therapeutic, with lovely melodies that work like a Shiatsu massage chair for fatigued minds. Eric Peterson adds depth to Neale’s vocals with varied and exotic percussive sounds including udu (West Aftrican clay-pot drum) and niq (Arabic tambourine). Sheila Gambill adds vocal harmonies on two songs.

Jason Darrow (Record Producer ofJane Olivor songwrite? Boca Raton, FL): I found some time to drive for an hour and enjoy [the] CD. It lifted my spirits and touched me deeply. I will be playing it many times. God has blessed Neale in his autumn years. Maria Debacco (College music instructor of iano, accompanist, Macon, GA): p

Diamondor Stone is not a casual listening collection, at least for me that is the case. In listening to the wonderftil poetry, there is


an intellectual as well as emotional element to the songs and reading the lyrics while listening opened the right part of my brain. [The song] Circling is very, very beauti ful. Each song offers a powerful teaching whether [Cypress] presents it sweetly or aggressively. Sam Broussard (guitar instrumentalist extraordinaire, songwriter mentioned in American Roots Music CD, Palm Pictures, 2003, Lafayette, LA,): It’s taking me a while to listen to the entire CD—but even before I finish, I’m finding it to be very satisfying, and ironically it sounds a lot like something I’m aiming for when I get around to making another one myself: acoustic guitar and percussion, and occasional bass and other instruments. I particularly love the lyric to Light ofDay: “bird of prey/bird of clay,” says it all. Zena Rubin (Asheville, NC): It’s a beautiful CD—the music is exotic and magical. I love Neale’s voice and guitar playing—the violin and cello really moved me! The CD jacket/art/contents are done 50000 well. Congratulations on this work ofheart and soul. $12.

worth paying attention to, after all. We don’t have time for the rest. Despite, or maybe because of trials and tribulations in her life, Leslie kept on with her singing. Each experience, once gotten through, became a song. Each karmic entanglement, once resolved, led into a new life. When you’re looking for something to help you make sense of your own life, for something to brighten up your day, put on this CD. Listen to these songs, sweet yet stirring, melodious yet yearning, the songs of a lover speaking to the One Beloved. 1 I never thought I’d have to find myself, alone with all my fears... 2. Mehera, will you tell us a story or two, help us remember Him more like you do... 3. At thejourney’s end, although it seems so hard... 4. Winebringer, the Spring is coming... 5. I give my all to You, I surrender my all to You... 6. When are You coming, my Love... 7. Born again anew, fresh like the morning dew... 8. When Dawn tended her rose garden in the eastern sky... 9. You are the Heartstealer, take me to the secret place...$15 .

Leslie &ge Wctlsh’s ‘2qew Life 11

<ey 71ie !71ectrt .2Iolds the 2

yrtle Beach 4 I 3ulia Ross, 7

Review bH Steven .Antonelli

eslie was told by Mehera to “keep on with your singing”. Her voice and singing style are thoroughly professional, but this is notjust another CD with pretty Baba songs. These songs come from real life, the experience ofjust trying to make it through, taking Baba as a guide. Nothing theoretical here, just the honest truth. Nothing else is

L

NL€ S

w 5 c2

L g 1 €

usicians, and guitar players in general, are always checking out each other’s hands. That’s because like in athletics, the physical gifts you are blessed with are impor tant. Not to say that they are the only indica tor ofthe quality ofthe music butjust as in basketball that it doesn’t hurt to be seven feet tall, big hands are very helpful to a guitarist. Hendrix had them. Powerful hands make all sorts of things possible and I’m not talking necessarily about flashy things. John Ruis has big hands and what they produce in his case is powerful steady rhythm, full chordal accompaniment, a varied and confident style and a sense ofeffortless transition. Ruis dis plays his decades ofexperience as a sideman on electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica, flute and slide guitar on “The Heart Holds the Key”. Seth Horton adds bass, synthesizer and with his production gives the CD a modern edginess that lends added dimension to the message infused in the lyrics, which are all based on the writings and teachings ofMeher Baba.

M

When a sideman steps out for the first time the results are unpredictable. Will a full voice appear or will the repertoire be a mere excuse to flaunt stylistic competen cies? In this case it appears that a lifetime of experience in music and life has given birth to a fully formed composer who has been biding his time to give us the benefit ofthat experience. The strong baritone voice reminds me most of Lou Reed in his later period. You know this man has been around the block a few times and not always in the best neighborhoods. But he has survived and the positive and profound message ofBaba’s words are deeply understood and appreci ated by the composer/ performer who has set them to music. The music is eclectic, folk, surfrock, world, boogie,jazz and classical are all represented. Accompaniments are simple but complete. No embellishments blur the message or composition. In the endJohn is his own best sideman with Seth molding the sound. This album could have been produced in the sixties or any decade leading up to this new century. It waited forJohn to birth itjust at the right moment. $12 Toi1

MkR

g%f w130w

I

M33te

MN

co1-

‘EQN I1

___c-r,

i bw’i 9


The Ocean of.Love—3oth J1nnual Si1ence Day Sahctvcts cit Pilgrim 1ines, California 3u4j 2-6 CyiitIiia Barriciiios, °i’Vasliiiujtoii ahavas literally means “close companionship”. This Sahavas is an opportunity given by the Avatar to spend time with Him and to intimately feel His presence. This is a gathering held in His honor where His lovers meet to remember Him.

S

3n preparation for this year’s &thctvcts, 3 asked EJ3aba to keep my eyes and heart open, knowing 3 would be writing for the Love .Street LampJ2ost. LA/Iy offering is to present a heariscape of images that capture some of the bubbles of love in Sb1is ocean. After orientation on the first day, Bhau opened with a description ofbeing with Dr. Goher. He told of how she held his hand for 15 minutes just before he left for this tour. Bhau noted that she was not living for herself—she was living for Baba. Bhau also mentioned Baba’s words, “Remember this! I am not this body.” He spoke of the Ocean of Love and how can we imagine the infinity. Everyone is that infinite ocean. Bhau reminds us how Baba repeated many times that He is that ocean and that there is no distance from Him. He is one indivis ible ocean. Bobby Manonash Returns Jeff Maguire, AKA Bobby Manonash, opened with “Hold on to your auras... presenting the 18th year of this show!” He apologized for not having enough material for a full show, having done this so many times, so he invited Bhau back on stage to offer another talk. Bhau heartily agreed. Bobby indicated that he would love to have Bhau tell a story that had never been told before. To help Bhau know if the story was new, he said he would blow the whistle he I0

was holding, if it was a story previously told. Bhau opened with a few words and the whistle blasted. Bhau jumped, laughed with the audience and started another story. He’d get a word or two out and the whistle would blast again and I again. This playful ex change repeated until Bobby kindly directed Bhau back to his seat in the audience. Last year Ed McMaya (Fred Stankus) shared his collection of BabaT-shirts duringThe Bobby Manonash Show. They ranged from old faded and tattered ones with, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” printed on them to more recent shirts with brilliant artwork. There must have been over thirty shirts that Marta Velasquez took home with her lastJuly and said, “I’ll do something with these.”This year, she publicly presented a quilt to Fred with nine of these treasures, lovingly stitched on a colorful assortment of fabrics. For the remainder of the Sahavas, this creation hung behind Fred’s seat in the Toddy Shop, for all to enjoy. Bobby then presented a fascinating solution to all who are interested in losing a few pounds. Instead of the usual, current “low-carbs” hype, he offered his first hand success with the “Arangaon Diet”. Simply eat a meal in this little town near Mehera bad and your body will eliminate pounds of unwanted weight. He knew that Baba was watching over him when he was blessed with only having emergency runs to the toilet at times when toilets were actually available. Bobby was particularly grateful for the miracle ofno lines in the aisle, on the flight back to the U.S. “Will everyone who has attended this Sahavas for the past 30 years, please stand.” Two or three people stood as applause filled the room. Bobby then proceeded to introduce a participant who few have actually

seen, though has been present and talked about each and every year. In through the side door lumbered a full sized BEAR!!! A small child in the back shrieked in terror, as the parent quickly comforted the child and explained that it wasn’t a real bear. A continual roar of laughter delayed Bobby’s interview with “The Sahavas Bear”. The conversation revealed that the Sahavas Bear has not missed one Bobby Manonash show in 30 years. He had a setup downstairs with closed circuit TV and munches on Meher Miniatures (children sahavasees between the ages oflO and 16) during the show. The Bear also makes it clear that he is not into backbiting. He claims, “There’s no meat there!” His favorite reading in the Love Street Bookstore is God Speaks. The Sahavas Bear also admitted that Bhau’s talks give him a touch of”the hiber nation.” Bobby challenged Bhau to have a staring contest with the Bear. Being a predictably good sport, Bhau agreed, so the Bear turned to stare deeply into Bhau’s eyes. Before long, the Bear shouts, “It’s unbear able! I haven’t been stared down like that since Davy Crockett.” As the crowd cheered for Bhau’s victory, the Sahavas Bear made his way to the door. He paused, turned and announced, “I’ll be hittin’ those tents around 12:15 tonight.” The show closed with a series of delightful scenes with Bhau defeating an inanimate


Bobby Manonash interviews the ‘Mischievous Chicken” a.k.a. Charlie Morton

object (a toaster), beating Billy Goodrum at chess in a few moves and the grand finale with Bhau accepting a rap challenge. This closed with Bhau’s version of”Talk and Talk and Talk” which can be heard on the CD, Techno Baba 2.0. (available in the Love Street Bookstore.) Morning Arti Each morning a number ofpeople gath ered in the main hail for prayers and music. Because arti is a private time for His lovers to gather, the names connected with these offerings are not included. Like beads on a string, here are musicaijewels ofword-gifts to Meher Baba. “Do not listen to the voice of the mind. Listen to the voice of the heart.” “Do you know why the musicians sit with their backs to Baba? Baba will give you a backrub!” “Please, don’t let go of my hand.” “Oh, Beloved Meher. Everything is from His hand.” “When the clouds come rolling in, call out His name. Meher Baba!” “I try to forget you, but the more I try, the more I remember you and still oh tyrant, you’re remembered in my heart.” “Love is a 14 year old crude child...she is but a child.” “Baba, I feel your presence. Your love is healing me right now. “Meher Beloved. Beloved Meher. Singing your dear name is my only prayer.” “Oh Meher, since you stole my heart...” Children The area for small children to gather had

a soft, pink sari draped along the wooden fence stretching from the driveway to the door. As I entered the lively room, my eyes were drawn to two girls, holding hands while dancing and singing a song oftheir own cre ation. My gaze then shifted to a dark haired girl, carefully placing brightly colored beads on a string. A trio of little ones squealed with delight as a young adult volunteer invited them to climb on his back. One by one all the children lined up for “mosquito wipes” before heading off to the “Field of Dreams”. Dave teased each one with, “Roll your sleeves up, roll your sleeves down, turn around, chin up, chin down, stick out your tongue!” “Nooooooo!” each little one giggled after this request. The small parade ofchildren made their way to the field for a bubble blowing adventure. Two girls walked arm in arm with their outside arms swinging as they skipped along. One very small boy appeared to be hesitant to step down the stairs, so I offered my finger for him to hold onto. He smiled, grabbed hold and down the steps we went. He continued to hold my finger all the way to the field. At one point I asked, “What is your name?” His eyes got real big, he stopped

walking, he turned to me and announced proudly, “I DO have one of those!” Field of Dreams The large grassy area below the eating hall attracted people throughout the day. When we arrived to blow bubbles, the air was filled with Persian music coming from under a shade tree. A small group sang and played a daft drum while a tall smiling man moved to the love-filled sounds. He turned slowly, arms outstretched, eyes closed and a deep smile spread over his face. Across the field, seated on a wooden bench, sat two musicians preparing for the evening concert. To the far left sat a barefoot woman, writing in her little book, occasion-

ally looking up to see the children’s bubbles float off the field and into the woods. One enormous bubble drifted away from the field, over the fence, bounced offthe trunk of a tree and disappeared into the brush. Dave offered the recipe for creating these HUGE bubbles. He started by insisting that the soap had to be JOY! “Of course, I replied.” Start with one large bucket, 10 parts water—320 ounces, one partJOY soap—32 ounces, 1/4 part liquid glycerin—4-6 ounces or 1-10 ra tio Your local pharmacy sells liquid glycerin. Combine, stir and let stand overnight. Michael Burleson Two years ago, we had the pleasure of hearing Julia Margaret Burleson-Brigham’s recollections ofmeeting Baba in Oklahoma after His automobile collision. Julia and Michael’s father was the doctor who cared for Baba and His traveling companions during this time. This year we listened to the experience through the eyes of Michael, sixteen years old at the time. He began by directing those who wanted to know details ofthe accident and his father’s work, to the documents al ready in print. To respond to his question to himself “What will I talk about?” he decided to tell about the place Baba chose to have His injuries. Michael was fourteen years of age when he started “scrubbing” at the hospital. “It had only been there a cou ple of years and then came Meher Baba!” At this point in Michael’s talk, people shifted in their seats, sat up, opened their eyes wider and eagerly awaited the descrip tion of meeting Baba. Michael continued, “There were these never been seen before people who believed in something no one in the Bible Belt had ever heard of.” He described how bits and pieces of images would pop into his mind. He helped take and develop the x-rays. He remembered Ivy and Charmian, Sarosh and Mani. “Mani was kind, generous and undemanding. Years passed and her kindness and generosity kept flowing.” “When I met Baba. well, the door was always closed. As I recall, I was told to go see Baba. Dr. Donkin let me in. I assume mundane questions were asked. Baba was sitting silhouetted against the window. .

II


He was silent. I was communicating with the other fellow. I remember His eyes and smile and I don’t remember anything else. He did this (Michael gestured OK) and I went out.” Tears welled up in my eyes as he captured this memory. I glanced around the hail to see many others feeling His love through Michael’s offering. Michael invited questions that began with something along the lines of: “What did you think about Baba after you met Him?” “I didn’t have any consciousness about Baba. I was not equipped to ponder the concept of God. Sometime after Baba’s visit, my folks got a copy of God Speaks. I read it then and again in the early 70’s. The metaphor of the Ocean of Love and the drops was enough understanding for me and it still is. One ofthe comforts of my life is the limitations I don’t quite compre hend. I feel I don’t have to do anything about that...just continue to live. I had no problem understanding the concept of reincarnation. I think that’s a wonderful idea!” Do you recall conversations with Mani? “I don’t recall having in-depth conversations with anybody at sixteen! Ijust let other peo ple do the talking at that age. I do remember Baba always sent a Christmas card.” Did you know your father was the first man to touch Mehera? “Yes, I suppose he was. He had to do quite a bit of work on her. Also, there were the men at the ac cident site.” Were you a part of the correspondence over the years? “No.” Do you have convictions about Meher Baba being God in Human Form? “IfI cept that God is, then I accept that God is everything. It’s not difficult to accept that God is in human form. Then there’s the gap to cross...is Baba the Christ? The gap to cross is a small gap, not significant and not important, as it is only a part ofmy personal journey. Baba said that it doesn’t matter what we believe. It only matters that we think of Him. I now keep a picture of Baba (one of several) around, as does mywife, Kathrin. It is quite helpful to look at Him watching me, smiling at me or in some cases, just staring at me. There is a real comfort there. I don’t presume to know any more than that. I do wish that I had had more consciousness when I had the occasion to be in His pres ence.. But things are as they should be and they will be the same.” Would you describe His eyes? “I have reminisced about this. He was there with the light behind Him. He had these big .

12

bright eyes and expressive hands. He was using the alphabet board and communicat ing with Dr. Donkin. I remember just His eyes. There was an energy there. I felt the same tremendous energy in Myrtle Beach. I felt the energy in the bedroom at the abode particularly, though I felt it everywhere in the compound. That is a magical place, I think.” Do you have plans to go to India? “I really would like to go. God will provide.” Was there curiosity in the community when Baba was there? “Yes, though everybody was so polite, hospitable and nice. As teenagers, we had much more important things to keep up with, as all teens do.”

LoisJones—President Emeritus and Sahavas slave

Did you practice in Prague with you fa ther? “Yes, for four years. I think Dad’s subsequent life is very important as well as his earlier history. He had a strong work ethic and dedication. His suffering through the last years was tremendous. I found Bhau’s description of Baba’s unrelenting leg pain very much like Dad’s suffering from his leg and foot pain. Dad eventually had both legs amputated and walked with canes to go to work. He rode a golf cart back and forth to the hospital every day. He had been such a vigorous and athletic man all his life that this was hard to watch, although, as usual, he never complained about such things. They both were able to pull themselves together and carry on with their work in spite of their pain. I was struck by that similarity.

I had never known about any of Baba’s physical problems until this year. Since some believe that Dad and Baba have been together throughout many reincarnations, how much ofthis is coincidence or of pos sible significance? What was your mother’s role? “Mother opened the home and provided help and hospitality. They were brought in to triage. Mehera was the most injured. Dr. Goher would come and say, ‘You haven’t seen Baba yet!’ My father replied ‘OK, I’ll look in on Him.’ My father described that when he looked into Baba’s room, He had a big, bright smile. It was remarkable that He did not make a sound through all this.” What is happening with the house today? “It is up for sale on the open market. Debbie Nordeen is in the process of email correspondence to offer a bid on the house. I have no doubt that Dad, Mom and even Mr. and Mrs. Wells would be as pleased as Margaret, Beth and I, if the house can be preserved and maintained as it was in those days. I don’t know what changes may have been made in the past several decades. I hope not too many and few that would be irrevocable. I like to think of it being like a shrine to those times, those special days and to the people who we will always love.” Is this OK with you? “That would be wonderful! The house was built for $17,000 as a “house of dreams” by a lawyer in 1944. It’s across the alley from the hospital. My father bought it from him.” Do you remember the tiger skin? “Yes, Sarosh sent a tiger skin from Baba. It showed up at the house and Mother didn’t know what to do with it. She made a little cape and muff. She was very thrilled.” What were your impressions of Dr. Donkin? “He had a British accent. He was quite a great gatekeeper!” Is it a surprise to you that Baba lovers are interested in your story? “Why, yes!” At this point, Michael’s wife Kathrin spoke up, “Michael is very much like his father. He is kind, gentle and sweet. You are experiencing his father.” Do you know your sister, Julia Margaret, has been videotaped with her story? “I had no idea.” Lois Jones piped in, “And Dma the Bookstore Walli, will donate a copy to Michael and his family!” The room filled with appreciative laughter.


J eff Wolverton, gatekeeper from Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, shared a wealth of songs by other Baba artists as well as his own ar rangements. Accompanying him were Nan Wicker, Rob Thornburn, Hughie MacDonald and Larry Thrasher. He started with “Tonight, Meher I’m An Empty Cup”. He told a story of a period of time when he and Ward Parks spent a great deal oftime together, writing and singing Baba songs. Ward had a notebook filled with Rob Thornburnifarewell appearance before moving to Spain. He is accompanied by Charles Gibson songs that he lost. There was one particular song that Jeffloved, so he tone and expression that emerged from him encouraged Ward to recapture it. “I Sing of surprised all, including this young man. Meher” was that song. Hughie delivered yet another amazing DayTwo Arti magic show with special guest/dancer, JeanMore musical beads on a string: “It’s me MacDonald. Her flowing movements good to be addicted to God” “The Magician” were accented by her bright red shirt and a ghazals: “Meher Baba, Meher Baba, God Musical GuestJeff Wolvertonfrom Myrtle Beach pants. Hughie then brought a willing vol is Love, God is Love” “Ocean ofLove” “In unteer to the stage, “Ambergini!” Colorful our many colored garden, we will rise all Evening Concert scarves came pouring out of six-year-old, The evening concert began with Raine together.” “Come with me, let me melt you Ambergini’s ear. How does he do that??? Eastman-Gannett, singing bhajans with on the sunny warm shore. Come with me, The Meher Miniatures closed the enterpercussion and harmonium backup. Her let me melt you. Show Your lovers what Your tainment with a “T-shirt Fashion Show. The repertoire included her own songs with lovely hearts are for.” “As soon as I tasted a artists displayed their creations by standing guitar, selections by Frances Brabazon, drop ofyour wine, a drop ofwine from your in a line for all to admire. including “The Long Road” especially for eyes. I knew that precious wine was my reli Bhau and Adele Dance??? Dma, if you her Australian sister Dma, then a closing gion, myway oflife.” “Give me more love. I’ll were there for this one, you may have to assortment of gospel music with the audi- give it right back to You. You have filled my write a description. I was in another place ence clapping and rocking. Dma pointed empty heart...keep a watchful eye on what I at this time. out that Raine goes by a variety of names do.”Welcome to myworld.”Home is that Introducing”The Divine Maggees” depending upon the music she is singing. rock. where my beloved is with me.” “How Yes, it is pronounced like Maggie. Each When she sings gospel, she is Rainietta. could anyone be so beautiful as You.” woman had a cat named Maggie, thus the Children’s Talent Show During Indian Bhajans she is Rani Didi. For name for the duo. Traveling from Sahavas “The Mischievous Chicken” under the Frances Brabazon pieces, she is Raine. Larry to Sahavas are these two gifted musicians. Thrasher, percussionist par excellence, had direction of Betty Lowman delighted the Cregan plays violin and Danielle acoustic accompanied her down from the Bay area audience. One very large, yellow hen was guitar. Cregan, born into a Baba family, to give excellent backup to her harmonium protecting her chicks, when that Mischie introduced Danielle to Baba a fewyears ago. vous One peeped His little head out from playing and singing. under the sea of feathers. Once free, He led the others in “The Chicken Dance”. The audience joined in with elbows bent, hands clapping and fingers pressed together to form little chicken beaks. We then were treated to a series of individ ual mini concerts with piano, cello and voice. As one eleven year old boy sang Santa Lucia, Raine sings her own compositions as well as many Rani Didi Ganesh sings ghazals andBhajans with Larry tears streamed from many by Francis Brabazon Thrasher andRaviAlluri people’s eyes. The purity of ‘3 .


Seek not to possess anything but to surrender everything. Serve others with the understanding that in them you are serving me. e resigned completely to my will and my 3 l will will be yours. Let nothing shake your faith in me and all your bindings will be shaken off 9ieal happiness lies in making others happy. 7.he real desire is that which leads you to become perfect in order to make others perfect. Zoe Witkowskiperforms wonderfully on the cello

Their music has evolved into love songs for God/Baba. Here is a taste: LftMe UpLftmeup,/lftmeup, l/ime up on your shoulders/Let Your love carry me/ Let Your love carry me/Feel my hear4feel my hear4/feel my heart growin’ colder/ Thke me back to the sea Drown In You/ Broken promise of love/ Breaking all we believe/Bringyour Ocean of Love/I wanna drown in You The Divine Maggees debut at this L.A. Sahavas was at the Adult Talent Show. The crowd wanted MORE, so they agreed to an intimate outdoor concert, under a shade tree by thejunior Lodge. Cregan shared the concept of”Rise” by telling a story ofa very low time for the two of them. This was actually the beginning ofa wave ofcreativity offered to Meher Baba in the form of music.

7he real aim is that which aims to make others become9od by first attaining9odhood yourself The Divine Maggees wow the crowd

Check out their website at www.divinemaggees.com Closing Words Bhau completed this Sahavas with ques tions and answers. His clear message was, “It is our duty to follow His wish.” At noon, Jeff Maguire let Bhau know that he could have five more minutes to answer one more question, even though we were scheduled to close. At 12:20, Bhau wrapped up his response, and asked with a mischievous but innocent grin, “Did I take more than five minutes?” The 30th Annual Silence Day Sahavas closed with a reception line for Bhau to exchange hugs. A Polaroid camera captured shots of friends with Bhau. His head was decorated with a colorful cap with a twirling propeller on the top. Now, was that propeller winding or unwinding sanskaras?

EBe angry with none but your weakness. :-tate none but your lustful self J3e greedy to own more and more wealth of tolerance and justice.

Let your temptation be to tempt me with your love in order to receive my grace. Wage war against your desires and9odhood will be your victory. t: ove others

as you would love yourself and all that is yours.

7:ortunate are they whose love is tested by misfortunes. .t:ove demands that the lover sacrifice for the

Beloved. Real living is dying for9od. ji:: ive less for yourself and more for others.

One must die to one’s own self to be able to live in all other selves.

$ctlictVt:tS

Sayings

7frIeher 13aba Desire for nothing except desirelessness. 2tope for nothing except to rise above all

hopes. Lee Barrientos sings Santa Lucia

‘4

Want nothing and you will have everything.

One who dies for9od lives forever. The Path ofLove, pp. 101-102 © 1986 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


Susan Abrahirnzadeh leads “The Dance to The Beloved Tune” for Bhau andAdele

Adele Wolkin makes apoint to interviewer Payarn Russ

Bhau andAdele, crownedKing and Queen of”The Dance to The Beloved Tune”

Charles Gibson sings the Masterc Prayer set to new music he composed

Dontchajust want to give him a great big huge! Is


OurAussie Sahavasees, Roy andRos Hayes with locals Margaret Magnus and Sam Ervin In a labor oflove, Marta Vèlasqaez created a quilt for Fred Stankus consisting ofhis collection ofBaba Tee Shirts

Magician Hughie McDonaldpullsyards ofribbonsfrom Amberc ear!

