3rom the Editor extreme pleasure to put together this magazine for you all, I just wish I had more time to spend on it, so you could at least get a copy every quarter. Here I am retired from my payingjob these past seven years, Kathy has taken over the Bookstore, I spend at least eight hours a day on the computer and still can’t get it all together in a timely fashion. But enough about me! Although late-this issue has some wonderful reading in it. Starting with our lead story What Did Baba Really Mean By [that ubiquitous phrase] Don’t Worry—Be Happy, and then part one of the Amazing Life and Death of Danny Maguire. Amazing indeed—we can very visibly see Baba’s work in action in Danny’s story. Please do check out Kathy’s Bookstore article first, so you can get your holiday
Jai Baba Folks, nce again I am apologising for a double issue! In fact I am being called before the Meherabode Board of Directors to tell them why I have been unable to get out a single issue on time! Ah me, the life of a slave—overworked and paid nothing, except the joy of the job itself. And it does indeed give me
Order Now l3efore Tkej Are.
See Bookstore Report on Page 4for Details
Remember the present In thelrame ofthe past and the future.
You eternatty were end always wilt be.
“Rurni Heart ofthe Beloved” calendae $13
Avatar Meher Baba calendar, $10
“The IllurninatedRurni” calendai; $13 2
Hafiz ‘Yours is the Heart... calendar, $13 ‘
gift orders in early enough for her to get them back to you in time. Remember you can always go to the website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com to see the items in color. If you would like to avail yourselfofupdates on the latest arrivals and specials she has, send an email to Kathy simply saying ‘add me to your database.’ She may have your snail mail but not your email. Her address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles’ loss is Myrtle Beach’s gain: After forty or more years living in LA, nonagenarian Adele Wolkin packed up and left us, but we did give her a rousing sendoff We shall miss her. Injune I went Down Under to celebrate th anniversary of Baba’s second visit the 50 to Australia (I met Him when He first came in 1956). Avatar’s Abode has a very dear place in my heart and notjust because my mother (Diana Snow) was one of the privileged builders—along with Francis Brabazon, the designer and originator— but because it is so very beautiflil and has such a ‘Presence’ of Baba there. Fantastic celebration! Check out the photos in color (website provided in the article.) Talking of beautiftil places, the LA Sahavas this year was held in La Casa de Maria, a place built expressly for spiritual retreats in the beautiftil town of Santa Barbara, a two hour drive up the coast from LA. After 30 or so years in the mountains at Pilgrim Pines, it was time for a change. La Casa holdsfrwer participants than the Pines does—we had to turn down some people’s last minute requests to come-so be sure to plan early to be here next July. Stan Barouh put up a website with his gorgeous color photos of it. For our Children’s Page, a nine year old—whose stated ambition is to be an author when she grows up—submitted her latest short story There must be other children out there who would like to send us their work? Writing or artwork, we’d love to have it. Remember this is your magazine, send us your stories. Read on and enjoy life lived in His love,
4ç/?elcome to Love Street I
Love Street £ampRost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All members ofihe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfèast ofLove. £oveStreetJampBost is mailed (approximately) eachJanuary, April,Juiy, and Octobei
SUBSCRIPTIONS: Sending you the magazine costs us $25 per person per year domestic; $35 overseas. Subscription is by donation only, and we can publish only by the generosity ofyour donations. Please send your checks to:
The Miraculous Life and Death of Danny Maguire 2008 L.A. Sahavas th 50 Anniversary of Baba’s Visit to Avatar’s Abode OnTaking His Name Blessing oftheAnimals Memories & Revelations Spirituality & Psychotropics
8,400,000: A Numerological Coincidence
Love Street LainpJPost c/o Avatar Meher Baba Center 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 SUBMISSIONS: We seek expressions of Baba’s message of love and truth. Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited, but in digital format only (email please). DicuLINEs: November 1st, February 1st, May 1st, August 1st for the issue printed in thefollowing quarter (November 1 deadline for First Qiiarter issue). Dinagibson@mac.com. Ifnecessary to mail a disk (please no hand or typewritten manuscripts), send to Editor, address above. SEND TO:
STAFF: Editor in Chief: Managing Editor: Contributing Editor: Design and Layout: Assembly and pre-flight: Printing & Distribution: Circulation: Cover Photo: Back Cover Source:
Avatar Meher Baba Dma Snow Gibson M. Concannon Tom Hart, Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden Tom Hart Ray Madani Pris Haffenden Meelan Studio, Poona, 1957 en.wikipedia.org/wikilAlfred_E.Neuman
Please notify Pris, our Mailing List Walli, of your address change at the above address or by email: Stillyetmore.email@example.com For information regarding our Center or the Bookstore please go to: meherabode.org, Iovestreetbookstore.com, or meherbababooks.com
66 81 82 84 85 86
What Did Baba Really Mean When He Said:
73e 11 lappy? 2 .
(page 12) EPARTMENTS: c
Editor’s Page Bookstore Report Reviews Passings What’s Happening at Meherana What’s Happening at Meher Mount What’s Happening at Meherabad Know BeforeYou Go What’s Happening at Meherabode Children’s Page Poetry Page HumorforHuma Announcements What’s Happening at the Heartland Center Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings , RED ITS: ..-
2 4 9 34 35 38 40 49 52 74 76 77 78 80 87
ocr &reet £aiitpost is published by the Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Ca4fornia. We extend our hearftlt appreciation to all owners ofcopyrights to theMeherBabapictures we have usedto bringjoy and love to the hearts ofall,Cove StreetCanLjil?ost readers. Specialthanks to the MSI Cllection, Meherabadlndiafor their kindperrnission to use the photos ofour Beloved that appear in this magazine. All words, images, and,graphics in thispublication areproperty ofihe copyright holders and/or contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba ©Avatar Meher Baba PeipetualPublic Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar India, and © Lawrence Reiter Estate. Other contents ©Avatar Meher Babe Center ofSouthern California. Unauthorizedduplication isprohibited by law.
M)elcome to Love Street ‘13ookstore rkathy 21i11
New Film improved Beyond Words DVD (38
minutes), a longer version of Louis sew, van Gasteren’s 1967 video ofMeher Baba. It features previously unreleased footage of Baba and includes digitally remastered footage ofthe original 1967 exquisite film. A second section, Eruch, documenting the van Gasterens’ return visit to Meherazad in 1997, and a third section, Beyond Time, have been added. The DVD is in English and is accompanied by a 32—page booklet describing the film project with 69 color photos of Baba from the film. Produced 2008. $52.
New Calendars ove Street Bookstore is having a tough year as the economic downturn has had quite an effect on people’s shopping habits—well, it’s either that or my poor management! In any case, I am pleased to announce that we now accept payment with PayPal! That means that anyone who has an email address can pay for their order electronically, to firstname.lastname@example.org. PayPal accepts all credit cards or will draft your bank account securely. Just let me know what you want to purchase and I will email you back the total including shipping. (Sorry, with me, emails are always much faster than phone calls.) We nearly always ship on the Friday after an order is received, but it sure helps when people order early in the week. I will need to know whether you need expedited shipment (takes about 3 days in the US, expensive) or regular (takes one to two weeks, cheap). We received some exciting new mer chandise since the last LampPost was published. I had another shipment from my friend with the beautifrul Himroo handwoven scarves and shawls in Ellora, more about that below—these items make fabu bus gifts, and are going FAST at extremely inviting prices. I will be offto Indiajan. 21 through Feb. 8, to shop at the Amartithi bazaar where Baba lovers from all over India show off their wares, and I will visit
Meher Tailor, Meher Darbar, and Meher Nazar, to pick up as much in the way of Indian-made items as I can carry home, to stock the store for the coming year. Please forgive me, but I am taking a break for a family vacation and will not be able to work on orders December 20 28. If you want gifts for the holiday season, please order as early as you can before December 15 at the very latest but sooner is much, much better. -
009 Meher Baba calendars! One of my favorite days of the year is the day the calendars get here from Christina Arasmo. Sweeter than Christmas morning. Last year I got a little too excited and ordered way too many, so I have cut way back, order early! (And ifyou can use old calendars for crafts... let me know.) As usual she has outdone herself, such a great trove of meaningful Baba quotes, important dates from
His Advent, and beautifully reproduced photographs, on very nice paper stock. If you want to order in bulk for your Baba group, please note we offer bulk pricing. One calendar is $10; 10 at $9, 20 at $8. I think it is a requirement to have one in the office, one in the kitch en, and one in the bedroom, right? We also offer three colorful Rumi and Hafiz calendars, only $13 each, on recycled paper. Rumi (1207-1273) is still this country’s most-read poet, and a major spokesman for open, boundarycrossing spirituality. “A poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, then raise it to nourish your beautiful, parched, holy mouth.” The poetry of the 14th century Persian, Hafiz, has been referred to, along with Rumi, Shakespeare and Dante, as one of the seven great literary wonders ofthe world. For centuries Hafiz has been called “the tongue of the invisible,” and through these modern versions he continues to sing wild and beautiful love songs to this world from God. Meher Baba often quoted Hafiz, as well as Rumi, and their verses have as much intense meaning for spiritual seekers today as they did when written. And the art is so eye-catching in these renditions: Rumi: Heart of the Beloved fea tures translations by Coleman Barks. Thanks to the magical translations of Barks, Rumi’s poetry is more popular than ever. Here they are paired with exquisite Persian miniatures. The rich intricacy of the artwork complements
the mystical metaphors, in which the yearning for the divine beloved repre sents the soul’s quest for wholeness. Hafiz gives us versions by Daniel Ladinsky, and photo collage by Sa liha Green. Hafiz has come alive again through the work of Ladinsky, whose best-selling books include The Gfl, The Subject Tonight Is Love, and IHeard God Laughing (all available in Love Street). A New Illuminated Rumi highlights Michael Green’s magical art, along with his sensitive renderings of Rumi’s poetry, to make this a classic guide to the life of the soul.
ery new from Keith Gunn and Professor A. K. Hazra, Seekers of Love. 218 pages (paperback),just released. Many Baba lovers are familiar with Hazra’s book Memoirs ofa Zetetic. Some years ago Gunn tracked down professor Hazra and jointly they produced a sequel, OfMen and MeherBaba. This is yet another collaboration. A fi1l review from Kendra Crossen Bur roughs will be appearing soon on the Love Street Bookstore web page, but the book is hot offthe press and a review could not be completed in time for this issue. However, let me tell you, Hazra and Gunn travelled all over India collecting first-person ac counts of incidents that took place while Meher Baba was in His body. Their focus was on elderly early Indian Baba lovers, to capture memories before they were gone forever. From the introduction: “Another curiosity of several of these stories is that the persons in the stories took various oc cult realities for granted. This topic does not appear often in other literature about Meher Baba and His people. In these stories, the reader will see strange occurrences, encounter tantrics with powers unknown in the West, hear about a saint who performed his own death through an act ofwill alone, hear about rains that don’t fall when or where they logically ought to... Sounds intriguing, and I can’t wait to snuggle up with it for a good read! Meher Babai New L/è, Bhauji’s latest opus, was reviewed in our last issue. We have plenty of copies, and our $60 price ...
includes Priority (fast) shipping in the US. (It weighs about five pounds!) Every detail of that amazing period in Baba’s advent when he roamed the subconti— nent with a band of stalwarts, “helpless and hopeless” is to be found herein. How appropri ate to study this era when so much ofthe planet appears to be plunging into a deep economic depression. Rick Chapman has just re leased two titles. You may re member How to Choose a Guru, an A to Z guide to spirituality with pithy explanations of im portant concepts. It has now been released in an expanded version as Introduction to Reality ($15 softcover, $20 hardback). 190 pages. There is plenty of humor here: the page for “Flattery, Beware of” is blank. My favorite entry is under “Theology” It reads, “When you have come to the realization that religion is nothing more than the husk around the kernel ofreal spiritu alit)?; why in God’s name would you waste time on the study of religion?” Some entries, such as the one for “Ego,” go on for several pages, but most are brief pointed, memorable. Meher Baba The Compassionate One is Rick’s other title. This one comes hard cover ($20), soft cover ($15), or as a shorter booklet ($3). In any form it makes an cxcellent and accessible introduction to the Avatar’s life, work, and importance; 139 or 68 pages. Both versions include (along with the theme of creation and a biogra phy) a list of pilgrimage sites, the text of the prayers and the Universal Message, brief descriptions of God Speaks and The Discourses, and such classic texts as “How to Love God.” At only $3 the little booklet is a great freebie for the friends who ask “Whose picture is that on all your walls?” Love Street had the helpftil little book Understanding Death by Pascal Kaplan reprinted, with a regular “perfect” binding instead of a plastic comb (they tend to deteriorate). Dma and I like to keep copies on hand to share with friends enduring the transition of a loved one. Unfortunately, the price has increased with this new cdition: $10. Well worth it for the sage wis dom it contains, a study of what Meher Baba said about this passage. Back in print: Bill Stephens’ fascinat rng work, Souls on Fire, has been hard to find, but is now in a new reprint. $12. He 6
talks about Meher Baba’s favorite saints and masters, including Rabia of Basra, St. Mira, Milarepa, Rumi, Hafiz, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi, Ramakrishna, George Fox (founder ofthe Quakers), Ka bir and Hazrat Babajan. Not quite out of print: The price has gone up for Mehera-Mehei a Divine Ro mance, the three-volume boxed set that is almost a thousand pages, a biography of Mehera that describes life on the women’s side ofthe compound. It is now $77 and I only have a few left and I suspect when it is reprinted it will be nowhere near as nice! ( There are rumors about a new title from David Fenster soon...)
New Music long last, we can offer you The Best ofBob andJane on a CD ($15 plus $3 First Class shipping). We are still receiv ing orders for the long-gone cassette tapes produced when Bob Brown was still with us! There are no more popular Baba singers and you will put this CD on “repeat” for days. The cuts are All for Love, Take a Run for the Water, I’m Yours, Meher Baba’s Love, Depend on You, Our Darling Beloved, Joy in Your Reign, Victory Unto Thee, Purity Silence Day Song, Still I Lin ger, Your Time Has Come, Creative View, Merciful One, Gujerati Arti, and Once I Turned My Eyes to the Sk (Dma and I are begging Jane to get us a recording that includes Ishtiake as soon as possible.) Julie Rust with a crystalline vocal talent has been busy this year, producing a CD for adults Believe, $12 and another for small fry LovelandLullabies, $12.These are nice even for non-Baba lovers and make good gifts.... and who said lullabies are just for babies? After a long stressful day, lie down with
headphones on and see what happens. The cuts on Believe are Paint the Sky Green, Your Eyes, Starting Over Believe, Drowning, I Won’t Stop Feeling This Way, It’s Simple, My Everything, Whatever the Moment Brings, Meher’s Song. I have just ordered the new CD by Carol Gunn, Beyond Time. I will soon have a review for you, but if you have heard her sing at the Samadhi, you know you want one. Price TBA, it just arrived on my desk today. The cuts are Open Up, Always, The Moon was Lo’ Leave Ev cry Care, All I Want, Liberation, King of Beauty Love’s Refrain, My Romance, Age After Age, My Heart Longs, What a Cup, Over the Rainbo Reflecting His Light, and Beyond Time. More information is at: www.musicsystems.com/carol We have new three-CD sets of Indian style music. The proceeds from the sale of these CDs will be used to fund projects of the Avatar Meher Baba Universal Spiritual center at Byramangala near Bangalore, India. You can get just one (such as Chants or Ghazals) for $10 or the set ofthree for $25. “With Baba’s Grace and in His love, we have produced the Silent Melodies series of 3 audio CDs Silent Melodies Ghazals (45 minutes); Sacred Chants (60 minutes), and Silent Melodies Meher Mouna Geetanjali (60 minutes in Telugu). The lyrics of the ghazals were written byAvatar Meher Baba under the name Huma during His intense spiritual training under Sadguru Upasani Maharaj. Baba echoed in His spirituallycharged words the outpourings of agony ofevery aspirant’s longing for oneness with God. The music for these ghazals is com posed by Ramesh Chadaga, a popular clas— sical singer and composer from Bangalore. The music captures the human longing of a devotee intoxicated in the love of God. The compilation of Meher Baba chants captures different moods, at times ener getic, at times soothing, and at times they conjure up images of the playfulness that Baba demonstrated on numerous occa sions. This is not a profit making venture. This center was initiated by Baba with His own hands in the year 1939. However the development of this center is incomplete and stalled for the want of funds. With the purchase of these CDs Baba lovers can, in addition to relishing this divinely melodious music, realize the satisfaction of —
contributing towards Baba’s cause in Byra mangala.” Surrenderance: Blues & Gospel Songs & Ghazals ($14). Raine Eastman-Gannett wrote us, “Surrenderance is done! The music is blues and gospel. One might wonder what on earth an Australian singer and musician might know of such music, especially one who studies and teaches classical voice, guitar, raga and harmonium, plus Hindi bhajans, Sanskrit mantra and Western voice? Well I spent eight years in the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and many of the spirituals on this CD I sang with Meher Baba ideas running through my musical heart and mind even while on stage touring. It was through this group I finally got to sing in the Sydney Opera House. Thus on the CD are eight gospel songs; then there are eight blues songs. These are mostly Francis Brabazon lyrics set to traditionalstyle bluesy tunes. One cannot say Francis wrote them and yet one cannot say someone else did either as most are variations on a traditional blues idea. The Brabazon lyr ics, as always, are amazing. There are others by me, and it closes with Blues Ghazal, the original inspiration for this Baba CD. The last line quotes Rumi, ‘They say that there is no death worse than expectancy,’ and this is also the mantra that dominated my work on this intense musical project, for all these years: try to keep detached, keep Baba with you at all times, and just keep going.” “One of my compositions is Rock you Merwan (Dhondi’s Song). It is about Baba’s ayah (nanny) and is in the qawali tra dition of Islam, like songs to Halima who was Mohammed’s nanny and wet nurse. Once when Mani—at Baba’s request—was naming all the people to remember from their lives over the years, Mani forgot to write down Dhondi. Baba clapped for attention and said ‘We forgot Dhondi.’ Many wonderftil musiciansjoined me: Sam Saun ders on guitars, Billy Goodrum on Hammond organ and piano, Michael DeVries on drums, and the great harmonica player Kevin Connor.” Also new from Raine: Grin and Guip Ghazals (fl4). Upon hearing this CD popular Baba troubadour Jim Meyer wrote to her, “A few sanskaras concerning your re markable, poetic CD: How happy and im pressed Francis would be (is) upon listening to these 27 gems they are clearly born from a synthesis of his genius and yours and, if I may be so bold, are equal in quality Here is the real rap music! It requires a certain amount of courage and foolishness to put -
out music/poetry that probably will not be recognized until after the Manifestation. Keep being foolish! Much love and admira tion,Jim. If you just want a sampler of Raine’s greatest hits, ask for Gems ($14). Jamie Newell and MarkTrichka had great acclaim at ourJuly Saha vas and I am nowwell-stocked on their CDs. Mark’s new Mandolin Walla ($12) was written up in the previous LampPost. I never seem to get tired of it and anyone who has heard it, buys it.Jamie’s warm, sonorous voice will be familiar to many and if it is not, it should be. We stock Songs ofHafiz, The Window to Goc4 and BluesAre My Business, $15 each. Missing from our website is all the excellent music (and poetry) from Michael Da Costa. Wow! He did a concert here recently—lucky us— and every time he performs live he blows me away with his humor and his heart-felt wisdom. We have all his CDs at $12 each and carry his books too. Info is at www.michaeldacosta.com
Holiday Gift Suggestions Textiles from Ellora! The family of Baba lovers near Aurangabad who ew produce fine “Himroo” weavings have sent me more shawls and scarves in lovely colors and patterns in time for your holiday giftgiving, at unbelievably Baba-family friendly prices. I have only a few and each is unique, so order early and state a second and third choice! (I will be ordering more, they are going fast!) And remember you don’t have to wear them, many are suitable for dressing up tables or windows, throwing over the back of a chair or sofa, or just using as wall hangings. Ifyou watchTV keep a wool one handy for those cold nights. Here are the details, while they last: Cotton—Silk scarves, 21” x 75”, $10: Fine without being ffimsy, these are lightweight, satiny-shiny, suitable for men or women, dressy, with subtly intricate patterns, short fringe and a right side/wrong side weave. Colors: Turquoise/black, purple/burnt orange, black/black, royaL/crimson, light blue/ charcoal. Silk/Wool shawls, 28” x 82”, $20; Soft, light, thick enough to use for a wrap on a chilly day, dressy, with luminous patterns on
a plaln background that matches deep bor ders and knotted fringe: Bronze on black, soft red on black, silver on bronze, deep red on bronze, aqua on bronze. Fringed Light Wool shawls, 30” x 82”, $30. A comfortable year-round weight for wearing, or for using around the house (you won’t want them to languish in a closet, they have eye-catching patterns in floral and paisley motifs that are just stunning). Magentalpurple/red/beige; maroonlaqual purple; bold maroon and creamy orange on black, burnt orange/ maroonlblack; tur quoise/periwinkle/maroon. Silk/Cotton scarves, 21” x 74”, $13. Almost transparently lightweight, gauzy matte texture, cottony feel, in brilliant checkerboard stripes of jewel tones, the perfect hot-weather accessory for a splash of dramatic Indian color. Purple /turquoise, orange/turquoise, turquoise/ purple, gold/purple, beige/maroon/ burnt orange. Wool/Cotton wrap, 28” x 70”, $16. Finely woven, light but warm, similar to a Pashmina in texture, this is what you want to take everywhere you travel, as an all-purpose wrap that goes with cverything and takes up no room in your bag. Solid colors: slate blue, pale pink, deep greenish bronze, rich maroon, winter white. Popular, Too Popular! I have to keep reordering Jim Meyer’s music. We stock The Time Has Now Come, Relentless Love, Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality, and 7
Love Chains, all $15, and the double CD set Om Namo, 2O. Load up your iPod and prepare to be entranced. Radiant Heart fine jewelry. I would never leave the house without my sil ver colophon pendant (8O) and Randel Williams makes them in gold too, but the price of precious metals has gone up. Special order, but I do try to stock one of each metal, call for the latest pricing. We have a few “portrait” pendants, solid gold, a small oval reliefofBaba’s face and a flat gold disc (well, it’s rectangular) with Baba’s face etched on it in black. Call me on a Wednesday afternoon and I will give you exact measurements and the best price there is. They are small enough to work as a watch fob or charm ifyou don’t want to wear a pendant. Silver Chains. We have plenty of silver chains, purchased in India. They are 20 to 24 inches long, mostly medium weight, some heavy a few fine. 24. The plus: Free clear lucite oval double-sided Baba pendant ifyou buy a chain and ask. Crystal pendants. I am headed back to India for Amartithi and I promise to look for more of these popular pendants with Baba’s image on a photograph embedded in a thick crystal disk. They sell for around $30 or so. Last year I bought all there were and it still wasn’t enough to meet the demand, so start sending me emails now if you want to be on the waiting list. Anybody want to go to India with me and help me schiep home all the merchandise? Other pendants. These look like silver dollars, and are indeed solid silver, but they feature the profile we love the best. l3O. That too pricey? For only 2 I have some aluminum pendants with the same profile, same size. Stocking stuffers: One-inch clear lu cite oval double-sided Baba photo pendant, $1. Incense from India, $3. Itty bitty incense burners with Baba’s pic flare, $2. Bumper stickers or license plate frames that say Don’t Worry Be Happy, 2 each. Baba buttons, dozens of them, and Mehera and Mani and Upasni... look at the web page, $1. Note cards, check out the web page, most are only $2 or $3! Mugs: $8 for tall, teal, Mischievous Chicken, 18 oz.; $6 for Be Cheerful, 12 oz; $8 for Mastery in Servitude cobphons on one side and Avatar Meher Baba kiJai on the other, 12 oz. Our most popular one is beige with a burgundy rim 8
and with His signature also in burgundy, $10 for 14 oz. Multicolor flags in several sizes, and flag tote bags, check the website. MS Irani signature tee shirts, $11, many colors and sizes from S to XXL. Castings by Jurgis Sapkus make great gifts because people are reluctant to spend that kind ofmoney on themselves. But it’s not that much money! And these make a great centerpiece for a home shrine or al tar, or just a nice item to keep on a Baba bookshelf. One hand, $55. Pair ofbronzed feet, $110. Pair ofwhite footprints, $60. A little bust, maybe four inches tall, in white, bronze finish, or whitened bronze, tell me which, $35, what a steal. Art books: An art book makes a wel come gift. We have Pete Caswell’s pho tos of 2008 Amartithi, or beautiful shots around Meherabad and Meherazad, your choice, soft cover, nice paper, $25. His pictures also appear in his wife Patricia Caswell’s Bach Flowers book, worth the price for the transporting images of the flora around the tomb, a must for anyone who is into both Baba and Bach flowers: Light Spirit Essences includes a workbook of prescribing advice, $25, great for any holistic practitioner really. Appointment by Roger Essley is a brief but masterftii retelling of the classic “Ap pointment in Samarra” tale. The full page paintings are phenomenal (Roger’s work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum), and Meher Baba’s face is used for the Mas ter in the story, but no mention of You Know Who in the text. Give it to your un-clued-in relatives for eye opening reading. $15. Because ofLove is the artistic autobiog raphy of Rano Gayley, who painted un der Baba’s explicit directions. Profusely illustrated, large format, good stock, hard cover, originally released at $45, special holiday sale: $20. I suspect when these last few copies are gone there will be no more. Universal Prayer and Song ofThe New Lfr by Will David are colorful, fat, small-format books that offer a full-cobor, cheerful, light-hearted illustration for every page, which contains only a word or a phrase of text. If you are struggling to memorize the Master’s Prayer, or the famous New Life Song, do it with these images to fill your heart and eye. $20 each. Meditations in Color by Sharon Muir: perhaps my favorite. Excellent printing
on art stock, hardback large format art book of frameable watercolor drawings ofthe places we love best: Seclusion Hill, Mehera’s Garden, etc. Awash with the brilliant colors oflndia. $25. If not an art book, how about a photo, framed or not, or an art print, or a poster? We have a wide selection in every price range, on the web page. Can’t have too many! More for your iPod: Here is my nomi nation for sadly under-listened-to music: Whisper I Love You, by Mischa Ruten berg, who has been most prolific this year. He has taken the work of Hafiz and set it to popular Western song styles. He also took most of the contents of Danny Ladinsky’s I Heard God Laughing, set the Hafiz lyrics to music, and sang them on three other CDs: Dance Dervish Dance; Come to My House; and The Great Secret. Try it, you’ll like it; if Hafiz is to your taste on the page, you will love having his words in your ears! And Mischa’s voice is large, round, warm, and inviting. These CDs are only $10 each. For Spoken Word: I have plenty, including the Discourses, intelligently read ($15 for 2 discs ofMP-3 files, or $20 for a set of CDs if some are still available) and I can also recommend the meditative Meher Baba on Love, War and the Human Experience, which are artfully read dis courses with dreamy background music. $10. Not for when you are driving! Lost suppliers! There is still demand for Tuck and Patti’s music but I wrote to them via their web page and never heard back. Help! Somebody must know how to find them. Anybody got a music industry directory? Please get your holiday orders in as soon as possible! I want to make abso lutely sure you get them in time for giv ing! I try to man the MOO (Mail Order Office) Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. You can call me at 323-730-5281 but please leave a message if you get voice mail. Email is always faster: bookstore@ meherabode.org. Remember, holiday orders have to be received EARLY! And do remember to check out our website for hundreds more ideas: www.lovestreetbookstore.com Happy shopping!
W;ot offthe Press! See latest bookstore arrivals on page 45
of the original presenters has written a chapter in Celebrating Divinity: SpiritualJourneys. Since 2002, two additional contributors have joined these spiritual companions; Kelly McCabe and Yaakov Weintraub also offer their priceless spiritual vision. The chapters include: Laurent Weichberger, Ancient Mysticism; Karl Moeller, Sufi; Yaa kov Weintraub, Judaism; Thomas M. Knoles, Vedanta; Kelly William Mcby Laurent Weichberger, Yaakov Cabe, Hindu; Ameeta Vora, Jam; Lo Weintraub, Karl Moeller, et al, pon Tsultim Wangmo, Buddhist; Mary with a Foreword by Don E. Stevens Esther Stewart, Christian; Mary Esther “ February 2002, in response to Stewart, IfSt. Francis Were Here; Har the tragic events of September 11, ing Singh Khalsa, 511th Dharma; Lau 2001, Laurent Weichberger produced rent Weichberger, Modern Mysticism; and presented a full-day symposium at and Laurent Weichberger, Listening. Northern Arizona University entitled In addition, the book contains a spe Eastern Heritage Sym cial section entitled “Sa posium: Beads on One cred Places” which gives String. At that event, an overview and some presenters from the madetails about some of the DIV1NE jor world faiths shared many places Meher Baba PRESENCEj3 the essence of their faith, visited in each of these ‘ 1HOMA 3. KNOLCS and their walk on that faith traditions. The anWHi4AMi4A spiritual path. thology is introduced by Laurent started off the •: Jane Chin, Ph.D. and L4AJJaNT WtCtiC day with Ancient Mys there is a Foreword by : RST&I ticism, then the guests _$“Baba’s Man” Don E. presented, and then he , . t. Stevens. This publication, concluded with Modern seven years in creation, Mysticism,with emphasis is a must read for anyone on Avatar Meher Baba. who is eager to learn more 1TRD;3CTON SANE ;H1N, hn. TYE This group of “Beads” as . . about the sacred beads. they came to be known, Beloved Baba said “I intend were asked by many to continue that bringing together all religions and cults much-needed sharing, where all faiths like beads on one string and revitalize stand side by side honoring one another them for individual and collective needs” in peace and harmony. (Lord Meher, Vol. 5, p. 1554). We ex Now they have done just that. Each pect a shipment in December, $20.
Jieviews Celebrating Divine C1resence: Spiritual 3oumejs
el 3 lieve A new CD byjulie Rust, Reviewed by Karl Moeller, Arizona the songs on this album were paintings, they would be pastels or watercolors of various views of a limpid pool in twilight. The main colors are Julie Rust’s flawless voice, and her well-crafted piano playing. A few tracks have her singing harmonies with herself, and a few have very welcome guitar or string backgrounds. J ulie’s lyrics remind me in a way of George Harrison’s in that the songs may be heard as love songs to a lover, or as love songs to God. Other than a final piano solo named “Meher’s Song”, there is no overt mention ofBaba’s name. The test ofan album, to me, is whether it invites and stands up to repeated listening. By the second time through I was humming or singing along (in my mind); these songs gain familiarity through their simplicity. Longing for Baba comes through in every piece. This music, while not exactly meditative, is all of a piece, slow to medium tempo, perhaps ‘contemplative’ best describes it. It’s perfect tea on a rainy afternoon music. Understated and extremely well done.
J4landolin Walla by Mark Trichka Reviewed by Karl Moeller ark Trichka’s new CD for the Meher Baba community, Mandolin Walla, is sophisticated acous tic vocal and instrumental folk music. The album begins with a leisurely and nostalgic Italian-flavored instrumental, ‘Mandofino.’ It’s clear we’re in the hands of a relaxed and confident pro and his musician friends in this clean and inti mate recording. To my ear, there are two standouts on this CD. Meher Baba composed a sinuous and infinitely-adaptable melody for the ‘Gujerati Arti’, and Mark gives us a uniquely focused instrumental adaptation featuring mandolin and tabla. ‘Everywhere Everything’ has a near-rock mood, with tabla standing in for a rock drum kit. Jamie Newell joins Mark singing this instant classic. While the instrumentals on this CD are all excellent, the vocal tracks are instantly memorable. I found myself walking around humming ‘Let Love Start’ and ‘Beloved God’ recently, which is the real test of music’s quality and accessi bility. The lyrics to ‘Beloved God’ are Baba’s own prayer. ‘Help Us To Find You’ lyrics were from a 1953 message by Baba and rearranged into a prayer by Christi Pearson. While Mark’s mandolin playing is prominent throughout, the instrumen tation includes acoustic bass, percus sion, guitars, backwoods fiddle, and the occasional harmonica and accordion. At times there are echoes of Django Reinhardt at Le Hot Club; ‘Hold On’ uses Forties-style close harmonies and jazz chordings. ‘One Step Closer’ is a relaxed Cajun-fiavored Baba song, complete with a few bars of rock’n’roll mandolin, followed by fiddle and accordion instru mental sections. Lisa Brande and others contribute fine vocal harmonies to all vocal tracks. Mixed and mastered deep in Louisi ana, Mandolin Walla features wonderful mando-folk songwriting and expert performances. Memorable music from a master mandolinist. A great time and highly recommended.
Reviews continuedonpg. 11 U
Conversation with 13hau 2<alcIiuri rJ1bout the Rew Life J3ook 4 Payam Russ, Los
Bhauji’s visit to Los Angeles in the summer of 2008, I had a wonJjuring derftil opportunity to speak with Bhau about various topics at my parents’ home, where he was staying for a few days. It so happened that on July 8, when I was visiting with him, I offered to read Bhau some articles from the recent (first and second quarter 2008) Love Street Lamp Post. As I ffipped through the pages, I came across the book review section, and the first re view happened to be on Bhau’s recent book, Meher Baba’s New Life. Neither Bhau nor I had read it until that moment. As I was reading it aloud, I felt I had the great opportunity to address some of the questions and issues raised in the review right then. Bhauji agreed to answer my questions. When he was explaining, I felt I should be writing the information down so I could share it with others who might be interested. It wasn’t until the spontane ous interview finished that I thought to call Dma and see ifit would be OK to have this printed in the next Love Street Lamp Post issue. She agreed, and so here it is! Of note, I sent this to Bhau to review for any corrections before I sent it to Dma. Payam: Bhauji, in the review [by Kendra Crossen Burroughs] it says that “no clear explanation is given ofwhat this account is based on, other than the vague notion that diaries and reminiscences were used.” Can you explain this? Bhauji: When I was taken in the Trust—to do Trust work—Erico [Nadel] came to me. He was interested in Hindi, so he used to come practically every day. Payam: When was this? Bhauji: This was in the year 1974—1975. He said to me, it would be nice ifyou write about the New Life separately, because it is very useful for this age. So, at that time, every day, I would go to Meherazad in the evening after office work and I would write about the New Life. But sometimes I would ask Eruch, Pendu, Mani, and once I asked Mehera; she was not talking with us [men mandali] but through Mani. And she would tell something about the New Life—about the time she was in it. So I could secure a little information from this, I0
and because I had already written Lord Meher, this helped me to write separately about the New Life. My main concern was that information should be collected from those who were in the New Life. So I did not ask anyone about the New Life [other than the mandali noted above]. I also took notes from Dr. Abdul Ghani, who was in the New Life. Payam: Can you explain that? Bhauji: I took notes from his printed booklets. And then [I took notes from] Dr. Nilu. He also wrote some ofthe things that were printed. And the whole thing, it was easy for me to write because I had the material. And generally Baba would say something about the New Life from time to time that I remembered. The New Life circulars were also used. Manek Mehta, Baba asked him to come to New Life. But he wanted to take care of the Center. Payam: Who was this Manek Mehta? Bhauji: He was the one who called himself a “guru.” Manek Mehta is the one who would act as a guru. He would come to Baba from time to time, and he would bring his disciples with him. He would praise everyone whom he introduced to Baba, and his order was that nobody should go to Baba at any time on their own. Only at the time when he would bring them should they go to Baba. In the New Life, Baba called Manek Mehta. Baba said to him, “Look here, I am leaving for New Life and I don’t know where I will go, just walking and walking and begging, and it is a very impor tant phase of my New Life. Because you are important, I don’t want to leave you. Though for others there are conditions, for you I don’t impose any conditions. I don’t want to miss you.” Manek Mehta said, “Baba, I also want to join the New Life, but now because of your grace and also money, I have constructed the Center in Bombay. And now if I leave, then of course the Center will be there, but no one will be there to guide the people.” So Baba said, “Don’t worr I will look after the Center.” And Manek Mehta said, “Baba, ifl leave it, then a mess will be cre
ated. I must guide them properly” Baba said, “How much time will you take?” And he said, “Six months I will re quire.” So Baba said, “All right, given. I have not given this to anyone of the mandali. They have to sign conditions that they will obey, that they would not write anything to anyone in the world. They will be leav ing the world and will never have any contact with the world or any relatives who are very close to them. But I will make you free from this for six months. Then afterwards, this freedom will also not be there for you.” Manek Mehta said, “These conditions I will accept, provided you just make me free for six months.” So Baba says, “You are free, but wherev er I am at the end of six months, I will inform you through telegram that I am here, and youjust come there andjoin Me.” ManekMehta accepted. Baba had given the money for that Center which was built in Bombay. Then Baba left, and when He was in Benares, six months were complet ed. Baba sent a telegram from Benares, and Manek Mehta did not reply. Then Baba went to Majri Mafi near Dehra Dun. He sent another telegram, but Manek Mehta did not reply. Then Baba stopped. After Baba returned to Meherazad from the New Life, there was a man from Manek Mehta’s group who had come to Ahmednagar for some work. He came to know that Baba had returned. So he thought, “This is Manek Mehta’s order, and as I have come from Bombay to Ahmednagar, I must go and see Baba.” He asked Adi K. Irani if he could see Him, and Adi replied, “Don’t go to Mehe razad because Baba does not meet anyone now.” But he went to Meherazad anyway. Baba told him, “Sit down.” And then the man from Manek Mehta’s group saw that the atmosphere there with Baba was very free! He only knew whatever Manek Mehta had told them. In his group, Manek would tell them, “Sit like this. Don’t spread your legs, that is disrespectffil.” But here, many were sitting and spreading their legs, for example
Gustadji and Kaikobad, who were very old. They would sit with their legs spread or stretched out, and Baba would not say, “Sit like this, or sit like that.” And also, all the mandali would talk very freely with Baba. Then the man thought, “This is Manek Mehta’s own thing that he says, ‘Sit like this and sit like that don’t be so free. He went back to Bombay and gradu ally told everyone about the atmosphere at Meherazad with Baba. Then they would also come and they would see for themselves. Gradually, they came to see Meher Baba on their own, and they left Manek Mehta. Eventually, all of them left the group, and what did Manek Mehta have at the Center? An empty hail without a soul. After completing the New Life, Baba went to America in 1952 and came back to Meherazad. During the first visit Baba paid to Bombay, Manek Mehta came to this darshan program. In his hand there was a garland. He came in a queue, and when he reached Baba, he leaned over to garland Baba. As he was doing so, he said in Baba’s ear, softly, “Baba, forgive me.” And just see, Baba said, “Forgiven.” Because of his wrongdoing, Baba was insisting that he should come and join the New Life. Only for Manek Mehta did Baba make this exceptional case. And Manek Mehta didn’t come. He became a guru, enjoying his life. So Baba had said when he drops His body, all these false selves and masters will come up like mushrooms. And He had to deal with them when He’s not in the body Payam: In the revie Kendra speaks of the “team ofpeople who worked so hard to produce this impressive volume” and says, “I say ‘team of people’ because, not only do we see from the acknowledgments that many contributed their skills (and finan cial support), but also it seems rather obvi ous that Bhau didn’t literally write most of this book (unless much ofit is drawn from his previous publications .).“ Bhauji: It [the information] was not collected from anyone except the mandali who were in the New Life. Payam: Were you the only one who wrote this book? Bhauji: Yes. I personallywrote all of this book. JeffWolverton wrote the foreword. At this point we had to conclude our conversation, but I am glad I had this chance to record Bhauji’s stories, and I thank him for answering my questions. . . .
