|Volume 1, Issue 5 Meherabode Newsletter ─ June 2012 [archival edition]
|Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California |
|Jai Meher Baba! Welcome to the June 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."
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.
Dear Companion-Friends in Meher Baba,
Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!
As we approach the end of spring and summer solstice, I send warm greetings and grateful thoughts to all of you, wishing you well in His Love. As this newsletter is being prepared, serious drought plagues the region of Meher Baba's abode in India. The water shortage at both Meherabad and Meherazad has become extreme, resulting in the temporary postponement of the seasonal re-opening of the Meher Pilgrim Center as well as the Youth Adult Sahavas program. Baba's Trust (AMBPPCT) in India announced there will be a decision coming soon whether it will be possible to re-open pilgrim accommodations at Meherabad beginning July 1st. May Beloved Baba turn the key with divine grace so that enough rains fall for Meherabad's wells to be able to compensate for this water shortage.
Meanwhile, with this monthly Newsletter, we also bring you up to date on various aspects of Meherabode, the lovely Meher Baba Center in our City of Angels. This one-acre sanctuary is secluded amidst residential properties south of Hollywood's foothills. Here one can find refuge in the serene atmosphere and palpable presence of Baba's sweetness.
The life of Meherabode, the Beloved's Center, continues to move along, as the Divine Architect rebuilds and fine-tunes His Abode via His fortunate workers and Center members, ensuring the continuity of our collective efforts. The 2012 Board of Directors, having assumed a large responsibility, is striving full force to maintain His Center in practical ways.
As Baba's Will and Wish manifest, Meherabode continues to undergo positive changes. QuickBooks 2012 software now helps us keep track of important data. We are grateful to Baba that the Center has this state of the art system where all Center financial activities can be accounted for at the "press of a button" and reports can be generated expeditiously for Board members as well as voting members of our Baba community.
I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our predecessors, who have helped with Meherabode's Finances over the years, including, among others, Kanji Miyao, Barbara McReynolds and Afsaneh Ajang, who have spent untold hours (variously serving as Treasurers and Finance Directors) gradually automating our accounting system. We reap fruits of their labor of love and strive to continue their efforts. We treasure their hearty service to Baba. New cost-cutting measures proceed, as we are examine the Center's expenses carefully and make efforts to reduce monthly operational expenses.
Our new Membership Director, Lynn Berry is at work full force attending to members' voices and opinion as the need arises. She is also in the process of revisiting and updating membership lists.
The annual Live and Silent Auction at our upcoming Sahavas is just around the corner - only two weeks away! Be sure to set the date on your calendar for June 30th, whether you attend the Sahavas or not (but surely you shouldn't want to miss Wendy Haynes and Buz Connor as guest speakers, straight from Baba's Home in Myrtle Beach). Help us kick-off the Sahavas with a fun and exciting auction, with many items available and with a tasty variety of delicious food. The theme for this year's Sahavas and annual auction is Oneness ("You and I are not We, but One"). In this Kali Yuga period, the need for coming together as one and loving Him becomes so evident. Stay tuned, for forthcoming email with images of auction items. This year, we can accept auction bidding via telephone as well as live at Meherabode. It should be lots of fun, with our convivial Freddy Stankus serving as Auctioneer.
Our Second Annual Silence Day Urban Sahavas has been scheduled for the weekend of June 30th and July 1st. Special guest speakers Buz Connor and Wendy Haynes will at last be able to join us this summer. To view and print a copy of the Sahavas registration form, please click HERE.
Meherabode is felt by many to be among the loveliest of Meher Baba's Centers in the United States. Bhau Kalchuri has remarked to the effect that Meherabode is the "second Center in America" (after Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach) that plays a major role in Baba's manifestation. We are fortunate indeed to work and congregate at this unique Baba sanctuary. We look forward to greeting you in person at Meherabode. And in the (so-called) virtual realm, we'll greet you once again in next month's Newsletter. Hope to see you at our Urban Sahavas. Meanwhile, keep happy and remain cheerful at all times, as Baba encourages us to do.
Mahoo Ghorbani / AMBCSC President
|The Finance and the Membership Committees are hard at work with re-confirming Voting Member status so that we can mail to you once again the 2012 Annual Budget which still needs your approval. We hope this time all members will mail in their votes so the budget can be approved and we can continue to work towards our income goals for running Meherabode on a practical and consistent basis.|
This year the Center was able to rent our parking lot two times this year and made $1,000 for each day. We are working on being listed with several film location companies in Los Angeles, having photos taken of our lovely center, and look forward to more rental days with these companies. Once we are listed with them, our listings will carry over year after year.
