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Editor’s Corner Jai Baba and a Happy New Year to all our readers!
he first quarter ofthe year means two Amartithi and things to Baba lovers the Beloved’s Birthday. Unfortunately, this magazine has to be written almost three months in advance so it does not allow us to be veiy timelywith our coverage ofevents. However this year, your editor will be so a first for her present at Amartithi the in coverage very complete will get you April issue. I’m sure we can count on the usual full reporting ofthe Birthday celebra tions by Heather Nadel or Irene Holt, both on the spot from start to finish. Ifany of our readers plan on being there for the Birthday celebrations and would like to submit their account, we would love to read it. Do lots of photos! Please re take photos member at any time, when submitting pho tos, to always put your name and address on the back ifyou wish them returned. Speaking ofphotos, you will note we have a photographic essay The Steps t o His Feet as our centerfold. We would like to encourage you to send in any photos that you have taken in India that particularly move you, and you feel will have the same affect on our readers. Please, send only good clear well lit pictures, preferably in black and white. Often what looks wonderful in color does not have the same effect when printed in black and white. Be sure to give us full information as to where and when it was taken. Ifthere are people in the photo, you must first obtain their permission in case it is published. We are constantly striving to improve the LampPost. It is a learn-as-you-go perience for all ofus involved in its produc tion. None ofus have done anything like this before, and we would love nothing more than to be able to do it full time. Alas, it is all volunteer work done after our regular jobs are finished for the day. For 6-8 weeks every quarter we are all burning the midnight oil to get it out to you almost on time. —
The letters we receive make it all worthwhile. The one Bree Rael sent from Canada pretty much sums it up for a great many of you: “Itruly cherish receiving the LampPost. It is a masterpiece ofcollective love in Babac name andllookforwardto each issue. It keeps mefromfeeling so lonely and isolated up here in the British Columbian woods...” We are glad you feel that way, because it makes it easier to tell you “Its that time of year again. We need your donations in order to keep publishing. The actual cost of producing and domestic mailing of the magazine is $10 per person for the year. Because ofthe extremely high cost of postage overseas, we must ask for $20 for maga zines going to foreign countries. We have almost 1000 on our mailing list but only 425 have ever sent in a donation. This to strains our finances to the maximum the point ofhaving to dip into other funds to cover costs. Luckily there are some very generous people to whom Baba has given the abilityto donate far above the $10 necessary. These kind souls are allowing the majority ofyou to continue receiving your LampPost. We do not have the commercial magazine’s ability to track when you paid and have that expiration date printed on your label. (Ifwe charged $30 a subscrip tion we probably could!) So we leave it up to you, send in what you can when you can, and for those ofyou who are really finan cially stressed (and doesn’t that seem to go with being a Baba lover?!) not to worry we’ve got you covered. Ifyou would prefer not to receive the magazine, please let us know so we can save the costs. For our overseas subscribers, you may find it easiest to put your donation on a credit card, but for those with an American checking account, we would prefer checks. Please make them out to The Love Street LampPost. We have many new subscribers who have sent in . .“
donations over the past few months, please don’t feel you have to send in more now! And ifyou cannot rememberjust when you sent it in, neither can we! Don’t worry be happy. We function only by Baba’s Grace. It is all up to Him. Remember this is your magazine, it is only as good as the material we receive so keep on sending! But please, no handwritten submissions. No one has the time to type out 8 handwritten pages such as we recently received! Ifyou can’t email it to us, or send it on a disk, then it must be clearly with no corrections in the typewritten margins! We love to receive your submis but please have mercy on the sions slaves at this end! Our cover photo is courtesy of Jal Dastoor who had it beautifully reproduced and made available for sale in the Love Street Bookstore. They are approximately 12 x 12, in full color, and are actually a com posite, created by the incredibly talented photographer Homyar Mistry, of3 different photos. Manypeople have photographed the inside ofthe Samadhi, but the tiny photo of Baba that is on the wall high above the tomb, and also the writing on the marble have never been as clearly captured as they are here. In the photo we have for sale, the brass studded doors are visible also. It is printed on quality card stock and included in the package are 3 small 2 x 3 colored reproduc tions ofCharlie Mills’ portraits ofBaba that have the 3 main artis printed on the back. Also in the packet is a strip of4 more col ored reproductions ofCharlie’s paintings. These are scored so that each photo can be folded along the crease and stand alone as a series ofBaba pictures for your desk or dresser. The entire package is extremely high quality and is available for only $12. Thank you Jal! —
In His love and service, Dma
A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
£ove&eet Lamgosr welcome The £ovcStrcetJ.amJJPosr is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Baba family are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text on computer disks ifpossible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identif5 all submissions and credit every quote or reference.
submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 213-731-3737 or —
deadlines: for the January March April June July September October December -
issue: issue: issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th
7he Love Street EBookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and 11pm
310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax Bababooks@aol.com
credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Betty Lowman, Cherie Plumlee, Thomas Hart distribution: Chris Lyttle, Harry Thomas, Don Douglas, Marc Brutus
The £oveStreetJ..am1JPost’ is published quarterly, in January,Apriljuly, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba,
© AMBPPCT India
Follow His Footsteps Around the World! God’s Signature God Speaks in 10 ½ hours Debra Aslie TRUsT UNVEILS EXPANDED DEvEt.OpMErrr Pi FOR MEHEiisu EsotTE A Note from Our Trustwalli Lynne Berry A Letter from Pratap Ahir ‘fimsgfiui ‘TrppingOver5ey
The Divine Power House Surrenderance A Zoroastñan Wedding at Meher Mount Step Over the Obtacles That’s How You Should Live in the World Unity The Turning of the Key It Was He Who Kissed Meheth Hand The ‘Turkey Swing Dance’ 1$aw.ou 3ancing
6 6 6 7 7 9 9 9 I2 14 I4 I4 I6 I7 19 I9 20 22 24 24 24 24 2 26 .
poetry by Hafiz poetry by Hafix Bid Nato
Meher Baba Wendy Ward Mani S. Irani Meher Baba Meher Baba Sarah McNeill Mani S. Irani
poetry by Hafiz
iTh St€ps to Ris 3:ed The Filming of The Witness Series Videos
photo spread Wendell C. Brustman Memories from Past Lives Meher Baba Message tn Disciples Meher Baba Snuff Margaret Craske A Magical Thanksgiving Day at Meher Mount Fred Stankus ‘ro.5cnytl;ing(-rI;at.k4Yd poetry by Hafiz The Darbar Pose Picture of Meher Baba Bal Natu How SL Franth, Walking One Day With Brother Leo, Explained To Him What ThingsAre PerfrctJoy by Brother Ugolmno The Making oftlie Film Meher Baba in Italy David Carter Sheriar in the Desert Ward Parks The Most Precious Thing MI K. Irani A Letter from Bhau to Our Readers Ward Parks Letter to the Editor Desmond O’brien Meherana Sahavas from A Kids Point ofView jamie Dillon An Update fromJay Ram It is a Divine Art to LookAiways Cheerful Meher Baba Old indian. Teaching Story ‘Don’t Werr Be Happy!” “The Truth Shall Make Ye Free” Do.n Stevens The Language ofthe Heart MeherBaba Be Cøntent With Your Lot MeherBaba The Ocean OfLove Waiting On This Hill The Story ofBaba BalSa
27 28 31 31 32 32 35 36 38 38 39 39 39
reviewed by Kendra Crossen Burroughs reviewed byjini Wilson Debra Ashe
8 8 9
Dma Snow t T he Love &re4 ¶3ookstore Dma Snow Children’s Page (Living in His World) Cynthia Barrientos The President’s Report Lois Jones Center and Facailities Report Linda Zavala Announcements (The LampPost Needs Your Help) (Congratulations) Notes from the Internet various contributors Prayers, Prose,. and Poetry various contributors Humor for Huma (Godc Quality Control Questionaire)
2 I0 I5 I8 18 25 29 33 37
Illlq.tjorijs zniaes an4r iphics in thsspithlzcatzon arepioperty ofthe vpyrççhthollers and/orthe contributors. Messageoimdphotosofll4eherThtha tAvatarA’leherBalm PerpetualPublic
Chuzuitahle Trust a 5 Ahined rlnds na a and ©I swrence Reiter Unauthorzzedduphcatson zsprohthited by law
Cl/CM 91eherabad and 9Y/eherazad
The 9’o’leher pirlliial Cenler, 5 c
e 73oach, 1 9Xyrh
Waafar Wbode •:
9’o’leher 9’louril, Q.:k2i.
(Iheiz coma vLsi!
us a! 9Qeherabodo in J?os Wnge/e)
You are invited to join us in the two biggest fundraisers for Meherabode in Los Angeles. AU monies raised will go towards ongoing renovations of the Center. The first fundraiser is a raffle to win airfare around the world (to Meher Baba’s home in India, Avatar’s Abode in Australia, Assisi in Italy, East Challacombe in Devon, England, and Centers Meher Baba established in the United States (as well as a chance to visit us here at Meherabode in Los Angeles). There will also be second and third prizes! Flyers with more information about the around the world pilgrimage will be mailed in January.
Second Prize F:
A complete set comprising all ofAvatar Meher Baba’s video tapes from the LoveStreet Bookstore (Meherabode). Videos will include Beyond Words, Love Personfled, 0 Parvardigai and other movies ofBaba that you and your family will treasure for generations. .
A $250 gift certificate from the LoveStreet Bookstore with which you can purchase books, music tapes, videos, t-shirts, jewelry, and much more.
Tickets are $25 each or 7 ticketsfor $100. The second fundraiser is an auction for a copy ofGod Speaks signed by Meher Baba. (See next page.)
God’s Signaturet: A
vatar Meher Baba has inscribed each of our hearts with His Divine Love. This Love propels us on the path home to Him. To help us understand this journeywe must all make through creation and involution, He wrote God Speaks, a most precious gift to humanity! Never before in recorded history has there been a book written and signed by God Himsefl
GOD SPEAKS The Theme qf Creation and Its Piupose
At Meherabode as the wind dances with Baba’s flag and the sun caresses the shining dome, we continue major construc tion on the Center. In the comingyear, the center needs to raise another $85,000 so that we may obtain our occupancy permit and complete renovations. As a fund-raiser for our ongoingprojects we will be offering for auction this incomparable book signed by the Avatar of the Age. There are only 498 copies signed byHim in existence, the copy which we are selling is number 397. Ann Forbes, a long time Baba Lover from Miami, was fortunate to receive this gift oflove directly from the Avatar. She bequeathed herlIbrary including this copy ofGodSp&ths to Earl Starcher the architect ofthe “Shrine to the Perfect Man” (a rep-
kv Meher Baba tAdUr P1
lica of Meher Baba’s Tomb) in New Mexico.* He in turn left his treasures to his family and they are kindly sharing them with the Los Angeles Center. Waves ofnew Baba lovers are coming to Meherabode as His message oflove and
Dodd, Mead & Company EW YØj
truth circulates rapidly. To accommodate all who wish to come, this construction is our Mghestpriority Therefore, the Center is reaching out to have this auction via interne4 mail, telephone, andfaxfbrworld wideparticpation! Thelast auctioned copy of God Speaks inscribed by Baba sold for $14,000. Sealed bids will be accepted any time before March 1st. More information will be mailed by mid-Januarç 1999. *See Love Street LampPost, October, 1997
God Speaks in 10 1/2 Hours! by Debra Ashe, Los Angeles
he Marathon Reading of God Speaks, hosted by Lunatic Asylum member, Debra Ashe and of course inspired by Meher Baba the Beloved, took place on Sunday, Novem ber 15th in the main meeting room at Meherabode. The reading of God Speaks consist ed of 190 pages ofwritings by Meher Baba, which minutely detail thejourney ofthe soul.
ebra conceived this zany approach to reading God Speaks in an effort to uti lize the heartfelt lunatic energy of the L.A. group to focus on Meher Baba. Create the event and they will come! And come they did! Twenty-nine people participated in the reading outloud and recording of God Speaks. Each person approached the reading of Baba’s words with a sense of commitment, determination, wonder, andjoy. Each person who read had their own style and read at their own pace. Tamara Mark commented that the reading of God Speaks was surprisingly easy and effortless. Once the presence of Meher Baba was strongly felt it was as if Baba was there reading His words Himself Wendy Ward felt a sense ofawe and so much power in what was happening she read at 2 pm and stayed with Debra until the verylast page was read. While Dana Lee was working on the grounds and watering the flowers, she could hear the voice ofBaba’s words over the P.A. system and it gave her a feeling of calm and serenity. Shireen Lorkalantari read God Speaks in Persian, after which her daughter Golnaz translated the passages into English. Adele Wolkin read with clarity and strength. Fred Stankus made every line sound as if he were reading a children’s bedtime story George Gerdes and Michael Campagna acted out the words as ifit were a performance at a theater. Regarding Baba’s words, the following quote was given by Meher Baba Himself, —
4s Baba works on these words that He
gives out, He attaches to each word a spiritual energy ofgreat quantity, greatproportion, and the individualwho takes the trouble, even without understanding, to read Baba words, taps into thisgjft ofspiritualenergy which theAva tar has attached to His own words.”
Debra Ashe* began the reading at 9 am with: “All Souls (atmas) were, are and will be in the over-soul (Paramatma).” At 7:30 pm Marc Brutus completed the reading with “Therefore, the Goal is to realize the Reality and attain the “I am God” state in human form.” GodSpeaks— 190 pages —read in ten and a half hours! *1 heard the words of our Beloved roll one into another for 10 ½ hours spellbound, listening to a seamless work of love by His loved ones. I am still intoxicated by the experience!
TRUST UNVEILS EXPANDED DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR MEHEiBAD ESTATE U.S. Residents Can Now Make Tax-Deductible Contributions To Development Plan he premier issue of Avatar Meher Baba P.PC.Trust News1etter In His Ser vice, was published this month. It stated that “The Avatar Meher Baba Trust has estab lished a master plan for the large-scale devel opment ofits estate over the next five years. This plan envisions the creation ofa parklike environment on Meherabad Hill space with tree plantations, gardens, and permanent pavilions for pilgrims’ use during Amartithi and other gatherings. The plan also projects the development ofa new site for Pilgrim accom— modation in a quiet section oftheTrust estate approximately one kilometer to the west of the Tomb. Construction ofroads, water reser volTs, and pipelines has already begun, and the laying offoundations for new Amartithi and pilgrim facilities should start within the year.” The Trust also reported that the mandali and the trustees have long been aware of the need to prepare for the large crowds and continuous streams of pilgrims in the decades ahead which will be the manifestation of Meher Baba’s words “Meherabad will eventually become the greatest center ofpilgrimage in the World”. Even now the facilities are frequently overcrowded. An added stimulus involves the Indian land use ordinances, which require that the Trust now begin to utilize its properties for appropriate nonagricultural pur poses. The estimated cost ofthe Five Year De velopment Plan is $1,890,000 of which $235,000 is needed in the first year. While U.K. citizens have been able to take tax-de ductions for love gifts to the Trust, U.S. citi zens have not in the past generally been able to do so. Since a very large sum is needed for the Plan, the Trust has set in place a structure where U.S. citizens can now make tax-deductible love gifts to the Trust for the Five Year Development Plan. With the help of U.S. counsel the Trust prepared an Affidavit ofits Equivalence to a U.S. public charity with supporting documentation. While the Affidavit does not permit U.S. citizens to donate to the Trust directly in a tax-advantage way, it does makes it easier for qualified U.S. tax-exempt Baba organizations to make grants to the Trust. Individuals can receive a tax-deduction by making alove gift to one ofthe qualified U.S.
Baba tax-exempt organizations with the re quest that the money be used for the Five Year Development Plan. To date, six Baba tax-exempt organizations have signed grants with the Trust and contributions can be made to them. These six are:
Please note, however, that donations to Avatar Meher BabaTrust (for the support of the mandali and other beneficiaries) cannot be made through U.S. or U.K. tax-exempt organizations. As in the past, these donations can be sent directly to the AvatarMeher Baba Trust office in Ahmednagar, or your local Trustwalla.
Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthem California c/o Kanji Miyao. Treasurer 1214 S. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 (213) 731-3737
A Note from Our Trustwaffi
Christine Pearson 5311 Italian Creek Road Mariposa, CA 95338 (209) 966-5078 do
Sheriar Foundation do Andy Lesnik 3005 Highway 17 North Bypass Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 (843) 448-1106
Meher Baba House c/o Keith Sheridan 236 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001 (212) 645-6400
Meher Prasad Inc. Steve Edelman 4364 Glengary Drive Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 261-3563 do
Meher Baba Washington Gathering, Inc. Pam Butler-Stone 1127 Dewey Court Kensington, MD 20895 (301) 946-0236
Tax-deductible contributions to the Trust’s Five Year Development Plan of $250 or greater should be made directly to one of the above organizations who will provide the individual with an acknowledgment of their gift for IRS purposes.Tax-deductible contri
butions for the Five Year Development plan of less than $250 can be collected by Trustwallas who will give them to the quali
fled Baba tax-exempt organizations with a letter detailing the contributors and amounts. The Trust plans to workwith the Trustwallas to institutionalize this system.
by Lynne Berry
fyou’ve been thinking that sometime
you’d like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today maybe the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a first-rate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba’s tombshrine andTrust properties. There are also beneficiaries ofthe trustwhose living cxpenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All ofthese worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust’s chari table projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern and Western vol unteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard of living, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise
also. Now this new opportunity presents itseW Love donations are also needed for
the archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all of us. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher BabaTrust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
A Letter from Pratap Ahir [The following is excerpts from a letter written to Shireen Lorkalantarifrom Pratap Ahir who was a verypopularguest at the LA. Sahavas lastJuly. D Goher had recommended that we ask him, and as it was hisfirst time in America, he was very excited to be here. Since so many ofyou were really touched by him and his lovefor Baba, Shireen graciously agreedto share her letter withyou all. It carries theflavor ofhis talks, andfor those ofyou who met him, it will bring backfond memories.]
ear Sister Shirin and dear Mehernoush, Jai Meher Baba. It is more than a month now since I returned to Mumbai after enjoying a months’ stay with you all. Mywriting to you was postponed for one reason or another. It was only during the third week of this month that I could go to Nagar. It was a nice meeting with all the mandali The feelings ofsatisfaction and happiness which many ofyou expressed through your letters to the mandali about the L.A. Sahavas and other programmes showed on the faces of all of them, and they all very warmly greeted me. Baba lovers in Mumbai and Pune were very keen to hear from me the full account of my trip to U.S.A., and in Mumbai, I spoke on two weekly meetings giv ing to the Baba lovers there a feeling of participation in the Sahavas in L.A. and all those moments I enjoyed at Myrtle Beach. I gave a talk in Poona Center and also in ‘Nagar Cen ter. Baba lovers at these centers could enjoy and feel the love of all ofyou who arranged these programmes. The happiest person in Meherazad was obviously Dr. Goher and through her hand shake with me I could feel the warmth ofher feeling ofsatisfaction. My trip to U.S.A. still appears to me like a dream. It was as ifsome one was pushing me through these events of my life and I was following just as an automaton. Even though I have a strong beliefand a firm conviction that Baba has an eye over every moment ofmy life, that is a conviction without evidence, or so to say, a one way traffic. But indeed there are certain times when Baba gave positive assertion and made me feel that He has His grip over the driving wheel ofmy life. I cannot express in words the blissful moments I spent with you all. I never knew that the Iranians are such
good hosts! Shirin must have fed me with so much butter and cheese in a short period of about three weeks that I might never have eaten in three years! You recall I had told you that Baba had instructed me to eat milk and butter during my early days because according to Him I was anaemic. Baba must have been very happywith Shirin because she fed me with lots ofbutter and cheese! When I narrated all this to mywife and children, they were excited and all ofthem asked me to convey thanks to all ofyou for all that you have verylovingly done for me. Before I started for L.A., dear Havovi, Hoshang and Naju Kotwal who had earlier visited L.A. had told me so much about Baba lovers ofL.A. that I had to tell them that iftheyused all the superlatives themselves then I would be left with no words to express my feelings. Really, there is something special in the people of Los Angeles, something which cannot be expressed in words but which can only be felt in hearts. Baba had opened several Mast Ashrams in Meherabad,Toka, Rahuri, and Bangalore, and I cannot help feeling that Los Angeles is a similar ashram in the West. In Indian language, we call such people Mast Ram, meaning people living in ‘Mast’ or a state of intoxication. All the programmes in Los Angeles and the Sahavas programmes in Pilgrim Pines were heart touching and I enjoyed every bit ofthem. In the stillness ofthat night, the si lent march towards Dhuni and lighting of the dhuni, reciting prayers and taking darshan and singers singing on guitars all was touching to the core ofmy heart. An experience which I can never forget in my life. The very atmo sphere of Pilgrim Pines is so very enjoying that even a stone-like heart will start singing. Hats offto the high taste ofthe lovers of the Highest ofthe High for making an excellent choice ofsuch a beautifial place. Sister Havovi had told me that sister Lois is a very good organizer. Indeed, she is. A common interest that I share with her is the liking to work with children (I consider all those below the age of 16 as children) I remember Dr. Gani telling us that Baba had said to them that it will be the third generation which will do His work in the real sense. Dr. Gani & Co. was the first generation, ours is the second and our chil dren are the third generation who will do the realworkfor Baba. I find the signs in the chil dren ofBaba families. They do not cling on to the old traditions and faiths as the people of our generation do. We seek some measuring rods from the old scriptures to measure the -
greatness of Baba. I remember a couple of Baba people had contacted some high priests ofthe Hindu school ofthought to confirm the periods ofAvataric advents on the background ofBaba’s statements in that respect. But the boys and girls of the 3rd generation accept Baba’s declarations as the absolute Truth and in relation to this Truth, they decide whether what is stated in the old scriptures is authen tic or not. We reallylearn so many things from the children. And what to say ofthe programme staged byjeffMaguirc and Fred Stankus and others during the Sahavas?Jeff&Co. deserve great appreciation for their novel and creative ideas. Both the guests, Robert, by his talk frill of emotion andjamie byhis enchanting singing, made a deep impression on my heart and it was my privilege to share with them the honour ofbeing one ofthe invited guests. Thank you in our beloved Baba’s love to all who helped make myjourney so wonderful. Jai Meher Baba!
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:Reviews The Ocean ofLove by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs Meher Mount, Ojai, CA ‘m pleased to announce the release of a cassette single featuring Bob Holdt (1944-1997) singing his song “The Ocean ofLove.” Most Baba-lovers have heard and sung this beautiftil, timeless song—at the Samadhi, around the dhuni fire, and at vanous Baba gatherings around the world. Dolly Dastoor ofMeherabad has characterized it as an Anti in its own right. In 1996 a benefac tor brought Bob into a studio in Cambridge, Mass., where he recorded versions ofthe song in three tempos, accompanying himselfon his autohanp. Although Bob was quite ill with
THE OCEAN ()1:: LOVE BOB i—ic)iI)T
Waiting on This Hill byjim Wilson, Oregon and Parks has once again created a new CD with an offering ofsongs for the Beloved, songs that probe into the es sence of “the only game of intrinsic worth.” Ward has collected together a group ofBaba’s lovers who perform for Baba’s pleasure. Their efforts seem to unfold the love, truth, and beauty ofour Beloved’s broken silence in each heart. The title song of the CD, Waiting on this Hill, vocalizes several themes that emerge from the composer’s inner moments with his Beloved. These themes enchant us even frtr ther in the song Sleep Like the Night that Made You. The melody, by Giamaco Puccini, sung so beautifully by Debbie Nordeen, merges soulftillywithWard’s poem, a lullaby of trust and union and gratitude to the Beloved, a gem ofmusicality reflecting deep personal awakening. Unlike many contemporary songs where the singer/composer is processing personal “dreaming and awakening” in a language of everyday idiom, Ward’s songs seem to tran scend that focus. Perhaps the CD package should include a copy of the lyrics. These compositions are more demanding in the lis tening, perhaps that is whythe melodies catch so easily in the recesses ofyour memory and you find yourself singing along. The com pressed language ofhis poems, when released
in the consciousness of the heart, explodes with light andjoy and pleasure. The choral singing on many ofthe songs is reminiscent ofWestern sacred music, but the embodi ment ofBaba’s presence and beauty cannot be mistaken. The harmonies are uplifting. The rhymes, so anchored in symbols and metaphors, blossom into fragrant garlands to give from our hearts and place at His feet. Our brother, Ward, has been writing poems and melodies for many more than the 20 years I’ve known him. As time passes I see a volume of work growing in quantity, perhaps several hundred songs now. The depth, beauty and polish of his poetry and music have earned a place in the arts that surround Meher Baba and express His incarnation.The level ofhis craftsmanship has to be admired and appreciated for its excellence, as indeed such quality is demanded when the object of its attention is Meher Baba. So, too, with the precision and profun dity ofthe music; one will find it resonating in the inner spaces ofthe heart. The compositions he creates for the Meherabad celebrations ofBaba’s birthday spring from a deep reservoir of experience, notjust in music and poetry, but also in the searching for and experiencing ofBaba’s place and significance in the worlds of literature and music. The first person voice, the “I” of his songs, is the lover smitten by the Divine Beloved. The awareness focuses on the longing for and distance from the Beloved while at the same time glorying in His advent and manifestation.The songWaiting onThis Hill sums up the lover’s search for his Beloved:
By an interesting coincidence, in both songs, Baba speaks to the listener in the first person. People have their own way of singing their favorite songs. I produced this tape because I wanted Bob’s own version to be known and remembered. Bob had a rich, deep baritone voice thatl always thought ofas an ideal coun try-music voice (I loved to hear him sing “Wel come to My World”). Barbara Schultz, a professional graphic designer volunteered to design thej-card, which features the lyrics on the inside ofthe card.The front, with a lovely photo ofBaba, is a gorgeous ocean blue. Even though Bob was blind since early childhood, he did have a favorite color blue. (People had told him he looked good in it, and hejust felt it must be his color.) Another Baba lover of Southern California kindly donated the printing ofthe card. Anyprofit from the sale ofthis tape goes to the Trust in India. $4.
the cancer to which he eventually succumbed, his voice was strong. With Bob’s permission I took the recording from his bedside and put it into safekeeping. We would have produced the cassette earlier, but Bob couldn’t quite make up his mind which tempo of “The Ocean of Love” to use. Now a little over a year after Bob’s death, I have chosen the one I think is best and produced the cassette. On side B, Bob is singing one ofhis favorite Baba songs, “Look on Me” by the late JeffMylett.
:4cross the worldYourfootsteps here I’vefollowed, ‘ti/I reached this hill, the ending ofrny road; and what ofyon has died in me has hollowed an aching space to serve as Your abode. 0, why weep, then,for the emptiness I seer Meher Baba, Meher Baba will come to me.”
We are fortunate to have such a trou badour, and in the busy life he lives in India where precious few moments are spent waiting on that hill, we hope Ward will continue.$12.
The Story of Baba Bob by Debra Ashe, Los Angeles
February 7th, 1981 Michael Campagna and I left our Hollywood apartment and followed our hearts to India. Using royalties earned from our songNothingi Gonna Thke You Away which had been re corded on Chaka Khan’s, “Naughty” album for Warner Brothers,we left the world behind to keep our date with the Master. We had the great fortune to perform our Rythym and Blues, Gospel style songs for Baba’s Mandali in Mandali Hall. Mehera and Mani gave Baba’s sign ofperfection after each song was performed straight from the heart. Mani, Baba’s sister, was so inspired by our Hollywood Arti, that she made time to meet with us to teach us the Qwali song Baba Bob written by the Hamirpur Baba group. Every February 25th at 5 a.m., the day and time of Baba’s birth, this group ofBaba lovers weave their way through the streets ofthe city sing-
said “Two days ago, on my Sony-Walkman (with headphones on) I listened to the AshCampagna song-tape Baba Boho.The intoxi cating singing and music thrilled me. Along with you, I feel drunk with the wine of our Beloved’s name!!” Due to the enthusiasm of many at the 1998 L.A. Sahavas, we decided to reissue the Baba Bob tape. Besides the eponymous title, it features The HollywoodArti, Loving You, Run to Him, Giving It Up, In the Night of Dreams, Rickshaw, and the very popular Jeff Mylett song House ofthe Lord. This new digitally-mastered release is now available for all to enjoy. fl2. —
‘frpjiing Over (fIflz
those visiting the Samadhi; these reflect the active presence ofthe Avatar’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, responding to the faintestlonging ofan individual’s heart. He is infinitely benevolent! 7Have ComeNotto Teach But toAwaken” these words were spoken by Baba in July 1925, a few days before beginning His si lence, and they are now inscribed on the marble slab in the Samadhi, clearly revealing the purpose of the Avatar’s Advent. They show us the right approach to have when vis itmg Baba’s Samadhi, the center of infinite Power, Knowledge, and Bliss, “Sat-ChitAnand.” Meher Baba, the source of all Blessedness, once conveyed, “The Powerhouse will never fail, provided the wires take care of their connection with It.” The Powerhouse is God as Avatar the God-Man. When formless God takes form as the God-Man, that form becomes the vehicle through which Creation receives a spiritual push. Meher Baba as the Avatar ofthe Age personally chose the place where His form should be covered, so it is inevitable that this place be regarded as the divine Powerhouse. Ifone’s connection with this Powerhouse is intact, then one can feel His presence wher ever one happens to be.This connection is love and trust in Baba as the Ancient One. As the Powerhouse has infinite resources at its disposal, Baba can transmit His love to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Those receiving Baba’s love should take care oftheir linkwith the Powerhouse to be more receptive to His guidance. But even where the connection seems to be nonexistent, a visit to the Samadhi still delivers a wonderful, unexpected charge, as itvibrates with the infin ity ofthe Avatar’s Dixinity Anyone who visits the Samadhi receives an indelible impression of unconditional love from the Source whether one is conscious ofit at the time or not. —
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The Samadhi, Star oflnfinity, by Bal Natu, © 1997 Sheriar Foundation.
byBalNatu ing “Baba Bollo” to awaken the hearts of the sleeping city to Beloved Baba’s name. With the support ofFilis Frederick and Gai Geherardi, the Baba Bollo album project was completed in 1987. The tape of songs was sent to Mani. And in a letter to me she 1
hroughout my association with Baba, I have gathered that the only real miracle is the awakening in one’s heart oflonging for the love ofGod. And it is this real miracle that continues to happen within the Avatar’s Samadhi. There are many touching, marvelous, and humorous incidents associated with
urn to God in complete surrenderance and receive the divine love. You are equally a part ofthe one indivisible divine life. There is not a single atom that does not vibrate with this divine life. Meher Baba, Echoes, The Glow Pub., July 1969
71w Love Street BooIcstore by Dma Snow For appy New Year! And thank you all of those for making it the busiest Christmas with have you ever. Ofcourse a lot ofit might well computers, been the inordinate number ofnew releases you can we had available. Judging by your orders, his put there was a lot ofvery happy Baba lovers home page come Christmas morning. Remember, ev up and see cry cent ofprofit from our Bookstore goes to the Center to help with all the necessary his paintin ings repairs, renovations and improvements. So their full you not only get some beautiful Baba trea color. Each sures for yourselfbut you are contributing w e e k to Meherabode in a very tangible way. Charlie Musicallywe have 3 new additions to Mehera by Charlie Mills gives an ourline.Waiting onThis Hill— $15, Baba update on the current painting. It is fasci $4, all $12 and Ocean ofLove Boflo nating to watch it come to life in front of three ofwhich have a write up following your eyes. The on-line address is this article. In the October issue we featured one www.MillsStudio.com. Charlie tells me he ofthe most popular ofthe Baba artists Wodin (Steve Jameson). This month we Charlie Mills. turn to another favorite As we sell the photographic prints of Wodin’s original artwork, so too do we sell the 15x20 fine quality lithographs of Charlie’s paintings. He has also made four ofhis most popular paintings into greeting cards. Shown here are two, both of which we have in the large print size ready for $25, and in a 10 card pack (with framing envelopes) for $15.
Charlie Mills painting Maui
Charlie Millspainting Babac Face
Meher Baba by Charlie Mills
is now doing something very new! He will take commissions to paint a portrait ofBaba or your favorite Mandali. I’m very excited about that! There are at least eight photos ofMani I would like him to paint! You can consult with him by phone at 843 272 5613 or email to Info@Millstudio.com. His studio is in his home in North Myrtle Beach. Ifyou are visiting the Meher Spiritual Cen ter, give Charlie a call and drop by to see his beautiful work. (Admittedly, I’m biased
I have one ofhis portraits ofBaba in my living room and donated one ofMehera to Meherabode.) Cherie Plumlee has released three new cards for your pleasure. Cherie starts with a black and white photo of Meher Baba, and proceeds to take out all the smudges, spots, cracks, and lines outs fade (many of the negatives of most the beautiful photos of Baba are in bad condi tion). When as they’re clean as pos she sible, sharpens Lord of Tran.ftrmation blurred edges, adds by Cherie Plumlee
work, the $3 cost is extremely reasonable. She also has enlargements ofher artwork available that are suitable for framing. Don’t youjust love the King of Hearts?