DeborahAsh andthe Baba-ettes singThe Hollywood Arti

Khodadad (center) met Baba in Iran and India, and regales hisfriends with the stories

i6


It afamily thing: Lee Barrientos helped to set up the Bookstore at the Sahavas, as did his Mom and Dad

The ever-elegantAustralian Songbird Raine Eastman Gannett

The Divine Maggees, Cregan and Danielle, with their #lfan Freiny-etta Mormon

Thmara Mark, accompaniedby her husbandDon Short, sings Catch the Wind to the Beloved

RaviAlluri sings Namo Meher Baba, onefBhazyc favorites

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;7


LAboid Dr. Burkson, Thvgue and A4cher Baba __7l4 ICI1aCI tBurlcsoii, Cnliforiiia July 2004 e all have noticed how little we may be aware ofthe effect that an experi ence has us at the time that it occurs. My encounter with Meher Baba was at a time in my life when who He is was the furthest thing from my mind and the issues of the ineffable would not have been grasped by me. On the other hand, He has always been there somehow, and as time has gone on, my consciousness has been drawn toward Him. This past year there have been many unexpected events which one might think have been somehow imposed from some external source. These developments have, I believe, brought me to this place at this time [the L.A. Sahavas] as well as to Myrtle Beach earlier. What the purpose may be, I wouldn’t presume to know. I do know that Kathrin and I had a very positive experi ence being at the center at Myrtle Beach this Spring. Kathrin remarked to someone we met there that she imagines this is what Christianity was like before it developed Canons, Dogma, etc.The Baba Lovers seem to us to truly love, as much as we humans may be able to, with the limitations that we have in this world. Of course, that was one experience. Perhaps I am being naive. That would not be a unique experience for me, to be sure. I was 16 years old at the time Baba and the Mandali were in Prague and my memory of meeting Him is clouded, perhaps by all the stories that I heard in the immediate aftermath, as well as what I have learned from others and read in the intervening years. I clearly remember being led into his hospital room by Dr. Donkin and seeing a thin man partially sitting up before the sole window. He looked thin and to a teenager, pretty elderly. I have seen those eyes so much since, and I believe that may be the strongest memory I have. I know I was asked ques tions, though I don’t remember what they might have been. At the end, Meher Baba made a circle with His thumb and index finger, leaned forward and smiled. I had never seen that before. Then Dr. Donkin led me back out of the room. That is all I can recall. It was years later when I reached the point in my life when I picked up God Speaks and read that through. At that time i8

Michael Burleson and his wife Kathrin

I thought the concepts were intriguing but arcane. As the years have passed the thought and especially the metaphors have been of great help to me in approaching the subject of the ineffable. It seems to me at this time that the reason the Avatar is difficult for us to understand is precisely because that which is being expressed cannot be put into language. So it often seems like riddles or inconsistencies, therefore the parables and metaphors are for people like me. It also occurs to me that it leaves us with the neces sity of faith and the opportunity for doubt, to those who need to do so. I am also comforted by the idea that I can spend this lifetime developing as best I can and I have the hope of becoming in many future lifetimes much better than I will be in this one. Maybe I will understand at some future time. One of the things that I have always known is that there is a cloud beyond which I cannot see, an understanding that I will not grasp. I can empty my mind of concern about that at this point in my life. That alone is a great gift. My father, Ned Burleson, was born in Wortham, Texas July 20, 1903. He was the

fifth of six children born to Hopson and Mary Burleson. He was named after his father (Hopson) and he told me that in looking for another name the family kept noticing that there was a bumping sound under the house. My grandfather mentioned that the noise was from a calf named Ned. He suggested that they name my father Ned. I don’t know that he was ever called by any other name, though perhaps his mother called him Hopson when she was annoyed with him, as mothers often do. His father was an attorney and became county attorney in a southwest Oklahoma territory county (before Statehood). It happened that he had to prosecute a wealthy rancher in the county and since the rancher didn’t want to be taken into custody, there was a gunfight involving my grandfather and he was compelled to return to Texas for rea sons of safety. He never practiced law after that. He tried one occupation after another ( farming, selling pianos door to door, etc.) but never was very successful with anything. In 1917, when Dad was 14 years old, the family moved to Galveston, Texas because there was work in the shipyards related to the war effort. Grandfather, Dad’s older brother Jim, and dad went to work in the shipyards while Grandmother looked for a place for the family to live. There was no available housing so Grandmother looked around and spotted an open field. It seemed to belong to some people that lived in a large house on the hill above. Grandmother went up to the door and inquired about the empty field, found that it belonged to the people in the large house and persuaded them to allow the Burleson family to live there for the duration. They then bought wood, built a platform for a floor and put up a large tent in which they lived until the work was over at the end ofthe war. After that my grandparents decided to move to Norman, Oklahoma, home of the University of Oklahoma, so that their chil dren would be able to get a college educa tion. Dad went to high school at Norman High, played football, boxed and ran track. After graduation, he went on to university, working to pay for his books and tuition, although he was able to live at home with his parents as they had planned. While in school he met my mother who was also working her


way through university. Dad was accepted to medical school and continued to work, taking one year offto earn enough to finish. By the time he graduated, the medical school had moved from Norman to Oklahoma City and my parents were married. After training was completed, they moved to Borger, Texas and Dad began practice. This was at the height of the dust bowl (made famous by John Steinbeck’s book, The Grapes ofWrath). Mother told me that there was no rain and the dust was so fine that it was impossible to keep the house clean for a day, no matter how tightly she closed everything up. The wind would blow gravel in her face when she walked down the street. Dad was determined to have some grass in the front ofthe house and succeeded. He said theirs was the only house with any lawn in their neighborhood. After one year, they moved to central Oklahoma. Prague was established by Czech im migrants, as one might deduce, and it was a thriving farming community of 1200 people, with a strong financial base and a great opportunity for a young doctor. Dad established an office in a walk up location just offMain Street. This would have been 1933. At this point my parents had not been able to conceive, so they adopted a baby boy, David Hopson. Two years later, 1936, I was born. Six years after that Margaret was born and two years later Beth was born. By 1950 Dad was the only doctor in Prague and the small hospital the town had used closed after the doctor that owned it died. Dad had to make a decision and invested his life savings in a new hospital and clinic which were contained in one building. The hospital was across the alley and behind our home. Dad would be up and over to work by 8 am every day. On Wednesday afternoon he would play a round of golf if possible. He did everything: Surgery, Obstetrics, Orthopedics, Medicine, house calls, home deliveries. The country roads were all dirt, clay and mud in bad weather. Dad always had a car that could negotiate the bad roads. First a model T, then a model A and after WWII a Jeep! My brother and I learned to drive the model A and later the Jeep. Dad was very dedicated and saw medi cine as his profession and his duty. He taught us to work hard, never complain and he admired stoicism. He never put himselffirst. I recall one morning, after he had been out delivering a baby in a farmhouse all night, he came home very out of sorts. He almost never swore, but this morning he did. He was taking a shower and told us that he had

lain down for a bit while waiting for the baby and had acquired bedbugs. That was one of the occupational hazards in those days. When I was born, we lived in a two bed room bungalow and we were very comfortable, even after the two sisters were born, as I recall. I suppose that Mom and Dad felt a need for a larger house, but I don’t remember it ever being discussed. Not many things ofthat nature were openly discussed in the family. That was the culture. At some point a neighbor, alawyer named Abe Wells, contacted dad about buying his home. Mr. Wells had very carefully built his home after many years of planning. He was very involved, very methodical. He personally chose every piece oflumber that was used to build the house and included many features that were unique at the time. Mr. Wells had developed heart problems, however and could no longer climb the stairway without pain. He confided in my father that he would be forced to leave this home and that he had chosen Dad to be the next owner. Dad later said that he didn’t know how he could come up with the $17,000.00 price, but somehow in 1944 when Beth was still a small infant, it happened. We were very happy to have 3 bedrooms and what seemed like such a spacious house. I suppose that this was about the time that things were happening in Myrtle Beach. Nothing was easy during the war, but we didn’t know about all that at our ages. Since we visited the center this Spring, we are aware of the problems faced in acquiring such things as ordinary building materials during those years. Since Meredith Moon nudged me to write about Dad, I am seeing many things through newly discovered windows. I don’t know what is coincidence and what may be a part ofa much larger picture, but from the point ofview ofa Baba Lover, things were in some way moving toward a climax, involving many lives. I don’t believe that Dad ever saw it the way Baba Lovers do, but nevertheless He was doing his life’s work in Prague. In the late 1940’s, a time of decision came for him and us. There was a small hospital downtown and it was owned by an older doctor who also had his office in the front ofthe same building. The hospital was rudimentary by current standards, but it was necessary and served the purposes to which everyone was accustomed. Surgery and emergency care were given and without it most of the doctors and patients would have had to go to another town. The older doctor died and the hospital would close within a period of time.

In those days, there was no thought of a community providing a hospital, as it was the thinking that that would be like provid ing a free building to the grocer, banker, etc. At this time, Dad had been able to save some money, but it would take every thing he had and much more to build, equip, and staff a hospital. We very nearly left Prague at this time, but, as we all know, the hospital was built in 1950. There was a period oftime that Dad was the only doctor in town. This was when Baba showed up. The hospital was approximately two years old. Frankly, Mom and Dad never shared much about Baba or their thoughts about where He may have fit into their spiritual life. I know they treasured the experience, it was after all something that would happen to very few. Dad always had ideas; dreams of what we might all do together. I went to medical school and returned to work with him, but there wasn’t enough work there for the three doctors in Prague at that time. I moved to a nearby town to practice and was soon drafted into the Army. It was 1968. Dad’s health was beginning to fail then. He had smoked Camels all his adult life and was beginning to develop symptoms ofvascular disease. He eventually lost both his lower legs to vascular insufficiency, suffered coronary disease and spent several years in severe pain. In spite of this, he continued to go to the office daily. In 1976 we discovered that he had cancer ofthe colon. He continued to work until the week that he died. He would have been 74 on the 20th ofJuly the year that he died. He spent the last decades of his life studying History, primarily American History, every night after work. He never let his mind get stale and he never gave in to his impairments. He was a good man who saw work as its own reward and never shirked his responsibilities.

.

•-N

1:;i.trait o/Thi/ei li Kii/ (‘:i’

‘9


A Dhuni Cxpcrknce 2<atIiy hill, 7 }irginia

A

Pilgrim Pines you can see millions of stars in the clear mountain night sky even with a full moon, and the Big Dipper was right overhead. I was late as usual, missing the 0 Parvardigar movie and the silent trek down to the Dhuni circle I enjoy so much, due to last-minute bookstore sales, but Marta Velasquez, a fellow Love Street Bookstore volun teer, had saved me a seat, and somehow she spotted me in the darkness. The weather was chillier than usual this year, and having lent out my warm shawl, I realized I was going to be cold. After a while, the thought went through my mind “I am getting so cold I will have to leave,” at which moment Marta spontaneously wrapped me from head to toe in a handmade quilt and whispered in my ear, “This quilt is yours. I made it for you.” I was rather stunned. I thanked her. Soon I was warm enough to switch from “Boy am I cold to my normal Dhuni thought pattern: “I hope someone sings the Australian Arti, I hope someone sings the Australian Arti, I hope someone sings the Australian Arti,” etc. The Australian Arti always touches me to the point of tears, and some Dhunis I get to hear it, some I don’t. I waited until the lines grew short, got up and stood in line. For a long time no one was behind me, and the line moved slowly along as people sang and played and “

recited wonderful words oflove, but not that particular tune. Well, guess which song was in the air when I was finally throwing my in my twig. The Divine Maggees started it right after I took my shoes off I was walking on a cloud all the way back to my cabin, and slept well under the beauti ful quilt, wondering how on earth I could ever thank Marta properly, or Baba for His incredible grace, or the Divine Maggees for their love-filled voices. In the morning, I realized my Leatherman tool was no lon ger in its pouch on my belt. Thinking I must have left it at the Dhuni last night I walked back down to the Dhuni circle to look for it. I was surprised to find there were still flames in the Dhuni pit, and my thought this time was, “Here I am alone with a Dhuni fire, I must have thrown in the wrong thing, and compassionate Baba is giving me a chance to do it over.” So I knelt, and prayed “Baba, take from me whatever I am supposed to give you,” and tossed my stick into the fire. It bounced right OUT of the flames! Seemed like a clear message to me! I made eye contact with a big bunny in the nearby wildflower meadow as I walked up the hill to breakfast, and thought: never doubt that what you put in the Dhuni is the very thing you are meant to put in! Oh, and my tool was in the bookstore!

Separation 3rom 9od lipremacy over others will never cause a man to find a change in himself; the greater his conquests the stronger is his contirniation ofwhat his mind tells him—that there is no8od other than his own power. /lnd he remains separated from 9od, the .‘4bsolute J2ower. But when the same mind tells Iiicn that there is Something which way be called 8od, and further, when it prompts him to search for 9od that he incty see 21im face to face; he begins to forget himself and to forgive others for what ever he has suffered from them. _/4iid when he has forgiven everyone and conipletely forgotten himself lie finds that9od has forgiven him everything and he remembers who in realitg lie is.

‘S

The Unstruck Music ofMeher Baba by Maude Kennedy 20

&If Duterest— Thc rJJownfct11 of Jfrtctn JlI4eher 13aba Since arriving in America, I have been asked many times what solution have I brought for the social problems now confronting you—what did I have to offer that would solve the problems of unemploy ment, prohibition, and crime. What would eliminate the strife between individuals and nations, and pour a healing balm of peace upon a troubled world. The answer is so simple that it has been difficult to grasp. The root ofall our difficulties, individual and social, is selfinterest. It is this, for example, which causes corruptible politicians to accept bribes and betray the interests of those whom they have been elected to serve; which causes bootleggers to break, for their own profit, a law designed, whether wisely or not, to help the nation as a whole; which causes people to connive, for their own pleasure, at the breakrng of that law, thus causing disrespect for law in general, and increasing crime tremen dously; which causes the exploitation of the great masses of humanity by individuals or groups ofindividuals seeking personal gain; which impedes the progress ofcivilization by shelving inventions which would contribute to the welfare of humanity at large, simply because their use would mean the scrapping ofpresent inferior equipment; which, when people are starving, causes the wanton de struction oflarge quantities offood, simply in order to maintain market prices; which causes the hoarding of large sums of gold, when the welfare of the world demands its circulation.... But the elimination ofself-interest, even granting a sincere desire on the part of the individual to accomplish it, is not so easy, and is never completely achieved except by the aid ofa Perfect Master. For self-interest springs from a false idea ofthe true nature of the Self and the idea must be eradicated, and the Truth experienced, before the elimina tion of self-interest is possible. I intend, when I speak, to reveal the One Supreme Selfwhich is in all. This ac complished, the idea ofthe Selfas a limited, separate entitywill disappear, and with it will vanish self-interest. Meher Babai Message to America 1932 The GodMan, CB Purdom, ©CB Purdom


J4’ichcr :Babtt on Work Dina Snow eher Baba says: “Do whatever needs to be done, but do it as a spiritual being, as one who knows he is divine by nature and united with the whole oflife in essence. Do it as ifyou are doing it for Me or for God. Do it with equal consideration for the interests ofall concerned, for God is equally in each. Do it with utmost concentration, yet with utter detachment for the results of action. Leave the fruit of action to Me or to God. Do it as if it were the most important thinginthe universe,yetletitbe destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculedwithout concern, or let it be praised without elation. Leave the response to Me or to God. Do it, in short, as ifyou were not doing it at all, but as if I or God were doing it through you.”

M

Baba says he does not need us to do His work. That said, He then tells us to ‘spread My message of Love and Truth’. My personal point ofview on working for Baba is that it is a tremendous privilege to do what I do—putting this magazine together and managing the Love Street Bookstore. It’s a long story as to exactly how He dumped both jobs in mylap, but dump them He did! I had

absolutely no intention _%v ofgetting involved with :i the Baba Center in Los Angeles—heck I didn’t even want to move to LA—but He can be very sneaky in getting what He wants, in bringing about that which He, in His infinite wisdom, knows needs to happen. As news of the mail order business the Love Street Bookstore was doing spread, I found I s needed a helper. It was Wil J4in Winkle is not sleeping with this load on his hands! very hard to find someone who would commit to one night a week of for work, and then there are those who coming over to my house, getting a free meal, didn’t need the discount, but discovered just how much fim it is working for Baba in the and then packing orders till midnight. After months ofgoing it alone and being Bookstore. First Cynthia Barrientos came to help, out of friendship for me and love of unable to find a soul to help, Baba stepped in and nudged Clea Succof to volunteer. After being surrounded by all the Baba-phenalia and Meher-memorabilia. Then she brought the first night she said “This is fin! It’s like wrapping Christmas presents!” Indeed many her son Lee who has been a wonderftil little ofthe recipients ofour shipments told us that worker, and the last two years her husband Rich has come too, pitching in to help with it was obvious the packages were put together with muchTLC (tenderloving care.) Special the heavy lifting. I can now count on the freebies are always included with every order. entire Barrientos family, who are so eager to After a few weeks Clea told me that our work they get here the night before the camp Thursday night’s packing was her favorite officially opens and start working as soon as day of the week. But alas, less than a year we pull in with the truck loaded with goodlater she and David McNeely fell in love, got ies! I think we worked till almost midnight married and relocated to Minnesota. Not only this time. Another worker who says it’s one of the taking hersell but David too, who had been things about our Sahavas that she most looks one ofthe Center’s longest and most tireless workers. What an incredible loss to us, and forward to is Marta Velasquez. She can be now the same thing is happening to the Twin counted on to turn up at the crack of dawn ) Baltimore. Cities group as they are mo Lucky Baltimore! Marc Brutus and Harry Thomas could always be counted on to help with the packing, but then Harry moved East, although I am delighted to say he is returning to LA. As many ofyou know regarding our annual Sa havas at Pilgrim Pines, if you are in dire financial straights, you can get a work permit—a re Glenn Russ gives a helping hand to Rich Barrientos duced rate in exchange •

Janani Lee and SheriarArjani helping with the bookstore setup duties

21


Charles (Superman) Gibson, Maria Velasquez, Kathy Hill, Rich & Cynthia Barrientos

with vases of flowers for display, cleaning equipment, and beautiful donations to the store for us to sell. Just handling all the treasures with Baba’s beaming face on them is such a heart warming thing to do that the word ‘work’ doesn’t even enter the mind! Then there is Kathy Hill—who makes me look like a sloth! The word ‘tireless’ doesn’t even begin to describe her! She arrives a week before Sahavas, staying at our home and helps me get ready, creating all the shrink wrapped and laminated treasures, as well as making signs, keeping track ofthings for me, packing books in boxes, and then drives up with us to start the setting up process. Usually this is an eight to ten hourjob, but what fun. Before we can all start cre ating the beautiful Bookstore in Pilgrim Pines, comes the heavy grunt work of loading the truck at the Baba Center. Fred Stankus needs to put in all theToddy Shop framework, refrigerators and case after case of sodas. Volunteers help load all the Bookstore stock after Kathy and I have emptied the shelves and packed them into 25 to 30 boxes, as well as supplies for the Infirmary and all sorts ofgames and decorations for the children’s playroom. Charles Gibson does a mighty job of fitting it all in—appar ently it is a fine art to loading the truck correctly. For many years Mike Ramsden was the one to load and drive the truck, but now that Michael and Charles have changed places—he is in Meherazad 22

---

and Charles in is Los Ange les—it has fallen to Charles to be the ‘trucker’. Then there are those who don’t exert the physical energy but still fall un der the ‘slave labor’ category! Pris Haffenden does so much computer work for the Center, taking care of the mailing lists, designing the programs

The indefatigable Maria Velasquez

and flyers and then coming to my place once a week to sort mail, enter donations, log in payments and generally help out. She has single handedly put together the last two LampPosts and together with Cherie Plumlee has created the beautiful tribute to Dr. Goher you hold in your hands. Baba says He doesn’t need our help, but how many times have you heard the Mandali say “It is out of His compassion that He allows us to work and to serve Him”? Many indeed! It is a privilege and an honor to call Him our Boss! Long may we serve.

Willing workers making the bookstore at the Sahavas beautjful


r:Dishing the Dirt on JlVlehernbodc There was one particular area at the top of the parking lot abutting our neighbor’s wall that was completely overgrown with dead and dying trees and ivy running rampant. The soil here had not been touched in decades—literally! It was a challenge to the McReynolds family! Day after day for months on end, the siblings would leave the office, don grunge clothing and start in with the pick axes.

you can see by the following photos, much has been done to the gardens in the past few months. When we bought the place, the one acre of landscaped ‘gardens’

A

!:

*‘

the dumpster. Several bins have been removed from the Center. This perilous 600 square foot area is a project that the Monsoon Garden Wallas have been fastidi ously working on every day for the last eight months. There has been no compromise, no cheating. The transformation is slow, but we’re converting earth into Hu-mus. It’s the southwest zone, within the Monsoon Garden, that we have affectionately christened the Inner Circle Planter Box. We will plan out a landscape design with 122 Ava tarically sensitive plants, representing Baba’s Inner Circle. You can imagine the blooms with divine glow. This is the nature of this

Ditch digging with theAnonyrnous Two

Mother Lillian even pitched in, as did her granddaughter Mocha and Mocha’s very willing long term panion Jeff Crosby. They have called it The Monsoon Gar den—it is an amazing transformation from the overrun ivy patch it was, but how much more

had seen extreme lack ofcare for many a year. The area around the very beautiful pond was completely overgrown, with undesired plants running riot and smothering ones that we would like to have seen. Thanks to some very determined volunteers, Karma Page and Marco Swearingen seemingly leading the pack, and donations ofmoney to finance professional gangs ofworkers with pick axes and shovels, Baba’s Meherabode has become very beautiful indeed.

1 N

\4/4::,,c *‘

;,

-.-

The McReynolds Matriarchpitches in—age is no excusefor not volunteering!

Section by section the meticulous clearing ofdebris is carried out

beautiful it will be when there are flowers and plants all over it. How did all this come about? As they told us: To create fresh Avataric loam, drenched in His Presence, every shovel full of material has been carefully sifted. The rock, concrete, and debris once extracted was deposited into

remarkable excavation, and its persistent path, in the revitalization ofthis decades old dumping ground. We will eventually return Baba’s environmental home, especially the Monsoon Garden and the Greenhouse environs to its pristine beauty and allure. There will be numerous agendas and projects developing and concluding, as Baba’s Los Angeles home becomes the springtide of His Manifestation.

I

Sornephotos ofour work inprogress are on thefoiowingpage]

( F43

MASTERY

;fc.

23


I

,,

: I Photos clockwise,from upper left. the beautiful new gardens around thepond area, the reclaimed and now clean Greenhouse, the pond—a beautfulplacefor reflection— complete with koi, newlyplantedgarden by the nursery.

.

24

a

A


7octst/Ronst— Burn the J1ortgage—.’4uction/3undrniscr tctu I(-j 3

at a night it was! People came from far and wide to hear Bhauji roundly roasted and toasted. Many generous donations were made of beautiftil artwork to be auctioned. Why, we even auctioned off a pair of the famous suspenders worn by Baba’s Night Watchman! Believe or not, they went for over a thousand dollars! Duncan Knowles donated some gorgeous photos ofDr. Goher that went to a very happy owner after some spirited bidding! The International food dinner was a sumptuous affair and the main meeting room was transformed into a very classy restaurant. Entertainment was provided by the Still Yet More Chamber Players (Chris and Pris Haffenden), Charles Gibson, and the Divine Maggees who were such a hit at the Sahavas and just couldn’t bring themselves to leave LA. The latest we hear is that they are moving West! So happy to have them with us. Sam Ervin wrote a very entertaining play titled The DevilMade Me Do It, into which the players threw themselves with great glee! Many thanks go to Behnaz Partovi, Rosie Choi, Karma Page and nu .

rii Fred Stankus holding one ofthe superbphotos donated by Duncan Knowles

merous other hard workers for putting together such a marvelous evening for us all. Not only did everyone have a terrific time, but we succeeded in the goal ofraising sufficient funds, almost $40,000, to completely pay offthe last ofthe loans we had outstanding on Meherabode.

This beautiful newplaque was unveiled at the auction as well.

