Volume 1, Issue 4                                             May 2012, Meherabode's Newsletter
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California   
Meherabode
In This Issue
Mehru
President's Corner
Membership
Archives
Programs
Garden & Landscape
Outreach & Service
Meher Baba Books
Mehru's Poem
Contact Information
 Colophon
May 2012
Jai Meher Baba!   Welcome to the May 2012 edition of Meherabode's Newsletter, brought to you as a regular feature by the Board of Directors of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California.

 

I tell you all, with my Divine Authority,

that you and I are not "WE," but "ONE"

Meher Baba

 

This edition is dedicated to Meheru Irani, Meher Baba's close disciple.

Meheru Rustom Irani
Meheru was born in 1928 to Rustom and Freny Irani, two of Meher Baba's very close disciples from His earliest ashram days. Freny was Mehera's sister and Rustom was Adi K. Irani's elder brother.

On April 21, 2012 at 4:06 p.m. (India Standard Time) at Meherazad, Baba gathered His dearest Meheru into His loving embrace as she departed this earthly realm. Her remarkable life of courage, sacrifice, unswerving focus, and whole-hearted dedication to her Beloved are a lasting tribute to Him and a source of inspiration to us all.


On Caring

By Meheru, Meherazad, India (January 1997)


A mother who loves her baby does not spend her time just loving it. In fact in the daily routine of caring for its needs day and night, being there for it, feeding it, changing its nappies, and all the things that go into bringing it up-there is often little time to dwell on how much she loves her baby, except for a little fondling now and then. But it is her love that makes it a joy for her to care for her child every hour of the day.

For us too, just loving Baba is not enough. With Him not physically here you can show your love for Him by doing the things that please Him.

Baba has given us How to Love God to follow and the Prayer of Repentance to live by. By caring to do these things, by caring to live the way of life Baba desires of us, we can show our love for Him and truly love Him.

For the mandali, we who lived with Baba and served His needs, it was not really us giving to Baba, it was Baba who was giving to us,-giving us the wonderful privilege and opportunity to do His work. And it was from Mehera I learned, to some extent, the depth to which caring can go. She showed how much Baba was with her continuously, even in the everyday work at hand.

In her personal service to Baba I witnessed and still have the picture in my mind of her combing and brushing Baba's hair every day. Even if Baba was in a hurry Mehera would do it carefully and gently with a scarf draped around Baba's shoulders and back so that not a single strand of His precious hair that came out in the combing or braiding would be lost. And then she'd tenderly tie a special colored bow on the braid.

It was not only how Mehera cared for His beautiful form but how she cared for everything having to do with Baba that was so unforgettable. The way she took care of His clothes: His coat, His sadra, etc., all were delicately handled and folded just so and placed just so. And when washing them I had to be so gentle with all of them. When we were going through Baba's old clothes after He dropped His body I felt the need of washing so many of them that had collected over the years. While washing some of His short pants which were covered by the sadra, I found a few of them had delicate lace stitched on the hem - white on white! I had never seen them before and it brought tears to my eyes as I saw another aspect of Mehera's love and caring for her Beloved.

In the early days the women mandali had so few new clothes and by patching and repatching they would make their everyday wear last a long time. Yet, when Baba was travelling either in India or the West, they filled in their days making things for Baba - a crown, a garland, or something special for Him - which showed that He was never absent from either their hearts or their thoughts.

From Baba's hair and nails they would design lovely brooches in which they placed tiny photos of Baba. Even in that act, Mehera and Mani and the others would never cut up a photograph of Baba just for the sake of the head. That action, even on paper, was distasteful and hurtful to them-it would have to be a photograph just of His head, if that was what they needed.

Being with Mehera I got to learn so many different ways, not only of working for Baba, but of doing it in a special caring way. If we were sitting at the table with Baba and a knife was pointing towards Him, immediately Mehera would notice it and have me turn it in another direction. It did not matter whether I had placed it there or not-why had I not seen it and rectified the error? It was the same with Baba's photos-no painted instrument could be directed towards them. For Baba we offer flowers symbolizing that for the Beloved our desire is to offer all that is best in us.

After Baba dropped His body I began taking care of the drawing room as Mehera wanted to do the dusting of Baba's photos in His room. Dusting each photo Mehera would be with Baba, remembering Him, talking with Him-lost in her reverie, as she gently stroked His picture with the softest of silk dusters. Every photo of Baba was precious to her.

