Volume  1, Issue 6              Meherabode Newsletter ─ July-August 2012
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California   
Meherabode
 Colophon
Jai Meher Baba! Welcome to the July-August 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 (AMBCSC).

I tell you all, with my divine authority,

that you and I are not "we" but "One."    Meher Baba

Mission Statement

of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California (Meherabode)

  • The specific and primary purpose is to nurture an awareness of Avatar Meher Baba by establishing and maintaining a place of community.
  • The Center shall make information about our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba's life and His message of Love and Truth available to all.
  • It shall provide an opportunity for active love and service in His name.
  • It shall be organized and run according to democratic principles.
  • It shall undertake and/or support, directly or indirectly, such projects, programs, services or activities at such times and in such places, within or without the State of California or the United States of America, as the Board of Directors of the corporation determine are appropriate to further or make manifest the spiritual values exemplified in the life and writings of Avatar Meher Baba, and to bring the restorative power of divine love into people's lives everywhere.
Manu Jessawala Joins Her Beloved Baba
Manu Byramshaw Jessawala, sister of Eruch and Meherwan Jessawala, joined her Beloved Meher Baba on August 16th, 2012, at 5:58 am in Meherazad. Manu had [suffered an acute heart condition ] for several weeks and this morning she peacefully drifted into her Beloved's waiting arms with her family and caregivers around her repeating Baba's Name. Manu was 93 years old. Her cremation will be [held] at Meherabad on 16th August at 5 pm. 

Manu, daughter of Gaimai and Pappa Jessawala, was born in 1919 in Nagpur, but she lived with her family for many years at Bindra House in Pune where Baba and His Mandali often stayed during Baba's visits there. On 1st August 1938, Manu and the entire Jessawala family joined Baba's ashram in Meherabad and thereafter traveled throughout India in the Blue Bus with Him. Finally, in 1943 Baba sent the family to Pune where they took up residence in Bindra House awaiting Baba's call. While residing there, Manu and her family were in daily contact with Baba wherever He was. In 1990 Bindra House was sold by its owner and, as Baba during His lifetime had given the family permission to live at Meherazad, Gaimai, Manu and Meherwan joined Eruch, and
he other resident Mandali at Meherazad.
Manu with Meherwan Jessawala

Manu's life of total obedience, love and service to Beloved Baba till the very end has been an inspiration to all who have met her. Her constant remembrance of and focus on Meher Baba are precious touchstones guiding our way to His feet. Her sole desire was to die with Baba's Name on her lips and as she returned to Him, her family and caregivers ensured that she heard Baba's name till the very end.

We, your Meherazad family, salute you, dearest Manu, for a life lived in complete surrender to your Beloved Avatar Meher Baba.
 

AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!

Meherwan Jessawala & Meherazad Family
16th August 2012 
President's Corner

Dear Companion-Friends in Meher Baba,

 

While amidst midsummer and hot weather even in Southern California, I send warm greetings and grateful thoughts to all of you, wishing you well in His love. As this newsletter is being prepared, a grave Earthquake in the Northwestern part of Iran left many injured and wounded.  And at Meherazad, His abode, Manu has just now left us for Beloved Baba's arms.

With this Newsletter (and in similar, regular dispatches), we are writing to bring you up to date on various aspects of Meherabode.

We had our wonderful Second Urban Sahavas in the beginning of July, where 80 people attended for two days to share companionship in His Love. Wendy and Buz Connor brought so much joy and laughter to us, sharing their experience of Meher Baba's presence in their lives. The annual Silent and Live Auction took place on evening of first day. This special Sahavas event included a festive dinner, musical concert, and rare Baba treasures offered in the convivial auction.