The sumptuous international cuisine was sublime 25


The Still Yet More Chamber Players set the mood before thefeast

The Divine Maggees wowed the audience afterwards

MichaelRamsden,just inftom Meherazad, with Margit Wypyszyk

Vèsta Clinton, here with Wendy Ward, shows her treasure

In other news: Efandiar Vèsali, one ofthefkw remaining Prem Ashranz boys, has been living in Los Angelesfor over a yeae On September 5th the entire Persian community turned out to say afondfarewell to him as he has decided to return to Iran. Dr MahmoudAjang and Behnaz Partovi, with her Mothei; Shireen Vahidi in the background, say their goodbyes. 26


‘The Devi1 JkIctde A’k Do 3! :l:low 3 Learned to &op Womjrnj and to 3oyfully ‘‘Eat Dcc Cream and Thc in £ A” L/4

Spiritual 3antasy EBy Sam £. &vin

What do you think, Deborah? Deborah: I think that’s an interesting theory Bhau has about Satan. I also think we can test that theory right here tonight, while Bhau is with us. As you kno we’ve had a team of some greatest the of scientists spiritual secretly working Sam: You know, Deborah, ever since for years to build a Bhau saw that movie, “The Passion of the machine that will Christ” by Mel Gibson, he’s been talking extract subtle ethers and talking and talking and talking about from throughout the Di Dementis (Jurgis Sapkus,) and his trusty sidekick Igor (Glenn Russ,) it. integrate universe, Deborah: That’s true, Sam, and he’s also three them into been talking and talking and talking and dimensional object and give form to any force ( Dr. Maya Dementis and his assistant, Igor, talking about the devil. What exactly is he in creation. That machine is now finished wheel a large garbage can with controls, trying to say about the devil? Bhau can be a like a battery operated radio, and wires and ready to be tested here tonight. It’s called attached onto the stage. Dr. has a hammer little hard to understand sometimes. I don’t the Illusoritron! know if it’s the accent, or if his bob tie is a Sam: Deborah, this sounds too good to be hidden under his coat. Igor stands behind Dr., looking weird.) little too tight. true. Are you sure this Illusoritron is for real? Sam: I think Bhau is saying the devil is the Sam: Deborah, what is this? It looks like Deborah: Oh, yes. The Semi-Conscious a garbage can. Are you sure it’s not full of same as Maya, the illusion, and is in the Corporation will be selling it with the dirty stinking Garbage? mind of each of us. He says the Devil, or Tagline: “Maya: Whether you want it or Deborah: And what do you think Maya is Satan, is not an entity or embodied creature you don’t want it, you will get it!” likewe’ve been taught in Christian religions. Sam: Well, I must admit this sounds really made of? Anyway, it’s time to tell the good professor what to manifest—to prove the good. But how do we test the merits of the Illusoritron. By the way, this Illusoritron and Bhau’s “theory,” prototype should go for a high price in the that the Devil is not an entity auction tonight. tonight? Sam: Let’s start the experiment by testing Deborah: The lead scientist Bhau’s statement that Satan is not an entity. on the Project is bringing in Dr. Maya Dementis, can the Illusoritron the Illusoritron now. All we congeal the forces within all of us that we have to do is tell Herr Doktor call the Devil. and show us the form and Professor Maya Dementis what shape ofthat force? part of Maya we want to see— Dr. Maya Dementis: Ha! Child’s play. manifested right here and now. The Illusoritron can give form to even Then he’ll guide us on what to the most polluted, malodorous refuse in do. (Turns to Bhau) Bhauji, will our consciousness. Through the miracle of you become askeered ifwe bring science, all of Maya now lies open to our up the form of the Devil? Shall exploitation—I mean our exploration! But we go ahead with experiment? I warn you: The Illusoritron can manifest Bhau: Yes,go ahead. these things, but I’m not sure anyone can Deborah: Dr. Dementis! Bring Satan (Max Phillips) and Satana (Misty James) control them! You see, the Illusoritron in the Illusoritron!

Cast: Bhau Kaichuri Deborah Sam Dr. Maya Dementis Igor Satan Satana I My Me Mine Illusoritron Avatar Meher Baba

Bhau Kaichuri Deborah Ash Sam Ervin Jurgis Sapkus Glenn Russ Max Phillips Misty James Mia Campagna Marissa Fuentes Shani Verchick Steve Berry Itself Ki Jai

.

. .

I

27


works through a patented process we call “Transmogratification.” You just throw some dirty stinking garbage into the intake aperture. Go ahead; throw it in. (Sam and Deborah throw a garbage bag into garbage can). Then I will carefttlly calibrate the sensitive controls. (Dr. closes lid of garbage can. Fiddles with the battery operated radio sitting on garbage can—loud and noisy. Becomes frustrated, takes out hammer and angrily hits garbage can. Flashing lights appear to be emanating from can, as it moves, as though something is taking shape within.) Deborah: Look! Something’s happening. What is that? Watch out! It’s aiiiive. It’s aliiiiiive! ( Satan appears, seemingly from the Illusoritron, followed by Satana.) Sam: There are two of them. And they’re worse than my most feverish imaginings! Dr.: I tried to warn you! Now these things are loose in the world, and I doth know if any one or anything can stop them. Satan: I don’t believe anyone can stop me and my consort, Satana. But, I understand the great fighter Bhau Kaichuri, is here. Oh, there you are! (points the pitchfork.) Deborah: Yes, Bhau is here. And he has won many battles with strong opponents. One time he defeated ten people at once. He has defeated the spiritual giant Fred “Fists of Iron” Stankus and he fought the physical giant, Esfandiar Vesali, to a draw. Trained by the Avatar Meher Baba Himseh Bhau has yet to be defeated. So I think he may have something up his sleeve to stop you from doing mischief too! Satan: Lye heard about all those fights, and it doesn’t scare me at all. Besides, there’s a rumor—and I love mmors—that all those fights were frced. Satana: But this isn’t fixed! This is for all the Mayavic Marbles! That’s why I’ve brought along some special friends! Yes, Doktor before you turned off the Illusoritron, I surreptitiously reprogrammed it to bring forth the four toughest customers in creation. These are the nastiest, gnarliest critters you never want to meet in an Ahmednagar alley. And to defeat me and Satana, you’ll also have to conquer all four ofthese bad beasties. MeMes, Come on out here! 28

(Doktor and Igor back away, looking very frightened, turn and run out the exit.) (Out ofthe garbage can come I, My, Me and Mine—with the names on their T-shirts.) I, My, Me, Mine: I, My, Me, Mine! Deborah: Beloved Baba said, “To get nearer and nearer to God, you have to get fttrther and farther away from ‘I, My, Me and Mine’. It is as simple as that, although found to be almost impossible.” And now that they have taken form, how can we get free of them? Mine: I, My, Me, Mine! IfI don’t get my way, you’ll hear me whine! Me: Mine, I, My, Me! Ifyou try to stop me, you’ll be up a tree!

The cast in tote

My: Me, Mine, I, My! Just turn me loose, and doth ask why! I: My, Me, Mine, I! My desire is as strong as the earth and the sky! (A1l 6 baddies circle menacingly towards Bhau, who has stood.) Sam: Bhau! What to do now? A fewyears ago you told us “Doth run away from earthquakes. Eat ice cream and die in L.A.” But if these creatures get loose, “Eat ice cream and die in L.A.” will become just an empty slogan! Deborah: Yes, Bhau. Please do something, quick, before someone from Hollywood casts these creatures in a movie! Bhau:You cannot come here and create havoc with all these people. Now go! All Baddies: Why should we go? Satana: We have a great deal of mischief to do here with all these easy looking targets (looking over audience). Bhau: I tell you, you must go. And take your dirty stinking garbage with you! (The six baddies bunch up, with Satan

holding his pitchfork high.) Satan: We are not leaving. We feel very much at home in L.A. Some of us could run for political office, and some could back up Bhau in rap music videos! Bhau: I have told you to go. Now I tell you to leave here in the name of Avatar Meher Baba! Sam and Deborah: (motioning audience to join in) Avatar Meher Baba Xi Jai! Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba IC Jai! (As Bhau moves toward them with hand upraised, the six cower and shrink and slink backwards to the exit, and out. Bhau follows. Deborah follows. Sam motions for the audience to be quiet and wait for the outcome. Loud noises are heard from offstage—like a fight—some shouts.) After a minute or two, Bhau enters, followed by Deborah. Deborah is holding a good sized gift wrapped package. It is white, with a red pitchfork and I, My, Me and Mine on it, legible to the audience.) Deborah: Well, they may come back, but at least they won’t have those forms anymore. Sam: What’s in the package? Deborah: Do you know how Bhau sometimes collects our sanskaras in a paper bag and takes them back to offer at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi? Well, this package contains dirty stinking garbage, which is all that remains ofthose bodily forms temporarily taken on by Satan and Satana and I, My, Me and Mine. It should be easy to pack this back to India. Sam: And maybe instead of offering this at Baba’s feet, Bhau can store this in a place where it will never be opened, or at least until after Beloved Baba’s Manifestation is complete! Deborah: Bhau, we’ll leave that up to you. But I think we\re learned our lesson. Have you learned your lesson, Sam? Sam: Yes, Deborah. I’ve learned my lesson! I don’t think we will be auctioning off the Illusoritron tonight! In fact, why don’t we donate it to the new Archive Building at Meherabad, India? Deborah and Sam:Jai Baba! AU re-enter for bow—acknowledge Bhau! All clear the stage.

0


atars }1bode .Annivcrsary June ii—i4 1 v 4 / :Rctine ecistman-9annett, an expatriate in California “The Wine Shop Singers” vatar’s Abode, one of founded by their director, only three of Meher and composer, guitarist Baba’s Universal Centers He had Sam Saunders. in the world, is glorious a composition finalized during the Anniversary of of “Hymn To God The His visit and stay there. by Francis Braba Man” ( Anniversary is the word piece many of his zon, a we use and not Sahavas had worked on singers although it is indeed one, of for years and sections a gathering together in His complete, and here it was, Love). A unique gathering, off Steven Hem cap it to in that it is actually on the a multi visual done had property He graced with piece on beautiful very His presence injune 1958, the while viewed DVD and runs for four days dur— it so was sung, was piece rng the Queen’s birthday powerful and beautiful weekend, a public holiday I beamed in parts and and long weekend in Aus : in other sections wept tralia. The guests this year “The Wineshop Singers” (right to left) Sam Saunders, Richard Thompson, Chris Hines, end, one could at the and were Havovi and Hoshang Rhonda Gard Saunders Es’ Lorraine Brown present ‘Hymn to God the Man” of work and the years feel Dadachanji ( Hoshang is the in performances theatrical accommodate to of it’s beauty intense the youngest brother of Nanproperty. on the elsewhere marquee huge a icing on being aspect visual The fulfillment. man, Arnavaz’s late husband). Their talks held etc. are the performances of As 2000 contrapuntal even harmonic, melodic, the were so moving and full of tales of the at times, cake. The performance and talks Mandali: Mehera, Eruch, Mani etc. and of in The Shed, a wonderful new theater. It is to designed beautifully an informalbuilding and films filled everyone up over the four course Baba and cricket tales from Hoshang. and surroundings the bush-like meld with days and many programs like Bob Welsh’s One talk by Bill LePage and Hoshang was and workshops talks, for gatherings, used music with his son Ravi and Julie Pearson of”The Three Incredible Weeks” and most performances. on drums were superb. It was delightful Raine (moi) presented excerpts from her to be back inside Be8 Sorts of Lovers CD and also Rani Didi loved Baba’s House, ( moi) presented Bhajans one afternoon. and just like the old This was a terrific opportunity for friends days when all the to invite guests from other faiths to enjoy programs were held the Indian music. Many ofthe visitors asked there. It was wondera lot of questions about Meher Baba after ful hearing all these that performance. stories and reflections A lot ofthe work is focused on the chil from Havovi and dren. Joanna Bruford, Jim Fnisini, Chris Hoshang knowing Hines and many others did great projects at the other end of with them and they also sang and performed the building is Baba’s and wrote two songs, one beautiful and room, His chair, His another very hip and funny. bed, His sandals and We have our resident comedian in Yvan that wonderful fra Dueninx and he was a hoot as usual, giving grance of Himself updates on the Senior’s Sahavas—a witty that forever remains and hilarious routine again this year. The there. Gospel singing workshop was re African Havovi and Hoshang Dadachanji give one fills with room The thank you Baba, and all those who vived, oftheir many talks in BelovedBabai House more and more flowers into it. The sounds, harmonies Sam talked incredible were their remembrances. as the weekend progresses and at Arti in strong, and created ajoy were and overtones The talks by Havovi and Hoshang were the morning and evening the beauty grows. Allwho participated noise. inspiring ful and in Beloved Baba’s own house on the Abode, The evening programs included films and at the finish. floweth over that cup had a a practice given up in the last 15 or so years talks, and the most moving performance by food—It was the about tell you I must

A

I

29


Some ofthe cheji cooking, chopping and blending in the marquee kitchen

amazing! The men and women ofthe group plan it all well in advance, and then do it all themselves in the kitchen, which is temporarily set up in the food marquee—fridges, benches, chopping tables, serving tables and all. One always sees Gusi Carpenter, Katie Pye, Suzi limura, Kathy Milne, Laxmi Prasad, David Bowling, and various other workers (who know who they are). It is amazing, and the menu is quite extraordi nary, and for hundreds ofpeople. hats off to them! A cappuccino machine was rented, run by the youth and usually had a long queue in front of it. ! As chai walli and bell ringer of the olden days, I notice constant cups of piping hot tea were provided by Bernard Bruford for brekkie, morning tea, noon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. There are new neighbors on Meher

Road, recently arrived from Europe; lovely friendly folk and marvelous bakers they are. They came each day and donated many cakes to be sold by the slice for fundraising and we were all so grateful and happy to meet them. Visitors from around the globe were present, USA, England, India, New Zealand and Iran, (Kendra Isaacs-Young’s fiancé Amirhossain Naderi arrived the week before from Iran). Young and old and in between, and these days many, many beautiful grandchildren too. The raising and lowering of the Baba flag are always lovely times at the opening and closing of the Anniversary. This year Robert Rouse told a lovely story of Beloved Baba’s arrival and raised the flag. At the singing in the square before flag lowering we sang Robert’s late wife Lorna’s song “The Tree,” and many reflected on his and our loss, with no Lorna at an Anniversary for the first time in 46 years. Old and new friends slowly departed to their destinations and left the property, filled with love and days of prayer and song, arti, japa, films and stories, good food, good company, good cheer, good, fast and loyal friends in His Love.

And thus all the day they traveled that way and camped that night under the stars, Some way from the road so that they should not be run over by cars. The stars were so bright, it was a delight to be sleeping out in the open.

And when the day broke they straightway awoke, stretched, and ahead the Rabbit went lopin’.

A-lopin’ along with a chatter and song, and behind him the Horse clop-clop-clopped—

Till they came to a creek ten feet wide and two deep and the Rabbit abruptly stopped.

He became quite pale and bobbled his tail— oh, it was a sad sight to see. His nostrils quivered, his body shivered, and he became also weak in one knee. Said the Horse, “0 Rabbit! it is not your habit to suddenly stop on the way;

You’re always so sprightly and chatter so brightly what’s causing you now such dismay? “How pale you’ve become, and so strangely dumb

.

Great Leader who needs no counsel! Oh, why at this hour have you lost your power and are rooted like a bit of groundsel.” This wasperformedforBaba atHisAvatarc Abode inAustralia, one ofthree ofHis Univer sal Centers, when he came there in 1958.

The 7a1e of the 2torse and the Rabbit Francis Brabazon A Horse and a Rabbit who were in the habit of talk over cups of tea, Discussed and decided they had too long resided in the midst ofthe great, teeming city

“Oh, me—this great flood—it freezes my blood it

must be some unchartered river.

It’s as wide as a lake—why this way did I take? The like ofit I have seen never.” “0 Leader!” said Horse, “let’s not stop on our course and be dismayed by a mere creek. Some way you must find, while I follow behind till we reach the Goal that we seek.” “0 Horse, dear Companion, it’s surely a canyon—so wide and deep—it’s no mere river.

You are mighty and strong, oh, please take me Said, Rabbit, “The confusion on peace is intrusion.” Said, Horse, “Yes, that is the great pity.

along on your back and I’ll boast again never.”

The only conclusion is that the world is illusion:

“Hop up,” said the Horse, “and feel no remorse,

together let us to God journey.”

but take this good lesson to heart:

Do not others deceive, but obey and believe They prepared for the way, then the Rabbit did say,

till God gives you the Leader’s part.”

“Though as friends we will travel together, It is best that I lead—we will then make speed

Let Us the People Sing ©1962 Francis Brabazon

and successful will be our endeavour.”

Published by Meherjee A. Karkaria

The Horse gave a cough that was just enough ;),Pi:’ Lb:

F

Recently engaged couple Kendra andAmir 30

to cover and smother his laughter. They started away and travelled all day—

Rabbit leading and Horse trotting after.


WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. If your local data is not included please send it to me and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma

T

NEVADA

Dick & Carol Mannis 10809 Garden Mist Dr Las Vegas NV 89135 Phone: 702-326-1701 email: rkmannis@aol.com Meetings at 5:00 pm, followed by potluck dinner NORTH CAROLINA

Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 e-mail: winkiebai@mac.com Sheldon Herman, phone: 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408, e-mail: bikewalla@gbronline.com Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Ashe vile, NC 28803 e-mail: nordeens@msn.com

DOMESTIC ARIZONA

Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 7320 N. Village Ave., Tucson, AZ 85704 e-mail: ihs222@theriver.com NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

TEXAS

(EL CERRIT0)

Call for information regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259 e-mail: Benleet@earthlink.net The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito, CA 94530-2931 www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (SAcRAMENTO)

Meetings first Friday ofthe month at 7 p.m. Marilyn Buehler 916-925-4451 e-mail: premsay@jps.net www.premsay.com/MeherBaba

Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75965 e-mail: rockbl@yahoo.com NEW YORK

PENNSYLVANIA HAWAII (M0LAKAI)

Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham” Phone: 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383 Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363 e-mail: salapa@aloha.net 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729 mail: P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

MAINE

(Los ANGELEs)

Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1 p.m. with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, work: 207-594-0909 home: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends. P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 e-mail: publisher@sevencoinpress.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-354-7005 P.O. Box 42, Rockland, ME O4841ompoint@yahoo.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-594-6391 P.O. Box 108, Rockland, ME 04841 e-mail: kenlux@aol.com

Meetings are Sundays, 11 am 1 pm held in our center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 (JustEast ofihe intersection ofArlingion and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at www.Meherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public. -

COLORADO

Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact p ersonfor Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.,) Barbara A. Roberts, Phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 800335543 (suburb of Denver) e-mail: babara@fone.net FLORIDA (TAMPA BAY)

Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker, M.D., Clearwater, FL 727-536-9282 HAWAII (MAUI)

Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 e-mail: mm@dreamcircle. org 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA

NEW JERSEY

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668 e-mail: mceliz2001@yahoo.com MASSACH USETTS

Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge) Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle e-mail: lpgp@verizon.net NEW MEXICO

Robert Reser and Edle Andersen Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in our home 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone 505983-6621 robertreser@yahoo.com M ONTANA Andy Shott, phone: 406-549-5949 336 Connell, Missoula, MT 59801

Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield RoadWest, Bronxville, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org www.MeherBabaHouse.org Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 e-mail: fbloise@earthlink.net WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeim ages.com/MeherBaba

INTERNATIONAL. ISRAEL

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

Rafael Villafane Phone from US: 01152555295-0512 Cell from US: 01152555502-7225 E-mail is best as I travel alot: raal@royerlabs.com We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 p.m. No particular meeting day, people on the list are contacted prior to any meeting, e-mail addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so e-mail me if you will be in those areas. Jeff & Cindy Lowe Phone from US: 011 52 755 544 6303 Email: cindearaba@yahoo.com We will have a meeting any time there is a request for one. Please contact us if you’re going to be in the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area.

3’


c,/-t1 3ctrewell to

9oher

3;rom JI4eheru, 2 <atie, Arnavaz and 7I4ehernzctd family Meherazad, 3OJune 2004

A

vatar Meher Baba took His precious Goher R. Irani into His warm embrace on June 30, 2004 at 12:40:15 p.m. in Meherazad. Goher passed away due to congestive heart failure; she was 87 years old. Cremation will be at Meherabad on July 1st at 10 am. By Baba’s order, her ashes are to be interred on Meherabad Hill by the side of Baba’s Samadhi. “Goher” means “jewel,” and the quality of Goher’s unique service to her Beloved Master has been a shining inspiration to all who came to know her. Both disciple and doctor, she brought to life Baba’s precept of “selfless service.” As Baba’s personal physician, she cared for Him with total dedication night and day, as well as tending to His beloved Mehera and the resident Mandali. How fortunate she was to have lived with Baba and served Him until the very end. In more recent times, Goher reached out with great love, kindness, warmth and compassion to all who came in her contact. This naturallyincluded not onlythe Baba-familybut also the local villagers, whom she lovingly cared for through the Meherazad dispensary for over 30 years. In dearest Goher’s life oflove and service, and in the countless number ofhearts she touched, Beloved Baba has given His lovers a sublime example to cherish. His jewel will be sorely missed. AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI

&tra Pearson, 2sJew )3ork Sunday,June 20 fter seeing Goher for the first time, we’re sitting outside Mehera and Mani’s room. Meheru walks by and says, “You would think it would get easier with each one, but it doesn’t.” Arnavaz comes to greet us. “How are you, really?” she asks me. I say, “Well, I wish I could feel Him in every moment and with every cell in my being.” And she replies, “Baba said for us to love him, not tofeel him.”

A

Monday,June 21 Goher is lying on her side; I’m squatting/kneeling beside her. She opens her eyes, looks at me, and says, “I’m dying.” I’m surprised at how surprised I am by her remark. I tell her how I had just been listening to an old tape ofEruch in the hall telling about when Papa J essawala died and he and Baba were in the car watching his funeral procession. “Do you know what dying is like?” Baba asks him. “It’s like having a good bowel movement. You feel so good afterwards!” Friday,June 25 After having not eaten much the day before, Goher says “Arti” to Dana early in the morning as she’s dusting Mehera and Mani’s room. Realizing that Goher wants to know if morning Arti is over because that’s when she would eat her breakfast, she asks, “Are you hungry?” She says, “Buttered toast and applesauce!” Falu lovingly feeds her breakfast (which he does each morning). Indira gives her lunch; what fun to watch each bite is so exciting! After tea, which Heather so sweetly administers without a cough or a spilled drop, she reads to her from Darwin’s book about Baba’s 1952 visit to the —

32

Baba Doctor Goher

U.S., as Patrik and I massage her. Is this what heaven feels like?

Sunday,June 27 Shelley requests us all to stay at Meherabad today to give the household a day of quiet. At lunchtime, a torrential monsoon


downpour bursts from the skies, and I panic that Goher has gone. And I mean panic. Oh, my. equipoise, where art thou?

around her were Meheru, Falu, Shelley,Janet, Heather, Davana, Bob, Dana, and Pat. Katie and Arnavaz would come and go. The feeling was very different—each moment incredibly attentive, serious, but Monday,June 28 still so full oflove and care. Shelley said her breathing had changed She’s much further in today, and very clearly on her way out. at 6:15 that morning. There was laughter and Tuesday, June 29 some loving jokes, at other times just quiet, and then Heather began to sing and all would Observing and experiencing Shelley join in. Later on others came Amrit, Dr. orchestrate Goher’s care is awesome. In Anne, Dolly, Indira, Meherdokht, and Irene. her ceaseless efforts to include so many to We sang Baba songs and hymns in English, participate in Goher’s care, as well as in her French, Hebrew, and Gujarati. Meherdokht clear requests at times for privacy, she creates a said Aloba’s Persian Arti, and then, with a bit feeling of such inclusion, intimacy, and grace. of encouragement, Katie sang (heartbreaking, There is no anxiety, no tension. How is this heart filling), and on and on. There was talk possible? How can I learn to be this way? A of whom to call and who had what numbers, wonder to behold. the feeling in the room was charged with such On the morning of Goher’s death, I significant loveliness, such naturalness. was happily looking forward to another Shelley would regularly check Goher’s marvelous love feast with her at Meherazad. heart-beat; sometimes she and Bob would The day before she had surprised us all—after confer. Goher would sometimes be mouthing refusing both food and drink at breakfast, at “Ba-ba.” More and more people filled the lunchtime she devoured Davana’s applesauce room—somehow due to a combination of with cream, followed by her soft scrambled getting out of the way and being in the way, eggs and Meredi’s mashed potatoes with I ended up kneeling right next to her on the cheese. Normally when it was time to feed her, left side, so I could finally, discreetly put my everyone but the immediate caregivers would hand under the covers to touch her arm and leave the room, but for some reason I was right shoulder, which I have massaged many times. there with Shelley, Heather,Janet, Davana, and Goher and Sara The singing at times was so transporting it was indira. It was avana s nlrtnaay, ana sne asKect Shelley if she could feed Goher a few bites, which just kept going difficult not to dissolve into tears to the point of no return, but it until all the food was finished. And for some reason the person who was clear that tears were not to be indulged in, not in that room! normally would wipe her mouth had disappeared and there I just And then at one point, after the room had been filled to overflowing happened to be with some Kleenex in my hand. What a thrill! The for a while, Shelley requested all to leave, to say goodbye to Goher. atmosphere then and throughout the day was so light, so intimate, One by one, people went up to Goher and had a private moment sweet, and important. Each bite was so exciting; each time was so and left. I was last in line, and was wondering if maybe I possibly could stay, but as I wasn’t sure, I left as well, thinking/hoping there’d eventftil as she’d look at someone or say something! Later that morningjo Taylor arrived from the States, especially be another opportunity to go back inside. Most people hung out to see Goher before she died. Shelley felt Goher might have been on the porch; I stayed inside in the sitting room with Meredi and waiting for her and what a reunion when Jo knelt down to greet her! J 0, Meherdokht by the bedroom door, and Pat, standing guard near Having been around quite a few hellos and goodbyes throughout the the dining room against the wall. Experiencing Pat in this kind of week, this one was so drenched in love—not just between them, but action meditation all week was an honor to witness. After a while Shelley came out, suggesting we all go eat lunch that although she overflowing its banks and saturating all of us. I’m not sure ifthis happened next, but at some point Goher was had hoped Goher would go quicidy, it looked as if this might go on in discomfort and Shelley said, “let’s do range of motion, Goher.” A for at least four more hours. Meredi and I went to the front veranda trained Physical Therapist with a 21-year relationship of 24-hour to get my lunch bag, then to Davana and Kacy’s to eat, and just as days with Goher, watching her do this version of a PT/Alexander! we sat down, we saw Dana running to the men’s side. Meredi said, stretching series was exquisite to behold. Perfectly tuned to Goher, “Something must be going on; something must have happened.” We this was a partnering dance the likes ofwhich I have never witnessed walked quickly back to the house, and the urgency was palpable. I slipped into the bedroom, all were gathered close around Goher, in all my years of dancing and bodywork. softly singing Baba’s name. Wednesday,June 30 It was clear that something had shifted surprisingly quicidy. So, at 5 p.m. we all departed with happy hearts, and when I was no sound or obviously discernible movement in her There arrived the next morning at 9:15 am., I was looking forward to breathing; her death seemed imminent. Bob came, listened with another thrilling day of massaging her from 9:30-12:30 and 3-5, a stethoscope to her heart for maybe a minute, and then said, “Jai and possibly being a part of a mealtime again. As soon as I put my Baba.” Shelley said, “12:40:15” and we all said “Avatar Meher Baba bags down and opened my (yes) can ofKing Oscar sardines, Dr. Bob Jai!” three times. After ten glorious days of being with Goher as Ki Ahrens called me over. “Is she still alive?” I asked, as I did each day dying, I was still not prepared for this change, this moment. she was and with each phone call to Shelley. “Barely,” he said. “Go over to us all to say goodbye to Goher again and then leave, Shelley asked the house immediately.” the caregivers allowing close to wash and dress her. When I got to Mehera and Mani’s room, there was a long line plans Immediately were put into motion—the Pilgrim Center of the Meherazad women servants waiting to pay their respects. would leave from for Meherazad at 4 p.m., departing Meherabad bus Someone said to me to go in immediately. Goher was lying on her returning 8:15 p.m. and departing at 11:30. Goher’s body at at 5:30, back, radiantly beautiful as usual, but now with Cheyne-Stokes breathing (a pattern ofbreathing often seen at the end oflife). Seated would be brought into Mandali Hall at 4 p.m., then depart for .