Kitchen Choir 1974 presents a vanety of songs from the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Be Mine is the second tape Bob and J ane Brown released. And boy, have I been asked for this one! It has 24 songs on it including the very beautiful Seven Names ofGod. Sweet Wine ofLove is the first solo release by Kathy Haas Rileywith 15 songs along with the most requested song of all Bob Holdt’s Ocean ofLove.Jim Meyer’s 1976 album featuring The Tavern and I WiliNeverLeave You is entitled One Real Friend. The Tavern is such a powerful and beautiful song kind ofa signature song ofJim’s, but Ted Judson plays it at the Samadhi so beautifully too. For those of you who have long since worn these tapes out, I know how happy you will be to see them back on the market again! Ifyou have never heard any ofthem, well they all come highly recommended. Steve certainly chose the best ofthe best to re-release. They all sell for $10 each. We still have plenty ofthe most beauThe original painting is by Maggie Bevan tiful 1999 Baba calendars a work of ant and it has been made into postcards that in themselves.These are 8 apiece or 7if sell for $1 each. (The high cost is because you buy 5 or more. The last book by Mani, they are made in England and we have to Dreaming ofthe Beloved, was the runaway import them.) They are, of course, in full best seller at Christmas. But ifyou looked brilliant color and would look beautiful for it in vain under your Christmas tree, framed. An eye-catching conversation relax, we have plenty more. Hardbound, 80 starter to be sure. pages, 24 full color illustrations of these Hermes tells me Manifestation will be dreams, it is a steal at $22. releasing Volume 13/14 of the Lord MeThe very finely crafted Witness Series her series early this year. Baring holdups at videos, the ones with interviews with Methe printers, it should be out before sumhera, Mani, Agnes Baron and Irene Billo mer. We do carry all the others, but since (see the article on page 22) were originally volume 3 and 4 are almost completely out released only in NTSC. But that has been of print, we are keeping them for people rectified and for you folks overseas, you can who are going to buy the entire set. And now buy them in PAL. Australians should we do allowyou to buythem one at a time. contact: Rod Tyson P. 0. Box 991 Byron Ifyou wish to build on the collection you Bay, 2481 NSW Australia E-mail already have, that is fine too. After volume firstname.lastname@example.org. Europeans should 5 Hermes released them in a double vol write or call Ralph Lewis, “Kelmscott” ume, so 6/7, 7 (part 2)/8, 9/10, and 11/12, Church End, Hampton Green, Stroud, plus a re-release of 1/2 are all priced at Gloucester GL6 9AD UK. Ralph’s Fax and $80 per double volume. They contain an phone: 01 453 886179 E-mail enormous collection ofphotos, never seen email@example.com anywhere else, and some absolutely fasci Ifyou wish to place an order, or would nating glimpses into the life ofthe Avatar. like us to send you a catalogue, (alas we only Some good news about some old have the one created for us over 5 years ago!) friends! Many ofyou have asked over the you can e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, phone years for these next four tapes that have me weeknights from 7-11 pm at 310 837 been completelyout ofstock, but now Steve 6419, fax 24 hours a day to 310 839 BABA Edelman ofMeher Prasad tells me he has (2222)orwnite. them available. Ancient One the Original In his love, Dma —
details where necessary, and then colors the photo using a variety of tools to tweak the flesh, hair and clothing tones. When that is done, she adds a suitable background. On some art pieces, the background is made of 4-5 different photographs, these are combined in a way Moondreams that conby Cherie Plum/ce solidates the entire composition and “feels right” to her. All ofthis, ofcourse, is accomplished on the computer in PhotoShop and may take weeks to “fine tune.” You think they look beautiful here? Well tune your com puter to http://eccinfo.sunyerie.edu/ cplumlee/mbartpage.htm and check out her website where you can see them in full color. When she has completed work on a photo, Cherie has a negative made and then makes photographic prints which she mounts on fine quality linen card stock, adds a matching envelope, and encloses them both in a cellophane bag. For all this
k Zoroastrian Wedding at Meher Mount by Wendy Ward, Los Angeles here is nothing beyond God and there is nothing without God yet God can al— vays be captured with love. These words of “
aba graced the cover page of the wedding nvitation announcing the marriage of Vlehernoush Lorkalantari from Los Angeles nd KerryMcPherson from Victoria, Canada )n September 12, 1998 at 4:00 pm at Meher Vlount, California. Kerry and Mehernoush wanted the wedhng to be held at a place that had been graced ) Baba’s Presence. Meher Mount was perect since Baba had actually visited there. Viuch of the property remains in a natural ;tate, just as it had been when Baba visited. fhe area chosen for the wedding was where :he house that Baba slept in used to be beFore itwas destroyedbyfire in 1985.The origi rial chimney from that house still stands and was beautifully decorated with flowers &pho tos ofthe Beloved. One hundred and thirtyguests from both the Zoroastrian and Meher Baba communi ties attended the wedding. The Zoroastrian marriage ceremony was used to unite Mehernoush and Kerry in matrimony. When all the guests had gathered, Mehernoush and Kerry entered the wedding site walking arm in arm. The bride and groom were seated at a table upon which were placed many symbolic items. Most noticeable was a picture of Zoroaster in front of Kerry’s seat, and a pic ture ofJesus in front ofMehernoush’s seat. In the center ofthe table sat a slightlylarger pho tograph ofBeloved Avatar Meher Baba. Jeff Maguire, the MC, introduced the Mobed (the officiator ofthe ceremony) and announced that parts ofthe ceremony would be spoken in both English and Farsi. The Mobed began: “In the name ofAhura Mazda, the great, wise creator, we have come here to bring Mehernoush and Kerry together who have resolved to share their lives as husband and wife in accordance with the law and cus tom ofZarathustra.” He then asked the bride ifshe accepted the bridegroom as her physi cal and spiritual partner. After an affirmative answer from the bride, he turned to the bridegroom and asked him the same question. ATter his assent, the benediction began. “To the
auspiciousness ofall the people assembled here, I pray to Ahura Mazda that this wedding be blessed with durability solidarity love, joy, and happiness. May you be blessed with good chil dren possessed of innate strength of body and mind.” The Mobed contin ued by counseling the couple. “Here are some spiritual directives, listen MobedBabrarn Shahzadi with Mehernoush and Kerry. and practice them so that they are pleased. Hold memorial services in they bring you to divine pleasure and happi ness. Pray and praise God, Ahura-Mazda the honor ofyour departed souls. It is necessary Creator, for he has granted us every blessing, to select one wise person as your guide in life, to consult him or her, because knowledge is and know God as the all knowing Creator. Turn to truth and righteousness. Live alife of vast and it requires the guidance of a wise person in order to obtain a good result. Omni good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. scient God who has created man above all Help the poor as best as you can. Perform the Najote (initiation) ofyour children, so that they other worldly creations, and endowed him with the knowledge ofspeech, loves philanthropy; may stand praising Ahura-Mazda. Be grateful to your parents and teachers and hold therefore do not hurt people with your them in reverence, for God is pleased when thoughts, words, and deeds. Be kind to your
( juniors and respect your superiors.” The Mobed continued by charging the bride and groom to follow the six attributes of God (Amesh Splendam) and to strive towards
ofShahrivar Ameshaspand is spiritual power and self-restraint. Work for leadership and power. Be obedient and respectful to the just leaders. Be diligent and self-reliant. Do not covet other’s riches.Donotbe jealous. 4) The principle of Spent Armaz is humility and kindness. Be meek and modest in life. Be good I and kind to each other. Do not be selfish and arro gant. Be gracious. Do not regard your poor rela tives as a disgrace to your position. Help them finan cially. Establish schools, hospitals and other benefi cial institutes. Be well, yielding and forbearinglike the earth. Keep the earth clean and prosperous. Do r. not pollute her. 5) The principle of Khordad is happiness and prosperity. Have a happy heart and clean body. Cleanliness is in fact purity of soul. Do not be ungrateful. Do not be sad. Look at the world with clear eyes. Be glad and grateful for what God has granted you. Bring prosperity and create happiness. Keep water, the agent ofprosperity and happiness, clean and do not pollute it. 6)The principle ofAmeritat is health and prosperity and longevity. Keep your body healthy and strong. Avoid evil and pollution. Have your home and clothes clean. Drain stagnant water and create farms. Increase trees and plantations. Treat the wor thywith medicine and care.Take care ofthose in trouble. The Mobed then solemnized the marriage and the Tandorsoty was recited. “In the name ofAhura Mazda, I declare you as husband and wife. I wish Ahura Mazda will look afteryou, guide you and help you in your great adventure. Mayyou always remember Asho Zarathushtra’s advice to his daughter
spiritual perfection. 1) The prin ciple ofVohu Manah is peace and good thinking. Be benevolent and well wishing. Acquire knowledge, be wise, and spread knowledge. Be just to your enemies. Be kind to your friends. 2) The principle of Ardibeshesht is truth and righteousness. Always keep yourselves mentally and physically clean. Be united with one another in heart and soul. May you bear each other’s joy and sor row. Give help and receive help. Try to be law abiding and useful citizens. 3) The principle
® Pouruchistra and her husband Jamasya at their wedding ceremony: He said “Dear children, bear in mind that to be truthful to each other is the best way to live together. May you strive lovingly to excel each other. “Dear Ahura Mazda, we commend these young people to your care and attention. two them; guide them in their endeav Look after Mazda, I ask for your Ahura ors. Amen. Dear the union of these two blessing to sanctif5i hearts, so that their wedded life be blessed with your Love. Amen.” JeffMaguire then described what was to follow and told Kerry “Adi K. Irani said that a man without a woman is incomplete; but once he is married, he is finished.” Light or fire is to the Zoroastrians symbol oflove, divine illumi nation, enlightenment, warmth, and energy It is a reminder ofthe Divine Light, purity, and love of God, much as the Dhuni fire is for Baba Lovers. It is the custom for the Mobed to lead the bride and groom, hand-in-hand, around a fire seven times. Each circle sym bolically brings the couple closer and closer to the element of Divine Love, increasing the warmth and love in their own hearts. In this manner the marriage is sealed. The families of the couplejoin in the circle oflight and loire. Tradition was broken when many Baba byersjoined in the circle. And at the end of this beautiftil circle, a resounding cry ofAvatar Meher Baba kiJai rang out. Then a beautiful song was sung in Farsi, followed by Debra Ashe singing “The Rose”, Pris and Chris Haffenden playing “Begin the Beguine”, and Billy Goodrum singing “Deep is the Ocean.” During the songs a feeling of love andjoyfilled the air. A Persianlady standing next to me commented on the presence of love she felt. An incredible Persian feast and hours of exhuberant dancing followed the wedding. The four-tier cake decorated with lacework icing and fresh flowers was cut by the bride and groom, and enjoyed by all. At one point some friends and I decided to walk to Baba’s tree. As I walked up the hill towards the tree, I found that there were many people doing the same thing. Alarge group of Baba lovers were gathered at the tree and we joined them just as they began saying the Zoroastrian Parvardigar Prayer. Many guests quietly walked by while listening to the prayer; othersjoined the back ofthe group and listened respectfully. There seemed to be such total acceptance and mutual respect for
3@ That’s HowYou Should Live in the World Meher Baba
azrat Nizamuddin Awliya, the Perfect Master ofDelhi, was once asked by a visitor how one should live in the world. At that moment so happened that a fewwomen were passing by with pitchers of water bal anced on their heads, and, as they walked, they gossiped and gesticulated. Pointing to them Nizamuddin said, “Look at those women that’s howyou should live in the world.” Asked to explain this cryptic remark, the Master continued, “These women returning from the well with pitchers balanced on their heads seem to be thinking ofnothing else but exchanging tidbits ofgossip with each other; and yet they are all the time concentrating on something far more important, on balancing the pitchers on their heads. Thus, whatever your body, your senses or the purely surface part ofyour mind may be occupied with, see that the root ofyour mind is constantly fo cused on God.” —
each group’s spiritual practices. I thought it wonderftil that there were so many members ofthe Zoroastrian community present at Meher Mount (which is dedicated to serving all communities.) Mehernoush and Kerr you have cho sen to wed on a Dhuni day. Mayyour love for each other be like the Dhuni, so that as you each sacrifice your own individual wants and desires for one another, you find more and more room in your hearts for an ever deeper, self-giving and expansive love for each other and for Beloved God. Avatar Metier Baba kijai!
Step Over the Obstacles byMani S. Irani
t’s good to remember life isn’t a make it or break it affair; while taking the deep happiness a union of two beings in love can bring, one should not close one’s eyes to the constant little demands marriage is bound to make. When understood in that right give and take it will bring you ever closer together and to Him. So because Baba is happy and has approved ofyour marriage it does not mean everythingwill be blanklysmooth, or that there can never be problems and no hurts. Baba does not sweep our paths for us, He teaches us to step over the obstacles to higher giving and loving.
GodSpeaks, p. 208 ©1973 Sufism Reoriented, Inc.
Unity Meher Baba
ove is the reflection of God’s unity in the world of duality As love gathers it generates creative restlessness and becomes the spiritual dynamic which ultimately suc— ceeds in restoring to consciousness the origi nal unity ofbeing. Meher Baba, Echoes, The GlowPub.,July, 1969
Lettersfrorn the Mandali, II, p. 80 © 1983, AMBPPCT
“There is nothing beyond God and there is nothing without God, yet God can always be captured with Love. Avatar Meher Baba “
Living in His World From Cynthia Barrientos, Seattle, WA
“Jack 0 Lantern...” to check things out.There he stands, tall and MeI say “Avatar me as at very alert, looking “Meher Baba, Meher Baba her Baba kiJai!”A KODAK moment! NeedYou have such a loving heart less to say, each time I move to reach for him, As you look out in the window behind the couch he zips.Mumble, grrrrrr, sigh, At the people who hug. harumph and an occasional “Oh, Baba”. Meher Baba, Meher Baba It’s 6:50 I’m beginning to lose my pawho loves our everyone One next cabinet, file tience. Now he’s behind the time you come to see us Next check I can to our computer. This is convenient. Sing a song about ME!” back come my emailwhile waiting for him to this out. Hmmmm, haven’t done prayers yet .As Lee sang, I dashed to get a piece of morning. Believe it or not, I fold my hands paper tojot this down and had him sing it a and begin, “0 Parvardigar, the preserver and few times so I could get all the words just protector of all... “You guessed it! Out he right. I asked him ifhe’d like to send this off comes, stands up VERY tall (well, as tall as a to the LoveStreet LampPost and he agreed gerbil possibly can) holds his little paws way with a smile and a nod. He also agreed to up close, under his chin, and LOOKS at me draw a picture of Baba to accompany it. as I continue with prayers. Distracted by his Handing him a pen and paper, we sat tocuteness, I pause. He crouches down and gether on our steps. He spoke while drawquicklywalks back into the dark space behind ing: the cabinet. “Meher Baba is wearing a Mexico hat drTh’: 7:00 strikes, I give up trying and let him a sombrero. See those lines right called set we easy, ) be. He (ofcourse) then saunters out through I there? (Connecting his legs like rungs of a his cage in the kitchen. I am able to corner him near a ladder) Those are all the future people that there with book shelfand FINALLY have him! Thank died. (Is that a fascinating sentence or for wait and door room food, close the utility You, Baba! That means they are dead on His what?) on check to I go Each time him to crawl in. Now, what about the one under the uses people’s LOVE for the NEW legs. He and seeds sunflower some him, he’s snatched dryer? He has food, water and his cage to hop love other people. His feet kind to people Hmmmmmm... the dryer. dashed backunder in and out. It’s time to wake my son and get but that’s OK. I can’t make as big, oflook Maybe not so easy. ready for school. Believe I’ll leave him there that hair right here? (Atop leg. See big ofa tamer the spots At 6:15, our dog finally until my husband gets home this afternoon. I is when He was a little This head.) Baba’s couch. the under ofthe two, peeking out from may try”O Parvardigar” and Baba’s name with boy.That’sit!” will and He’s escaped before, is pretty friendly him. But, really.. what are the chances of two approach ifwe talk in a sweet soft voice while Baba loving gerbils in the one house? offering food! So, offand on, for about a half As Halloween approached, my 5an hour--he comes right up to me, we stare at son Lee was learning fun each other I speak sweetly, offer the sunflower year-old little songs at school. One was: seeds. He EVEN lets me stroke his tiny little “Jack o’ lantern,jack o’ lantern paws. The moment my hand opens to reach You are such a funny sight [Ah, those Baba babies! for him, away he dashes! As you sit there in the window Anyone else have stories In a moment ofdesperation, I say Baba’s like thisi Please let its Looking out at the night name outloud, notvery sweetly. BOINK! Out hearfrom you.] pops his pointy little face. *IDEA* J’ say You were once a yellow pumpkin Baba’s name again. Sure enough, he comes Growing on a sturdy vine completely out from behind the couch and Now you sit there in the window stands up on his hind legs. For those of you See the candles that shine.” new to gerbil nature, this is what they do when One day I heard him sing to the tune of they are curious and feel comfortable enough
ere’s a true story oflife in a Baba home. My son has two sweet little black and white gerbils. This morning, at 5:20 am, my husband calls upstairs to me as he’s getting ready to head off to work, “Honey! JAILBREAK!The gerbils are loose!” We do let them out every few days, though they roll around in these clever little, clear plastic balls...free, but VERYeasyto catch. So, picture this, 5:30 am, flashlight in hand, scanning all eo 5 t__ cranmes ofour kitchen and 1’ living room, calling for our fL4;: •: r? ( little friends. We finally ft discover one is hiding out \
am c( 1 £oveswect4D ;
The Turning ofThe Key by Sarah McNeil, Sussex, England
he question back in October ‘88 was “How?”Two students of theol )gy had put the question to Eruch. It was :ourageous ofthem. Most ofthe people I met )n that first visit to Meherabad had no prob em with this question at all, recounting with hining eyes and real feeling their personal xperience ofloving the Avatar. For me it did iot connect. I seemed to be able to present :learly thought out rea ;ons why I needed to blow this path, but vhen it came to the question of love I isked myself how do :hey do it, how do they reel that, what kind of ffort should I be mak ng to get to that point :f actually feeling ;omething? Shining yeswould be nice as well. So I was glad when the theology duo put this important (to nie) question to Eruch in Mandali Hall. He Lold us Baba said we are given an example of how to love God in the way lovers behave towards each other; the Loved one is constantly in their thoughts and in the songs and poems theywrite to celebrate their love; a picture ofthe loved one is worn as a locket and another might be placed under the pillow at night. “Right,” I thought,”I’ll give it a try.” For the next two weeks I slept with Baba’s picture under my pillow but nothing happened. No ecstatic dreams. No feelings of bliss. No shining eyes. Sure I knew what love meant! I loved my children and I loved my husband like no one else in the world. I loved my parents, fondly and dutifully; my friends, my home, mywork, myself, yes,yes! But that’s not what people were talking about, not what they meant. I spent a considerable time thinking about this, even feeling guilty on the days we went to Meherazad because I found that the anticipation of seeing Eruch again was stronger than the love
for the Avatar I wanted to be able to tune into and share. That first visit to India was also the first step ofajourney round the world. I had three months leave and a travel grant. My husband had urged me to take this chance to visit all the Meher Baba locations (India, Australia and the United States) in the caring hope that maybe I’d find whatever it was I seemed to be
looking for. So after India, when I went on to Australia to spend time at Avatar’s Abode, the same question was still uppermost in my mind. The orchestration of the events of that week on Kiel Mountain was simply brilliant though I did not see the pattern emerge until much later. First, was Mrs. Love. She was a white-haired elderlyladywho was staying at the pilgrim house on the Avatar’s Abode es tate. She did not want to be there, but her son was helping her move at the time and this was the only place she could stay until things were settled. For Mrs. Love, the arrival of a wandering Brit who moved in to share her temporary bedroom was not exactlywhat she might have wished for. But as it was, I could not use the other bedroom because two young lovers had arrived with theirlove-child, a beautifril 3 year old cherub. They would be marned at Avatar’s Abode the following Saturday (my last day there).