On the financial side, we took in net proceeds of $3,700 from the Sahavas event and approximately $5,000 from the Auction. Meherabode
also recently hosted a film location shoot that generated $1,000 for the Center. So we are making some progress in the Center's financial life, despite challenges.

adele baba As many of you are already aware, within the past year Meherabode (AMBCSC) was notified by an attorney in New York that a certain kind friend, Shanti Keswani, having recently passed away, had bequeathed her entire estate to the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. The 2012 Board of Directors has asked local attorney Stephen Sanders, who is a member of our local Baba community, to represent us in connection with this bequest, and Stephen has pursued discussions with the attorney for Dr. Keswani's estate. Settlement of the estate and distribution of funds will not happen swiftly; it takes more time to complete legal proceedings than initially anticipated. Yet we do await this bright God-send endowment in the ripeness of time. Meanwhile, Meherabode continues with various efforts to generate a working income so as to sustain daily operations. Do read the update on the Keswani estate by Stephen Sanders, appearing directly below.

Ring 2 (close up) On the darker side of things, a regrettable incident transpired at Meherabode prior to or during the recent Sahavas, where two rings (bearing the image of Meher Baba) which had been touched and blessed by Beloved Baba Himself, were evidently stolen. These rings were donated to the Center for the Annual Dinner Auction, on Saturday evening of the Sahavas weekend. A police report was filed immediately, and whatever efforts could be made to identify the suspect(s) were made, without achieving a solution. (For more details, see: Report of a Regrettable Incident.) We pray Baba will help us with respect to this loss, and that the items might yet be returned. We welcome the anonymous return of these rings, should the "borrower" feel a twinge of conscience. New security measures have now been implemented at Meherabode.  In this realm of illusion, the shifting balance of dark and light is incessant.

As we move into the end-game this vibrant summer season, I hope you are feeling the Baba connection with Meherabode and will visit us more often. Weekly prog rams are offered for His lovers every Sunday. He who is everywhere is also here, and His love is present for each of us to experience, by His grace. Looking forward to greeting and embracing you in His love. Meanwhile, keep happy, be content in life, and remain cheerful. As Beloved Baba says, Don't worry, Be Happy!

 

Yours truly,   

Mahoo Ghorbani / AMBCSC President
An Update on the Keswani Estate
The matter of the AMBCSC's beneficial interest in the Shanti Keswani Estate in New York is moving forward, albeit there was some delay and complication due to the illness and subsequent death of the wife of the probate attorney representing the named Executor of the estate. The AMBCSC Board has benefited from work by a local Rochester, New York law firm suggested by Nancy Marx (a probate attorney and Baba-lover in Connecticut), and this Rochester firm has advised us as to New York State law and has participated as we seek to protect the Center's interests and to facilitate a resolution of any outstanding issues. Probate proceedings can be slow, but we expect to receive a distribution of funds within the next year.

Jai Baba,
Stephen M. Sanders / Corporate Counsel
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, a California non-profit corporation
A Message from the Membership Director 
Meherabode Members & Friends [at 2nd Annual Urban Sahavas]
The primary goal of the Membership Committee is for all members to feel welcome at our Center -- to attend programs, to volunteer or participate, and/or simply to relax and enjoy His atmosphere. We are a diverse community, united in our common bonds of remembrance and devotion to Baba, and coming together in His love is a primary reason we have our Center. And what a lovely Center He has provided for us, beautiful Meherabode
 
If you have any questions or concerns about membership or the community, please feel free to contact me at blyn7@sbcglobal.net. I will do everything I can to help.
 
Jai Baba,
Lynne Berry / Membership Director
A Report on the Not 'We' but 'One' Sahavas 

The Second Annual Silence Day Urban Sahavas in the lovely rose-gardened setting of Meherabode began with the raising of Baba's flag, given to the Center years ago by Meheru Irani (who rejoined Him in the spring of this year). Our guests, Wendy Haynes Connor and her husband, Buz Connor, then showed the newly-released movie, I Am the One Reality, with never-before-seen footage of Baba and His early Western disciples, filmed in India and Portofino, Italy in 1933. This film footage was discovered among Elizabeth Patterson's effects after she passed away, and it took eight years in a labor of love to restore the footage, frame by frame.