Kendra Crossen Burroughs comments:
Ash and Campagna offer their love for Meher Baba on a firm musical founda For those who didth read my revie I tion forged from American Black Gos want to point out that I praised the book pel rhythms with a special tangy sauce and recommended it; it was not a negative reduced from New York herbs and Los review. However, I am disappointed when Angeles spices. The results are unique an important history ofMeher Baba’s Adand exhilarating. I love the “Hollywood vent lacks documentation (meaning spe Arti” because it is so heartfelt and hip and cific citations) for the material. As for sayrockin’, and Deborah Ash is smokin’! ing that Bhau obviously didn’t write most All these songs are tremendous, but if of the book, I should not have phrased it you need only one to convince you to buy that way, because I don’t personally know Baba Ba/b, listen to their rendition ofJeff all the details of how the book was pre Mylett’s “House of the Lord”. I daresay pared, so I apologize for that that, in the hands ofAsh and Campagna, this song is elevated to the rarified realms of true art—devastatingly beautiflil. Which brings us to the centerpiece of the CD—Baba Bob. Way back in 1981, Deborah and Michael were in Mehe Reviews continuedfrompg. 9 razad, and after Deborah sang the Amer ican Gospel song, “Drown in Your Love”, Baba’s sister Mani was moved to teach them the traditional qawali song, “Baba Bob”, playing the tune on her sitar right there in Mehera’s Garden. Mani felt that i?eview by jim clfrkyer qawali music and American Black Gospel music were linked and when you listen to Ash and Michael Camthis twelve and a half minute rendition Jebora pagna’s h unique musical love offer- by Ash and Campagna you’ll definitely ing originally recorded and released on see why. Ably assisted byJohn Busher on cassette over 20 years ago is now available tablas, Jeremy Wall on keyboards and a on CD, along with two additional bonus choir of in tune LA Baba Lovers, Baba songs. The improved sound quality only Bob is a moving tribute to the Lord of emphasizes and enhances all the musi Love and a clear reason why this song is cal gifts that Deborah and Michael are used to awaken His lovers in Hamirpur justifiably well-known for: extraordinary on Baba’s birthday. vocals, skillful and tasty guitar licks, proI was particularly impressed by the slide acoustic guitar work of Michael Campagna, creating an unusual synthesis of East and West. That boy can play! The CD ends with two bonus songs, “Could It be Someone” and “Show Me The Wa ?’, 5 and they further enhance the rocking de votion of Baba Bob and Deborah Ash’s gifts as a songwriter. And if that weren’t enough, the new cover art by Deborah is one more earthy artistic stroke that cornpletes Ash and Campagna’s masterpiece. There is a lusty honesty about Baba Bob that is very appealing to me—it speaks to my ears as a musician and my heart as a Baba lover. So enjoy this terrific love offessional production, solid songwriting, fering. and, quite frankly, a level of divine funki $ 15 plus first class shipping anywhere in ness that nobody else has delivered in the the US is only $3 for any CD or DVD. Baba musical world. Baba Bollo (literally meaning “to say or sing Baba”) begins with the “Hollywood Arti” which sets the tone for all the trea sures that follow. Right from the get go,
i3aba 73ollo &ars Agctin on 2 ’Jew CD Belease
What Did Baba Really Mean When He Said:
“Don’t Worry Be Compiled by M. Concannon, Missouri
continuing pain the prerequisite for further lived peace. For many this results only in creativity” insight and 6 automatic transference ofworry to the next 4 available situation.” Meher Baba on Worry “Just to attack the problem of worry and make some progress in controlling it is The following quotes were taken from already a great achievement. It is difficult Meher Baba’s Discourses and other writto do, however, partly as we have said beings, and from records of meetings with cause we feel instinctively that we are not doing our duty unless we are worrying. If devotees. one begins to get somewhere with worry, WorryAbout the Past it comes as a distinct surprise to find that all unknowingly, some progress has also Eliminating the There are very few things in the mind been occurring in no backbiting, thinking that eat up as much energy as worry. It is rest. the and others of the good of more Rationalizationsfor Worry one of the most difficult things—not to As soon as a little free psychic energy had Before one can jettison worry, it may been released from excessive worry (and worry about anything. Worry is experienced other unnecessaries) it began to flow all when things go wrong, but in relation to be necessary to eliminate a few rationalpast happenings it is idle merely to wish into activating some ofthese divine unseen considered sometimes is izations. Worry that they might have been otherwise. The 5 attributes.” about Worrying necessary, even virtuous. frozen past is what it is, and no amount of prod, the seen as is mistakenly “Worry a taken as is often people, for example, is going to make it other than worrying questioned action.When to flagellation work the about Worry sign of care for them. been. But the limited ego-mind it has what inevitably individual this the about deeply to of dedication is supposedly indicative its past, gets entangled itselfwith identifies I didn’t But if question: the with replies worry to of the roots it. Yet Baba traced the pangs of frus alive keeps it and with propdone things I get would how worry, 1 seffishness. continues to worry Thus desires. trated sees he conscience ofhis depths the In erly? never has Meher Baba said, “Worry until the of man life mental into the grow of component stern Spartan as the worry much very it is done anyone any good, and 7 past. the by is burdened ego-mind the keep whip to the applies that his nature for energy, of worse than mere dissipation Worry accumulates and grows in inherently lazy, rebellious selfin line.” it substantially curtails thejoy and fullness becomes a habit long after the strength, creative the parallels situation “The which of life. Among the many things has ceased to be. When you original cause have works his best believes who are artist there the aspirant needs to cultivate, this and that happened, you young, were When life. of pains the from born been few that are as important as cheerfulness, and worry began, and felt sad, cried, you avoiding of possibility the with are presented enthusiasm and equipoise. All these worry, although the still you years after 50 for he in alarm, rises he suffering needless rendered impossible unless the aspirant in you has gone. began worry when time will remove this that heart his in believes succeeds in eliminating worry from his you could at the passes years another 50 If work. his in quality of resource the secret 2 Baba drew an important distinction life.” worrying about still time be that end of the being does human the The idea that when He said “Man must think, but he now. It is happening was that something lash the under in life only decent things 3 must not worry.” 8 crazy. our in rooted profoundly ofinner agony is In the following excerpts from Man psyche... Therefore one comes to an attitude Searchfor Certainty, Don Stevens tackles Worryilbout the Future of associating ultimate values with inner some rationalizations for engaging in worry. by process pain, and one tries to aid the He expands upon what Baba explained in Worry is also experienced in relation to constant worry over detail.” the Discourses: that worry drains energy that future when this future is expected to the clear “Inspiration, high creativity and could otherwise be put to creative use in in some way. In this case it disagreeable be insight are all products of consciousness seffless service. Stevens also notes that the as a necessary part of itself justify seeks to in direct touch with the deeper layers of very benefits a person hopes to derive from prepare for coping with the to attempt the worry—inspiration and insight—cannot the inner man. Once the dustings of habit things can never But, situations. anticipated compulsion are removed from an important flow to such an encumbered mind. Besides, worrying. merely by “Removal of the apparent causes of facet oflife, direct inner contactwith reality be helped anticipated are which many of the things is made and maintained. It is notlost. Nor is worry by no means brings even short-
ne of Meher Baba’s most often repeated messages was “Do your best, then don’t worry, be happy in My love and I will help you.” The message is comforting, but it can also present a challenge. It is not always easy to stop worrying, or to be happy in the midst of difficult circumstances. Yet Baba promised to help each person internally, and the process ofreceiving His help is facilitated simply by remembering Him.
never turn up, or ifthey do occur, they turn out to be much more acceptable than they were expected to be. 9
Worry over Transient Things There can be no real fiJfillment through transient things. The satisfaction derived from the fleeting things of life is not lasting, and the wants of man remain unfulfilled. There is thus a general sense ofdissatisfaction accompanied by all kinds of worries.’ 0
The Root ofWorry Seffishness, which is the common basis of these three ingredient vices [lust, greed and anger], is the ultimate cause of disap pointment and worries.”
Worries About Imagined Things
and mental happenings that he experiences in wakefulness as well as in dreams, he soon develops utter detachment, which brings freedom from all worries and sufferings connected with worldly event5.’ 3
Worry Blocks Realization ofthe Se’f Due to worr this universe came into being. And now man is unable to realize his own Real Selfdue to engaging his mind in worry I advise you to be at peace and remain quiet in the face of any agitation, any worry and any calamity Do not allow such thoughts to enter your mind, but push them toward me, saying, ‘Go to Baba!’ If you follow my advice, things will come out fine.’
way of Oneness is the way to happiness; the way of manyness is the way to worry. I am the one who has no second so I am eternally happy. You are separate from your SeIf, so you always worry. To you, what you see is absolutely real; to me it is absolutely false. I alone am Real and mywill governs the cosmic illusion. It is the truth when I say that the waves do not roll and the leaves do not move without my will. The moment the intensity ofyour faith in my will reaches its heightyou say goodbye to worry forever. Then, all that you suffered and enjoyed in the past, together with all that you may experience in the future, will be to you the most loving and spontaneous expression ofmywill; and nothing will ever be able to cause you worry again.’ 6
Holdto Baba’c Daaman
3 love you. ‘EDo not worry about your weaknesses. eventually they will go; even
Now the griefs and sorrows iftliey linger, love will one day consume of this world are imaginary and self-created, for there is no cause them. Cverything disappears in the Ocean for them that would justify the result. The result in order to be ofi.ove. J3emuse 3 love you, you have substantial and believable must a pool of love within you. vVhen you feel have some cause for it. Ifthe cause be absent, then it naturally follows wretched, when you fall in your weakness, that the effect or result is unsub have a dip in that pool oflove. &fresh stantial or imaginary Then why worryyourselfabout the sorrows, yourself in that pool of my love within you. griefs or pleasures of this world :Jt is always there. Even if you wash your which have no cause behind them other than mere imagination? weaknesses every day in that poo , it will 1 Be a passive spectator of what is passing around you, and keep remain clear. 7 3on’t worry. 13aba loves the mind free and happy. Haflz you, that is what really matters. enjoins the same when he says: ‘0 Hafiz! both the sorrows and happiness ofthe world are to pass away; hence it is better that I should remain Nothing in the World happy throughout!” 2 Ahh,
to Worry About
Be a Detached Witness Knowledge of the soul may also be approached through a form of meditation in which the aspirant tries to realize himself as merely a witness of all physical and mental happenings. After a person wakes from a dream, he realizes that he was not a real agent of the actions in the dream but that he was merely a witness of them. If the aspirant persistently practices considering himselfa witness ofall physical
Read God Speaks. Ifyou understand it properly, you will find that there is nothing in this world to worry about! Whatever happens, happens due to impressions or ‘sanskaras.’ Sanskaras make the Dream of Creation appear to be real and lasting, and they create undue worrie5. 15
Willand Worry Duality implies separateness. Separateness causes fear. Fear makes worry. The
Do not worr Be happy in my Love and continue to hold fast to my daaman to the very end. Rest assured that all will be divinely well. God does not abandon those who trust Him.’ 7
Speqjic Things Baba ToldPeople not to Worry About: Children Suppose I say don’t worry about your children. You must take my word, as it comes from God. Because I am that! What does the word of God mean? God must know everyone, do everything. Therefore, when He says, “Don’t worry about your children,” it means you do not have to wor”
Spouse if you only knew how many husbands and wives you have had down through the ages, you would not worry so over this one!’ 9
Money Lud Dimpfl described how he worried briefly about money left in a pair of trousers sent to the cleaners. Baba sent for his wife, Bea, who said she hadn’t worried about the lost money at all. Baba continued to Lud: “Why not lose your selfso you can come to Me! Forget your worries, and find Me within you. When I give out the Word let 12
ned and you may love another man. That is all right; don’t worry about it at all, but don’t act out your love except 22 with your husband. Past misdeeds They sat at a quiet corner table and Baily poured out what had happened to him. Hearing it, Merwan [Meher Baba] admon ished him, “Let the past be gone. Why worry about past wrongs? Every person has done something very wrong. God is 23 there to forgive.” . .
it touch your heart. It will give you such
happiness that the loss of even millions ofdollars will not matter. No amount of 20 money can give you that experience.” Family,job, physical body You worry now about some condition, yet you have experienced all conditions. You have been blind, sick, poor, old, young, beautiful, ugly. You worry about your children—you have had numberless children, and they have had numberless parents and children. You worry about your job—you have been in every sort of occupation. You worry about your wife—you have had so many wives. You have been everything and experienced all conditions, and yet you worry about the ’ 2 slightest thing that happens to you. Unwanted thoughts Be happy in any conditions and don’t worry about anything. Ifthe whole world rocks, don’t rock with it! And particularly don’t worry about thoughts. Ifyou want to alter anything, start with actions. Why? Because thoughts belong to the mental world, and you have no control over them unless you are established on the mental plane. But you can control your actions. [ To Clarice] For example, you are mar‘4
Yourself Baba advised Keki, ‘If you worry about yourself, God does not worry about you. And why should He? Ifyou stop worrying, God has to begin to worry for you! Remember Him wholeheartedly; leave your troubles to Him. Then you will be free to remain 24 cheerful.’ Other people Baba again asked, ‘Why are you worrying about others? Even if everyone were to die, what is that to you?’ He then very pointedly told me, [Arnavaz] ‘You have shown enough concern for everyone. Now you must think only of Me, Nariman, and Mehera. I tried to obey Him, knowing that ifl left matters in His hands, He would take care ofall my real needs. Baba once said ofHis lovers, ‘The trouble with you is that you don’t leave everything entirely to Me. If you had a hundred percent faith in Me and left it entirely to me, the burden would 25 automatically fall on My shoulders.’ . . .
Results of service Always think of helping, and not of results. Never worry about results, because ‘selfless service’ means trying to help others, not even thinking ‘I am doing 26 this or that.’ Even a great soul like Gandhi worries, because he wants results. One must sincerely try to do his duties, but the results
must always be left with God. Worrying about the results is no good and of no use. If a person wishes to do anything for others, he must do it sincerely. And having done it, he should not worry about the results, for results are not in human hands. It is for humans to do, for God to ordain. To remain alooffrom results is not difficult, but men do not try. Because it is human nature to think ofthe results of one’s actions, however, it does not mean one should worry! Man must think, but he must not worry. Try to attribute all your acts to God and let results be His. Gandhi says he does everything for God and attributes it to Him, but he still wor 27 ries because he cares about the results. Difficulty comprehending the Discourses The discourse on ‘Fana’ was to be read. Baba preceded the reading by saying: ‘This is short but difficult. Those who cannot follow it, must not worry. It’s nothing but words. Only love counts. If the most unintelligent one can love Me as I ought to be loved, he is infinitely more blessed than the most intelligent one who 28 doesn’t know how to love Me.’ Difficulty accepting Meher Baba’s divinity Ifyou cannot accept me as God, that should not worry you. Accept me as a True Friend. I am God undoubtedly. But it is difficult for the Western mind to accept the concept of God in human form. Jesus was God Himself, but Judas did not accept Him as such. Even Peter deniedJesus three times. So how can you accept Me? I am the Only Reality while 29 all else is false. Impurities The Master is the divine Beloved; and when the disciple meets his Master, all that he has to do is to love Him. For if the disciple loves the Master out of the fullness of his heart, his final union with Him is assured. He need not worry about the quality ofhis love. He should love in spite of his weaknesses and not tarry till ° 3 he can purify his own heart. Weaknesses I love you. Do not worry about your weaknesses. Eventually they will go; even if they linger, love will one day consume them. Everything disappears in the Ocean of Love. Because I love you, you have a
pool of love within you. When you feel wretched, when you fall in your weakness, have a dip in that pooi of love. Refresh yourself in that pooi of my love within you. It is always there. Even ifyou wash your weaknesses every day in that pool, it will remain clear. Don’t worry. Baba loves you, that is what really matters. ’ 3
could look so young, as I knew he was at least forty. Finally I asked him, ‘Don’t you ever worry?’ He looked astonished and replied, ‘Why no! The Master forbids 39 it!’
He told us to begin by remembering Him, to constantly turn our thoughts to Him, by surrounding ourselves with things that remind us of Him, and by Not loving Baba taking His name. Our remembrance of As long as you are Mine, you need not Him, He assured us, would gradually worry. You are Mine, that is why I have seep into our heart, and slowly awaken drawn you such long distances. If you the love for Him which is buried there. can’t picture Me, don’t worry; ifyou don’t As this happens, our thoughts naturally love Me, don’t worry: I love you. 32 turn from other desires and worry and towards Baba, making once what was a Not loving at all continual effort as much a part of us as Ifyou have not a grain oflove, do not 0 our very breath.[Meherji worry. Do selfless service. I am in all and Nariman [Dadachanji] called worry serving others is serving me. 33 ‘interest paid on trouble before it falls 41 due.’ Misfortunes I [Charmian Duce Knowles] decided If, instead of worrying over our own then that the one gift we could give Baba misfortunes, we think of ourselves as in return was exactly what He’d always more fortunate than many, many others, requested—for us to ‘be happy,’ to try we are loving God. 34 to maintain a positive, joyous attitude about life and the world around us. In What Baba said we the years to come, I would remember His comments about being within us, and if MAYworry about I was feeling sad, I would say to myself Let your only worry be as to how to ‘Oh, Baba is feeling that. I don’t want love Me and obey Me more and more. 35 Him to feel sad. I want to make Him Ifat all you must worry, let it be how to happy.’ Then I would try to cheer up, for remember Me constantly. This is worthHis sake. After a while, it began to work while worry because it will bring about 42 splendidly. the end ofworry. Think ofMe more and So meticulous was [Ella Winterfeldt] more, and all your worries will disappear in carrying out her responsibilities that into the nothing they really are. 36 she was a real ‘worry wart’ at times. At Christ said with divine authority, ‘Your the Center, Baba called her into the Barn. sins are forgiven,’ and I say with divine As she stepped in the door she could see authority, ‘Love me, and your worries a very displeased look on His face. She will vanish!’ 37 smiled nervously but Baba’s expression remained the same, so by the time she ***** reached His chair she was in a state of great anxiety. She stood with her arms trembling behind her back, desperately Quotesfrom Mandali wondering what she could have done to and Devotees displease Him so. Suddenly Baba ‘said’ Baba ordered me [Dr. Donkin]...to one word to break the tension: ‘Relax!’ tell Him of anything which is on my She loosened up instantly and He sent her mind or worrying me. Secondly, I am outside again. Ella said she never really not to worry about thoughts, good or worried again to that depth. 43 bad, but am not to put the bad ones into There was Baba gesturing, looking at ’ 3 action. me—what?! Yes! His eyes flashing some In July 1947 Norma wrote me [Ivy kind of reproof. .As we walked through Duce] from Myrtle Beach that one of the forest, I saw His hands gesture, Baba’s close disciples, Meherjee Karkaria, heard Mani’s voice: ‘Filis, Baba says stop would be in NewYork and that perhaps I worrying. I couldn’t stop! Again, ‘Filis, would like to meet him. While we were Baba wants you to stop worrying.’ And lunching, I was wondering how this man then a third time. Finally Baba called me .
to Him, took my left wrist in His right hand, and a soft shock ofcurrent went up my left arm, blotting out all tension. Not until hours later did I recall what I had been upset about. 44 Sometimes Baba, in order to help us, brings our faults up to the boiling point. The person who worries, worries more than ever. A climax comes, an emotional upheaval takes place within the person. Then ifthey have the courage to face up to themselves, in a flash the whole thing clears up and they are free from that particular worry. 45 We are meant to be happy and to make others happy Kitty Davy remembers Baba empha sizing that no one should expect to get happiness from others, but that each should be happy within themselves. Indeed, as an aspirant progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to derive real happiness from external conditions. Inner changes may cause the seeker to suffer more acutely when faced with the selfishness ofothers. Baba explains: “As the aspirant advances on the spiritual path, he acquires, through his contact with a Perfect Master, an increas ingly deeper understanding of true love. This makes him painfully sensitive to the impact from outside actions that not only do not taste oflove, but actually bring him into contact with cold contempt, cynical callousness, agonizing antipathy, and unabating hatred. All these encounters try his forbearance to the utmost. Even the worldly person suffers in a world he occasionally finds indifferent or hostile. But he is more thick-skinned and his suffering is less acute. He does not ex pect anything much better from human nature, and thinks that these things are inevitable and incurable. The aspirant, who has tasted a deeper love, knows the hidden possibilities in every soul. Thus his suffering is very acute because he feels the gulf between that which is and that which might have been, ifonly the world had even faintly appreciated the love he has begun to understand and cherish.” 46 Neither is it possible to attain endur ing happiness through the fulfillment of desires, for as Baba pointed out, the tree of desire bears two fruits, one sweet and one bitter, and those who bid for one kind of fruit must be ready to have the other. 47 Meher Baba provided a very practical bit ofadvice about this. He said TC
Handling Djfficult Feelings: GriefandAnger
Don worry, be happy, Give a smile and make it snappy. Even fitc a burdensomeyoke Neverforget allhfe ajoke. Baba is theplay and actor, He the tears andHe the laughter. So when mostyou want to cry Think ofBaba andsay His
to try to make others happy, for thereby one can find real happiness. As long as an individual thinks only of his own happi 48 ness, he does not find it. in Not We but One: Meher Baba says “Everyone is unconsciously tired of this life, because everyone seeks happiness, but knows not how to get it. But life is so beautiful. It is meant to be happy. I will help you. Then things will appear changed. You will see it. It is always the outlook that counts, and not the object. Todayyou feel tired, upset, seeing nothing beautiftil in the things around you in life. If tomorrow you do not feel bored but cheerliii, the same things that appeared black yesterday will seem changed. It is all due to changed mentality and outlook. The easy way is not to make much of things. Say to yourself, ‘I am meant to be happy, to make others happy,’ and gradually you do become happy and make others so too. Don’t suggest to your mind, ‘I am tired, haggard, depressed.’ That will make you feel worse. Always say, ‘All is well and beautiful. I will be happy.’ I will help you 49 spiritually.” In a letter to a Baba lover, Mani wrote: “Once we come into the Avatar’s LoveOrbit, and as long as we surrender our lives into His, giving and leaving all to Him, we are moving directly under His will. We then have nothing to worry about, except to do our best and leave to Him the rest. And so Baba tells us ‘Don’t worry. Be happy.’ And that is another thing that is often misconstrued. Being happy need not mean being merry—happiness and pleasure are not the same thing. If we can accept every circumstance we are put in, i.e. keep our mind unaffected by the oscillations ofjoy and sorrow, taking it to be His will, then we might be said to ‘Be ° 5 Happy’ as Baba means it.” i6
A poem by Mehera Irani, 1971
Meher Baba said, “Even ifyou feel you are being cut into pieces, show a smile outside on your face. In love, this is the 52 meaning of bravery.” He also indicated in the Seven Reali ties that “the only Real Surrender is that in which the poise is undisturbed by any adverse circumstance; and the individual, amidst every kind ofhardship, is resigned 53 with perfect calm to the will of God.” Kitty Davy tells us: “All Baba asked from each was a happy face and work done cheerfully. To Baba, this cheerftiiness was a goal most worth striving for, a goal of paramount importance. Baba told us, ‘If you don’t want to be old before you really ought to be old, be cheerftil in thought, word, deed and appearance—most of all in appearance. Maybe you are not happy inside, perhaps gas in your stomach! But you must look 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 contagious. It is a divine art to always look cheerful. It helps others. When you are garlic-faced, it makes others unhappy.’ Baba emphasized that no one must expect to get happiness from others, but be happy in Kitty also remembers Baba telling her, “If I say ‘Be happy!’ be happy at once. Forget. Away with it! Why brood? I never brood. Laugh! Be cheerful! It is all illu sion why not be cheerful, happy? Start now!!” Don Stevens came to the conclusion that “Happiness in the last analysis does not have to be justified. It just is. .There need be no logic for this type of contentment. It can be, and be experienced, just 56 because it is.” -
Anger and grief each deserve more comprehensive coverage than this article can provide. Still, these quotes from Baba are reassuring: “It is natural that at times you feel 100% miserable. Be sure that I know everything. When everything goes wrong the mind becomes helpless and has to rely on the heart. These are moments that you have to resign to My will and rely solely on My help. When you leave all to Me, I dare not neglect you, and you get relief from your predicament. I am the Ocean Compassion.” ofLove and 57 “Ifborne willingly, physical and mental suffering can make one worthy of receiv— ing spiritual healing. Consider mental and physical suffering as gifts from God, which, if accepted gracefully, lead to ev erlasting
Grief In a letter to Delia [De Leon], Baba stated: “I know how you feel parting with dear Mabel, but Mabel has not parted from you. She is closer to you know than she was or could be before. Love knows no separation and because you loved her so much, nothing, not even death as physical separation is called, can break 59 that tie oflove there is between you.” Baba always encouraged us to face the death ofour loved ones not with undilut ed sadness but with an alloy—a mixture ofhappiness and sadness. Sadness for our 60 loss, but happiness for their gain. On the subject of death, on one occasion after another close disciple passed away, Baba said. ‘Why suffer unnecessarily? The ‘dead’ live in Me. That should make you happy. Why not rejoice in his [the physically departed one’s] happiness? Loving Me as you do, knowing Me for the One I am, you should be only happy that he is happy in Me. Knowing this, any mourning you may do therefore must be for yourselves 61 only from selfish Mani’s pet cocker spaniel, Peter, was put to sleep. The dog had cancer, and Dr. Alu Khambhatta administered the injection. Peter breathed his last in Baba’s presence in His bedroom. A few moments before, Baba lovingly caressed the dog and Peter wagged his tail feebly.. Baba missed the little fellow and remarked, “Even I, who am God and know how .
truly blessed Peter is, miss Peter’s pres ence as ‘Peter.’ 62 Dma Talati, who was grief-stricken over her husband Naval’s death, came to Him and Baba comforted her.. Baba urged her to cry aloud to give vent to all she felt, dreaded and suffered. The entire atmosphere for a short while rang with her cries of “Baba! Baba!” touching the hearts of all those gathered, filling some eyes with tears. Baba watched her wail with a soft smiling expression on his face. 63 .
. . .
Anger In the Discourses Baba said: Anger is the fume ofan irritated mind. It is caused by the thwarting of desires. It feeds the limited ego and is used for domination and aggression. It aims at removing the obstacles existing in the fulfillment of desires. The frenzy of anger nourishes egoism and conceit, and it is the greatest benefactor of the limited ego. At least control your anger and take practical steps to check it. When you feel you are getting excited or angry, remember it and try to control it. Pinch yourself, go aside, dance, skip. Do this and remember me, and you will at once turn your anger into laughter. 65 It is better to feel angry sometimes rather than merely to repress anger. Although your mind may be angry do not let your heart know it. Remain unaffected. If you never feel angry you will be like stone, in which form the mind is least developed. Let the thoughts of anger, lust and greed come and go freely without putting them into words and deeds. Then the related im pressions in your mind begin to wear out and become less painfril. When you feel angry or have lustftil thoughts, remember Baba at once. Let My name serve as a net around you.’ 66 Baba further stated, about His excitable nature [in November 1953, immediately preceding the start ofhis ‘Fiery Free Life’]: “These days I try not to get angry or excited. Whenever I am about to do so, I remember the words ofJesus Christ and say: ‘Get thee behind me, Satan!’ Therefore, whenever any thought oflust, greed, anger, jealousy, money matters or family affairs tries to possess your heart, say with me, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan!’ and be at peace. 67 *****
The Element ofGrace When struggling with difficult emo tions, it is helpftil to remember that that according to the book God Speaks, gross conscious souls do not have mastery over their feelings. 75 When consciousness has involved to the fifth plane of the mental world, mastery of thoughts is achieved. In the sixth plane ofthe mentalworld, mastery offeelings. Gross conscious individuals who have not yet begun the process ofinvolution (i.e., have not yet started on the first plane) are not yet conscious ofthe mental world. One of the quotes listed above touches on this point and bears repeating. Baba said, “Don’tworry about thoughts. Ifyou want to alter anything, startwith actions.Why? Because thoughts belong to the mental world, and you have no control over them unless you are established on the mental plane. But you can control your actions.” 76 Mani observed, “Baba is the Sun and Source ofall things, and whatever we offer Him has been received by us from When He says “be happy,” it can be taken as more thanjust encouragement. He could not be telling us to perform an act of emo tional mastery which He already stated is beyond our abffity What appears to be op erating is a bestowal ofgrace, hidden within an exhortation. Mani explains this concept in the forward to the book Mehera: “Shortly before He dropped His body, Baba asked me to take a message to Mehera. He told me to tell her, ‘Mehera, be brave.’ And, although it seems that Baba was asking something from Mehera with these words, in actuality Baba was giving her the courage with which to be brave. And because it came from Him, she was able to be brave during the most difficult period after He left His form.” 78 In light of this, when considering the expression “Don’t worry be happy,” consider the possibility that through the sincere attempt to follow his order, we receive the grace necessary for its fulfillment.
India, I had a growing sense I was expected to feel a certain way. Many ofmy travelling companions gave me the impression that I should be deliriously happy, as they were, when indeed I was not. On the contrar I was unnerved and sometimes disgusted with the sugary outpouring of what I thought to be a lot of sentimental crap. I was totally unprepared for those strong expressions oflove and devotion. So, ifl did not share the feelings of my companions, what choice did I have but to revert to the old family pattern so deeply ingrained? My loner instincts came to the fore, and I became anti-social. I did not, could not, and would not pretend to feel anything other than what I was experiencing at the time. And it hurt badly because I wanted to share the joy. The truth is I felt nothing for Meher Baba. Nothing. And for much of the time while in India, thrown as I was into a totally new social situation, I experienced fear and bewilderment. In Ivy 0. Duce’s book, HowAMaster Works, she writes about sev eral people coming to her and asking why Gary was in such a ‘blue funk.’ Well, I’ve always gotten into a grumpy mood when someone expects me to feel as they do. So with the happy rejoicing ofmy fellow trayelers ringing daily in my ears, I retreated. Emotionally, I went underground and hid my emptiness. In fact, most of the time, I walked around like a zombie. At one point, I hurt so badly that I even tried to talk to Ivy Duce about my misery It was difficult because she was sick with the flu. She was so exquisitely happy to be with Baba that she must have been bewildered by my emotional difficulties. But, bless her heart, she simplytold me not to worry about my painful feelings. Theywould soon pass, which they did. She told the others to ‘Give Gary a little time. He’ll come around.’ She
TheAvatarc Touch Gary Mullins’ story of meeting Baba at the East-West Gathering in 1962 was originally printed in the book Dancing the Beguine. It is an endearing and honest ac count of how difficult it can be to shake a bad mood (or “blue funk,” as Gary calls it,) and how Baba helped. He writes: During the trip, and especially when in T7
knew Meher Baba’s love would eventually touch my heart. Now I see clearly that my pain had nothing to do with the poverty and filth of India per se. Nor did it have anything to do with my fellow travelers and any problems they might have had. I now know that my garbage pail was filled to the brim, if not overflowing. After all, I was being sanitized by the ‘Great Garbage Collector.’ In truth, only Meher Baba could clean up such a foul mess. When I had the good sense to focus exclusively on Baba, whether it was looking at him, thinking about him, and especially the times I was, blessed beyond words, touched by him, all was well. Then the loneliness passed, the void vanished, the fear abated, and the stench of my garbage pail, my ego, lessened. I could not have felt any better....
I would give up everything in life, and I mean everything, ifl could experience, once again, those few moments when I first met Meher Baba. It is my supreme memory of beingwith him while in India. It happened that first afternoon when the Western men met Baba at Guruprasad. Whenever I talk about it, I choke up and it is hard to hold back the tears. It is so precious and so exquisitely rare that every moment of my life is an opportunity to relive it, if I can but learn how. I do know I cannot separate that eternal moment in 1962 from this late afternoon in 1999. Hopeftilly, I will have another opportunity when Baba comes again in seven hundred years. We were being introduced to Baba by Eruch.When my turn came, I stood still for a moment as Eruch quietly asked my name. He then introduced me. ‘Baba, this is Gary Muffins.’ Baba, sitting on his couch, beckoned for me to come to him so simply, so childlike, and so far beyond any words I could possibly create. I walked to him and he reached up and pulled me down in an embrace that is forever. I experienced his hug as the essence ofintimacy. At the same time, his embrace was perfectly impersonal. For a few seconds, I was simply in another world, in a tranquil pink and blue cloud, in a sky far, far higher than words can con—
vey. Although only a faint glimmer then, but now a filler intensity, I experienced something coming from Baba that was precisely what I had felt as a child sitting
on that street curb in San Diego, realizing my father had come home from the war in the South Pacific. It was overwhelming
radiance and the fhllness of love. For one eternal moment, which grows richer with T
each passing year, I was at home with my real father, Avatar Meher Baba. During the ffight home, I realized I felt differently than I had in years. The empti ness was gone. The void that had been my
constant companion had vanished. In its stead, I felt a new and tiny growth of something solid and substantial. Today, I know it is faith. Baba had started his work on me and that process continues to this day. Sure, it is sometimes painftil, but knowing
that someday he is going to open my heart sustains
‘Meher Baba, Discourses, 7t1 ed., (North Myrtle Beach SC: Sheriar Foundation, c1987), p. 12. Full text at ambppcLorg/meherbaba/BooksByMeherBaba.php lbid., p. 358. 2 Kalchuri, Bhau, LordMeher The Biography 3 ofthe Avatar ofthe Age Meher Baba, (North Myrtle Beach SC: Manifestation Inc., c19862001), vol. 5, p. 1866. Full text at www. lordmeher.org Don E. Stevens, Manc Searchfor Certainty, 4 (NewYork: Dodd, Mead &Company, c1980), pp. 108-109. Don E. Stevens, Listen! The New Humanity, 5 ( Jersey, Channel Islands: Companion Books, c1985), pp. 101-102. Stevens, Manc Searchfor Certainty, pp. 1126 115. 7 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 357. Meher Baba, The Path ofLove, (North Myrtle 8 Beach SC: Sheriar Foundation, c2000), pp. 116-117. Full text at ambppct.org/ineherbaba/BooksByMeherBaba.php Meher Baba, Discourses, pp. 357-358. 9 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 1 1. 10 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 12. 11 Abdulla, Ramjoo, Ramjooc Diaries, 19222 ‘ 1929.A Persona/Account ofMeherBabac Ear/y Work, edited by Ira G. Deitrick, (Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, c1979), p. 105. Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 237. 3 ‘ 14 Kaichuri, LordMeher, vol. 3, p. 808. Meher Baba, Darshan Hours, edited by Eruch 5 ‘ Jessawalla and Rick Chapman, (Berkeley CA: Beguine Library, c1971), p. 64. Meher Baba, The Everything andthe Nothing, 16 (North Myrtle Beach: Sheriar Foundation, c2003), p. 62. Full text at ambppct.org/meherbaba/BooksByMeherBaba.php Meher Baba, The Path ofLove, p. 115. 7 ‘ Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 14, p. 5081. 18 Ivy Oneita Duce, How a Master Works, 19 (Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, 5), p. 90. 7 c19 Filis Frederick, “Notes on The East-West 20
Gathering of Baba Lovers In Poona, India, November 1962,” The Awakener A Journal Devoted to Meher Baba, vol. 9, #1-2, 1963, p. 37. Full text at www. theawakenermagazine. org Meher Baba, The Path ofLove, p. 117. 21 Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 14, p. 4902. 22 Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 1, p. 272. 23 Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 10, p. 3562. 24 Arnavaz N. Dadachanji, Gfl ofGoc4 (East 25 Windsor, NJ: Beloved Books, c1996), pp. 171, 172. ”Baba Pearls,”Awakener vol. 6, #1, Winter26 Spring 1959, p. 7. Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 5, p. 1866. 27 ”Real Birth and Real Death,”Awakener, vol. 28 5, #3, Special Sahavas Issue 1958, p. 50.
