February Newsletter 2019

"When you realize that Truth as the very core of your being you are free
from all fear and helplessness and all rivalries and conflicts reveal
themselves to be meaningless, for you know yourself to be
inviolably one with all that has life. To the struggling, failing
and faltering humanity I say, have faith ."  

Meher Baba, Life Circular, no. 63.

Dear Meher Center Friends and Family,

A loving Jai Baba to you from your Meher Center family. This January brought the Center a beautiful and loved-filled celebration of the 50 th Anniversary of Amartithi, the Eternal date of Meher Baba's dropping of His body to live in the hearts of His lovers - captured below in the lovely article by Preeti Hay.

As of this newsletter, we are barely a week away from the observance of the 125 th Birthday of the Avatar of the Age. Those who will be at the Center for the event, please check our website (https://www.mehercenter.org) for up to date program information.

Also included in this monthly offering, is an update by Bob Ahrens on the health of Long Lake, as well as a touching story from a new pilgrim as recounted by Jamie Keehan.

We wish you a Happy Birthday in His love!

In Baba's Love and Service,

Buz Connor
Executive Director, for the board & staff

Upcoming Events
Meher Baba’s 125th Birthday

February 23rd & 24th
Baba’s Birthday Play
7:30 p.m. – L’Amore Divino in Portofino (Divine Love in Portofino) is a play that
evokes the transformative power of Meher Baba’s love through a fictionalized
account of His stay in Portofino, Italy. It is written and directed
by Joe DiSabatino.
Because of the expansive production and staging needs of this play, it will be
performed at the Avatar Meher Baba Circle Center in the Myrtle Beach Mall,
directly across Highway 17 from the Meher Spiritual Center. Reservations are
necessary: call Jane Mossman at 843-272-8793 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday, no later than February 20th . 

February 25th 
Meher Baba’s Birthday!

Early Prayers and Arti
Evening Program Special Guest Speaker: Larry Karrasch.
4:45 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.— Meher Abode will be open for prayers and Arti, which will begin at 5:00 a.m. (the hour of Meher Baba’s birth). The Gateway and Dilruba will both be open for signing in at 4:15 a.m. The compound at Meher Abode will remain open until 5:00 p.m. that day. 

8:15 p.m. – Larry Karrasch will share his beautiful stories about time he spent with Meher Baba as a young boy in 1952, 1956, 1958 and 1962. Birthday cake, lovingly baked by Roz Taubman, will be served in the Refectory after the program.

(The Eternal Day)
at the Barn

By Preeti Hay

The fire at the Barn was lit at 9 a.m. when the temperatures were below freezing. Chairs were laid out and the Barn was prepared for Baba’s lovers with care and attention. Slowly the crowds trickled in and according to Dennis McCabe, the Program Coordinator at the Meher Center, this was the biggest crowd that the Barn had ever witnessed on Amartithi day.
The Center Amartithi program has always had a similar format to Meherabad, India, where Baba's Tomb Shrine is. Apart from devotional music and Arti, this year the lead-up to the silence of 15 minutes included the reading of the 1984 Amartithi talk that Kitty Davy had given at the Barn. With those eloquent words the silence at noon was welcomed. Everyone felt the significance of the fact that at this very time fifty years ago, Meher Baba dropped His physical body, thus transforming it into the Eternal Day. The power of the collective silence of so many people under one roof without a peep by anyone in itself was one of the miracles of this day. Just lik e Meherabad, In dia, where thousands gather around His Tomb or squeeze under the Tin Shed for the magical fifteen minutes of united stillness.
Meher Baba's favorite song, 'Begin the Beguine,' customarily followed the silence. The Master's Prayer, Prayer of Repentance and Beloved God Prayer (prayers given by Meher Baba) ended the program. The atmosphere was charged with profound intensity and yet there was a pristine lightness of being. The much-awaited fiftieth year was here at last. Together, His old and new lovers witnessed this milestone at His home in the West, where His impeccable presence was felt in all our hearts.
Long Lake lagoon update
By Bob Ahrens
The floating barrier is seen past the Boathouse on Long Lake.