  

Amongst many vivid and intimate scenes in the film is a recounting of the well-known Italian sea cliff incident, where Baba led a group down to the beach. On the way back up, He led them via a more precarious route, and three became trapped. There were many tense moments before they were rescued. What is striking is Baba's explanation that during such times of danger and challenge, He can do His universal work more easily.

 

The first talk was given by Wendy, regarding her first meeting with Meher Baba in His physical form, at age six at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Wendy said of this encounter and its aftermath, "I feel that Baba and I have never been apart because the love continues, and there is no separation."

  

Wendy's life with Baba began in June 1957, when her mother, Jane Haynes, met Elizabeth Patterson in Myrtle Beach. Jane was a well-respected theater actor, director and producer in Durham, North Carolina. In 1954, she directed Zazu Pitts in a play. Zazu had been drawn into Baba's orbit in 1932 in Hollywood, through her actress-friends Marie Dressler and Mary Pickford. When Zazu met Jane, she said to her, "Darling, when you have your own theater, I will come to the opening."

  

In June, 1957, after experiencing a profound and transforming inner spiritual event a few years before, and facing the impending dissolution of her marriage, Jane received an offer to run a small theater in Myrtle Beach, so she packed up and moved there with her three children, Wendy, Charles and John. Once in Myrtle Beach, Jane phoned Zazu in Hollywood, and Zazu accepted her invitation as promised.

Linda Zavala and Rosie Choi amid Silent Auction at Sahavas


 

For Zazu's entertainment, Jane arranged a tour of beautiful homes in the area. One belonged to Eileen Coates, who had a photo of Baba on display, which Zazu, of course, recognized. Jane then recalled her father's article about Baba's 1952 visit, and thought, "An Indian guru -- oh, my!" (Jane's father was the editor of a Durham, North Carolina newspaper.)

  

Meanwhile, Zazu and Eileen had arranged to visit with Elizabeth Patterson at her Youpon Dunes home near downtown Myrtle Beach. Jane was reluctant to go with them, as she was a devout Christian. Meanwhile, as Baba's Norina had just passed away, and Norina had told Elizabeth not to mourn, Elizabeth decided to use the theater tickets she had been given. When she arrived, Jane happened to be in front, greeting patrons. Elizabeth noticed Jane because of her striking beauty.


 

The next day, Jane did go to the Meher Spiritual Center with Zazu. Upon seeing the tall fence surrounding Baba's house, Jane burst into tears because she recognized it from a vision that she'd had some while earlier. With this, all of Jane's barriers to Baba fell.

  

Shortly after that recognition, Wendy "met" Baba through her first meeting with Elizabeth Patterson and Kitty Davy, who together were managing His Home in the West. Baba had said that Elizabeth was His link to the West. (Years later, in 1974, Baba's sister Mani explained to Wendy that Baba's hand is in every detail of each person's story.) In all, it was a delightful talk.

 

In the afternoon, Reza Abrahimzadeh, an ardent Iranian Baba-lover living in LA, conducted a wonderful workshop entitled The Rumi Enigma. Quoting Rumi, a Perfect Master (born in 1207 in what is now Afghanistan), Reza recited:

We are from the heavens, and to the heavens we fly.

We are from the Ocean, and to the Ocean we flow.

Remember, in every breath, we go.

Buz (guitar) and Jeff (harmonica) amid festive dinner; some Live Auction items in view

In the evening, we enjoyed more of the Meher magical music of Buz Connor, sometimes accompanied by Jeff Maguire on harmonica. (Mehera once observed that Buz's voice quality reminded her of Baba's own singing [in the early years, prior to commencing silence in 1925], especially when Buz goes into the higher register. She also said this of Ted Judson.)

  

The next day, Sunday, Wendy and Buz shared with us many lively and amusing memories of Baba's Western Mandali, especially Elizabeth, Kitty and Margaret Craske. They said all three were focused only on Baba. After Baba dropped His body (January 31, 1969), His Center at Myrtle Beach experienced a flood-tide of new, young Baba lovers. By Baba's grace, these ladies managed this onslaught with cheerful aplomb. Elizabeth had absolute poise and attention to detail, Kitty had an unconscious, intuitive ability to say the right, useful and most helpful thing, and Margaret could deftly deflate the overblown.