H P. Bharucha, “Guruprasad Glimpses, 29 1963,”Awakener, vol. 9, #3, 1963, p. 26. Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 148. 30
The source for this exact quote could not be 31 determined, but a very similar version appears inAvatar: The Ljfè Story ofMeherBaba byJean Adriel (Berkeley CA: John F. Kennedy Press, c1947), pp. 126-127. Charles Purdom and Malcolm Schloss, 32 “Three Incredible Weeks with Meher Baba,” Awakener vol. 2, #3, Special Issue 1955, p. 56. Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 13, p. 4821. 33 Meher Baba, Listen Humanity, narrated and 34 edited by D. E. Stevens, (New York: Harper Colophon Books, c1967), p. 189. Full text at ambppct.org/meherbaba/BooksByMeherBaba.php Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 18, p. 6060. 35 Meher Baba, The Everything andthe Nothing, 36 p. 62. Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 14, p. 5094. 37 William Donkin, “My Days with the 38 Master,” Awakener, vol. 20, #2, 1983, p. 6. Duce, How a Master Works, p. 21. 39 Meherji Karkaria, “How to Love Baba,” 40 Awakener, vol. 19, #2, 1981, p. 6. Dadachanji, Gift ofGod, p. 171. 41 Charmian Duce Knowles, Spread my Love, 42 (Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, c2004), p. 189. Filis Frederick andJeffWolverton, “Fredella: 43 A Bouquet ofMemories,” Awakener, vol. 21, #2, 1985, p. 14. Filis Frederick, “Memories of’52,”Awakener, 44 vol. 14, #2, 1972, pp. 11-12. Delia De Leon, “Don’t Worry,” in Treasures 45 from the Meher Baba Journa/s 193 8-1942, compiled and edited by Jane Barry Haynes (North Myrtle Beach SC: Sheriar Press, c1980), pp. 163-164. Meher Baba, Discourses, pp. 356-357. 46 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 389. 47 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 396. 48
Meher Baba, Not We but One, edited by 49 William Le Page, (Bombay: Meher House Publication, c1977), pp. 16-17. Letter from Mani Irani datedjune 11, 1970, 50 printed in Letters From the Mandali ofAvatar MeherBaba, editedjim Mistry (North Myrtle Beach SC: Sheriar Press, c1981), pp. 33-34. Duce, How a Master Works, p. 489. 51 David Fenster, Mehera-Meher: A Divine 52 Romance, (Ahmednagar, MS. India: Meher Nazar Publications, c2003), vol. 2, p. 400. Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 2. 53 Kitty Davy LoveAlone Prevails: A Story of 54 Life with Meher Baba, (North Myrtle Beach SC: Sheriar Foundation, c1981), p. 239. Ibid, p. 241. 55 Stevens, Mani Searchfor Certainty, p. 62. 56 Quote from Meher Baba, originally printed 57 on p. 176 of 82 Family Letters to the Western Family ofLovers andFollowers ofMeherBaba, written by Mani from December 1956 to August 1969, quoted again inJohn A. Grant, PracticaiSpirituality with MeherBaba (Sydney, Australia: Merwan Publications, c1985), p. 138. ”Baba Explains,” Awakener, vol. 1, #1, July 58 1953, p. 33. Davy, LoveAlone Prevails, p. 230. 59 Ibid, p. 312. 60 Loc. Cit. 61 Kalchuri, LorciMeher, vol. 19, p. 6376. 62 Ibid, vol. 7, p. 2405. 63 Meher Baba, Discourses, p. 64 . 11 Kalchuri, Lord Meher, vol. 7, Part 1, 65 p. 2341. Meher Baba quoted in Davy’s Love Alone 66 Prevails, p. 449. Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 11, p. 3924. 67 Kalchuri, LordMeher, vol. 18, p. 5966-5967, 68 5974. lrani, Mani S., Forward in Mehera, Janet 69 Judson and Shelly Marrich eds., (East Windsor, NJ: Beloved Books, c1989), Forward by Mani S. Irani, p. x. Loc. Cit. 70
“Do your best, then dont worry, be happy in Mylove and I will help you” Next issue: In light ofthe Mumbai attacks on such Baba lover haunts as Leopold
Cafr.. some may be wondering: “What did Meher Baba say about terrorism?” Visit www. leopoldcafe. comfor some cafe history. See Baba-lover owneri story at: news. bbc. co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7756616.stm 7h see slideshow withphoto below visit: nytirnes.com/slideshow/2008/11/27/world/ asia/20081127-mumbaiday_11.html#
Baba i unscathedpicture on bullet-riddled carparked infront ofLeopold Cafe & Bar in Mumbai
\_von t ‘iiejaruc Jacea: Wendy Haynes Connor, Myrtle Beach*
please Baba, I would have to work at my the anniversary of the New Life inner life inner cheerfulness! I’ve come period of Baba’s advent draws near, I find myself thinking of Baba’s familiar to believe that being cheerful means not allowing myself to be brought down by message “This New life is endless. . in what Baba brings up. And, that this inner particular, the line where Baba describes attitude ofcheerfulness comes from relying one ofthe conditions ofthe New Life for .and who, without being wholly on Baba. It is He who is stirring me the disciple: up, and it is He who wants me to focus on upset by calamities, bravely and wholeHim in the midst ofthe hailstorm. In my heartedly faces all hardships with one experience, one ofthe biggest challenges to hundred percent cheerfulness,. . cheerfulness is depression, something I’ve This idea of cheerfiilness became enlivened in my mind years ago because of encountered on and off in my life. When the darkness descends, the effort it takes something that happened to me at the East West Gathering in 1962. During one of to rise above those feelings ofunhappiness and even despair can seem insurmount the early morning sessions when western able. At those times, the only thing I can followers were sitting with Baba, He began do is call out His name. Usually, nothing asking different ones about their health, changes in that moment, but if I keep their work, and their families back home. doing it, eventually the inertia ofthe dark Suddenlywithoutwarning, Baba turned to mood begins to pass and slowly I begin to me and gestured: “Always keep cheerful in My Love.” I remember nodding happily pull out of it. On one of my visits to India, Baba’s simply because Baba had noticed me. At sister Mani, shared a personal story with the time, I was aware that Baba had given me that has given me much solace through me a direct order but I was eleven years the years. One day I was out at Meherazad, old and had no understanding of what visiting time was over and everyone was ‘keeping cheerful’ meant. making their way out to the bus. Somehow, As a result of this seemingly simple I found myself standing alone under the exchange, cheerfiuiness became an ongo archway by the caravan. Suddenly Mani ing theme in my life. Needless to say, as I appeared by my side and stood with me—it trekked through my daily existence, I began to realize that cheerfulness was something wasjust the two ofus. She asked me about a friend of mine, someone she knew well. that actually required effort on my part. so happened that I hadjust spoken with Heaven forbid! Sounds a bit naïve, I know, this woman before leaving on the trip. I but when I was young, I was by nature an told Mani truthfully that my friend was outgoing and happy person. So cheerfuldepressed. I, too, was feeling depressed but ness was kind ofeffortless. It seemed quite I didn’t tell her that. To my utter surprise, wonderful that Baba would give the ‘cheerfulness order’ to someone who was already Mani began telling me about an experience she had had a few months before. She had cheerful! The spiritual life didn’t look so had a very serious case of the flu and was difficult; what was all the fuss about? In bedridden for two weeks. She described an adolescent way, I thought that certain how she was so ill that she found herself as surrender such and strengths, attributes filled with despair so much so that she had withnaturally, come and trust, wouldjust no desire to even stretch out her arm to get was I Ofcourse, my part. out any effort on something offthe dresser next to her bed. view had spiritual this an adolescent when about a week of feeling completely After while, after a its hey day. Not surprisingly, one day, two images came un miserable, to wanted really I began to realize that ifl
bidden into her mind. The first was a memory of Margaret Craske and the day she was teaching the “girls” how to swim at Ventura beach near Bombay. The women were, of course, laden with clothing that pulled them down repeatedly beneath the surface ofthe water. Consequently, Mani was becoming more and more frustrated. Finally, she became so angry that, when she came up sputtering for the last time, she yelled out angrily: “Margaret: How do you come up?!” Unperturbed, Margaret replied with a smile, “Mani dear,just keep your head up!” The second image that came into her mind was one ofBaba’s hands holding an open book. Baba was pointing to a page, saying, “Look, Mani, see the story?” Then He turned a few pages and pointed again, saying, “See Mani, see how the story is different?” He continued to turn the pages, stopping to show her how the story kept changing. She then heard Him say, “Remember, dear sister, I wrote the story.” Mani felt deeply comforted by these im ages, knowing they came from her beloved brother. Immediately, her despair began to lift. I was deeply touched that Mani shared this with me, not only because she wasn’t often personal, but also because she was one of the most extraordinary examples of cheerfulness in my life. Another constant example in my life was Kitty. Outwardly, she appeared almost always cheerfuL However, as she would tell Buz and me, inwardly, that wasn’t always the case. In the early days, when she lived in the ashram, she often fell prey to moods. She didn’t even realize it until Baba would see her and say, “I don’t want garlic-faced people around Me. You must make an ef fort to be cheerful. Don’t be garlic faced.” For Kitt pleasing Him meant making this effort. And what a great impact this effort had on so many people who were touched by the lives of these amazing women Mani and Kitty. —
Often times if I take His name and just begin to act cheerfully, even though I don’t really feel it, my actions will begin to awaken a lightness within me. Like some Divine improvisational theater exercise, feelings follow action. And, in turn, re sponses from others towards me are lighter and happier as well. I know I often feel fortified by the cheerfulness ofothers it —
triggers an uplifting heart exchange within and between us. As time passes, something that has become wonderfully apparent to me is how when we try to develop any one aspect of the spiritual life it reflects and calls upon every other aspect, like facets ofa diamond. Take honesty, for example. To be cheerful, one has to be honest with oneself In
my experience, honesty requires calling on our ability to root out those feelings and thoughts that are false and admit that everything He brings to the surface is but the play ofthe ego. To be cheerftil, one has to have trust in Beloved Baba’s love. We have to trust that He accepts us with all our weaknesses and faults; trust that every experience is for our continued onpg. 26
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vatar’s Command: 4 Revisiting the ,‘ lapp( Womj Be 2 ll(I
D.E. Stevens, France en, for the first time in my life I met Baba face to face in New York City August of1952, I had no idea that to worry or not to worry was up for grabs in the Avataric game we played so incredibly all that week-end. But it was, and I became aware ofit as I took the Sunday ffight back to San Francisco. Once seated in the plane, I reviewed for perhaps two hours the drama ofthe weekend ofexperiences with Meher Baba I had lived so frilly, and which had covered such unexpected vistas of human relatedness. Then I found my mind turning back to the problems that would greet me when I entered the door ofthe research laboratory ofwhich I was in charge at that time. The questions with which I would have to deal that Monday were varied and important, including the annual budget for the lab, and a real tough one involving a fellow I enjoyed very much who had to be either fired for neglect of attention to his assignments, or given a very sharp and difficult lecture on what sort of work he was expected to accomplish. Not a very pleasant prospect and I dreaded having to meet it. That was not all, but they were the two subjects that were the most crucial in the hit parade oftroublesome topics to be handled. Beyond them was a further good long inventory of everything from health and sex on into where I had left the copy of the book I had been reading just before leaving San Francisco for New York on the Friday. I had a really long list ofthings bothering me, and I had already realized that my rather good mind had its down side in that it could turn up more logical sources of possible trouble and things to go wrong than could the minds ofalmost any other ofmy close friends and associates. The latter included a crowd of chemists and engineers who represented the cream ofthe crop from the universities ofAmerica and Europe. As I went down the list ofpet things in need of inspection and attendant tensing of the intestinal muscles, I was shocked to find that not even the first two priority items twisted my abdominal muscles into knots. Something strange going on here! 22
My curiosity increased, and then changed into astonishment when I concluded that not a single one of the pet peeves could elicit the slightest sense of inner discom fort. Being a reasonably good amateur psychologist I concluded that my weekend had included such deeply charged and unusual happenings that obviously they had crowded out for the time being any reactions from even the priority worry items. But give it time, I said to myself! In a week or a month they will all be back in order and yelling their heads off. Not so! Great heavenly days, what is going on here?! Nor were they back after six months, and the really fantastic thing is that even today, more than 55 years later, neither they nor substitute occupants for the worry slots have come back to plague my life. When I had gotten to know Meher Baba far better through direct contact and working on projects for Him in close contact with Him on a frequent basis, I told Him that I finally realized that dur ing that first visit in New York, He had performed some sort of a miracle on my worry apparatus. Baba looked at me in an amused fashion, as ifl had quite a few more things that I had to learn about the Avatar, and said that He had not done any sort ofmiracle, but had simply transferred something I had earned in another part of my life over into the worry account and used the accumulated earnings to wipe out worry for me. (As I exchanged thoughts with Sevn on this I realized that this needed a further clarification. I should not give the impression that the situations that had caused me worry in the past were wiped
out completely by some sort ofmagic. Far from it. I was still as conscious as ever of delicate and even dangerous aspects, but seeing them produced absolutely no knots in the stomach. I was perhaps even more aware of the risks and delicate maneuvers that might well be involved, but the emotional content always hovered around absolute zero.) I have realized now that an account transfer was exactly what Baba had done. I do not know the nature of the department where I had over-earned, but it is completely clear that the Avatar had done a complete and thorough job of the transfer. Perhaps it may sound as ifthis is all too simple, and so that this seeming simplic ity may be put into proper perspective, I would like to tell the part ofthis story that I have never recounted to date. I realized quite soon that the things I had worried about so diligently were not imaginary on my part. Theywere good, logical and quite disastrous possibilities that my quick mind could see and which I could not dismiss, and frequently, not even plan for in my scenarios of work. This is why they were frequently so deeply unnerving. And where was Baba’s busy creativity with this side of the problem? Actually, right next to me and abundantly available. He was always right there, I found, and although disaster was not eliminated from my life from that point on, it came under a strange sort of control that I would never have anticipated. In some extraordinary manner, when disaster did strike on oc casion, the simple fact ofBaba’s existence and the sanity and rationality that reigned even at the height ofcrisis was always suf ficient for the occasion, and I never felt that disaster was about to take over. And it never did. Baba never did a miracle to erase a problem, but often it was reduced far beyond what I had thought its potential for destruction would be; and people did not seem to go out ofcontrol and mess up things out of sheer fear. It was realistic, but measured and under control, with re sources being drawn in that I would never continued onpg. 26
The Ashevil!e* Daily ‘J2lanet on “Don’t Woiry 13e 2 lappy” Editor’c note: Mr. North may not be aware that Baba said “Not a leaf falls but by My will” and so would put his writing the following editorial in his North Caro lina newspaper last October—just as I was planning on making the lead story for this issue Baba’s meaning behind this ubiquitous phrase—as mere coincidence. Debbie Nordeen first brought Mr. North’s editorial to my attention after her husband Peter had written a response to the paper, which, showing the utmost open mindedness, Mr. North published, followed by the many letters to the editor that fol lowed. You can see the original paper at: ashevilledailyplanet.com/content/view/1527/7
John North, Editor & Publisher of the Asheville Daily Planet ile attending a recent frmnction at an Asheville-area school, I saw a bumper sticker on a locker with the slogan “Don’t Worry Be Happy’. My gut reaction was, indeed, to worry. To me, the philosophy represented by that statement is one of the most worrisome that one could propose for a culture like ours, which continues to veer relentlessly toward mindless narcissism. Most people’s exposure to the phrase is from the vacuous song of the same name by Bobby McFerrin that hit No. 1 for two excruciating (for me) weeks in September 1988.The songwas borrowed brieflywith out permission by George H.W. Bush for his successflil campaign for president in 1988. However the Bush campaign quickly dropped it when McFerrin, a Democrat, strenuously objected. Since then, the cliché has become ubiquitous in American culture, much to my chagrin. I hate to spoil the party but let’s be honest—there are major problems going on that cannot be solved by donning rose-colored glasses. Instead, ignoring such problems only makes them fester and worsen. As I often heard bitter survivors of atrocities utter toward their apathetic countrymen during my travels overseas, “You may not like politics, but politics likes you.” Their message was that it is vitally important to keep up with what’s happening, even ifit’s upsetting, because one’s very life could depend on it.
Asheville, North Carolina
Interestingly, the phrase “Don’t worry, be happy” appears to have originated with Meher Baba (1894-1969), who was an Indian spiritual teacher who claimed he was the Avatar. (I do find it ironic that Baba’s favorite song reportedly was Jim Reeves’ “There’s a Heartache Following Me.”) The guru was known to conclude his communications with his Western devotees with the phrase that McFerrin later spotted on a Baba poster and lifted for his hit song. McFerrin—who must be easily impressed with self-styled incarnations of God— termed it “a pretty neat philosophy in four words, I think.” (McFerrin must not have been exposed to much philosophy ifhe was moved by Baba’s psycho-babble.) I’m no Avatar, but if I were a dictator, I think this would be the message I would constantly be sending out, so that I would have no critics or challengers,just a passive, care-free populace of mindless supporters. To that end, I often suspect that gov ernment bureaucrats and school officials, among others, are seeking to tranquilize the masses in whatever way they can to en—
able them to perpetrate their agendas unhindered by a critically thinking populace. We all know people who never want to read, view or hear bad news because it is upsetting to them and they don’t want their pristine state of happiness disrupted by these unpleasant intrusions into their fragile mindsets. As a result, these practitioners ofdenial thinking—extremist positivism—are unable to foresee the negative conse quences of their own actions and are blindsided by slings and arrows from the outside world. Taken on its face, Baba’s philosophy also provides a convenient crutch for anyone having to grapple with dif ficult choices. This mindset encourages seif-centeredness and narcissism by putting one’s own happiness first. As for worry within rea sonable bounds, it is a natural human characteristic that is a key survival skill, having evolved since human beings first foresaw the need to protect themselves and plan for hard times. To me, “worry” represents an interest in the world outside oneself, a caring attitude about others and a concern for making the world a better place for now as well as for future generations. Granted, there are many in our society who have elevated worry to a stratospheric level, resulting in self-paralysis and gen eral misery for them and everyone around them—extreme hypochondriacs, for ex ample. However, I am advocating a middle road on worry—and see either extreme as problematic. When it comes to happiness, I am not an advocate ofgloom and doom, but I also think happiness is not something you can just “be,” unless you are marketing bliss via the sale ofbooks, CDs and workshops. From my own personal experiences and research, happiness seems to be more the result of a process resulting from one’s interaction with the world. An improvement over Baba’s philos 23
Asheville, in the spirit of “One people, one planet, one fu ture”.. “You and I are not ‘we’ but ‘one.” Meher Baba I’m grateful, Debbie Nordeen Meherabad, India ..
Recently, someone shared an article with me written by the publisher of the Daily Planet, John North, entitled, “Don’t worry, be happy’ OK, ifyou prefer tyranny.” Mr. North cited that the phrase originated from Meher Baba, whom he referred to as a “guru,” with a “philosophy.” I found it interesting that John North took the liberty to use several hundred words to criticize this “philosophy” which he assumed could be reduced to four words. So even though, during his lifetime, Meher Baba was lovingly indifferent to people who criticized or praised him, I felt the need to respond for the sake ofthe few readers who might be genuinely interested in the truth ofMeher Baba. Meher Baba stated that his life’s mission was to help all souls come to a deeper understanding ofthe inviolable unity of all life in creation, not by establishing a new religion or cult, but byliving a practical life of loving service without self-interest. He always frowned upon religious bigotry and spiritual pretension of any type. As such, there is no carrot-on-a stick in following Meher Baba—no promise ofbeing a mem ber of an exclusive dogma while others be damned (since we are all one). What then has attracted the growing numbers ofpeople from all different faiths to Meher Baba, despite the cynical reac tions of both the religious and intellectual orthodoxy? From the very beginning it has been, and continues to be, his unparalleled love. The price and the reward for his followers (known as Baba-lovers) for enjoying that love is an increased capacity to live honest, pure, and natural lives. Meher Baba gave little importance to lectures and speeches, focusing instead on his work to deliver a great spiritual push to the world, which he promised would happen within the century after he “dropped his body” (January 31, 1969). Indeed, one of the elements of that work was his self—
ophy—and the only way I’ve ever seen it work for anyone—would be: Enjoy life where you can, but don’t make being happy or avoiding worry your number one priorities. However, I realize that this is won’t fit on a bumper sticker on anyone’s school locker—and that this more nuanced philosophy will be hard to make into a catchy song lyric. John North, publisher and editor of the Daily Planet, may be contacted at email@example.com. LSLPeditori note.Mr North very kindly gave us his permission to print this series of letters, askingfor a copy ofthe magazine. Hmmm. do we see Baba hand in this . .
Letters to the Editor: Meher Baba scholar contends column oversimplifies ‘avatar’s’ views We enjoy the Asheville Daily Planet and saw your (John North’s) article about Meher Baba just as we were leaving for Meherabad, India, where we live every winter. We took you with us on the plane! My husband, Peter, has written a response. We’d love to see you publish it in fairness to this subject. It is two hundred words less than your article. We ask you not to publish it if you are not able to present it in its entirety. Looking forward to hopefitily seeing this in your paper soon! From Meherabad, India to you in 24
imposed silence of 43-1/2 years. Yet he continued to communicate eloquently, and many ofhis messages and explanations have been recorded and published. The phrase “Don’t worry, be happy” often loses its context in a world obsessed with pop culture and sound bites; Meher Baba did not mean “don’t be concerned with anything, do whatever you want.” In a list of directives he gave to his followers entitled “My Wish for My Lov ers,” number one is “Do not shirk your responsibilities.” In the book Discourses by Meher Baba, one can read a chapter with the title, “The Conditions of Happiness.” The explanations of spiritual life in this book are considered to rank amongst the most beautiful and comprehensive by seri ous seekers of truth. A clearer context for the phrase in ques tion here, often used by Meher Baba, is: “I want you to do your honest best, then don’t worry, be happy.Just think ofme, and I will help you.” Of course, this doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker. Though it may be less appealing to our present culture, ifwe were to ask Meher Baba himseiffor one ofhis short messages, he might reply, “Inscribe these words in your heart; nothing is real but God— nothing matters but love for God.” Oh, and by the way, though he did indeed enjoy the song “Heartache Following Me,” his favorite song was “Begin the Beguine.”
Peter Nordeen, Meherabad India Editorc Note: Peter Nordeen is the writer andproducer ofthe biographical documentary, God in Human Form: the Lfè and Wrk of AvatarMeherBaba. He lives in bothAsheville andMeherabad India.
Letters to the Editor: I never cared for the phrase “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”You (John North) made a good argument against it (in a column headlined “Don’t worry, be happy’ OK, ifyou prefer tyranny’ in the Oct. 24 edition ofthe Daily Planet.) I’ve been a Meher Baba devotee for more than 30 years. You wrote a good article. I appreciate it. But you don’t get off entirely scot-free. You might look deeper into the psychology of the phrase, and, ofcourse, you’ve read Peter Nordeen’s response. There was one follower of Baba’s who actually tried very hard not to worry, to be —
happy. He found it a difficult path. I can’t do it. He was Meherji Karkarian, a Parsi businessman who visited the U.S. in the 1970s and ‘80s. I have about 1,200 ordinary pages of Baba quotes on this computer. Here’s one: “Learn the art of taking your stand on the Truth within. When you live in this Truth, the result is the fusion of the mind and heart and the end of all fears and sor row a love which is illuminated by the intuitive wisdom of the spirit will bless your life with ever-renewing fulfillment and never-ending sweetness.” Hope you get a raft ofresponses to your article. You’ll love them. Best to you. Hey, Be Happy! Yours, Ben Leet, San Leandro, Calif. ...
I read your (John North’s) recent article about “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” with sad amusement. Sad because I feel your understanding ofMeher Baba’s intent missed the mark by a thousand yards. Amused because I can imagine taking it all at face value and visualizing grinning zombies wandering the earth with bumper stickers plastered to their heads. As a follower of Meher Baba for over 30 years, I have had the privilege of meeting many of his close disciples. No finer bunch of people have I ever met. Early among those drawn to the truth he brought through the very example of his life was Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi first met Meher Baba in 1931 on the 5.5. Rajputana en route to Europe. They stayed in contact up to Gandhi’s murder in 1948. Gandhi was no ninny. He was certainly no self-involved slacker. If anything, his relationship with Baba gave him courage to pursue a most courageous course, standing up to tyranny as we do today. I’m no Gandhi, but I’ve been on the front lines with Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney and others in recent weeks mak ing our voices heard. I find the directive to not worry and be happy difficult. However, I take it seriously and do my best. As a political cartoonist, humor is one of my main tools in pointing out the hypocrisy of the day. Knowing Meher Baba has my back, in a sense, helps me stay sane and not give in to constant worry and misery, which the daily headlines readily promote. On the wall of my studio is a photo of Meher Baba containing the quote, “Real happiness lies in making others happy.” I do my best. I draw my cartoons, I
teach kids at the Charles Schulz Museum, but I do worry and get depressed. Fortunately Baba is there to remind me of a higher truth. As a result, I bounce back faster and get back to work. Tyranny loves self-involved zombies. I have no ambition to be one. Sincerely, Brian Narelle www.cartoonfreeamerica.com Rohnert Park, Calif.
People without knowledge of Him (Meher Baba) interpret this saying wrongly, I think.They read, “Take it easy, be cool, you’re not supposed to struggle.Just ignore what is troubling you and stay amused somehow.” But that’s not it at all, really. A better interpretation would be something like this: The practice to which we are called is to choose happiness; to deliberately and intelligently, even bravely, through an act of internal will, exercise the innate power of our spirit to return, right now and in every moment, to a state ofcomplete sufficiency already happy even when confronted with every apparent reason whywe should retreat from that happiness into doubt and self-concern. It is to stand free, in the midst of all the misery in the world, by the conscious action of simply turning our thoughts to God; by remembering our inherent being in God. This remembrance is possible through having the God-Man to relate to. We should always do this, but espe cially when negative experiences arise. We should remember at those times that which is cause for celebration: our knowing that God actually exists and that He has begun, somehow, to awaken us to His Reality We must establish this practice of remembrance and, from this state, begin to function as happiness. Not that we should close our eyes to what is difficult or disturbing in life. If anything, we are more present, more aware of suffering. But beneath it all we are rooted injoy, buoyed up from within by our very existence as conscious Spirit, confident that all our (real) needs will be met. We are not upset by factors that we cannot change or control or have; not fearful of what might happen next; not dependent on any particular response from life to make us feel OK. And thus we look with a full heart at others around us and consider how we might serve as an instrument of . . .
this awakening, so that it might become a little more accessible to everyone. This then is the practice, the choice. It is a struggle, not a negation of struggle. It is the very struggle that leads to the Goal. Moreover, we find that to do any less than this when facing the crush of events and circumstances is to allow worry to choose us, so to speak. And it will! It will catch us up in endless complications, maintaining its control over us by a kind of mental inertia until at last we realize that the problems are never solved. Circumstances will never be made perfect. Life will never beallftxedup. Rather, then, we choose happiness in each moment NOW! and by this practice gradually build ourselves a new life, right here, in this happy place that outshines the old and dissolves the illusion of separation perfectly. It is a process of conscious choice and remembrance. And if death intervenes before the process is complete so what?! Author unknown, submitted by Michael D Ivey Prague, OkIa. ...
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In response to John North’s article “Don’t worry, be happy’ OK, if you prefer tyranny.” I must say that I disagree with his assessment ofa worry-free popu lace as prime fodder for tyranny. In fact, if history is any indicator, a tyrant’s main tool is fear. This is true of any leader or group whose main interest is in wielding power over others. Fear is a powerful ally for those who want to govern. In my experience, worry is a state ofhabitual fearfulness! Worry tends to take me out of the present by focusing my attention on imagi nary future problems based on past bad experiences. This robs me of the healthy mental state ofliving in the “here and now” causing unnecessary stress and an inability to act effectively to correct the actual dif ficulties at hand. Real concern for others and the problems of the world we live in is not worry-based, but is based in compassion, in essence, based in love not in fear. Fear takes away our strength, while love gives us strength. I read a quote somewhere, whose author I’ve forgotten, that went something like this: “where there is fear, there can be no love.” In order for real progress to be made individually or as a society, I suggest we shun the fear mongers and proceed to change the —
world with calm, compassionate action. John North opened up a great topic for discussion with his article, and I really ap preciate that. Thanks John! Tom Hart, Santa Rosa, California
all over the replying... I felt that you chose a wonderful diverse group of replies. I so enjoyed seeing the variety... Injoy, Debbie Nordeen, Meherabad, India
Column on ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ attitude triggers further comment
As we go to press, these letters are still on the Asheville Daily Planetc webs ite: ashevilledailyplanet.com/index.php/Opinion/ Letters-to-the-Editor-Nov.-14-2007.html
I just read your (John North’s) essay on “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and I have to say I very much agree with much of your take on it. I’ve been involved with Meher Baba for about 25 years, and that phrase (as it’s being quoted) can sound so pithy and shallow. Makes me cringe, too. But there’s two things I wanted to mention: the fuller quote that these words are taken from is “Do your best. Then, don’t worry, be happy. I will help you.” So, those first three words change the whole tenor of the quote. Those three words completely disable any leanings towards self-centered laziness or narcissistic laxity In fact, those three words keep me busy day in and day out. But then there’s that assurance: once you’ve done your best, you have help. Pure grace, no? Once you’ve done your best The second thing I wanted to mention is that one ofMeher Baba’s main teachings is the importance of serving others. (In fact, “Mastery in Servitude” are the words painted over the threshold of his holy tomb.) So, you see ifone does not know more ofMeher Baba’s teachings, it’s easy to toss off a quote as selfish drivel. But being self-centered is just not something one can tolerate on this particular path. The focus is on doing your best, deepening your heart and sincerely caring for others as ways to love God. So very far from rose-colored glasses and simply denying the worries we all face in our world. I think (maybe) Meher Baba would have exhorted us to take a clear look at the worries and suffering, roll up our sleeves and get to work bettering things, actually. Thanks,John. Appreciate your time in reading this. Elizabeth Heaney, Tucson Ariz. ...
Thanks so much (to Daily Planet PublisherJohn North) for keeping the spirit of One people, One planet, One future and publishing the Meher Baba responses. It was really great to see people from . ..
‘Garlic Faced’ continuedfrornpage 20
spiritual growth and designed to bring us closer to Him. Trust that as our Master, He will never let us down. To be cheerful, one has to be patient with oneself and forgiving of one’s socalled “mistakes”. To be truly cheerful, one has to surrender everything to Baba. For me, the most important aspect of the spiritual path is remembrance. Baba says this over and over again in various ways: to remember Him more and more, to hold on to His damaan, to take His name when we first awake and before we go to sleep, or to dress our souls in Baba, first thing in the morning. It is through remembrance that the lover is reminded to make an effort to be cheerful, both inwardly and outwardly. It is through re membrance we can surrender and let go. I’ve come to experience that the interplay between the demands of the ego (which He stirs up) and our efforts to remember Him (which is what He wants) is the only spiritual path I really know. At this point, it’s more a path of ignorancerealization than God-realization. And my so-called weaknesses are the very stepping-stones of this path. Without them, it wouldn’t even be possible to love Him or to long for Him. So, if it is Baba who is stirring us up, it is only natural that we become a little garlic faced from time to time. In those moments, when the claims of the ego turn to ignorance-realization and despair, with Baba’s help we can fol low with remembrance, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, patience, surrenderance, and, oh yes, cheerfulness. *Reprinted from Wendy Haynes Connor’s column in “All (Baba) Things Considered” on shcriarbooks.org
have dreamed of but there they were and ready to be used, and they were what was necessary. And if the answer finally hammered out was not perfection, at the very least those present and responsible were pleased with the outcome, and accepted it as a fine product of competence and good judgment. In some internal process of chemistry I knew Baba kne and that the resources were at hand if we all had the good sense to look about and do the obvious. All this was an enormous learning process and I could not argue with it. There was no longer any way to invent uncertainty and worry in a situation when you knew the Avatar kne and that He could be depended upon ifyoujust did an intelligent job with the things at hand or waiting nearby in the wings ofthe stage of the drama. You get to know a friend pretty well after you go through three or four dra mas with Him as the constant companion. This is when the real inner links are forged and welded into place. I should not leave discussion of this tremendous happening in my life with Baba without reminding myself and my companions ofwhat Baba has embodied clearly in His writings for us—but which we tend repeatedly to forget in the excitement ofthe battle oflife: This is His calm reminder that when one starts on the path of return to God, the way is littered with barriers that have to be removed, and this demands a ready and large store ofpsychic energy. He then goes on to comment that, unfortunately, when such a situation arises and the energy must be applied, we usually find that the energy storage tank is empt or almost so. It has been wasted, He says, in many situations in which we have often frittered it away, largely needlessly, and that of all the causes for this, the greatest culprit is our capacity to worry endlessly. Ofcourse, those words are pure Don Ste vens and not Meher Baba, but this is His basic reason for prodding us constantly with “Don’t worry, be happy.”
just Like a 2 ’Jut
Caught in the Crusher
_71’k1ier BaIrn have been saying all the time, age after Vedanta one can say, “I am God;” sadgurus age, that when I, the Ancient One, asalso say, “I am God.” Imitation saints also sume this human form, there are many false say the same thing, but with the help ofVe prophets who claim themselves as Avatars. danta. Real saints need no such help; they For instance, a week back I received a letter say what they experience. There are also from Uttar Pradesh; a devotee writes that some who, after reading Vedanta, realize there are two persons in his town, and each that they have no such experience. But they proclaims himself as the Avatar of the age. still say, “I am God.”This is hypocrisy Also This created a great deal ofconftision in his there are some imitation saints who, after mind. Also, in one ofthe towns in Northern India, there is one social worker who claims, and has a genuine feeling for his claim, that he is the Avatar. I am telling you all these things in detail for it is My right alone to say so as all of them are My chil dren. As far as you are concerned you should neither criticize nor indulge in backbiting. Ifyou speak ill ofa real saint, it will be harmftil for you. You will create dreadifil (san skaric) bindings. You should avoid scandalizing even the so-called mahatmas who call themselves saints, because it is not possible for you to be certain whether they r are real or not. The presumptuous saints outwardly act like real saints. You will not be able to differenti ate between them, just in the same %K1*, 4 way as you would not be able to differentiate between the masts and the mad persons. Yet what a world of difference lies in their inner states! Coming back to the point ofreal saints, I would like you to know that to become a saint is not child’s play. The very word saint, when commonly reading Vedanta, have a genuine feeling used or made applicable to anyone, creates and say “I am God,” though in reality they a lot of misunderstanding. I will tell you do not have any conscious experience. something that will clear offthe misunder If anyone confers greatness on you and standing regarding saints. begins to worship you, and garlands you, There are two types of saints: (1) real you know yourself that you do not deserve saints and (2) imitation saints.Just as an orthe same. At the outset you are tempted to dinary person cannot distinguish between a accept this greatness which makes you feel real and an imitation pearl, you cannot dis happy. But your conscience will be continguish between a real saint and an imita stantly pricking you and you will always be tion saint. I, alone, like a jeweler can make in a state of anxiety about future developout the difference. ments. You will be frequendy in a fix either Particularly in India we find a lot of to accept or reject the greatness which is imitations saints, and this is due to the su thrust on you. perficial study of the Vedanta. By studying Once you accept this conferred greatness
it is very difficult for you to get out of the situation. After a time, the pricks of conscience even cease troubling you for you get used to them. Then it becomes an addic tion and you cannot do without it. You then pose as a real saint. This posing will cause you to take additional innumerable births; so why pose as a saint, without inner ex perience? As for Myself I say, “I am the Highest of the High.” Had I not been the Ancient One I would have encouraged you to visit the so-called saints. I would have even praised them and they too would have praised Me in return. Thus a clique would get formed that would promote mutual praise to
dupe the public. If anyone of you meets an imi tation saint or an imitation Ava tar, what would he say to you? He would say the same thing as I do. If you tell him that Baba is the Avatar, he may even say, “I am the real one, and that Baba is a fraud!” When anyone approaches an imi tation saint and is attracted by the outward atmosphere which he cre ates around him and, if owing to his faith in the imitation saint he getsz experiences, he is likely to attribute them to that imitation saint. This creates confusion.... What is the remedy for this? I will tell it now. It will be very usefiil only ifyou grasp it thoroughly. If all of you are convinced that
Baba is the Avatar, God Incarnate, the question of confusion does not arise at all. In this case, just hold fast to My daa man, and close all doors for confusion and conflict to enter your minds. Ifyou are not convinced, leave Me. Seek someone else. But ifyou try to stick to Me with a wavering mind, without being convinced of My Divinit you would bejust like a nut caught in the crusher.
The Best of the Glow, ed. Naosherwan Anzar, pp. 17-20 Copyright 1984 Naosh erwan Anzar.
7he JIJ/tiraculous Life and Death of Danny J/l/ktguire JeffMaguire, Los Angeles Editorc note.• Many thousands ofpeople the world over know ofDanny Maguire— the lucky ones throughpersonal experience— and the others, through the writings of his Oscar nominated [In the Line of Fire] screenwritingfatherJeffMaguire. Since that day,July 1 72005, when Fate stepped in and handed Danny the cards he was to playfor nigh on threeyears,Jeffkept us allclose to the family by his daily emailupdates on Danny. Atfirst these emails went to extendedfam— ily and closefriends, but gradualiy, like the rzpples in apondreacting to a thrownpebble, they circledtheglobe. People ofallFaiths were caught up in the miraculous events surround— ing thisyoung manc lfè. For those who were not recipients, I askedJeffto encapsulate the amazingstoryfortheLove StreetLampPost. He tried, but the loss was stilltoo close. ‘ 7 will write morefor the next issue, “hepromised us. ‘The Miraculous Lfè and Death ofDanny Maguire’ sounds like a wonderful titlefor a film, andFve no doubt the screenplayforthat film willbe written by Dannycfathe All in Babacperfect timing. For right now,JeffandLynn are headed offto Meherabac4 to lay it allat the Belovedc fiet. To begin, wegiveyou a briefbiography of Danny,followedby examples ofthe wonderfulemailsJeffwouldsendoutto the worldand then we close,for now, withJeffc story ofhis amazing son and the work that we believe Danny was brought into this world to do.
music with his big brother, Andy Owens, whom he considered his most important musical influence. After graduating from Mira Costa High School in 2003, Danny attended the University of Colorado and formed the band “Fisticuffs” with Brian, Kevin Halcomb and Mike Cascio. During the summer after his sopho more year, Danny, aged 20, was hit by a drunk driver while cycling home in the early morning ofJuly 17, 2005. Doctors him little chance of surviving, yet an with indomitable will and vast amounts of love and prayers from thousands of people all over the world, of every imag inable faith, Danny triumphed against tremendous odds. His large family, including parents Lynn and Jeff cousin Katie, Aunt Ten, brother Andy and Andy’s wife Tnicia, along with a huge number offniends, like Misti James, who never missed a night Danny’s bedside, devoted themselves to his care and recovery for the next two years and ten months. Eventually, Dannywas able to commu by touching letters on an alphabet board, and spelled out messages like “GOD’S LOVE IS REAL”; “MEHER SAYS NOTHING IS REAL BUT GOD”; and “I LOVE YOU”. He even cracked a few jokes and played blackjack with friends. By answering “Yes” or “No” questions, he indicated that he was always 4 that he was never sad, angry or
A Brief Biography was born on May 19, 1985. Growing up, he enjoyed the support and love of a large close-knit family, a remarkably loyal and affectionate circle of friends and the global Meher Baba family. He attended Manhattan Beach public schools and played youth sports like soccer, baseball and the sport he loved most: hockey. Everyone who knew Danny ap preciated his great sense of humor, his kindness toward others, and his He began writing when he was seven, and started his first band, “Beyond”, in sixth grade, performing “Purple Haze” at an awards assemblywith his lifelong friends, Sherif Shoucri, Tommy Ostendorf and stalwart roadie Matt Palmer. Danny and Sherif continued to write music and perform together in several bands, culminating in the legendary “Good For Nothing” with Brian Gregoire and Ediz Basol. Danny also loved writing and playing
passion songs for music.