In those days there was a key to Baba’s Cabin hanging on a special hook in the Pil grim House. It could be taken and returned whenever pilgrims wished to visit the Cabin. I went there very early each morning. I can still hear the chucklinglaughter ofa kookaburra that greeted my appearance as I swished up through dew-laden grass at sunrise in a stillness broken only by these sounds. I took it personally and felt he was laughing at me! I left my shoes at the door ofthe Cabin, crept inside letting myself into Baba’s room and quietly sat on the floor by the bed. What I felt I had to do was say “I love you Baba” loudly and clearly in that room over and over, as if repeating a magic formula could make it happen! Outside, the kookaburra laughed again. But I was thousands of miles from home. No one would hear me, see me, or ever know. So over and over an hour each day, the sound of my voice speaking those words echoed in a room with a polished resonance like the inte nor ofa perfectly made musical instrument. A room which for me became a force field of energy and power. I could not honestly say in the time I spent there I registered any feelings oflove for the Avatar. But I loved sitting in His room and it was important to me to keep on trying. I really felt this was something I had to do and that my lack of feeling was because ofsomething I was failing to do. Meanwhile, the days passed and the weddingloomed. Earlyon the Saturday moming, afterleaving Baba’s Cabin, I went in search of a house where I could make a telephone call to the UK. Peter and Leigh Rowan were at home and invited me in. It was my wedding anniversary and I talked at length with my darling husband in far off England. Then, backup to the Pilgrim House where my busy
st-’ tovestreetcani a 1 .
now. Everything at Avatar’s Abode that week “doing” persona popped up and I assisted was showing me the same thing. wherever I could. On returning to the house to get my “The love I was lookingfor lunch, I found the whole place taken over by a team ofparents and helpers who had arrived was not to be accessed by my to organize the entire wedding. “Never mind,” doing or making efforts to do I remember thinking to myselfrather piously, anything at all. All around “I don’t mind going without lunch.” “Where’s Sarah?” called a voice. It was me, like meteor showers in the an Australian ladyl’d met in India, who lived Australian night sky, were nearby. She had heard I was staying up at Avatar’s Abode. “Thought you might like to examples ofthat love.” come for a picnic lunch,” she said, brandishing a well-stocked picnic basket. We ate fruit and All around me were people open to re sandwiches on the grass underneath the trees. ceiving it, expressing in their lives the fbllness It was delightftil.The wedding tookplace that ofits dynamism. It is ofcourse contagious in afternoon at the top ofthe hill where bbseffect. som-scent and music intermingled till you That is not all.There was another time at could smell the music and hear the flowers. Avatar’s Abode. Sixyears later. Bythen (1994) Summer dresses, fancy hats and laughter it was no longer possible to wander up to adorned the occasion. Mrs. Love was there, Baba’s cabin at will. Visits were prearranged; her hat in bloom and a smile ofenjoyment on mybonged-for early morning time withheld; her face. another step to be made. It happened on the When Peter and Leigh then invited me day. last out for the evening (“We gather it’s your wedout soon after sunrise for an early Venturing ding anniversary”) I explained that I had that the Cabin was open. realized I walk, nothing suitable to wear as I was travelling inside doing some cleaning was Rouse Lorna light. “No worries,” said Leigh “I’ll lend you Baba’s room while she into me let She work. something.” That evening at her house, she For me, it was minutes. few for a finished.Just invited me to choose something from her wardmight be al if I asked I enough! long not robe. She added shoes, beads, earrings and she left and lock after awhile on stay to lowed bangles to the colourful array ofdresses and up the place myself. She declined quite firmly left me to select whatever I liked. So I decked and looking me straight in the eye said, myselfout in celebratory style and we all went out for a meal. Back at midnight for mylast night at the “Baba is in your heart. Thatc Pilgrim House I quietly crept into the bedwhere you’llfind him.” room so as not to disturb Mrs. Love. She switched the light on and I wished her good Now I did actually have a “secret” key night saying, “It’s mylast night. Tomorrow I lent to me by another friend I’d trust, on Sydney.” to back go I did not want to betray that recently. off at me see met to came Bruford oanna J anyone know. So I could two letting her by trust and Alice as well as re Maroochydo Lorna had gone back to until waited my from have friends all Karim, and Alicia children let myself back into then and ill house her seriously been had Joanna India. weeks in have. It was my last could I room. that Oc Baba’s Centre Pilgrim the at while she was about the something was there But I’d day. Abode Avatar’s at time my tober. During something me. to spoke Rouse what Lorna way about all heard and her spent a daywith about what she said and the way she looked had happened. As well as being very ill she the at me which made that option wither incausing about upset very had also been so stantly. Part ofme felt rebellious. But I re pilgrims other and Meherabad residents get better turned there and then down the hill to make to started “I only much trouble. their love,” arrangements for my “secret” key to be receive to able when I learned to be this safely back to its owner. The real key given probably it was end, the she told me. In and Lorna had turned it. Avatar’s in mine a things was see me to helped statement that the place. And the whole prowas out come Abode could doubts newlight.The nagging
cess from my initial question to its eventual answer was completed in Baba’s perfect time. I didn’t have to do anything. *Thjs is also the title of a book on Meher Baba in Australia by Bill LePage.
It Was He Who Kissed Mehera’s Hand by Mani S. Irani he absolutely clear mirror ofMehera’s immaculate heart, which Baba took great pains to keep unclouded by the dust ofthe world, reflects Baba’s image, the im age ofthe Divine Beloved, as none other can. From the beginning, and throughout her life with Baba, Mehera’s status as His Beloved grew obvious to us in manyways. Her place was foremost in all things concerning Baba. All personal privileges in attending to Babas Form were hers combing His hair, trimmIng His moustache, cutting His nails, seeing to His clothes, and all things concerning His precious person. Let me give you an example ofBaba’s relationship with Mehera that clearly mdlcates her special position in the kingdom of His Love. When we would be seated at the dining table, itwould be Mehera who had the prIvilege of serving Baba. And, when Mehera would offer Him something from her plate something she knew Baba was partial to, like a piece ofcheese or some such delicacy- Babawould taste it to please Mehera and return it to her saying, “No, Mehera, you eat it; it will bejust the same as ifl am eating it.” Another example ofMehera’s No. 1 position among us; while on occasion Baba would offer His hand to us to kiss, it was He who kissed Mehera’s hand. We witnessed this natural gesture many a time, at Meherazad and Guruprasad, and happily it is captured on one ofthe films for you all to share.
Mtherti, by Mehera S. Irani, Foreword by Mani S. Irani, (c) 1989 Avatar Meher Baha Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahrnednagar, India, Published by Naosherwan Anzar, Beloved Books.
The President’s Report by Lois Jones 4ll those who love Me and want to share My work can do so.” —Avatar Meher Baba hat a busy year we’ve had here at Meherabode. We were able to observe kmartithi and celebrate Beloved Baba’s Birthday in our beautiftdhome. Many guests visited us, including Baba’s niece Shireen Bonner and her mother, Freny. A highlight was Bhau Kaichuri’s return to Meherabode. Mieher Baba’s flag, a gift from the Mandali, flow graces our meeting hail and is flown outloors on special occasions. Bhau, guest 3peaker Pratap Ahir from Mumbai, Robert Dreyftis and singerJamie Newell, along with a]l who attended, helped to create a wonderftil 1998 L.A. Sahavas! Attendance at the Farsi language meetings continues to grow. Thanks to the work of this group, a Persian God Speaks is now availablethe first publication from our own Love Street Press. The Service Committee has reactivated public Community Outreach, and proceeds from the “Turkey Swing” dance will be used to make Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. Meanwhile, efforts to provide opportu rnties for the L.A. Baba community to spend a relaxing time together have resulted in a fun-filled Sunday pancake breakfast as well as a group marathon reading ofGod Speaks. This year we paid our second mortgage in frill. Before the end ofthe year we will have a fhlly functional center! The three storage bays are being converted to an office and an archives & bookstore storage room. We will finally have all of our archival treasures on site.The far shed is presentlybeing converted to a teen room, and the garden shed will soon be a kitchen with a small dining area adjoining the green house. When the office is moved to its newlocation, the former office space will be converted to a room for the younger chil dren. Since so many Baba babies are being brought into the world from our Center’s membership, we are converting the old children’s room to a mother and baby facility with changing table and rocking chair. After much planning, next year we will begin the -
renovations necessary to obtain our Certifi cate of Occupancy. This year’s Board ofDirectors had lots of work to do, which required many long meetings. Thank you, Mahoo Ghorbani, Mehernoush Lorkalantari-McPherson, Lynn Maguire, Golnaz Manouchehrpour, Nancy Merwan, Dma Snow, and Linda Zavala for your time, hard work, and many talents. Thank you also to all ofyou in the com munity who volunteered at the Center or helped in other ways. And to those around the country who consistently send in your love donations a thousand thanks. It warms our heart to know there are so many people who care so very much that the Center be here for allwho visit L.A.. Meherabode is such a lovely place! Come often and bring your friends.
tion on the main meeting hallwill probably start just after Silence Day and continue for the duration ofthe year. Minor renovations are being done to the Babies and Children’s roomsjust adja cent to it. For years people have longed for children and teens to be able to have their
Roberto he/ping bui/d the new storage shed behind the garden shed.
Center and Facilities Report by Linda Zavala Construction Activities n November we were able to move the office into one ofthe back storage sheds, which was renovated from top to bottom walls, windows and ceilings were added. Another one ofthe sheds has now become the Teen space and the garden shed (adja cent to the Green House) has been converted into a small kitchen. This will help the Center function during the renovation ofthe main building this year. We plan to build the handicap bathrooms (mandated by law) as soon as we obtain the Building Permit, perhaps by April or May. Construc
The old ‘log kennels” being made into the new bookstore and archives storage.
own space for special activities and programs, and now that is becoming a reality. A member has bartered services for beautiful imported wood furniture, which has really spiced up the front porch and Bookstore. After 20 years ofkeeping Baba’s Sadra in a small box, lovingly made by Chris Pearson in the early 70’s, a new archival display case has been purchased. Now ev eryone will be able to see Baba’s Sadra beautifully displayed and feel confident that it will be preserved properly for years to come under the plexiglas and security housing. Mahogany wood was chosen for the frame and a silver “Mastery in Servi tude” emblem made by Randall Williams has been set into the casing at the front of the cabinet. A tortoise shell barrette, beautifully decorated by Mehera with Baba’s fingernail clippings, has been placed above Baba’s Sadra, at the top ofthe display case. Mehera had given it to Hedi Merten as a birthday present in 1938 while she was in India. Unfortunately, we do not have a photo ofthe cabinet as ofthis printing. Many small things have been accom plished to spruce up the Center. A little pruning here and there, more flowers and trees planted, a little painting and of course, there are always the ongoing repairs. Step by step, the Center is improving and all the loving care is going into enhancing that feeling ofBaba’s loving Presence and Grace.
The ‘Turkey Swing Dance’ have heard of a Turkey Trot, well this year organizer Lynn Maguire de cided to have a Swing Dance to raise funds, hence the title. It was a wonderful night, well attended, with most people out on the floor dancing their legs off. Professional dancer Mitchell Rose taught some of the basic steps for those who had never attempted to swing dance, and then we were off and dancing up a storm to Glen Miller and other great bands of the ‘40’s. Itwas also a that night brought out all the new mothers and their babies, although they sat out the dances! Dance Instructor Almost MitchellRose 500 was raised and with this money it has
been the Center’s tradition to buyThanksgiv ing Baskets for the poor. Shopping for the bas kets isgreat fun! Agroup sweeps into the grocery store, and like an army with a well-organized plan, proceeds to fill over a dozen shopping carts with turkeys and all the trimmings necessary for a family of 4-6 people. We Alexandra Rouchon gets vary which dancing tipsfrom churches we Mia Compagna and give it to. This Glenn Russ year we are tak rng them, when they are all packed up, to St. Joseph’s Church in Santa Monica. They have at least 200 families on their needy list, so will be able to place them where they are most needed. Of course we slip a Baba card in with each basket, so the families get to fill their tummies and allow a little of His Divine Love to slip in too.