     

After a break and more of Buz's music, Wendy gave a talk, "Growing Up With Meher Baba." As recounted earlier, Baba came into the lives of the Haynes children soon after they were separated from their biological father. When Elizabeth and Kitty brought this to Baba's attention, He said, "I am their real father."

  

Once, when Kitty Davy was baby-sitting, Wendy and Charles began squabbling, as brothers and sisters do. Kitty, who had little experience with children, became quite flustered. At the height of this pitched battle, Kitty jumped in, saying what they thought was "Johnny Doe, Johnny Doe!"

  

Wendy and Charles immediately stopped. "Who is Johnny Doe?" they asked. Kitty explained it was not who, but what Baba would tell them when they got into arguments while living in His ashram in India. Jaane do means 'let it go" or "let it be" in Hindi.

  

Some key advice that Baba gave Wendy over the years includes: "Keep brave and happy in My love," "Put Baba first," and most importantly, "Always keep cheerful in My love," which Wendy explained, is more than just putting on a smile (though that's a good start). It is an inner trust in His will.

  

Baba also told Wendy, "Do not allow yourself to be brought down by what I bring up," and "To love Me is to love all. To love all is not to love Me. To love Me in all is to love Me. See God in all. Leave the bad stuff to Me. I'll take care of the bad stuff."

  

Wendy's last glimpse of Baba's beautiful physical form was at the November 1962 East-West Gathering in Poona, India, in Bund Garden, on their last day. She felt enveloped in a silent bubble with Baba. Time stopped, and then it was time to leave. A car came for Baba. Wendy got pushed to the back of the crowd. She was so upset -- she wanted to see Baba one more time. The crowd parted and she stood before Him, weeping. Baba asked, "Why are you crying?" Wendy came to realize that Baba was, at that moment, planting the seeds of awareness of Him for all time.


We concluded this Meherabode Sahavas with Baba's Dhuni [sacred camp-fire], even as the flame of love in our hearts was burning brightly and the Sahavas of Baba's love is ongoing and ever flowing. 

Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!

Barbara A. Roberts
A Community Quilt Project at the LA Sahavas
A few days before the LA Sahavas I received a call from Mahoo asking what was needed to enable the Sahavas participants to make blocks for the assembly of a quilt. So my brain started thinking about it and I told her not toworry, that I would send her what she needed. I told my husband about it and off we went to buy what was needed, but first he had to make me a list.  He also wanted to be part of the project so he paid for all the supplies, and I was so very happy.

Following the Sahavas [with group quilt-making], the blocks (now all decorated) were returned to me, and I asked for Baba's help on how to arrange them. Once they were arranged, I sewed them row by row. I was short one block, so Jaime made one. I went to the fabric store and found what I needed to frame the blocks.

   

I learned that when it's right for Baba, it just flows. I was able to put the quilt together in about 3 or 4 days. 

 

Jaime and I are so very grateful for having been asked to be a part of this project. Thank you Baba.

 

Marta Velasquez (with Jaime Velasquez)
Reflections & Commentary on
Meher Children's Camp (Mariposa, CA) 

[Mark Choi was a stalwart host of our regular monthly Barbeque-and-Dhuni evenings at Meherabode in recent years -- until he and his family made a "back-to-the-land" move earlier this year, migrating north to a wonderful piece of property located in Mariposa, CA (near Meherana, the rural Baba Center, and likewise close to Yosemite National Park). Mark and his family have christened their abode Meher Haven.  It comprises a "family-operated permaculture farm, garden and orchards." Here is Mark's report about a recent summertime gathering at Meher Haven.  About the term Bhaustock (linguistically modeled on "Woodstock," the historic, communal music festival), Mark has observed: "Bhaustock is a phenomenon that spontaneously emerged in the 80s and 90s as a post sahavas retreat with Bhauji in Mariposa."]