Unexpected income came from the Ward Park's Seminar on Infinite Intelligence which, at the last minute, was very well attended and provided several hundred dollars of income besides being a thrilling experience for those who attended.
As always, your financial participation in events and donations is very important to help Meherabode remain a vital Center to nurture an awareness of Meher Baba.
Linda Zavala / Finance Committee
What's Happening at Meherabode
In the second quarter of 2012, Meherabode was filled with renewed energy and spirit, good attendance and participation, and a lively range of new programs.
Dr. Payam Ajang had an interactive meeting a meeting on "compassionate communications." She generously shared about transformative communication techniques to express one's mind & heart.
The Choi family once again delighted us with a celebration of Baba's divinity, in convivial fun amid Meherabode's gardens along with the outdoor Dhuni fire.
Bill Le Page, who first met Meher Baba in India in 1948, shared memories of precious moments in Baba's presence in both India and in Bill's native Australia.
The 60th Anniversary of Avatar Meher Baba's 1952 Car Accident in America was remembered and celebrated by AMBCSC and Meher Mount with a potluck lunch and a program (at Meher Mount in Ojai) in the form of a lively and detailed reading presented by the superb Meher Mount Players, covering detailed information about Meher Baba's 1952 visit to America, the Oklahoma accident, and what took place at Meher Mount in the period leading up to His planned visit.
Reflections and Commentary on the
Infinite Intelligence Seminar at Meherabode
Meherabode hosted one of the most magnificent and memorable events of 2012 with Ward Parks on the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. Two full days were devoted to a seminar on the book Infinite Intelligence, in its relation to thebroader body of Meher Baba's explanations regarding the structure of Creation and the nature of the divine Reality. Infinite Intelligence is based on a handwritten manuscript found by Bal Natu in a storage shed in Meherazad shortly after Meher Baba dropped His body in 1969; it is believed by many to transcribe a serious of dictations given by Baba to His mandali in 1926. The manuscript was carefully edited over a seven-year period by Bhau Kalchuri, Meherwan Jessawala, and Ward Parks under the auspices of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, and was published by Sheriar Foundation in 2006.
This seminar at Meherabode consisted of four sessions with lectures, group discussions, individual presentations and a close analysis of charts and visual materials. Ward mixed the sessions with music and group sing-alongs, engaging a wonderful balance of head and heart. The atmosphere was pristine, spiritually charged and breathtaking.
Below are some testimonials by people who attended the Seminar:
With much energy and patience, Ward Parks expanded on discourses / expositions which Baba gave in Meherabad, most likely in 1926, less than a year after beginning His silence, and most likely through writing on the chalkboard, which was Baba's means of communication at the time. In 1998, Ward took on an immense, seven year task of rendering the notebook transcriptions into a readable form. Eric Turk
Isn't Baba full of surprises! Once again He prompted us at Meherabode to pull a rabbit out His Hat and up comes devoted servant Ward Parks to serve up a delicious array of tasting and feeling Baba's Words. Ward didn't disappoint. He gave us his time and energy for a power-packed two days to help us understand, on a much deeper level, the power and beauty of Baba's gift of Words. As Ward pointed out, the three books, God Speaks, In God's Hand, and Infinite Intelligence work together as a triad for understanding Baba's Messages better. Baba as the triune Godhead left these precious Words for all humanity to ponder over the centuries to come until He returns to the earth plane again. So Baba, thank you for releasing these precious books. I am now re-committing myself to read more of Baba's Words - His precious gift. Linda Zavala
Having been a professor, Ward's preparation for the course was evident and his presentation scholarly. He is a born teacher with an innate gift of making a really difficult subject understandable. The seminar certainly inspired me to read and study Infinite Intelligence in preparation for his next course which I wouldn't miss. Rosie Choi
Ward Parks is highly qualified and an excellent presenter of this challenging material. It is incredible to see the body of work that our Beloved has provided for future generations and how He provides for a range of needs. Everyone has their own path and process. In Infinite Intelligence the most prominent paths are clarified. It may sound heady or hard to follow. However, the highest path is shown more clearly in this overview; it is simply holding Him constantly in our hearts and thoughts. Each has to contend with many challenges. Those who were closest to Him were masters of this highest path. Reviewing Infinite Intelligence with a group was also helpful; it made it fun too. Bing Heckman
The 2-day Infinite Intelligence workshop was very well presented by Ward Parks. He went to great lengths to explain some of the material in the book that he had worked on, in editing and compiling. The two days spent on the weekend were too short to go through the material. And, even if there is a question of who gave the original material, I feel that it could have been none else but Baba. The main thing is that the workshop helped us all to focus on Baba for the two days and hopefully find it in our hearts to love Him - with all mind and heart. Suhas Ginde
Musings from the Program Director
The June 2nd and 3rd weekend program at Meherabode provided an exceptional opportunity to go deeper into the mysteries of Meher Baba. Our Program Committee enjoyed the special privilege of hosting an Infinite Intelligence Seminar conducted by Baba-scholar Ward Parks. Working together, we set up the space with tables and chairs to accommodate participants' writing notes and reading from our personal copies of God Speaks and Infinite Intelligence. Ward provided such an astute, fascinating presentation, including projections of charts and graphics (via PowerPoint), leading an in-depth discussion, and of course sharing his own delightful music. We sang along from songbooks specially produced for the session. Luncheon was provided both days, to nourish bodies and minds of all attending. We definitely look forward to inviting Ward back in a future season, for the next round in further cultivating our understanding the Avatar of the Age.