.

.

,

.

33


Meherabad at 7 am. the following morning, first to the Samadhi, then the Mandap, then to Mandali Hall at Lower Meherabad, and then to the cremation site at 10 a.m. We all went our separate ways to eat and rest, and began gathering in Mandali Hall around 4 p.m. Goher’s beautiful body with just her face visible was wrapped in Shelley’s flowered sheet. She didn’t feel dead to me, and, as I later found out, many ofus felt the same. With Meheru, Katie, Shelley, Janet, and Heather telling story after story full ofhumor and love, both Goher’s gentleness and fierceness were revealed in an atmosphere ofsuchjoy and happiness; I never wanted it to end. Never having been one to enjoy the party form, I finally was ecstatically experiencing what it felt like at a real party! With the arrival of the bus, the “entertainment” turned more to singing, with Jamie Newell taking over. One of the last times Goher had been in her wheelchair on the porch, she had requested J amie to give her a concert, and he now sang many ofthe same songs he had sung for her that day. One by one people came into the hall and bowed down, both Westerners and Easterners. The villagers from Pimpalgaon began to arrive, and Shelley would give me the ringside introduction: “This one was a beloved servant for many years whose family Goher helped out when they were in a crisis; this one is the local tailor. Meheru and Katie told stories, Shelley told stories, and Janet and Heather told more stories. Before we knew it, it was 11:30 p.m. and time to board the bus. There was still no feeling of loss, except that I so wanted to keep touching her. I joined the bow down line as often as possible, (hopefully) without drawing attention to this near compulsion, and couldn’t resist giving her one last discreet foot massage as I bowed down at her feet. She still felt the same, still felt alive. While we could have stayed through the night, we knew the next day—the cremation—was going to be a big day, and as I had been going non-stop for almost 16 hours, we decided to go back to Meherabad to sleep. One last look into Mandali Hall as we were departing, and there was Shelley by Goher’s side, bowing down to Baba, to Goher—both so beautiful, so fall ofgrace. The perfect way to end this day of days. . .“

Thursday,July 1 Cremation day—the van with Goher’s body on a stretcher arrived up on the hill at 8 am. As the men carried her inside the Samadhi, I was standing near the door with Alan in front of me. As Meheru, Falu, Shelley, Heather, Janet, Bob, Davana, and Dana went into the Samadhi, Alan turned to me and said, “Do you want to go inside?” So I slipped in just as they were about to place a garland on the marble and afterwards on Goher. A couple of prayers were said, then one by one people bowed down to Baba, kissed Goher and went over to Mehera’s shrine. The atmosphere inside was charged with such love and such importance. Her body was then placed outside the Samadhi between Baba and Mehera, where again, countless garlands were gently placed over Goher. And then silence, which I felt was waiting for Meheru to break. “Goher, you didn’t let me scold you one last time!” she said, which was so marvelously shocking! We all erupted in delighted laughter, and with such lightness. Then over to Baba’s room which for me is bathed with so many memories of first Mehera and then Mani placing the flowers just so, often with a story or two, and the last year with Mani when she was having trouble with one knee, when she would chant, “First the right, first the right. or is it the left?” as she’d walk down the steps, and then I went over to the Mandap where Goher’s body had been put on two Samadhi benches. Katie arrived; a few chairs were ready for her, Meheru, and others. A long stream of people came to bow 34 . .

down, laying down more flowers and more flowers and yet more flowers. Still feeling no grief, but wanting this to last forever (and again, how many times can I go through the line so I can hold her feet, bow down, kiss her again...). Then suddenly, her body was placed in the van and taken to Lower Meherabad’s Mandali Hall. By the time we got there, it was already packed. Goher still looked radiantly beautiful, no creases or lines in her face, seemingly so freed from all her worldly responsibilities. Once Meheru got settled (Katie, because of her health, had retired to Jal and Dolly’s to rest, and then rejoined us all at the cremation site), the singing began. It alternated between Ted Judson and the wonderftii singers from the Bombay group led by Pratap Ahir and Kishore Mistry. Goher and Katie’s sister arrived; she was quite distraught, and Shelley was comforting her. Then came the steady stream of villagers from Arangaon, including the servants we have known for so many years. On and on and on—old men in hot pink turbans and white dhotis, sons in western T-shirts and blue jeans, grandmothers with babies, beautiful young women in wildly colorful saris, each bowing down and putting (or throwing) flowers, many deeply bereft, others riding on the wave of such love and respect and homage, as the music soared and the flowers piled higher and higher untilwe couldn’t see Goher’s face anymore. And all of a sudden my fear of the cremation lifted, my immediate attachment to her form lifted in this unexpectedly amazing transubstantiation of her spirit, just seeming to rise up into the flowers and the music, flowing up into the space—filling the room with such love and lightness and gentleness, yet also serious and somber and important. Once again, some invisible sign was given and all were off to the cremation site. By the time we arrived, Goher’s body was already on the pyre, and we stood directly across from Meheru and Katie who were sitting in chairs, with Katie’s sister between them, and Shelley by their side. Once again, an endless stream of people bowed down, kissing, placing flowers, and then, once again, with no obvious transition, Jal and the Arangaon men started to build the log structure, finding the exact right log for each step. At one point, Meheru and Shelley quick as lightning came up and placed a handkerchief over Goher’s face, and once the logs were in place, the men stuffed the spaces with ghee, dung patties, coconut, camphor, and incense. Jal gave Falu a kerosene-drenched torch to light the pyre, everyone shouted “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai” over and over, and slowly, slowly the fire began to burn. Later, the torch was passed to Bob Ahrens and others. The Meherazad ladies left after 10-15 minutes, most others as well; we stayed for maybe an hour, watching the fire burn, moving back further and further as it got hotter and hotter, until with the sun’s added intensity, we left for the shade of the Pilgrim Center. The emptiness didn’t hit until night, when, for the first time since we arrived to be with Goher ten days earlier, we were faced with free time and no tomorrow at Meherazad with Goher to look forward to. All at once, there is the loss of her presence, the loss of our focus on her and care for her, and the loss of being surrounded and drenched in the exquisite love and attentiveness of the people who were gathered around her, caring for her. What a priceless gift Baba has given us! What a priceless gift Goher has given us in these last days! Thank you, Baba. Thank you, Goher. Is it possible that this remarkable finale is also the tuning for a new beginning? That it is notjust over, butjust beginning?


JDoctor Smooth dl4eher J3abds 3ewel, rDoctor, and JDisciple

we began dancing, and awed (and relieved) when we were done. An altogether unforgettable experience, to be sure. Goher had been saying she didn’t want to eat anymore, but after our dance, she actually ate a big meal ofsalad andjuice and moussaka (made especially for her by Alan). So who knows how this is going to proceed. Yesterday everyone was depressed and gloomy, today the mood was much lighter. A day at a time, indeed.

Tatrik Widrig, 2’Iew Eork ord ofthe awesome smoothness ofher skin preceded my first meeting with Dr. Goher in 1990, and I found not just her hands and cheeks, but her whole being to be infused with that unique Friday,June 25—Three Little Gifts glowing softness. When at the end ofmy first trip here I said goodbye Goher has been gradually fading, losing abilities daily. Tuesday to Goher, she surprised me by saying, “I want to see you dance again shewas eating solid food;Wednesday she ate onlyvery soft things and before I die.” So sweet, so generous, and, of course, so intimidating. liquids; Thursday she hardly ate anything; Friday, she wasn’t being I was hesitant about returning for several years after that, my ego not brought up into a sitting position. Each day she opened her eyes less wanting to be responsible were she actually to die after I danced for frequently. Each day she spoke less and each day her smile got a little her again. I did eventually return ofcourse, and danced for her several weaker. But to us she is still completely in her body, looking so sweet times, and when she didn’t die, it was a big relieffor me indeed. and radiating love like the sweet lady she always was. But now it seems that she is going to Baba soon, and I’m happy Today, we again were asked to go out to Meherazad and give and grateful to be able to come to see her her two long massages. She opened her on very short notice, hoping to honor her eyes three times in my presence. The first request one last time. time I got a “Jai Baba”; the second time she responded with a wave of her hand Sunday,June 20; Following the Call when I waved to her from the foot of the Our trip was smooth and quite easy all third time she blew me a kiss! the bed; the way. Arrived at Ahmednagar yesterday Too beautiftil for words. She refhsed to afternoon by car from Mumbai. Dear Dr. lunch though, eat so I think she is getting Goher wanted us come out to Meherazad readyto go soon now.Jai Baba. So happyto right away, so of course we went, sweat with her be here this time, at and grateful and dust and all. She was lying on her side little thing for any I can do hopefully to in the bed, looking completely helpless little more make her a comfortable. Still physically, but still alert in her mind. She seems like a miracle. opened her eyes a little bit and with great difficulty managed to say, “I’m happy you Saturday, June 26—The Beauty came.” It was only a short visit, but very Q ueen ofMeherazad sweet—as she always was. How can I convey what an incredible Monday, June 21—Dancing for gift this week has been? Coming here to dance for Baba’s dying doctor and being Goher given six days filled with completely Today we were invited to come out in unexpected opportunities to be there with the morning to dance for her, which ended her in her awesome sweetness, generosity up happening at about 3:30 p.m. “Would grace and acceptance. you like Patrik and Sara to dance for you?” How can I describe the feeling of Shelley asked, to which she nodded. She putting my hands on her helpless body, immediately opened her eyes for a little her broken wings, trying with whatever while when I started to dance to “I’m I know to tune in to her to alleviate her Growing Fonder of You” by Fats Waller pain a little. To touch her skin, still as and smiled broadly. In the middle of the Patrik Widrig and Sara Pearson with Goher soft and delicate as ever, to hug her bones song she reached out her hand, so I held it and did a little hand duet with her—amazing! Then she said to me, with my hands, to stimulate the tissue, to smooth out the flesh, and “Thank you for dancing. I’m happy.” And, “I’m sorry I made you wait.” to simultaneously watch her radiating face relax, to have her drop into sleep while working on her (“the highest compliment” as Sara And, “I’m sorry I can’t talk.” Incredible but heartbreaking. Then Sara danced to one of the FinnishlRussian waltzes that says), to experience her fullness even as she is almost visibly fading Bob Een had introduced us to, and you should have seen Goher’s as each day goes on. It is humbling, grounding, ecstatically beautiful. smile! It might have been her last one, but boy was it big! Lastly we Words truly do not capture the preciousness. Observing the feedings today was absolutely priceless. When did our “Don’t Blame Me” duet for her, with a recording of Gladys Spratt (Sara’s mother) playing the piano and singing. Sara told her she asked for some orange juice, she was like a baby bird opening the words before we began, “Don’t blame me for falling in love with her mouth to receive it. When she later asked for Jell-O, there was you, I’m under your spell, so how can I help it, don’t blame me.” a flurry of activity, and everyone was overjoyed when she drank the Mind you, we were dancing in a space the size of a postage stamp, mouth rinse water afterwards instead of spitting it back out, happy actually about one and a halfby three feet, between Mani’s bed (where that she took the extra liquid. She was being turned, right side to Goher had been moved as it is the only air-conditioned room in the back to left side, etc., every hour and a half or so, or whenever she house) and Mehera’s bed (which I, as a male, was alerted numerous was in pain. Towards the end ofour time there I felt a pull to smooth out her times not to touch!), so everyone was understandably nervous before

35


forehead, so I moved to the head of the bed and began by putting my hands on her cheeks, and she said, immediately, with a sigh, “I like it”; she said it so quickly and strongly, I was startled and not sure what she meant. I responded by saying, “We like you too,” and “You are this year’s beauty queen ofMeherazad.” But later I wished I had immediately understood that she meant the hands on her cheeks, and simply said, “I like it too.” AU of a sudden, she tremblingly moved her hand from under the covers to scratch her nose. On its way back to the sheets I took it, she held it, and we stayed there for a long time with me hanging over the headboard holding her hand while smoothing out her forehead and cheeks with my other hand. We both dropped deeply into some other than worldly state of being—a quiet mind. I could stay here forever. Sara briefly left the room to find out ifit were time to leave. She came back in to say goodbye to Goher who looked at her, then lifted her eyes high to look up at me, which prompted me to step around to face her so she wouldn’t have to strain to see me. I told her, “It’s time for us to say goodbye,” and she looked at me and looked at me and looked at me, and I put my hands on her cheeks again. What a sight. She is incredibly beautiful. As if that wasn’t enough, as I’m straightening up, getting ready to leave, she reached out her hand, grabbed mine, and pulled me back toward her. I was speechless, amazed and happy. Sara leaned in as well, and the three of us stayed there looking at each other for some blissfully eternal seconds, until she turned to face her sister Katie, who was standing on the other side ofthe bed. This is profound, to be understood only by the heart, and the soul. Nothing matters but this moment. Only she knew that this was my goodbye with her. Wednesday, June 30; The Jewel, Doctor and Treasurer I got a cold on Sunday, the day we had all been asked to stay back and not come to Meherazad, so I couldth go out on Monday either. On Tuesday, I felt better and went out, but started feeling sick again as soon as I arrived there, so I had to turn back. On Wednesday, I stayed back as well since I didn’t want to take the risk again. So I didn’t get to see Goher alive again. The Jewel (Goher means jewel in Gujarati) passed on today. I had been fantasizing that she should go on World Health Day or something like that, giving her death global meaning. Instead, she died on what for many organizations in the U.S., including our own non-profit corporation, is the end of the fiscal year. Now how does that add up...? It turns out July 1, the day of her cremation, was designated World Doctors’ Day! And from Meher Baba’s time up until very recently, Dr. Goher was the treasurer of Meherazad, so on July 30 this year, she was closing her books! That’s how it all adds up. Thursday,July 1, 2004—Dancing in the Fire The ten days with Goher were a tremendous gift of love and awe. To witness her precious last days of being in the body; to acknowledge the importance and the beauty of attending to it even as it was shutting down its functions; to see the grace with which she accepted the administrations, allowing us to try to comfort her 36

through our sometimes clumsy efforts; to drink in the heartbreaking beauty of her last gestures and looks and smiles; to receive the love she let flow towards us more strongly the weaker she became; to observe the intense attention Shelley paid to every detail, and in such a poised, settled, knowing way, completely in tune with her mentor, friend, companion. And here we all (caretakers and comforters) were offering our help, and instead we were the recipients of this great being’s immense love and affection. With each moment I was privileged to be there with Goher, I experienced an awesome lessening of physical attachment, hers and my own. First dancing for her so she could have a little pleasure to brighten her day; then five days of being invited to massage her to try to alleviate her pain a little, ever more lightly with each passing day, feeling that her body could stand less and less pressure; to finally being with her after she had left it, being irresistibly drawn to her face and hardly being able to leave her out of sight, bathing in its beauty, smoothness, peace, trying to imprint in my memory those regal features; to witnessing the lifting of her soul with each person’s bow, flower, offering of love and gratitude, first in the small circle ofthe Meherazad family in Mandali Hall, then with the pilgrims and the villagers filing by, continuing the next day at the Samadhi, the Mandap, Old Mandali Hall, and the cremation site; to going from being able to sit close by her and touch her and look up at her for hours, to getting further and further away as more and more people gathered around her at each place her body was taken to; to witnessing the heap of flowers grow to a mountain, gradually burying her in their color and fragrance and each person’s love with which they had placed them there; to finally feeling a sense of joy instead of the expected apprehension as the logs were placed on top of those flowers around her; to, for the first time in my life, witnessing a pyre being set afire. With each moment through all of this, the circle widened, the feeling swelled, the body disappeared a little more, the spirit lifted, tangibly, almost visibly, sending our dear beloved Queen of Smooth and Quiet off to her new life. This is the way to go—it’s completely about life rather than death. It’s so all-inclusive, so natural, so universal and humanly unifying. It’s a wonderful send-off rather than a final farewell. It’s more and more about the spirit and less and less about the body. It is comforting, beautiful, uplifting. It’s a public ritual, yet completely personal. It’s a part of life—and it is now incredulously, an intrinsic part of my life, a treasure to remember always, an unexpected, humbling, precious, precious gift. Monday,July 12, 2004—Dancing in the Wind I walked up Seclusion Hill with a small group of people, each with a little plastic bag filled with some of Goher’s ashes. Dipping into the bag on the top ofthe hill and letting the swirling wisps and clouds dance in the wind—it seemed that Goher was ecstatically happy. I sure was. Indeed, this has got to be one ofthe happiest times of my life. Thank you, Goher. Thank you, Baba.


11 of ci Doctor 9 od’s ‘9em 1}estct Clinton, California

J

anuary 1975. The rhythmic sound and motion ofthe metal wheels

on the sun-baked railroad tracks had slowed to a disjointed squeal. hey sounded more like fingernails scratching across a chalkboard. You could feel the heaviness of the train as the brakes were applied and released by the engineer, slowing the train as we headed into the station. A toddler, being held in a standing position by his squatting mother dressed in a brightly colored sari, peed on the second-class coach floor. I watched as the liquid first pooled, and then snaked its way around the floor with each lurch ofthe train. A woman who had boarded several miles down the road picked up her woven basket (with at least two dozen chickens securely enclosed), stood up, placed it on her head, went to the door and deftlyjumped to the ground without missing a beat. A turbaned man with a young goat draped across his shoulders followed her out the door within seconds. Another woman who appeared to be no more than 17 years old and obviously pregnant, sat cross-legged, and cradled a beautiful baby girl whose head was framed by a brightly colored bonnet, eyes outlined with a black, greasy line; a black dot was perfectly centered between her eyebrows. As my mind focused anew to my immediate surroundings I glanced out the soot-covered window and saw the curling and waving Hindi lettering that announced my arrival in Ahmednagar. The elderly couple seated next to me for most ofthe morning ride became animated and pointed to the train door with their crooked, rough-hewn wooden staffs. “Ahmednagar! Ahmednagar!” they said. As I got up to leave that dusty, cramped railway coach, I realized how weary I was and how desperately I needed a hot shower or at least washed hands. But this realization was quickly replaced by the knowledge that I was alighting at a railway station whose tracks had brought the Avatar in and out ofAhmednagar. It was incred ible to realize my travel had brought me all the way across India from Calcutta, over the very rails that carried Beloved Baba to every corner of this beautiful country—Hindustan, Mother India. I could not contain my excitement as my foot stepped onto the landing of the station and I imagined myself walking in the dust of His footsteps of years before. As my feet moved across the surface of the station platform, cool tears were streaming down my cheeks, trickling with delight as they traversed my •-:;jcS face, streaking through the dust, soot and sweat of several days’journey. “Jai Baba” a woman said, hands folded and head bowed reverently. I answered her “Jai Baba!” and with a smile, she passed into the crowd. God had somehow welcomed me to the land I would call home for the next five years. ..

A few weeks later came the Amartithi celebration. I watched in amazement as Meherabad was transformed from a dusty sparsely landscaped, isolated compound to a tent community that would house and feed thousands of pilgrims who were coming for the 5th Amartithi. It was here I was introduced to Mehera, Mani, Goher, Arnavaz, Meheru, and the other women mandali. It was up on Meherabad Hill, fifty feet from His Samadhi, that my life collided with His divine plan for me. When introduced to Mehera I was deeply touched by her embrace. Then it felt as if my hands were being taken into a satin-lined, velvet glove. I had never felt hands so soft, so gentle, so quietly strong and confident! They were small hands, and I remember how big my hands looked in hers. My gaze followed up her arm, to her shoulder and then to her face and I realized my six-foot frame must have looked gigantic next to hers, as her head barely reached the top of my chest. When my eyes met her gaze I felt recognized, acknowledged on a very deep level by this woman with dark eyes and white hair. She placed one of her hands on the side of my face, and with such love and tenderness, said, “My sweet child. You are Baba’s dear one.” I hadjust met Dr. Goher. During the four-day Amartithi celebration I helped Dr. Goher treat some of the pilgrims who needed simple medical attention. Amartithi was my first experience ofworking with Dr. Goher. I had been trained in emergency room care, open-heart surgery methods, follow-up intensive care unit nursing, and had advanced training in pulmonary diseases. It became apparent to Dr. Goher that I was confident working with the patients and she asked me ifl would like to come out to Meherazad after Amartithi and work with her in the Meher Free Dispensary. With calm that belied my 24 years of age I answered, nonchalantly, how nice that would be and asked what would be a good time to come out. (I recall her asking me to help her in the dispensary as clearly as if it happenedjust a split second ago.) When Dr. Goher asked me to come out to Meherazad, a desire was kindled in my soul to be there. Nothing else really mattered to me. (Later, my Meherazad family me by saying that some teased v strange ‘Meherazad Madness’ had overtaken me!) In the early 70s we would bicycle out to Meherazad from town, riding in groups. We were not supposed to arrive at Meherazad prior to 9:00 am. and we had to be on our way back to Ah mednagar no later than 6:00 p.m. I behaved honorably for the first couple ofweeks after Amartithi, but then it became intolerable for me to wait until 8:00 am. to leave town for Meherazad. On the days the Meher Free Dispensary was open I would arrive early, by 7:00 am., under the guise ofhaving to mix compounds, ointments, and syrups, or to sharpen needles. I stayed out ofsight in the dispensary, managing to look busy doing the needfttl to set up for the day’s work. Aloba would scold me, saying I was early, intimating I shouldn’t really be there at the crack of dawn. “What will the others