 

Meher Children's Camp, a.k.a. Bhaustock 2012, swept through our lives like a whirling tornado. In its aftermath, we now have a chance to reflect in wonderment at what took place. For the camp organizers, Bhaustock was an unusual event to organize. It was indeed terrifying, because we had no plan. The participants were mostly Los Angles kids and young adults, most of whom are part of our wonderful Baba community.  

[from original Bhaustock, at Meherana]

 
In keeping with the original spirit of Bhaustock, as told to us by those in attendance in the 80's and 90's [i.e., the Mariposa post-Sahavas gatherings with Bhau Kalchuri], Bhaustock 2012 was organized to flow spontaneously with no plan. 
All we could do was sit back, relax, and see what transpired. In the spirit of living in the moment, we boldly "unplanned" the event, and took a chance on "I never make plans, never change plans. It is all one endless plan of making people know that there is no plan." [Meher Baba Calling, p. 49.] 

Meher Childrens Camp ("Bhaustock 2012")


As for my wife Peni, having 20 to 40 people over without a clear plan of action or even a menu was a bold undertaking, even for the courageous. She was smiling most of the time. I could see stress even in the eyes of my sons, Michael (19) and Aaron (16). What to do with the children when the temperature outside was between 102~106 degrees every day?  In addition to being parched by the sun, everything was dry and dusty.  What to do with the children? 

Soroush, Kian [catching fish]

 

But as the children arrived, we quickly found that our fears were unfounded. Unhampered spontaneity exploded onto the scene, as the children started playing, making up games, riding bikes, exploring the forest, and finding a variety of interesting things to do. They were having a blast! An absolute blast!  Michael and Aaron were gently overseeing the children, while joining in the fun as children.  With them, we too became children. 

 

Right off the bat, Bhaustock had some unforeseen attendees, in particular the snapping caterpillar Kian discovered munching on our grape vines. For those who don't know Kian (7), he is driven by an unquenchable curiosity, and is a fearless explorer of creation

 

Michael, Zee, Khayla [riding horses]

The moms were quick to organize on-the-spot meals and snacks all day. The food was wonderful. There was something for everyone, whether omnivore or dedicated herbivore. Payam and Ellie made sure that awesome chai and tea were always available. Mahoo's pizza was a big hit. Almost every meal was planned rather sporadically at the end of the previous meal. Khayla (10) found herself making all kinds of creative fruit smoothies that everyone enjoyed. The smoothies were a big hit in the heat of the summer.

Zee (14) had fallen in love with the Quad, a 4-wheel-drive utility vehicle. Under the mistletoe they kissed, and off they went! I believe everyone would agree that Zee mastered the Quad during Bhaustock. Constantly available to deliver supplies and wood-chips to the orchard work force, Zee and the Quad together played a vital role in the overall orchard rejuvenation project. At all times available, Zee was to transport people and supplies to and from the orchards throughout Bhaustock. Thanks, Zee.

Soroush (10), who celebrated his birthday at Bhaustock, decided it was the time for him to master the bicycle. I don't know how many times Khayla and Soroush rode back and forth on their bikes. They were on their bikes probably a third of the time at BhauStock. Inspired, I hear Kian has now learned to ride the bike as well. 

Kian & caterpillar

 

Joseph (8) and Clair (9) fit right in with the other kids. Joseph's courage was surprising as he did a flip off the high rock into the  river. Clair, though timid at first, mustered the courage to ride the zip-line at neighboring Jacko and Becky's house. They graciously hosted all of us for lunch and a swim.

 

As for Omeed (4), what can I say? He is a ball of fire. They played no-rules, no-winner, no-loser badminton into the night. Then we all hung out with the Dhuni on July 12th. Rudolph the red nose guard dog was happy, although the red is starting to fade. They caught fish with neighbor Ralph Brown, who took us to the lake. We then cooked the fish for lunch.  

Dhuni fire at Meher Haven

We rode horses. Jamshid risked life and limb to prune the fruit trees. We harvested fresh greens from our gardens. We ate a hearty breakfast, and hung out with the goats and dogs. We also hung out with the horses, thanks to our wonderful neighbor Mary, who graciously educated the children about horses. We watched outdoor movies, and chatted with Bhauji [in a special Skype chat for this event].