1988, Love that birthday cake! His 3rd
Danny andEruch, Meherabad
scared, and that he saw angels and Meher Baba constantly. Through emails sent regu larly by Danny’s father, thousands of people participated in Danny’sjourney. When he passed on May 18th, 2008, after a brief battle with an infection, Danny’s family received over 1,000 emails expressing love and gratitude for the inspiration that Danny provided to so many people. Danny’s was truly a life welllived. At the age of 13, Danny wrote a song called, My Heart Goes Out To You. The very last verse is:
was back on the therapy table with my nephew Eruch and his wife Cory helping. Danny rapidly spelled out “ERUCH Is WONDERFUL”, practi cally tossing himself toward the letters furthest from his reach. He also solved this math problem: 52 x 17 906 = a. 32 b. 22 or c. 12 [f you have a calculator handy, or have a brainfor math, you will know that the answer must be a minus, butJeffforgot to put it in when heshowedthe board with theproblem on itto his son. Amazingly Danny pointed to 22, just knowing it was really meant to be minus 22!] A few weeks back he spelled out “As it was is ever will stay. We weren’t sure what that meant but I found myself thinking ofthe Christian prayer that goes, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” I emailed Bhau about this and he wrote back, “That means God Is, and there is no past and no future, and except God, there is none. It is illusion which creates the dream, and we think that dream life is the real life.”One other note: many ofyou sent us information and links about the man who had an electrode implanted in his brain to jumpstart his speech process. We will be looking into this closely and watching the new study that will involve 12 subjects who are either in comas or minimally-conscious. We’ve learned to approach this sort of procedure —
“Baba, Baba, Baba, make my dream be my lift”
‘Now ThiJèeling worn out, my head and brain are gone; But, one thing: my heart stands strong; I amfilled with watei, and in the hospital; Ijust scored the winning goal.” Despite his physical suffering, Danny always let us know he was happy. Imagine howjoyflil he is now that he’s free...
Danny News August 15th 2007 —
Dear friends and family, So much to report on since the last update. I’ll start with the big event last weekend: Andy [my stepson] and Tricia were married under a beautiful California Live Oak tree, alongside a waterfall, in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu. Last fall we had asked Danny ifhe was going to attend the wedding and he touched “YES” on his board and he was true to his word Saturday.
II” Danny and mother Lynn at Meherabad
We drove off in Danny’s van at 3:30 pm and didn’t get back home until after midnight and Danny did great. He slept now and then but for the most part he was alert, taking it all in. While the guests were arriving and settling in, Danny’s old band mates, Sherif Brian and Tommy, played acoustic guitars. I got choked up when they played one of the mellow songs that Danny and Sherif wrote and performed. During the ceremony I spoke of how Tricia, who has felt like a member of the family from the first day we met her, had supported us so lovingly in our difficult time. I also said how happy we all were to have Danny there. I explained that while Danny could not communicate in his wheelchair, he could understand everything said to him so everyone should feel free to come over and say hello to him. He was the recipient oflots oflove and good wishes and by the time he left had lipstick marks on both cheeks. Danny was also referenced in several of the toasts that night. Andy made a speech in which he remembered telling Danny back in the ICU that when he made it out ofthere he would be his best man, and that although Daniel Stevenson (the same Dr. Dan we call when Danny needs medical attention) was subbing for him, Dannywas the best man for miles around. The week before, we had asked Danny ifhe had a message for us to give Andy and Tricia on their wedding day. He spelled out on his board “I LOVE YOU”. We took a photo of Danny with the board and, dur ing the wedding toasts, Lynn presented it to the newlyweds as Danny’s toast while tears flowed like the evening’s wine. Two days after the wedding, Danny
Kevin Halcomb, Sarah and Stacey with caution since it’s a risk any time Steinmeier, Tommy Ostendorf and the skull is opened up. Also, Danny his momJerr and SherifShoucri and is much further along than the man his mom Sylvia. We all held hands who was helped by the electrode and and several songs were sung, includ would have more to lose if things ing a beautiftil rendition of “Danny went awry. Finally, we’ve learned Boy” that Lynn sang to her boy. We through some past setbacks that some also sang Bob Marley’s “Redemption procedures and drug treatments may Song” and Rancid’s “Roots Radicals”, produce a big initial improvement two songs that Danny loved. only to pendulum the subject back We all told Danny how much so he is worse off than before. So we loved him and what a wonderfrd we’ll look into all the pros and cons son, brother, cousin and friend he’s and consult carefully with Maggie been. And we praised him for hayand Penny before trying anything on ing fought such a courageous fight Danny. At the same time, we want in the past three years, inspiring so to thank everyone who sends us inmany people around the world, but formation. We’re always glad to read we conceded that his body could not about anything that comes along no go on, and that now it was time for matter how experimental, and we’re him to go to God and be free from always appreciative to know that so his difficulties. We urged him to go many people are thinking of Danny to Meher Baba. Several nurses and and us. hospital staff members remarked on Two days ago, I again wrote on how much love they felt emanating Danny’s board, “Are you happy?” We Danny andBhau 7/8/05, nine days before the accident from the room. I told them how so didn’t read the question to him. We Danny’s Passing, many ofyou, all over the world, were sendjust let him look at it and watched as he ing love and energy to Danny. Mayl8,2008 quickly moved his hand to “YES”. That’s Finally, his friends lined up to offer the most important thing, isn’t it? their goodbyes. Just as the last of his Dear friends and family, Much love, Jeff friends turned for the door, Danny’s eyes I’m so sorry to have to report that our beloved son, DannyMaguire, passed away suddenlywidened and then it seemed as if a candle had been blown out. The nurses tonight at Torrance Memorial Hospital at 5:30 at the station outside the room came in and said that the monitors indicated a pm PDT. Although the great shift at that moment. Although for official time was 6:25 pm, the next half-hour, his heart continued to it was clear to us that he slowly beat, it was clear to all of us that left his body earlier. He fought valiantly while he still looked very beautiftil, he had left his body. He was free. against an aggressive inIt’s now 10 pm and we’re still stunned. It fection throughout the all happened so quickly yesterdaywe gave day today as his kidneys Danny a shower, played music for him and failed and his heart and read him books in the backyard. Tonight I lungs stressed. A team write about my son in the past tense. of doctors and nurses I can say that he was one of the greatworked hard to save him est guys I’ve ever known, unequaled in and to bolster his flaghis courage, work ethic, ability to endure ging blood pressure but late in the afternoon, pain, and sense ofhumor these past nearly three years. after a lengthy dialysis When I got home tonight there were session, it became clear another 200 emails waiting, many of them that his body could not birthday greetings still coming in from make it. around the world, others responses to the With the end immi update I sent out this morning. So many of barely nent, Danny and —rnr— F the writers remark about how Danny has conscious, he was sur inspired them and given them a new perrounded by loved ones, spective on what is important in life and including Lynn, me, Ka the primacy of love, faith and courage. K tie, Andy, Tricia, Misti Danny would have been 23 years old and close friends Brian Playing bass as a back upforJane Brown and Billy Goodrurn tomorrow. His life was more significant at the LA Sahavas 2 weeksprior to the ‘accident’ Gregoire, Matt Palmer, -
and more inspiring than the vast majority of men who live to be three times his life span. I will forever be proud of Danny— one of the most remarkable men I’ll ever know. So many ofyou have gifted Danny and us with love, prayers and support sinceJuly 2005. I don’t even know how to write about it right now. I’ll try to write another update in a few days, when I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and get some sleep. And then I can try to put into perspective the great blessing that caring for Danny has been for us. For nojust know how grateful my family and I are. With great love and gratitude, Jeff May 21, 2008 Dear friends and family, I’m pretty exhausted but I just wanted to say thank you for all the love and the more than 1,000 emails we’ve received from so many of you all over the world, hundreds of which I haven’t even had a chance to read yet! Our west coast family has gathered here, along with Danny’s Aunt Ten who flew in from the east. We’re hoping to have an outdoor memorial service for him on May 3 1 st here in Manhattan Beach and sometime thereafter at the L.A. Meher Baba Center. It won’t be so much a memorial service as a memorial festival. A number ofmusician friends have asked if they could perform, and lots ofpeoplejust want to get up and say a few words, so we’ll have an afternoon of music and stories, laughter and tears. During the summer, we’ll bring Danny’s ashes back east and have similar gatherings in New Hampshire and in Myrtle Beach, SC. And I’m certain Danny will enjoy it all. In time our tears will be far outbal anced byjoy, for as so many ofyou have noted, Danny is free of the body which caused him so much discomfort since July 17, 2005. The first 24 hours were pretty impos sible, but last night we felt very light, as if Danny were reassuring us. Despite all his pain, he always let us know he was happy. Now he is both happy and free. As I’ve told some friends, Danny’s loss has left a huge void in my heart, but I’m confident that with time, that void will be filled by God’s love and each ofyour emails has been a drop ofthat love, the level rising steadily. There are dozens of stories surround-
ing Danny’s passing that I’d like to tell you one day, and so many ofyou have ex pressed ing sentiments about Danny in emails, letters and phone calls. And my God, the number of floral bouquets delivered to our house! Yester day, Andy mused that often there is a notice about “in lieu offlowers, please make a donation to. but in Lynn’s case she absolutely loves every blossom that comes through the door, basking in the love that every bloom suggests. I can’t possibly tell you all the things I want to right now I’mjust too tired, and my throat hurts from talking on the phone with so many loving friends who’ve called. So I’lljust share a few random wonders: I spoke to our dear friend—and Danny’s musical mentor—Billy Goodrum this morning. He told me of how he and his family were at the Meher Baba Center in Myrtle Beach at the time that Danny was struggling in the hospital. Billy’s children, Annabelle (nine), and Benjamin (four), have always been very close to Danny. At around 5:40 pm Pacific time, minutes after Danny passed, Billy said Annabelle looked up and said “Danny’s gone.” Since then, both kids have been saying, “Danny’s with Baba”. We learned that in India, Meher Baba’s close disciple Meheru Irani placed three roses on Baba’s tomb for Danny. One observer said that as she emerged from the tomb, she looked radiant and joyful and everyone present was filled with the sense of Danny’s joy at being in his Beloved’s embrace. Yesterday, Danny’s friends who were with us at the hospital came over and played music in the backyard. Danny wasn’t sitting with them in his wheelchair this time, but through the laughter and tears it was pretty clear that he was present. Although the vast majority of people who sent us emails had never met Danny, there is a common theme that echoes: Danny was a huge inspiration to masses . .“,
of wonderftil people. Many of you have written that making Danny’s journey with him has forever changed your lives. Many others have written that Danny helped them grow closer to their faith, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or on their own unique path. The boy with the word “UNITY” tattooed on his back has done his part to, in Meher Baba’s words, “bring the religions of the world together like beads on a string.” A neighbor wrote to us, “Danny’s journey made each and everyone ofus take the time to hug our loved ones a little longer and a little tighter. It made us appreciate the small yet most meaningful things in life and accept each day as a gift.” Danny always loved sports and was a terrific competitor, so I’m sure he loves the fact that his cousin Donald Ross, 18, dedicated his high school golf tournament to Danny on May 19th and his Chatham High School team won the State Cham pionship. And last night, the Mira Costa High School ice hockey team that Danny played on for three years lined up on the blue line opposite their opponents and both teams had a moment of silence for Danny. The Costa Mustangs wore armbands with the letter “D” on it and will continue to do so for the rest of the season. I thanked Coach Mel Bridgman for letting me know and told him I’d like to come in the locker room before a game and tell the guys how I’ve learned from my adventure with Danny that any day you are able to lace up your skates and play the great game ofhockey, is a good day. You should never take thejoy ofplaying the game for granted. Winning and losing really are immaterial when viewed in the context of Danny’s experience. 3’
I hope you’ll indulge me ifl write some more updates in the coming weeks. It’s good therapy for me and you’ve all been so generous with your support that I’ve come to rely on you, and I really appreci ate knowing that we’re all still together. Eventually, I will hope to answer all the emails—more good therapy—but for now please know that we are grateful for all the communications and the flowers and fruit and most especially the love. I’ll close with a sweet email sent to us by one ofDanny’s friends from the two years he spent at the University of Colorado. It says a lot about Danny: “I wanted to write you a brief note about what an amazing person your son was. During our two years at CU, I realized he was the epitome oftalent, humil ity (both of which were often displayed simultaneously), and unconditional gen erosity. Although undoubtedly virtuous, it was his exuding aura ofgood vibrations that made everyone in his presence a little happier and notably more at peace. Danny was the person who would stick his neck out for anyone and everyone. Whether it was bringing an outsider to the party because he felt the person could use a few friends, or letting us know if someone had endured enough berating for the day. Nobody ever questioned Danny because it was understood that his inten tions were always selfless and genuine. I know that everything I have said qualifies as “preaching to the choir” but I mean these words from the bottom ofmy heart and everyone I know who got to know Danny would wholeheartedly agree with me. Your son was—and as far as I’m concerned—is and always will be, one ofthe most amazing people to have ever lived and I’m proud to say that I’m friends with Danny Maguire.”
*The Lfè and Times ofDanny A/Iaguire will continue in the next issue ofthe LSLP. 32
The Life and Times of Danny Maguire Part 1 -
One day lawokefrom this dream Only tofindthe reality By a bash to the headl was deemed Th the truth and itc so enlightening Pm alive now Yeah lean breathe now Ii;n so awake now Thi so awake now From Beads On A String My son Danny Maguire wrote and recorded those lyrics in December of2003, when he was 18 years old, about a year and a half before he received a “bash to the head” when struck by a drunk driver while bicycling home in the early morning ofJuly 17th, 2005. At the hospital, the doctors suggested mywife Lynn and I should donate Danny’s organs, but we and the rest of our family sensed an extraordinary life force in our son, so there was no question of turning off his ventilator as he lay in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit. The doctors ex plained gloomily that Danny had suffered severe brain damage; they were looking at some of the worst CT scans they’d ever seen; Danny would never open his eyes again. They looked on us with pit frus tration and—when we shrugged off their pronouncements—some disdain. But ifthey could have known the journey Danny would take with his Beloved during the next three years, they would have been envious—of Danny and all the ‘:
Lynn and Danny
rest of us who were blessed to be along for the divine ride. For this was another chapter in the timeless epic of love that has been playing out since creation sprang forth, the onlylove story that really matters according to Meher Baba: the romance between God and man. Beads On A String continues from above:
As I walk by the light ofthe moon My mind drifts away with each step I take I see straight through this illusion Like beads on a string And they all mean the same thing While Dannywas unconscious in the hos pital, I read a book about coma patients in which several had awoken and described the sensation of being comatose as “like walking by the light ofthe moon.” Danny’s lyric about “beads on a string” is, of course, a reference to Meher Baba saying His mission was to bring all the world’s religions together “like beads on a string.” Two years before the accident, our fam ily had gathered in Ireland for a wonderftil time. Lynn and I stayed on for a few more weeks after Danny left for home to prepare for college. When we returned, we found he had got a tattoo on his lower back, the word “UNITY” in Old-English lettering. We were somewhat perturbed at the time, but in the wake of the accident, “unity” and “beads on a string” took on new meaning: the news ofDanny’s injury spread throughout a worldwide network of family and friends. While Danny lay in a coma, we received emails, phone calls and cards from every state in the nation and soon from every continent. In churches and syna gogues throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Australia, prayers, masses and special services were offered for Danny. The Bha’i Faith, centered in Israel, placed Danny on a worldwide prayer list, as did the AfricanAmerican televangelist T.D. J akes. Prayers were offered in mosques in India and Turkey, and in Pakistan 50,000 Mus lims gathered and prayed for a 20 year old infidel from the United States! In Guatemala, Mayan Indian priests performed cer
Throughout this pe nod, we were in constant communication with Bhau Kaichuri who was on a U.S. tour and had been staying with us until three days before the accident. During one of Bhau’s earlier visits years before, when Danny was a little boy, I confessed to him my fear that something terrible would happen to me or Danny, a fear no doubt rooted in the death ofmy own father, which came when I was fourteen years old. “You cannot die,” Bhau told me, smiling, “because you have to take care of Danny. And he cannot die, because he has great work to do. You will see.” That day in the hospital, when Danny so tentatively GreatPhoeoshop workfrom an unknownperson in England opened his eyes, long before we knewwhether he understood what emornes for Danny’s well-being that were usually reserved for their own people. was happening around him, I had no idea that his “work” over the next three years Native Americans in the U.S held similar ceremonies. In India, Danny was the would bring Meher Baba to thousands of people throughout the world and teach us recipient of prayers by Zoroastrians in Mumbai, Hindus in Hyderabad, and the all life lessons that we’ll never forget. many members ofour Meher Baba family I’ll write more about Danny’s miracu in Meherabad who made constant trips bus recovery, startling communications and sudden passing, in the next issue of to Baba’s tomb to entreat Baba to care for the LampPost. At present, the words do His boy. In Meherazad, Baba’s dear ones not come easily since each one carries me [the mandali] placed a photo ofan eightback to difficult times. year old Dannywith Dr. Goher on Baba’s I’ll close this piece for now by saying bed and regularly offered roses to Baba in that while we very often miss Danny ternDanny’s name. bly, our predominant feeling is gratitude— Whether due to the prayers, Danny’s courage, or simply Baba’s wish, he defied we’re gratefhl for all the prayers, love and the doctors and after ten days in the coma, support we received and most importantly, grateful for the conscious knowledge of he opened his eyes and stabilized. Meher Baba’s Love, without :: ib cwct :t: Pr4 which I cannot ‘tr + cloodS.. imagine haying got through the past three years. We are all so blessed to be close to Him in this lifetime.
(Place was written in 2000 when Danny was 15, about the Meher Baba Youth Sahavas in Myrtle Beach)
PLACE There is aplace where Ican go when Dnfreling down, when flnfreling solo, wego to His home to rejoin, to rejoice, and everyonec heard even those withouta voice. And now, Jam nevergoing to Go. Now I can see that we’re all treated equal, andfln waitingfor nextyear so I can see the sequel, and who wouldhave thought that life was so great livin’like this in such a bliss state. And now, Jam nevergoing to Go.
( Danny’s friends found the song below, One Long Day, on his digital recorder after the accident. Initially I thought the “nightmare” referred to his coma and difficult recovery, but now I wonder if “digressing from the path” refers to his life prior to the accident.) One Long Day tired, so tired, open my eyes and close them again, Pve been, spread thin, decaying slowly Shaken, I rest, on the last thread ofsanity, nfl searchingfor an escape, a better way, than waking every day, in this sef-inflicted haze, digressingfrom thepath. nfl
Iwouldnsay that itc ailbeen a nightmare Parts were okay, butlin notgonna dwell there I think ofmy days ofinnocence The morellearn the morellong for ignorance I)iz restless, impatient, exhausted, lost and alone Itc lonely, so lonely, behind closed doors Dreaming, Ishield myse(ffrom this reality nfl searchingfor an escape, a better way than waking every day in this se(f-inflict ed haze, digressingfrom thepath When lawake, lawakefrom this nightmare I’llbe okay, andl’lllaugh at these words then, Ipray to GodI make it out alive, mustfind the strength to open my eyes.
Continued cLc €
:1assings 13ettj !Rycrns 3u!y 1942 july 2008 -
Irene Short, South Carolina etty was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her father was a minister and as she was growing up her entire life revolved around the churches he pastored. From a very early age Betty sang in the church choir and learned to play the piano and organ. While working in the biology department at Duke University in the mid sixties, she heard about Meher Baba and was immediately and completely drawn to Him. I met Betty in the winter of 1970. She came to stay with me and a few other girls living together in Miami, Florida. Immethately we were sisters in Baba and remained so for these 38 years. One of her special friends was Ann Forbes who for years was the head of the Miami Baba Group. After Ann moved to
Myrtle Beach she and Betty remained best friends until Ann’s passing in 1988 at the age of94. After Ann’s death, Betty relocated to New York where she worked at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals doing research on vaccines. She remained there for almost 20 years until she retired in Oct. 2006 and returned to Myrtle Beach a few months later. Over the years she enchanted so many Baba lovers at various Meher Center programs and special events with her beautifril voice. She was dearly loved by all the Mandali, whom she felt so lucky and blessed to be with during her numerous visits to Beloved Baba’s Home at Meherazad and Meherabad. Mani lovingly called her “BedTea”. She became very close to Baba’s brother Jal and often spent weeks with him in Poona during her many trips to India, and helped care forJal during his last days. Betty’s entire life was Meher Baba—her heart yeamed only for Him. She passed into His loving embrace quietly and alone late in the evening ofJuly 7th, six days before her 66th birthdayJhe Babalover who found her the next morning said that her arms looked as though they had been reaching up and that she had a smile on her lips. ihere is no doubt in my mind that she was reaching out to her Beloved and is with Him now and forever.
3ojce 7Jird 1910
oyce was originally from the English Baba group and then moved to Australia and became a member of the Avatar’s Abode Baba family. She passed peaceftilly August 25th. She was 98 years young and ready to be released to fly to Him. Joyce met Baba in London in 1952 and in Myrtle Beach in 1958 and loved Him, thanked Him, blamed Him and gave all into His hands right to her end. When in her early nineties she wrote an autobiography A Searchfor the Truth, My lfr with Meher Baba* and also two more unpublished works More Light on the Sayings ofJesus and How to be Happy in Old Age. Joyce tried her best to keep Baba’s Wish.
*Available in the Love Street Bookstore
What “IS” it WitIi J44eher 13abct and CI’tctrlie Chaplin?! Dinci9ibson ur faithful readers will remember that in our second issue of Meher Baba in Hollywood [page 59 of the third and fourth quarter 2007] we printed the speech that the little barber (Charlie Chaplin) made at the end of the movie The Great Dictator. I commented at the time that it sounded as though Baba Himself had written the speech! He may definitely have inspired Mr. Chaplin in the writing of it, because Baba said that this film was the only one He would like to have seen seven times! He also instructed all His Mandali to see it—even those who had been banned (under His instructions) from going to the movies. And now this: Recently I was at a jazz festival and heard a young lady sing “Smile”. It is indeed a lovely song, but I was really jolted upright when she told us it was written by Charlie Chaplin for the movie Modern
I paid particular attention to the words and was struck by how exactly it mirrored Baba’s words in the “Song of the New Life:” “Even if your heart is cut to bits, let there be a smile on your lips.” Smile, thoughyour heart is aching Smile, even though its breaking When there are clouds in the sky, you’llget by Ifyou smile throughyourfear and sorrow Smile, and maybe tomorrow You’ll see the sun come shining throughfor you Light ip yourface with gladness Hide every trace ofsadness Although a tear may be ever so near Thati the timeyou must keep on trying Smile, whatc the use ofcryingl You’llfind that life is still worthwhile Ifyoujust sadie.
So, I went on line to research it and read that Charlie Chaplin wrote “Smile” as the theme music for his film Modern Times in 1936. However, I was a tad disappointed to find it was not Mr. Chaplin who wrote those words—just the melody. In 1954, J ohn Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics, and it became a popular hit when Nat ‘King’ Cole recorded it. But then, as Baba said, “Not a leaf falls but by My will” so He obviously put a little of the New Life into John and Geoffrey. Go here for a clip from the movie: youtube.comlwatch?v=Yqnk4qNlAZk
JVkhercrnct .Spring &thctvas 2008 7<ebi Ei3rown, J4/Iariposa
you were to mention cold, stormy, grey, and rainy all in one sentence, this could pretty much sum up the weather at Meherana’s Spring Sahavas held over Memorial Day. I doubt if anyone can remember the last time it rained in Mariposa over Memorial Day, as rain late in May in California is pretty darn rare. Could Bhau’s visit have something to do with it? Some attendees felt so. Leaving the weather aside, the rain certainly didn’t deter the many attendees as they all shone with that special “Baba Glow” so apparent in His Lovers when they gather together. Many newcomers to Meherana spoke offeeling Baba’s Love as soon as they turned in the driveway and others came to relish that remembered feeling of letting their everyday life :x drop away to be filled with Baba. Having Bhau and Adele with us once more was deeply appreciated by all. Bhau talked for two hours twice a day and for the first time at Meherana we webcast his talks as well as the music programs. Adele was not only available for those one on one chats that are so cherished by all, but also presided at a chat circle where all were free to ask questions about her many years of service to the Beloved. With so many Baba lovers at Arti each day, we were all thankful for the new verandah that extends around Baba’s Cabin and the heater inside as well as the extension of the outside platform so more could be accommodated; and when it came time for Dhuni, all gathered at Baba’s Cabin for songs and remembrance while waiting to dart out in the light sprinkle to place a stick in the fire. Speaking of the Dhuni, everyone had lots oflaughs when the young adults put on their skit of “Avatar Meher Baba Ki J eopardy” with categories such as “Dhuni Confessionals” plus “Bhau Kaichuri”, “The Book”, “In Baba’s Words”, American History and others. To view the skit copy *-
this link onto your web browser: youtube.com/watch?v=_oMQjwZQGr8 And the light rain certainly didn’t hamper all the children as they relished a large pile ofdecomposed granite that was a major attraction next to the children’s pandal. They dug in it with shovels, or made mud pies. In more advanced mode, they divided it into territories, terraced it, made roads, made lakes (even putting in paint to make colored lakes), made tunnels
Babac cabin with snow!
and volcanoes. Endless creativity! The kitchen crew was in rare form putting out one scrumptious meal after another. One certainly doesn’t attend a Meherana Sahavas feeling that they will be fasting or needing to pop out for a Big Mac. Kudos to all the volunteers who helped in the kitchen! I have to say that the last morning was the most incredible part of the S ahavas—Raine’s concert with the choir, plus Larry Thrasher on tablas and Cans Arkin on the guitar had everyone involved either clapping or up dancing and it was as though all the notes and
music and words had everyone on fire with Baba and His Love. Throughout the Sahavas, Raine and Larry and Cans performed over and over again giving us tastes of many musical forms that opened all hearts. Bhau, having arrived in Maniposa exhausted and worn (could I even say “frail looking”?) a few days before the Sahavas seemed to gain in strength and fervor of Baba’s Love as each day of the Sahavas progressed and the last morning his talk kept all spellbound as he shared personal moments of his life with Baba. All were sad to say their final farewells but the echo of “we’ll be back soon” carried on the air. And this was a special time indeed at Meherana, as Bhau stayed until June 30th, all were invited to visit to spend time in his company. This was an incomparable opportunity to spend time with one ofthose chosen by Beloved Baba to be one of His Mandali in a relaxed atmosphere. Sad to say, but our time being with His Mandali is drawing to a close, so how wonderful to have seized this opportunity.
Agna Fria creek
J714e1’tercrna’s ffijpsy Life and the Chillct-Rivisi Chris JPearson, clVlariposa June 30th, through many peo tfoday, pie’s cooperation and efforts we were able to complete our “ChilIa-Nivisi”—forty days in the circle—at Meherana. Bhau’s health has held up well, considering his challenges, and he has not left the property since his arrival on May 20th. Bhau gave over fifty talks from his rediner chair in the air-conditioned house in addition to those given in the meeting pandal, six talks at the Spring Sahavas and three talks on the Sufi Saturdays. Bhau is rested and looks well and even
at Meherana who had come from so far and give a talk even on his rest days. I think that the Sufi Saturdays were the highlight of Bhau’s stay. At 11:30 a.m., the charter buses would roll in with about a hundred Sufis on board to join all those who had come to Meherana for the weekend. They headed for the pandal, ate their packed lunch that they brought with them, and then went down to Baba’s Cabin or to the kitchen to help prepare for dinner. We had thirty to forty people at a time working in the kitchen and the prep was done in no
Bhauji, in warmjacke4 scarf and bere4 arrives at Meherana
though his health remains weak overall, he was able to maintain his health at its current level and was able to give talks nearly everyday. It is impossible not to be touched by Bhau’s effort to share his wealth of Baba stories and knowledge unstintingly with us during the “Chilla-Nivisi” at Meherana. Again we returned to the situation, as in previous years, where none ofus could keep up with Bhau and we scrambled to com plete the many tasks required to keep Meherana going while enraptured with Bhau’s talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. nearly everyday. Most of the time he was not ready to stop talking and only our mealtimes would break the flow from his heart to us in the sharing of our Beloved Baba. on Bhau’s “rest days” we would catch up, but often he would think of all those
time! At2:OO p.m. chai and cookies were served and then we would gather at the pandal for a delightful musical program put on by the Sufis, and then at 3:30 p.m., Bhau would come and give a two-hour talk. At 6 p.m., dinner was served and by 7:30 p.rn., was everything cleaned up and the buses would roll out. It is difficult
to accurately portray thejoyous atmosphere that permeated Meherana on these days. At each turn one would greet someone that they met at Meherabad in the 1970’s or who had not come to Meherana for years or who they knew from years before. It was wonderftil to connect with old friends, and hugs and laughter prevailed. This was balanced out by getting to know new friends as we worked together or watched the performances. Bhau had felt keenly that he would miss seeing those in the various places that he had visited for so many years and that they would be disappointed because of his re stricted travel due to his health considerations. His face would shine with delight when day after day people would come from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and England to see him. The stream started out as a trickle after the Spring Sahavas, but really started to flow as the days went by, until at the end ofthe stay, the house was frill for every talk and there were over 150 people on the last Sufi Saturday. Throughout it all was the “Mastery in Servitude” effort of all the volunteers wo yen into each and every task done. Anyone who came and asked, “Is there anything I can do?”,joined in the flow ofwork. The entire forty days was staffed by vol unteers and we even began construction of the Children’s Pandal that will be weatherproof.
;:: Building the newpandalfor the children
The challenges of camping and living with a group ofpeople for an extended pe nod of time were balanced out by a beautiftil camaraderie that developed among us. The family meals were long and drawn out with laughter and sharing and yet one could always slip away to be in the exquisite solitude ofBaba’s Cabin. Today we are cleaning and putting everything away and packing up. Tomorrow Bhau will fly with his amaz ing team to Los Angeles and then on July 14th, he will return to India. Our hearts are filled and we have drunk deeply at the well during the days of “Chilla-Nivisi.” These forty days of “Gypsy Life” will be remem bered by all as a wonderful time surrounded by others who love Avatar Meher Baba and want to serve Him. We send our love to all ofyou who wanted to join us but could not. We hope to see you soon at Meherana!
Meheranac profèssionally-equzped open-air
Antoinette Davis sings with American Arti composer Hank Mind/in on guitar
Raine sings before Bhazyi speaks
Bhau greets the crowds on the stage surrounded by
I/!ount 7 What’s :‘1appening cit J44eher J 9us and !i?ada De jre4 Speak at JII4elier J4/lount Sam Ervin, Los Angeles a day of sunshine and blue skies, with the molten gold of California poppies and purple wildflowers brighten— ing the meadow leading to Baba’s Tree, 21 people gathered at Meher Mount on Saturday, May 17, as Gus and Rada De Greef shared their memories and insights
from many years of commitment to Baba’s work. Dr. Gus is a psychiatrist from Argentina and the U.S., Rada is a nurse from Serbia
and they are both also highly qualified homeopathic doctors. Each shared how Baba found them and drew them to Him, and then how He brought them to India, where they met, and where they managed the medical clinic at the Pilgrim Center at Meherabad for about 15 years. Among many wonderful stories and insights, they stressed that one does not serve Beloved Baba, because He serves His byers, planning and seeing to the smallest de tails long before we can even perceive the need. As so often happens in a Meher Baba place like Meher Mount, a serendipitous event beyond the claims ofcoincidence oc curred at the beginning of the meeting. A husband and wife arrived who had been to Meher Mount only once before and had never attended any sort of Baba meeting. The man had heard of Baba in 1969 and reads daily in God Speaks. They had recentby moved to Thousand Oaks and he had vaguely heard ofa Baba place around Ojai. He Googbed “Baba, Ojai” and found Meher Mount and visited the previous week. Manager/Caretaker Elizabeth Arnold had told them of the upcoming meeting with Gus and Rada, and they came. On greeting them, we mentioned that Charles Gibson was going to play a few songs. To our astonishment, the man said he had known a Charles Gibson in Texas some thirty years ago! He was very excited to find out it was the same Charles Gibson, and we were a]l delighted to witness their reunion. Charbes himselfhad not been to Meher Mount for about a year, and this was only his second visit ever. [As both Meher Baba and CarlJung said: “There are no coincidences!”] Charles played guitar and sang beautiful and moving songs, including his own musical version—with Baba’s words of course—of”O Parvardigar” to help set the tone for the expression ofBaba’s Love. A delicious potluck lunch with chai was shared by all. After Rada and Gus spoke, all joined in saying the “Beloved God” prayer and many Baba hugs. Before and after the meeting, people walked alone or in small groups to paytheir respects and sit awhile in Beloved Baba’s presence under Baba’s Tree, where He sat—the giant live oak tree on
the point overlooking the Pacific Ocean— the tree that burned but was not consumed in the October 16, 1985 fire that swept away all the buildings at Meher Mount. At the end of the day as the group dis persed, “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai” was sounded from hearts warmed by the sunshine ofBaba’s Love.
eher Mount is a universal spiritual cen ter near Ojai, California dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba. Meher Baba visited Meher Mount on August 2, 1956. Meher Mount 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road Ojai CA 93023 Phone: 805-640-0000, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org And on the web at: www.mehermount.com
LA yiq:lection Bing Heckman, California eher Mount is a place. It has unique qualities, and many have found it inspirational. Some also hold Meher Mount as a spirit; one that encourages re fiection and engagement, an aspiration for
on the 5pirit of J44eher J44ount Being open to and responding to such opportunities to serve as one may be calledldrawn. Being a bit entrepreneurial and creative. Seemingly small things often are quite meaningftil.
mon; try to keep these things in perspec tive and not simply focus on contentious differences. “Purify yourself by a well ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. This will clear your vision.” Nisargadatta Maharaj We are clearly confronting limits to our resources. Helping to become sustainable appears to be increasingly important; re vering all aspects of the creation and sens ing them as being interrelated seems pmdent. Fostering healing, well being, and growth would seem to be good staples as well. As Eckhart Tolle put it: “Awaken to your life’s purpose.” “The only reason why I call upon every individual to work for Me is to make each one share the Divine Cause.” Meher Baba A good sense ofhumor and playful mischief are not only delightfiul, they can be very helpful. —
While in Los Angelesfor his concert, Michael Da Costa expressed a desire to visit Meher Mount
awakening to and embracing what is. This spirit is founded in Meher Baba, though it supports being open to many sources for guidance and insight. It also sees the value of singular focus. This spirit encourages us in many ways. It helps us sense that each ofus is truly and deeply loved just as we are, and each of us has valuable gifts to contribute for tending to the creation and to its unfolding. Innate within us is all the guidance that we need (though it may lead us to finding assistance in various ways or practices). Still, we are distracted. There are ofcourse many paths and each person has his/her own unique way. Living one’s life clearly provides many challenges and lessons. There are many traditions that provide rooted direction and also help support and enhance one’s life, encourag ing us in various ways. Some things could include: Encouraging awareness—sensing our gifts and ways to engage them. Fostering awareness/mindftulness to feel and sense needs of and opportunities to serve the creation and others.