I know that many of you are wondering why there is still a yellow flotation barrier stretching across Long Lake near the lagoon. When will it be removed?

The answer is: "It's complicated." But I hope that a more satisfying answer and solution will emerge from a two-year study which will soon be completed. Here is what I can tell you now, subject to change after the study has been received.

Around 2013 a type of green algae called "Chara," which is native to the region and Long Lake, began a bloom overgrowth throughout the lake due to increased levels of nitrogen, particularly noticeable in the lagoon and around the Boathouse. This growth continued until the lake was filled with a dense, mucky green material.

In 2015, a company was contracted to pump out the muck from the lagoon and around the Boathouse. (The muck was placed in drying bags and then transported off the Center.) A floating barrier was placed in the lake at the point where the dredging had stopped to prevent the prevailing winds from blowing the algae from the rest of the lake back into the lagoon.

As some background to this problem, the lagoon had been cleaned out through dredging when Elizabeth Patterson was developing the Center. It was dredged again in the 1990s and the overgrowth material pumped up to the orchard area, near the parking lot.

Several studies by experts in this field have been performed over the past six years to determine: 1. The cause(s) of the nitrogen build-up and subsequent algae growth and, 2. The solutions, if any, to the problem. The suspicion, until recently, focused primarily on the possible influx of excess nitrogen from: (a) the Center's septic system, (b) neighboring Briarcliffe Acres' septic systems, and (c) run-off from the Orchard area. (The Center has since carefully systematized the maintenance of its septic system and kept nitrogen-rich material out of the Orchard area and away from the lake drainage region to prevent run-off.)

An ongoing study over the past two years has collected massive amounts of data which is presently being analyzed, with a report expected in May. It may point to a  different primary cause of the nitrogen imbalance—the loss of much of the aquifer-driven springs which have fed the lake since at least the 1940s.

Around 2013, a mining company working a quarry some miles north of the Center dug into the aquifer, causing a huge run-off of water into the open mine. This, along with a 10-year drought at the time, reduced the level of the aquifer, so that at least some of the springs feeding Long Lake were blocked off, reducing the flow of water into the lake. When the flow of new water into the lake was decreased, the natural drainage of water out of the lake was also decreased. And, consequently, constituents of the lake, such as nitrogen, stayed longer and built up in the water.

If the ongoing study confirms this viewpoint—that it is the loss of natural springs from the aquifer which is the primary problem driving nitrogen accumulation in the lake—a long-term solution, by Baba's Grace, may be possible. 

On this and other concerns, I will keep you posted.

A First Experience of the Center

By Jamie Keehan

Lia, a pilgrim, describes how Baba drew her to the Center and helped her let go of her worries. When she first heard about the Center from acquaintances, it was a busy time in her life, and she was struggling with anxiety. The information didn’t immediately sink in. Even when one of her clients convinced her to visit Myrtle Beach, she drove by the Center again and again, but couldn’t remember why it sounded so familiar. 

It took a friend asking Lia if she wanted to visit the Center together to break through to her. Suddenly, she really, really wanted to go— but she felt so mired in work and life that she automatically said no. Then she instantly regretted it. Soon after, she called up the Gateway herself and made a reservation for the next weekend.

Even before entering the gate, Lia’s experience of the Center changed her life. She walked into the Gateway office, and saw a picture of Baba holding a lamb. Instantly, she felt like she knew Him. “I just felt so loved and cared for,” she says, “and like I was in the right place. Like, I made it—I’m here .” Underneath the picture of Baba were the words, “Give your worries to God.” She knew that message was just for her.

Lia headed into the Center, and got settled in her cabin. She had been so stressed that she’d been suffering from insomnia, but she got to sleep that night—and slept 12 whole hours. In the morning, after sleeping through her tour, Lia found herself in the Boathouse, having an inner conversation with Baba in which she asked, “Well, what next?” The answer was clear: get a foot massage. “That just tickled me because it was something so simple, and I didn’t have to do anything,” Lia smiles.

Now Lia comes to the Center as often as she can. And though her life still has its stresses, she always has a refuge to help her get grounded and let go. “Just as soon as I get to the Gateway I just feel held, taken care of … I remember to give my worries to God.”