 

For me personally, Bhaustock served to embolden my resolve around a single idea of no plan and being resigned to God's will.

 

Mark Choi / Meher Haven Ranch
Special Invitation by the Landscape Committee
color corrected garden picture
Garden Days at Meherabode

 

Meherabode's Landscape Committee invites you to come spend time in Baba's Garden watering, weeding, or just enjoying the beautiful atmosphere and natural environment. On Garden Days, coffee, lemonade and other light refreshments will be provided. If you'd like, bring your breakfast, lunch, or something to share. The Garden Day schedule will be posted regularly in this Newsletter, and any additional days will be announced in our regular, weekly email announcements. Garden Days fall on Saturdays.  On some of these Saturdays (one per month), there will also be a subsequent, evening Barbeque dinner and Dhuni fire at Meherabode.

 

Upcoming Garden Days include:

Saturday, September 1  9am-12pm

Saturday, September 8  4pm-6pm (BBQ / Dhuni in evening)

Saturday, September 15  9am-12pm

Saturday, September 29  9am-12pm 

Saturday, October 13  2pm-6pm  (BBQ / Dhuni in evening)

Come work in the garden often, and (once per month) stay on to enjoy the outdoor BBQ / Dhuni with your Baba Family.

 

We'd also like to ask for your assistance in creating awareness to protect the grounds for everyone's enjoyment. Please spread the word that anyone wishing to pick flowers from the outer gardens or to harvest fruit should first ask permission from a Landscape Committee member.

 

 

Please contact Sonya for more info or if you have questions.

 

With the Beloved's water of life, no thirst remains

In the Beloved's garden of union, no thorn remains

(from a Persian poem)

See you in the Gardens! 

The Landscape Committee 

Sonya Valentine / Landscape Director 

scvalent@pacbell.net

Our Meherabode Family 

Bhauji states that Baba's Lovers are a family, not a community.

Bhauji affectionately calls us the LA Lunatics, mostly because we are a very free spirited and expressive group of devotees whom he loves and feels deeply heart connected to. Aren't we lucky!

 

Bhauji"s relationship with the Los Angeles Meher Baba Center began in 1985 when the Silence Day Sahavas Committee invited Bhauji to be the guest speaker at the Pilgrim Pines retreat. Bhauji returned year after year with his beautiful stories and Babafull presence and love, for 21 years, his final LA Sahavas visit being July 2009. Bhuaji renamed our center "Meher Abode" which means.........House of the Lord.

 

We have all been rebels against organized religions after lifetimes of persecution and seeking independently for truth. It is our differences that unite us in the journey to the Master and it is our Love for the Master that unites us as a family. We just want the Love of the Godman who is reality.

 

As the Program Director, I experience this Family like feeling when I am creating and coordinating programs for each quarter as it puts me in contact with many members and lovers. I am so happy to see that more young people are coming with their parents to the center and enjoying themselves,

 

Many new people from various cities such as Montreal, Canada, Brooklyn, N.Y. and Sacramento, CA have been hearing Baba's call and showing up at our Meherabode. Our family is growing and it is a joyful thing.

 

Speaking of Baba family members, the enthusiastic voice you hear on our outgoing phone message is our very own, mind, mind, Fred Stankus!

 

[the above is the text of Deborah Ash's original article, restored & with her final edits. -Editors] 

======================== 

 

Here are a few fun upcoming Meherabode events to mark on your calendar:

  • Saturday, September 8, the Baba BBQ & Dhuni returns with Kent Hanson & Son taking the reigns. Rosie Choi will add her experienced touch. Kent has donated a new grill to the Center and created a beautiful brick Dhuni pit.Thank you Kent!
  • Sunday, September 9, Jeff Maguire hosts Ask Baba!
  • The first, monthly Young Adults Discourses Meeting at Meherabode will be hosted by Ian Dibble on Tuesday, September 11, from 7:30pm to 9:00 pm.