37


think if they know we al low you to come at dawn? Then everyone will want to come out early” he said. I remember responding innocently, “Aloba, we shouldn’t let them know. I won’t tell anyone I come out early to work.” Somehow my response worked for him. When I think of it now, I doth know how or why Aloba accepted my statement. He was definitely the guardian of Meherazad and all who lived and visited there, and to say he was very regi mented when it came to enforcing the rules would be putting it mildly! A few days later I knew I was safe from being ordered not to come early in the morning when Aloba sent in a cup of tea for me as I was setting up the dispensary and it wasth quite 7 am. I loved working in the clinic as Dr. Goher was so loving and kind and seemed to appreciate my help. Like all who have met her, I grew to adore her. It was like being in heaven without having to die to get there! I was enthralled with this person who was, literally, God’s doctor, and here she was in a tiny room with a tin roof doctoring sick children, pregnant women, injured men, people with coughs, colds, scabies, scorpion bites, malaria, aching bones, and other ailments. She treated each patient with respect and compassion, and offered the best care to each who passed through the door ofthe dispensary. Day in, day out, I sat at her side for certain cases. She asked my opinion regarding diagnosis; she knew I had been trained in diseases of the heart and lung and was a keen observer of her patients. When she asked my opinion, she listened to my clinical findings respectfully. When I told her I wish I had certain medicines for treatment, she would send a letter off to the States in search of them, usually to Adele Wolkin. On complicated cases she would call me over to the patient and explain what her findings were and we would work out a treatment plan together. I am not saying Dr. Goher treated me like an equal when it came to medicine, but she never once made me feel inferior. It was a remarkable quality she had. God had given her such equal measure of remarkable strength and brilliance, tempering it so perfectly with humility and grace. Dr. Goher was the embodiment ofcompassion to me, and now I not only had to be in Meherazad all the time, I had to be by her side or I felt I would surely die! As God is my witness, on Fridays when Meherazad was closed because Mani was taking her rest day and I couldn’t come out, I literally thought I would die. I look back and must admit I had a touch of ‘madness’ in me! Thirty years later, at the age of 54, I am astounded at how much of herself Goher shared with me, and how patient she was with this mad Western child who wanted nothing more than to be in Meherazad, work in the dispensary, and tag along like a lost puppy. I was perfectly happyjust to be by her side. I was very selfish in my desire to be at Meherazad. Although she had so much work and many responsibilities to occupy her time and thoughts, Goher must have sensed I was lonely 38

on Fridays. I’m sure I told her, first thing Saturday mornings, with all the melodrama I could muster, how miserable I was every Friday not being able to come out to Meherazad. I would say with a scrunched up face, “Goher, I almost died from a broken heart yesterday from not seeing you!” She would always laugh and reiterate how truly mad I was. “I don’t think there’s any cure for your ailment, my child,” she would say. “I don’t know of any medicine that could cause you to stop coming out to Baba’s home.” She would embrace me and then say, “Now go quickly and take darshan in His room and greet Mehera.” I would run back to the house like a child heading to the candy store for a sweet. Goher would come to town on Fridays to do errands. She knew I was pining away at Pop’s house where I lived with Lindsay Reiter and Heather Nadel. (Pop’s House was the compound where Baba lived while Meherazad was being made ready for Him, and then later Goher’s father Pop lived there.) I’m sure she really would have liked, and most likely needed, a break from me one day a week. She could have had it on Fridays. Her weekly trip to the bazaar was her time to herself on some level. But then it so happened that one Friday I heard a car approach the verandah at Pop’s, and the engine turn off. When I looked out to see who had come, I saw the Trust car. It was Goher! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was ecstatic. Hallelujah! I was being delivered from the depths ofthe dark hole ofself-pity! I ran like a child, as ifbeing chased by a rooster, to give her a hug, screaming “Jai Baba! Jai Baba!”You can imagine the sheerjoy and complete euphoria I experienced when she asked me to go with her to the bazaar and help shop for the dispensary and the household. Adi K. Irani, Baba’s secretary, who lived in the Trust Compound in town, once said that total faith in Meher Baba was God Realization in disguise. I believe when I jumped in the car and scooted next to her on the back seat, I had a fleeting glimpse of pure bliss. I mean no disrespect by this statement. I was in a state of absolutejoy to be with her,just the two ofus. It didn’t get much better than this to my way of thinking! During the next several months, Dr. Goher trained me in the treatment ofscorpion bites, snakebites, and insect stings. She taught me how to differentiate malaria from other fevers and separate out the common cough from tuberculosis. She showed me how to recognize jaundice in a dark skinned person, diagnose disease brought on by malnutrition, and recognize protein deficiency. I began to understand that a distended belly in a child could have many causes and how to separate them all out. I learned from her about other ‘ordinary’ condi tions found in poorer countries that are not given a second thought ( or considered in diagnosis), in most ofthe developed nations in the West. But then one day, a child brought in with a fever and flaccid limbs stumped me in diagnosing the cause. To my horror, Dr. Goher explained to me the presenting signs ofpolio, and I saw how powerless


we were not only in its treatment, but in altering its effect. Time passed, and life became routine for me. After the first few months of coming to Meherazad, I had cleverly worked my way into having a few extra hours there by coming in the early morning hours, so it only seemed logical, to my ‘mad’ way of thinking, that if I could find out how to make myself useftil, I could extend my stay beyond the six o’clock evening hour as well. By now, Mehera knew I was coming out on a daily basis, and had begun to send fruit over to the men’s side for me duringlunchtime. She began adding other food too, until every day Goher brought a tray oflunch from the kitchen. On days when Meherazad was closed, Mehera asked me to come back to have tea with her. Pretty soon, I was invited to have lunch with her, and Mehera and I would sit at the table and she would talk about Baba. It all seemed so natural, and gradually I blended into the background ofthe household. Although always respectftii, my demeanor was casual and spon taneous with Mehera, and we eased into a relationship that grew, for me, into a friendship in His love. Mehera was always eager to share her love for Meher Baba with all who came in contact with her. I was spellbound by her stories, and particularly fond ofher memories ofthe 30s and 40s. Her recollection ofdetail was exquisite and I was transported back in time as I watched her hands move so gracefully while she talked. Goher always encouraged the development of my relationship with Mehera and explained how important Mehera’s comfort with me would be in the future. I knew my time with Mehera was, for me, the closest I would feel to Baba. She asked about my family and I had many funny tales to tell about my father’s side. I told her how my mother’s family were Norwegian immigrants. I told her how they settled in America at the turn ofthe century. I never thought I was special, but I knew I was blessed. This time with Mehera was the golden years of my life, of that I am convinced. Goher had told me to be especially sensitive to Mehera’s comfort. She counseled me to shy away from certain subjects and to never, ever upset her. If it meant I had to bite my tongue, so be it. I was never to argue or correct her. At all costs I was to protect her dignity and to never forget she was Mehera, the Beloved’s Beloved. I observed Goher with Mehera and was so taken by how gentle she was with her. I marveled at how Goher surrendered herself to Baba’s wish to be watchful ofMehera’s well being, both physically and emotionally. Goher was so tender with Mehera, making sure she was taken care ofin every way imaginable. What I came to realize was that Goher’s entire world, her very being, revolved around Mehera. She never stayed at the clinic without getting up several times to cycle back to the house to check on Mehera. In the afternoon when we were in the dispensary finishing up the day’s work or preparing for the next clinic day, Goher would go back to the house again to make sure Mehera was okay. She slept with a metal cosh under her pillow that Baba had given her in case she needed to defend the women, especially Mehera, who was always at the forefront of Goher’s mind. Later, Goher began sending me back to sit with Mehera on the verandah to keep her company. She told me how Mehera, at night, would tell her some tall tale I had told, and how Mehera would laugh at thejokes I cracked. Goher said Baba was happy when Mehera was happy and it was important to keep Mehera’s mood light because her griefwas so deep after Baba dropped His body. One day as I was sitting in the clinic working, Goher told me Mehera had called for me and to go back to the house and spend some time with her. I sort of sighed and said, “But, Goher, I want to be with you. I have work to do.” She looked at me, incredulous. I continued, “Do I really have to

go back?” Without hesitation, she gently slapped my face, and when I looked at her expression I knew she was upset by my cavalier attitude. “You really are mad!” she exclaimed. “But don’t be a fool!” she added. “Who am I and what is this work? It will all evaporate into nothingness.” I had fallen into the trap ofthe limited mind, and my ego stood naked in judgment. “Go be with Mehera, and don’t leave until she is ready to let you go.” I felt my cheeks flush and heat rise to my head. My eyes flooded with tears. “This is not about you, my child,” she continued, “or what you want.” I was engulfed by shame. She then added, sternly, but lovingly, “Now, go to Mehera.” Goher and Arnavaz told me how Baba had ordered the women to be gentle and loving with Mehera and see to it she not suffer any upset, as that would be upsetting to Him. Even if the truth needed to be stretched to keep Mehera calm and avoid upset, she was to be spared, at all cost. I found this to be an amazing disclosure. Then I recalled how Baba didn’t want men’s names mentioned in her pres ence and went to great lengths to have certain news items cut out of the newspapers so she wouldn’t inadvertently be upset. It became abundantly clear how detailed Meher Baba’s care for His Mehera was, and it was wondrous to witness how Goher played her role so perfectly with her. I came to notice how she anticipated Mehera’s every need without being obtrusive. She seemed to know Mehera’s feelings so intimately and was able to steer a conversation away from a subject if it seemed to be heading in the wrong direction. Goher was able to create an atmosphere that was light-hearted for Mehera, and ifMehera was feeling sad, she knew exactly what to say to soothe her despair. I saw Goher subdue her own ego and her own wants and needs, in order to be perfect in her care ofMehera. It was beautiful to behold. Goher had helped to develop my relationship with Mehera, eventually leading to my helping her care for Mehera’s health. I arrived at Meherazad one day and was told Goher was iii and in bed. Pendu asked me to see her patients as she was not going to be able to attend the clinic. A note came asking me to come look at Goher to see what I could do to make her more comfortable. When I crossed the garden

Meher Baba and Mehera in the Garden, art by Diane Cobb, from the archives ofSufism Reoriented.

39


to the porch, there stood Mehera, calling for me to hurry and come attend to Goher. She rushed me to Goher’s bedside and began telling me that Goher never stops working, she’s always busy, she doesn’t rest enough and that’s why she’s sick. Goher started to sit up and said she was all right, and Mehera told her to lie down and rest. “Vesta is here and she will make you feel better.” Goher protested, saying she had to attend to the clinic patients as there were some special cases coming from afar that she wanted to see. Mehera asked me if I knew about these cases and I told her Goher and I had been treating them together and I felt pretty confident to see them. Mehera turned to Goher and told her to stay in bed and that ifl needed any help or had a question I could come talk to her about it. And so, with Goher’s training and Mehera’s encouragement, I began to be included in the household as someone who could be trusted with health issues ofthe Mandali. Over the next few days, Mehera watched as I gave injections and treatment to Goher. It so happened that while Goher was ill, it was a day Mehera was to receive her vitamin injections. Goher didn’t feel quite well enough to give the injection herself so she told me what medicine was to be given. She emphasized to me to be gentle and not to cause the slightest bit of pain for Mehera, as that would be like causing pain to Baba. Goher told me that while eating lunch with Mehera, as we were chatting, I should mention that today was the day she was to receive her vitamin injections. I was to wait for Mehera’s reply and give her time to think about it. If Mehera said she would wait for Goher to feel better, I was to drop the subject. If she seemed like she wanted to have the injections, I could ask her how she felt about my giving them to her. After lunch was finished, I mentioned her injections. To my astonishment Mehera said, “Why, yes, today is the day I am to receive my vitamin shot. Do you think you would have the time to give it to me since Goher is ill?” Goher had patiently and perfectly orchestrated everything that lead to this moment, and after that I began helping with Mehera’s routine care and treating her for simple ailments. At the beginning ofthe summer, Mani became very ill and I was asked to stay overnight at Meherazad and sit at her bedside during the night hours. Then Mehera became ill too, which was quite unusual, as she seemed to enjoy robust health. I sat in their room during the night and looked after them. Goher was right outside their door and whenever I took their vital signs or they seemed unusually restless, I would awaken her and she would come in to help attend to their needs. On the second or third night Mani was delirious with fever and Goher so tenderly rubbed her body to try to relieve what she knew must be terrible pain. You could see Mani’s muscles twitching with cramps and her face would wince in pain. We were so concerned for Mani’s health that Goher sent the car into town in the middle of the night to bring back a doctor. Without thinking I said, out loud, “Baba, make Mani well and make me sick. She doesn’t deserve to be so ill. Give me some ofher pain.” Goher immediately looked at me from across the bed and said, “Vesta, you must never say that!” She then quickly added, “Baba, she is like an innocent child and doesn’t understand what she said.” Because Mani’s illness had become acute we didn’t have much time for small talk and I didn’t give my plea to Baba another thought; Goher’s admonishment had slipped to the recesses ofmy mind. Two nights later Mani again had a high fever, was delirious and in so much pain. Watching her suffer like this was unbearable for me. Out oflove for Mani, and a sense of helplessness to alleviate her discomfort, I again asked Baba to make Mani well and give me her suffering because she didn’t deserve it. As soon as the last word crossed my lips I actually heard Meher Baba say to me, as ifHe was standing at the 40

Mani and Goher at Babac Samadhi

head ofMani’s bed, “Who do you think you are? Do you think you could last for one second with what Mani is experiencing?!” I looked over at the head of the bed and could see Him standing there. Although radiant and translucent, He had a very stern look on His face. He further exclaimed, “Who are you to judge what Mani deserves? How could you possibly know what I am doing through her illness? Her body means nothing at this moment! If I were to give you the smallest fraction of what she is going through, you would die in an instant.” He raised His right hand and made a snapping sound with His fingers. At that moment, Mani’s bed stopped shaking and a look of peace came over her face. I saw Baba reach down and place His hand on her brow and smile. To this day my prayer is for Baba to give me the strength to ac cept His wisdom as complete, and His care as perfect, for those who love Him. It was I who had placed a value judgment on something my mind had no reference point to measure. Although my plea for Mani’s relief seemed innocent on the surface, it was born from a frustrated ego that I couldn’t make the pain go away for her. It was more about me and less about Mani. I was trapped in my thoughts of not having the power to change the circumstances I was witnessing. I had not taken into consideration that everything comes from Him and returns to Him, and everything in between is all Beloved Baba’s as well. Goher explained it would have been better to say nothing, or to ask for His help in caring for Mani as best I could to please Him. It was as simple as surrendering to Him. It was summertime and after Mehera and Mani got better, no one asked me to leave. I wasn’t about to volunteer to go, so I basically kept a low profile, did my work, and became as useftil as possible. I pitched in to help Dr. Goher with health care ofthe other Mandali. It all became a wonder filled routine, and life was good as far as I was concerned. It was my second glimpse of Heaven on earth. I felt absolutely and totally complete. Goher and Arnavaz had taught me to be thoughtftil and alert regarding Mehera. There was no in between here, no gray area, and absolutely no room for error. Either I would pass with flying colors, or my presence would not be tolerated. It didn’t matter how much help I was to Goher. It didn’t matter how much they cared for me, because we were talking about Mehera. They made it as plain as the nose on my face that ifl was to leave and not work in the dispensary and Goher needed help, Baba would send someone else. Yet I never


felt I was being threatened or they were telling me I was dispensable; they were being absolutely clear as to what they expected from me if I was to become a member of the household. I never once doubted the seriousness of their counsel and am grateftil they took me under their loving wings regarding Mehera and Meherazad. Months passed, and turned to years, and my trust and bond with Goher grew deep within me. I loved her more than anything or anyone I had ever loved in my life. It was different than how a daughter loves her mother or the love I felt for my grandmother. It was more than friendship, beyond family. She wasn’t just my teacher or my confidant; Goher was more than someone who counseled me with great wisdom. I believe she was the essence of all these things, and I witnessed the very embodiment of selfless service in His holy name. I felt her love for me was unconditional and I thrived in that atmosphere. This awareness is an amazing realization, and to this day I draw strength from it. That does not mean I had free rein without expectation regarding my behavior—quite the contrary! I was scolded. It was done without attachment and lovingly, but I hated causing her any displeasure and so was a quick study of what she expected of me. She showed me how love is an obligation and responsibility between two people. One of my favorite times with Goher was at the end of the day when we would brush our teeth at the sink behind the kitchen before going to bed at night. We always walked to the edge of the back verandah and would gaze up at Seclusion Hill. Sometimes there would be a star right at the edge of the point of the hill. At first she would talk about how she would glance up at Seclusion Hill when Baba had gone there to do His work and talk to Him in her heart. Often we would stand in silence. Sometimes she would sigh deeply, and the tears would roll down her cheeks. A few times I held her and listened to her lament how inadequate she was to treat Baba, and how she couldn’t stop His pain and how unbearable that was for her to remember how He suffered. After a few moments she would feel my tears dropping on the top of her head and she would look up at me, saying, “My dear child, you are raining on my head!” Then she’d take my hand in that satin lined, velvet glove-of-a-hand ofhers and we’d walk back to the house. Goher had me assist her in going through and cleaning the cabi nets in Baba’s room. In them were personal belongings of Beloved Baba, some ofher medical instruments, medicines, photos, and other precious items. Each held a story and a memory for her. Everything she gently held or cradled brought a far offlook, as ifby reliving the instance she could somehow alter the outcome. She grieved for the pain and suffering she witnessed Baba go through. One day, while cleaning in Baba’s room, Dr. Goher showed me some ofthe medical documents of Mehera and Baba from the automobile collision in Oklahoma. They clearly showed the severity of their injuries. She described how Mehera and Baba had been hurt and how Mehera had suffered such a severe blow to her forehead. She became agitated as she described their hurt bodies and how helpless she felt and what a terrible time it was for all of them. She then was very quiet and reflective. A moment later she said that after attending to Mehera she went to be with Baba. She then took a pen and paper and drew a picture to show me how Baba’s tongue had been split in two and needed suturing. Tears were streaming down her face and she repeated “Oh, Baba. Baba. How you suffered and I could do nothing to help you.” She sighed so deeply, giving into the sobs that sprung from the depths

of her very being. Then she looked up at me, and said, “Vesta, can you imagine how much pain He was in?” She turned and stared out the window, as if she could see it all happening in the moment. She continued, speaking in a barely audible voice, “Baba gestured to me to hold His hand and told me to make sure He didn’t speak or break His Silence while they stitched His tongue back together.” She seemed so very vulnerable at that moment, like a porcelain doll placed too close to the edge ofa shelf the earth shaking. I gently asked her what she did next for Baba. She wiped her face with her hands and looked up at me, her mouth quivering as she said, so matter offactly, “Why, Vesta, I held His beautiftil hand and watched as the repair was done to His mouth.” Her voice quivered, tears poured down her cheeks, collecting at the bottom of her chin. She wiped them with the back of her hand. Sorrowfrilly, but with awe and compassion, she said, “He didn’t make a sound. Baba kept staring at me. He was perfectly silent during the entire procedure.” In a hushed and pained voice she repeated, “He didn’t make the slightest sound.” She then lowered her head and sobbed as she recalled howvaliant Babawas under such dire circumstances. I held her, and I too, became lost in the moment. After a minute or so, she looked up, smiled at me, and said, “My dear child, you are raining on my head again!” With that she stood up, took my hand, and we continued with our work. I learned a great lesson with Goher and Arnavaz about the dif ference between being ‘childlike’ and ‘childish’. On several occasions I was very foolish with my relationship with both of these remarkable women. I was not intentionally disrespectful, but I did become thoughtless in my interaction at times. Instead ofpaying attention to the beauty of the present moment I was experiencing, I allowed my mind to wander. I would imagine Goher as a Perfect Master and I her favored disciple. I repeatedly asked Goher to make me her disciple if she ever became Perfect. To my childish thinking I believed if I could extract this promise, my life would be perfect. Goher always tried to laugh it off calling me more mad than she realized. She never promised, always saying, “We shall see what Baba has in store.” One day Arnavaz heard me playftilly ask Goher to remember to take me as one ofher close ones. Arnavaz caught hold ofme and scolded me sternly. “Be careful what you ask for, my dear,” she said. “Why bind yourselflike this with such foolish and ridiculous requests?!” Arnavaz definitely had my attention. “Do you understand a Perfect Master can take you and crush you?!” She brought her closed fist down forceftiily into the open palm of her other hand, with an audible smack. I was completely taken aback. She continued, crossly, “Being with a

Dr. Goher and Vèsta

4’


Perfect Master is nothing to trifle with! Never again treat it as if it is child’s play!” Arnavaz rightfully pinned my ears back and taught me a welllearned lesson. I have never spoken of this until this very moment, and I do so with a fair measure ofrespect and trepidation. (It is hard for me to share this so openly, but I feel it is important to tell the story to illustrate how easy it is to be careless with our ego, especially with a mind sitting on a runaway train rushing down the track at high speed, right into the Stupid Station.) I immediately sawwhat a burden my questioning must have been for Goher and am grateful Arnavaz pulled me off that train before it reached its destination! By being childish, I had lost the sweetness and beauty of love in the present, by focusing on some fantasy that was cast in the ftsture. My time in Meherazad with Dr. Goher was truly His Grace and has become the touchstone ofmylife. I am grateftil for the part God’s Gem of a Doctor played in this. My love for Goher, at times, got all mixed up with my love for Meher Baba. Although my mind was clear and able to distinguish between the two, sometimes my heart wouldjust burst with overwhelming love that seemed to envelop me. I truly loved Baba and Mehera, Goher Arnavaz and my Meherazad family. I truly felt loved right back in immeasurable ways. Somehow I was certain He would sort it all out for me, and He has. All love comes from Him and eventually finds its way back to Him. I try to be mindftd of how I treat this precious love on its journey through my life. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

7he Øtiet Doctor Don 5tevens, france may seem odd to say that what I treasured above all else in knowing Dr. Goher for more than 50 years was her profound trait of making herselfas unnoticeable as possible. I am so used to people of note being just the reverse, namely impossible to be around without being highly aware ofthem all of the time. Yet this characteristic of Goher stands out for me as a pillar ofmy profound fondness for her. It was only in the very later years of her life that she took on one constant companion that reversed this trait of being almost totally unnoticeable. This was the little electric runabout that she used to save her legs, and this of course completely shattered the cocoon of anonymity that had surrounded her for so many years. As I reflect on Goher’s manner of remaining unnoticeable, it had nothing to do with the deep charm ofher features and smile. It would be hard to imagine a human being, other than Baba Himself who conveyed more simply or automatically great richness of human character through their facial attributes. Just to see Goher for the first time on a visit was a joy; but because one knew that it would happen soon and automatically, I did not think about it in advance or anticipate it with any expectation. It would just simply happen. I always felt tremendously enriched by those habitually brief moments of first greeting. Goher was the complete reverse of a compulsive talker, but in a conversation with her one never felt that warm moments were missing, or that they were too short. Human contact with her always had that wonderful sense of complete sufficiency. Thinking over the great high points ofBaba’s ministry, the New Life always strikes me as being both enigmatic and extraordinarily important. In one way and another, the key Mandali members who

I

42

accompanied Baba on this great chapter of His ministry figure as individuals, and even rather frequently in problematic circumstances. Yet here we have Dr. Goher who was present in the New Life for its entire duration, and yet I have never encountered a single story of her being a central role player in any of the recorded episodes. And yet she was there constantly—caring for Baba and others throughout the many very trying occasions, ofwhich the New Life was filled; still she did all this caring with her typical characteristic ofunnoticability As a matter offact, I think I had known Goher for at least three decades before I finally realised that she and Katie were sisters. This almost equals my record in a similar sibling circumstance for Najar and Pendu, but there I did hit the record of not knowing that these two were brother and sister until Najar died. Perhaps one ofthe pillars ofthe characteristic”not to be remarked” of Goher was due to the very great amount of time which she spent in caring medically for people outside the Mandali and close ones to Baba. Wherever a dispensary and free medical services were provided by Baba, Goher equaled alone by Dr. Donkin’s performance, was the almost completely united forming and sustaining figure. As the years have rolled along, and as acquaintances and friendships have flourished in one’s own garden of companionship, it is really remarkable how many times the name of Dr. Goher would arise in conversation as having been a key friend and helper in someone’s life anchored to the Avatar Himself Baba ftmctioned unquestionably as the divine anchor in the life of someone He drew to Himself still, with remarkable frequency, Goher functioned close at hand as an important sustaining member in Baba’s service. In all these decades of knowing quietly and deeply this most lovable individual, I have known only one circumstance in which she “flubbed the dove.” This was in the basic planning for the hospital, which grew out of so many of the quiet dreams of hers. However, when the hospital was approaching the end of construction, and she was asked by a very practical minded Baba admirer, what was being done to raise endowment funds to support the free services intended, Goher looked simply astounded and commented quietly, “I didn’t think of that!” And yet, in the ensuing years after that brief embarrassed statement, I never knew Goher to go back and comment on or worry about that oversight. When Baba would underline for His devotees worldwide the importance of fostering a certain attitude as a spiritual aspirant, you could be certain in your own aspirations that leading the Mandali, who had long before mastered this necessary characteristic, would be Goher. And she had always done it in her own completely unnoticeable manner backed up by her wonderful smile.

LlI/tctfly thanks to the people who so gener

ouslil shared their treasured photos with us to make 9oher’s .7frtemorict! full and complete! —Lovc Street LainpJ2ost


7hree 7}ignettes 2teatlier Radel, 7I4ehernba4 r someone so wise and competent, Goher could be so innocent. She often demonstrated this childlike quality especially with the men Mandali. As Baba’s doctor, Goher had a lot to do with the men Mandali when work demanded, and particularly with the doctors among them. So she was well acquainted with Padri, who treated Baba homeopathically. In the 1970s and 80s, she had a “market day” when she would go to town from Meherazad to shop for Mehera, the clinic, and the household. Once in a great while, on market day she would come out to Meherabad to see Padri with a list in her hand ofthings to ask him. They were usually questions about the early days of the Meherabad ashram—facts like dates, names, etc., that Mehera would want to know. Of course, Goher wouldn’t say, “Mehera wants to know this,” but Padri was a savvy old guy and it was understood. Padri enjoyed Goher, and loved to tease her, particularly as she was shy in a way, and very earnest about what she was doing. (For the same reason, Manijust loved using her in plays when they acted for Baba—Goherwasjust the opposite ofan actress; she couldn’t dissemble to save her life—and so her attempts at histrionics would amuse Baba a lot!) On one particular day, I remember Goher arriving and sitting down with Padri on a bench in front of the Meherabad Hall. After a little chit-chat (and I’m sure Padri gave her a cup ofchai—she loved tea), she pulled out her list and started in. “It was 1925, wasn’t it, when Baba started His silence?” (Padri’s eyebrows go up). “Yeeesss. “July 10th.” (They go up higher). “July 10th, and DON’T YOU FORGET IT!” Goher giggles. ‘And He began it in the...” Now at this point we cringed because the little lamb was walking right into a minefield. You see, Padri was very sensitive about the proper name for the Jhopdi, the small brick hut at Meherabad where Baba began His silence. There were some erroneous rumors that it had been named the ‘Agra Kuti” by Baba. Padri would become incensed if he ever heard someone refer to the “Jhopdi” as the “Agra Kuti.” Unaware of all this, Goher continued began it in the Agra Kuti...” BOOM! Padri blew. “Agra Kuti! Who told you it was the Agra Kuti! Baba never named it the Agra Kuti! I was THERE! It was the Jhopdi from the very beginning—just because that idiot from Bombay came up with that ridiculous name—I’d like to murder him, that....” At this point Padri, the master ofcolorfrd language, stepped into his special domain of elegant verbal abuse. He began describing the idiot from Bombay in precise and lively terms, deliciously aware of the reaction from his audience (little Goher’s eyes are as wide as saucers). .That so-and-so, thought he was such a so-and-so, well he soand-so...” Goher sat and looked at him. Then very slowly and gently, in the most innocent ofgestures, her two little hands moved up as ifto cover his mouth. His eyes sparkled, but Padri did stop at that. ...“

“....