The creation is a divine ro mance for seeking, sensing, and serving the pleasure of the Divine Beloved. “The important thing is not to think too much, but to love much.” Teresa of Avila She noted that this is not done by strenuous effort, but by mindffilness, encouraged natural inclination. “The way we treat other people is the way we treat God.” Pierre Teithard de Chardin Sensitivity and consideration are good things; slander and backbiting are not good. In conflicts and disputes, first seek to understand-hear, then seek to be understood. Even in our political process, be spectftil ofother views, refrain from personal attacks, and seek clearer understanding of issues. There may be many things that are shared in corn—
Michael sits on thefireplace, the only part left of the original house destroyed in thefire of1985
Whctt’s 1appening cit Jll4eherabctd 7Iie J44eherabad Dictnj Judy Stephens, Meherabad une 1. I returned to India with rain pouring down in Mumbai. The driver was waiting for me with a ‘Jai Baba’ sign. We stopped at the Samadhi first. The energy was so powerful inside, as if Baba turned up the wattage. Oh, it was so nice to be home! The wind was blowing almost hur ricane force, and it pulled huge trees out of the ground. There had been three inches of rain from two storms. When I walked by Meherabad Mandali Hall the new roof tiles were all in place. When I was leaving, all the roof tiles and matting had been removed as part of reno vations. A resident on the veranda told me what happened when they were working on the roof. After all the covering was re moved, they tried to get the crusted dirt off the exposed wooden beams so they could oil them, but no matter how they tried, it would not come off. Then it rained for a few minutes—just enough to wash the dirt off the beams without soaking them. Workers were able to oil all the beams, and begin putting the roofingbackon.Just after they laid the last tile, it began to pour rain! J eff DeLoe, MPR garden supewisor planted a neem tree in the children’s playground on the sunny side of the building. The city of Ahmednagar received permission to build an overpass over the train tracks. The bypass work from the Pune road stopped just before the train tracks, and then continued the other side of the Dhound road (I hope its future name will be Meherabad Road). We can take it from the MPR to Lower Mehe rabad without going through that railroad crossing in Arangaon village where you can sit and wait for twenty minutes. We now have large green metal barrels for trash placed all over Meherabad. Finally! l2June. Hostel D opened at the end of May and held around eighty pilgrims so there were a lot ofpeople at Dhuni. Nice to see residents returned from vacations. Some ofthe Australians went home for the 50th Anniversary celebration at Avatar’s Abode. On my morning walk in the fields near the Meher English School, I had to change my path because a large area was packed with camps ofsheepherders and sheep.
l5June. Opening day ofpilgrim season, and the Retreat had a few pilgrims. The National Cadet Corps began eight days of training. For years they have used Mehe rabad because it has a lot of open space, and the large hostels fit their needs. This year there were four hundred and fifty cadets and instructors in tents and Hos tel C. They put colored flags along the roads inside Meherabad. They usually do some kind of service project, like cleanup. Today was the grand opening of the tended section of Meher Darbar. It was quite a celebration with music and singing. This new section will be where they sell snacks and soft drinks. ‘ The main part of the Darbar will have only computers and the Baba material. 19 June. Weather has been overcast for days with a lovely wind. It is very pleasant weather. Attended ‘decades’ dinner party at a resident’s home to honor those who turn 40, 50, etc. this year. It was a very harmonious and relaxing evening. 20 June. A notice was put up telling us not to water our gardens until further notice. The only rain we had was before the monsoon started, and we don’t have enough water in the wells. Peter Booth said the plants won’t die, they just won’t grow. 2lJune. For the HistoricalTour of Meherabad we went to the Cage Room and Jaloo, who lives
in the compound, let pilgrims stand at the doorway and say hello to her. Tea and cake were served on the Music & Arts Center veranda and two old video interviews of Padri were shown. Rode my scooter near the Garden Terrace Condos, seeing to the final stages of construction of a friend’s house. There were a lot of sheepherders in the vast open areas behind the Condos. The construction supervisor pointed to four little deer running so fast that if a dog tried to chase them it would not have a chance. It looked almost like they flew. He sees deer quite often in the area behind the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. 23 June. Men from the military came to have lunch and look at the Retreat. They very much liked it. We are happy to show the beauty of the place that was built with love for Baba. 30 June. There was a special Arti at the Samadhi for the fourth anniversary of Dr. Goher’s going to Baba. Meheru attended, a wonderful Arti. Two men from the Indian Department ofForestry came to take pictures of the reforestation going on all around the MPR. There are row after row ofcurved trenches being dug for the planting of trees. We had a bit of rain in the afternoon. It wasn’t heavy rain, but it did
give the thirsty plants a little bit of water. I July. This was a most happy day for everyone in Meherabad—it was the opening day ofMeherazad for this pilgrim season. I had hired a car and took Virginia [Small.] When I got to Meherazad, I had to use one of their wheelchairs for her as she can no longer walk around much. My heart is always happy to see the hugs, kisses, and love that are given to Virginia. She is so sweet, almost like a child. She will turn 93 in October. 5 July. I was up the hill by 5:30 am and was present when the Samadhi doors were opened. After helping remove the old gaslands and cloths, I went to clean Baba’s Cabin Room. After putting flowers on the stretcher cover, I also put flowers on the Ghadi and then the Samadhi threshold. Next, I went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi and Table House with Fereshteh. After going home to have breakfast, I got ready to do the Historical Tour of Meherabad. When we reached the Cage Room, the pilgrims had a chance to say ‘Jai Baba’ to Jaloo. It is such a sweet event to witness—the pilgrims, one by one, introduced themselves and said ‘Jai Baba’ with folded hands. Jaloo so sweetlyreturns the’Jai Baba’. In the afternoon there were two videos shown at the Music & Arts Center. The first was of Mani showing some of Baba’s hand gestures—Welcome to My World. The other video was the one for Mehera’s 100th birthday—Happy Birthday Darling Mehera. Both filled the heart with joy. What a golden time that was when Mani and Mehera were still around to share their life with Baba! 7July. In the morning some ofour men residents cleaned the verandah covering, top and underneath, of both the Jhopdi and Table House. Every year we do a cornplete cleaning of both the Jhopdi and Table House a couple of days before Silence Day. Baba began His Silence in the Jhopdi. On the way to the MPR I stopped to pick up Fereshteh near our Labor Office. It was a very busy day at the Retreat. It was also one with two major incidents. In the morning one ofthe pilgrims fell in the bazaar. When she returned to the Retreat, her foot was giving her much pain. We put
ice packs on it and had our doctor from the Meher Health Clinic come and write a slip saying she needed to have x-rays. She was then taken to a hospital in Ahmednagar. While that pilgrim was having x-rays at the hospital, another pilgrim from the men’s side decided to take a shortcut to the volleyball court by climbing over the fence, instead of going around the building. He fell from the top ofthe fence, six feet down, and landed on his back. We had to put the medical board under him and also send him to the same hospital in Ahmednagar for x-rays, to see if he had hurt his back. The woman pilgrim returned with a cast on her foot. The male pilgrim returned with a brace around his neck, but thank God he had no back injury. 9 July. I picked Fereshteh up at 8:00 am so we would be at the MPR extra early. We were expecting 135 pilgrims and we wanted to have some time put-
ting things out before opening the doors for business. The receptionist from Tuesday, before going home, had rearranged the Reception Office fttrniture to make the check-in work more smoothly. What a day! All the receptionists were on duty We all had different assigned duties and by the end ofthe daywe were exhausted. On top of all the arriving pilgrims, we had a constant stream of pilgrims from the Hostels coming to see the MPR. We were giving out badges that the pu— gnms had to wear in order to get into the men and women areas. We set up like at Amartithi, having a security guard at the entrances and only those staying at the MPR would be allowed into the wings. We were also giving each pilgrim a ticket
to the Baba movie that would be shown on Silence Day. The pilgrim had the choice of the morning or afternoon film. When we were finally finished and ready to go home itwas 7:15 pm. 10 July. Today was Silence Day. What a wonderful day it was! Everywhere it was quiet. I especially savored it because of the chaotic day of the 9th. I went up the hill near the Ghadi and waited for Meheru to arrive at 10:00 am. The whole atmosphere around the Sa madhi felt charged with an intensity of energy—it was so powerffil! You could almost feel the silence! When Meheru ar rived it was such a beautiful experience to be able to be present. There is something extraordinary, almost like a more beautiful dimension, opening up when the Mandali are around the Samadhi. I don’t know how else to explain the experience. I am just grateful to have been able to experience it. After Meheru put garlands in the Samadhi, she went to Mehera and then Mani’s shrines. Her love toward her lifelong companions is very beautiful to behold. Meheru then went to Baba’s Cabin Room where she again put garlands and flowers. Last, she went to the Ghadi before going down the hill to Lower Meherabad. I got a ride to the bottom of the hill, then got out and hurried to the Jhopdi, unlocking it. The jeep that carried the flowers arrived and a stool was put on the floor to hold a huge bas ket of red roses. These were for pilgrims to give Baba. Meheru arrived and opened the Jhopdi door. She went in and garlanded Baba’s photo, she also put flowers on the two oth er photos on the window ledge. She next went to the Table House. She had a very large, long garland for the front ofthe Table House. It went from one end to the other. Meheru then went under the table part and put flowers next to the screen door. After she bowed down she got in the car and left. For me, she helped make this Silence Day an extra special treat. I was feeling so happy! I am so thankful to be here in Meherabad. I started to walk back to my room, when I stopped by the Savages Kitchen and saw a sign on the board saying there were extra tickets to the morn4’
ing Baba film. I picked one up and went to Hostel-A (our Music & Arts Cen ter). I was able to see the last half As I was leaving the building I saw two other residents and started to say hello. Well, I just blew my silence once again! I caught myself but I had already spoken. Dam! After a wonderftii nap, I went back up the hill to the Samadhi. The line was so long I took Darshan at the threshold. I noticed some ofthe residents were inside the Sama dhi, trying to remove some ofthe garlands from the three-foot high pile on the marble. I helped until the Samadhi attendant was satisfied the area was cleaned up a little. I then went down the hill and sat in the Jhopdi for a while. Silence Day is the only day of the year when we are allowed to sit inside. At sundown, Mariko, Joseph, and I shut the doors of the Jhopdi and locked it. Tomorrow at 6:30 am we will go in and re move all the flowers and give it a cleaning. 11 July. There was a new film to be shown in our Music & Arts Center about Meher Babac Universal Message. The showings were in three languages. The 10:00 am showing was in English.The 11:30 showing was in Telegu and the 4:30 pm showing was in Hindi. l2July. This was Dhuni Day. I was up the hill by 5:30 am.There were at least 30 pilgrims at the Samadhi. When the doors were opened there was a rush of everyone wanting to go in. I was surprised there was no order, and I stayed at the door and tried to maintam some semblance of order. I will write a letter to the Hill Committee about the lack of order and the need for some type ofcontrol when we have so many pilgrims here. Hostel-B, C & D had almost 1400 pilgrims for Silence Day, and the MPR had almost 200. Many stayed for Dhuni. After cleaning Baba’s Cabin Room, I put flowers on the stretcher and then the Ghadi. Next, I went back to my room to get ready for the Historical Tour of Meherabad. The tour takes three hours, so by 1:00 pm I am very tired. The evening Arti was at 5:00 pm. Dhuni was lit at sundown: 6:15 pm. There were still hundreds of pilgrims here. Before the Dhuni was lit, there was beautiful chanting by some ofthe Indian groups.The energy was intense. l4July. On the window ledge inside the
Reception Office this morning I found two milk coconuts had been left for us. My name was on one of them. The story of these coconuts is interesting. A pilgrim named Dr. Ravindra Gin lives on a farm about one hour away from Meherabad. Baba had visited his farm on 21st May, 1941. Dr Gin’s farm is named Narangaon, but 500 to 1000 years ago it was called Arangaon. It was the birthplace of Shiva ji—one of Baba’s ‘minor’ incarnations! Then centuries later, in His current incar nation as the Avatar of the Age, He opens His ashram next to a village also called Arangaon! Coincidence? I think not. 15 July. We still have not had any rain. The garden plants are all drooping. We are not allowed to water our gardens because
of the shortage of water. We need someone to do a rain dance! 18 July. On a visit to Pune, walking toward us on the side of the road was a Sadhu! They are wild-looking holy men— well, some of them are truly holy. They have long, matted hair, and are naked. In downtown Pune, on a regular day, a Sadhu was walking down the road! When we passed him, I turned around to make sure I was seeing what I thought I saw Yes, there was his naked behind. The only thing he had was a string of beads he was praying with. “Wow!” I thought to myself “My very first view ofa Sadhu!” 20 July. This was my 64th birthday. Throughout the day, parts of the Beatles song “When I’m 64” were sung to me. At Meherazad as I passed out candy, I was wished Happy Birthday. In the evening, I took three bags ofcandy to the Samadhi to be given out as prasad after evening Arti. Dolly had everyone sing Happy Birthday to me. It was very nice! Then Pedro
quietly sang some of the words from the Beatles song. 22 July. At the weekly MPR Group meeting one of the issues we discussed was trash thrown on the pathway from the MPR to the Samadhi. It was decided to put one of the new green trash cans at the MPR Samadhi side gate. 23 July. Talk of emergency changes to our water usage! We have had so little rain that not only are we not allowed to water our gardens, we may have to re strict bathing at the MPR. I was told that in Arangaon village the women were in a near riot because they had not had running water in over ten days. I was told that all day Friday the railroad crossing would be closed. The Railroad Department wants to raise the road so that bicycles and mo torcycles can no longer go un der the gate. Everyone tries to go under the gate because it is sometimes put down 25 mmutes before the train comes! 25Ju1y. I woke to a wet earth. It did rain overnight. It wasn’t a heavy rain, but oh our plants needed it. It began raining lightly again in the afternoon. Bhau was scheduled to give a talk in the MPC but at the last minute the talk was cancelled because he was not well. In the evening at the MPR, a movie was shown. 26July. At 10:00 am I went to meet four people for the Historical Tour. It began to rain lightly. After about one hour the rain started to come down more heavily. We decided to go up the hill and continue the Tour there. When the Cage Room doors were opened we found white ants all along the threshold and on parts of the doors. White ants are termites! They can destroy wood in no time. We all started knocking their mud off everything. Meanwhile, I called one of the Trustees to immediately spray in places the white ants ate away. I called to see if my scooter was fixed. “Yes, madam, it is ready.” When I arrived they could not get it to start, one of the prob lems they were to fix. The manager told me it would only take five minutes. Well, anyone who has been to India knows what ‘only five minutes’ means! It could mean any time in this lifetime! He said they would deliver the scooter when they got it fixed. Good thing I had the rickshaw wait for me. Trudy Gardner and Pedro Miran
da gave a concert. 28 July. We had a ‘water crisis’ at the MPR the other day. We almost ran out of water. We have had quite a drought, our wells are low, and we get almost no wa ter from Ahmednagar. We are requesting pilgrims bathe once every other day. We closed all the showerheads, so you can only take a bucket bath. We also closed the bathrooms next to the reading rooms as they take water to clean. We put notices on the Dining Hall doors asking pilgrims to conserve water. Residents are not al lowed to wash floors, or scooters, cars, etc. 3 August. The annual International Young Adult Sahavas (YAS) started today. It lasts one week and there are around 100 attendees in Hostel C. It is a wonderhil experience for everyone, and close bonds ofthe heart are formed. You can feel a fire oflove from the attendees, and at evening Arti their singing is beautiftil. 4 August. It started to rain today! It is not the heavy monsoon, but it rained all day, and the roads are muddy. You now also see frogs everywhere. What is really wonderftul is the rain came just in time. Hundreds of little trees had just been planted between the MPR and the Samadhi. I was concerned how they would survive. Then, Baba brings rain! Not heavy but enough to help a]l our plants. 5 August. It is still raining. It is so nice to see the puddles everywhere, though not so much fin walking around them. Walking on muddy paths is a cautious journey, as you can slip and fall. 8 August. I went to Meher English School. There is a family here from Myr tle Beach, Walter, Kim, and daughter Zoe, the Witkowskis. For the past three years they have been having a ‘giving of gifts’ day for the children of the school. They buyboxes ofbagged snacks, bananas, balls, pencils, ice cream, etc. When I arrived at the school around 10:30 am, the little chil dren were already sitting in a line waiting. Then the Trust bus came full of pilgrims frum the International Young Adult Saha vas. They had picked the same day to do a service project at the school. They were able to help distribute the treats. 9 August. There was work going on at the Jhopdi so I was not able to clean it. They are moving some of the farsi slabs on the verandah to clean out the wasp hives underneath. Each slab is numbered, so it will be replaced exactly where it was before. The verandah was built when Baba was here, and therefore it is to re
main as it was when He walked on it. During the Historic Tour of Meherabad the mason was working on the Jhopdi yerandah, so we sat at the Table House for all the stories. Mandali Hall is also still being worked on, so we sat in the Rahuri Cabin and told stories about both places. It started to sprinkle a little on our way up the hill. When I went to get the key to the Museum in Mansari’s kitchen, I saw a group of residents walking around the compound. These are the people who moved here when Padri was still here. The group was organized last year to collect stories about Meherabad that Padri told them. They remember precious stories as they walk around Meherabad. A film of Padri giving a tour of Meherabad was shown. 10 August. I woke to a light drizzle, not enough to get wet. The International Young Adult Sahavas closed in the morning. It began to rain lightly by the time I got to Meherazad. No heavy rain, which we need so badly. But this rain will help water the plants and help the farmers. In Mandali Hall they showed the film God Alone Is Real. It is such a powerftil film I have decided I am going to buy it. After it was over, Meheru said the various photo shots and the music went together so well. We stopped to pick up some ice cream and later I went to the MPR to video Margaret and Donald Eucker’s story ofgoing to the 1969 Darshan for the Los Angeles group’s video archive. 13 August. We have been having very light rain for days now. We are very grateflu for anything, yet we sure wish Baba would send several days of heavy rain. I am glad to have Fereshteh’s help with Reception. We seem to have Iranians coming on most days. Many are directly from Iran, and Fereshteh is able to speak with them if they don’t know English. It helps them feel welcome. Baba had said that a wave oflranians would be coming and we have seen the beginning of this wave ever since we opened the MPR. They are the third largest group to come here, next to Indians and Americans. They are very proud that Baba’s family came from Iran. l4August.There is stillworkgoing on at the Jhopdi. Hussein, our mason, has been breaking up the cement holding the pieces and cleaning underneath. Then Hussein smooths the slabs and replaces them, using new cement to hold them together. I collected several of the old chipped ce ment pieces. These had been there since
Baba was here in the body he may have walked on them. I will give one piece to the LA Baba Center. 15 August. Independence Day. 98 rivals bring the pilgrim total to around 153. The road was packed with horses and tongas. Every Independence Day there are races on the road in front of Lower Meherabad starting at 12:30 pm. They are re ally wild. Not only do the tongas race two or three at a time, you have around thirty motorcycles, two to three riders each, all blaring their horns right next to the horses with yelling men and honking horns. The final group of horse tongas are the stron gest. They start from 20 kilometers away. It is the final race of the event. By this time you have at least sixty motorcycles with lights on, horns blaring, men yeffing. What fin! 16 August. I stopped by Meher Tailor to remind Anil we would be needing the Baba flags ordered for the New Life walk on 16 October. He still has 50 to make. In the evening, I stopped to visit Jaloo, who lives in the building behind the Samadhi. Her father was one of the Mandali, Kai kobad. Under Baba’s instructions he used to say Baba’s name 100,000 times a day. 17 August. At the MPR it was a slow day, but the weather has been beautiftil. Some clouds, but the wind has picked up. It is so beautiful to look out over the fields from the upstairs windows and see hundreds of little trees the Trust planted last month. All this rain is doing wonders for them. 19 August. The anniversary of Mani’s reunion with Baba. Meherazad was closed because Meheru came for the special 10:00 am Arti at the Samadhi. I sat un der the Tin Shed until Meheru’s car came. They always give a honk to let us know they have reached the top ofthe hill. After Meheru arranged flowers in the baskets, she came out of the East Room and we all walked to the Samadhi. Meheru placed garlands on Beloved Baba’s Samadhi, and then prayers and Arti followed. Meheru and the women in the Samadhi came out and sat on the benches. The songs that were sung were only ones Mani wrote, or were about Mani. It is always a different atmosphere when one of the mandali attends. To me, seeing the depth of reverence displayed by women mandali is a lesson in one-pointedness for the Beloved. When Arti was over, Meheru went to Mehera’s tomb where she placed a garland and flowers. One of the baskets of flow43
ers was passed around to those standing nearby, and each would take a flower and place it on Mehera’s shrine. Next, Meheru went to Mani’s tomb where she placed a beautiftil garland. Meheru put flowers on the tombs of Dr. Goher, Khorshed, and Mansari, then she went into Baba’s Cabin Room and in each place where there was a photo ofBaba, she put flowers. Finally she garlanded the Ghadi. 20 August. At the MPR there was a meeting for all who do Samadhi duty One item on the agenda was pilgrims coming to the Samadhi to say prayers out loud. Two times a day the prayers are recited aloud, but the rest of the time quiet is requested around the Samadhi so everyone may have a chance to be with Baba in silence. We are to let people know they can say prayers quietly, to themselves. There is now a continuous stream of people coming up the hill for darshan. They often come in packed cars or hired buses. It would be utter cha Os ifprayers were said all day long! Pilgrims also keep wanting to exchange wedding vows inside or in front of the Samadhi. It has been a standing policy for years, from the mandali, to forbid this. People are not allowed to perform rites at Mehe rabad or Meherazad either. They may quietly put a garland on the Sa madhi and then take it with them, but no ceremonies. 27 August. One ofthe watchmen killed a snake at the Samadhi this morning. It was before cleaning, and there were only a few people there. The watchman, Jaychan, pointed to this small, skinny-looking snake. It was up against the divider of the portico, where we put our shoes.The snake was small, but it was a krait, whose venom is more deadly than the cobra! They are about as round as a finger. They have a light underside, and circles across the back. It was taken out back and burned. 29 August. Around early afternoon, there was the beautiful sound of thunder. The weather had been hot and muggy It sure seemed this could be a welcome storm. But the stormjust went away. We need the rain. Bhauji was scheduled to speak but he was not well so the talk was cancelled. 30 August. I have made copies of a dia 44
gram of all the historic places, and I am going to have these laminated and placed in Hostel-D, the MPC, and the MPR. The brochure is being translated to make it easy to know where the tour will take you. It is a holiday, a day of honoring the buffalo. There were some wonderful dark clouds, deep thunder, and then, nothing. Later in the afternoon there were light showers. Where is the rain? It is now hot and muggy, perfect weather for a good storm. Yet we are getting nothing. 18 September. I drove to Ahmednagar to see the phone company. The traffic was unbelievable! Now, when I say traffic, I dor?t mean the type of bumper to bumper we have in the West. No, no, no! We are
talking about cars, a couple of trucks, six or ten motor cycles, plus bicycles and ani mals, all in two lanes—at the same time! And don’t forget the rickshaws! And some of those rickshaws, bicycles, and scooters don’t believe in going the same way the traffic goes. They come towards you, on your side, scooting around everything in their path, all because they are turning in a short while. Oh, and you also have all the pedestrians cutting through all this—yet, amazing as it seems, it works—somehow! 20 September. When I got up in the morning I found there was no running water. The water didn’t come on un til almost 10 am. Later, I found out the problem was someone was stealing the expensive shut-off valves. In the past month we have lost a number of them. On the Tour of Meherabad Historical Sites, when we went into Mandali Hall, there was Baba’s photo back up on the wall. Mandali Hall has been in the pro-
cess ofbeing restored since the end of last pilgrim season. There had been no photo of Baba all these months. There was such a warm feeling in my heart to see Baba’s photo back in its original place. They have also put lights up on the wall above the photo. As we came out ofthe museum, the sky opened up and it poured rain so hard we could hardly talk over the sound of the rain hitting the roof of the Tin Shed. It was one of those amazing monsoon rains when buckets ofwater seem to be pouring down! In the afternoon, there was a musi cal concert in MPC Hall and Jeff DeLoe and friends gave a concert. 21 September. On Mehera’s porch, Ka tie and Meheru greeted the pilgrims. In Mandali Hail, Hooyar sang the ‘Seven Names of God’ and another song. Abbas, another Iranian resident, sang a devotional song in Persian. After that a pilgrim sang a song in Hindi. While the program was going on in Mandali Hall, Bhauji came and sat outside on the yerandah. 26 September. Up the hill to take an early darshan as morning dawn was just beginning to give light to the sky On both sides of Hostels B, C, and D are tall eucalyptus trees, home for hundreds of crows. As I was passing by, theywere making a racket as they began their morning ffight over the Samadhi to some unknown destination. Often, they will stop in the trees around the Samadhi before going on. It is like they too want their morning darshan from Baba! Smart crows! 28 September. At Meherazad, there was a group of sweet children from an orphanage in the south of India called Meher Ashram, run by Baba lovers Gita and Shiva. The children are growing up in an atmosphere of Baba’s love. It touched my heart that Gita and Shiva brought the chil dren such a long way, so they could know the wonderful atmosphere of Meherabad and Meherazad. They gave the children a chance to have Baba’s darshan at the Sa madhi, and to meet the Mandali. 29 September. In the morning at the MPC, Bill LePage gave a talk during the ‘Meherabad Mornings’ program. In the afternoon, Bhauji’s talk followed tea and popcorn.
was Dessara, a holiday in India where all walk. Everyone was in high spirits and we 30 September. At dawn as I was getdanced as we walked. the tools and machines that help provide a trng ready to cross the road by the dhuni, Our first stop was at the Jaln (religion) living are honored.The tools and machines a runner passed holding a lit torch. Actemple. They have in the past offered us are washed, garlanded, incense is burned, companying him on a motorcycle were refreshments and shade to rest. Since it and a coconut is broken. We even put three men. It is the first day of Nava-ratri, was a very hot day, the break was much garlands on our cars, trucks, motorcycles, which means “nine nights,” observed in appreciated. After about twenty minutes and bicycles. the beginning of summer and again at we started once again to walk At 2:15 pm, at the MPR, there was an onset ofwinter. Hindus invoke the energy By this time we had alreadyjoined the ambulance training session for all workers. aspect of God in the form of the universal main road. We had police assistance for mother, Durga, the remover of miseries. We now have a new ambulance and the traffic until we got to the Kinetic Chowk The tenth day is Dusshera, for celebrat workers need to know how to use and se and headed toward Meherabad. A water cure the stretcher, etc. ing the triumph of good over evil, the de tanker also traveled with us, so people In the afternoon, Adrienne Shamszad feat and death of the demon king Ravana. could drink or pour water on themselves, Fifteen days later is Diwali, the festival of gave a concert in the MPC Hall. She has since it was a sun-scorching day. I bought been studying the guitar and writing songs lights, the largest holiday in India, when since she was around thirteen. We all very water at a nearby store. all religions celebrate the victory of light When we reached the Dhuni area, the much enjoyed her songs. Her final song over dark. flags were collected from everyone. We all was in Persian—truly magnificent. 3 October. During the night in Mehe then walked up the hill to the Samadhi. I took the back road of Meherabad rabad there was a big storm and it poured when I drove home. As I neared my area, After taking Darshan, we went to the East rain all night. We have had some wonderside of the compound where food was bethere were a group of about seven birds flu storms lately. ing served. We were all so grateful to be 4 October. In the morning, again I just standing on the road. I slowed down able to eat and sit. so they could take ffight. I was surprised to found there was no water for a few hours. The next day when I went to the Trust Later, I found out it was because the thief see they were all a lovely green color. They Office, Mehernath and Raj showed me a had once again stolen another ofour water looked like parakeets. We are getting more photo ofsome ofus Westerners with some variety ofbirds because of all the different ‘shut-off’ valves. However, this time there of our Indian Baba family (all dancing) was some good news. The thiefwas finally trees and foliage. on the front page of a Marathi language That evening Anil (Meher Tailor) caught later in the daywhen he tried to sell newspaper that is distributed throughout had a rickshaw deliver 60 Baba flags for it to the ‘scrap iron man’ in nearby Ked the whole state ofMaharastra. Raj said the the ‘New Life walk’ to my place. It is fian gaon. In other words, the ‘scrap iron man’ photo caption said how the foreign and holding and waving Baba’s flag during the was the ‘fence’ for the thief They were Indian followers of Avatar Meher Baba ‘walk’. The 16th October is the anniver both caught because the Trust had some sary of the New Life, and the Trust, for were dancing injoy and harmony in honor people waiting for the thiefto show up. ofthe New Life. years now, has been celebrating it with 6 October. In the morning, there is a an annual ‘New Life’ walk from the Trust regular program at the PRO in the old Office in Ahmednagar to Beloved Baba’s MPC, called ‘Meherabad mornings’. This Samadhi. It is such a joyous event to paris the forum for guest speakers who had “Bookstore New Re/eases, coizt.from pg. 8 ticipate in. met Baba to share their stories. The pro16 October. I woke with the excited Seekers ofLove gram begins at 10:00 am. This day’s guest feeling it was the day of the ‘New Life’ speaker was M. Rama Rao. He first heard by A K. IIazra and K. Gunn $12.50 walk. At the Trust the whole compound of Baba in 1963, and saw Baba in 1969 The Lft ofBuddha as when He lay in the Samadhi crypt after was packed with pilgrims, residents, office workers and others all getting ready for the dropping His physical form. In the afterçLegend and History noon, Bhauji gave a talk in the MPC Hall walk. Tea and breakfast were served while by Edward J. Thomas $9 the Baba flags were signed out to those at 4:30 pm after tea and popcorn were wanting to carry one. We also put the flags served. on the trucks and other vehicles. It looked 8 October. Today there was an inaugu Translated byJ. i\/I. Rodwcll $5 so festive! Mehernath and Raj made a ration of a permanent exhibition that will be kept in the Upper Halls (Old Study poster that covered the whole front width Mohammed, the Man of the truck. On the poster were photos Hall) of Meher Retreat, in the compound andHis Faith of the seven Avataric incarnations, shownext to the Samadhi. The exhibition is on byTor Andrae $8 mg what Baba said ‘to bring all religions the Life and Work ofAvatar Meher Baba, one string’. on like beads Bhauji together Baba for all lovers. is now open and The Loves ofKrishna in Indian We began walking, the first vehicle haywas present for the inauguration that took PaintingandPoetry $13 ing a large photo of Baba on the front. place in Meherabad Hill Library. The band was walking in the middle of 9 October. In the morning, as I am Sifism, an Account of MPR, the Padyatra (religious walk). Karim, from at the getting ready for my duty Australia, stood on the green truck back Marge, my neighbor, comes over to tell the Mystics oflslarn and held Baba’s flag high, waving it from me our gardener, Sandeep, wants me to by A. J. Arberry $10 side to side. He did this during most of the come and do ‘puja’ for the tools. This day
3ndia, Sweet Dndict innesota 4 I &tndy Schwanz, 7 had been rnne years since mylast trip to India. Since then, the newPilgrim Center (MPR) opened up. The center is beautiftil, ftffl of art in many forms, and with lots of space which gave me the illusion that it was never crowded even though it was filled to capacity over Baba’s birthday, and built with such an elegant simplicity one feels they are strolling through the hallways ofan ancient palace. The open fields surrounding the center add to the feeling of vastness, and I loved roaming through the fields nodding at goats and cows along the wa I learned an important lesson this trip. Sun stroke is not a pretty picture. Even though I was wearing a hat, I must have logged in too many prime time sun hours walking between the Darbar, Samahdi, and backto MPR. I was in bed for three and a half days, head pounding, severe diarrhea, unable to eat and wasjust plain exhausted. The hike from the MPR to the Samadhi is much longer than the path from the Pilgrim Center on lower Meherabad to the Samadhi, and you walk through open sunny fields instead of the tree lined path on the way up the hill. So I may have under estimated, or over estimated, depending on one’s point of view. At least that is my rationale for getting sun stroke. Some people told me Baba does a little something to most people that come,just perhaps to more Lilly get your undivided attention (even though I think sleeping seems an odd way of getting our attention, but hey, what do I know?) Someone asked if I thought it had changed much in Meherabad. I said yes, and no. New Pilgrim Center more houses and condos being built and occupied byresidents, more bus loads of pilgrims being shuffled about from point A to point B. More and more people coming from Iran, Russia (14 ofthem while I was there) Serbia, etc. There is a feeling in the air that things are changing quickly at upper Meherabad. As I looked across the fields in the night sky and saw a few glittering lights across the horizon, I reveled in the experience ofthe calm peaceftil beauty the empty fields held, and imagined that it will not be so many visits away until the emptyfields wouldlook more like a small
town, then a city someday. Each change in the physical surroundings ofMeherabad has been an adjustment for me, at first difficult, but soon I came to appreciate the positive aspects ofthe changes. Myfirst visit in 1973 preceded even the Pilgrim Center on lower Meherabad, so the changes since then have been considerable. BUT- Meher Baba’s Samadhi, my reason for going to India, that eternally feels the same. The cool soothing balm of being in that precious space decade after decade never fades. Someday the city ofMeherabad will be bustling all around Baba’s tomb, but it
will feel like 1973 all over to me again once I step over that threshold. It was ofcourse like being in heaven to be in Meherazad again getting to see Arnavaz, Katie, Meheru and Meherwan Jessawala. Arnavaz was bed ridden but her face was beaming, her beautiful smile radiating Baba. Katie &Meheru both seemed in good health and fully enjoyed a song and dance presented to them on their porch by 14 Russian Baba lovers! It was fantastic to see the smile on their (Katie & Meheru’s) faces, as the Rus sians enthusiastically entertained all! Emch’s brother Meherwan shared beautiftil stories in Manda]i Hall continuing the tradition of his brother and Bal Natu. I must say it was a highlight to witness so many people from all corners of the world, continuing to be called to Baba’s home. Russia, Serbia, Iran,Japan, China, on and on. Each one has an incredible story! Another highlight ofmy trip was a tour
of lower Meherabad given by Peter Nordeen. Even though fve been to India four other times, I was amazed to hear so many historical facts that I hadn’t heard before, or well, they may have fallen out the bottom somewhere. Peter has a bri]liant abi]ity ofre taming volumes ofdetailed information and delivering that info in a clear inspiring manner. Not to be missed. I heard that they are thinking ofhaving tours guided by someone who speaks Hindi or some other Indian language as there are so many Indian pilgrims regularlyvisiting Meherabad. I was told that the largest group of Baba lovers coming to Meherabad now is Indian, then Iranian, then Westerners. I tooka side trip to Mahablesh war with a wonderful woman I got to know while staying at the center. We rented a car/driver and headed off the winding steep roads up to the beautiful mountain town of Mahableshwar where we stayed at the Dma hotel for two nights. Our hotel and the view from the town was spectacular! Green mountain tops, cool air, clean streets and dozens of comfy hotels make the town a resort destination for many Indians from Mumbai and Poona. Baba visited the area staying at the Ripon Hotel which is still there and is run by Baba lovers. Our driver took us to several ‘points’ as they call them, one being Arthur’s Seat where the famous photo of Baba was taken, his arms outstretched on railings with mountains in the background. The trip ended on a less than perfect note as my traveling companion got sick on the last night ofour stay and had a very nauseating and uncomfortable ride down the long and winding road that led us back home. And yes it was good to get back ‘home’ again! It seemed as though we had been gone for at least a week! I am so thankful that once again I was able to touch the beautiful soil of Baba’s home in the east and to share the tidal wave ofHis love with so many beautiftil souls!
Brectthe Deeply Davcina 13rown, JlVtekerazad 29th June he almost unbearable summer heat has virtually disappeared now, and in its place is the almost unbearable hu midity that heralds the blessed downpours ofthe Monsoon Season.The clear blue skies of summer have disappeared, leaving behind a thick blanket of grey clouds and fierce winds. Sometimes, these winds are so strong that we find flower pots overturned, plants uprooted and unripe fruits ripped from their branches only to land in great heaps on the ground below. But all these happenings are not without meaning; they are the hints, the changing face of seasons that lead us to believe that soon the Monsoon rains will deluge Meherazad, turning the dry cracked earth into muddy puddles and rivulets of rushing wa ter. So we accept this transi tional landscape as a marker, a clue as to what is to come, a reminder that will lead us to the “promised land”. And, although the promise has not yet come to fruition, we mark these advancing signs with hope. And we wait. In the meantime, with love and care, the flower pots are moved to more sheltered locations, the fallen fruit are picked up and brought to the kitchen to be transformed into pickles and jams, and we finish all the summer projects and house cleaning that heralds the beginning of the Pil grim Season. For, as paradoxical as it may seem, sometimes within the un folding of change lie the seeds of pres ervation; Nature evolves in order to preserve. Today, at Meherazad, we are beginfling to take these hints to heart. Nature is giving us the clues as to how to preserve His home for posterity. We are beginning to take control of what we must change, so that there will be as littie change as possible. So that the scent of His Being and what that life was when He lived as Man amongst men in the simple confines of Meherazad,
will continue to fill the hearts of all the pilgrims who come here. And although now it can only be a picture, just that sight can help open up our hearts to re ceive His love. As I sit at my computer, wondering what I should write about for this month’s Tavern Talk, what strikes most deeply—what resonates within my being—is the timeless beauty of Baba’s home, and the importance of preserving that. Whatever the season, whatever the weather, however the landscape varies and changes, there is an unmistakable fragrance of His Being that permeates
Baba home at Meherazad
and pervades every molecular space. Call it atmosphere, call it His pres ence, or call it the imprint of Reality upon illusion, but it has impregnated the very ground that He has walked upon. It is in His sandals and the clothes He has worn, the board that He used, the seat that He sat upon, the carpets He stood upon, the dining room table where He ate; it is in the chairs, the beds He has slept in, the cushions that His Feet or arms rested upon; it is in every nook and corner of all the places where He has lived and breathed. And it is for this perfume that we come back again and again to His Home, to this tiny spot on earth where Reality walked amongst mankind. Sometimes, in the Mandali Hall, pu grims would ask what is the value of coming here when Baba is no longer in
physical form? Or, isn’t one pilgrimage enough to last one’s lifetime? Or, after the mandali are gone, what is the point of coming to Meherazad, won’t it just be a museum? I am reminded of something that Eruch would tell us. He used this figure: we are like hounds, the dogs used by the police when they need to track down a criminal. The dogs cannot be expected to find the culprit, just by being let loose. They need the criminal’s scent. They must be taken to the scene of the crime and allowed to sniff. They are given some article of the thief’s clothing or something he used in order to imbibe his scent. And after awhile when they again seem to lose track, they are brought back to the scene of the crime to renew the scent. Only in this way can they track him down. We, like the hounds, need to come here to sniff at the places where He has been, to breathe into our hearts the redolence of His Being. When we become enmeshed in the world of illusion and that scent that keeps us going becomes faint, we need to come back and fill our nostrils once again. Coming to Meherazad and imbibing the atmosphere where He lived, Eruch would tell us, does not give us the end result, but it leads us towards Reality. It helps to saturate our heart with His Presence so that He can fill it with His love. On 1st July, the gates of Meherazad will once again be opened to all His byers, pilgrims, and even those who admit to not understanding why they have felt drawn to come here. But whatever the excuse, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is to breathe deeply. He will do the rest.