Much Love In Meher Baba,

Deborah Ash / Program Director

Service Committee Report

Real happiness lies in making others happy. The real desire is that which leads you to become perfect in order to make others become perfect. Live less for yourself and more for others. Serve others with the understanding that in them you are serving Me.  Meher Baba Calling (page 41)

 

The Union Rescue Mission has opportunities for groups to make 50 sack lunches for those who are residents and deliver them to the facility for people who need a sack lunch the next working day. Please go to the website www.unionstationhs.org (Union Station Homeless Services) and check it out and let me know if you are interested. We could make sandwiches after one of the programs in September or October to honor the Meher Baba's New Life. Please email me at mkay723@msn.com if you are interested in assisting.

 

Lotsa Helping Hands is waiting for you to sign in and see how you can assist someone in the community at lotsahelpinghands.com Go to this site and follow the directions for Meher Baba's Mastery in Servitude, a community bulletin board website. Flowers were delivered to DeNora and Vesta Clinton on the loss of their son/brother in an accident in May. More recently flowers were delivered to Dina Gibson during her recuperation from surgery in July.

 

Rides and camaraderie continue to be shared in the community. Much service came alive in the Second Annual Urban Sahavas. Many of our "Sahavas scholarship" recipients assisted in setting up, breaking down, and working with meal preparation.

 

Please remember to bring tube socks to the Center for our Sock Drive that will culminate during Meher Baba's New Life Celebration in the month of October. You cannot believe the looks on people's faces as they receive their pair of new white socks in a clear sealed plastic bag, with a wonderful Baba card on the table (and Jai Meher Baba entering their hearts).

 

If you know someone in our community who needs assistance in any way, due to illness, loss of income, etc., please let the Service Committee know. Also, if you have skills in assisting people trying to get back on their own, and are familiar with opportunities, we would like you to assist the Committee with ideas. Please let me know your ideas.

 

Jai Meher Baba! -- He Who serves all humanity  

Mary Kay Hage / The Service Committee

(626) 918-7761   Mkay723@msn.com

How Fortunate

May 3rd was Manu Jessawala's birthday, and to celebrate Baba asked the women to stage a play. Sister Mani, who was quite talented at such endeavors, wrote a humorous skit parodying the present world leaders. Mani took Hitler's part, Katie was Mussolini, Rano was Prime Minister Chamberlain, and Meheru and Naggu portrayed other political leaders. The skit was performed before Baba and all were amused. Exactly four months later, the Second World War was declared. Perhaps Baba was bringing it about through this seemingly innocuous play by the women . . . During this period, Baba took the women for an excursion back to Marble Rocks. He explained to them: 


Do you know, do you have any idea of how fortunate you are? I am sitting here with you, playing with you, talking with you, giving you my company, while elsewhere there are many who do not know how to live or die, because they want to see me! They thirst for my darshan but still I do not meet them. 
Meherwan, Gaimai, Manu, Eruch
Meherwan, Gaimai, Manu, Eruch at Meherazad 

There was one recluse in whose eyelashes touch the ground. He is living for my darshan, but I do not go and see him. There is another who is seven hundred years old, whose hair has grown so long it touches the ground, as if rooted there.  He neither eats nor drinks, but only longs for me.  And yet I do not see him either, though he craves to see me.
   

Why do I call you all here to me and allow you my company? It is because, for births on end, you underwent privations by performing austere penances of which you have no idea. That is why you are here with me now. 

From Lord Meher (page 2413) 

Unconditional Love
[A letter written by Eruch Jessawala]       Satara August 7, 1955
 

     It was a great pleasure to read your joint letter to dear Baba and Baba too, felt no less happy to note all which you expressed in your letter. 

     Baba was deeply touched by your devotion and whole-hearted resignation to His will and He wants me to convey His love to all of you. Baba is now free from His seclusion work and so He is giving darshan to all His Bombay lovers. 

     Those who desire to have Baba's darshan or contact, should approach Baba only through their pure love for Him without expectation of any kind, whether material or spiritual.  

     Henceforth, for all future contacts with His old or new devotees, Baba frees Himself from all promises, arrangements, undertakings and bindings. Only on the basis of pure and sincere love for Baba, should any further contacts be based or established. 

     I send this bit of information to help all Baba lovers in your group to decide for themselves once and for all, whether they would continue to hold fast to Baba's daaman with the tight grip of pure love alone.

     Many times in the past, Baba had stressed that to hold to Him with a grip containing an admixture of love and expectations, would mar the sublimity of the lover's love for the Beloved. The time has now come when the Beloved issues a direct challenge to all lovers to prove to the world at large that pure love for the Beloved expects nothing in return, while it continues to consume the self in the lover to fulfill the Divine Love of the Beloved.
      The pure love of a lover of the Beloved is like the flame of a candle. When the lover becomes like the wick of the candle, the Beloved behaves as the wax and the grace of the Beloved then functions as the agency that sets the wick aflame. 

      The flame of pure love, a flamed by the grace of the Beloved, spreads the light of hope in the darkness of the heart, and while this flame continues to consume the wick, the wax helps the wick to sacrifice its all and glorifies the suffering through the light of the flame. Thus both the lover and the Beloved sacrifice their all to bring Divine Love to perfection. 

     When Baba was in the mood for giving discourses in the past, He had given the above example for Divine Love where in both the Beloved and the lover suffer infinitely until the zenith of such love quenches the thirst of the lover and pacifies the expectations of the Beloved.  

from The Ancient One, pp. 180-181 (1985 Naosherwan Anzar)
"I have exercised my freedom to become His slave"
Today, in 2001, Eruch Jessawala passed away.  He was the consummate companion for the Avatar: humble, strong, intelligent, a wonderful story-teller, wise, honest and always ready to do His bidding, no matter the personal cost. He often said that he exercised his freedom to become His slave. He was a unique person whose life and understanding of the Beloved was critical to many who wandered into Baba's fold after January 1969. He is missed in so many lives and yet always pointed us away from himself and toward Meher Baba. Here's to Eruch!
 Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!
Bob Ahrens  
August 31, 2012 

Happy July-August Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,   

Happy Birthday dear ..., Happy Birthday to you.   

Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!    

 

July birthdays include:

Harry Thomas 3rd, Glenn Russ 6th, Kent Hanson 6th, Ben Goodrum 9th, Susan Abrahamzadeh 10th, Dusttin Paren 12th, Soroush Shahriari 14th, Terry Lucas 19th, Mary Ramsden 19th, Fritz Sperberg 20th, Ed Flanigan 23rd, Owrang Ajang 28th, Merwan Scott 31st, Pamela Goodrum 31st

August birthdays include:

Lois Jone 2nd, Amandah Paren 8th, Josh Lee13th, Janani Lee 16th, Behnaz Partovi 16th, Gigi Driessen 21th, Suhas Ginde 23rd, Parvin Dastgiri 28th

 

Sorry if we missed you! If you do not see your birthday listed above, please contact us at Info@Meherabode.org.

Thanks

Thanks to all contributors to our Newsletter, including special thanks for photographs in this issue to Alan Levinson, Alisa Genovese, Mark Choi, and Laurel Magrini.

Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

2012 Board of Directors:

 

President:   Mahoo Ghorbani

MahooBaba@gmail.com  310-378-1038 

 

Vice President:   Lois Jones

Lois.jones@cshs.org  310-473-1584 

 

Secretary:   Rosie Choi 

choirosie@verizon.net  310-374-7153 

 
Programs:
   Deborah Ash
deborahashart@aol.com  626-380-5387

Archives / Landscape:
   Sonya Valentine

Service:
   Mary Kay Shubat-Hage
Mkay723@msn.com  626-918-7761

Finance Director / Treasurer:  Linda Zavala

 
Membership:  Lynne Berry
blyn7@sbcglobal.net   714-966-1262

 

In His Love and Service, The 2012 Board of Directors

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