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The Filming of The Witness Series Videos by Wendell C. Brustman, Ph.D. Myrtle Beach or three months in the Fall of 1986 our sion-obscured path to God. I knew from my film crew encamped at Meherazad. Not Christian upbringing, and identification with since Louis van the Apostles, Gasteren had that, short of come 20 years having been earlier had there able to live with been this serious J esus, next best a collaboration was to have over filming. Life been one of was intensified, these disciple’s particularly for companions. the resident manIn 1983, dali, as we the question videoed them occurred to me, professionally for “With highthe bfficial media re 5 olutio n archives ofMeher Left to rightBillHaviland, David Walkenhauer, Roman video, can we in Babiak, Thm Brustman. August, 1 986, Hong Kong Baba’s Mandali. some sense Airport. Photos by Wendell Brustrnan Residents and ‘freeze’ the livpilgrims alike ing mandali joined in the spirit of turning Mandali hall, and close ones ofMeher Baba, only to restore Mehera’s porch and yard, and Baba’s room them to life in perpetuitywith a VCR?” The upside down and into film sets. Meherazad simple, “yes” answer I gave myselfset in mo coped with our demand for output on off-days; tion a video project that came eventually, with Eruch with trekking to Imampur in the dark the India portion, to be uniquely under early morning hours; arti-goers with our filmMehera’s direct guidance. How this ‘cryogening Mehera inside the Samadhi. We lived at ics’ work could be done, was a more difficult the Pilgrim Center coming and go- ing in a question to answer. Liveliness in Baba on beat-up green van Sudam had comman video, demanded the camera be the interdeered for us at a good price. Consumed with viewer, and the viewer’s exchange with the our work, we kept late hours and took fibersubject on camera be a speaking heart-toties, often putting the tolerance of Ted and heart. Done well, the balance of head and others to the testwith such trouble as starting heart could be there, and Baba’s real presence the only room fire in PC history when Bill could emerge through the impressions made. Haviland’s immersion heater caught the winWhen a few months later I met Bill Haviland dow curtain on fire in M-1O. at the Pilgrim Center, my abstract conceptwas Myvideo work for Meher Baba did not joined to practical technique, and a partnerbegin with an inherent interest in the field. ship was born. Behind the scenes, Barbara Actually, I usually disliked watching televi Brustman also became a partner and gave her sion and movies, preferring real life. Rather, it active support. began because ofmy deep personal interests The resuitwas the initiation of“The Witin theology, psychology and esthetics which ness Series” ofvideos, personal meetings with had also guided my business and professional mandali and Westerners alike. It began with life. Years ago, they combined to lead me to a trip by Bill, myselfand my 14 year old son, work on the problem ofhow to discern Reality Tommy, to Heiden, Switzerland in 1984 to in illusion. I came to focus on ordinary life film Irene Bib, and then the next year to with the God-man as the place to discern supFrance and England for Anita and Roger port for a walk offaith andlove along our fflu Vieillard, Don Stevens and others. Even
thoughMani atflrst demurred, citing time constraints and the condition of the mandali as “broken-down ftirniture,” after a meeting I had with Bhau Kalchuri in 1985 in California, the following year our crew was able to pack off 14 cases of gear and go to India. We were finally at the high point ofthe project: sitting squarely in front of Mehera, Mani, Eruch and the other mandali. By 1987 we had accu mulated all together several hundred hours of high-quality 3/4” video. Five years later, the original tapes became Sheila Krynski’s initial collection with which to begin Sheriar Foundation’s permanent archives. During video sessions, holding the subject’s attention to the camera was key. Bill Haviland or Ken Petrie behind the camera could safely draw it; likewise Roman Babiak or Tom Brustman working the sound with shotgun mike and headphones; but mostly it was intended to go to our crew member sittingjust under the camera’s lens. As director, I was most often this one standing in for future video viewers. Mina B rus tm an Paul and Morris still re— call their fre quent duties as my alternate. Mina 50metime5 needed to discr:tely give ‘
Meherazad, October 1 986 Porch ofMandaliHall, BillandRornan
first to this leg, then to that, to eyes keep open in order to do her job of holding the speaker’s gaze. But even glancing away to the left or right at pilgrims, the speaker’s heart seemed always to remain attuned, even though for the inside shoot, mandali hall had been turned topsyturvy Wall colors had been toned down with
stopped. Furniture was moved, lights were set up, cables run. We built a film set. Even Eruch on the porch was effectively kept from working. Yet all were excited by what was happening. And Rano tried. Mani went over the lines with her again and again. As soon as she could re peat them correctly twice, we’d switch on the camera. In that short time, Rano would forget, hesitate, or Mani Irani with BiliHaviland in Mandali Hall, scramble the sentence. Meherazad, September 1 986 We’d tryagain,Mani, chief of the endeavor with Bal quietly. Suddenly, watching Eruch and Natu dulling spray; film lights had cranked up the burst a new pu doorway, outside the through October heat almost unbearably thick orange to the tenreacting hysterically arrival, grim onthe under tucked power cords, even when killing the “You’re screaming, air, in the non ev running seen be could rugs, ental throw mandali,Wendell! Stop, now!” and so on, with erywhene across the floor, then snaking out a a litany I’d heard so often before, but now door or windo backpast Pendu’s room to the both maddening and humorous, because, had control center in Bal Natu’s office. this pilgrim known, she should have screamed There were manypoignant, but also dif this time at Mani, not at me. Mani rose to the ficult and tense moments during our video occasion with grace, and eventuallywe got our shoot which Baba would resolve, and use to Rano clip. har call attention to the spirit ofsacnifice and Under the direction of Mehera and capable had become mony that these mandali but with fill cooperation from Eruch Mani, I example, For oftraining. ofunder His years and the other men mandali, these stellar lights remember that after a few weeks, Mani got into the swing ofit, and was spending most of in Meher Baba’s close circle worked tirelessly on their video assignment, even while they her limited free time preparing for her own continued to perform their other duties. I re stints before the camera. A paucity of matemember Mani telling me early on, the mandali nial from memories and ideas had now betired and good for at most five hours were came a cornucopia ofriches hard to select from. and not to expect more. She even ex each, her in One day, while discussing filming her a promise from me not to ask for more tracted introMani office at the Trust compound, had done that much. But, within a we once until Up Rano. including duced the idea of as we moved ahead, not counting fewweeks, de her because Rano excluded had we then, the hours recorded, nothing more was ever mentia was so advanced, it would have been said about limits until several months had undignified to record her in this condition and passed by. Only then, did Mani tell me that also skew history’s perception ofthis once ex ceptionally sharp mandali. Mani knew all of Mehera had instructed her and the rest ofthe mandali to cooperate fully with whatever I this, of course, yet she was determined and to do. wanted in presented this plan: “We will include Rano herselfspent hours combing files Mani her fa on the office filming by having her sit and letters to jog her memory and notes for am I While desk. ofmy mthar chair to the side with time sequences, as she her help and Rano to will turn I the camera, to talking piled a very long list ofstories and commen ask her a question. We will coach her in adtary. Eventually she edited that list down. vance. She’ll only have to remember a very We shot almost 20 hours ofMani, practically short reply. Rano will do it ifl ask her.” I was all of which was already self-edited by this happily surprised by the planned adventure careful preparation and selection process she and readily agreed. To me, Rano was still followed. Our first Mani video, 4ll This and enough “present” for us to capture some sense Too”, required practicallyno additional Heaven equipment ofher persona1itc We moved our as a result. The rest ofher tapes in the editing work all and the Trust at into Mani’s office
Witness Series will have the same stamp. Mani and Eruch, as well as Bal Natu and Aloba, were shot almost exclusively in mandali hall at Meherazad.The result oftheir ef forts before taping has produced a most natural flow ofmaterial for the viewer. That flow, leading to limited editing, makes pos sible the verisimilitude many experience with these programs while viewing them in a theater setting, namely, that it is like sitting with the mandali again in India. That experience, ofcourse, is what we had sought. Our interest was not in producing documentaries. We wanted to make it possible to return to India again and again, and for those new to Meher Baba over the next 700 years to be able to go, and also to be with the mandali, whenever theychose to do so. I met Mani at Meherazad for the final time in earlyDecember of1995. She had re cently returned from the hospital in Poona and had asked to see me. I gladly extended my stay to do so. We sat together facing each otherjust inside the outer living room doorway of her quarters. Kacy was nearby, as I recall, but I saw no one except Mani, and felt nothing except Baba’s sublime love. It wa a moment oftransport in which we both were surrounded by white light. Though she was quite laudatory in her comments, all was in Baba alone, and I could then listen to her tell me how important this video project had become to her in spite ofearly doubts. I should now take it as from Baba that it was impor tant for me to carry the work forward, even after she was gone. By Baba’s grace, I will do mybest to honor her wish.
WendellandAloba inAloba Room at Meherazad, October 1 986 Photograph by Mina Brustman
Message to Disciples
Memories from Past Lives
Meher Baba .
ifewould be infinitelymore complicated if one who is not spiritually advanced were burdened by the conscious memory of numberless past lives. He would be dazed and unsettled by the diversity of settings in which persons would appear to him in the lightofhis memory. He is not called upon to face such conftt sion, however, because he is shielded from the resurrection of the memory of past lives. Things and persons come to him in a limited and definite context and setting, with the re sult that he finds it easy to determine his ac tions and responses in the light ofwhat he knows from the present life. This does not mean that his actions and responses are “en— tirely” determined bywhathe knows from his preoent life. All that has happened in past lives also has its ()Wfl unconscious but effec tive share in determining his actions and re sponses. In spite of the actual influence of past lives, the fact remains that since he is shielded from the resurrection ofconscious memórç his consciousness is not subject to the confusion thatwould result ifthe conscious memoryof past lives were among the data he had to consider for the purpose ofdetermining his ac tions and responses. The resurrection ofthe memory of past lives can be faced without confusion or loss of balance only when the person has become desireless and has lost all feeling of”mine” and “thine.”Those whom he once looked upon as belonging to him might be seen in the present life belonging to someone else. And ifhe were to continue his attachments and supposed claims, he would create untold complications, misery, and confusion for himselfand others. Possessiveness ofall types has to be purged from the mind if the aspirant is to be spiritually prepared to withstand the disturbing influence ofmemories from pastlives. .
Discourses, Pub. Sheriar Press, p. 315-316
he present world crisis, chaos and uni versal suffering are absolutely necessary for the eventual spiritual upliftment and for a new world wherein peace, love and Divine aspirations will reign supreme. None should therefore feel scared and dismayed, bearing in mind the certainty ofthis bright future. From the spiritual point of reality the words national and foreign, killed and killer, war and peace, success and defeat, have no existence and are imaginary dreams; and the present urnversal chaos isjust a universal nightmare necessary for the universal awakening. Body-forms and minds are innumerable and ofinfinite variety but souls are all origi nally and eternally One. In fact, only One infinite reality exists and that is God. So this apparent world catastrophe is, by Divine will, essential for a Divine manifestation in the near future oflove and real peace, in which I have to play the greatest part. Men and women all over the world who care to share in My work can do so by trying their utmost to maintain a pure character; and to avoid strictly, feelings oflust and enmity in any form. To try not to be the victims of fears nor ofthe weaknesses oflying and backbiting; in personal quarrels never to attack anyone save in defending the weak, but to do even that absolutelywithout hatred; to medi tate on Divine Love for any period every day, according to individual circumstances. . .
Treasures, ed. Jane B. Haynes, pp. 213-214, © 1980 AMBPPCT
Snuff by Margaret Craske
his is another short story which shows how Baba used very simple means to teach us not to criticize the built-in habits ofothers which were objectionable to the rest ofus. For a time upon the Hill at Meherabad practically every evening Baba gave us the happiness ofgathering around His gadi.We placed our mats on the floor and sat there while He gave us perhaps a short talk, made jokes with us, or told us a story illustrating some aspect ofthe spiritual path. Usually these were times of happiness, unless as sometimes happened some poor
wretch was getting a reprimand. There was living with the group an old person by the name ofBanubai. It is said that ifa Mastervery much wants to take a disciple awayfrom his worldly family duties in order to serve Him closely, He will take into His ashram the members of the family for whom this disciple is responsible to feed or clothe or educate. Baba Himself takes this responsibility. Barnubai was one such person. She had an irritating habit at crucial mo ments during Baba’s wonderful evenings with us oftaking alarge pinch ofsnuffwhich brought on a loud and enjoyable-to-her fit of sneezing. Norma was particularly annoyed by this, and to show it, gave out shudders ofjudgmen tal annoyance. Baba always looked sur prised but said nothing to either culprit. One evening, however, with a loving smile He produced a large box ofBanubai’s fa vorite snuffand gave it to her. This lesson was seen and digested by all ofus,just as it had been when in earlier days at Nasik He hadlovinglyhanded Ruano a box of cigars.This action ofHis was not to show ap proval ofeither cigar smoking or snuff taking but to remind us to leave these things to Baba. At the right moment when the time was ripe He easily swept aside these minor things. StiliDancing with Love, Margaret Craske, © 1990 Sheriar Press, pp. 65-66.
A MagicalThanksgiving Day at Meher Mount! by Fred Stankus, Los Angeles ith an open invitation to all, a delicious Thanksgiving meal was served to over 70 on a bright, magical day at Meher Mount in Ojai, California. The dependable caretakersJonathan and Kendra Burroughs, only 4 days back from a trip to Meherabad/ Meherazad, India, were the congenial hosts. Tables and chairs were rented and arranged withwhite doth, flowers, and candles, alongwith the plates and utensils were awaiting the rival of the guests who were asked to bring a dish to complement the meal. And from delicious turkey to vegetarian stuffing, candied yams, delicious mashed potatoes, homemade cran berry sauce, and homemade lemon, apple, and pumpkin pies, the arraywas trulyfit for a King or Qiieen! After the meal Gigi Driessenled off
r 1 t with “her” thanks, and around the room one would stand and give thanks for “family being together,” or “a newjob” or as Charlie Morton so movingly conveyed, “I am happy to be born at this time so as to experience this feeling of being one family with you all, thank you Beloved Baba” or Debra Ashe giving thanks with a soul-stirnng rendition of”Precious Lord!” Alter dinner a walk to Baba’s tree for Prayers and Arti,while the golden light ofthelate afternoon sun embraced all with a mystical glow. Desscrtwas like Prasad on this magical day, and togethemesswasverystrong feelingoflove the remained well into the early guests 20 about and doing theater games orand singingoldies night alongwith remem Rose, Mitchell chestratedby andgames. One stones Babawith beringMeher rBaba.” itingforMehe ascalled”Wa ofthegamesw west the on outside sitting playingwere Those perfirst the and silence in house porch ofthe corner the around from view into son to come would be Baba disguised as that person... so we waited and waited and suddenlyTerry Adams arrived and said, “Where is the Gravy?” .we all burst out into laughter but Lois Jones re plied, “Baba is the Real Gravy and He has poured His Love all over us today!” What a Magical Day at Meher Mount! ..
Regi and her son Steve Sadano. They both graduated in June 1998. Regi earned her Doctorate from the Theater De partment at UCLA, and is now teaching part time at Cal State L.A. in the Department of Theater and Dance. Steve graduated from the City of Angels Independent School and earned a scholarship in music at Cal State Northridge,where he is majoring in piano! We have been treated to Steve’s piano recitals since he was a young boy great to see him carrying his talents on to higher levels. —
Heidi and GabrielRouchon on the birth oftheir second daughter Natasha Chey enne, born November 11, ‘98 at 11:33 pm weighing 7.8 ibs, and 20” long.
Billyand Pamela Goodrum on the birth oftheir first child Annabelle Rose, born September, 26, ‘98 at 5:55 pm weighing 4.11 lbs, and 17.5” long.
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by Dma Snow t’s time again to ask you for your dona tions to help keep the LampPost shining on your street. The actual cost of producing and domestic mailing of each magazine is $10 per year. Because of the extremely high cost ofpostage overseas, we must ask for 2O US from all foreign coun tries. We have over 1000 on our mailing list but only 425 have ever sent in a dona tion.This strains our finances to the maxi to the point ofhaving to dip into mum other funds to cover costs. Luckily there are some very generous people to whom Baba has given the ability to donate above the 1o necessary.These kind souls are allowing the majority ofyou to continue receiv ing your LampPost. Since everything to do with the Love StreetLampPost and Bookstore is all done by volunteer labor, after regular daytime jobs, we do not have the commercial magazine’s ability to track when you paid and have that expiration date printed on your label. (Ifwe charged $30 a subscrip tion we probably could!) So we leave it up to you, send in what you can when you can, and for those ofyou who are really finan cially stressed ( and doesn’t that seem to go with being a Baba lover?!) not to worry we’ve got you covered. Ifyou would prefer not to receive the magazine, please let us know so we can save the costs. For our overseas subscrib ers, you may find it easiest to put your donation on a credit card, but for those with an American checking account, we would prefer checks. Please make them out to the Love Street LampPost. And remember this is your magazine, it is only as good as so please keep the material we receive on sending!