&lcnce EDay Story 2leatlter 2’Iade!, J1l/Iehera&id
10th, Silence Day, has come and gone, as have most ofthe 1400 people who came to Meherabad to observe it near Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s Sa madhi. But what a splendid Day it was! People began arriving at lower Mehe rabad all night long on the 9th, and as the sky lightened, heralding an overcast windy day, almost everyone at Mehe rabad headed for the tomb, streams of people all in silence walking up the hill from the Hostels, or across the hill from the Retreat, or from the homes and staff quarters nearby. People who got into line, took a rose from the basketful ofred roses on the bench near the Sama dhi door, went inside a few at a time, bowed down one by one. There was no Arti, of course, and all the praying was in si lence. The profound Eternal Silence at the heart of Mehe rabad seemed to flow out from the Samadhi like perfume. A silent crowd sat around it all the ensuing day into the evening—pilgrims to His Ocean shore, drinking in the seabreezes ofBaba’s sweet, deeply serene atmosphere. Mid-morning Meheru came from Meherazad to bow down to Baba there, and then went down the Hill for a special darshan at Baba’s Jhopdi (the small hut where He started His silence in 1925) and the Table House. In this she was following in the footsteps of dearest Mehera, who would always visit these sacred spots on Silence Day. At the small window grill inside the Jhopdi are two pictures of it from the early days and pointing to one of them, Meheru smiled and gestured, “I saw it like that!” The Jhopdi was open for darshan all day too, and scores of byers took advantage ofthis rare chance to enter the tiny room and pay homage to Baba there. There were two silent showings of a Baba film in the theatre, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. And at meal and tea times, crowds ofpilgrims at
Hostel D verandah tables or in the Retreat Dining Hall, sat together enjoying silent companionship and the unique ambience served up by the Beloved. ( And yes, there was the annual silent volleyball game!) What couldn’t be seen, but was at the heart of the day, were the efforts of each one of all those many lovers to uphold Baba’s order (given for the last Silence
Day of His advent) to keep total silence from midnight to midnight ofjuly 10th. It was a continual meditation, as it was for His lovers everywhere around the world observing silence. The day before, one of the residents had reminded the woman who works for him to beware of speaking to the cat on Silence Day by mistake. She laughed and reassured him, “Oh don’t worry about that! You can talk all you like to animals! You just can’t talk to humans!” (Well, no. but wouldn’t that be easy!) Mehera was often sad on Silence Day, remembering how much Baba’s silence added to His suffering. But Mani some. . .
times related an explanation Baba gave Shireenmai, their mother, about His si lence and His work for the world: “My favourite memory of Baba and His si lence was a little discourse He gave to Mother, one of those natural, casual, spontaneous sayings of Baba’s that I call the ‘simple sermons’. It was after Toka, at a time when Baba had been doing a long fast. While He was fasting, of course, He went on keeping silence as He had been doing for many years. “Now all this hurt Mother, who loved Him so much, and who knew what a beautiful voice He had. Why was He doing all this? Why was He imprisoning His beauti ful voice, why was He fasting and wearing out His beautiful body? “So she said to Him one day, ‘Merog, why should you fast for all these months? You have become so thin and frail. And why should you observe silence and lock up your beautiful voice? You say there’s nothing for you to gain from it, and that you’re doing it for all these young chits around you. So why don’t you make them do it!? If it’s for their sake, make them observe si lence, make them fast! Why should you do it?’ “That’s when Baba gave us a hint, a glimpse, ofthe difference when we do something and when He does it for us. An insight into the dimension of His silence, His fasting, or whatever He does out of His love for mankind. “He said, ‘Mother, if the whole world were to fast for the rest of their lives, it wouldn’t equal one day of My fasting. And if the whole world were to ob serve silence for the rest of their lives, it wouldn’t equal one hour ofMy silence.”
PILGiuMAGE PLNER FOR WESTERNERS kzstbeyondarrivalhome;keep in carry-on. No ashot(ostpeoplewbtake tho1era vaccineget no benefit butsuffer side effects! (Toprevent cholera, eat in theMPR or the B1 or oii iz, cook it, peelit orforget it. ‘) Dailygarlic andBlfor two weeks before departure, andafter arriving, maypreventmosquito bites; useDEETrepellent, tuck mosquito nettingaroundbed. Pay attentionto drinkingwater;disinfrcthands often. Cbeckhealthinsurance.Consider travelinsurance.Allow tirneafteryozigethometo readjust. Ifnot well, don’t g
PiiN: Money, passport, air reservation, visa, room at MPR. BUnGET: Plan two weeks for about $1500 including US airfare; staying longer costs less than $100/week, so stay longer. PHOTOS from drug store: 2 for passport, 2 for Visa, 2 for MPR. PASSPORT: Valid 6 months past stay. Applications http://travel. state.gov/passport/forms. May take 3-4 months! Send photos, birth certificate, $97 plus mailing. FLIGHTS: Seek cheap charter flights in publications at Asian groceries or via agents specializing in India; web search “cheap flight to Mumbai.” Bad connections may mean empty seats (stretch out); mileage upgrade to first class lie-flat seat? Refuel in favorite city: make 24-hour layover to break trip. 20 to 30 hours flying. Air India & Delta fly nonstop from JFK to Mumbai in 15-16 hrs. VISA: https://indiavisa. Fee, travisaoutsourcing.com application, passport, air reservations.
$65 six months, $155 ten years. Allow 2 weeks minimum. TIME: New York 6 Aa’i is 4:30 PM in Meherabad. 9 PM in LA is 10:30 pivi there. JET LAG: Try to synchronize your schedule with India time as best you can before leaving if your work permists. MPR: No kids under 6. Six weeks before arrival request reservations for up to one week, then as available. (Note holidays.) Pilgrim Reservation Office: email@example.com or phone 220.127.116.1133. Cite: home address, phone, short personal introduction, names, birthdates, gender, exact arrival and departure dates/times, nationality.
Hot and Dry II 4 JUN RlL-kshasLc,
IN MEHEiau AND MEHEIzAD:
Seclusion Hill is eroding; use care. Baba’s Room; Blue Bus; Jhopdi, Rahuri Cabin, Cage Room, Table House for meditation and prayer. Baba’s bicycle in the museum; tour archives. Sit in the Samadhi. History tour. Jam sessions, volleyball games, walking trails, gardens and verandahs, library. Volunteer opportunities. Master technique for washing laundry, hair, body with two buckets of water. Motor rickshaw to bazaar or Meher Tailor. At Meher Darbar phone calls to US are Rs. 8/minute; check your email. Ice cream and good coffee at The Blue Tank (BT) Café.
elsewhere. Do not hold hands, kiss, embrace or express affection in public. Anyone not entirely free
ofillicit substances will not be accommodated. Ifyou normally take a prescription here, take it there, especially psychiatric! Don’t
pocket chunks of Seclusion Hill, soon to be called Seclusion Pit. When you leave Meherabad, go straight home. CuLTUu SHOCK: Greeting— fold hands and tilt head forward: Namaste. Many Indians are vegetarian and do not drink alcohol. Women dress modestly, even on beaches. Rapidly growing educated classes speak English. You will see extreme poverty. Most toilets require you to squat. Be prepared to enjoy sensory overload. ARRIvi. IN MEHEiiaAD:
Register at the Pilgrim Office, hit the white rock trail, pay respects at the Tomb:
1and 59° to 77° DEc
‘-s <% 47 ç
Sarnadhi openfrorn 6 3OAM to 8 PM with Arti at 7:00AM &PM. Meherazad bus on Tuesday,
Thursday & Sunday. Break .
$1 40 Rupees try crazKslist. corn
7-8 Weeks: Set dates; bookfiights
do not share a room in a hotel or
Dhuni on 12th atsunset
Book car anddriver Murnbai to Meherabad (Pathan) Applyfor Passport
sites or equipment or enter military areas. Unmarried couples
r 3 Warrn and Dr
buddy on the Listserv or invite afriendl
not sell anything to anyone. Do not cash money with anyone. Ignore begars and people shouting ‘Jai Baba” or asking your name. Do not approach, feed or touch animals. Lock valuables in Registration Office or an MPR closet or leave home. Do not leave belongings unattended. Use auto-rickshaw fixed rates. Do not tip. Do not photograph military
army) to business matters. Do
Rules for Pilgrims are based on Baba’s directives and should be honored at all times. Do not travel alone at night. (For women this means sunset). Maintain silence in and around the Tomb. No
shoes in the Samadhi and some other places; look for signs. Limit contact with local people (drivers, shopkeepers, tailors, hotel staff,
WaT NoT TO Do:
Rainy and 68°
inte7net gfls garlands snacks tours incidentals IS-lO/dayt Can Ifind a travel
Arrange a safe 6-hour ride with Pathan: firstname.lastname@example.org. tel. 011+91.982.324.7022 or 241.232.5022, meherbabatours. corn. CARRY-ON: Documents, books, snacks, amusements, prescriptions, anything non-replaceable. Nothing sharp. Read fine print on ticket for airline rules! BE A “MULE.” Ask Listserv, PRO and Dma what needs transporting. WEsR: a Baba button. Li&vi AT HOME: shorts, low necklines, tight or sheer garments, valuables, cell phones, worries. IN AHMEDNAGAR: Meher Nazar Compound, Trust, Meher Baba Centre (devotional music Saturday evenings), Meher Nazar Books, shopping, restaurants. ATM!
_Document copies in each bag _Rainwear (June—Oct.) _Coat, gloves, scarf; hat (Nov.— Feb.) _J acket, shawl or sweater _Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen _Three changes lightweight, layerable, conservative clothing _Extra socks and undies _Pajamas and light robe or shawl _Two pairs comfortable broken-in walking shoes, easy off& on _Flaslilight, batteries _Adapter(220V5A, 3 large round pins in a triangle) _Toiletrybag to hang on a hook _Pillow ifyou are particular _Ear plugs _Camera, dustproofcase, batteries film or memory _DEET insect repellent _Toilet paper and tissues _Travel towel, face cloth _Diary, tape, art supplies, stationery Anti-inflammatories, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, a few pills to treat diarrhea, strains, heartburn, insomnia, colds _Moleskin for incipient blisters _Arnica or Traumeel _Hand disinfectant, moisturizer _Safety pins, sewing kit, pocket knife, nail clipper _Sanitary supplies, shaving gear _Travel alarm, iPod _Shampoo, soap, deodorant, dental gear, foil-wrapped wipes _Contact lens kit, spare specs _Copies of prescriptions _Supplements _Herbal tea or instant coffee _Sandwich-size zip bags _Nalgene water bottle & strap _Snacks, raisins or trail mix _Dust mask _Pegs, soap, marker for laundry _Light shoulder bag(men too) _Books, toys, games for kids _Collapsible duffle bag, empty _Instrument or sheet music _Whole spices make a nice gift _Children’s clothing and toys for Pumpkin House Orphanage
MPR reservations by email (Rs 270/day includes 3 meals, 2 teas)
Mail,pets, house, plants, yard arrangements
journey Check Trust and in Paris? Welcorne home websites — Pack bags, stop Check credit cards o hours: 16-30 pay mail, bills rates or exchange hours: US to Mumbai to f &ATMfees; buy Mumbai Meherabad travelers checks
Firrn up mule ditty 3_4 Weeks: Applyfor Visa
J1l/kI’terctzctd 2tectlth LIpdctte .SItel!ey Jklarricli
December 3, 2008 oving greetings to Baba’s family around the world. The time has once again come to send news of all your dear Meherazad family. Last April Arnavaz began warning us that her departure was imminent. Once we recovered from our anxious need to watch her every move, we relaxed, realizing that ‘imminent’ did not mean im
when asked says she’s happy because dur ing sleep she has nothing to do with the world. Though we have tried to find the source of Arnavaz’s somnolence we have been unable to uncover any physical reason. So, we can only rely on our Divine Doctor for the proper diagnosis, and continue to keep her comfortable and free from pain, as the prognosis is always in His Hands.
Echocardiogram. Katie’s heart failure is under control with medication but she tires very easily and still requires a lot of rest. So although it seems the towers at Meherazad are tottering, their resignation to Beloved Baba’s Will remains strong. They send their united loving appreciation to all who have sent wishes for their speedy recoveries and a heart-filled Jai Baba to everyone.
December 8, 2008 am writing to let you all know that dearest Arnavaz’s condition appears to have suddenly deteriorated. She has developed a chest infection which has further weakened her and as a result ofthis we are unable to awak en her for very long. She is resting comfortably in bed on oxygen and is receiving appropriate treatments for the infection. Although we continue to hope that dear Arnavaz’s condition will improve, as we all know she is completely in Beloved Baba’s Hands. Katie and Meheru are doing much better but of course are very concerned about their dear Meherazad companion.
Clockwisefrom top lefi—Arnavaz, Meheru, and Katie
mediately. And though she’s had her ups and downs, since that time her health has been stable and she has continued to gen erously share her love for Beloved Baba with all. However, over the last month we find that she is steadily declining. Arnavaz still receives pilgrims in her room, takes meals on the veranda of her cottage and watches Baba movies every evening from her bed, but during each day she spends more and more time asleep and in the last two days has become unable to walk. Arnavaz’s sleep is sometimes so deep that we are unable to rouse her and we feel more and more that she is with her Beloved. She’s aware of her condition and
I will keep in touch. While I am on the subject of Mandali health at Meherazad, I should also mention Katie and Meheru who have been absent from the veranda at Meherazad on pilgrim days for the last week. Meheru has been slowly recovering from a flu she caught from a sneez ing pilgrim about two weeks ago. This is the second flu she’s had since September and she feels too vulnerable to expose herself to the flus and colds still circulat ing among the pilgrims at Meherabad. Meheru has been resting and regaining her strength, and hopefully will be well enough to visit with Baba’s lovers at Meherazad very soon. About three weeks ago Katie started developing symptoms of heart failure, a diagnosis which was confirmed by
I will keep in touch. With much love in Baba, Shelley Marrich in correspondence for Meherazad
7;wo 24kw Progrctms from the 7rust Library Diana 13lois J44cltertthad ovember 2008 t 11 2 ,
exciting new programs have been launched in recent weeks through the Trust Library under the direction of Gokaran and Urmila Shrivastava. The first ofthese programs is “Welcome to His World: An Exhi bition on the Life and Work of Avatar Meher Baba,” a collection of photographs currently on display in the Study Hall Room located in the upper story of the Meher Retreat on Meherabad Hill near the Samadhi. The Meher Retreat has a long and rich history; and as well as having served as a residence for the women mandali in the late 1930s, a de cade before that, prior to the construc tion of the upper story in 1938, Baba secluded Himself in one of its ground floor rooms in 1926 while writing part of”the Book.” Welcome to His World is intended to be the first ofmany exhibitions that will be held in the Meher Retreat. These exhibitions are intended for all, but most particularly for a comparatively new kind of pilgrim, that is, day pil grims who visit Meherabad as one stop on a bus tour and who come knowing little or nothing ofBaba’s life and work. These pilgrims take Baba’s darshan at the Samadhi, and afterwards, many seek to learn more about Baba. To meet this need, the Trust Library intends to keep this exhibition and others like it open through the daylight hours so that people can access it and learn. In the future, exhibitions might also include short films shown to groups on a widescreen television. In the current exhibit, there are 120 stunning black and white photographs, measuring 12” by 15,” which present Baba’s life and work in thirteen phases, for example, His childhood and family, His interaction with the Five Perfect Masters, the early days at Meherabad, His seclusion work, His work with masts, and His trips to the West. Runfling beneath these photos, is a series of larger photographs, each one 2 feet by 3 feet, which are blowups of frames taken from colour films. These blowups give the viewer the sensation of being in the midst of the events that they de pict. One is virtually surrounded by and
engulfed in the historical events. At the center of the room is a table with a large chart displaying a picto rial representation of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This is juxtaposed against Rano Gayley’s chart showing the journey of the soul. The combined charts present a clear comparison of the two and will help newcomers to understand Baba’s spiritual cosmology. Many people assisted in preparing these materials, notably Martin and Christine Cook, who reproduced the photographs, Sue Chapman, who was instrumental in developing the exhibit’s themes and organizing the placement of the photographs, and Ted Judson, who oversaw the setting of the display boards. The exhibit was festively inaugurated on October 8 at an event under the Tin Shed on Meherabad Hill. About two hundred people assembled there for the opening ceremony, which included talks by the chairman Bhau Kalchuri, trustee Jal Dastoor, and others. Less than two weeks later, the second ofthe Trust Library’s new programs was launched. On October 22, the Library’s lecture series was inaugurated with a program about the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 Australian Sahavas at Avatar’s Abode in Australia. While the photographic exhibitions in the Study Hall are most immediately intended for newcomers to Baba and wayside pilgrims, the lecture series is intended for all pilgrims as well as the residential community and will address serious topics of interest. The scheduled main speaker for the inaugural lecture was Bill LePage, one of Baba’s earliest lovers in the West, who first heard of Him in the 1940’s. Unfortunately, Bill was unable to attend due to illness; in his stead Gokaran provided extensive background on the Sahavas and showed a video of Bill speaking very movingly about his expe riences at the 1958 event. Then various people who attended the commemo ration spoke about their impressions; they poignantly conveyed a sense of the love that suffused this summer’s event at Avatar’s Abode and made clear to us
that Baba’s presence there was palpable. J al and Dolly Dastoor, Dara and Amnt Irani, Ted Judson, and Ward Parks, attendees at the Avatar’s Abode com memoration in May, gave the audience a sense of the selfless dedication evinced by the event’s hosts in addition to providing personal impressions. The Trust Library’s current plans are to have a lecture about once a month, if possible. The subject matter of the lecture series will include discussions of Baba’s books, commemoration of major events from Baba’s life, and recounts by old-time Baba lovers of their experi ences with the Beloved. The goal is to foster an atmosphere which helps us all to share and grow in our spiritual un derstanding through examining Baba’s work and studying His words. For as Baba said, “Of [the] different types of service, the service which is concerned with spiritual understanding is the highest...” Both the exhibition and the lecture series serve as a fulfillment of Baba’s wishes expressed in the Trust Deed: “For depicting and unfolding the life and words of Avatar Meher Baba through establishment of or helping in the establishment of museums, memorials, study—halls, libraries, fairs or exhi— bitions, or ‘melas’ at such places as may be feasible.” The Welcome to His World exhibit and Australian Sahavas commemora tion talk are inspiring examples of Baba’s workers enthusiastically using their specific talents cooperatively, without fuss, and without drawing attention to themselves.
Whatâ€?s 1appening cit JlVkherctbode ..Adeleâ€™s 3ctrewell to California
Marta Velasquez created one ofher beautiful quiltsfor us all to write afarewell message to Adele
dele is now completely moved in to her new apartment across the street from Meher Spiritual Center, and is happily able to e-mail and take calls. Her address is: 10301 N. Kings Hwy #18-1, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 Home phone: 843-213-1690, E-mail: email@example.com
Cathy Broadley andBrian Drygasfiew infrorn out oftown
Farewell to Adele Wolkin
n our last issue we showed the great 90th birthday party Meherabode threw for Adele. This time the party was a farewell to the nonagenarian who, after many decades in Los Angeles, has decided to spend the remainder ofthe years Baba has allotted her in Myrtle Beach. We saw many people we had not seen in years who came especially to farewell their old friend. In the case ofour current President on the Meherabode Board of Directors, Richard Stermer had known Auntie Adele since he was a little boy. 52
Many musicians turned out toplay Adele favorites I f
Clockwisefrom toJ left: Richard Peikoff Charles Gibson sings the Gejeiati Arti, Richard Sternzei; The UPS guys who p ached up hei- apartment look to have adopted her!, All crowded around the car as she drove off Mauieen Hazard, The Still Yet More players...
Reminiscences on Centers ..Ade!e Wolkin, Los Angeles to J4lyrtle Beach he best thing I can do as I’m leaving Los Angeles is to share the reason I came here to begin with. It was by Baba’s Grace that I was directed to reside near Fills, who had moved to L.A. to accept a position at Mattel Toy manufacturers, before I left for India in 1962. When my appointment to the Nursing Staff of a Bombay Hospital was confirmed, and my plans progressed and were also confirmed, we reflected on the possibility that I might not stay for as long as I originally intended. Then to where would I return? My words to Fills were that I would probably join her as we had both been related in Baba’s service since the inception of our connection with His Western women, namely Norma Matchabelli, Elizabeth Patterson & Nadine Tolstoy. As I concluded my appointment in nursing at Wadia Hospital, there was a final interview that Baba requested of me. Baba’s directive was that it would be best for me to return to America. He said jokingly “If you stay longer you will need a nurse.” It was agreed that I would probably go help Fills at the L.A. Baba Center. Backin 1956 Baba gave time to the people who had controversies about what a center should be. The big controversy at the time was between the New York group and the Sufi group. It was a lack of knowledge of Baba’s fill purpose for the two entities, that’s whytheyturned to Baba to clasifjTheywere all doing their best. Baba had given the Sufis their charter and Ivy Duce was very obedient to that charter. At that time, John Bass was one ofthe group heads. Group heads, such as John, Ivy and the Winterfeldts, would get all the circulars that Baba sent out periodically, and from there they were distributed to the community The purpose of circulars was to communicate the ongoing activities of Meher Baba. Some were strictly meant for India and some strictly for Westerners. Circulars meant for Westerners were shared sometimes with Europeans, and I was responsible for forwarding a number ofcirculars directed to Greece and to Israel via Chris Andrews and Carrie Ben Shammai. In Adi K. Irani’s description, we follow blindfolded (by faith alone) in contrast to the spiritual path. On the spiritual path you consciously tread the ladder of consciousness. When you are blindfolded through the grace of the spiritual master, you are totally 54
given to love of Baba through obedience, surrender and holding onto His Daaman. We are destined to follow one or the other. Baba has some blindfolded in faith and some consciously on the spiritual path. But for all: “When you leave all to Me, I dare not neglect you, and you get relief from your predica ments. I am the Ocean of Love and Cornpassion.” Baba spoke with us in July 1956, the sec ond Sahavas. This was more like the official opening ofthe Center. Why did Baba speak about Centers? Because of this misunder standing between the NY group and the Sufis. The two paths ll always remain dif ferent, as characterized by these two groups, because how is cooperation and harmony possible ifeveryone is doing the same thing? Everyone should become like dust. All these centers express His Love. Whether following the ways ofa group with Ivy orwith Fred and J ohn, the bottom line is supreme tolerance of each others’ differences with love for God. Baba’s fill message on centers is to be found in the Awakener Issue, VolIV #4, Fall 1957— Baba said: 7Zast evening, ItoldJohn Bass and others that in India there are one hundred df ferent groups. Each has a group heac4 and all workfor the love ofme. All love me. The group heads are responsibleforthe work thegroup does. But there should be cooperation and harmony, and the group heads should not try to win over other membersfrom one ffice to anothei Why Whatj?r? T’t/ all workjbr Baba. There should he harmony and cooperation. There should be no competition. Each one, especially the group heads, shouldbe an example to others, be humble as dust. One must become like dust to workfir God The ego shouldnotbe tickled aboutposition ” 1 andffice andsay, 7am agroup head ‘2 wantyou all to bear in mind one thing. I now enphasize onepoint that lemphasized in India also when I called allgroups together at theAndhra meeting . Isaidthatfor Me, there is no needfor centersfor dj/,fèrent places, nor dffirent groups, with dfiêrent heads or names. My center is the heart ofevery lovei Ev— ery lover with a heart that loves Baba is a centei’ The secondpoint I would like to emphasize is that whoever wants to work spreading my mes sage oflove and truth absolutety needc a central office andgroups ofworkers who can function from that central office. There is always a need Ior a group to have a centei You can have many such centers. Myrtle Beach is such a center—and
it stretchesfor many miles!” “What aboutElizabeth To whatgroup does she belong Yetshe may be lovingMe even more than any group heads, or those working in cer tam groups. There may begreater lovers fBaba than the group heads; that is not to be judged Yet, someone who does not belong to any group may be thegreatest lover falll’ “What I want is love, and to make others know about truth—what I say about truth and lovejbr humanity. So naturalty, you have groups and ffices. Everything should be done in harmony. Each group should cooperate with each other Idon like backbiting, criticism, and confusion. My experience with Centers began with the NewYork Center and with Meher Spintual Center. But I think most of my experi ence has been with the Los Angeles Center— “Meherabode”. As Baba had told us, most of us benefit from a Center. His message to Fills and me was : “Let these words be inscribed in your heart—nothing is real but God.”This is one ofthe ways Baba gives for achieving the Supreme Reality I had commented to Fills that this is a message that would answer ev erything—a real guide to living. How do we put Baba’s words into action? He has given us the answer, so that we can hold the message now and forever. Everything is unreal except His Love and Truth, everything else is ‘eeti neti”, not this, not that. Now that I am leaving Los Angeles and movrngto the EastCoast nearMeher Spinitu al Center, the emphasis again is to strengthen that goal ofharmony and cooperation. All of us are conscious ofthis but we don’t always go about it the right way. Baba’s words resound stronger than ever, “What I want is Love, and to make others know about truth and what I say about truth and love for humainty So naturaky you have groups and offices. Everything should be done in harmony. I would like you all to belong to certain groups. Why? Because you can cooperate and tell others about Me and share your thoughts. You learn much more than when you remain by yourself When you listen, exchange thoughts, prayers, My Presence is there. Where there are five collected together Parameshwar is there. I am there. Ifyou are tailting ofMe, having love for Me, then there I am.” ..“
I/lichael ‘Da Costa’s 2Jcttionwide 7our .J 7 Dina9bson
ichael’s first performance was here at Meherabode in September. I was honored to play host to him at our home, and when I picked him up at the airport I really surprised him by telling him he had been a part of our family since the early 70s! Having only met me once be-
fore a few years ago when he performed at the LA Sahavas, he was understandably puzzled. “It was your ‘Meditation’ piece on the Pete Townshend album Who Came First” I told him. It was one of the three albums Pete dedicated to Baba, and on it Michael did a humorous sketch of a man trying to meditate and all the wayward thoughts that came flooding into his mind. The line that really tickled my children was “Oh no! Itchy toe!” cried out in an anguished voice. So forever after— down through the decades—if an itchy —
toe occurred, Michael’s cry issued forth. His concert was wonderful. Hilarious—as in his ‘Garland of Egos’ readings, rousing—as in his Baba rap ‘And the Love Flows On’ and so meaningful as in any of his other songs. I was so happy to hear that Michael was the composer of one of my favorite songs ‘I Shall Return’. I had badgered Ted Judson to sing it ev ery time I was at the Samadhi, thinking that was the only place I could hear this wonderful song. So I was thrilled when I saw Michael had it on his Lost and Found CD. In recent years he has been performing his one man show all over the Baba world. It is a full and varied program ofhis work, including songs, performance pieces, dramatic monologues, poetry, jokes, frill of Baba meaning and humour. Adele Wolkin had this to say about him: ‘Meher Baba wishes Michael to re joice and make sure that His gifts to him are shared far and wide. Michael has ob viously been greatly favored with unique ability to spread joy and humor and love of the Beloved, and thus is elected by Him to carry and infect us with the blessings of heart and mind, viz. happy humor and increased understanding.’ In his review of some of Michael’s CDs in International, Glow George Chen writes: dramatic ‘Michael’s monologues, Garland of Egos, give the listener the impression ofhearing an explicit rendering of his own internal ego-chatter. The effect is funny, vain, denuding and at times maddening—just like the ego itself.’
‘It not only entertains but enlightens. It is surely one of the most original Baba works.’ ‘In Michael’s songs lies something un deniably original and authentic; they bear a patina of agelessness. He has the poet’s ability to put over a story; overcoming the listener’s prejudices and teaching him something new—and sometimes surpris ing—in the process.’ Visit his website at michaeldacosta.com
73ob Een cit the Walt Disney Concert .2/ct!! 11 with 9he Cscctpe /lrtist rkatliy 21i11, Los /lngeles
large contingent of Los Angeles Meher Baba Center members were present for a sold-out performance of Robert Een’s new production on Sept. 24 at the “Redcat” theater in downtown LA (240 seats), which is part of the big Walt Disney performance complex, sim ilar to Lincoln Center in New York. “The Escape Artist” was categorized as “opera” in promotional materials, part of the elaborate and engaging World Festival of Sacred Music that runs for
two weeks all over greater Los Ange les. However, I am not certain the term “opera” adequately describes the perfor mance I so enjoyed. When I think of opera, I think ofelaborate sets (this had a simple black backdrop with interesting ‘light orbs’) and a massive costum ing effort (this had everyone clad in black, and fabulous big white eyeglasses that made me think of domino masks). Frankly: if this is not opera, I prefer whatever this is. The three-act storyline follows the ups and downs of the spiritual path, and many musical numbers featured imagi
native use of onomatopoeia: The train journey sounds like chuff chuff chuff chuff the running-away episode sounds like a runner’s huffing and puffing. Staging could not be simpler. The Interna tional Mystical All-Star Band formed a shallow semicircle facing the audience (and sitting in the front row in this com pact space, I was practically in their laps). Front and center was Bob Een on cello; anchoring the left end was Billy Goodrum at a nine foot grand piano and keyboard. The other eight chairs held four female vocalists and four multi—instrumentalists, all male, with hammered dulcimer, Tibetan singing bowls, bou zouki, wood flute, accordion, drums, etc., a highly eclectic variety ofsounds. Though they never left their chairs, this did not seem to be a limitation to expressiveness. Every bit as engaging as the story, with music and lyr
was waking, as if from a dream state or fugue. In addition to Bob Een and Billy Goodrum, other Baba lovers who helped put this amazing effort together includ ed Karin Levitas (dramaturge) and Barbara McReynolds (whose l.a.Eyeworks provided the phenomenal eyeglasses). I understand the performers cloistered themselves for several intense days of rehearsal before the performance. It paid off; they seemed to be in utter unity, and enjoying it. Bob told us his voice was giv ing out due to a head cold, but I couldn’t tell. I can’t think of a single negative in the entire production. I think this show should go on the road so more could enjoy it, but I was not certain the rest of the audience was getting as much meaning and signifi cance as I was. But at the end, the entire theater was on its feet cheering for quite a long time. I was pleased that the “To penetrate into the essence.. Meher Baba .“
ics that told the tale so well, was a vo cal technique Bob calls “overtones” which seemed reminiscent of Tibetan throat singing, but in a higher register. My attention was riveted to the words (“The reward is you get to die with no regrets”), the music (how can that guy play flute and bouzouki at he same time?!) and the deeply involving narrative, throughout the performance, which ended too soon for me. Then I
quote was chosen for the program and that under Acknowledgements, af ter a long list of supporters, there was this paragraph: “Most specially also: Meher Baba.” Had He been in the audience, He would have been beaming and giving that “perfection” sign.
uests cit J4/teherctbode Recent 9 1 Clockwisefrom top left:
Raine entertains us as herse’fsinging her own compositions and those of Francis Brabazon and then as her alter-egos Rainetta (gospel) Ranididi (Eastern) Davana Brown tells us of the wonderful years she spent as Eruchc right hand gal Laurent Weichberger spoke of Babas ;-‘i to us oflntuition, reminding me that Einstein once remarked “The only real, valuable thing is intuition.”
Bob Eenc daughterAria dances to her Daddyc music CarisArkin gave us a rousing concert, again sending many to the Bookstore to buy his latest CD The Diving Horse!
Announcements continuedfrompg. 75
Oth .Amartithi ‘The 4
Message From V.S. Kaichuri Chairman of the Trust Dear Sisters and Brothers in Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, The fortieth Amartithi ofBeloved Av atar Meher Baba falls on Saturday, 31st January, 2009. For this sacred occasion it is expected that pilgrims from all over India and around the world will be visiting the Tomb-Shrine ofAvatar Meher Baba at Meherabad Hill, Ahmednagar (M.S.) India to take part in the Educational Gathering. The observance of the fortieth Amar tithi (Anniversary ofAvatar Meher Baba’s Darshan) will be for two days, i.e. 30th J anuary morning to noon of 1st February, 2009. The main function, as usual, will be on 3lstjanuary, 2009. By Beloved Baba’s grace, it will be made possible for pilgrims visiting the Tomb-Shrine of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, for the fortieth Amartithi, to stay at the Meherabad Estate from 8:00 a.m. of 30th January to 12 noon of 1st Febru ary, 2009. ATTENTION Darshan of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba will be available inside the Tomb-Shrine through a regulat ed queue designated specifically for this occasion. However, due to the influx of pilgrims during Amartithi, it is requested for the benefit ofall that pilgrims take the least time possible for dar shan and to take darshan only once on 3lstJanuary, 2009. QUEUE TOKEN SYS TEM We are continuing our Queue Token System. After collecting a single token with a number on it, each Pilgrim will be free to move about until the number on his/her token is announced and displayed on the signboards. THE PILGRIMS SHOULD JOIN THE QUEUE WHEN THEIR NUMBER IS DISPLAYED. Please be alert because if your number has passed through the Darshan line and the next higher number has also passed, you will miss your turn and will require a new token. A) REGARDING ARPJV
AL AND DEPARTURE: Please note: 1) Pilgrims should not arrive at Mehe rabad before 8:00 a.m., on 30th January, 2009, and should leave Meherabad by 12 noon, on 1st February, 2009. 2) There will be stalls seffing light re freshment and meals at Lower Mehera bad, New Site and Upper Meherabad till early afternoon on 1st February, 2009. 3) There will be separate lodging ar rangements for men and for women at Meherabad as usual. Pilgrims are reminded that they should continue to abide by Beloved Baba’s wishes, as expressed by Him in the 1958 Sahavas, that men and women pilgrims should stay in their own quarters and not visit, enter, or rest in each others quarters. Pilgrims should lovingly cooperate with the Man- agreement in this matter and the Management reserves the right to caution any pilgrim who fails to abide by Beloved Baba’s wishes as mentioned above. Pilgrims are requested to bring warm clothes, and flashlights (torch). The quar ters for men and women are separate; so to avoid conftision it is advised that men and women of the same family pack sep arate bags. Meherabad Management requests pil grims to use water very sparingly. Hot water for bathing will be provided from 11:00 p.m., 30th January to 7:00 a.m., 3 1st January.
Pilgrims in the close vicinity ofthe Sa madhi are requested to do their utmost to maintain the sanctity of the TombShrine. During Amartithi, in spite of police and security arrangements, some thefts do occur. Therefore, pilgrims are cau tioned to be very careful with their valu ables, especially of their purses, pouches, cameras and other items carried by hand. For their safety, pilgrims are asked to wear their Entry Tokens at all times and volunteers are deputed to inquire of anyone seen without a token. 6) Pilgrims arriving from outstations by special buses, or by private cars, or by hired taxis are requested not to take their vehicles up Meherabad Hill. Vehicles should be parked only in the parking zone at the New Site or Lower Meherabad. MEHERAZAD WILL BE CLOSED JANUARY 26TH THROUGH FEB RUARY 4TH THIS INCLUDES ALL A1VIARTITHI DAYS (30th January through 1st February). Hence pilgrims should NOT visit Meherazad during these days for any purpose whatsoever, whether by public bus, private bus, car or rickshaw. Meherazad will reopen for pil grims on Thursday 5th February, 2009. Facilities at Dharamshala and Hostels will be closed from 25th January to 4th February, 2009. continued onpg. 85
3joundcttion 7ouch ofiove JJinci9bson
were adopted and a very generous donation of $1000 was sent!” ‘Thank you dear readers thank you so much! On this visit Wayne and Vicki had brought with them 10 photos of ‘adoptable’ children along with a sheet teffing us their name, age, address and family (if any) situation. After his slide presen tation and talk were finished, many of us rushed to the table to pick a child. Charles and I adopted Manisha, a nine year old girl from Ahmednagar. When I showed her photo to two of my Eager to choose a child we crowd around the table (ages grandchildren and excited very were 10) they and eight ing help, hope, health, food and clothand a boy ‘adopt’ could too if they asked ing to the poorest of the poor. They told a girl. It would be a wonderful project for us that for the cost of one café latte a them,writing to the children, sending him week (a mere $4) four times a month and her their own photos and teffing them about life in California. Obvi ously they don’t have the $32 a month themselves, but were willing to give a portion of their hard earned allowance, with their parents contribut ing the rest. Then I got to thinking what a great project this would be for school Qijite a a girl!” Theproud newparents display their children classrooms. “Itc a boy!” learning experience for they could feed, clothe and provide full the children in the States, and they could pick from the many countries that Touch tuition for a needy child for that whole month! Who among us could resist of Love works with. Each child would opening their wallets, writing a check probably not need to bring more than $1 a month to school to cover the sponsoror pulling out a 2O bill or two?! No ship. ‘Think about it folks, if you would one. like some brochures to take to your child’s In our last issue we published the photos of three children in need of school, just call or email Wayne and he will be happy to send them to you. Then ‘adoption’ [or more realistically spon of course, there is always the website: sorship). When I saw Wayne again at www.atouchoflove.org the Center in October I asked him if he had got a response from the article. “Yes!” he said joyously. “The children
ast year Wayne and Vicki came again to Meherabode to share with wonderful adventures around their us the world, spreading not just Baba’s message of love and truth, but also giv—
Wayne narrates the slide show ofpictures taken in Ghana, Costa Rica and India
An Update from Wayne and Vicki Gafler, California has been a year since I last wrote to you to tell you of the blessing Baba gives to us every day. Vicki and I get to visit poor villages and find children who need food, clothes, medical care and edu cation. Only Baba could have planned such a meaningful and rewarding life for us. I thought this time I would also ex pand to include some on the programs in South India where we help. Baba leads us to where He wishes! Until March of this year, the worst poverty we had ever seen was in Africa, with distended beffies and no medical care. That changed with our trip to India this spring. One hour from Ahmednagar city in a rural sheep herding village in India called Dhablepuri, we saw the equal of such poverty The danger of poverty is that its face changes each time you see it. In Dhablepuri, the children’s skin is mal formed and speckled from malnutrition. There are two wells in the whole spread out village and one goes mostly dry in the hot season, just when you need water the most. The families pick up diseases like malaria, typhoid and meningitis much more than other areas because of their contact with their sheep. We have one boy recovering from tuberculosis men-
ingitis, which put him in a hospital at our cost for months. As his father has no use of his legs and his mother is partially crippled, this would have been a crushing blow to lose their son. He is now recovering at home and our doctor does home visits each week with new medicine and food for the family. In all we have started injune with 55 children and two disabled families providing food and medicines and nutritional and vitamin supplements for the children. We are buying the cooking supplies, uniforms, plates, cups, school supplies and hiring our cook and village supervisor. Starting with the school year, all 55 of the children in Dhablepuri re ceive a tasty hot meal before each school day. They can now learn their lessons with good nutrition and a healthy body. Also, the attendance rate at the village school has gone way up since the children want the meal and now associate school with something positive. With new uniforms, shoes, slates and school supplies, these children can really benefit from school. One of the parents came over to our director and said, â€œYou are the only ones who have ever cared about our childrenâ€?. It is a difficult situation to care for the abandoned elderly in India. We could not leave them lying on the ground in the monsoon rain. When we tried to rent a house or building to care for them in southern Tamil Nadu, no one would rent to us in case someone died in the home. We tried in three areas and were told it was very inauspicious to have a person die in your place, as no one would rent it af ter us. Instead, we moved the elderly into
our childrenâ€™s home and created a family. We started with six elderly people, three women and three men. We decided to hire one widow as the cook for the chil dren. Instead ofwaiting to die, the elderly are surrounded by children, laughter and company. One man who has very poor eyesight is lead by a child to his chair at mealtime. It is really beautiftil to see the melding of generations, who have each had loss, into a family of children and grandparents. In June at the start of the new school year we had six elderly living with our 26 children who have lost one or both parents. All of our programs provide poverty relief but the situation in Argentina has been so dire in the past few years, we have felt compelled to help ensure people there, particularly children, do not starve. For nine years, we have partnered with the Commission to Help Argentine Schools to bring food, medicine, school supplies, and clothing to over 3,000 children in 65 rural and frontier schools in the poorest part ofnorthern Argentina. Some are de livered by horseback.
Two Projects in Ghana A Touch of Love now gives opportu nity to children and families outside of Accra, Ghana. We provide food, medical care, clothes, job training and education to hundreds of poor villagers in several communities including Jasikan and Cape Coast in west and central Ghana. We have 81 AIDS orphans and abandoned children in Jasikan District in rural
These three beautiful children are lookingfor a sponsor 60
Ghana. These children attend the finest private school in the district at 12 times the public school tuition. All school costs, books, uniforms and test fees are paid for them including extra clothes. The fami lies also receive National Health Insur ance to prevent illness from ending their education. We now have a sponsorship program in Cape Coast, Ghana which was the center of the British slave trade for over 100 years. We take children from crippled and abandoned families and give them hope, education, nutrition and medical care. Here also we have children who lost one or both parents to AIDS. They attend the finest private school with books, tuition and athletic gear included. Both ofour schools have a 100% pass rate on national exams. All families get National Health Insurance provided free. If you would like to help one of our children by sponsoring them for $16 a month, or wish to make a tax-deductable donation, please call us at 1-877-2732549. All ofyour money, whether dona tion or sponsorship, goes to the programs. We have never taken any money ourselves and we raise any overhead costs separately at fundraisers in Southern California. You can contact Wayne and Vicki at 604 Hupa Street Ventura, CA 930014445 USA 1-877-273-2549 or 805-641-2800 and go check out their website at: www.atouchoflove.org
Somephotos ofour beautiful new Sahavas venue La Casa de Maria
Bhau arrives! Morephotos by Stan here. stanbarouh. com/meherbaba/lasahavas and by Dma here. gallery. me.com/dinagibson#100016
Cookie Riendeau holds the basket as Bhau draws the winning ticketfor the â€˜Tly To Indiaâ€?sweepstakes!Raine wins!
Bhau andfeffMaguireprovide endless inspiration and entertainment
Enjoying the new [temporary] location ofthe Love Street Bookstore ,:
At the Love Street Bookstore business was bustling and so was Kathy! 63
s;uy;zas uapi&/nfaJv3i aqi uz uzxnjai apqm.—snyuvJ$
paijfo suoffa uvaniiaq aqi q fijvnuuv pa?vuvw—ioqg (ppoj aqj moifsjuawqsa.rfri .
paqiqun pun izsnur pavJsaapurn
Oppositepage: top right —Fred and Cookie in the Thddy Shop, middle ltfl —Jarnie Newell and Buck Bufteld take a moment to atch up,’ bottom left—Jack Mormon andfriends middle right—Jurgis Sapkus, Ray Lee and friends, bottom right —Jim Wilson and Elliot Karpeles have an impromptujam session This page: top left—Jarnie Newell, top middle—Mark Trichka, top right— 1-lughieperforms magic, middle left—Charles Gibson, middle middle—ourfabulous sound man Chris Pearson, middle right—Jamie iViark and the Supreme Conductoi; lower middle— extraordinaiy blues singer/guitarist Michael Campagna, bottom left—Thny Gris cuts loose to the music!, bottom right—Bhau—with entourage—waves goodnight to the crowd
nniveTsalLy of 4 The oth L/ J4/Ieher 73ctbct’s 7 )isit to Avatar’s ,/1b ode Welcoming 7a1k bj Ross 7<eating, .5jdney ay Beloved Baba welcome us all in His own way and fill our hearts and Avatars Abode with His Presence. Welcome everyone to this historic anmversary. In Myrtle Beach in 1952, Meher Baba stated, in a meeting with Murshida Ivy Duce and Francis Brabazon, that “There are three things that hinder Truth. First is temptation, veryvery few people can overcome temptations; temptations of money, fame, power, lust, leadership are disastrous, very binding and very few escape [them]. Second, vagueness about things, and third, dishonesty”. When I first read this statement I thought that “temptations” and “dishonesty” were self-evident obstruc tions to Truth but “vagueness” seemed like the odd one out. But is it? During His lifetime Meher Baba was anything but vague. He stated in no uncertain terms who He is: God in human form, the Ancient One returned, the Avatar, the Saviour, the Messiah, the Christ, the Rasool, the Buddha. He spent His time on earth with such extraordinary clear-cut purpose and direction that for an outsider the sheer facts of His life could only indicate that here is a person with a divinely ordained existence. Equally, the extent to which He was able to endure continual physical suffering with great equanimity could only rest on the fact that His pronouncements ofwho He was and His experience ofwho He was were one and the same thing—the unique reality of being God and Man in One simultaneously. Ifvagueness is one ofthe hindrances to Truth, then obviously our vagueness has to go ifwe are to fully experience the Truth. This I think is relevant as we begin to celebrate the Anniversary ofMeher Baba’s visit here fifty years ago. For it was fifty years ago to the day that Baba addressed a small number ofpeople gathered together in the Meeting Hall and asked them to decide to either obey Him 100% or leave the property There was no middle ground, no vagueness permitted, a sharp line had been drawn in the sand. This moment had obviously been planned by Baba and
one that He brought crashing in, straight up. From the accounts of those who were there the atmosphere was highly charged: some people were visibly shocked, others outraged, all were deeply stirred. One person who was present compared it to Yahweh the God of the Old Testa ment asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. But I’m not so sure that Baba was attempting to test the faith of anyone, so much as to make the faith ofeach person explicit, to bring it out from being something shadowy and vague into the sharp light ofconsciousness and then to form it into a clear intentional decision of obedi ence. Following this episode, when the atmosphere had calmed a little, Baba gave a discourse on obedience thus helping the minds ofthose present to regain some new stability. Baba elaborated that there were four types of obedience: 1. The obedience of the soldier, who obeys out of a sense of duty. 2. The obedience of the servant, paid obedience, the higher the pay the louder the “Yes Sir!” 3. The obedience of the slave, obedience through fear of punishment. 4. The obedience of the lover, obedience through love.
And it was the obedience of the lover that Baba said is what He wanted. Not obedience out ofduty, out of the thought of some kind of recompense, nor out of fear. Obedience through love may seem like the most appealing option, but what did it actually entail? At this point Baba introduced one of the great, ancient themes of His Advent “There can be no compromise; one cannot love the world and love God. The man of the world has to compromise; but to have obedience to Baba one cannot compromise with the ways ofthe world. Baba is God. He is in us all. He is pure; it is the impurities in us that stop Him entering our hearts. He can only enter our hearts when we have driven out everything else; we keep Him away, yet He is in us too”. Finally, Baba said to everyone present, that if they all tried to obey Him 100% then He would help them. I mention all this because I was asked to make some welcoming remarks, and I thought I could do no better than to recall Meher Baba’s opening words and what I have gathered were the circumstances surrounding them, when He arrived here fiftyyears ago. I’d like to conclude by reading some of Francis Brabazon’s fine words regarding the significance ofcoming to Avatars Abode. Francis as many of us know was Meher Baba’s poet, an Australian disciple who lived with Baba for ten years in India, and who was instrumental in the creation ofAvatars Abode: “Avatars Abode is a stopping place on the road to the Beloved, for He stopped here on the road to our hearts and took over the lives ofthose who gave themselves to Him. The place was acquired at His request and He gave the name it bears.” “No stopping place can be a destina tion except that place where mind stops forever and one knows that one is God. Your destination is your own heart in which the Eternal Ancient One eternally lives, but because Avatar Meher Baba the All-loving One stayed here, the perfume of His Love may refresh and strengthen you on your way to His Feet.”
LAnd WIictt ci Celebration it Was! Sue 3ctmison, (expatriate living in] California ‘r am coming to America and Australia solely to give My Sahavas to My lovers, and I want each ofyou to come with the longing to receive just that. I want this Sahavas to be above all a close companionship between your Beloved andHis lovers; and fyou wish to maintain this unique relationship, then do not come with the question or the desire to seek discourses and explanations. Come with the p reparedness to receivefully whatever I may giveyou, with the thought ofbeing completely resigned to My Will.” —Mahabaleshwar, 12th April 1958 Excerpt from Baba’s message to all those attending the Sahavas at Myrtle Beach, U.S.A. and at Brisbane, Australia. From John Grant’s Practical Spirituality. ifty years later that “unique relationship” with the Beloved was very ap parent as over 200 people from all over the woridjoined together with the intention to receive fullywhat the Beloved had to offer, and boy, did He deliver! th Anniversary of Beloved The 50 Baba’s visit to Avatars Abode was a week rd through long event from Tuesdayjune 3 th, choc-a-block frill (as we Mondayjune 9 Aussies would say) oftaiks, entertainment, companionship, and sharing in and of our Beloved’s Love and, oh yes, great food! Each day had its own theme, a brilliant idea which allowed for focus and purpose: Tuesday, the day the Awakener Arrives, Wednesday was Love and Devotion, Thursday the Most East ofthe West, Fri day the Most West of the East, Saturday The Most Fortunate Companions, Sunday His Divine Sense ofHumour and Monday Take My Name with You. Anniversary guests included Jal and Dolly Dastoor, Mehernath and Raj Kal churi, Dara and Amrit Irani, the Avatar Meher Baba Centre Drama Group from Bombay, Tedjudson and Ward Parks. But so many more ‘guests’ heeded the invita tion within from near and far. We were a wonderftil mix from so many different parts of the world—Australia, New Zealand, England, USA, India, Mexico, France, and even a surprise guest from Peru. The weekend before the Anniversary, it rained and rained with still yet more rain! As this has become rather a tradition just
enough for this selfless service kitchen before the Anniversary no one seemed too duty rendered with cheerftilness and good worried and the general feeling was “She’ll be right. Baba will make it stop just at humour. Jai Meher Baba! Tuesday, after the noon repast, Jea the right time”, although there was some nette Isaacs-Young hosted the discussion anxious looking up at the sky and checking “How did you get your ‘wake up’ call this the weather reports just to second-guess the Avatar! But of course, come Tuesday life from Baba”. Intimate sharing of the most significant and meaningful thing to morning, tradition prevailed, or should have happened to us in this life. Always we say Baba smiled, and the sky seemed interesting to hear how many different to be mainly clear with reluctant sunshine, but with the promise of good weather ‘adventures’ Baba schemes up for each one of us before our hearts are cracked open for the rest of the week. The volunteers to let Him in. This meeting led right into had been working furiously through the the first evening Arti of the week. Baba’s weekend storm to set up the food tent room at Avatars Abode is very beautiful and the makeshift kitchen making sure all and simple—Baba’s bed, sandals, table and the stoves, sinks, etc were working. People chair with the little pink satin cushions scurried here and there taking care of the myriad of details before Tuesday, the first upon which He rested his feet, all hand made so lovingly for Himjust prior to His day ofthe weekiong event. arrival.The fragrance ofHim mingled with The rain had only managed to heighten the fragrance ofthe roses, it all makes this the beauty ofthe property that Baba Himroom so very special. Every Arti this week self named Avatars Abode. Everything was glistening and brilliant in the weak was so divine as all gathered to sing His winter sun. Now all was ready to welcome praise. Those who couldn’t fit inside the room were content to stand just outside His lovers. Old friends greeted each other, the door and join in the praising. After new friends were made, and Baba’s flag the prayers, each person had the chance was raised by Bernard Bruford to signal to enter the room and bow down at His the official start of the Anniversary. Bill bed. And how wonderful it was for all us Le Page told a lovely story as he planted expatriates to sing the Australian Arti in a commemorative mango tree. The first Australia in His room! Silence time of the week between 12 and So many incredible musicians were 12:15 p.m. began, and Baba’s square was there to share their songs: Ted Judson, beautiful in the meditative silence. Ward Parks, Raine Eastman-Gannett, Then the Anniversary really began as Elaine Cox, Cindy Lowe, Scott Makeig we all moved to the dining tent for the first and his daughter Mehera Kleiner, Grace meal of the week together as Sahavasees. Hunter, Meherveena and other Indian Wow! One word for the food FABU singers and musicians, Ross Keating, Sam LOUS all week every meal was lovingly prepared and served by a steady stream of Saunders, Richard Lockwood, Kris Hines and please forgive me for not mentioning volunteers spearheaded by Amir and Kenall the other poets and singers that shared dra. Somehow food always tastes so much better sharing with friends, and this week their talents with us. It was so hard to tear one self away from that spot outside we all became the truest offriends in Baba Baba’s room feeling the sweetness of His and every mealjust tasted better and better presence. Every Arti was the same experi than the previous one. Who can forget the ence for me, full to the brim with heart’s breakfast prepared by our Indian friends, longing. real and rava idli dumplings, spicy omelets, Evening programs were held in The serve cake to fabulous huge, chai; or that With the donation ofa state-of-theShed. Harloff Annette by made a 100 and more system byJohn and Helen Meyer art sound Page Le Diana amazinglyby and decorated Systems in California, Av Sound ofMeyer gathered using all Australian wildflowers the likes ofMeherabad, Abodejoined atar’s macappuccino from the property; or the Beach, Meherana in Myrtle Center Meher chine that had long lines of coffee-deprived around the centers other and California in never Baba lovers. Tea, toast and vegemite sound for perfect having (almost) in world not tasted this good. Simple thanks are 67 —
the perfect One. With much thanks and gratitude to Raine Eastman-Gannett for her part in initiating this gift. On the first evening, Ross Keating gave a welcome talk and Elischa Isaacs-Young did alovelyjob of reading Bhau Kaichuri’s welcome message to all attendees. The Avatar Meher Baba Bombay Centre Singing Group performed a concert with ghazals Baba liked. Trans lations were read in English so we could appreciate more filly the hearifelt singing and quality ofthe performance. Having our Indian brothers and sisters with us added to the Sahavas-like feeling this week. The film TheEternalBelovedwas shown and the theme ofthe day: “The Awakener Arrives” came to pass. Wednesday: Love and Devotion. We gathered in the meeting hail to listen to Bill Le Page tell stories ofMeher Baba, always a treat. Followed by silence (sublime), and lunch (fantastic). Then in the afternoon over to Baba’s House, listening to singing by Ted and Ward, followed by Dara and Amrit telling Mast stories and other humourous tales from their life in Baba’s intimate family. Meanwhile, throughout the property there was much action as rehearsals progressed for the various performances yet to come; children were very busy creating one of a kind treasures, food preparations continued, small groups gathered under the trees for sharing of a smoke and/or talk, and Avatar’s Abode was humming with activity and energy. This humming of energy and excitement continued through the week and could be palpably felt. The highlight of this evening’s program was the songs and poetry of Indian Saints by Dr Krishna Shulda followed by another wonderful film with dear Eruch lb be Natural. Things were heating up! ByThursday more people had started to arrive and there followed another wonderful day. Morning in Baba’s House: Raine singing songs by Francis as well as her own compositions, followed by a spirited talk about Baba with focus on Eruch, by Gary Kleiner joined by Jal and Dolly. In the meeting hall after lunch, Raine led “Singing to the Eternal Beloved” by Francis Brabazon. A beautiful tribute to our Beloved. AU there joined in enthusiastically in frill voice. Meanwhile in Baba’s House a discussion on The Discourses was underway hosted by Gary Kleiner and Ward Parks. The Most East of the West was the appropriate theme for the day and the evening’s entertainment was the drama 68
group from the Bombay Centre who performed the most amazing play: The Only Gracious One, a story ofthe 1958 Sahavas in Meherabad. What was so amazing was the actor playing Baba was notjust playing Baba but becoming Baba. Not only did he looklike Babawith some excellent makeup help, but he also had Baba’s every gesture down perfectly. As “Eruch”, who was also excellent in his role, led ‘Baba’ onto the stage, the sharp intake ofbreath from the entire audience was heard as one loudgasp! Those in the audience who had met Baba said later that they were very moved as they watched him perform, remembering vividly how it was meeting Baba in person. The narration and music of the play was prerecorded, which allowed us to focus on this actor and his gestures “interpreted” by Eruch. There was not a sound to be heard as the playprogressed, but at the end of the performance the house erupted with wild clapping and cheering. This was one ofthe highlights ofthe week’s entertainment and will be remembered for a long time. Friday, 6thJune and with Arti and breakfast over, we were off to Baba’s House to listen to Cyrus Khambatta talk on “How the Formless Ahura Mazda led me to the Avatar of the Age.” Cyrus is a wonderful speaker and all enjoyed his talk very much. Rehearsals continue in the Shed and elsewhere. After lunch Laura Darnell led some Universal Peace Dances, ftin for all to join in. A discussion on God Speaks with Ward Sparks and Gary Kleiner in Baba’s House was followed by tea, dinner, talking, laughing and then the evening program began. Michael Le Page welcomed us. Elischa read Bhau’s welcome message again, and the evening started in a very dramatic way as Jedda took the stage with her flamenco dancing accompanied by Murray. Ole! The beautiftil Angie limura melted hearts with her fabulous voice singing “Meher’s Necklace”, accompanied by the song’s com poser Chris Gray.TedJudson and Richard Lockwood also played for the Beloved. Mehernath Kalchuri [Bhau’s son] then shared with us stories ofhis life with Baba as a child and as the son of one of Baba’s Mandali. Wonderful glimpses into how it was for a child to be around Baba and get away with a lot of naughty things! To finish the evening in a perfect way, the film Avatar was shown. What a great day! Saturday, theme ofthe day—The Most Fortunate Companions—A j am-packed feast of a day! During a very noisy break-
fast in the food tent, the “Poet’s breakfast” tried to hold their own in a corner of the food tent. After breakfast, The Wineshop Singers, directed by Sam Saunders, pre sented ghazals ofFrancis, with most music composed by Sam, in Baba’s House. As always, moving and beautiftil. One of the memorable meetings for me was hosted by Michael Le Page in Baba’s House. It was titled “When Baba was with us on Avatar’s Abode”. Those on the panel were siblings Bernard andJoanna Bruford along with Peter Baulch, who were teenagers and younger in 1958. It was very moving to hear their reminiscences of Baba’s visit. They talked about the preparations, their arrival, and what it meant to them and their families at the time Meher Baba was coming to Australia. It was very poignant to hear how each one met Baba and what they gleaned from the meeting and also how it has impacted their lives as adults. Meanwhile, Stuart Rigg gathered with the young adults to chat (about Baba ofcourse) withJal and Dolly and other guests. After another fabulous lunch, we all assembled in The Shed for the afternoon’s concert. First, a little skit with Kris and friends, then music from Ward, Mehervee na, Ross and Jenny, Sage Repeti, Jenny Thompson and others, followed by that specialguestYma Sumac! Meanwhile, the Volleyball tournament continued outside with some very enthusiastic players. Mehernath Kalchuri related more stories of his childhood and remembering Francis in India. Then followed Arti and dinner. The evening program brought the Bombay Centre Drama Group back to the stage for their second play, once again a beautifully moving portrayal of Meher Baba as they told a story from Baba’s life with music and prose. Dara and Amrit told us the story of their betrothal and marriage, with Baba overseeing every single detail, down to the colour of her wedding dress. It was the last public event that Baba attended before He dropped His body in 1969. We saw the film of their engagement party with Baba and Mehera at Meherazad. Ifyou wanted to stay up late, Chris Gray and many friends played wonderful music and ghazals into the night. An extremely popular performance was Australian actor Peter Sumner reading Francis’ ghazals accompanied by Chris on guitar. Not foreseeing such an enthusiastic response from the audience, Peter had only brought 10 ghazals from In Dust I Sing to read, each
attendees—from the welcome packages composing this piece and had sent CDs only titled by the number. After finishing given to all, down to the toilet rolls never of the different parts all over the world al-l his pages, the audience wouldn’tlet him running out and the hand towels being to singers who would be attending, in the stop, calling out to repeat number eight, changed regularly—thoughtftil details that hope that they would learn it before this then number four and so on. Peter said do mean a lot and are noticed. Thanks also that someday in the future the world would week. It was thrilling to be a part of this to the “locals” on Meher Road and nearby, be so familiar with the various ghazals of ensemble at the world premiere of this Francis Brabazon that one would only brilliant work and to hear how the parts all who unselfishly opened their homes and provided true Aussie hospitality to fellow fitted together. Catch it on Youtube here: have to say “Number Six” and everyone pilgrims. www.youtube com/results? search would immediately know which one he And on a personal note: this was the query=mi s a+meher& se arch_type was referring to. The crowd joined in the first Anniversary that I have been able to Lan by greeting each number as called out It’s fantastic! attend since 1980, life circumstances hayAs each day unfolded it seemed our with great applause and cheers. With Pe ing precluded it prior to this. Up until 1980 hearts could not hold any more love but ter’s mellifluous voice and Chris’ sensitive guitar playingwe wanted it to go on and on. the waves kept coming and by the last Arti I had been very involved with each of the celebrations ever since 1971, when I first on the Monday morning no one could When will the CD be made, we asked?! came to Baba. So many of my formative tear themselves away from Baba’s room. It By Sunday, Avatars Abode was overBaba years were centered around the Anseemed to me that we became one voice flowing with more visitors happy to be mversaries and the preparations leading up singing to His Glory and beauty and the there to join the week’s celebration, and to the big weekend event. Dear Francis was circle of love enfolded us and kept us in there was so much to be a part of—Cyrus ofcourse so much a part ofthese prepara relating stories from an unpublished diary the here and now of His Love. After the tions and the Anniversaries themselves. He last meeting in Baba’s House on “Baba’s ofone ofBaba’s earlyMandali, Baily—who would no doubt be amused and astounded was Cyrus’ childhood friend; or Rani Didi wishes for His Lovers interpreted in dif to see how the Anniversaries have evolved ferent ways by Cyrus, Mehernath, Jal and with the younger people teaching them and grown since those simple gatherings Dolly, it was time for the last Silence time new songs from her wonderftii repertoire, in Baba’s house. But his influence is always and the last lunch together. Dara lowered or Dara and Amrit telling more stories. here, permeating every performance, every the flag and it was the end of this year’s After lunch, another afternoon concert song and every reading. A fitting tribute to Anniversary, until next time. with Chris Gray on guitar and Peter SumIt is impossible to choose “the best of one who devoted his life to his Beloved. ner reading more ghazals from In Dust I Each year I was very aware the Anniver show” from the wonderful workshops, Sing, singing from Richard Lockwood, sarywas happening and sent good thoughts Robert Welsh and so many more. Lots of presentations, talks and sharing, but for me, along, although I was very sad that I could a couple ofthe more poignant and memolaughter and tears. Traditional Dhuni after not be present. But I was determined to rable moments that will stay in my heart dark with Jal officiating and all throwing come to this one—the SOth!! Seeing friends are Richard Thompson singing “Oh Sun in their unwanted desires hoping to burn that I had not seen in manyyears was thrillin Splendour” after Arti, hearing Richard them up in the flame ofthe Beloved’s fire. ing, although how did they get so old?! again, voice singing beautiftil Lockwood’s what: singing until, guess heartfelt More Surely I haven’t changed a bit?! I had the friendships old cementing and renewing dinner! more than once during this week sensation new lifelong making of thrill the plus ab an program was evening Sunday’s “home”, in the true sense of the I was that beauty present ever the and always ones, play Kris Hines’ for the heart. feast solute soul My was content, a feeling ofbe word. the secret holding itself Abode ofAvatars about musical comic and was a Seek” “Hide now, being held byBaba the and ing here in eternity for all visit of Avatar’s the many during for search God two souls’ would hold her child. a mother tenderly as the given to be must praise and ex Thanks their parts played lifetimes. Everyone Beloved to be present, the desire really ‘[fyou tirehad worked who Sahavas Committee with Baba an ending how can cellently, and neverfor a moment and go, world the Let and during before, the scenes lessly behind Monsieur beat?! actually appearing be absent.” be ensure to Anniversary after the no doubt comedy stand up Yvan with his hilarious Excerpt from Ghazal 139 Francis that every detail was taken care of for the routine—what it would be like if Baba Brabazon In Dust I Sing was alive now in the computer Truly a Sahavas as Baba had age—Eruch would be out of a it to be.Jai Meher!! intended job, and Baba would be texting! is always His. Victory The Yvan should be making the rounds of all the Baba gatherings around the world with his unique brand ofhumour. Think about it Yvan! Next came the Anniver sary choir, comprised of The Wineshop Singers and forty or so other assorted singers from everywhere else performed Sam Saunders’ composition Missa The 3 expats living iii California Sue, Dma, and Raine Meher. Sam had spent months 69 .
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John Hunt with daughter Grace on Viola
Yrna Sumac [AK-I Suejamison believe it or not!]gave us a fabulous karaoke performance!
Peter Sumnei; with his mel4fluous voice, more than doesjustice to Brabazoncghazals!
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2’Iicole Jllendozci, nine years old, Los ..Jlngeles s
nce upon a time there lived a mouse named Squeaker. He was a very lonely little mouse. Although he wanted a companion very badly, Squeaker had never come out of his hole in the wall, even though he was very curious. One day however, all ofthat changed. The Allen family was at the pet shop buying Veronica a pet. “Mommy I want that one, it’s so cute!” seven-year old Ve ronica exclaimed to her mother. Unfortunately for Veronica’s mother Emily, she had chosen a mouse. “Sweetheart, can’t you pick a different pet like that adorable little puppy over there?” Emily pleaded. “No! It’s my present and you said I could have any pet I wanted!” Veronica screamed, stamping her feet loudly caus ing everybody in the store to look at the little girl pouting in the corner. “I want that mouse!” Beaten, Mrs. Allen nodded and she walked over to the cash register to pay for the mouse. Like Squeaker this mouse was lonely too. Her name was Match, and she was a very pretty little mouse. As soon as Match’s cage was brought through the door, Match could sense there was another mouse in the house. This mouse was like her but Match was scared. Squeaker could feel it too but instead of being scared like Match was, Squeaker was very happy. He could not wait to meet the new mouse, but there was one problem, where would she be? The Allen’s house was very large; Squeaker had no idea were to start looking! But there was another thing he did not know, the Allens had a cat and a hunter at that. Now Thomas, (for that was the cat’s name) had strict orders not to eat anything in a cage. Squeaker was not in a cage so if Thomas saw him, he would never make it to Match’s cage and meet that mysterious mouse. So that night Squeaker planned to go out on a mission. He was going to meet the mouse and hopefully become friends. At one point he had lived with his family, but his mother had told him to go out into the world and live his life to the fullest. So far he was not doing such a good job of that. .
I When Squeaker was sure everyone was sleeping, he crept out of his hole to find the new mouse. Squeaker wanted to check Veronica’s room but he had no idea where it would be. Suddenly Squeaker heard a noise from behind him. He panicked. He wasn’t in his hole any more so it couldn’t protect him. Squeaker ran as fast as he could to the nearest room. Just in time! Thomas crept around the corner but he couldn’t see Squeaker hiding. He listened and watched for a while but could not detect anything. Puzzled, Thomas went back into the closet he used as his room. Where had Squeaker been? Well luckily he had run into Veronica’s room and that’s when he first laid eyes on Match. “Who are you? What do you want?” called out Match. “I wanted simply to make your ac quaintance,” replied Squeaker, a little shy in the presence of such a pretty mouse. “Oh,” Match responded softly. She had always imagined that the kind of mice that lived in holes in the wall were vicious and not kind and gentlemanly like this mouse so obviously was. “Well my name is Match.” “How do you do Match, my name is Squeaker.” “Eeek!” cried Match suddenly.
Squeaker turned around and found himself staring into the hungry eyes of Thomas the cat. “Run Squeaker, run!” Match squeaked shrilly. Squeaker ran as fast as he could away from Thomas, who, in the chase, knocked over Veronica’s bedside table. It fell to the floor with a loud thunk that woke Veronica. The girl sat up with a start and turned on a light. She immediately saw Squeaker but instead of screaming she cried, “Isn’t he cute!” and reached down and gently picked him up. Veronica then placed Squeaker in the cage with Match. “You could have mouse babies!” exclaimed Veronica happily. Then she went back to sleep. Upon being put in the cage Squeaker panicked. Yes he was happy to have met Match and be with her but how was he going to get back to his hole in the wall? Match noticed Squeaker’s fear and thought hard. Besides being pretty Match was very smart, so she soon thought up a plan. “Squeaker” Match said softly. Squeaker turned and looked at her and all of his fear was washed away. “I have a plan Squeaker.” As Match whispered the plan to him Squeaker smiled, this was going to be fun. The next morning Veronica went to feed the mice before going offto school. As she opened the cage to put the food in, Squeaker bared his teeth and jumped at Veronica. She screamed and imme diately ran from the room, leaving the cage door open. “Part 1, piece of cake.” Squeaker said confidently as he climbed out of the cage. “Yes but it will be Part 2 that will need time, patience and luck,” Match replied as she too jumped out of the cage. After everyone had left for school or work, the mice put their plan into ac tion. The two scurried down the hail and into the kitchen where they found Thomas’s cat food. The mice then worked together to spill the cat’s food and water, which then caused Thomas to come running. The two mice ran in
opposite directions and for a split sec— ond Thomas paused and then ran after Match, which put a damper in their plan. The plan had been that the mice would tip over the bowl and then ‘Thomas would come and chase after Squeaker. Then Squeaker would run into his hole and with Thomas distracted, Match could climb back into her cage. As ‘Thomas raced after Match, Squeaker was yelling to Match how she could get away from the crazed cat. “Run around the table and get him dizzy, then run as fast as you can to my hole.” Thankfully all Thomas could hear was squeaks. Match did what Squeaker said and they both made it safe and sound back to Squeaker’s hole. Match stayed there for the day, and Squeaker asked if she would want to stay. After two more days with the same question, Match finally agreed. It turned out that Veronica Allen had been quite right: they did have mouse babies. So they all lived happily ever after in Squeaker’s hole.
Ji 1 Q ( ‘f3i MASTERY
Nicole Meiidoza, budding author
Top: ‘aIch and Squeaker in their hole, with babies. Illustration by Pearl Hart, also 9. Middle: Not to be outdone by big six Peaii Arne Hart (5,) contributed her rendition ofThoinas the cat
1oetry Page Editor’s note:
Wearedoingsomething dffèrentthis issue. Wehavepublished poetry before by Mirek—a brilliant poet in England—andLove Streetsells a book ofhispoems, but this, his latest collection, was written when his wift Fiona was diagnosed with cancer When I read the letter she wrote to me about how she was misdiagnosed by various doctors until the cancer had eaten ha’fherface away, I started crying. It really hit home since I too was undergoing surgery—albeit very minor compared to Fionac—for a carcinoma under my eye. The day she underwent the surgery her father passed away—cancer—and Mirek has told me ofthe oincidences’ ofa number oftheirfriends also getting cancer around the same time. He ihougEft thepublishing ofthesepoems might hp others facing similar situations. I sent her thefoiowing quote: ‘When the Master takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. The will of Meher Baba will never take you where His Grace will not protect you.’ Fiona responded: “My heart filled thanks for your words of support & the Baba quote you sent us. .it’s so true that we often think of suffering as a punishment & yet as the quote very aptly puts, as do many of &ba’s words &discourses, quite the opposite is true. It must be a deeply engrained notion for so many to ‘overlook’ this! These past few days I’ve been remembering Upasani Maharaj’s words: ‘Experience pain with pleasure. This is I he Way.’ I’m beginning to experientially understand what that means. It’s otherwise a difficult one to understand, in that the way one imagines it to be, is not how it actually is. And it is very true one can experience pain & suflering whilst at the same time experiencing a spacious happiness. It seems to be all about perception: how one sees suffering. As always, it can’t be forced or manufactured, it has to arise as a natural experience by the Grace of Beloved Baba. But then I guess one can evoke that Grace by accepting suffering as inevitable & wanting to understand what it’s all about...the part it plays in returning us to God!
So &rcrngelj .}Uive [for Fiona] We were told today That my wife Fiona Has terminal cancer. When I came to tell You, Before I could say anything, An audible ‘thank you’ Flew out of my mouth And landed like a rose-petal On the toes ofYour Feet.
But I didn’t say it! 0 Baba, so strange Are the Ways ofYour Love! So strange, they invariably Leave me dumb and numb With bewilderment... Yet feeling so strangely alive!
7: What Cannot l e Cxpressed 3 All week long, since my wife Fiona Was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Your Living Presence has been such My Dearest Friend and Darling Beloved That it has ftlled our selves and lives completely! -
Everywhere I look, I can see-feel you So tangibly, so really! Through feeling, I can see The formless Substance ofYour Living Truth I stand in awe of their faith in our And through seeing, I can feel Beloved, their lovefor Him, and through The all-unifying Texture ofYour Living Love! Him their courage to face what would devastate most people losing haf of My Beloved God and Closest Companion, theirface! Before the Longing ofYour Love for us Jai Baba to Mirek and Fiona! -
Suffering Dii 71’tis vVor1d Yesterday, sitting with my wife In a room full of doctors, Who were explaining to us In matter-of-fact detail, How there was no other way
To halt my wife’s cancer From spreading further, Other than cutting out half her nose And part ofher face... When at that precise moment I felt the ground beneath us Suddenly and instantly open, And we began falling
Down and down and down Through unending darkness... Baba, it was then, while falling, That it became so tenderly clear to me Why you had been so tangibly present
Right from the moment I awoke and Throughout the longjourney to the hospital. So tangibly clear, I could touch you.
Because now, as we were falling, I could feel Your Living Presence Tangibly breaking our fall... By catching us in the Arms ofYour Love. Later, as we made our way back home, With Your Living Presence beside us, I could see so perfectly clearly, Baba, That Your Love was more real than The whole world which had now become A slow-moving dream ofdancing shadows. -
And I realised what You were showing me: That suffering in this world is Your Living Love and Compassion
For without it, we’d remain asleep and dead forever. And even though suffering is in itself
limited and illusory, Ifwe accept and endure it out oflove for you, Through Your Unlimited and Limitless Love, We are awoken and moved beyond our
limited to the real. The greater our suffering, the more real you become within us.
0 Beloved Baba, The Reality ofYour Truth and Love are Indivisibly One!
3orever 3lying [for Fionaj
Turns itselfinto a perfect hurricane Which tears out and rips up everything
That stands between us and you, Baba I want to express what cannot be expressed, By saying: ‘I love you. Thank you!’ -
Through Your All-Forgiving Love, Impressionless yoga-yoga sanskaras flow... Creating wide open spaces Within our skyless Beings. Spaces that open into tireless wings Forever flying around Your Heart,
In ever decreasing circles.
1uma ::-tumor for 2 and all men could understand women. I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinkingwhen she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy.” The Lord replied, “You want two lanes or four on that bridge?
&ftball in ;&aven 90-year-old women, Rose and Barb, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Rose was dy ing, Barb visited her every day. One day Barb said, ‘Rose, we both loved playing women’s softball all our lives, and we played all through high school. Please do me one favor: when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if ther&s women’s soft-ball there.’ Rose looked up at Barb from her death bed and said, ‘Barb, you’ve been my best friend for many years. If it’s at all possible, I’ll do this favor for you.’ Shortly after that, Rose passed on. At midnight the following Friday, Barb was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to he; ‘Barb, Barb .‘ ‘Who is it?’ asked Barb, sitting up sud denly. ‘Who is it?’ ‘Barb it’s me, Rose.’ ‘You’re not Rose. Rose just died.’ ‘I’m teffing you, it’s me, Rose,’ insisted the voice. ‘Rose! Where are you?’ ‘In Heaven,’ replied Rose. ‘I have some really good news and a little bad news.’ ‘Tell me the good news first,’ said Barb. ‘The good news,’ Rose said, ‘is that there is softball in Heaven! Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we’re all young again. Better still, it’s always springtime, and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired.’ ‘That’s fantastic,’ said Barb. ‘It’s beyond my wildest dreams! So whats the bad news?’ ‘You’re pitching Tuesday!’ 0
2’Iuns & 2lot Dogs
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man was riding his Harley along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said, “Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish. The biker pulled over and said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.” The Lord said, “Your request is too materialistic. Think of the enormous chal lenges for that kind of undertaking—the supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justif,r your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.” The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, “Lord, I wish that I
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wo nuns took their first trip outside the convent. They had never seen a baseball game, so they got tickets. Once inside, they sat in the bleachers, and hearing a vender selling hot dogs, one said, “We’ve never had hot dogs before,” and they decided to order a couple. The first nun unwrapped her hot dog, and proceeded to quickly wrap it up again, saying, “Oh, my!” “What’s wrong Sister?” asked her cornpanion. “Well,” came the reply, “which part of the dog did you get?” A mouse thatprayedforAlla& aid Blasphemed when no such aid befili A cat, whofeasted on that mouse, ThoughtAllah managedvery well.
yogi went to see a dentist. The dentist asked the yogi if he wanted Novocaine or laughing gas before he began to drill. The yogi answered, “Neither. I’m trying to transcend dental medication.”
.J1nd from }/Iichcte! DaCosta: 7here once was a sixthplane mast Who transcended his anger and last When brought to the master He moved on evenfaster And now hec in bliss in the dast
. Definition of Atheism: c non-prophet organization. I didn t even know they were Catholic Photons hove o Blessed are the Fundamentalists, for they shall inhibit the earth. happy. be may somewhere someone, that Puritanism: The haunting fear Religion is for those who fear hell, Spirituality is for those who have been there... ‘j’ On an atheist’s tombstone: Here lies an atheist - all dressed up and no place to go. kind of joke?” A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, some - Jules Feiffer them? committing not by meaningless his martyrdom Christ died for our sins. bare we make as possible. together close as be should they and ending, good a and beginning A good sermon should have a good now, I’m so far behind I’ll never die! I’m convinced God put me here to accomplish a certain number of things; right
ArchivalVideos of Sahavas Guest Speakers
he Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California has six wondethi websites which offer a fascinating array of information: from ftiture scheduled events to streaming audio recordings of Baba’s Mandali, to accessing the treasure of past Sahavas guest videos, to the biggest Baba bookstore in the world and much more. Below please find the six Center websites, with a briefdescription of each.
The Sahavas and LA Baba Center have had many wonderfiui guests who gave inspirational talks about Beloved Baba. This is another opportunity to see Bhauji, Fi lis, Meheru, Darwin, Henry K, Charles Haynes, Wendy, Ann Cordon, Havovi Da dachangi, and many more, altogether more than 30 videos available for you to chose from to purchase. meherbabaarchives.blogspot.com
www.meherabode.org This is the principal website of the LA Baba Center, Meherabode, and it offers wonderful information on a variety of topics including: the Baba meeting schedule, an events calendar, upcoming Special Events at the Center, links to the Love Street Bookstore, Archive videos, and much more.
wwwiovestreetbookstore.com Bhau Kalchuri called Love Street “the biggest Baba bookstore in the world.” It contains a vast treasure of almost 300 tides by and about Beloved Baba, including po etry and art books, works ofscholarship, bi ographies, discourses, and works from other spiritual traditions. It stocks hundreds of music CDs, dozens of films, plus framed and unframed photos, posters, note cards, clothing from India, T-shirts, castings and sculpture, pocket cards and giveaways, plus gold and silver items, costume jewelry and Baba buttons. You can drop by Sundays from 11 to 2 or shop at the website created by Pris Haffenden anytime.
Mandali Hall Audios Care to hear about Beloved Baba from those who were the closest to Him? Mehera, Maid, Eruch, Adi K, Goher, Meheru, Katie, Padri, Aloba, Bal Natu and more— you can listen to them all while you’re at home, or driving, or even while you’re jogging. Available on podcasts, MP3 and QuickTime at: wwwmandalihafl.org Meher Chat Room It’s purpose is to provide a community forum for Meher Baba’s lovers in Southem California—however, Baba’s lovers from anywhere in the world are invited to 78
Landscape Committee ambcscgardencollective.blogspot.com
__/ Dranian Website: n 11 J4lelierbctbairctni.com
you may know, in Iran people do not have access to Meher Baba books and messages because of the cen sorship, and Baba lovers prefer to worship Him quietly in their hearts. Also many people don’t know English well and cannot read Baba books that are published in English. That is why many people are not familiar with Baba. This Persian web site announces Baba messages and books to these people. Thewebsite has different parts and pag es that are updated monthly or bimonth ly. The pages and parts are as follows: The home page contains a Hafiz poem and a short message from Baba in Eng lish and Persian, and it contains links to main parts of the website: ‘Who is Meher Baba’ explains Meher Baba’s life in 12 pages. It is a brief biogra phy; it starts from introducing his father and mother, continues with introducing the five Perfect Masters and continues to the end of His life. This page contains photos ofdifferent periods ofBaba’s life. ‘Who is the Avatar’ introduces the Av atar (God-Man) and His appearance. The references of this part are God Speaks, Discourses and some other books. ‘Baba books and Messages’contains Meher Baba Calling and Lfè at its Best in Persian. Other books will be added to the site in the near future. ‘Meher Baba Photos’ contains photos
chronologically sorted, based on Baba’s age from birth to end. Each photo is captioned with a poem by Hafiz or other Iranian spiritual poets. We are still working on this part. ‘Meher Baba’s Disciples’ introduces close disciples ofBaba. We are still gath ering the information and working on this part. Art’ contains four parts: Poem, Music, Painting, and Video Clip. For the Poem part we are gathering Meher Baba poems in Persian. Ifthe Persian version is not available we look for other languages and translate those. We would really appreciate your help in findmg Baba poems. Hafiz poems in Persian and English are also added to this part. The Music part contains Music and Arties for Baba. The Painting and Video Clip parts are under construction. We look forward to receiving any artistic work of Baba lovers for this part. “The News Page’ contains the events mentioned in the Meher Baba calen dar and about people who were close to Baba and the messages ofthese people to Baba. The Links page contains links and a briefexplanation ofMeher Baba websites all around the world. The Contact Us page facilitates our contact with the website visitors. In the near future the biography of the Perfect Masters who lived in Baba’s time as well as the biography of Iranian spintual masters and poets will be added to the site. We try to create English pages so that Baba lovers who speak English can visit our website. We are eager to introduce beloved Meher Baba to Persian speaking people who live all around the world via this website Meherbabairani.com
,5hore to 5horeless }oyaje ..J1cross the Ocean of LA 7 xistence with J4lelter Ei3aha 6 hore to Shoreless, the acclaimed book by Professor J.S. Rathore, which has been out ofprint for some time, is now available as a free downloadable e-book here: meherspirituaiuniversityorg/resources.htm1
74! rtts )3our Coming to Bctba Stories B okaran and L1rmillct 5hrivastava, Librarians, JVtelierabad 71il! ,Cibranj Hill Library on the Me[behind the wall op Hill herabad abad J/Jeher on the ground floor Samadhi the posite water tower] is an the once was of what . Trust. A.M.B.P.P.C the of official organ continuathe up taking is The library tion of the “Bal Natu Project,” which was very dear to Bal Natu’s heart. Bal Natu was a resident mandali ofMeherazad for many years, and he ran a project of col lecting Baba stories from the Baba pu grims visiting there. The stories are very touching and reflect upon Beloved Baba’s inner worbng as to how He would draw different souls in different ways to Him, exclusive to each individual. Bal Natu published these beautiful sto ries in a series ofbooks that were not only very affordable but also very popular. Two books in the series are entitled Showers of Grace, Our Constant Companion and The Compassionate Father. After Bal Natu’s passing away, his cher ished project came to an apparent end, but now the Meherabad Hill Library is reviving that project and requesting Baba lovers all over the world to send their sto ries to the library, with a limit of four to five typed pages (1200-1500 words). The most welcome aspect ofthese sto ries would be how Baba initially drew one to Him or any such episode which would be worth sharing with other Baba lovers. These stories can be sent via e-mail as an attachment, and a separate typed copy can be sent directly to the library by post or pilgrim courier. The library’s mail address is Meherabad Hill Library, Post Meherabad, Ahmednagar (MS) India 414006. The library’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org These stories will be made available in the library to readers, and when enough material is collected, then the publication of these stories can be taken up.
garden at Meherazad, Aloba suddenly appeared and said to me, “You should thank Baba everyday of your life for this girl; she is the light ofyour house;” then walked on. If by ‘house’ he meant ‘heart’ then it is obvious that Poppy is the light of many many houses, for she is indeed full of Baba’s light and love and laughter, even though she never goes to the Baba Cen tre or groups, and she does not read much ofBaba’s words. However she has been to India several times and she is undoubt edly HIS. Last week I was witness to the incred ible love and esteem in which she is held by literally dozens of her intimate friends who had travelled to France to be with her at her wedding to her long term partner, Zim Browski; a down to earth Aus tralian, who is not a Baba follower, but who is a very remarkable young man—a very special soul. When Poppy developed breast cancer three years ago, his love and support and devotion through that time was as amazing as it was natural; without fuss he earned everybody’s deepest re spect and gratitude. He may not be a Meher Baba follower, but he lives the word, notjust talks it, and so many ofhis family and friends who love him had also made the journey to be with him and Poppy on their special day. For the wedding they took over a Cha teau near the Dordogne river in France for a week, and the ceremony was planned for the Thursday, to be performed under the trees in the cool of the evening. It was clear to me from the start that this was going to be a Baba occasion; the day before I had a strong prompting from
within to ask Poppy if she would like to do the prayers and Arti on the morning of the ceremony, which we did; then, as we were nervously walking up (or is it down?) the aisle to join her groom we were taking Baba’s name. In the ceremo ny itself Poppy had arranged for the cel ebrant to say that Meher Baba said, “True love is no game for the faint-hearted. It is born of strength and understanding;” and she also had me play “Begin the Beguine” on the clarinet after they had taken the traditional vows and were invited to kiss. But even more important than this was the fact that Meher Baba’s Presence was everywhere and in everything, and also beyond everywhere and beyond everything: His Presence was in the golden glow of the stone of the Chateau; in the glori ous views over the valley; in the warmth of the sun and also in the cool shade of the trees; in the laughing and splashing coming from the swimming pool; in the wonderful food which seemed to magi cally appear, but also in the hard work of those who created that magic. It was also in the depths of the old souls who were there in the guise of small children; in all the constant chatter and smiles and warm hugs as people came and went; in the profundity of the wedding vows; and in the whoops and the cheers and the applause as the couple walked down (or is it up?) the aisle to start their new life together. But most ofailMeher Baba was present in the astounding, overwhelming joy and love which emanated from every soul, there for their dear dear friends, Poppy and Zim.
7he Silent Buest cit the Wedding liclzaeI Da Costa, London lJ’ 7 en my daughter Poppy was 14 we went to India together. One day, when we were walking across Mehera’s 79
LAvcttar J4cher Baba 21eartland
Center Prague Oklahoma -
CDebbie .2’,[ordeen, for the .JkA’t13.2iC board
hanks so much to the Love Street LampPost for getting the word out about the Heartland Cen ter’s opportunity to purchase the Mor rison House next door to the Burleson House. In three short months Baba byers from around the planet donated funds to make this a reality It was so touching to witness the enthu siasm and support given from the hearts and hands ofHis lovers. Donations large and small came pouring in, including yard sale proceeds for this purpose. This coblective activity of love really touches our hearts and we are very grateful to you all. We are now making very basic improvements to the Morrison House and know that Baba has great plans in store. In the meanwhile the new Heartland Center caretakers, Ron Lansing and Miriam Rose, are settling into the community. Recently the Prague Times ran a small article about the Heartland Center with a photo of them. Ron and
Miriam have started Discourse meetings, too. They have had wonderful interac tions with drop-in visitors and expected pilgrims, as well. You can catch some of these reflections on our bbog by going to our website: www.ambhc.org and go to our ‘about’ page, and click on ‘journal’. Other news: We hope to have a one day gathering and Morrison House opening next May 23. 2009. Stay tuned. Also, if you are interested in finding out about becoming an interim caretaker for the Heartland Center (sorry no pets), email us at email@example.com Our HeartBeat Newsletter goes to print in October and will feature much more
about the Morrison House. Ifyou are not already signed up for the HeartBeat and wish to be, please contact us at the same email above and give your street address. For information on visiting the Heartland Center please go to our website: www.ambhc.org or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org We always look forward to your visit at the Heartland Center and the accident site where Beloved Baba did unfathom able work for all humanity.
on 7aking 2T1is Rame LMax Reif Walnut Creek ecently I responded to the request of world—Beauty’s world! I am not equal to communicating the pristine, eye-cleansing Baba-lover for personal anecdotes landscapes I saw, only to saying that I’m in some Name His saying that involve happy I have that memory. fa the like situation, kind of emergency There were some other drivers, cars a about book in a Baba mous story related a few small trucks, who had also and the in out man bad a by woman accosted the weather. A couple of hours braved took she when who, wilderness in India drive, I noticed a van tailgating the into chased that cows by His Name, was saved shake him off I just kept couldn’t I me. the man away! picture on my steering Baba’s at looking a proof, external no Though there is singing Baba’s sometimes or saying wheel, me for occur to kind of rescue seemed on for fifty went irritation This name. I below. described in the three situations roadhouse a I passed Then or so. miles stories! would enjoy hearing others’ five miles About break. for a stopped and a was of thought The first story I scene up a I saw driving, I resumed after the time! at me dramatic experience for from way my on The year was 1984. I was -.‘ Albuquerque when a blizzard had begun, and as I got to the entrance ofthe highway I saw there was a roadblock and a couple of highway patrol cars, one with its lights flashing. A trooper had his hand up, and I pulled up to him and rolled down my window. “The highway’s officially closed,” he said. “However, motorists who wish to proceed at their own risk may do so.” I thought about it. There was common sense and “conventional wisdom:” turn around, these guys must have a reason for closing the road, and I don’t really know # this part of the country. But they had left ‘. this loophole, and I liked the thought of spending the rest of the day in the kind of landscape I saw looking ahead: a vast, v’ white wilderness with high, snow-covered almost peaks in the far distance. It was You called? I’m here! like being in Antarctica. All sign of hu ahead by the side of the road with several man presence, even of thought, had been cars pulled over. As I passed by, I noticed that completely whited out. The thrill of potential experience caused me to thank the car that had been tailgating me, lying the state trooper and drive forward, slowly upside down on the shoulder of the road. It appeared the driver was all right. But at and carefully. I had beautiftil music tapes that moment I felt certain that it was my to listen to; an excellent heater in my car; steady repetition of Meher Baba’s name a thermos ofcoffee and a few snacks. And that enabled me to traverse that long sec there were a couple of towns on the map tion of highway safely. between where I was and where I was goA quite dramatic incident, also in traf ing, where I could stop for meals. fic, occurred one time when I was in Los But the road—it was like a sheet of ice. I realized that I would have to abide by Angeles. Someone ran through a red light as I was crossing the intersection and it two principles in order to make it safely looked like a certain collision. Because through—drive slowly and steadily—and I try to think of Baba’s name a lot— take Meher Baba’s Name the whole way, moment to moment, silently—when this no exceptions even for a minute! After happened, His Namejust escaped my lips the roadblock, there were no more stops. It seemed as if I had eased beyond time very loudly, because in the intensity of the moment one could not think. The instant itself. The afternoon became its own 0
Baba’s Name came out of my mouth, the situation changed! I have no idea what happened. It was as though time skipped a beat, and the car that had gone through the light was somehow back in the rhythm of regular traffic, and missed my car, and did not cause an accident, although that had seemed impossible a moment before. This time, there was a kind ofproof. The lady I was with looked at me and said what I was thinking: “The whole scene changed when you shouted Baba’s name!” Not too many months after I first came to Baba back in 1971, my girl friend, her little boy and I, went on an adventure, driving our van across Canada. As we were beginning our trek we took a ferry to a place called Pelee Island, in Lake Erie. We spent a couple of enjoyable hours at the beach, and just before sunset, out in a deserted place by the Lake at the far end of the island—I got the big van stuck in the sand! I tried and tried to rock it out, but only succeeded in getting it in deeper. The van was much too heavy for even the two ofus to push out. And there were no phones anywhere nearby. And the sun was just about to sink below the horizon. I had started saying Baba’s name to myself already, because He had recommended that, and I was eager to do whatever ‘something’ I could do to bring Him closer! So I sent out silent repetitions ofHis Name, with a certain urgency, because it looked as if we were about to have to spend a whole night in a pretty forsaken place. And with a small child, that wasn’t really too safe. A little while before the sun did go down—this is like a corny movie but I swear it really happened!—a whole Boy Scout troop hiked out ofthe woods nearby, and when they saw our predicament, they immediately got to work pushing the van—the Scoutmaster and ten or twelve ofthe boys. They had it out in less than a minute! Then they accepted our grateful thanks—and marched right back into the woods! Did Baba “create” them, temporar ily, just for us? Who knows?
77w CEBlessing of 71w Animctls .i: aurent 0vVeic!berger, ...ulrizona hared Earth Network sponsored a “Blessing ofThe Animals” on Saturday, th October 4 in Flagstaff Arizona. They asked “Faith Leaders” from the community to literally bless animals (pets) that the community brought to them. I was asked to be one ofthe faith leaders, representing the Meher Baba community To me this is an expression (and manifestation), even in a small way, ofMeher Baba’s statement, “I intend bringing together all religions and cults like beads on one string and revitalize them for individual and collective needs.” (LordMeher p. 1554) The Faith Leaders represented: Muslim, Christian Protestant, Christian Catholic, J ewish, and Meher Baba. When it came my turn to speak, I read out my prepared statement which I had written specifically for this special occasion: Avatar Meher Baba, in his seminal book, GodSpeaks, has clearly explained that God, in addition to being the Creator of this glorious Creation, has also entered the Cre ation as the soul of all that lives. Through seven kingdoms of creation: stones and metals, vegetation, worms (including insects, reptiles and amphibians), fish, birds, animals and human beings, we are told that God evolves greater and greater consciousness. Thus Creation and evolution work together in harmony, paw in hand. Every soul is on a spiritual journey, consciously or unconsciously, toward perfect awareness of the Selfwithin, which is identical to God. Thus we have God, originally infinitely unconscious, and that God enters the Cre ation, living and experiencing through a myriad of forms, all to gain greater and greater consciousness. It is the same God that eventually arrives at fill and complete consciousness through the medium of the human form. As humans, all that remains ofthe spiritualjourney is to achieve infinite Self-consciousness, with full awareness of our essential Divinity As Jesus Christ stated, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Gospel according to Matthew (5:48). Meher Baba recognized the Divine mes sage ofail faiths, and honored Zoroastrian, Jewish, Vedantic-Hindu, Jam, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, and other faiths
as all leading towards One God. With this as a basis, Meher Baba has made it abundantlyclear that all that lives in the universe are a manifestation ofBeloved God, and therefore most worthy of our love, deep respect, and compassion. In His UniversalMessage there is a section entitled “HowTo Love God,” which concludes with these words: “If we understand and feel that the greatest act ofdevotion and worship to God is not to hurt or harm any of His Beings, we are loving God. “To love God as He ought to be loved, we must live for God and die for God, knowing that the goal oflife is to Love God, and find Him as our own Self” Meher Baba After this brief introduction to Meher Baba I was asked to read out my blessing, which follows, for all the assembled ani mals. Then as each beloved pet was brought forth I gave it a shorter, and more personal blessing, by name. -
73lessing for the Animals by Laurent Weichberger Oh beloved being, Brought here today by your loving owner I bless you in the name ofAvatar Meher Baba. May all that you are given to experience, In this beautiful animal form you have chosen, Bringyou ever closer to The knowledge ofwho-you-really-are: A divine being, A soul ofGod’s Soul, One with God in essence, And part ofthe great web of existence Manifesting to achieve Divine Knowledge. Mayyou receive today God’s pure blessing, And experience God’s Divine Love, Divine Grace, Divine Peace, and God’s most precious
Divine Presence. And may this help you ever-onward Inyour spiritualjourney home With the love ofyour compassionate master As your guide. Amen.
Prior to the day ofthe event, I had sent all ofwhat I planned to share at the blessing to Sherry Golden, one ofthe Shared Earth Network organizers. I received this heart warming response from her: “I love your message, and that it states so eloquently that all animals are on spiritualjourneys. I feel this point is often lacking in Christian messages because of the Christian statement ofman being created in God’s image. Thank you again for being a faith leader at the Blessing!” On the Saturday ofthe event, itwas cold, raining and extremely windy. Therefore, we had a lot of dogs, but only one cat, and amazingly two little prairie dogs in a cage. Alison Govi was with me, and after I shared about Meher Baba with the gathering, I asked her to read out the blessing which I had written. She in turn asked the entire gathering to sayit outloud with her.Then, I was personally asked, by their young female owner, to bless the prairie dogs. Each owner chose their own blessors, so I also had about six or seven dog owners bring their beloved pets to me for a Baba-blessing. One of the dogs, Hope, was a three-legged dog from the Native American reservation. Then, I was wonderstruck when one little boy (about eight years old) brought his snake, tiger, and dinosaur to me! All three were stuffed animals he wanted me to bless, and they were so loved that the fabric was worn away and you could see the stuffing inside. I said a silent prayer to Baba for this boy to come closer to Him. Lastly, I saw one couple come and they were sort of waiting around with their dog. Finally, Larry, the Catholic blessor approached them asking, “So, do you want me to bless your dog?” The male owner responded, “Well, my dog is an atheist!” A11 in all, I feel honored that Meher Baba was included in this event, and thank you Baba for giving me this opportunity to spread Your message ofLove and Truth.
Iirig of Laurent, andAlison Govi, with a three legged dog named Hope
Susie Brooks and her dog Camie who has been to every Blessing of the Animals at Federated Church so this was their 14th Blessing oftheAnimals
I Join us for this joyous celebration of God’s creatures. animals are welcome, and must be either on a leash or in a cage.
Laurent with Murphy, who lives with his companion Kathy
Photos by: Nathaniel Renn and Tish Bogan-Ozmun
This doggie was brought to inefor a blessing and he was told to “drink in” and ‘soak up” this blessing, as he was a rescue dog
LA/Iemories and Revelcttions Rat W, 7 <ansas recently attended a conference that took place at the Crown Center in Kansas City My hotel room was nice and offered an outstanding view of downtown, but I was fighting intense sadness. Being there, I couldn’t help butbe reminded ofmyprevious visit to thatcitywhen myboyffiend and I had come for a getaway weekend. We’d stayed at the Crown Center and had a wonderful time. I remember holding his hand and believing he was “the one.” Michael had known about my devotion to Baba from the beginning. Backwhen he first expressed romantic interest in me, I told him about my devotion to Baba and ofmy intent to remain celibate as a single person, because ofwhat I’d read in Baba’s Discourses. Dating a celibate woman wasnt what Michael had planned, but he liked me enough to give it atr It was two years into the relationship when Michaelphoned to tell me that he had been having intimate relations with another woman, and that he no longer wished to see me. I was devastated. I didn’t foresee this at all, in fact I had felt sure that a marriage proposal was immanent. I knew that my insistence on celibacy (while unmarried) played a pivotal role in the breakup. Although I did not regret my decision, I still felt an intense, almost paralyzing, feeling of sadness that persisted for months. This experience made me remember Bill Eaton, who wrote about her breakup in the bookALove SoAmazing. Although the man she was dating seemed to accept Baba, he was not willing to cooperate with an order Baba issued for His devotees to refrain from lustfiil actions during a set period of time—about rnne months from late 1957 through 1958. Biliwrote,”I realized that WI persisted in dis obeying Baba’s orders, His damaan would slip from myfingers.Ithad become an inescapable matter ofchoice: Baba or David. Mylove for Baba was stronger and even though I knew I’d have to go through agreat deal ofunmitigated suffering, I gave up David. Often with Baba, when He takes something away He gives you no sop to ease the pain. ..“(p. 48) Anso it was for me. Six months after my breakup,I was feeling noless sad than ifit had happened the day before. I tried keeping my mind on Baba as much as possible as a way oftrying to controlmythoughts and feelings, but it was definitely a struggle. On the final day of my conference, I re
member returning to my hotel room after the morning session,looking out mywindow and thinking again ofMichael. In a split second, I experienced a clear intuitive feeling. It was quiet and sure. It said that Michael wouldn’t ever be coming back into my life—ever. I probed and felt the sureness ofthe intuition, yet at the same time found it hard to accept from an intellectual point ofview. While I was pondering the contrast between my logical mind and this intuition, I finally gazed toward the dominant building in myhotel room’s view. I hadn’t really noticed it because I’d been so self-absorbed. I didn’t recognize the building at first, but suddenly I realized it was Union Station. Then it oc curred to me that Baba had been there. He had been on a train that took a 40-minute stop at Kansas City’s Union Station back in 1932. I decided to go there when my conference meetings were over. It would be like a mini-pilgrimage, I thought, and maybe it would help my attitude to walk where He had been. Union Station had fallen into disusewhen passenger railroad traffic diminished in the mid-twentieth century It has recently been restored to its former historic appearance. I entered the station though a side door and walked through an old-fashioned cafeteria that they had tried to recreate just as it was years ago. On the walls were super-size historic photographs from previous decades. I stopped at each one and studied travelers’ faces, hoping that perhaps Baba had been inadvertently captured. Nothing. I wandered on into the main lobby, past the dark wood
ticket counters and wondered if He saw them in exactly the same way. I turned a corner and found myself looking down the long secondary hallway where rows of doors on opposite sides ofthe hail led to dozens of train platforms. There was no teffing which door had led to Baba’s train. When I passed through the arch into the secondaryhall,I could feela dip in the smooth stone floor under my feet, worn down from millions oftravelers’ feet. I enjoyed the feeling ofthis dip, and I thought there was a chance Baba walked over that exact spot, given its central location. I then went outside into the cold. There was nothing but train tracks. I had to be honest with myself—I didn’t feel anything here. I did not feel His “presence.” Maybe the physical person of Meher Baba was here too long ago, and too briefly for me to ever feel Him this way. Still, this was the closest I could get. I wondered ifback in 1932, it had flickered across His awareness that I would be there 76 years later, thinking ofHim so intensely. Feeling a little disappointed, I retraced mysteps through the building, past the ticket counters and through the cafeteria to the exit. Then something in the crowd caught my attention. I thought I saw someone’s hands moving in a very animated way. My view wasn’t clear through the crowd, but the im age gave my imagination a boost—suddenly I could easilyirnagine Baba in 1932,using His alphabet board and making gestures, partly obscured by the crowd and His companions. At the same time, I could imagine how travelers must have felt when they caught a glimpse ofthis irresistiblyattractive strangerwith such animated hands. When I got closer I could see that it was indeed sign language. I worked my way through the crowd to find a group of deaf people, all engaged in expressive conversations with each other. Itwas such a delight to come upon this group ofpeoplejustat that moment. I felt acknowledged. In God Speaks, Baba says that this world is a veil that prevents us from seeing God. But higher on the planes, God is the veil that prevents us from seeing any physical things. For me, I could only see the veil of Kansas City’s Union Station, but behind this veil, He was there.
/1ya1iuascdThis Way Comes i: aurent WeicIiberger, ..Arizona
2003 I wrote my first book for Baba, AMirage WillNever Quench Your Thirst. A Source of Wisdom about Drugs (Sheriar Foundation, 2003). My goal with that book was to share what Meher Baba had to say about using drugs for any sort of spiritual growth. He was naturally vehe mently against that strategy and He was crystal clear about why it is a dead end, and that you could go mad or die trying to find God through such a medium. Then in 2007 I made an on-line acquaintance with a woman who was the leader of a specific spiritual social networking site. As we got to know each other a little on-line, sharing about Meher Baba, as well as her spiritual path and practice, I began to see that she selfidentified as a “shaman.” By December 2007 she had sent me an email invite to a private weekend retreat in Sedona (where she lived at that time) and where she would lead a group (along with her “ascended masters”) in a sort of vision quest to gain enlightenment. Her medium for this journey was a substance known as Ayahuasca, which I had never heard about.
First we met here in Flagstaff, and discussed her qualifications, and then I did some research. While she called it a “spirit plant medicine” and declared that it is not a drug, DMT the active ingredi ent in the tea made from this Amazonian vine, is classified as illegal by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Clearly this was not for me. Once thing led to another, and before I knew it Ayahuasca was being mentioned every where I turned. Then I met a young graduate student at a party here in Flagstaff, and she had written her Master’s thesis on Ayahuasca and it’s healing properties. I asked her lots of questions at the party, and then was introduced to ever more people who sincerely believed that this substance is the key to enlightenment and deep healing. It all became so intense that I decided I had to write an article on this subject and tie it back in to what Meher Baba has shared with us about why this is a misguided way to approach the Divine. As Meher Baba said, “One who knows the way, who is the way, cannot approve ofthe continued pursuance ofa method that not only must prove fruitless, but
leads away from the path that leads to reality. No drug, whatever its great promise, can help one to attain the spiritual goal. There is no short-cut to the goal except through the grace ofthe Perfect Master, and drugs, LSD more than others, give only a semblance of ‘spiritual experience,’ a glimpse of a false reality.” The experiences which drugs induce are as far removed from Reality as is a mirage from water. No matter how much you pursue the mirage you will never quench your thirst, and the search for Truth through drugs must disillusionment.” end in 1 “. . .
To read thefull article in HTML format, go to: meherbabason.gaia.com/blog/2008/5/ ayahuasca_this_way_comes o l g Th readthe article in PDFformatseepg. 2
to: www. thenoise. us/pdfi/noisejuneO8.pdf 1. Quotes from Meher Baba are from Mirage, p. 31.
Announcements continuedfrompg. 58
PROGRAMME PLACE: The holy Tomb-Shrine of Avatar Meher Baba on Meherabad Hill, Ahmednagar (M.S.) India. Friday 30th January, 2009 8:00 a.m. onwards Arrival of Meher Pilgrims at Lower Meherabad; Darshan and Pras ad at Tomb. 2:00 p.m. onwards Prem Meelan on Hill. 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Bhajans, dance and drama. 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Film ofAvatar Meher Baba or special programme on the Hill. 8:00 p.m. RECESS for meals down the Hill. 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sahavas on the Hill. Saturday 31st January, 2009 7:00 a.m. Lighting of the Dhuni. 8:00 am. to 11:00 a.m. All pilgrims assemble on the Hill. Prem-Meelan of pilgrims and singing by bhajan mandali of different Meher Centers. 11:00 am. to 11:30 a.m. Welcome address and talk about the Trust activities. 11:30 am. to 11:45 a.m. Announcements 11:45 a.m. to 12 noon
Meher Dhoon 11:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Darshan at the Tomb stopped. 12 noon to 12:15 p.m. All present to observe com plete silence. 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Master’s and Repentance Prayers in dif ferent languages followed by Arti. Dar shan resumes from 12:15 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Songs and bhajans on the Hill. 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. RECESS for meals down the Hill. 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Baba programme on the Hill. 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Film of Avatar Meher Baba. 8:00 p.m. RECESS for meals down the Hill. 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saha vas on the Hill. Additional programmes on the Hill. Sunday 1st February, 2009. 7:00 am. to 10:00 am. Bhajans on the Hill. Dar shan continues. 10:00 a.m. Programme ends with Arti. Prepare for departure. NOTE: Bhajan mandali of different Meher Centres and Western pilgrims having singing and other programmes
to present for the fortieth Amartithi oc casion should write only to Shri. Meh ernath B. Kalchuri,Trustee, do Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C. Trust, King’s Road, Post Bag 31, Ahmednagar (M.S.) 414 001 India by 31st December, 2008. The requests will be accommodated time permitting, within the hours allotted for programmes. It will not be possible to accede to late requests on arrival. Please confirm your programme with Shri. Mehernath B. Kaichuri upon your arrival at Meherabad. ALL ARE HEARTILY WELCOME TO ATTEND AVATAR MEHER BABA’S FORTIETH AMARTITHI FUNCTION ON MEHERABAD HILL. Please pass on the above informa tion ofthe Amartithi programme to all the lovers ofAvatar Meher Baba in your area.
8, 400,000 : A Rumerological Coincidence? Ward JPctrks, JlVlekercthad
ver the years, as I’ve read and re-read GodSpeaks and other ofMeher Baba’s books and messages, I’ve been struck by what seems to be an irreducible numero logical component in His metaphysics. There are, for example, seven planes of consciousness and seven “leaps” in evolu tion; the circles of the Avatar and Perfect Masters have 12 members each; the uni verse is perennially governed by a spiritual hierarchy with five Sadgurus, 56 incarnate God-realized souls, and 7000 offices; an Avataric cycle spans 700—1400 years and divides into 11 ages. In each of these spiritual “facts,” the constancy ofthe number is a main defining element. Numerolog ofcourse, has a long pedigree that traces (within the Western tradition) back to Pythagoras and his disciples, who found in numbers and their concordance a fundamental mystic prin ciple. Whatever might be ultimately said about the specific claims ofPythagoras, the followers ofPlato and others ofthat ilk, to judge by what Meher Baba has revealed to us, in general there seems to be some truth to the numerological perspective. Evidently numbers have a measure of reality My subject here is one particular num ber, 8,400,000—”84 lakhs” as it is desig nated in the Indian numeric system. Many students of God Speaks will be aware that this is the number ofbirths that the dropsoul orjivatma typically passes through in the cycle of reincarnation in human form. For many years nothing struck me as es pecially noteworthy about this apart from the fact that the number is very large. But Infinite Intelligence has added a new twist. For in that book Baba tells us that the jivatma passes through 8,400,000 species— not individual forms, but species—in the evolutionaryjourney from stone to human form. In other words, the number ofspecies in evolution matches the number ofhuman incarnations! Though Baba Himself never makes the connection, it is hard to resist the inference that evolution and reincarnation must mirror each other in some way. Perhaps the number 8,400,000 relates to some fiandamental structure within the nature and unfolding of consciousness that the soul encounters first while trying to gather consciousness in the cycle ofevolution and then again through the “shaking down” of
its sanskaras as it reincarnates as man and woman. It seems that 84 lakhs is a traditional number in Indian culture. In Hinduism one finds it applied both to the number of species ofanimal life and to the number of human incarnations. I happened to bump into it myself in the thirteenth-century Perfect Master Dnyaneshwar’s famous commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. I understand that the number originates in the Upanishads, though I don’t know the source for this. Now we come to the coincidence that is the central idea for this article: and here I want to credit my friend Gary Kleiner, who
was the one who noticed it and pointed it out one day in connection with our God Speaks meetings at Meherabad. Gary’s observation takes us back to the human gene. The gene contains twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, arranged in the form ofa double helix. (The pairing of the chromosomes, ofcourse, comes about as a result of the union of the sperm and ovum in the process ofsexual reproduction). Now let us perform the arithmetic operation of taking the number two to the twenty-third power. For those among us whose math is rusty this means multiplying two times two times two—and so forth—in an operation where the number “two” occurs twentythree times. What is the result? 223 8,388,608 In other words, two to the twenty-third power equals 83 lakhs: eight miUion, three hundred, eighty eight thousand, six hundred and eight: within twelve thousand of
84 lakhs! One could hardly ask for a pri maryarithmetical operation that hits Baba’s number on the head more exactly. Now while it may not be possible to frilly pin down the significance of this co incidence, surely it is suggestive. We know from GodSpeaks that the human form is the terminus and goal ofevolution; moreover it seems in some sense to be a microcosm and image of the Divine, as one would gather from part seven of God Speaks, as well as from such traditional sources as the Bible. In GodSpeaks and other books, Baba tells us that the human form is latent within every form in evolution; all subhuman forms are actually the human form in varying stages and degrees of development. From the standpoint ofcontemporary biological sci ence, the model or plan for the ffill-grown human is contained within the genetic code. Putting all ofthis together, one is tempted to speculate that the number of species in evolution and the number of rebirths in the process of reincarnation derives in some sense from the human form itself as reflected in the structure of the human gene. Why exactly is it that this particular mathematical operation—that is—mul tiplying two by itself twenty-three times, produces the number that relates the hu man gene to the processes ofevolution and reincarnation? Here the inquiry goes beyond my competence: I have no idea. One imagines that the copulation (coupling) of the two strings of chromosomes that results from the sexual act in some sense corresponds to the arithmetic operation of multiplying two by itsell that is, each pairing ofchromosomes squares the number of species and lifetimes. Perhaps in the days to come a new tribe of mystically minded biologists will discover and unpack the connections that are involved here as they begin to pioneer a science that recognizes the spiritual dimensions of evolution and genetics. But for now, as I see it, this co incidence concerning the number 84 lakhs gives us another hint, another intimation of the profound interconnectedness between God, the human form, and the cosmos, as revealed to us through the metaphysics of our Lord Avatar Meher Baba.
A R I ZO N A Tucson: Irma Sheppard 520-321-1566, email@example.com flagstaff: Laurent Weichberger 928-774-8305, firstname.lastname@example.org CALl FORN IA
M A I NE Midcoast: Our meetings happen and are planned spontaneously and irregularly by the Maine Baba regulars. Contact Ken Lax 207-594-6391 email@example.com Daniel/Carolyn Montague 207-594-4115 Newcastle: Noreen O’Brien 207-975-6687, firstname.lastname@example.org
LosAngeles: Sundays, 11 AM to 1 PM at Meherabode 323-731-3737 1214 5. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019 (just east of the MASSACHUSETTS intersection ofArlington and 12th Street) Meher Baba Information Cambridge: Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern Siegell 617-864-3997 Michael Center, nts California news and announceme I MISSISSIPP www.Meherabode.org 9 601-355-895 Rippa, Peter Jackson: Ojai: Meher Mount: RayJohnston & Elizabeth Arnold 805-640-0000 email@example.com ‘ www.mehermount.com Sacramento: Marilyn Buehler LOCATIONS 9 16-812-9496, firstname.lastname@example.org . . MEETINGS www.premsay.com/MeherBaba San Francisco Bay Area: Information . ; CoNTACTs 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet 5 10-351-8259, Benleet@earthlink.net Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center, 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-293 1 www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org COLORADO & SOUTHWEST Denver: Sundays at 7 pm at homes in the Metro area. For Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona info, contact Barbara A. Roberts 303-238-4649, email@example.com
Prague: Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, retreat and Baba’s accident site 405-567-4774 firstname.lastname@example.org www.heartland.meherbaba.org
Atlanta/Athens: Contact Ed Legum 770-552-8980, email@example.com HAWAII
Maui: Meredith Moon 1940 Olinda Road Makawao, HI 96768, 808-573-1188 meredithmoonl @mac.com Molokai: Shirley Alapa, 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383 (msg.), fax: 808-567-6363 firstname.lastname@example.org ILLINOIS
Chicago: Meher Baba Information Ctr. Carol Kovalevych, 312-633-0696 email@example.com LOU ISIANA
New Orleans: Avatar Meher Baba Cen ter monthly meeting and film program. Joe Burke 601-278-6245, barkeno@aoicom
Nacogdoches: Chris and Anne Barker 936-560-263 1, firstname.lastname@example.org WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 202-946-0236 Friday and Saturday meetings www.lifeimages.com/MeherB aba WASHINGTON STATE
Seattle: Fridays at 8 PM and for special events. Cynthia Barrientos 206-713-9905, email@example.com ENGLAND
London: Meher Baba Centre 228 Hammersmith Grove LondonW6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08 www.meherbaba.co.uk FRANCE
Tampa!CleanraterJane Paladino, 813-962-8629 Tom Decker, 727-536-9282 Defray Beach: Mickey and Wendy Karger, 561-638-3114
Asheville: Winnie Barrett, 828-274-7154, firstname.lastname@example.org Peter and Debbie Nordeen email@example.com Greensboro: Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730 firstname.lastname@example.org Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh: Carol Verner, 919-933-3550 email@example.com
Missoula: Andy Shott, 406-549-5949 Emigrant: Anne Haug, 406-333-4582 NEW HAMPSHIRE
Liz Miller 603-749-3668 firstname.lastname@example.org NEW MEXICO
Santa Fe: Last Thursday of the month at 7 PM in home of Robert Reser and Edle Andersen, 505-983-6621 email@example.com NEVADA
Las Vegas: Dick and Carol Mannis host, 702-326-1701, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marseille: C. Dallemagne, 4 91 39 02 Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 4 94 41 39 02 St. Nazaire: Christine & Phillipe Joucla 297461319 Connerre: Andre Grimard 243890194 Paris: Claude Longuet, 1 44 59 30 06 ISRAEL
Jerusalem: Michal Sivan email@example.com MEXICO
Mexico City/Cancun/Acapulco: Meetings about every month at 7 PM Rafael Villafane, email preferred firstname.lastname@example.org From USA: 011 52 555 295-0512 Cell from USA: 011 52 555 502-7225
N.Y. City: www.MeherBabaHouse.org 212-971-1050, email@example.com Upstate NewYork Albany/SaratogaJSchenectady: Regine Brate 518-383-0598
For changes, additions or deletions, p lease email Dinagibson @mac.com
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