“. .

ext to Baba, Goher loved and cared for Mehera. The tenderness and focus of her care for Mehera was so touching; it seemed a little glimpse ofthe way she must have cared for Baba. One Amartithi late in the afternoon, I happened to be standing with Mehera and Goher by Mehera’s room on the Hill. Mani, Meheru and the girls were somewhere nearby, but not right on the spot. As we were standing there, a rather tall, disheveled young man suddenly walked right up to Mehera and announced that he was the son of Meher Baba. Mehera, the purest of the pure, nodded sweetly in agreement, and said, “Yes, we are all children of Meher Baba.” But he didn’t mean that. He meant, as he repeated again forcefully, he was literally Meher Baba’s son! It took Goher about two seconds to react. Down went her arm between the man and Mehera, her hand brushing him aside with a sweep. Along with the gesture, she shot him a look so ferocious it could kill on the spot. The man stumbled back in shock, Goher gently took Mehera’s arm and we moved off towards the room. It was all done so quietly, so assuredly and so quickly that Mehera was not disturbed in the least!

N

aba lovers adored Goher but we wereiñ the only ones to hold her in esteem. Her services to the surrounding villages through the Meherazad dispensary and her multi-faceted help to the poor were famous. When I first came to Meherabad, there was a local legend growing up around Goher’s skill as a doctor that sprang from the following incident. It’s not remembered exactly when this occurred (most likely in the early 1970s). Late one night a bullock cart came rumbling into Meherazad, and from the men’s side, a message was sent inside for Goher. She and others came running with a lantern (they had no electricity then). There in the cart was a farmer who hadjust been gored by a bullock. His abdomen was ripped open, and all his intestines were lying out exposed on the filthy cart floor. Goher was always very particular about cleanliness, of her own person and of her environment. But, as we heard it later, after a few preliminary arrangements, she climbed into the cart with the lantern, and there in the midst of all the gore, started to wash the victim’s entrails with hot water and antiseptic. One by one she disinfected the guts, stuffed them back into the man’s abdominal cavity bound his abdomen together with a winding cloth bandage and after the necessary injections, sent him off to the hospital in Ahmednagar. ( Squeamish, she was not!) The man lived, of course, and was very grateftil. She could be so strong. And yet when she gave you an injection (a shot), how she babied you with those soft hands and that sweet voice! Very gently, tenderly, she would swab the area to be injected, and then slowly put in the needle, reassuring you all the while. (She never jabbed.) The medicine would go in, and afterwards she would massage the spot for ages, until it was “all better.” You actually purred after a shot from her. But that was only one tiny way she took care of people. There were so many others. And the love in her care and her astonishing sefflessness made it easy to see why our Beloved had picked her out ofthe entire world to care for Him.

B

43


J4lcmorks ofoher 3jred &ankus, Los Angeles first visit to India was in September 1971. I arrived at Meherabad and was greeted by Padri who said to me, “Hello there, welcome brother.” After I related how it was a challenge to get through Hong Kong (with all the sensory distractions), Padri said, “You loony! Well, forget about it, He got you here somehow, so be content and go up the hill and take Baba’s Darshan.” I then left for Meherazad and met Eruch at the door ofMandali Hall. Only six Westerners were there. We had an intimate chat and Eruch embraced me, and then I knelt before Baba’s chair inside Mandali Hall, just like an altar boy (my Catholic background). Suddenly I felt this hand grasp the back of my head and push it forward towards Baba’s chair so my head touched the seat of the chair. I was startled, and looked up to see Eruch’s face above me. He had taken the liberty of revealing to me the way to capture Beloved Baba’s Darshan by bowing and touching the place where He had sat. This experience changed my attitude and approach to all that was Baba’s, as I touched, bowed down to, kissed and caressed the things and places at both at Meherazad and Meherabad. It even affected me with the Mandali. On that same day that Eruch lovingly guided me to Darshan at Baba’s chair, I met VIehera for the first time on her porch at Meherazad. I was just coining up the steps when she came out of the door and I instantly prostrated myself at her feet! “Oh, not for me, only for the Beloved, çnly for Beloved Baba,” was her loving, heartfelt exclamation. I felt like digging a hole and disappearing, as I remained bowed before her. Then I felt this soft, warm, loving hand caress my neck, and words of compassion pour forth to me. “Oh dear one, it’s okay, you didn’t know any better. Come now it’s okay.” It was Dr. Goher, and to this day I still remember and cherish her loving touch. As I was leaving the porch, Mehera asked me to cup my hands together. She then dropped a white custard apple into my palms as prasad. To this day I can recall the taste of that delicious nectar.

M

her example of selfless service to her Beloved Lord will always inspire me.

<aIilc California $teve 2

fter traveling a great distance on the arduous overland route between Europe and India, my wife and I finally arrived in Bombay on June 5, 1969. We were on our way to Poona for the Last Darshan, which was to end on June 10th. The monsoon rain soaked us as we walked quickly to Victoria Station to find the first train to Poona. Since it was already evening and we didn’t have a lot of money, we found inexpensive tickets on an overnight train. What we didn’t know in advance, but found out the hard way, was that these th 4 class tickets did not entitle us to any seats. We were in with the poorest people and their animals and had only boxes to sit on for the excruciatingly long fourteen-hour journey to Poona. Since we were hungry we decided to have something to eat in the station cafeteria before boarding the train. This was a major mistake as I was to find out later. So, after being soaked to the bone, eating in the Bombay train station and sitting up all night on a box during the interminable train ride to Poona, I was sicker than a dog when we arrived on the morning of June 6. We checked into the Green Hotel and I went immediately to bed since I was too ill to go to Guruprasad for Darshan. My wife, being OK, went ahead and told the Mandali of my condition. They immediately sent a very loving and caring doctor to check on me. As it turned out, I had an acute case of dysentery and was in no condition to make it to Guruprasad. So I lay in bed wondering if I th• would be able to make it before the end ofthe Darshan on the 10 go I was enough however, well to excellent care After the doctor’s th• 9 very weak, came under was still I Since I to Guruprasad on the the loving care of Dr. Goher. She asked if I were hungry and took me into the kitchen, where she prepared some scrambled eggs for me. I was very impressed and grateftil for the loving care she gave me. However, as I reached for the eggs I accidentally hit the edge .Austrnlia t: ostly my memories of Goher are of her wonderftil smile and of the plate, which caused it to flip over and fall face down onto the her beautiftilly soft “healing” hands. But I have one sharp floor! To say that I was extremely embarrassed by this turn of events memory ofGoher’s more fiery side. In the 70s, being the thoughtless would be a gross understatement. I was so embarrassed and horrified young thing I was, in spite of having been told that all gifts should I felt like I was going to die! After all the trouble that one of Baba’s be given to Mehera at Meherazad before her birthday, I had taken a close Mandali had gone through to take care of me, all I could do in small gift and given it to Mehera at Meherabad, when she came out return was to dump her lovingly prepared food on the floor! I could hardly stand it, but without missing a beat, Dr. Goher immediately to celebrate her birthday that day. The next day when I went to Meherazad, I was met by a very got down on her hands and knees and cleaned up the mess. She then fiery Goher who gave me a good dressing down. “Lorraine, you of prepared some more scrambled eggs, which I was able to eat without all people, should have known to give your gift here at Meherazad so any more mishaps. What impressed me most about Dr. Goher was her extremely we would not have had the trouble ofbringing it back with us from Meherabad. From now on, remember that.” And I did. But after the loving and caring nature, her patience and humility. She could have rebuke had had time to sink in, dear Goher was her usual very loving had servants fix my food and clean up my mess, but she attended to me personally and did it herself What an example she gave. I shall selfwith me and the incident was never referred to again. I know how I felt from Goher’s rebuke. It also made me realize never forget it! that I might need the frill 700 years (or more) before our Beloved JRaine eastman-9annett, California comes again to become strong enough to take a rebuke from Him. twas in 1987 andthen again over 1988/89 that my daughter Freiny I had read about the Mandali being chastised by Beloved Baba, but etta and I got two spend two six-month stays in India. During until I experienced it from Goher, I had no idea what it would feel the latter stay, Mani was very caring about our accommodations and like. Though I deeply regret having caused the Ladies inconvenience, we spent some two months in the Dharmashala in a small room I feel blessed to have been rebuked by our dear doctor Goher. And next door to Nanakher. The Mandali, on Meherazad days, were

M

I

44


always asking after our comfort, and Dr. Goher many times had to help with Freiny’s healthcare. The good doctor was so sensitive to the extra needs a disabled person has and to Freiny’s compromised immune system. Injanuary of1989, Mehera made quite a fuss about my birthday th Dr. Goher asked Mehera for permission to give me her on the 24 favorite sari. It had formerly belonged to her mother and had been her favorite also. Mehera told her she thought this was a lovely idea. This beautiful sari of dark rust chiffon with a Chinese silk petit-point embroidered border in fine autumn tones is still in our care. A beautiful framed photo of Dr. Goher dressed in it, standing at Meherabad with dear Naja behind her, now rests on her bed at Meherazad. [See page 28.] Many times upon my return to India she would ask me about the sari and inquire if I were caring for it. I would reassure her that I kept it safely and that I had written in my will that it would be returned to India upon my passing. She would smile and pat my hand, and say, “You are still young! You have a will?” I suppose we will always appear young to the Mandali. Dr. Goher’s marvelous hand’s soft touch, like silk, will be missed by us all, Raine, Freiny and Bill. Note ofinterest: The Parsi sari (also Irani Sari) is usually draped in the Gujarat style. At the turn ofthe 2O’ century, Parsi and Irani ladies adoptedembroideredsilk chjffon andcrepe saris. The beautjfulborders were of Chinese origin in silk and depicted birds, animals, flowers and leaves and are very intricate; these were then stitched or appliquéd onto plain saris. They were also removed when the sari was worn out and re-stitched to a new sari as the rare silk intricately loomed Chinese sari borders became impossible to procure. The Chinese traders would come to Gujarat and Mumbai andsell these borders, blouses (Ghari and Gajifabrics) to Parsi andlrani women door to door until the 1950s. The easiest way to describe Gujaratstyle is that the endpiece (palavi,) comes over the shoulder to thefront. The way we are more accustomed to seeing the sari tied is the endpiece (pallaa) going over the shoulder and draped in back.

Ralph

EBrown,

Cctlifornict

ne day at Meherazad (circa 1982), Goher called me aside and said that someone bringing a suitcase frill of medicine for the clinic had been stopped at the airport and the suitcase was being held by India Customs for payment of duty. Goher said, “You and Gary are good at this kind ofthing, would you be willing to go to Bombay and try to get the medicine released without duty?” Of course, Gary [ Kleiner] and I were always looking for an excuse to get out ofwork, so I didn’t even have to ask him to say yes. Not to mention that Goher had my personal vote for “nicest person in creation,” so I’d pretty much do anything she asked. The day before we were to leave for Bombay, I was again at Meherazad and Goher asked me to come see her in the clinic. I was thinking, “Oh, oh, what did I do now?” Goher somewhat conspiratorially, handed me some rupees and said, “This is for you and Gary to spend in Bombay.” I said, “Goher you doth have to give us any money, I can’t accept this.” But Goher insisted, saying, “Whenever Baba sent the Mandali out on a special errand, He’d give them a little money for a treat, so I think this is what Baba would want.” I took the money, we got the medicine without paying duty, and we had a great time in Bombay. I never knew whether that was really what Baba used to do or whether Goher was just the nicest person in creation.

O

Deborcth LAsh, California n 1981 I came to meet the Beloved. A royalty check from the sale of a song paid for a ticket to India for my husband Michael and me. We answered the inner call of the Beloved. On the day of the eve ofMeher Baba’s birthday celebration, two days before our return journey back into the world, I remembered the wish of our dearest Mehera that I should come for tea on this very eve ofMeher Baba’s birth. Mehera wanted to give me a blank cassette tape for recording qawali songs that she would choose for me to learn. The gospel songs I sang in Mandali Hall were like qawali in devotion and form. But Lo! No tea is given on the eve of Baba’s Birthday! I did not know this as I prepared to go by rickshaw to keep my date with dearest Mehera. I was saturated with His Love to the point of bursting into tears. I was exhausted, joyftil, and full of gratitude for His loving attention—which transformed my heart. To all whom I met, when asked where I was going, I replied that I was off to have tea with Mehera! I told them that she asked me to come today for tea before we had to leave. “No, no, no,” they would say. “There is no tea on the eve of His Birthday!” I replied that I must keep my word—and with very few rupees remaining, Michael agreed that yes, I must go. If she asked you to come you must go! So I made the journey to Meherazad alone—with tears flowing all the way. Upon my arrival in Meherazad there was much activity and preparation for Meher Baba’s birthday celebration. Wearily, and with joy, feeling already frill in His nazar and grace, I made my way through the gate. It was Goher who greeted me so warmly with a gentle understanding. She asked, “Why all the tears? It’s very good to see you. Everyone is going back to Meherabad. Why are you here? I told the story of our Mehera’s request. Goher lovingly encircled me in an embrace and conveyed with the sweetest smile that Beloved Baba had made this date (it was His game). Meheru, the lioness, came out to see what was happening. Upon asking dearest Mehera if this were true, dearest Mehera replied that she had no memory of her request! Now, what to do! Dr. Goher stood by my side. “Do not worry, Debby.” Eruch guided me to his room to wait while still there were tears rolling down my face. He took my scarf and placed it in my hat and said, “Put all your worries away.” In a short time Goher and Meheru escorted me to Mehera’s porch where she stood—elegant and rather perturbed. She said that Baba must want this. So, then dearest Mehera and I shared tea and cookies in the kitchen at the sweet table oflove in Beloved Baba’s, Mehera’s and Mani’s home. Thank you for your kindness, dearest Goher. I wish you great happiness in your reunion with dearest Beloved Meher Baba. I will miss you. Your devotion and service is inspiring and touches my heart!

I

J4ladeline Doucas, California veryone has always been struck by how immeasurably soft and gentle (though strong) Goher’s hands were. This softness and gentleness reminds me ofa story. In 1978, I was in India and needed medical attention and Goher referred me to a clinic in Ahmednagar for a diagnosis. I was sitting in the waiting room, the only Westerner in a crowd ofvillage women with their various ailments. These women were in their Maharashtran saris, prematurely aged from their labors, with such calloused feet and work-hardened hands. there was no way we could communicate, but somehow I understood they wanted to know where I came from. I said, “Meherabad, Meherazad.” Then the woman sitting next to me stood up, took my chin in her hard, cracked, calloused hand and with great tenderness said, “Goher.”

E

. .

45


porch at Meherazad. Dr. Goher thought it hilarious! Tears were streaming down her face and she was doubled over with laughter. Later I found out that she had directed Dr. Gus to make 70 copies of the lyrics for her personal use. I’m not sure what she did with them, but presumably she distributed them to other medical personnel in the district. I felt very happy to have had a chance to make her laugh so hard because I knew that her suffering was great. Thank you Baba for this happy time with her.

Alan 7albot, California en Karen and I were first married we wanted a child very much but were having concerns about conceiving. On our trip to India in 1980, Dr. Goher gave Karen ayurevedic aloes. They worked! Our son Matt was born at 11:50 p.m. on August 3rd_Dr. Goher’s birthday.

l4cWhirter, California 1 1kth J

9 olier’s Loving 7ouch

3cimie Dillon, California one trip to Meherabad was in 1987. Knowing I was working in hospitals as a speech therapist, Goher took me under her wing and showed me lots about her work. Actually, she tucked herself under my arm! Here are the notes from my journal: “Goher took me by the hand as soon as I got there and showed me all around her clinic. She pulled files and talked about difficult cases they’d had, introduced me to a young man who was having his scalp patched after dropping his motor scooter. With Goher sternly translating, I told him about the head injury work I do as part of my living, and how dangerous it is to ride without a brain-bucket [helmet]. Goher’s affection made a huge difference to me, the way she called me ‘sweetie’ and was so proud to show off the clinic. Like so many others, I’d for so long felt that I was putting a civilized exterior on a thoroughly unacceptable creature. But here was this wise doctor with an obvious sharp sense for people, who liked me just fine.”

M

7;ouclting those who need her help, touching her J3eloved —

7ouching EBaba’s bed in prctjer, touching her EBeloved —

touchinj my heart with her wernonj touching her J3eloved— Touching those who come to greet her touching her EBeloved— Sending kisses in the air sending kisses to her EBeloved— JResting in her bed unaware 2?esting in her 73cloned. 3ai J7i4eher 13aba—9olier—in her 13eloved Inspired by Goher,June 18, 2004.

Cindj Lowe, California everal years ago during an India trip there was an outbreak of bubonic plague in the neighboring state of Gujarat. Although the threat of plague in Ahmednagar was not very real, the medical team was extremely well prepared and there was not a great deal of concern among us pilgrims. One day during teatime, my friend Melodee Koska and I rewrote the words to the song, “My Favorite Things,” substituting very ftmnny words about the very un-ftmny plague. The next day we sang it for the Ladies and pilgrims on the

S

3:)om: 2<atie, cillehern, c.%rnavaz and 7 I4ehernzad family To Baba’s dear ones, ai Baba! We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love, sympathy and remembrance we have received from our Baba amily since our darling sister-companion Goher’s reunion with Beloved Baba on 30th June. We are unable to reply to each email, card or message individually, but we want you to know that your memories of Goher and heartfelt tributes to her some ftmny, some very moving, have been read, shared, and much appreciated by all of us. We feel that they are a deep reflection ofBaba’s Love that shone through her. Naturally we miss our Goher very much, but her joy in Baba is filling up the empty spaces. Beloved Baba has taken her to Him, which is where she wants to be, and we try to be happy for her! Again, our loving thanks to you all, in Meher Baba’s boundless, eternal Love.

J


,

Epistle EQ DF. 9QI1ci __/4viiiasli 2<. . <opuIiviii CIrniidrapiii J4/L5, Diidici 2

DnEmy

l4elierazctd, 7 last visit to J ou called me on your own. 3 was so glad, 3 cannot explain in words. With you, there was another woman mandali.

E oii both were so kind and

-rreated me and mg mother So affectionatelg, 3 could never imagine, Since rag mother was With me in village garb, L/4s good as illiterate. E et your treatment was so affectionate towards her 7: hat no one Except i3aba .2timself of course, cing Compassionate 3[ather 3 i Could have taken notice of her. 3 could then imagine Row kind Baba would have been from your gestures ..J1nd attitude towards ven a nonentity. 6 Eou irtust be definitely __,4 t least on mental plane, £2’Iot below the fifth. 3t may be higher even. ut an ignorant novice like me 3 i Can guess up to Only this level. E ou and your counterpart rDiscussed famine, }en.j little rainfall, and 7 Scarcity of water With my mother 4__,45 if she was in charge of Controlling the rainy season. 3 was wonderstruck. E our discussion was so intimate __,45 if you both were her old friends. S ince you are older than she 3 thought 3 got my second mommy.

)3 on were healthy enough that day for you had Recently been to the clinic. 3 was not aware of E our being a doctor. 3 had only heard ...And read about you 3rom others, and had EBorrowed a 7 Xeroxed Lord cifr!eher. oit asked me to read E Complete Lord c 4eher; 4

EBut when 3 expressed ‘—lily non-affordability, E ou advised me to read it from our local library. “iJut ours is a Centre WItich has no library, ..t: ord Jl4ehers are J3eyond our reach,” 3 replied. E on seemed to be a Little bit worried Since you raised your eyebrows, Phich shows your concern or every Ei3aba Lover. ‘ 2’Iow 3 remember you With a stooping posture. 3 t indicates an absolute bowing Baba permanently. 4 sign oftotal surrenderence. L’ :Jt i really symbolic i3ecause even our Sai 21ad such a stooping back 0 Baba’s nose too 21ad such a bend Dn 1is later years. 7his is symbolic of Completing a circle that is a zero Which again is L’4 symbol of 2*Iothingness Wherein lies 6 verythingness. 77iat day 3 could see J3aba in your eyes.

7:o

ur

When 3 asked you to explain J 1/laya 7 sent me to cJI/Iandali hall Eou Saying “3 really know naught.” LAnd to ask Cruch’s brother robably J44eherwan. _/4nd after a short span, 3 recalled J3aba’s statement “7hose who say they know, They don’t know; rT hose who say they don’t know, 7:hey know.” 3 handed over to you one short poem E liked it very much, even Showed it to one EBaba Lover LAnd kept with you Since it was i3ased on J3aba’s statement “)3ou and 3 are not we but one.” 3 was so glad, no one can imagine. Only you can Since persons like you can. .}1nd 3 was full of ecstasy Like a blissful state

2slever could 3 imagine. When 3 asked you Whether it is necessary to have L.A living master s 3 am told by a Sai follower 1 _/ Who also has been in J/I/teherazad E ou advised me 3 t is not necessary absolutely LAud after reading c_lVIy poem carefully, E oie said “When you love so much i3aba, what is need ofgoing anywhere, 4 ny other master? L’ .2qo need at all.” (LAnd what again can 9 olier mean exactly? ‘jo to her.” 3or what? or treatment on ignorance ‘ 9:or site is a doe, __/4 real doe for lifetime Who can prescribe a real life saving drug 3or our unhealthy life.)

But

all ofa sudden 3 came to know LA/Iy mom has gone, 35 itO more, Dropped her body. assed away, ut when 3 heard this news, :; was shocked, dumbfounded; ut immediately after that 3 recalled the incident When Baba distributed sweets (pedhas) Vhen .2lis brother was gone. Whereas J l4andali members were sad 7 and also in ntelancholy mood, 1e has come to J14e.” 2 21e said “ ..Actually, your physical life span 3n the realm of illusion Ias expired and merged with 2 Our JI4ost EI3eloved El3aba Since your task is over. te has called you back to .21im. 2 Whcther to send back or not otally depends on 7 So this is not a moment to regret _/4tid be saddend iJut to rejoice since J3aba molded you enough 7: merge in the Oceanic Love of Baba __,-4nd,9oher you have gone 7: your real abode, :Jn heavenly heaven; 7:he beyond beyond heaven :in Baba’s own Original 2leaven.

2tas

47


11 ‘

:‘—..

1-

s

ik

r..__t

-

<\ ‘*.\.

::

r

I

I

‘—

1


._iL1

.d


,

-

•‘,k•

:

r

r •

.:a••

..

•..

.

•.

.

-:

Arnavaz, Goher, Meheru and Katie

Avkheru 5peaks at9aker’s 3ntcrment September 14, 2004 ver the years I have known Goher very intimately, which is but natural when we had been in such close proximity to each other. People who had met her in the later years remember her gentleness and the softness of her hands, and heart, the love and generosity with which she greeted people and treated people, especially the needy patients when the professional part of her was in play. So it was quite understandable that the close Baba-lovers who served her in her last illness did it with so much heart. They responded to the love she had given them, and accepted it as a privilege to be near her and serve her. Yes, she was all these things, and she never lost that part of herself that was always so giving. Yet on those rare occasions when the need arose to admonish an offender to uphold Baba’s image, without any hesitation the fierceness that was dormant in Goher came to the fore. As on one occasion when not only verbally but with her small stature and tiny fists in a whirlwind of sound and movement, she defended her Beloved. I was so sorry not to have witnessed the scene but just hearing about it made all her close ones laugh as they visualized it. I also know that part of her that was strong, and so focused on Baba and her wish to obey Him and please Him. Yes, Baba being

O

so

Baba, to love Him and desire to please Him is easy to understand and to accept. But day after day, year after year, not to be your own person but part of a group and to live for Baba and others around you is no ordinary undertaking. All the time it needed that strength from within that helped you to be with Baba and live for Him. To submerge your desire in the wish to please your Beloved. And that is what I remember most ofGoher. She had offered her life for Baba’s service and remained His to her very last breath. Dear Goher, in your last years though you needed the use of the walker to move around, you have won the race and reached the Goal. We salute you! AVATAR MEHER BABA ki JAI! :tthe, 0 take m qjes away, 1 memory be erasing —

or myself .EYll snrely slaj b on lI/kIter gazing. :2-1e came for our sake, you sag Bod with }/1anIiood blending— but 3 call him 13reak-of-Daj where night has its ending. The East-West Gathering, Francis Brabazon, ©1963, Meher House Publications, Australia.