One day as I was dusting Baba's photos in the hall, Mehera saw me blowing the dust off the frame of a lovely photo. This frame of shells had been made by Mehera herself. Immediately she told me not to blow on Baba's photo. I told her I was not blowing on the photo but on the frame as it was not possible to dust it off with the cloth. "Well," she said, "See that you cover Baba's photo with a cloth before you blow on the frame . Baba had told me never to blow on His photo." The way in which she said this, I felt she was looking back on an episode that had occurred years ago, yet it was as clear in her mind as if Baba had told her but yesterday. That impressed me so deeply-how present Baba was with her at all times. And now for me it is such a gift to remember Mehera each time I need to blow on any frame - which is daily!

Even on letterheads with Baba's face or name stamped on them, Mehera would carefully cut out and keep the image; be it of Baba, of Krishna, or Christ, etc. All the Avatars and the saints would be respected and their photos never crumpled up or thrown away in the trash basket nor allowed to inadvertently get underfoot.

I love to see you all wearing Baba buttons or tee shirts with Baba's face on them, but when you do so you should always be aware of the honor. They should help you to remember Baba and act in the way that is pleasing to Him. And when you wash the tee shirt, wash it separately and not with underwear or socks. Give Baba's picture the respect it deserves. (Loving Baba is important and so is caring for Him.) Don't throw the tee-shirt down when you change it but place it gently and never leave it on the floor to get underfoot. Care should be taken of every form and image of the God-man who walked the earth and served humanity. His image, His likeness, is always to be revered and respected.

Let your life be one of loving and caring not only for Baba but for your fellow beings and remember Baba is in them as He is in you. Caring for one another is important - it is caring for Baba. With awe I remember the care and love Baba poured on each and all who came for His darshan. When we say Baba gave darshan He was truly giving. He alone could fill each cup to overflowing. It is for us to give our cup such depth that it can hold as much as possible of the precious gift of love that ever flows from the font of love, and let it ever increase with our sharing of it with others.

 

President's Corner

Dear Companion-Friends in Meher Baba,

 

Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!

 

With this Newsletter, and in future dispatches, we are writing to bring you up to date on various aspects of Meherabode, the lovely Meher Baba Center in the City of Angels.  This one-acre sanctuary rests secluded in the midst residential properties due south of the Hollywood foothills.  There is a serene atmosphere and palpable presence of Baba's sweetness here at Meherabode.
In the spirit of spring, I send warm greetings and thoughts of gratitude to you all, wishing you well in His Love.  This Newsletter is going out just after Meheru, the last remaining member of the women Mandali, has departed from earthly-life and reunited with her Beloved Baba.  We will all miss Meheru's presence at Meherazad. 
 
I am very pleased to announce the most wonderful addition of two new Board members:  Linda Zavala and Lynne Berry.  Please join me to welcome them to the 2012 Board of Directors. 
 
Linda Zavala, who has served Baba's Center for the past 35 years in many capacities, will now serve as our new Finance Director as well as continuing her diligent work as our Center's Treasurer. Lynne Berry, who has been with Baba for 40 years and have served on the Board of Directors several times in previous decades, will serve as our new Membership Director. Linda and Lynne's good work ethic and conscientious natures have been of tremendous help to us already.
 

As we make our best efforts to please Beloved Baba, Meherabode is undergoing many positive changes.  With respect to the financial side of the Center's life, we are happy to announce that for the first time, Meherabode has implemented its own 'in-house' accounting system.  We have purchased, installed, and begun to implement QuickBooks 2012.  With this process upgrade, the Center now has immediate, direct access to a state-of-the-art financial reporting system. 

 

Financial information pertaining to various Center activities will be accessed and accounted for at the "press of a button." Updated reports can be generated expeditiously for Board members, with details to be shared periodically with the voting membership of our Baba community. I am thrilled about this. Moreover we are also implementing certain cost cutting procedures to reduce our monthly operational expenses.

 

Our anticipated SECOND SILENCE DAY URBAN SAHAVAS has been scheduled for the weekend of June 30th and July 1st.  We're excited about our wonderful guest speakers, Wendy Haynes and Buz Connor, who will be joining us straight from Baba's House in Myrtle Beach. They will both help us kick off the Sahavas with our annual 'Live and Silent Auction' on evening June 30th.  Join us for this fun and exciting auction with many items available, augmented by great food. If you would like to donate an item for the Live or Silent Auction, please contact Behnaz Partovi, Fundraising Chair, at (818) 832-4554).

 

If you should have any new fundraising ideas, kindly contact members of the Fundraising Committee at info@meherabode.org.

 

For the Sahavas, we are offering a special Early Bird registration opportunity for all to register anytime during the month of May and receive an approximately 15% discount on the registration fee.  To view and print a copy of the Sahavas registration form (with this special discounted rate), please click HERE.
 

Frankly, we need ongoing participation and volunteer contributions from the whole Southern California Baba community. Without your participation in various forms, this Center cannot sustain itself forever. Please feel free to write me, at info@meherabode.org, my door is always open for suggestions. Also please feel free to let me know if you would like to lend a hand.  Our Center can thrive only with the camaraderie of shared skills and also financial contributions of our whole Baba community.  We feel happy as we salute the love of Beloved Baba's lovers.

 

Meherabode is felt by many to be among the loveliest of Meher Baba Centers in the United States. We are fortunate indeed to work and congregate at this unique one-acre Baba Center.  We look forward to greeting you in person at Meherabode.  And we'll greet you once again in our next Newsletter  in the  virtual realm. 
 
Yours truly, 
 
-Mahoo Ghorbani / AMBCSC President

 

What's Happening with Membership?
Since I first became a member of the LA Baba Center in 1978, I recall our Membership Chair has traditionally been responsible for keeping the list of Member names.  However, since beginning a few weeks ago as the Baba Center's new Membership Chair, I'd like to expand this role to also be a voice for our Members as needed.  I'd like to offer my assistance as a liaison for Members who have ideas they'd like to bring to our Center, and who may need input and direction in getting their ideas heard or implemented.
 
I believe Members and Directors agree that we want more emphasis on Baba and less on the Board.  The Board should be of little importance other than to work in the background, taking care of necessary details that help make the organization run.  I hold hands with other Directors in expressing that the heart and soul of our Baba community are the Members.
 
To quote Meher Baba, "Gatherings and meetings in My name should be a channel for the expression of My love; to give them any other importance is to misunderstand My cause."If I can be of service, please feel free to contact me at blyn7@sbcglobal.net.
 
In Baba's Love, 
 
-Lynne Berry / Membership
AMBCSC Archives Column

The aim, mission and goal of AMBCSC Archive is the museum quality protection and preservation of any and all materials, directly and indirectly relating to the Advent of Avatar Meher Baba.

 

The assets Archive has in its custody are all-inclusive. Archive has devoted time and attention to the care, restoration, and preservation of film and audio recordings. Archive houses and protects many published items and materials; catalogued are first edition books, signed first edition books, and rare and out of print books. Our inventory includes pamphlets, brochures, and leaflets, some of which are rare and long-since out of print.   Photographs and other precious Items relating to Meher Baba's Advent are stored and maintained with museum quality professionalism. 
 
The Archive Collection includes tangible materials such as chairs that held Meher Baba's physical form, a Sadhra He wore, and other items blessed by His Touch. Archive also houses keepsakes, buttons, and other personal items related to Meher Baba and His close ones. The AMBCSC Archive is a repository of a most remarkable collection of Meher Baba memorabilia and precious items.
 

Assets and collections are kept in a climate controlled archive facility located within the properties of AMBCSC. The chairs are the exception; they are accessible to the public, to His devotees during regular hours. The growing Archive Collection is listed on the Internet; links that contain the inventory will be provided in a future announcement.
 
The image shown here is the Archive Workshop.  It is at this station raw film is duplicated, rare books are bound in archive sleeves, and audio sets are digitized. Through a laborious and professionally maintained process, photographs are restored. Additional activities include the creation, duplication and dissemination of the oral history DVD documentaries, posting videos on YouTube for global access, the manual scanning of rare print publications, and a variety of daily activities required to maintain the integrity of the archival process of the AMBCSC Archive Collection.      