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The Darbar Pose Picture ofMeher Baba by Bal Natu, Meherazad
his is one of the favorite pictures ofBaba, loved by His dear ones, and dis tributed widely. It has also appeared in the special issue of Deeplaxrni, which was published in 1970-71. Here I wish to share a story connected with this picture, which was taken by Shri Regay of Pune. Since 1958, Baba began staying in Guruprasad, Pune, for about three months with his close men and women mandali. Dur ing my six weeks summer vacation from school, Baba had graciouslypermitted me to staywith him. One ofmy duties during this time was to read out Marathi letters to Baba, and reply according to His directions. I think it was in 1960 that one day I re ceived a postcard from Regay addressed to Baba. In it he mentioned that he had taken pictures ofgreat dignitaries, and he requested Baba to give a special sitting so that he could take His portrait. In those days, Baba had given me discre tiori about which letters to read to Him. I personally reacted against the demands Regay was making of Baba, especially in seeking a special sitting. I regarded this as being imper tinent on his part. So I kept this postcard at the bottom ofthe pile. Baba would generally attend to three or four letters each day, and then askme to stop. I thought this way the letter would never be read out to Him. However, the next day Eruch, who used to read out English corre spondence to Baba, had verylittle to read. And so Baba signed me to continue with the re mainingMarathi letters. I would tell Him the gist ofeach letter, and, through gestures, He would convey His response. That day He was in a mood to listen to more of these letters than usual, and at last I came to Shri Regay’s letter. Instead ofreading out the letter, I told Baba the gist ofit, and made some disparag ing remarks to the effect that Baba would not like the tone ofthe letter. I assumed that Baba would feel myjudgement about it was correct. However, Baba showed interest in the contents, and asked me to read the entire letter to Him. Bythe time I finished reading it, to my surprise, Baba looked at me and said, “That’s fine! When should we call him?” He also asked me to set a definite date for
in the proper manner, and the photographer stepped forward and rearranged them. In all, four pictures were taken of Baba, and, in addition, the photographer had his own picture taken with Him. A week later, he came with all the pictures and one enlarged coloured print, as a present. This is the same one that is now in the Blue Bus at Meherazad. As I say, this was a great lesson for me. Not only should I neverjudge others, I should never assume I knew how Baba would react to them. This picture has a special significance for me, because Baba, without any prompting, was willing to have it taken. In this particular picture, Baba’s frill form is visible, including His feet. He looks veryregal, like the King of Kings, and that is why this is known as the “Darbar Pose Picture.”—13 February 1994
the sitting, and instructed me to receive him and arrange to help him set up his equipment. In those days it was not easy to take pic tures; there was a great deal of paraphernalia involved for such a special photo. I received a mild shock, but obeyed Baba, and wrote a reply to Shri Regay. On the appointed day, the photographer came, and with a meek smile, I greeted him, and helped him to arrange his things in the mandali’s room, where Baba was shortly ex pected. Baba appeared in a happy mood and took His seat. I had never seen Baba making a special effort for any other photographer before. That day He looked very pleased and radiant. Looking at the photographer, He asked him, “How should I pose? What side of My face should I show? What angle?” While asking these questions, Baba would also look at me, which served as a les son to me that I should notjudge the inten tions ofothers. At one point, He even asked the photographer ifHe was folding His hands
w have learned through Babac example that there is no creature too small or insignficant to be the recipient ofHis loving glance andattention that nothing is left unattended or is overlooked by the God-Man. —
God takes Mancform and becomes the living expression ofPerfrction as man. —MeheraJ. Irani, from Baba Loved Us Tho
I How St. Francis, Walking One DayWith Brother Leo, Explained To Him What Things Are Perfect Joy ne day in winter, St. Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St. Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold. He called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him, “Brother Leo, ifit were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfectjoy.” A little further on, St. Francis called to him a second time, “0 Brother Leo, ifthe Fri ars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfectjoy.” Shortly after, he cried out again, “0 Brother Leo, ifthe Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift ofprophecy, and could reveal not only all future things, butlikewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfectjoy.” After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice, “0 Brother Leo, thou little lamb ofGod! ifthe Friars Minor could speakwith the tongues ofangels; if they could explain the course ofthe stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures ofthe earth were revealed to them; iftheywere acquainted with the various quailties ofall birds, ofall fish, ofall animals, of men, oftrees, ofstones, ofroots, and ofwa ters—write that this would not be perfectjoy.” Shortly after, he cried out again, “0 Brother Leo, ifthe Friars Minor had the gift ofpreaching so as to convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that this would not be perfect joy.” Now when this manner ofdiscourse had lasted for the space oftwo miles, Brother Leo wondered much within himself; and, ques tioning the saint, he said. “Father, I pray thee teach me wherein is perfectjoy.” St. Francis answered: “If, when we shall arrive at St. Mary ofthe Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered
with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at convent-gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, ‘We are two ofthe breth ren’, he should answer angrily, ‘What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two impostors going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say’; if then he refuse to open to us, and leave us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall—then, ifwe ac cept such injustice, such cruelty and such contemptwith patience, withoutbeing ruffled and without murmuring; believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, 0 Brother Leo, that this is perfect joy. And ifwe knock again, and the porter come out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as ifwe were vile impos tors, saying, ‘Begone, miserable robbers! to the hospital, for here you shall neither eat nor sleep!’; and if we accept all this with patience, withjoy and with charity, 0 Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy. And if, urged by cold and hunger, we knock again, calling to the porter and entreating him with many tears to open to us and give us shelter, for the love ofGod, and ifhe come out more angry than before, exclaiming, ‘These are but importunate ras cals, I will dealwith them as they deserve’; and taking a knotted stick, he seize us by the hood, throwing us on the ground, rolling us in the snow, and shall beat and wound us with the knots in the stick—ifwe bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking ofthe sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out oflove for him, write, 0 Brother Leo, that here, finally, is perfect joy. And now, brother listen to the conclusion. Above all the
graces and all the gifts ofthe Holy Spiritwhich Christ grants to his friends, is the grace ofovercoming oneself, and accepting wiffingly out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts ofGod we cannot glory seeing theyproceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words ofthe Apostle, ‘What hast thou that thou hast not received from God? And ifthou hast re ceived it, why dost thou glory as ifthou hadst not received it?’ But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again, ‘I will not glory save in the cross ofour LordJesus Christ.’ Amen.” From: The Little Flowers ofSt Francis ofAssisi by Brother Ugolino.
Photo composite ofSt. Francis’ cave in which Baba meditated. © 1 998 Cherie Plumlee
The Making ofthe Film Meher Baba in Italy by David Carter, New York
ver the years I have come to see how Baba not onlyplants the seed for a major event long before the event takes place, but does it in a way so that we cannot foresee the eventual fruit, nor the long twists and turns the stalkwill take before blossoming. So it is that Baba laid the foundation for the making ofthe film Meher Baba in Italy. And while I treasure Francis Brabazon’s insight that Baba “loves variety,” I think it is equally true that He enjoys surprising us as He writes the plots ofour life stories. I always had an interest in history and an instinct for preserving the past, no doubt the result of having parents who recorded and treasured bits and pieces of bygone times. When I started following Meher Baba my freshman year ofcollege, I felt compelled to document His life. But how could I make a living doing this? The only possible solution seemed to be to become a professor of cornparative religion and write books about Him. The inspiration for the film began some months before I started following Baba. Charles Haynes was my resident advisor dur ing my freshman year at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (1970-1971). I stopped by his room one day to find him sorting and ar ranging post cards on his floor. He said that he was making a collage ofplaces he had visited in Europe. He explained that he had gone for a special purpose—to visit places Meher Baba had traveled to in Europe. It impressed me deeply that Charles would go all the way to Europe to visit places associated with Baba. When I started following Baba I also wanted to visit the places He had traveled to in Europe. But how could I get to Europe? Again, Baba provided a way, this time with a seed planted long before I had even heard His name. When I was in junior high, my older brother Bill won a Fulbright scholarship to France. His letters home had filled me with the desire to see Europe and had inspired me to learn French in high school. I decided to get a second major in French in order to study at the Sorbonne for twelve months in 1972 and 1973. I carefully planned every school break so that I could visit the countries Baba had visited. Italy excited me most of all. While researching Baba places in Eu.
MeherBaba in Portofino, Italy,July, 1933
rope, I wrote to Naosherwan Anzar the editor of The Glow. I asked him for a back issue on Cannes and explained myproject in passing. He wrote back suggesting that I write an ac count ofmy research and travels, and I happilyundertook the assignment. A year later on myway to graduate school in Wisconsin, I visited the Meher Spiritual Center. As I signed in I was told that Pete Townshend was staying at the Center and was looking for me. I was told it had something to do with making films about Meher Baba and His disciples. That sounded ex tremely exciting. However, when we met, Pete simply asked me ifl had more documentation about Baba in Europe beyond what I had put in the Glow article. I answered “No,” and he said, “Oh,” and that was pretty much the extent ofthe conversation. But I did meet Pete’s cinematographer, ohn J Annunziato, and later I asked him what help they needed. John shot back, “I tell you, what we really need are scripts.” That planted an idea in my head: a film about Baba’s stays in Italy. Not long after I arrived in Wisconsin, I
met a film student who was also a Baba lover. I told him ofmyidea for a script and he agreed to help. I wrote to Pete and he wrote back excitedly, saying that ifwe wrote the film, he would make it. I spent the next summer at my parents’ house poring over The God-Man, back issues of The Awakener and my own notes and photographs to piece together a script. I had no script writing or film experi ence, and the film student had dropped out of the project. At the end ofthe summer I mailed the script to Pete. Many months later, a slim envelope rived in the mail from Pete. I opened it with trepidation, assuming from its slender size that it could be nothing other than a rejection letter. I was wrong. Pete wanted to make the film and when could I come to England? I went to London the summer of 1977. Pete Townsend had established the company Meher Oceanic to make films about Meher Baba and His mandali. The company was housed in a building Pete had built by theThames River and christened the Boathouse in honor ofthe building that had previously stood on the site. Pete, accompanied byJohn Annunziato, gave me a tour ofthe Boathouse, excitedly showing me the equipment he had bought, explaining how the place was set up, and introducing me to the film professionals he had hired. The three ofus ended up at the kitchen table, and I asked Pete what part I was to play in all ofthis. I assumed my role was to be on hand as a kind ofadvisor and imagined myself doing such things as making sure they filmed the right cave. Pete looked at me a bit wonderingly, and replied, “Well, we thought you were going to direct the film.” I, with no film experience, was to direct a bunch of professionals using state of the art 16-mm film equipment I knew absolutely nothing about?! The only thing I could do was to try to rise to the great opportunity Baba had handed me. I told Pete that I would do my best, but that ifhe or the others ever felt I was going wrong, to speak up. Pete, always very direct, gave me a pointed look and said, with some feeling, “Look, ifwe didn’t think you were capable ofthis, you wouldn’t be sitting here!” All those who worked on the film continued on page 34
tz Notes from the Internet
October 10, 1998 and a somewhat reliable fellow, who was nev ertheless approached with questions like, “Are ometime last night Meherabad must have you sure it was a tiger?” and “I know you crossed the 40 inches ofrainfall mark since thought it was a tiger, but don’t you think it June 1, and it is raining as I type this. could have been a ?“ Reportedly (notice I returned to Meherabad from Europe on this is all 3rd party), the fellow replied, “Of September 16, and it has rained every day course it was a tiger, don’t you think I can tell a since then with the exception ofmaybe two. tiger when I see one?” We are well beyond a record as far as anyone As a precautionary measure, Seclusion living can remember, and there aren’t any other Hill has been closed to pilgrims and others sources. Mini lakes are everywhere, with wa wanting to climb it, but as far as I know, there ter buffalo happily standing in the ponds next have been no further sightings. I really don’t to the road munching plentiftil vegetation. It’s know what to make of this story, or what to a good life ifyou’re a water buffalo, but the advise potential travellers to Meherazad. humans are starting to say “baaas” (enough). maybe carry mace? Life is never boring here Most ofthe early crops in this area have been for anyprolonged stretch oftime. In defense destroyed. ofthe veracity ofthis shepherd I can say that However thanks to the contributions by so many Baba lovers, today the roof slab of there have been a few reported sightings of tigers across Maharashtra in these last couple the ground floor ofthe Archive Building was ofmonths. finally finished. I think it took about a week With 42.5 inches ofrain, this place is ac to pour, one gamela (steel bowl) ofconcrete at tually beginning to looklike thejungle it once a time, and itlooks like it came out quite well. was, and the weather is still cloudy. The string The building is starting to take shape, and of holidays that constitute Diwali are now there will be one more floor added to what is drawing to a close, and there hasn’t been any currently on the ground. The trees have grown rain since they started, which is a welcome so much this monsoon that there is a small break. There are actual streams flowing in forest coming up around what will soon be front ofthe Pilgrim Center and it hasnt rained the repository ofmost ofthe physical objects in a week. Some wells are actually above connected with Meher Baba’s life. ground level, and there is a rather large lake Diwali, the Hindu Festival ofLights, will and several smaller ponds to the west and start next week, and most oflndia will shut northwest ofthe Samadhi. It is rather an un down for 4 or 5 days while people celebrate usual experience to view the Samadhi across with fireworks and Christmas-type lights. a body ofwater. Formerly, Hindus used small oil lamps, and All ofthe Mandali are more or less OK well l, as verybeautifti be can do...it still some meaning “about the same,” and healthwise, city. in a be to happen ifyou as quite noisy to be in critical condition, so seems else one no of end the as is seen Diwali Traditionally about normal, except for are things I guess in ancient that say some and the monsoon, Don’t know when ofvegetation. surfeit the practical a lamps had ofoil times, the burning again. this see we’ll rainis it as long As religious. origin as well as ing, the mosquitoes don’t come out much, but October 30, 1998 when it stops, they attack with a vengeance; lamp oil small that the has been nearly 7 years in the making, and I have been told bugs the burned and but the first 18 persons ofnon-Indian onflames also attracted cithere I guess gin have just been granted official approval that the monsoon fostered. more a lot or bugs from the Reserve Bank of India to buy lots ther used to be a lot fewer and build houses or buy condominiums in flames than they have now. their own names at Meherabad. Although it is raining as I write this on October 23, 1998 Meherabad Hill, it is really a glorious day for at Meherazad?! About 10 days ago all ofthose who have yearned over the years ,figers a goat herder watching his goats in the to have their own place at Meherabad. to be vicinity ofSeclusion Hill, Meherazad, claims close to the Sun, and Baba has now, finally, to have seen a tiger. .you know, the big cat turned the key to make that possible. I can’t with stripes and a nasty reputation for eating begin to tell you about all of the interim ap non-vegetarian fare. proval problems, legal fights, frustrations and Evidently the goat herder was an adult
. . .
Our Man in Meherabad, J ames Cox September 16, 1998 couple of days ago I returned to Meherabad after nearly 6 weeks in Europe, and it has been quite an adjustment. In Bombay it is raining almost constantly, and in ‘Nagar, not only is everything fantastically green and overgrown, but mold is also sprouting on almost every unused surface. We are at just over 30 inches for the year, and it is still raining, with at least 6 weeks of the season left to go. The wells are so full that you can draw water standing at the top with a bucket and no rope. Our watertable is almost ground level. Ofcourse, besides the omnipresent mold, side ofso much rain is what it does down the In manyplaces, they are horrible roads. to the of and some the potholes are big enough to swallow a small car, but on the bright side, the government has just cleaned out all the stalls and hawkers from the side ofStation Road in Ahmednagar, near the ST Stand, and now traffic actually moves somewhat smoothly through that morass. In preparation for the new afforestation scheme on Meherabad Hill, tree pits are being dug in all ofthe fields, and the new devel opment work to the west and northwest of the Samadhi, both Trust and private, is proceeding. A few months ago, I was preparing a map for the master plan ofthe whole Meherabad area, and the town planner with whom we were working had asked us to show substanital water bodies behind the large earthen dams in the valley to the west ofthe Samadhi. As these are almost always completely dry, I was amused, but complied. The funny thing now is that these same dams have even more wa ter in them that what we have shown on the map, and I thinkyou could wind surf! The Mandali are more or less “linger ing,” as Eruch puts it, but at least none are in critical shape at the moment, and Aloba has a new, blue, 3-Star General Cap, which he loves to wear about as he blows his whistle and gesticulates emphatically. Things are pretty much the same at Meherazad, except that there is no water shortage anymore.
vexations we have waded through in this long, long battle, but it is now done. Ijust phoned Eruch as he was leaving the Trust Office for Meherazad, and both he and Bhau were very happy, saying that this is really good news indeed. I told Eruch that he would have more problems as more people would now surely come, and he said with a smile, “We are put here to face those problems, congratulations, Jai Baba!” At this moment, there are about 60 other persons who have committed for lots or condos at Meherabad, and their applications will be presented in due course, as will those that follow. After years ofcontinuous delays, dis appointments and inertia, I can finally say the logjam appears to have been broken. Of course it is all His game, still I can’t help but feel that He is also in a happy mood today. October 31st couple days ago, the Department of Telecommunications started the firstlo cal Internet access number for Ahmednagar, but ofcourse there is always garlic ice cream with Baba, and it hasn’t been turned on from Arangaon yet, as it requires some reprogramming at the local exchange. But we have high hopes for Monday. The charge for Internet calls is now cheaper than a local call, and I think there will be a surge of Internet subscriptions from Meherabad, and since most everyone here is on a Mac, configuring the same will fall on us, as the helpdesk regularly refers any Mac customer with questions to me. Oh joy! Well, Erico should be back within a month, andJerryCool is here now so we should be able to bumble through all ofthe different computer and modem combinations in this rather eccentric environment. However, I suppose there will be one more downside to this encouraging development, and that is that it will surely tie up more ofour phone circuits which link ‘Nagar with Arangaon, and which are already overloaded at peak times. The only short-term solution for the overloaded Arangaon exchange seems to be a temporary microwave tower about 130’ tall, which the telephone company is propos ing to install on the Arangaon side ofthe Farmers’ Educational Center until they finish their new exchange in the village, and which would then be shifted there. Understandably, there is quite a bit of
t opposition from various residents and some trustees to this tower from an aesthetic point of view, and this is shaping up as a classic trade offdecision: What are we willing to sacrifice in appearances to ensure that Meherabad stays connected with the outside world, including Ahmednagar, via the tele phone lines? Whenever I write something like the above, I feel I should also add the usual re joinder not to write to the Trustees or the Mandali about this issue, because they are very busy, and ulitmately Baba will solve the problem in His own way. November 18 know that most ofyou will find this hard to believe, especially ifyou have ever fed the mosquitoes at the Pilgrim Center, but after all the rain we have received this year, and with all the water still standing, there are hardly any mozzies. And other than perhaps a feeding frenzy ofthe ubiquitous fat toads that al ways seem to jump just before you inadvertantly step on one, I am at a loss to explain this pleasant lack ofinsect irritation. The other day, as I went to put on a shoe left outside, I was prepared to see a swarm of mosquitoes fly out ofthe darkness as I stuck in my foot, but instead, my foot was obstructed from entering my shoe. On closer examina tion I found a giant toad sitting inside the toe, but not a mosquito in sight. This connection had never really dawned on me before. It’s still cloudy, vegetation plush, sunsets spectacular, nights dropping into the 60s (Fahrenheit), and the volleyball games are well-attended. Ifyou can get a plane reserva tion, it is a beautiful time ofyear to come to Meherabad.
J ames Cox Post Meherabad Ahmednagar Dist. M.S. 414005, India Ph. 241-58728, 241-58744 Cellular 9822024128
From Jerry Edwards
arrived 10 Oct. Just got myINDIA e-mail setup and a subscription to the listserv! It took a bit ofwork, but thanks to James Cox, we were saved some grief.
The setup in Jal’s office continues well. I brought an upgrade for the 4th Dimension program which is used for the Amartithi work. Ramesh and Kishore do much programming with Excel (Spread sheet) and Filemaker Pro (DataBase) on their own. I help them when they get stuck. Continuing last year’s new setup in the trust office in ‘Nagar, the training for the ac countants has paid off. They have developed several accounting programs on their own in Excel and Filemaker Pro. We are now looking at expansion using FoxPro (Which was included in their cornputer course at APTEC, Ahrnednagar). (I brought FoxPro software and manuals with me.) We are investigating the possibility of expanding the Trust office Computer facility Due to many power failures, the possibility of adding a backup generator is seriously being considered. I will try to issue monthly reports.
A Note from Prashant Ahir
IPratap Ahir was a guest at our last Sahavas, andhis son, Prashant, is on line with the Baba list serv. Heposts.]
attend the Murnbai Centre regularly for the weekly meetings, Sundays 5:30 pm ‘til 7:15 pm.The center is otherwise open on all days between 6 pm and 7:30 pm. It is located in avery central place in Mumbai called Grant Road in Navyug Nivas Building, opposite Minerva Cinema. It does not have a phone number. It is an apartment converted into a meeting place and there is no on-site caretaker. Weekly meetings at the Pune Center are on Monday between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. The secretary of the Center, Mr. KK Rarnkrishnan lives on the premises. Pilgrims are welcome to stay overnight while visiting all the Baba places in Pune. There are beds and shower facilities there. A donation is all that is asked. My phone number is 009 1-2192-50201 and my father, Pratap Ahir, also lives in Mumbai. His number is 009 1-22-4156954. He first met Baba in his younger days in 1950 has been around Baba ever since. Please get in touch with me ifyou need any help here. Prashant_Ahir_PG@RIL.COM
Sheriar in the Desert byWard Parks, Ahmednagar reat treasures can sometimes be found in unlikelyplaces. In a small room that is hardly more than a hole in the wall at the north end ofthe compound at Meher Nazar in Ahmednagar Khorshed Irani, now in her upper eighties, might seem, on first glance, like a simple old Zoroastrian woman and no more. Yet the memories that inhabit her waking hours are the stuffthat grand legends are made of, and the life that she has lived is one that queens and emperors could envy. Khorshed is an extraordinary fund ofrec ollections particularly from the early years of Beloved Baba’s ministry when only a few had found their way into His fold. But the story that is my subject here concerns not Baba Himselfbut His father, Sheriar Irani. It is a narrative detail that I first heard from Korshed a year or two ago; and since it does not seem to have gained wide circula tion, this seems like a good opporunity to re late it. The episode dates back almost eighty years to a time when Khorshed was living with her mother and father in their flat at Bombay. Her father, Kaikhushru, was a friend of
Sheriar, and the two men used to enjoy conversing together. Once it happened that Sheriar was in Bombay to visit a doctor. That evening, at Khorshed’s family residence, Sheriar began to tell his friend about the years when he had wandered through the deserts of Iran as a dervish in search of God. A young girl in her early teens, Khorshed, ofcourse, had no part in the conversation; but the subject intrigued her. Sitting quietly behind a chair, she listened in on the discourse of her elders, and this is some of what she heard: It seems that at certain times Sheriar was residing in desolate places that provided him with nothing to eat or drink. But remarkable things began to happen when he was hungry—out ofthin air a tablecloth would spread itself on the ground before him and a tray laden with food would appear. When he had finished eating, the cloth and traywould vanish again. On other occasions, when Sheriar was thirsty he would cup his hands, and, to ac companying glugging sounds as from an un seenjug, water would fill them until his thirst was quenched. One day in his wanderings, Sheriar’s road was blocked by a river which he had no means ofcrossing, but as he stood on the bank, the waters parted, providing him with a narrow path. When he had crossed, the Waters closed again. The beauty in these little stories, or vignettes, is that Sheriar was a genuine seeker without any interest in the mi raculous or the occult. But God takes care ofHis own; and in Sheriar’s case, God’s providence was there to ensure that the man destined to become the father ofthe Avatar ofthe age would not perish in the desert for lack offood and water or drown in a river for lack of a boat. Good reminders for all ofus as we wander through this desert of a world in our individual quests for Him. —
The Most Precious Thing Adi K. Irani
ne-pointed devotion to Meher Baba or His work does not imply that one should give up all other work and respon sibilities oflife. On the other hand, it means that one should be practical and devoted to doing all the things that one is required to do, including looking afterhis possessions and all those dependent on him. From the indications Meher Baba has given, it means that one should be attached to all things and beings conducive to a normal life ofhelpfiilness, happiness and honesty Let these attachments be skin-deep and attachment to Meher Baba heart-deep. All attach: ments, except to Meher Baba, one day or another are tobe given up, whether one wants them or not. But the attachment to Mehei Baba will outlive man’s life and help him to cross the ocean oflife and gain eternal bliss for himself Meher Baba places alternatives before you as a novice. His is a game oflove with no cer emony ofinitiation, no lure ofproselytizing, no coercion, no foisting, no forcing ofideas or injunctions. Hejust appeals to your heart and lets His words sinkinto yourlogical head—if it is loghal and not prejudicial. The pillars of all His messages and dis courses, His behests and His advice, are love ofGod and love ofman, obedience, service and charity. Love is the most common possession ofeveryman. Itis the mostprecious thing ofhis life. All feel this lovewithin themselves, but very few can rightly direct it toward their release from illusion. On the other hand, it is used, misused and abused in pursuit of sex and greed. 8 5 Just ThLove Him, p. ©1985 AMBPPCT
Sheriar Mundegar Irani, early 1 900s
A Letter from Bhau to Our Readers by Ward Parks (for Bhau Kaichuri) 5th October 1998
and will not take to heart, the decision which circumstances have forced upon him. From now on he will have to dis continue all personal correspondence. He requests, therefore, that old friends ear Brothers and Sisters in Baba: D Bhau has asked me to convey the and new refrain from sending him perfollowing message to all Baba’s dear sonal letters. This ban extends even to ones in the West, and particularly to letters in which correspondents append those withwhom Bhau has maintained the note, “Bhau, please do not write a correspondence in the past. back.” It is too difficult to refrain from As many ofyou know, Bhau’s prac answering the cry ofthe heart in such tice until now has always been to re cases, and therefore, we have to ask that spond, promptly and frilly, to virtually you desist from writing to Bhau altoeveryletter that he receives. Since this gether. correspondence has very much become Ofcourse, Bhau continues to visit a medium for the flow oflove, and since with pilgrims and give talks at the Pu Bhau’s tours and travels have brought grim Centre at Meherabad, and we all him into contact with many Baba byhope that he will be able to travel to ers around the world, it is not surprising the West next summer as in previous that the volume of mail which Bhau years. Perhaps there will be further op receives and responds to on a dailyba Bhauc visits to the 14/est are his chance to spendtime withfriends portunities for “chats” on the internet oldand new. Hecpicturedhere with the children at last summeri sis has been growing by leaps and and other channels for contact. Portland, Oregon Sahavas. Left to right: Michelle Rustan’zi, bounds. But in the meantime, we know Mitra and Mehra Namiranian, Jordan Raffo, Mehrzad At the same time, the Trust has Namiranian, Bhau, Margot Draegei, Lee Barrientos and that Bhau’s friends and contacts will been entering into a new phase in which ElUah Raffo. Photo by Malani Raffo. honour his request not to write him perlong-term concerns and large-scale sonalletters. In doing so, by maintainprojects are demanding more and more of creased in a dramatic way the responsibility ing this silence, theywill be giving their love and workload which he has to bear. Bhau’s time. This has most markedly been tangible expression and assisting in the Trust In view ofthis state ofaffairs, Bhau hopes work to which Bhau must now devote more the case since 1996 when Bhau assumed the that his friends in the West will understand, and more ofhis time. chairmanship, a change which in itselfhas in.
Letter to the Editor [This impassioned letter was in response to an articlefeatured in our April ‘98 issue, but was mislaidtill now.]
From Desmond O’Brien, Tempe, Arizona ear Editor: As usual the Love Street LampPostbrought a bright ray ofBaba Bhakta into myhome.Thankyou. I write because ofconcerns raised by the article written by Don Stevens regarding Meher Baba’s own words. I was stunned to read that there are Lovers who truly think that the reading of Baba’s books may be a philosophical sidetrack from the path ofthe spiritual heart.To me this idea is sheer madness and an egotistical folly ofhuge magnitude. I mean no insult to anyone when I declare this and do ask others who do not share my opinion to allow me to explain why I feel the way I do. Even the most cursory study of religious historyworld-wide reveals that enormous suf
fering has been inflicted by men upon other men due to the misunderstanding ofvarious scriptures. This is true in all the cultures of religious theologies. From Islam to Christianity; from Buddhists to Kabbalists there have been schisms, jihads, persecutions, burning stakes and pure bloodbaths over questions ofphilosophical and theological interpreta tions ofsastras ofall sorts. In our own culture the controversy started with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is a clear example of the battles that serious and well meaning scholars are prone to over matters oftranslation, historical accuracy ofauthorship and so on, ad infini turn, regarding matters ofscriptural purity Our generation of spiritual seekers has been given the greatest gifts that the Avatar has ever given to mankind in all of His advents. Never before, as far as we know, have we hadphotos, film, pictures, etc. etc. thatwith
out doubt record the life ofGod on earth with absolute historical veracity Never before has the Avatar, except for the eight prayers of Caitanya MahaPrabhu, given to mankind the words by His own Hand!. Even the Holy Koran was transmitted through the medium ofthe Archangel Gabriel to the Prophet. Never before has He picked up the pen to compose by His own will in such a plain and factual manner that leaves no doubt as to authorship. This is a prize of incalculable value to all Lovers of God. I would not even dare to think that I have the insight, wisdom or intelligence to knowwhat is ofvalue or isn’t on the marvebousjourney to myMaker. Anyone who does so dare, is a far braver man than I. It would seem to me that to dismiss the Avatar’s own words due to the smug notion that true gnosis is beyond words reveals more about the inflated ego than it does about real continued onpage 34
Poetry A Poem By Gary Nedzweck Oh, Baba, one sees Your Mandali, old now, Tired, broken: by hard life gladly given In service to You. Now, their voices, their eyes, their whole being Seem to emanate unbearable longingjust to return to those days lived In service to You. How can I, Oh Beloved ofthose whom all the world reveres, Ever match that matchless, terrible beauty of a live lived In service to You. What are You asking? What? Those stories, messages, circulars Those lives of love and service stamped on glorious faces ofthose who lived In service to You.
In service to You. Oh, Gary, learn patience. It is not yet your time. (Oh, it is always your time.) Walk the middle line. Remember Me and Repeat in all you do: In service to You.
The Beyond Beyond Hotel byjim Migdoll (July, ‘93) Let me be like the dog chained outside the pub his attention doesn’t waver when strangers pat him, his eyes and ears remain alert for the One. His Master fills his instinct/mind sniffs the air for a whiff ofthe One he loves, his bark is every lover’s sigh make me like the dog Baba to wait and long for Your return from the pub ofthe Beyond Beyond —
Oh God, Oh, Baba, Oh Nameless, Formless, Beyond Beyond, Oh Comforter, Dearest of the Dear: How can so weak, ever be worthy ofthe Blessing to live In service to You. How can I, Beloved Baba, ever hope for the hard-as-steel-soft-as-butter, Yet living oh-so-simply and oh-so-worldly, YET.. In service to You. I listen again and again to Your dear Francis’ voice, rolling like distant thunder, rough yet soothing, with so much longing: to be nothing but all In service to You. How can You have done it? How can You have been so Infinitely Cruel, so Infinitely Kind, And always just when each one needed that dose ofworldly-life-cleansing medicine to help live more and still yet more
My chain is short, strain and pull as I may I can’t reach Your Abode So Beloved when You’ve drunk Your fill ofmy tears ofseparation You must come to me and unchain this mangy self outside The Beyond Beyond Hotel
Open House by Ron Greenstein, 1998 Put out the welcome mat Throwwide the doors. Send out the notice today Of the great open house Going on in your heart Do it right now don’t delay!
Clean up—Dust somethingTake out the trash. They could drop in any old time So be ready to greet The Lord and His Friends. Theywon’t call first—they ain’t got a dime! And those strangers—oh my— Who long made their homes In your heart—well they’re in for a shock Once you’ve made it quite clear Who’s invited today And repeated the name ofWho’s coming to stay They’ll quickly start packing. And slipping away, Before they hear the Lord’s knock.
A Poem By Francis Brabazon I sang a song in early spring, a song each lover sings. Then summer came with its hot flame and burnt myyoung song’s wings. I sang again—a smoldering tune in a new key and fashion Till summer’s heat changed to winter’s sleet, and with it died my passion. -
And from the ashes ofmy song arose a Phoenix singing A song of flame ofMeher’s Name: to you this song I’m bringing. -
A song offlame, yet very cool, as is an evening sky: A song that leaps, yet love’s seal keeps imprisoned in a sigh. A song offlame? No, a few drops from His Flood of compassion That have over-spilled and my cup filled and drowned me in its ocean. So listen kindly to my song it’s all I have to give you: These drops offlame ofMeher’s Name when I have done I’ll leave you. -
This poem appears in Steve Klein’s bookPraisein Complaint, © 1978: Let us make one thing clear about this God-realization business from the very start— There are those on the path towards it, and there are those with God, and the two are worlds apart. The former are spiritual, austere, selfdis ciplined men who from their goal have never shrunk; The latter’s onlyvirtue seems to be their ability to stay sober even when overwhelmingly drunk. Those on the path are engaged in an epic struggle, slaying dragons, rescuing maidens, receiving great wealth; Those with God lead an ordinary life whose daily grind graduallywears away little bits ofthe self. The knights ofthe path are armed with weapons oftechnique, and have glory etched upon their faces; God’s companions are simple farmers who never carry swords, but are pretty good shots with dung at twenty paces. Those on the path get wisdom, power visions and a peace ofmind that never lacks; Those with God get old, deaf, blind, and suffer from bad knees, teeth and backs. But ifyou have the choice, let the hero ride offinto the sunset on his charger pride, Turn your back on the path itself, but never, ever leave the Beloved’s side.
Tricia Migdoll, Queensland Australia tells us this spontaneous prayer that came to mind at theTomb, while visiting the gravesites of His women mandali:
Prayer For Women Bless me Baba. Let me love you like Mehera loved you. Give me the wit and humour, and the love for humanity like that ofsister Mani. Let me serve you... with the selflessness of Soona Masi. Give me the culinary talents ofNaja and the artistic eye of Rano. Give me the spontaneous goodness that you granted to Kitty And Baba, bless me also with the patience and obedience ofMansari.
MeherBabaln Italy’ continuedfrom page 34
Letter to the Editor continuedfrom page 32
were patient with me and worked very hard. The film turned out better than I could ever have imagined. I have always felt that the film works only because it was made by people who love Meher Baba. Because oftheir love for Meher Baba, the professionals who worked on the film submerged their egos to the goal ofmaking the best film they could. I was also inspired by the lesson Charles Haynes passed on to me from Kitty Davy and Elizabeth Patterson: When one works for Baba one must take it as seriously as possible and pay attention to every small detail. Without the benefit ofElizabeth’s and Kitty’s ex ample and how I saw Charles work for Baba, I do not think the film would work nearly as well as it does. So even there, Baba had provided the help I would need before I ever knew I would need it. Although I still think it is worthwhile to document Baba’s advent, I also see how the unparalleled collection ofthe Avatar’s words does not necessarily mean that we love or truly understand Him any more in thisadvent than in past ones. I am now less interested in col lecting facts about Baba’s life than I am in trying to incorporate what I feel about Baba into mylife.The most powerftul lesson I learned from making “Meher Baba in Italy” is one I need to live by more: Baba has our lives all planned out with loving care for He loves us so much that He wants to give us what we reallywant in our heart ofhearts, but not necessarily when or as we want. How could I know that aiming at writing a book, I’d end up making a film and enjoy that more than any book I’d ever planned? When I think of all the minute and subtle twists and turns that were necessary in my life to be able to have an experience as re warding as making a film about the Avatar, I realize that truly He is compassionate beyond our comprehension.
spiritual knowledge. If I offend with such a view then so be it. It has been declared often and with emphasis by the Master that even the most ca sual ofHis actions has universal scope. The historical record ofBaba’s life reports that Baba spent countless hours in what must have been for Him most tedious and exacting work to insure that His words were faithftilly given to mankind. How can any intelligent person dismiss as unimportant the effort ofthe Lord in this regard? It is absurd in the extreme to entertam the notion that Baba’s books need not be read. To the contrary, Baba’s own books are treasures of incalculable value, beauty and knowledge that mankind can onlyglimpse as does an ant gaze upon a nebulae. It saddens and amazes me that any person wishing to know and love Baba could be so foolish to think that this treasure can be ignored. Ofcoursc it can be so but only at the greatest ofloss to the fool who does. Baba’s words, even if never understood NOW, are like seeds planted in the soil ofthe soul that will fructify in His own time and by His own sweet will. If one does not even bother to prepare that soil with careful and devoted attention then that garden will remain fallow and not bloom as it is intended to do, by His Grace. I urge, no I beg allwould-be Baba Lovers to at once purchase and pore over each of Baba’s wonderful books.They are nectar! Nothing in all the literature ofthe human race even com pares to them in importance.
Discourses, p. 367, Meher Baba, ©1987
The only place that can hold Me is the Heart. Keep me close with you. I am always there. LoveAlonePrevails, p. 302, KittyDavy© 1981
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True faith is a form of sight and not ofblindness. It need not be afraid of the free functioning ofcritical reason.
Meherana Sahavas from A Kid’s Point of View
byjamie Dillon, Salinas, CA lam, now 7, and I went to our third gathering at Meherana last spring and have become attached to the place. Dma asked for impressions, and I’ve been wanting to give a sidelong view ofwhat it’s like for the kids there. We’re backpackers, Liam incipient and me longtime, and there’s an open feel to Meherana that’s satisfying. Central for Liam is the Kids’ Tent (referred to by the grownups as the Children’s Pandal). There’s an mazing range ofcreative fun stuffto do, plus a great bunch ofkids. The child care folks—Betty Lowman and Anne and Mehera Makeig can only guess at the immense effect they have on their world, cultivating a rich sense offtin in a generation ofkids, in their work and in their play. As a backcountry person, it never ceases to astound me that dozens ofpeople can come into wild hills, then spend their days sitting under a tent listening to someone talk. The claustrophobia would kill me. So I’ve missed the adult part ofthe festivities and hung with the kids when not poking around the trails. This time it was green, as those foothills just west ofYosemite are for a short time each year. Those who knew said there were 30 kinds of wildflowers out, and Liam counted 20. There were even fairy lanterns, a rare treat. It feltvery different for me this time, more like Myrtle Beach, with Baba’s presence ev erywhere in layers. Liam and I had a long hike up the ridge toThe Bench,looking down the slope at green meadows wending their way thru the trees downhill. Lovely. The weather on Saturday morning just plain sucked until afternoon, hailed at least twice. We very nearly bailed after lunch, then the sun came out and my toes finally thawed. The atmosphere among the people there is low-key and cordial. The food’sjust great, and the teenagers and little kids generate a loose sense ofjollity (the teenagers never ac tually slept). We’ve both made new friends from far places. I’ve gotten to cement a couple of virtual friendships as well. And oh the Bookstore, out there in the wild hills. There’s a big fire risk, there are rattlers, bears, rough country, especially in the sum-
Priya Bufield, Betty Lowman andLiam Dillon at the Chi/drens’ Panda!
LI The Meherana kitchen crew. Roz Taubman, Brian Do/an, Bill Pearson, Herrnann Loew, Mary Hamilton, Mo//ic Irani, Meherose Hami/ton andA/an Wagnei
mer, so anybody who wants urban comforts might make other plans. But for those who are falling in love with this place, there’s a sense of community al ready building. Christie Pearson and I were talking about this, and she expressed what had been creeping into my head, that the ones for whom this will be most important are the little
guys, who are forming their own friendships and associations now. This is their own Baba retreat here on the West Coast. Thanks, Baba, for making this wild, dangerous ridge your own, 700-Year Bridge and all. Dangerous as with cobras at Meherabad and alligators at Myrtle Beach.
An Update from Jay Ram 1998 Hawaii
[Editorc note. When wefirst wrote about Jay Ram in the late 1980s it was about the 18 boys he had adopted and was raising on a largeproperty on the big islandofHawaii. He was also experimenting ag’iculturaliv with easilygrownfoodsfor Third World countries. Now that most ofthe boys are grown, Jay can devote himse(ffiull time to the Neem ]‘Vlission, as th property is called They have been featured on television, hadthe Ministers ofAgriculturefor many different countries come to visit his farm, and are now commercially producing health supplements from the wondeifiul pharnsacv in a tree” as the mdi— ans call the Neem tree.]
ma Snow’s gracious tormenting over the past years has finally paid offin getting me to write a sequel about “the guy raising nil those boys in Hawaii.”To summarize the two long-past Love StreetLampPost articles on the subject—A common schmoe in Hawaii, Jay Ram, becomes infested for seventeen years with innumerable boys from adoptions, foster care, and private situations. Meher Baba intervenes, providing everything for the task, and preventingJay from going insane during continuous preteen and adolescent episodes cornrnon in American culture. Now, all these boys are grown up and mostly on their own, ages ranging from 20 to 31, and there are an increasing number of grandkids, with one five year old already asking me when he can go with me to Baba’s home. There are many incredible stories to tell. Stories ofwatching so manylives passing through times ofsanskaric turmoil, stories of
trials and tribulations, stories ofBaba’s Nazar, and the touch of His gracefrul hand always upon us. Hellish stories ofthe meshes ofMaya, and breathtaking stories ofDivine interven tion. Suffice it to say that we all watched in awe as Baba would smooth over, make good, and otherwise fix up the many daily situa tions which came up in this house full of diverse energies. Not once, out ofinnumerable hard times, did He leave us hanging by a thread ofMaya; one crisis after another would be resolved. Most importantly, because Baba clearly provided so much for us in really every respect, the boys were able to understand His ways in a very natural manner each according to their own needs and capacities. Those boys who were able to remember Baba in their daily lives, also were fortunate to be able to remember him in times of ur gency. There is many a surfing story where yet another head was about to be smashed smack in the middle ofa rock, save for shouting Baba’s name at the last moment and getting away with a scratch. And one story especially stands out regarding Baba’s protection, even when He is not directly called upon: One ofmyboysjoined the navy and was in boot camp where he was having a very dif ficult time. This particular boy was one that had a close relationship with Baba. One night during marching practice, the Drill Sergeant was tormenting him to the point where he could take it no longer. Anger built up, and he
was ready to punch him out, which of course, would have resulted in a court martial. At that moment, a vivid vision ofBaba appeared to him while marching. It was Baba as He ap peared in the 1920’s, wearing a long flowing white sadra, and it was as if He were really present. Immediately, the anger left, a great feeling of peace came about, and the whole situation with the Drill Sergeant was forgotten. Like everyone else, they go on with their lives and daily struggles. For those boys who still have a connection with Baba, His hand is very apparent in their lives. For those who do not, His hand is very apparent in their lives, for is it not an unconditional hand, after all? Most of the boys now are doing well, strug gling to make it in a culture which is not too understanding ofthe past it has infficted upon them. Some have managed to stay clear ofthe negative impressions oftheir biological roots, and for some it is a routine conffict. Some have made a positive connection back with their natural families, and as adults, the healing process has more easily manifest. If you are in a difficult position with a child, or know ofone who needs a living situation, I would like to hear from you. You may call me at (808) 963-6823, or e-mail to email@example.com Jai Meher Baba!
6. Are you currentlyusing any other source ofinspiration in
addition to God? Please check all that apply. Lottery Tarot —
h hb h
God’s Quality Control Questionaire
Tea Leaves —
God would like to thankyou for your beliefand patronage. In order to better serve your needs, He asks that you take a few moments to answer the following questions. Please keep in mind that your re sponses will be kept completely confidential, and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions. 1. How did you find out about God? —
Bhagavad Gita Divine Inspiration Near Death Experience Communist Manifesto Burning Shrubbery Other sources (specify):
Television Ann Landers Dianetics
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Burning Shrubbery Crystals Insurance policies Other None
7. God employs a limited degree ofDivine Intervention to preserve the balanced level offelt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer (circle one)? a. More Divine Intervention b. Less Divine Intervention C. Current level ofDivine Intervention isjust right d. Don’t know. what’s Divine Intervention? . .
8. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters
and miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1 5 His handling of the following: (1=unsatisfactory 5=excellent): -
2. Which model God did you acquire? Father, Son & Holy Ghost Trinity Yaweh _Jesus _Jehovah _Satan Allah None ofthe above, I was taken God in by a false god —
Pyramids Enneagrams Feng Shui
Word of mouth Koran Tabloid Bible Torah
Astrology Fortune cookies Psychic Friends Network Palmistry Self-help books Mantras Biorythms
3. Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working order and with no obvious breakage or missing attributes? _No Yes Ifno, please describe the problems you initially encountered here:
4. What factors were relevent in your decision to acquire a god? Please check all that apply. Like organ music Indoctrinated by parents Needed a reason to live Indoctrinated by society Fear of murder by a missionary Imaginary friend grew up Need to feel Morally Superior Desperate need for certainty My shrubbery caught fire and told me to do it.
a. Disasters flood famine earthquake
war pestilence plague
AOL Windows 98
12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345
b. Miracles rescues spontaneous remissions stars hovering over towns crying statues water changing to wine walking on water talking flaming shrubbery
VCR that sets its own clock
12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345 12345
9. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improv ing the quality ofGod’s services? (Attach an additional sheet if necessary)
5 Have you ever worshipped a God before? If so, which false god .
were you fooled by? Please check all that apply. _Cthulhu _Odin _The Almighty Dollar Zeus _The Great Pumpkin Appollo A burning cabbage Ra The Bomb The Great Spirit Other: _The Sun _The Moon —
Old Indian Teaching Story
day, the Lordwas sitting in His courtyard,looking deeply
Qnedejected, with eyes downcast, resting His chin on His hand.
Devotees whispered quietly among themselves, wondering what to do never having seen Him looking so disconsolate. “Is there something You would like; something we could bringYou?” tentatively asked a devotee. The Lord’s response was to sigh deeply, turn, and rest His chin on His other hand. Another devotee asked hesitantly, “Perhaps there is something You would like us to do? We are all concerned about You and would do anything to please You!” A flicker ofinterest, then more sighs! “No! No! It’s ofno use to ask! You would never do it! Over and over again, you say you will, but then you don’t! Why continue asking?” “Oh! Please tell us what it is? We would do anything to please! Anything You wish!” “Really? Anything?” “Yes! Yes! Anything!” “Well! There is only one thing that would please Me! I want you all to BE HAPPY!” “Oh!” said the devotee. “Is that all? We thought it was somethng important!” —
Photo taken at Avatarc Abode in 1 958 by 13 year old Co/in Adams.
It is a Divine Art to LookAiways Cheerful Meher Baba you don’t want to be old before you really ought to
I become old, be cheerfhl in deed, thought, word and in
appearance—most of all in appearance. Maybe you are not happy. I always find half of you garlic-faced. When you eat garlic it is a smell passed on to all; so when you appear garlic-faced, that too is catching— it is contagious. It is a divine art to look always cheerful. It is a divine quality It helps others. When you are garlicfaced it makes others unhappy. If you take me as God, God’s word must be your everything. You must follow myword with all your heart. Ifnot, it is just an “everyday topic.” You take me as God, but you do not follow me as God. HowAMaster Works, Ivy 0. Duce, p. 625., ©1975 Sufism Reoriented, Inc.
LALAA £ove’Street £nmE1?ost
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” “The Truth Shall iir G iviae re rree I
od does not listen to the language of the tongue, or ofthe mind, but He re sponds to the language ofthe heart. The language ofthe heart is the song oflove for the Beloved.
by Don Stevens, France e all know how many times Meher Baba repeated and repeated the first. It has even become folkioric in our day. It is not so often that we focus on the constant return He made to the necessity for honesty in life. Ofall the things that He asked me on successive visits to embrace and be embraced by Him, was whether mywork allowed me to be completely honest. At one gathering of the Sufis in Murshida Duce’s apartment in NewYorkin 1952 He spent almost an hour verylong for Baba, even for the most abstruse of subjects, clarif5iing ‘what Baba means by absolute honesty.’ There has also been the growing recogmtion ofhow many times in His writings He brought in the key role of hon estyin thejourney ofthe aspirant. But then, what about the second banner line above, ‘and the truth shall make ye free?’ As I read this today in an editorial in the HeraldTribune, it had a familiar ring, and I caught myselfin a déjà vu circumstance. I needed to reflect, and I needed to tie things together that were important. Excuse me, Baba, you said to steer clear ofpolitics, but on this occasion the political considerations led to something far more ba sic. An editorial writer in The Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong) was com menting on team ofdiplomats who had been accorded the right to visit Tibet, and was mulling over what theywere likely to report to the public. ‘If they say (what they saw) were only small problems, then they are no better than (many other apologists in similar position in the past). But ifthey say that they were unfortunately limited in what they saw, but that (the situation) appears to be moving from a bad situation to one with more poten tial for improvement, the real real test will be what is done to exploit these opportunities. As far as we can recall, the truth is supposed to setye free.’
The Language ofthe Heart
This is where I woke up with a start and thought, this is a fundamental spiritual prin ciple, and Baba insisted on it constantly, but in the deepest sense of setting us free from our inner bindings. our sanskaras, our habit patterns. What is the connection between the two? Would it be surprising to find that a ftm damental truth for the spiritual path should also be an equally fundamental truth for the progress ofhumanity caught in the complexi ties ofviolent and complex storms of ambition and ancient animosities? Haven’t we recently witnessed two or three marvelous examples ofindividuals who have gone through sheer hell in prison and under torture, to emerge with a sense of truth and what must be the road to follow to reconcile one human to another, regardless ofthe inheritance by each of cyclonic antagonisms? My own experience of the truth, since that day in the 1950s when Baba insisted that one ofthe conditions for following him on the Path must be a pledge to try to observe the truth 100%, has been that this has been one ofthe most incredible adventures of my life. I would never have attempted some of the decisions that had to be made in the light ofthat vow to the Beloved, ifl had not made it, and with trembling at the possible conse quences. But the immediate chapters that fol lowed were not just crisis and catastrophe, although they did occur. Rather the incredible fact was a totally unexpected succession of events that I could never have dreamed of. So many times, the results were inspiring, not only to me, but to the one with whom I had been honest. What a man is this our Avatar!
When the heart weeps for the Beloved’s union and the mind suffers the pangs of sepa ration, then the Beloved’s response is the final embrace into Oneness. This means to love God one has to keep Him present and never be absent from Him. This means while doing all duties, doing all deeds, while thinking all thoughts and speaking all words, we have always to have His remembrance, remembering Him as the background to everyone and everything. This means in everylittle thing, good or bad both, we should remember Him and then all responsibility rests with Him. LordMeher, Vol. Eleven and Twelve, © 1979, Manifestation, Inc.
Be Content With Your Lot Meher Baba
bove all else, be content with your lot, rich or poor happy or miserable. Understand that God has designed it for your own good, and be resigned to His will. Remember the present in the frame of the past and the friture. You eternally were and always will be. You have had innumerable forms as man or woman, beautiful and ugly, strong and weak, healthy and sickly, powerful and helpless, and now you are here again in another form. Untilyou gain spiritual freedom you will be invested with many such forms, so why seek temporary reliefnow which will only re sult in future bindings later? Do not ask God for money, fame, power, health or children, but seek His grace and it will lead you to eternal bliss. Not 14k, But One, p. 52, © 1977, Meher Baba Foundation
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