Wendd1 EBrustman October 1 936—August 2004

13arbarn and 7om J3mstman, California August 23rd, 2004, Wendell Brustman passed away at his fam ily home in Walnut Creek, California. For the previous ten months he had faced the challenges of cancer with his characteristic boldness and courage but, just a week before his death, it became clear that this was a battle he couldn’t win, and he gave himselfup to Meher Baba’s wish. In a few days he entered Baba’s loving embrace. Wendell Charles Brustman was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 23, 1936. In school he was often at the top ofhis class, but he never felt in harmony with the world into which he was born. He attended Concordia College in St. Paul for two years before completing his Master of Divinity degree at St. Louis Seminary. After completing his vicarship in Hollywood as an ordained Lutheran minister, Wendell returned to the University of Minnesota for his doctorate in clinical psychology, completing his degree in 1965. In the late 1960s Wendell’s career plans made an unexpected turn when he took over a failing Scandinavian furniture business. He changed the name to International Design Center (IDC), integrated arts and crafts into the business, and shifted its headquarters to the Sheraton Ritz Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. On January 31, 1969, a month after marrying Barbara, Wendell first heard ofMeher Baba when an instructor at Esalen Institute in California said to him, “A great man died today.” Later in Minneapo lis, Meher Baba’s name resurfaced through a friend, Jon Adelsman, triggering in Wendell a lifelong pursuit of those closely connected to the Avatar of the Age. Throughout the seventies, Wendell’s budding devotion to Meher Baba blossomed and so did his quest for excellence through form and beauty. Soon IDC expanded to a fine old warehouse in Minneapolis where the family remodeled four floors, room by room, for which they received an architectural award for excellence. The original showroom was transformed into a Poggenpohl kitchen studio. IDC acquired an international reputation for beauty and integrity culmi nating with an exhibit for a “Scandinavia Today” citywide program in 1983, hosting among its room displays such luminaries as Victor Borge, Birgit Nielsen and the Royal Danish Ballet. By the middle of1983 the family had relocated to Walnut Creek, California. The sale of IDC that same year created a surplus of funds for Meher Baba projects. Irwin Luck’s film claimed early attention, as did Sufism Reoriented. Inspiration for another project arose when Wendell took his and Barbara’s thirteen-year-old son, Tommy, to India for the first time, and they crossed paths with Bill Haviland, who would become the technical counterpart and partner to Wendell’s vision.

On

Wendell’s vision for the Witness Series was as follows: To preserve the image and voice of those who had an : “exclusive first focus on the Godman.” He would present Baba’s close ones in a setting that was intimate and all-inclusive with the viewer. Remaining the silent interviewer, he wished to set these witnesses to the Reality of God in human form to go on meeting pil grims over generations, letting Meher Baba reach them heart to heart.” In the summer of 1984 the team of Wendell (producer), Bill (cameraman) and Tommy (sound technician) began the project, heading to Europe to video Irene Billo at her home in Switzerland. Over the next two years the crew filmed Bhau Kalchuri during an early tour in California, Anita Vieil lard and Don Stevens in France and England, Agnes Baron in Ojai, Filis Frederick and Adele Wolkin in Los Angeles, Charmian Duce, Lud Dimpfl and Henry Kashouty in Walnut Creek, and others. In 1986, an expanded crew traveled to India to spend over three months filming Mehera, Mani, Eruch, Bhau, Goher, Katie, Meheru, Bal Natu, Khorshed, Aloba, Mansari, Meherjee, Nana Kher, Dhun, and others. As a friend of his said, “Wendell had a spirit that was able to make things happen and inspire those around him.” The video project is the most important and lasting example ofthat spirit in action. For over a decade in Myrtle Beach, Wendell ran Gateway Mediaworks (a family business created to make the Witness Series video collection available to the public), maintained a psychology practice, and operated the Brustman House Bed and Breakfast. He cleaned, gardened, cooked, and served breakfasts to countless guests, using recipes from the Good Earth Restaurant, which he owned and operated during the eighties in California, and, most importantly, he introduced guests to Meher Baba and to the Meher Spiritual Center. He completed a book, LiveAgain,fortheFirst Time, printed by his sister, Lois, and handed to him days before his death. This book is his personal legacy of a life devoted to serving God, uniting Wendell’s knowledge oftheology, psychology, and experience ofMeher Baba. An excerpt from page 33: “When we become lovers of God and He takes up residence within our hearts, He brings with Him the spiritual path, and thereafter the path follows us. We now can walk casually on this path with Him as our Friend, sharing every detail ofour daily life with Him. He is interested in it all, caring for us in each and every burden we share.” Wendell was a man of vision who did his best to concentrate an extraordinary combination of talents and inexorable drive to do what he felt was Meher Baba’s work. Wendell will be profoundly missed by those who knew and loved him. ‘

“. . .

SI


Another Stalwart in 13abct’s 3o!d Completes -1 is Work on Earth: Aneece .21assen the backdrop of Aneece’s childhood and young adult years. Interestingly, Sulphur he awesome, matchless beauty of the is located on nearly the exact line of Avatar has, in this epoch, unlike all longitude as Prague, where Baba had his previous incarnations, been photographed car accident in 1952. Nestled in the heart and filmed. Time and time again, we find ofAmerica not far from where the Avatar ourselves deeply grateful to those who would spill His Divine Blood, sanctifying captured and preserved Meher Baba’s this continent, Aneece and his family radiant image, and that is one of many enjoyed a simple rural life. reasons we remember Aneece Hassen. When World War II broke out, Aneece is best known to us in the Aneece felt compelled to serve. In 1943, Baba world as a Sufi cinematographer 16-year-old Aneece lied about his age and who filmed Beloved Meher Baba during enlisted in the Navy. After boot camp, he the 1962 East-West Gathering. We also was stationed on the island of Guam as know that Aneece took beautiful slides a radio operator and radar technician. and photos of Baba, His Mandali and While there, he learned that his father His lovers. And we know that, at Mani’s had died of heart disease complications. direction, he edited and spliced her 16 Aneece’s mother begged the government mm home movies of Baba at Meherazad to discharge her son so that he could and Guruprasad, providing an intimate support his family. Aneece returned to glimpse of Baba’s every day life. And Oklahoma. Though he had dreamed of we know that Aneece filmed Sufi classes and plays on the life of college and studying to be an engineer or a doctor, at 17, he gave Meher Baba. up his personal goals and became the sole provider for his family However, it is possible that Aneece’s greatest contribution is by managing his father’s department store. Determined to receive not well known, though it may be the most lasting, as it promises to an education, Aneece read voraciously. Anything he wanted to extend into Baba’s heralded New Age. For more than two decades, learn, he taught himself, plunging headlong into each area that beginning in the 1960s, Aneece was responsible for preserving and interested him. Photography, filming, and developing were among caring for many original films of Meher Baba—films he took, as the first things he studied extensively. Throughout his life, he kept well as those taken by Mani, Charmian Knowles, Lud Dimpfi, Don abreast of the most current photographic equipment, techniques, Stevens, Behram, and others. Under the aegis of Murshida Duce and processes. who knew it was imperative that Baba’s incomparably beautiful As a young, successful businessman in a tiny town, Aneece image be preserved in the best quality possible for all posterity, quickly established himself in his community, especially since he Aneece dedicated himself to this work. He made sure originals was devoted to public service projects. He served as president were safeguarded from of the Chamber of overuse, scratching, Commerce, made film and elements that lead documentaries,farmed, to their deterioration. built a golf course, and painstakingly He actively participated in methods researched philanthropic organiza of carefully stor-ing tions. Fluent in sign films and negatives in a language, Aneece vol dust-free, temperature unteered regular hours controlled environment, tothe Oklahoma School preserving them for the for the Deaf coaching new humanity sports and photography A first generation and preparing their American, Aneece yearbook. For reasons was born in Ranger, he would understand Texas, on March 11, after meeting Meher 1927. When he was Baba, he adored silent five, his father moved communication. It is the family to Sulphur, not surprising therefore Oklahoma. This small that the year after Baba town (pop. 8,000) was dropped His body, 1 962 East- West Gathering, photo shot byAneece Hassen.

by 7e9 2lassen Jlojan

T

52


Aneece inter-viewed and videotaped Mani and Eruch as they demonstrated and translated many of Baba’s beautiful gestures. The film of this interview appears in the five-part videotape series of Mani’s life, created by Sufism Reoriented, which the Mandali viewed and loved. At this time, Sufism has not released the short ten-minute film ofMani and Eruch for sale. In the early 1950s, Aneece was engaged to Selma Al-Faqih. Her family’s history played a pivotal role in Aneece’s life. In 1948, the same year Murshida Ivy Duce met Meher Baba and was confirmed by Him to be a true Sufi teacher, Selma’s father, Asad, was sent with his family to live in Washington, D.C., where he served as Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. Auspiciously, Selma, her six siblings and her parents took a house only a few doors away from the home of Murshida Duce, her husband, Terry, and daughter, Charmian. The two families became very close, and naturally, Murshida introduced the A1-Faqihs to Meher Baba. (Over the next few years, all of the A1-Faqihs either recognized Meher Baba, met Meher Baba, became a Sufi, or did all ofthe above.) Already a Sufi in 1953, Selma introduced Aneece to “Aunt Ivy.” As Aneece wrote, “The minute I met Murshida, I knew instinctively that whatever I did in life, I had to serve her first and do whatever she said. I knew this is what I was born to do.” He soon learned of Meher Baba and Murshida’s single-pointed devotion to Him as the Avatar ofthe Age. From this moment on, Aneece served Meher Baba’s work in America through Murshida Duce and Sufism Reoriented. In 1962, Selma and Aneece traveled with Murshida, many Sufi companions and hundreds of pounds of photographic equipment to India for the East-West Gathering. There, Aneece met Meher Baba for the first time. He took beautiful slides and extraordinary film footage of Baba. Some of the most memorable images of Baba at the East-West Gathering were taken by him. Although he recognized Baba as the Avatar, he feared that perhaps he didn’t really love Baba because he was not affected in the same way as those moved to tears by His presence. Murshida assuaged Aneece’s fears, explaining that Baba had planted the seed of Love in his heart, and it would flower in God’s time. In a few months, this flowering occurred in a dramatic way, and, as Aneece recalls, “My love and dedication to Meher Baba mushroomed every day after that.” Meher Baba had revealed Himself in Aneece’s heart, and Aneece felt His constant companionship throughout the rest ofhis life. When Baba dropped His physical body, eight westerners were privileged to go to India immediately. These eight Delia DeLeon, Harry Kenmore, Don Stevens, Rick Chapman, Allan Cohen, Irwin and Edward Luck and Aneece—were present at Baba’s entombment. A few days after Baba’s interment, Aneece filmed Rick and Allan interviewing Mani, Francis, Eruch and Adi, offering a sweet and intimate glimpse oftheir extraordinary discipleship. In the mid-1960s, many young people were drawn to Meher Baba and Sufism. As Murshida’s work escalated, she sent Meher Baba the names of a few of her devoted students, asking Him if any of them could serve as a Sufi preceptor. In the Sufi Charter, Baba defines a preceptor as “one who can and does inspire others with exposition and by examples.” Meher Baba approved Aneece as one ofMurshida’s preceptors. In this role, he taught Sufi classes

1 962 East- West Gathering, Aneece,film camera in hanc4 shooting thefootage he tookfor his 1962 EW Gatheringfilm.

specified by Baba in the Charter and counseled the spiritual students Murshida sent to him. Aneece’s students adored him. He was characteristically patient—a generous listener, a loving father figure. He was especially inspiring to them because he silently lived devotion to his spiritual teacher and to Meher Baba. Aneece offered himself 100% to the service ofMurshida Duce who had dedicated her life 100% to the Avatar ofthe Age. Aneece passed away on August 18, 2004. He is survived by his three sisters, Nancy, who met Meher Baba, Adell, Wadad, and his four children, Dawn, Terry, Michael, and Randa, and five grandchildren. His two oldest daughters attended the 1969 Darshan; his son helps Sufism and Searchlight with photography projects; and all of his children participate in Baba celebrations and volunteer at the Meher School, founded by Murshida Duce in honor of Meher Baba. It was deeply satisfying to Aneece that his four children were drawn by Baba to dedicate their lives to His Sufism in America

1 980, at the Hassen home in Lafayette, CA. Murshida Duce with Aneece andhis 4 children (from L to R: Terry, Dawn, Michael and Randa,).

53


Rcnia 2taze .4 Compiled b 11 Rebecca 21azlewood & 5usctn 3amison, California eala passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2004, in Berkeley, California. She was born in Denver, Colorado on September 27, 1947. Her talent as a dancer and love for people led her to pursue degrees in Dance and Counseling Psychology at Colorado State University where she was introduced to Meher Baba by Rick Chapman. Neala moved to Oakland, California in 1968. She was co—coordinator and Internship Supervisor of the Graduate Program in Dance MovementTherapy at CSU Hayward. She also maintained a private practice in SomaticTherapy. Her growth in this field continued through her studies with foremost teachers of somatic based movement and expressive arts. In 1993 she founded the Authentic Movement Institute in Berkeley California where she integrated her knowledge of Eastern mysticism, humanistic psychology, body-based and creative arts therapy into her teaching and private practice. The Institute continues to develop new training ap proaches to psychotherapy, artistic endeavor, and the enhancement of daily life. She leaves behind her husband and companion of2l years, Bill Weintraub, and her many friends in the Meher Baba and dance community, with whom she shared her life. Her grace, poise, sense of humor, infec tious laugh, beaming smile will be missed, but not forgotten.

N

Rick Chapman, California I first met Neala Haze at Colorado State University. A very forward-thinking Dean of Students there had invited Allan Cohen and me to give some lectures and workshops on the difference between psychedelic drug use and authentic higher consciousness, and it was in the course ofthese talks that Neala found her heart’s Beloved and lifelong spintual Master in Avatar Meher Baba. Neala was the first student out ofthe hundreds who attended those sessions to ask for a private interview, and in the hour that we spent chatting that day, she showed all the signs of finding henselftransported to a honeymoon she could hardly have anticipated: she had found the Avatar of the Age and with very little advance notice had fallen head over heels in love with Him.

54

As with all lovers of the God-Man, all else that happens in one’s life is reallyjust a footnote to the monumental event of finding Him in one’s heart. I became a friend ofNeala almost immediately upon meeting her and remained so for the more than three decades that passed from that first acquaintance until she died, and despite all the events and accomplishments and passions of her life, I know that she would agree that, in the end, all that really mattered was that she loved Meher Baba and that He loved her. We’ll miss you dearly, Neala, but with the sure sense that we’ll meet again, you and all of us—your family and your many friends—when we gather around the Beloved Avatar of the Age next time!”

Claire Liversidge Neala was devoted to hen work as a dance therapist and teacher, and she was revered by her students. I lived with Neala for ten years and got to know hen well. The thing that most impressed me about her was hen striving toward clarity. Whenever misunderstandings arose—whether profes sional on personal—she dealt with them directly rather than sweeping them under the rug, as is so easy to do. I imagine that this made her dying easier, because she had few regrets about things left unsaid or miscommunications that resulted in damaged relationships.

Raine Eastman Gannett, California Neala was so strong in Beloved Baba. I remember first meeting her in 1979 at Meherazad when a large group from California returned there after many years. Neala had organized a lovely dance for Amartithi that year which was repeated at Mehenazad. We became instant friends and Neala along with Filis Frederick were instrumental in my trayels on my fiancé visa to America that year. After arriving in Los Angeles and marrying at the LA Center I eventually, that Septem ben, arrived in Berkeley. Dear Neala was so welcoming and gave me many tea parties and a pot-luck dinner party along with her close friend Rennee Busanich to help me meet people and know the local Baba Community Neala also was instrumental in my meeting Ivy Duce for whom she worked part time, who would then invite me to Walnut Creek to sing and eventually influenced me to study with David Hogan for three years at The Studios. This led to being close to Brynar and Alain, other very close friends ofNeala’s. Her work at Clausen House, along with her studies in Dance Therapy, kept her very ac tive and busy. Not so busy that she could not be part ofour Baba plays and dances. When my daughter was born, Nea la, along with Renee, the birth coach, were with me at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. Neala at once said she would


was a delight to watch with Freiny. God speed Baba’s dear Neala. Dance to Him and forever for Him. 9June 2004 Meherazad Dear Sheryl and Rick, Karen and all our dear Baba family there,

love to be Freiny-etta’s God Mother. In the first three years, along with Adele and Filis, she was very influential in Freiny’s development and a marvelous resource with all her skill in the world ofspecial education and case managers, programs and early child development for the disabled. She was a lovely Godmother and great friend. We would always talk of the Mandali, India and Baba, and people’s struggles in the world. Her skill as a therapist gave her compassion in such a subtle way; with our weekly phone calls and teas we formed a loyal and fast friendship that continued unbroken for over 25 years. Neala loved to travel to India and her deep relationship with the women Mandali and Baba kept her going these last 18 months and her strength in Baba was wonderful to see towards the end ofher life. Neala married Bill Weintraub in 2001, her close companion of2O years. Bill’s love and compassion and nurturing, as he saw to all Neala’s health needs and coordination of alternative and mainstream treatments for her illness, was an example in healing and we Baba lovers, co-coordinated by Irene Myers in the Bay Area, tried to help with driving to doctors, acupuncturists and meals, shopping and support wherever we could. Neala’s community at the Authentic Movement Institute were also a part ofthis on going care. Neala’s love for Beloved Baba and strength was marvelous to be around. Freiny-etta will miss her thoughtful Godmother, her habit ofknocking on our back door and dropping in spontaneously with gifts or to chat. She

It was sad for us to learn of our dear Neala’s passing. This morning before prayers as I was offering a rose in Baba’s room in her memory, I had a picture of her sweet smile and felt that she was in bliss being with her true Beloved. Baba did not save her from the buffetings oflife’s experiences but gave her the strength and support to transcend them, growing ever stronger in her love for Him. In this last phase ofher life when she most needed Baba’s support, Baba helped her through it gracefully with His angel in the guise of Bill Weintraub at her side. We felt Baba’s greatness and love shine in her through her courageous acceptance of everything. And the support and love she received through her Baba family surely meant a great deal to her. She was and is very dear to us. Much love to Bill and all of you in our Beloved One, from Meheru and all your Meherazad family.

&tffering is a l lcssing?! 3 j3hciu 2<cdc1iuri Yes, suffering is a blessing iftaken rightly. It is a great benefit, no doubt. My suffering has brought me closer to Beloved Baba and made my faith very firm in Him. That’s why I can say that suffering is a blessing. Once, I was savaged by a pack of four dogs. How this happened, I don’t know. Previously, they would see me without any problem.Then, all ofa sudden, one day, they attacked. Without warning, there was a war between these dogs and me. When I was in the hospital for my cancer surgery, I was taken to the operating theater, and anesthesia was administered. It did not work. Though my whole body had become numb, I remained conscious as the surgery started. Theywere cutting my tummy. It was painful, but Beloved Baba appeared, and I forgot the pain!

I was so happy at that time that no one could understand that the anesthesia had not worked. I was listening to what the doctor and nurses were saying. But my eyes were closed, and because ofthe numbness, I could not express anything. What compassion from the Beloved! The next day, I told Dr. Anne and asked her, “Please don’t complain. It was all right.” But she did complain. The doctors called the anesthetist, and he was scolded! I felt bad, and when the doctors came to me, I said to them, “It was all right. I did not feel any pain.” They were amazed! Mira was tortured, and still she loved Krishna. All the time she was thinking about Krishna, she could not think ofanyone else. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law caused her a lot oftrouble. They even gave her poi son, and she drank it. But because Krishna was looking after her, nothing happened. A cobra was sent in a basket offlowers to her, and the cobra itself became a flower. Her husband, though he loved Mira, would not interfere with his mother and sister. He was a king and Mira was the queen, but this queen would go out of the palace onto the streets, singing of Krishna! Mira was a real mastani (intoxicated with love for God). In love, there is always a lot of conflict, but that conflict gives you strength. It is not harmful. It helps you to become strong. This love happens in the spiritual path. Worldly conflict creates more and more binding, because in it, there is selfishness, anger, lust and attachment towards the world. In love, such binding conflicts should not be there. If they are there, that is not love. These types of conflicts give Baba more suffering. j:

t

3

oto

less jon think of yourself and the more you think of i al)a, the sooner the 3 ego goes and EBaba remains. .So bit b 11 bit, you have to go... .So better to think ofwe when you eat, sleep, see or bear. Cujoy ally don’t discard anything, but think it is J3aba—i3aba who enjoys, Ei3aba who is eating. Dt is E13abct sleep9 soundly and when you wake up, remember in it is EBaba getting up! 2<eep this one thought constantly with you. le

GodtoMan andMan to God—Meher Baba

55


Whai’s 2tappcning cit J /khcrnbad 1 Ein Dntoxicctted 2 1ctrmony l4ino—naliab ji11ctt 7 by 2<okila J

[ The fourth annual Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas took place at Meherabad from 2nd to 9th August 2004. The followrng is one participant’s experience of the event.] chose to visit India to escape the hectic and stressful schedule of my college life. Meherabad, in particular, was where I would attempt to concentrate on my relationship with Meher Baba in a more restful atmosphere. I was well aware of the 2004 Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas falling within my stay, but was opposed to the idea ofparticipating. I had been looking forward to a period of no pressure and an environment where only minimal social interaction would be necessary. However, as I formed friendships with those masterminding the Sahavas, they convinced me to join in the week’s course. Despite their reassurances, though, as a hybrid of English and Indian ethnicity I was still nervous about the onslaught of seventy Indians proving to me how ignorant I was of Indian social proto cols. My inability to communicate in their language further fueled my insecurity. During the first couple of days of the Sahavas, there was an acute awareness of our being of separate factions—East and West—even though we had supposedly come together to be part of an all-embrac ing group. Through the sharing of experi ences and the quiet acknowledgement that we were overcoming similar hurdles on our spiritual paths, a trust did eventu ally develop. Through empathy and mutual support, we became better adjusted and more acceptant ofthe differences. However, although I did witness a progression occur within the week, I accepted that one could not deal with such a global issue overnight. On the other hand, intermingling within the group discussions, music-making and leisure games worked towards eroding the barriers ofprejudice and suspicion. For myself I saw this as an example ofhow Baba, the common denominator, acted as a catalyst in resolving the problem of separateness. Marriage and relationships in the context ofa spirituallife, turned out to be a hot topic across the board. Quite early on in the week,

I

a discussion was organised that responsibly tackled this subject. While trying not to invade anyone’s privacy, we were encour aged to identify the characteristics we were seeking in a relationship/marriage. We were to examine the influences that had helped us form our opinions, and to propose some

ways in which one could maintain a healthy partnership. Unsurprising ofour age bracket, the critical question was how to find the right life companion. We unanimously pre ferred to have Baba-lover partners, despite the problem that Baba followers are still rare worldwide. The interest and occasional worry attached to this topic spilt over into free time, when it was not unusual to hear impromptu debates sincerely delving into this and other related issues. As well as other various discussions held over the week, we also visited Meherazad to meet and spend time with the remaining members ofMeher Baba’s Mandali. As part of a special programme for the Sahavasees, Meheru and Katie shared details ofwhat it was like living with Baba during the post New Life seclusion period and recounted

stories and songs from productions they had performed for Baba to entertain and relax Him after His strenuous spiritual work. Other mediums also helped us to focus on Baba, such as the art, creative writing, po etry, and music workshops, through which, I felt, there was a great outlay of devotional and creative expression. As a musician, I appreciated how, especially at the morning meetings or in the evenings, western and eastern music became fundamental in truing energy towards the Divine. In addi tion, Samadhi Arti became a platform on which those who felt so inclined could offer individual items or collaborations in praise of Baba. The dramatic combining of the diverse talents at hand culminated in the penultimate day’s celebration evening: an episodic performance exhibiting fantastic items of drama, poetry, singing, instru mental music, dance and, most importantly, comedy. After all the excitement and fun of the previous days, the final morning was set aside for reflection. In the Old Mandali Hall at Meherabad, Baba’s prayers were recited and the Gujarati Arti was sung. Amidst our live musical offerings, we all separately took darshan at Baba’s chair, receiving prasad and a gift of bark from the Meherazad tree on which Mehera had seen her Beloved’s face. Finally, we sat in a circle formation to share, voluntarily, our fondest moments or thoughts on the Sahavas. After some touching comments and personal stories, we clasped our neighbours’ hands and concluded with Baba’s ki-Jai. The whole week turned out to be very special, but a highlight for me was our visit to the mosque in Imampur. Baba had visited and slept in the mosque, in the last days of the New Life before the Manonash phase. Gary Kleiner related to us the significant event synonymous with that spot and the other Baba stories that worked in tandem with it, as told to him by Eruch. Baba had commanded Eruch to remove a nesting bird that was disturbing His sleep, but had then rescinded the order, saying that that one cru el action would have destroyed all the work accomplished in the New Life. The lesson


was this: if the Highest of the High was held accountable and received retribution for merely one falter, we in accordance should take responsibility for all our actions seri ously. Furthermore, the beating and spitting that those men Mandali present inflicted on the Avatar by His order, exemplified their complete obedience to the Master. During that visit, what struck me most as a musician was, when we ended the session with “Satchitanand”, for the very first time we all sang in time and in tune with each other, in intoxicated harmony. For me, this epitomised the oceanic principle ofall drops becoming one through concentration on the Infinite One. Meher Baba’s presence and love, in my opinion, was the most tangible in that atmosphere, in line with the meaning ofa Sahavas. Overall, the whole Sahavas experience surpassed my expectations. Had we not all converged on Meherabad and spent a week together in close proximity, I rather doubt whether many of us would have developed friendships or even met. There was an energy and commitment for Meher Baba that I had not, except with Mandali members, ex perienced in other communities. Moreover, it was wonderful to be amongst other young Baba-lovers who were still youthful enough not to have fallen prey to the cynicism of later life. This mainly loving gathering was conducive to bonding. In particular, through the sharing ofpersonal encounters, I found kindred spirits who also, despite having suffered intensely, believed that personal incidents of struggle were blessings that brought us closer to the Almighty. By the end ofthe week, I drew strength and courage from the knowledge that, like me, all these young people of various nationalities were also trying to find their niche in this fiercely competitive world, whilst avidly striving to follow Baba’s wishes. I had the feeling that I now had friends who could really understand and empathize with my life, because they too are heading down that thorny path. And finally, having originally wanted my solace, I left with an overwhelming feeling of having, in such a short time and with people I had not previously known, given and received so much love. Thank you to all those people who made the Sahavas possible and such a special event. ‘Beloved God is the Goal. Love is the means. The lover can reach the Beloved through love.” —Meher Baba

rgent AppeaI from EBIuu 4 An l Date: Friday, 9th July, 2004 Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Dear brothers and sisters in Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, We want all you dear ones to know that this is a critical time in the development of the Trust Estate. It is our duty to take care ofHis Cause. And you being His lovers, it is also your duty as well. Therefore we are informing you of how we need your loving cooperation. We have prepared a detailed Master Plan for the development of Meherabad which covers a large area that will enable hundreds ofthousands ofHis lovers in the future to take His Darshan and stay at Meherabad. However, a few Baba Lovers, now and again in visiting Meherabad, are mistakenly pur chasing land that is very much needed for the Trust to fulfill the Master Plan. Purchasing these lands definitely harms the cause of the Trust. Furthermore, land owners are recognizing the desire ofsome Baba lovers to live at Meherabad and are charging shockingly high prices for land. Some of these land rates go far far beyond what the Trust can afford according to the donations the Trust receives. If Baba lovers pay such exorbitant prices for land their action directly damages the Trust. It does not matter that some land is not required by the Trust because all land rates become affected. Beloved Baba has already made provision for your stay at Meherabad through the Trust. And although He did say that Meherabad would one day be a township that time has not yet come. Water is still a problem and so is electricity It is a continual challenge for the Trust to provide sufficient water and electricity for your pilgrimage. But by His grace we are able to do so. Even though some Baba lovers have constructed their own house at Meherabad, because oflack ofwater, electricity and roads for private homes, they often return to their native places, being unable to live at Meherabad. We therefore request you all dear ones to be happy to come here on pilgrimage and make use of the facilities that He has provided for you. And for those few who cannot give up their desire for land, we appeal to you to please only approach myself, Trustee Mehernath Kaichuri or Trustee Craig Ruff who will guide you to what land may be available and to what price you should pay. You are lovingly requested not to ask anyone else. By you co operating with us in this way the Trust may be able to fulfill its Master Plan and you have had the opportunity to serve His Cause. In His Love, V. S. Kalchuri (Bhau)