I am happy to note that we have been keeping the Center open consistently on Sundays. The results have been wonderful. Last Sunday, June 10th, at the Awakenings program conducted by Mary Kay, a traveling Indian family of seven visited our Center for the first time. They were visiting relatives in the area and wanted to come to a Baba Center, and they found us! Four of these Baba-lovers hailed from Hyderabad. The matriarch, who was fluent only in Telugu, had been a Baba-lover for many years. We made sure they had refreshments, and took them to visit the Dome. We decided that watching a video might be the best approach, under the circumstances, to manage the language barrier, so we set proceeded with a screening of Jim Meyer's and Robert Frederick's superb Names of Love DVD. The video proved a big hit. (The visiting son bought a copy for his mom at our Bookstore, and Anu, the niece, remarked she would be returning to the Center in the near future.)
In a future dispatch, we look forward to sharing details about the up-coming programs for our "New Life" month in October. Maureen Hazard and I will co-produce the first Sunday, October 7th, Kick-Off -New Life program with music, readings, and a special presentation of a short theatrical production, On The Porch, focusing on six women Mandali and their roles and experiences serving as New Life Companions with Meher Baba.
Deborah Ash / Program Director
From the Archival Treasury
Oral History Archive Project
AMBCSC Archives has worked for the past several years, converting our archival films and videos to digital format and producing DVDs. We currently have more than 120 titles on offer. Most of these DVDs present stories and talks by a diverse assortment of persons who met Avatar Meher Baba in person, both disciples (Mandali) and devotees (Baba-lovers), imparting (through many a tale and recollection) precious memories of their time spent with the Beloved.
Browse through our DVD list here: Meher Baba Library DVD Collection.
Honoring the upcoming Silence Day Sahavas (June 30th & July 1st at Meherabode), AMBCSC Archives will offer all of these titles, via Meher Baba Books, at a special discount price ($5 off the regular price). The discount will remain available through Silence Day (July 10, 2012).
Special Sahavas Event Prices
will follow a color-coded system, thus:
- Blue-covered DVDs $30
- Green-covered DVDs $20
- Grey-covered DVDs $10
- Buy any combination of three titles, and receive a free, bonus DVD featuring Merwan Merchant's one-hour talk (presented at Meherabode in April 2012).
- Buy any combination of five titles, and receive as a bonus the full two talks by Merwan Merchant (presented April 22nd and April 29th, 2012).
All proceeds help to protect and preserve AMBCSC Archives.
For DVD summaries and reviews, visit: Kanji Miyao's Review Blog
The Archive Committee
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 directed our attention to Lotsa Helping Hands (www.lotsahelpinghands.com). We have now established a message board on that website; please visit: Meher Baba's Mastery in Servitude.|
This interface is self-explanatory. 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 who have already participated. Please consider volunteering to help via Lotsa Helping Hands
Service Committee volunteers develop ideas on how to help not only Meherabode members, but also the human community at large.
- Behnaz Partovi has graciously agreed to raise donations for Food Cards at grocery stores for the holiday season, for our members who need help. For more information, or offering your loving donations, you may contact her at Behnazbaba@Yahoo.com.
- In addition, Golnaz Manouchehr-Pour, with help of others, has agreed to head a toy drive for children 5-12 years old, which will kick off in October. Please start watching for bargain new toys for the Special Toy Drive, and bring same to the Center unwrapped.
- The Non Perishable Food Drive will collect food for use by members and for food baskets for the holiday season. Kick off date will be in August. Look for more ideas in the coming months. Let us know how you can assist.
- Ideas about where to distribute food baskets are welcome. Community outreach partners or liaisons at schools can often distribute baskets to those in need for us. Due to privacy laws, they cannot disclose the names or houses that need such assistance. If you know of any small, local Women's Shelters that we could assist, please advise me.
- Also, keep those white tube socks coming .. the homeless need them, and to see their smiles is heartwarming!
In Meher Baba,
Mary Kay Hage / The Service Committee
(626) 918-7761 Mkay723@msn.com
Welcome to the world of Meher Baba Books, our brick & mortar and online Bookstore.
Step inside the Meher Baba Books online Bookstore, and see the variety of Books, CDs, DVDs, Jewelry, Apparel, Trinkets, Photos...
The aim 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 also make available precious archival items in our custody (see "From The Archival Treasury", above).
Meher Baba Books is also a source of financial contributions to the operating expenses of AMBCSC, helping to make sure the sanctified grounds of Meherabode remain an "Oasis of His Love" for His children.
The Meher Baba Books website is made possible by your generous donations, which help us make a broad, distinctive selection of books, CDs and DVDs of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba available online.
Our inspiring Book Club features:
- For Meherabode ArcAngels, a selection of five books throughout the year.
- For Meherabode Angels, a selection of four books throughout the year.
Both groups qualify for our Free Shipping program. Your generous donations are greatly appreciated! For details, see: Book Club.
Please come visit our unique Bookstore at www.MeherBabaBooks.com.
For questions about any and all orders, please contact us at:
info@MeherBabaBooks.com or by phoning (323) 730-5281.
Afsaneh Ajang / Meher Baba Books (Bookstore)
When a person understands desires as being merely the bondage of the spirit, he decides to give them up; but even when voluntary, this is often a painful process.
The suffering that comes from purging the mind of its many desires exists, even when the soul may be ready to renounce them, because this decision of the soul goes counter to the inclination of the ego-mind to persist through its habitual desires.
Renunciation of desires curtails the very life of the ego-mind. Therefore it is a process invariably accompanied by acute suffering.
But such suffering is wholesome for the soul because it liberates the soul from bondage.
Avatar Meher Baba, Discourses
I worked for the same employer for 13 years, since December 1971, and I always kept a Baba photo on my desk. Around 1981 my boss came to me one day and told me he didn't know how to pray, didn't know if he had to get down on his knees or what, but he had three things that were reaching a crisis point for him and he could not solve them...and this was a man who could usually solve anything... he was my mentor in business and was for many women. So I told him the MR GOD story told by Amrit's father. And I told him that he was allowed to challenge baba to prove that he was god and ask Him to solve all three problems, but would have to promise to give BABA the credit if they were indeed solved. He agreed. He prayed on a Tuesday and everything was solved on Friday the same week; all three were amazingly resolved and he came with wonder on his face to tell me.
I told my children the story, and they heard me say that anyone could challenge Baba to prove to them that He was God... only once of course. So one day my 8 year old daughter Amber and I were in the car driving to the library and out of the clear blue she said, "If Baba is God, He will give me a blue rose." Well... I just about had a car accident I was so shocked... I said, "Amber, there is no such thing as a blue rose and I didn't mean as a child you could ask that, you have to wait until you are an adult." She was having none of my disclaimers and insisted that, "If Baba is God, He'll give me a blue rose!" I was having a true conniption fit thinking to myself OMB Baba what have I done to you... I've just destroyed my life's work with my child! I was apologizing to Baba in my mind and feeling horrific like the sky had just fallen.
Every week we got 12 books from the library, that was their max, and my kids both grew up with books from an early age. Well I was still in shock; this was about 10 minutes since Amber's challenge, when on the book shelf for kids was seen a book entitled The Blue Rose. Amber and I both sat there crying. And it was only I who had doubted Baba ... not she. Eruch, one of Baba's close disciples, said this was one of his favorite stories and he told it lots of times in Mandali Hall at Baba's home in Meherazad, India.
Much love and Jai Meher Baba!
Patty Thorne (Sedona, Arizona)
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear ..., Happy Birthday to you.
Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!
Kerry McPherson 6/12, Diana Lafleur 6/14, Charlie McReynolds 6/15, Steve Berry 6/16, Rosalie Dunphi 6/16, Cookie Riendeau 6/19, Saba Partovi 6/19, Michael Ramsden 6/21, Missy Choi 6/22, and Rosie Choi 6/23.
Sorry, if we miss you! If you do not see your birthday listed, please contact us at Info@Meherabode.org.
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
2012 Board of Directors:
Archives / Landscape:
Mary Kay Shubat-Hage
Finance / Treasurer:
In His Love and Service,
The 2012 Board of Directors
Meherabode and Meher Baba Books are on Facebook!
Meherabode Meher Baba Books