 

AMBCSC Archive invites the reader to visit Adele Wolkin's slideshow:   http://youtu.be/sNMPZaIwIWQ 

 

AMBCSC Archive invites the reader to visit the first issue of nCarnation Issue One http://meherbabaarchivesnewsletterone.blogspot.com/

 

What's Happening with Programs?

Meherabode strives to provide a spiritual thread amid one's daily life, an oasis where Baba-lovers can connect to Baba within, a place where life's distractions can fall away.  Weekly programs bring all together as a family in remembrance of our Beloved.

 

Weekly Programs and Events 
 
Each lover of Meher Baba has a uniquely personal relationship
with Beloved Baba.  It's exciting when we join together in creating, planning and producing programs at our Center.  I am thrilled by contributions our members make.  When Baba's lovers are given a structure within which to focus their hearts, love released from their hearts creates His atmosphere. 
 
In the first quarter of 2012, Meherabode was filled with renewed energy and spirit, improved attendance, participation, and new programs. Our second quarter has also had many exciting weekly programs.
 

An April Highlight at Meherabode:  Merwan Merchant's Visit

 

It was like a scene out of a movie, the Master, Meher Baba gesturing to the female disciple, Kharmen Irani that she should name her grandson after him and call the infant Merwan.  Thus began Merwan Merchant's intimate relationship with the Avatar of the age.

 

Merwan was our special April guest for two weeks, and in that time we were fortunate to have him speak at two meetings at Meherabode.

 Kaykhosrow Pleader

Merwan (amid his American tour from India) focused his talk on the figure of Kaykhosrow Pleader, an early member of Baba's Mandali, whom Baba had called His "outstanding disciple." Through the medium of Pleader's story, Merwan disclosed vital lessons learned.

 

Not only did Merwan's stories reveal an extremely personal aspect of what it's like to live in the orbit of Meher Baba, but also the atmosphere that was created was filled with Baba's sweetness.  There was good attendance, music was performed by David Raphael Israel (singing Meher Baba's name in the Indian raaga Bhairavi), soulful songs were performed on guitar by Michael Campagna, and Persian ghazals were shared by Ali and Mahmoud.  Everybody broke bread together at the potluck luncheons and enjoyed good conversations..



Ongoing Meetings at Meherabode

 

Fred Stankus hosts the popular Lord Meher readings with passionate discussions on the third Sunday of each month.  There are always biscottis and Chai!

 

Our Baba BBQ, hosted by the Choi family on the second Saturday of each month, is always relaxing, fun and one never knows who may show up. 

 

David Raphael Israel's Baba-film sessions also take place once a month.

 

June's Heart and Mind Highlight


Infinite IntelligenceSaturday June 2nd and Sunday June 3rd, Ward Parks will bring a blending of the heart and mind with songs dedicated to Meher Baba, along with leading an in-depth seminar delving into Meher Baba's cosmology as expressed in God Speaks as well as in the recently-published, early spiritual manuscript of Baba's, Infinite Intelligence.

 

-Deborah Ash / The Program Committee  

 

 

Garden & Landscape Report

Meher Baba's Manifestation took another upward push with the purchase of the AMBCSC, Meherabode property in 1997. One of the first areas of development was Mehera's Rose Garden with more than 20 special rose plants carefully chosen. The diversity of rose plants are located at the entrance corner of the main building. See the picture.

 

An inventory of the trees was made, and several that were cracking walls and foundations had to be removed. More than 18 new flowering trees planted, including dogwood, pink trumpet flower, gold medallion, crape myrtle, jacaranda, Western redbud, and lilac.

 

The Greenhouse floor was excavated, a professional metal grid, compacted earth, and new paver stones applied. The Dome's stone pathways were completely restored, and complementary perennial gardens established at the parking lot edges.

 

The Monsoon Gardens, known as Upper Monsoon and Lower Monsoon over the last few years were completely excavated.

 

meherabode grounds

The Monsoon Gardens are gradually evolving as flower gardens. The diversity of trees that populate the grounds have received professional trimming to maintain their health and appearance. The fruit trees -persimmon, avocado, fig, and citrus are showing new health after applications of managed fertilization.

 

To Be Continued ...

 

Mastery-in-Servitude through Outreach and Service 

Committee Report

The Mastery-in-Servitude Committee welcomes you to volunteer.  Please note, we have a new coordination tool: an online bulletin board.   With the needs of our community being so diverse, several people in our community sent us to Lotsa Helping Hands (www.lotsahelpinghands.com), where we have now established a message board under the name "Meher Baba's Mastery in Servitude."  Go to: https://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/create/activate/50ee9517967ee956df2c0efe3bfc6aca?language=en

 

 It is self-explanatory (and has instructions).  If there is any problem, please call me.  Several people in our community do not drive, and need rides to programs or meetings or doctor's appointments.  Thanks to those on the team that have already participated.  (Baba knows who you are!)  Please consider volunteering to help via Lotsa Helping Hands. And to note:   The "A Touch of Love" Foundation.  Their works of service are described on their website; see: http://www.atouchoflove.org/

Wayne Gellar is a Baba-lover, and this foundation of his is a registered not-for-profit organization, located in Ventura, California. And also to note:  There is a site called Meher Baba Remembrances, which might interest many of you, as its purpose is to convey new of those in the Meher Baba community world-wide who have passed away, giving a short biography along with information about memorial services.  Check it out at

We continue with the birthdays monthly, held on the first Sunday of each month,
Colophonwhen a birthday person from that month offers to donate a cake and to lead the birthday song at the end of the Sunday meeting.  We use only the relevant months (no days or years needed).  So I will call some birthday-persons for this next month to remind you.  Be ready, May birthday-wallas! Let me know your ideas on how we can make it simpler to further assist our brothers and sisters in Meher Baba. 
 
In Meher Baba, 
-Mary Kay Hage  / The Service Committee 
 
(626) 918-7761

Meher Baba Books Corner 

Welcome to the world of MeherBabaBooks Bookstore.
 
Step inside the MeherBabaBooks on line Bookstore and see the variety of Books, CD's, DVDs, Jewelry, Apparel, Trinkets, Photos,...

 

 

History of the Bookstore -- Founded in 1988, Meher Baba Books carries the largest selection of Books, DVD's, CD's and photographs as well as rare and unique out of print titles. It is also the number one online source for transcribed talks and recordings of gatherings and events, all captured by the Archive Division of AMBCSC.

 

The purpose of Meher Baba Books is to provide the world with a broad media selection of the teachings of Meher Baba, the Avatar of the Age. Working in concert with our Archive Committee, we will also make available precious items in our custody.

 

Meher Baba Books is an important source of financial contribution to the operating expenses of AMBCSC, making sure the sanctified grounds of Meherabode remain the 'Oasis of His Love' to His children.

 

This website www.MeherBabaBooks.com is made possible through your generous donations.

Special online Bookstore's Feature -- Book Club

Check it out! Our inspiring book club for Meherabode ArcAngels features a selection of five books throughout the year.

 

- Meherabode Angeles will receive four books throughout the year.

- Both groups qualify for our Free Shipping program.

Your generous donation is greatly appreciated!

Visit our unique Bookstore at www.MeherBabaBooks.com.

For questions about any and all orders, please contact us at info@meherbababooks.com, or 323.730.5281

-Afsaneh Ajang / Meher Baba Books

 


 

A Poem by Meheru Irani

 

Keep away from all attachments,

Snap the threads that cling,

And open wide your heart

To welcome Meher your King.

 

He is so infinitely worthy

Of all the love you give,

Think of Him in all you do,

Let His message in you live.

 

Meher is the One who loves You,

Meher is the One who cares,

He joins in your laughter,

And in your sorrow, shares.

 

He is your One true Friend,

So many times He has shown,

He will never fail you,

You will never be alone.

 

Although He is the King of Kings,

True humility He does teach,

Me has bathed and fed the leper,

Nowhere does His love not reach.

 

Keep away from all attachments,

Snap the threads that cling,

And open wide your heart

To welcome Meher your King.

 

 

-- Meheru Irani

 

 

2012 Board of Directors:

 

President:

Mahoo Ghorbani 

MahooBaba@gmail.com

 

Vice President:
Lois Jones

Secretary:
Rosie Choi

Programs:
Deborah Ash

Archives/Landscape:
Sonya Valentine

Service:
Mary Kay Shubat-Hage

Finance Director / Treasurer:
Linda Zavala
 
Membership Director
Lynne Berry

 

In His Love and Service,

  

The 2012 Board of directors. 

  
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