J4leIwr 13abds 3inal 7Jeclamtion To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Meher Baba’s Final Declaration, a short film on this subject made by Bob Fredericks was shown in Meherabad on the 30th of September. You may view the film via the web at either: www.technobaba.com or www.ambppct.org/events/finald.php Ifyour connection is slow, don’t worry, the film will be there a while and the connection should be better in October. Following is a short message from Bob Fredericks: Avatar Meher Baba’s Final Declaration was like a bomb dropped when He gave it out in 1954. In it He declares many alarming things, including His humiliation and His physical end and also the Destruction ofthree-fourths ofthe world. It is my opinion, that when taken with the Clarification, Baba was giving this message straight up, and that it is more telling of the times in which we currently live then any other explanation I know. After reading this message I suggest reading His Clarification and also reading the fol lowing six month period in His biography in order to fully comprehend the context and follow-up ofthis Declaration. Ifyou don’t have the LordMeher volumes it can be read on line at LordMeher.org. In the Final Declaration Baba also talks about the manyness in illusion and the climax ofthis manyness, and what will happen when He breaks His Silence, and what condition the world will be in when He comes again after 700 years. 57


Jlfrteher 13ctba /lvatar of The Age at the Pctlace Theater LA :JReport from Dnvin Luck, Project Director /1rticle assembled b 11 2<athy 7dill, 7)irginia 3, 2004— Thousands of ugust people attended the showings of

%

* .* *

the movie Meher Baba Avatar ofihe Age

and the Extravaganza of the Heart art exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater during a two-week engagement in San Francisco on July 2 to 15, 2004. This is my report to all who are interested, and to all those who supported this work of bringing to the world the One who needs no introduction, because we each have met Him in our very own hearts, whether we have recognized Him or not. Baba once stated “I created the media because I have a universal message to give to the world.” Who could do such a thing except the One who created everything? Apparently the time had come, after many ages, that humanity was sufficiently awake for Him to reveal more truths about the spiritual path, so the consciousness of mankind would continue to advance toward finding one’s t() V’( (fti4tthMM 1! *#kO.,. LW1UUC9(U?Z(1 pftiSe true identity, as God. Many who came Art Exhibition ofAvatar Meher Baba by Artit from all ovcr the country to this amazing event shed tears during JULY 2 THRU 15 PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATER STREET SAN FRANCISCO FREE PARKP4G the film. Never was a love like this seen SI-tow il1I-S: 4:00PM 9:1!jPM :4VPM 7:30PM : s w A&O’ M#4:OOPM543PM S : Stuth,nt$7 before, never was a life like this lived by anyone. It was there for all to see. advertisements, which were informative as The atmosphere was charged from the Avatar’s identity and the importance to the first day, and the feeling of His pres ofHis mission. ence and incredible love shone like the sun. There were about 14 people on hand each One had only to be there to enjoy it. The day to answer questions and assist attend6,000-square-foot grand lobby ofthe theater The questions I was asked most by the ees. contained nearly 100 magnificent works inaudience after seeing the movie were: “Did spired by the Advent ofAvatar Meher Baba Baba break His silence?” And “What Meher by artists from around the country. This was the violent physical death he said he was very impressive and drew much praise. would have?” I gave brief explanations and I estimate about three out of four of the mentioned His works such as God Speaks. people who came to the theater knew little I not know this time where the film do at or nothing of Meher Baba, but came as a will show next, I am still winding down as result of advertising and word of mouth. all had done with this event. But that to be Each day more and more people came. In the the beginning, this is not end. It is just the second week, the number ofpeople hearing about this extraordinary show continued because the world has to see this movie and to increase and they were coming from feel what it was like to be with Him as He everywhere. Every day 2 to 3 million people carried out His mission on earth. I would in the San Francisco Bay area of about 50 like to offer a special thanks to The Concities were seeing, every day, the movie sortium of the Arts for volunteering their -

3301 LYON

.

-

.‘

-

1,*’-•,

.

expertise in setting up the magnificent art show, and to the local Meher Baba group for staffing the theater every day for two weeks, and to both groups for working together so seamlessly with so much love for Him to help make this event one that will be remembered for a long time. These were the days when the Avatar was introduced to so many millions of people in this great region of the country. Irwin Luck —

J3aba 2 lctjs the Pctlctce by A4ax ?eif This article was originally posted July 14 on the “Baba-Talk” listserv: I just learned from a good source that around 300 people came today, Wednesday, to see “Meher Baba, Avatar of the Age: the Human Side of God.” Apparently, the numbers are staying up. Some of us have used the word “overwhelming” to describe the experience of being in the hall as people throng around the book table, view the paintings, and ask questions— many, many questions— about our Beloved. You have to understand, the film opened at 4 pm on Friday July 2, less than two weeks ago, to a numerically underwhelming crowd ofmaybe twenty-five. The next day was not much better. I think about a hundred and twenty-five came that Satur day, spaced over four showings. The whole effort might have seemed embarrassing, except that Meher Baba’s lovers know He will go to almost infinite lengths to contact even one person, so it was obvious there must be something going on. Someone who was at the first show met a couple there who had driven several hours, having seen the ad in the movie section of one of the area newspapers--not knowing anything about Baba, never even having heard ofHim before, but just knowing they had to be there! There are surely many, many such stories.


ovi. ‘renier

.

had just seen. Baba’s ad appeared directly across the page from and approximately then same size as ads for big-budget studio films like “The PaEace of Fine Arts Theater 3301 lca St, San CaHfoc1a Clearing” or “King Arthur.” It appears to me JULY 2nd-l5th, 2004 I that Irwin Luck’s strategy was to let God, SHOW hIdES; as manifested in the God-Man’s image, use Maya, as represented by the “bogus news” (as w down , see tt y o I Baba called it), to get the Word (Himself) The ticket out! And it appears to be, or He appears to Irwin Luck had, it seemed, banked be, working! One can’t expect a Meher Baba movie to pull in as many people as would a the project’s success star like Mel Gibson, on the exposure that or even a Michael Baba and His movie Moore documentary. would get via large It appears that is not ads in the San FranBaba’s Plan. His fam cisco Chronicle, the ily oflovers—happily Bay Guardian, the for those in it—is San Francisco Weekstill too intimate for and the San Jose ly, that. But this experi Mercury News. There ence, for those who were no interviews, have been involved, no reviews, no radio has been awesome, orTV ads. And those all the more for its first few days, well, it modest beginning. was slow going. Of Isn’t itjust like Baba, course, it was the 4th this almost explosive ofJuly weekend—one growth from practi of the worst times cally nothing? of the year for any All ofthis will be public event except over at the Palace of fireworks and fam A Charlie Millsportrait ofMeher Baba was one of Fine Arts when you ily barbecues—how many in the art show read this. But the much that fact was process initiated in manywho heard of Him, holding down attendance was a completely or renewed contact with Him here in these unknown factor, since there’s never been a two weeks, will go on. And His keeping His comparable event. Then things started picking up, and last Sunday seemed to be the turning point: it seemed clear something strong was happening. I asked a lady from Santa Cruz if she’d been drawn by the ad in the Chronicle, and her friend asked, “You mean the darshan?” People were experiencing Baba’s darshan via the ad! And why not? Meher Baba’s “bigas-life”-appearing image, with Baba-quotes changing daily, and playful ads about such things as “the Avatar’s Criminal Record” (stealing hearts) went out daily to millions of people. After the movie, the questions I heard most frequently were such deep ones as, “Has Baba broken His Silence?” “What were the masts?” “Was Meher Baba a Sufi?” People were intently focused, searching for a deeper sense ofwho Baba is. This process has continued every day. People almost reverentially asked ifit was possible to pur chase the video of the God-Man that they I I

MEIER BAW Ai,tti sills Ij

‘The Extravaganza Of The Heart” Art Exhibition of the Advent of Meher Usba FnLThctco.

appointments with His lovers ofcurrent and succeeding generations will continue whenever and wherever Baba chooses to open His Tavern ofLove and tell the thirsting public, “Drink up!”

Comments from Cvent 7}olunteers “All three times that day, when the Sufi Chorus sang the American Arti, it was like Baba was right in the room.” —Iris Perla, Booktablewalli “People who had no idea who He was, who have come, and they’re coming back

Photo byjames Kirkpatrick The chorus ofSufism Reorientedpeiforms infront ofMira White ‘Meher Baba in the Forest”

59


1_1___1 IJIj I I I

there. Watching all the people in the lobby at one time has been amazing! Watching them looking and asking questions, and seeing how much more theywant to know.”—Craig Zenner, Boxofficewalla “It’s been a very peaceful experience. People come in here and they float around. There are stages. You can see them when they’re curious and milling around and having kind of a pleasant time. Not exactly light-hearted, but it’s a very curious pleasant sensation they’re having. Then they go in and watch the movie. Generally, in the best cases, they’re taking the beauty of the movie out with them into the lobby again looking at the paintings, and the devotion just sort of emanates out of the paintings back into them. The quality of the room changes when they come back here, so that the room fills up with these people who are sort of receiving Baba’s love again from the paintings after getting it in the movie. It’s charming. It’s just lovely to see it.” —Ben Leet, Generaleverythingwalla

“ . .

Disciple cis rDirector: ./ln Dnterview with Drwin Luck

Box Office wallas Craig andJenny Zenner

for their third and fourth time.” —Jenny Zenner, Boxofficewalli “My favorite moment was on Silence Day, when the Sufi Chorus started to sing the American Arti. Jeannie was with me at the book table, and she said, Oh, my God, did you feel that? and I said, I think I’m gonna start to cry! because with the Sufis singing, it was like it brought Baba right into the room, and it was amazing. I was afraid I’d start crying all over the books that I was supposed to be selling, but thank goodness I didn’t. All three times that day, when they sang the American Arti, it was like Baba was right in the room.” —Iris Perla, Booktablewalli “It’s just been a real gift to be here. It’s been wonderful. It’s been very touching at times, seeing people reconnected with Meher Baba, sometimes after twenty years, sometimes after thirty years— people who had no idea who He was, who have come, and they’re coming back for their third and fourth time. The staff here at the Palace of Fine Arts is a really wonderful staff. And working with Victor and Pascal and Ben and Iris and all our other staffhas been fabulous. —Jenny Zenner, Boxofficewalli “My overall feeling is I’m just overwhelmed at how many people are taking an interest in Baba at one time! From what I’ve seen, Baba usually nabs one here, one over 6o

powerful! I can’t believe that! The person who did that was...infused! —Elise .Ten or fifteen or twenty years back, I was so impressed at what a beautiful face He had. That stayed with me.” —Naomi “I think I’m going to be motivated to learn more about Him, read some of His writings, because I am curious about His vow of silence.” —Ralph Yeah, it was great ! It was fascinating. Really interesting. I used to do a lot of spiritual studies when I was in college, and I just totally missed this one. I mean, one thing I was thinking about was “How did I miss this?” I was into everything, reading everything, about Yogananda and what was going on in the East and West, and I missed this whole thing. So I’m fascinated. I’ll probably read the bookwhen you’re done with it, Ellen—maybe before you’re done with it!—Teresa Yeah, maybe, I’ll have to start it all over again, I think I pulled my bookmark out. I need to start this one over again. —Ellen

By 24ax Reif Max: Irwin, this has been on for two weeks and you’ve been here God knows how many hours a day, plus the days before, to say nothing ofall the years and decades before. So, how do you feel and what do you want to share with the Baba world? Irwin: Well, what I would like to share with everybody is how much people coming out ofthe theater after seeing the movie were touched, and the many different expres sions that they gave about how they felt, because so many had never heard of Meher The paintings were well and truly examined

Comments from the 12ublic “I live in Redwood Valley. It’s a hundred and twenty miles from here. I came down just for this. It was a beautiful experience. I’ve known of Meher Baba since the ‘70s, but I really didn’t know who He was until tonight. It was an amazing experience.” —Cimron “I just felt a lot of Love coming out of the film, and from Him. It was beautiful, incredible. It was really, reallywonderftii, it’s very... big. I am amazed with that needlepoint! [portrait byJohn Hobson] That is so


The aboveportraits—amazingly—are needlepoint!

Baba before. They just saw something in the newspaper ads, and many didn’t know what to expect. But then, this fabulous art exhibition for which artists from all over the country sent their most beautiful works, that is something extraordinary in itseffi This is an exhibit that I don’t think has ever happened previously, close to a hundred works of art of all kinds, including collages and even pictures made out of fabric. It’s really quite amazing and very beautiful and well done,verywell done! [Note: the artwork col lected by Irwin was installed on large panels prepared by Sufism Reoriented.] This really did affect a lot ofpeople! Now there have been Baba lovers that have come here, who hadn’t attended programs or been

but to the other people who were helping staff the theater. Of course there were also Baba-lovers here who have been with Baba for so many years. Just everybody had more and more of a darshan, and more and more ofthe presence and love that Baba is giving out. This is no ordinary event. It definitely has affected the hearts and minds of everybody here, including myseffi I mean, I’ve been with this now for a long time, as far as the movie goes, but I am very pleased with the way this whole thing came together and what happened. Max: The first week, numerically, the response started with a trickle. What were you feeling that first week or those first few days. Were you concerned? Irwin: Well, it started off where there weren’t so many people coming, and then things began to pick up fairly rapidly, and then it sort of slowed down again. The sec ond week, there just began to be more and more people coming. And I must say the theater is Pascal Kaplan and Victor Sekeler worked the Palace every day quite large with 1,000 seats, and I in touch with Meher Baba’s writings, or been would have liked see more people to come, remembering Him, let’s say, and it was just because there were still empty seats. But a lot bringing a whole new freshness, a whole new of people did keep coming, and the quality breeze of Baba’s Love back into their lives. oftheir expressions was reallywhat touched They would express this, not only to me,

me. After all, it doesn’t matter ifyou fill up a theater and then everybody comes out and says how they didn’t like it! In this case, we couldn’t fill up the whole theater in any one showing, but the viewers were all immensely touched! And then the word ofmouth went out. More and more people heard about it, and then they started coming. Max: It seemed to me that youjust chose to rely on Baba’s Picture going out to so many people in so many big ads. Was that your strategy? Irwin: Well, the ads, when you read them, have much information about who Meher Baba is; and the ads are all different. The theme ofthe movie—that it’s a movie about Meher Baba—is the same. But the things that are said in the ads are different. For instance, one ad is “The Mystery of Meher Baba’s Silence”. That came out on Silence Day in two major publications, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sanjose Mer cury News. These are dailies. Then it was in a number of the weeklies, with themes like “Does the Avatar Know Everything?” Dif ferent statements that would cause people to be intrigued and want to see who this is. Max: It seems to have paid off Does this inspire you to want to put together this kind of event in other cities? Are plans starting to form in your mind? Irwin: This is a major event. It took a lot of work to put this together. I don’t have a schedule at the moment ofwhere it will be showing in other cities. But people have been asking me about that, and as theaters send us requests for shows, then naturally, we’ll be able to do that. I doubt ifwe’re going to have another fabulous art exhibition because most theaters don’t have a lobby this size. This is a 6,000 square-foot area. The other thing is, these pieces are all from private collections. To gather all this up and to present it was an amazing amount of work! I don’t see where we’ll be able to just move something like this from place to place. But the movie, which is the most important thing—seeing Meher Baba and hearing His own quotes—is what I suspect will be going everywhere. Max: One more question. Can we look forward to the movie coming out on DVB anytime soon? Irwin: It will definitely, be on DVD, but that won’t happen until the theater presenta tions are finished. /.

a

6i


.Announccrncnts from a wide variety of stories from Eruch, Mani, Adi K. Irani, Meherjee and many oth ers.There is no fee and the stories download onto your computer via streaming media. Kanji Miyao andJohn Page have worked hard to get the talks on line. As of September 2004 there are hundreds of talks available and hundreds more will become available in the months to come. All you need to do is click and listen! Ifyou have tapes you made in Mandali Hall over the decades, please email John or Kanji at mandalihalltalks@ mehermontessori.org and they can arrange to post them. All tapes are edited to remove extraneous material and personal informa tion. The sound on the tapes is also enhanced for clarity via Kanji’s computer magic.

UVIeI’ter i3ctbct Avatctr of the .4ge’’ 3i1m Row Avctilctble

JlI4andali b1all 7alks J1vailable 3free Online! emember the times you spent in Man— dali Hall listening to Eruch or Mani? Remember the funny, poignant stories, birds chirping and wonderful repartee? Can you picture Mani holding forth telling a humorous storywith ripples oflaughter following her intimate stories of life with the God Man? Who else but Eruch could so perfectly conveylife with his Lord and Master, Avatar Meher Baba? Eruch was himself the mas ter of taking you with him in his life with Baba—mast tours, darshans, and all the other arenas in which Baba functioned as Avatar of the Age. No one but Eruch and Mani had such intimate access to Baba for so many decades and the gift ofsimply telling you the stories along with the feeling and atmosphere oflife with the Ancient One. Now, those stories are available free online. Just go to www.mandalihall.org or www.mandalihall.com and you can choose

R

62

The long awaited release ofthis amazing film on video, is being offered in a first edi tion early release which is now available. The release of this movie in theaters has started with the Grand Premier at The Palace of Fine Arts Theater in San Francisco July 2 to 15, 2004. As more theaters request to show it, everyone will be informed where it will show. This limited early release is being offered in order to raise additional funds to carry out the promotion and distribution ofthis movie to theaters. All those who can donate $100.00 will receive a gift of a first edition collector’s item of the videotape of the movie. Also a first edition certificate of authenticity will be included with each vid eotape. The videotape is the complete movie as it will be seen in theaters, 80 minutes running time. In addition a movie poster will be sent with each donation. If you have not already requested the Movie on Video Tape and would like to do so, then mail your check or money order for $ 100.00 payable to: Oceanpower Film Distributor Inc. 1130 Waterway Lane Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 U.S.A. Phone: 843-272-8524 E-Mail: OPFD1@yahoo. com Website: www.AvatarOfTheAge.com In His loving service, Irwin Luck, Project Director

MEHEl BABA GWBAL MUSICAl CELEBKATION An on-line event: 1 2 004 November 6th & 7th

JlI4eher J3ctbct9lobctl l4usicctl Celebration— 7 J An Online Event All Baba-lovers worldwide are invited to participate in the Meher Baba Global Musical Celebration that will take place on the weekend of November 6th and 7th, 2004. Musicians throughout the world will share music inspired by and dedicated to the Beloved. This online Celebration will also feature discussions ofMeher Baba’s favorite music and his favorite performers. Registration is free, though it is limited to the first 1000 registrants. To participate in this Global Musical Celebration you will need an Internet connection and a current web browser. For more information or to register, go to www.meherbabacelebrations.org. This Celebration is an opportunity to join oth ers in our global Meher Baba community in a worldwide sharing of love, music and conversation. Come and experience this unique event. You can participate in the fol lowing ways: Celebration Attendee—Listen to a wide range of music from musicians devoted to Meher Baba—Join question and answer sessions about the creative process; what inspires a Baba-lover to compose a song or write lyrics in celebration of the Beloved—Engage in panel discussions about music and spirituality—See presentations about Meher Baba and music, Celebration Musician—Share your music with Baba lovers worldwide (You will get assistance in putting your music in the Celebration). Respond to questions about your music


and/or lyrics. Offer information on how to obtain CDs or tapes ofyour music Celebra tion Worker—Provide MP3 technical assis tance to musicians and attendees—Work on Celebration publicity and outreach—Moderate Celebration forums and panel discussions—Assist attendees on how to navigate the Celebration site.

JlVleheranct fl-las .A Rew Web Site Check it out! http://www.meherana.org/

2’Jew EBabj for Alethect gard’ner and Abe J3ctllctrd

Any amount, however small or large, is greatly appreciated. Love-donations are not tax-deductible. Keeping this in mind, please give whatever amount you can. All donors will have their names and amount listed on the cover page that accompanies the group donation. It would be wonderful to receive regular donations so that money could be sent quarterly. Make checks payable to: Friends ofMeher Baba Trust and send to Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 In Baba’s Service, Lynne

There was a special delivery from Baba on July 25th to Alethea Gard’ner and Abe Ballard—a brand new baby girl, Luciana. Alethea is doing fine, as is the baby, who weighed six pounds four ounces and said hello to her new world at 7:17 PM. Abe is doing OK too, and is smoking big cigars and beaming proudly. Congratulations to Alethea and Abe; to the new grandparents, Trudy and Charlie Gard’ner; and to the new aunts,Johanna, Amy, and Pratima Gard’ner, and Charlotte Fahy. An interesting addition to this story: Abe is originally from Walnut Creek... He and Alethea met for the first time in New Zealand when they were just tod dlers—Christmas of 1974; played together, then met again 24 years later in Meherabad and got married.

Dear Baba Family, We all have a chance to establish an oasis of Baba’s remembrance in the Heartland of America by purchasing Dr. Bunleson’s historic home and developing it as a Center/ guesthouse/library for pilgrims who wish to visit this special area where Baba shed His blood in the West in 1952. Please read about this incredible door which has been opened. Peter and I are coordinating these efforts and are happy to answer any questions. Go directly to the A1VIBHC website to view photos of the home and a donation form: http://heartland.meherbaba.org/BurlesonHousePurchase.htm In His love, Debbie Nordeen, Asheville, NC, 8 Sept. 2004 r—ii Jens.../tvoae I

il-i

I

T

cAn Dmportctnt Jll4essctge from our 7rustwctlli

Dear Friends in Baba, Thanks to so many of you who very generously give your time and money to vanous Baba projects. The number of worthy causes keeps increasing, and it’s a challenge to keep up. I’d like to bring your attention to an ur gent need for funds for the Avatar Meher B aba Trust Beneficiaries [Baba’s remaining Mandali]. Because donations have been so limited, more than a year has gone by since any distribution has been made to those whom Baba intended to be cared for through this, His Trust. Baba willing, enough money will be collected soon to get the distributions back on track.

EBurleson Jtome /1vailctble

Ei3ctba L/’lTt 3oi Sale

.

“Baba by the Tin Shed” (top) “The Captain Considers the Voyage” Two oil paintings by by Ellen Perantoni. If interested please contact Ellen at 845 246 4771

he journey is a long one from your abode to His. So if you’d like to break up the trip to minimize thejet-lag, why not stop over in Paris, France at Ken’s Abode? I’ve completely remodeled my three bedroom flat which is six minutes from the heart of Paris (les Grands Magasins) At Ken’s Abode you’ll find a comfy bed or two, a great shower and bath, garden terraces off the living-room and bedrooms and all the comforts ofa Parisian home. The neighborhood’s great too! You don’t even have to leave our street to see a movie or buy wine and cheese. St. Preux bakes fresh bread and pastries each morning, even the Post Office is around the corner. I want to make Ken’s Abode fair for ev eryone, so there’s a sliding scale beginning at 30 Euros per night per person. Contact me by phone at: 00331 47 91 31 60 or email kmstermer@hotmail.com

63


T1aving finished her work in this incarnation, Dr. 9ohcr pedals off to be with Baba 2

Profile for ANCIENT ONE

Love Street Lamp Post 4th Qtr 2004  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

Love Street Lamp Post 4th Qtr 2004  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded