January Newsletter 2019
"Believe that I am the Ancient one.
Do not doubt that for a moment.
There is no possibility of my being anyone
else. I am not this body that you see.
It is only a coat I put on when I visit you.
I am infinite consciousness."

- Meher Baba -
Dear Meher Center Friends and Family,

A loving Jai Baba and a Happy New Year to the many friends and family of Meher Center. 2019 brings with it a number of hallmark celebrations for Meher Baba followers around the world. These include:

  • The 50th Amartithi celebration, in January.
  • Celebration of Meher Baba's 125th Birthday, in February.
  • 50th anniversary of the 69' Darshan Program, in May.
  • The 75th anniversary of the founding of Meher Center, also in May.

We will be sending out news in the coming months of the different ways Meher Center will be celebrating these special events. Below, you'll find information about our celebration of the 50th Amartithi in late January.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Annie Hall for her loving service as member of the Meher Center board of directors for the past four years. Her dedication to Baba's home and her particular expertise in environmental matters, has been a great benefit to the Center. Happily, Annie will stay on as co-chair of the Environmental Committee.

We also want to welcome Bob Ahrens back to the board this January. Bob served on the Center's board in the 1990's and early 2000's. A long-time follower of Baba, he was the primary physician to Baba's Mandali at Meherazad for decades. We welcome Bob to the ongoing work of maintaining Meher Center as a thriving retreat for its guests as well as a home for His lovers.

In Baba's Love and Service,

Buz Connor
Executive Director, for the board & staff

Operational Projects Completed or Underway

  • Extensive furniture repairs and restoration in the shop, including many screen doors repaired and painted.
  • Fencing repaired at Meher Abode. Also chimney repaired at Meher Abode.

  • Continued road repairs after more heavy rains.
  • Original Kitchen repair of damage from Hurricane Florence in process. Structural and roof repairs complete. Interior repairs in process.
The Original Kitchen just after
hurricane Florence.
Continuing progress on rebuilding!
  • Extensive vista work: at Meher Abode compound, from the Library past the Guest house, from the Original Kitchen past the Lake Cabin.
  • Aiming to finish this winter, widening of all perimeter firebreak areas. Continue working with consultant and contractors to plan and execute fire mitigation work to reduce the fuel load in specific areas of the Center forest.
  • Extensive restoration work begun on the Lantern---painting, window replacements, repairs. The cabin will be closed for several months.
  • Security fence and gating work for, the Center's Southern boundary and Sheriar gate entrance, in process.
Upcoming Events

Meher Baba's Samadhi
(Tomb) in India.

Amartithi Celebration

Meher Center is having a special three-day event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Amartithi, January 30, 31 and February 1. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Amartithi, this is the day Meher Baba dropped His physical body at Meherazad, India on January 31, 1969. Amartithi means ‘eternal date’, and is celebrated by Meher Baba followers around the world as the day He released Himself from His physical form, to reside eternally in the hearts of His lovers as Divine Love.

Wednesday, January 30th: 8:15 p.m.
A special film will be shown of several of Meher Baba’s close mandali
sharing their experiences of when Meher Baba dropped His body. 
Meeting Place 

Thursday, January 31st: 11:30 a.m. 
This is the Center’s traditional Amartithi celebration program, 
which will include: a brief talk, readings, music, prayers
and Arti, and a 15 minute period of silence
marking the time of Baba’s passing, a half century ago. 
The Barn 

After the Barn program, all are welcome to enjoy warm refreshments at
Refectory Kitchen

Thursday, January 31st: 8:15 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Charles Haynes.
Topic: "Every moment I respond to the whole of creation."
Charles spent time with Meher Baba as a young boy in 1958
during Baba’s last visit to Meher Spiritual Center,
and again in India at the East-West Gathering in 1962.
Meeting Place 

Friday, February 1st: 8:15 p.m.
This evening program will be a celebratory sharing of 
music, poetry and Persian dance.
Meeting Place

-Additional Special Program-

(Jef ferson, Charles, Jimmy & Christopher)

Saturday, February 2nd: 8:15 p.m. 
Guest Speakers: Charles Haynes and Christopher Wilson.

Topic: "Make Me your constant companion:
A discussion of how some of Meher Baba's close
disciples such as Pendu, Nadine and Elizabeth experienced
companionship with the Beloved, including in times of physical separation."
Meeting Place

Charles Haynes and his family first met Meher Baba in 1958 during the Sahavas at Meher Spiritual Center. Charles attended the East-West Gathering in 1962 and the Great Darshan in 1969. He served on the Meher Center board for many years and currently serves on the board of Meher Fund. In his professional life, Charles has served as vice president of the Newseum Institute and founding director of the Religious Freedom Center. He is the author or co-author of eight books including Meher Baba, The Awakener.

Christopher Wilson grew up in Columbia, S.C. and first learned about Meher Baba through a teacher at his high school. Christopher earned his doctorate in Art History and has published widely on depictions of St. Teresa of Avila and other Carmelites in European and Latin American art. He teaches Upper School history and art history at Holton-Arms School and serves on the board of Sheriar Foundation.

Christopher and Charles were married on December 6, 2014, after twenty-five years together. Together they published Norina’s Gift: Messages of Meher Baba Received Through Princess Norina Matchabelliand continue to work with Norina’s and Nadine Tolstoy’s archival materials. Christopher and Charles live in Alexandria, VA with their two dogs, Jefferson and Jimmy, and their parrot named José.

Baba at the 1958 children's birthday party, Meher Center.
(Shaw Family Collection)
Meher Baba's Birthday Celebration

February 25th will be the 125th Birthday celebration of Avatar Meher Baba! A lot is being planned for this special event at Meher Center. Please check our website for all the news! (https://www.mehercenter.org)

A First Experience of the Center
Written by Jamie Keehan

Susan, a pilgrim, remembers with what care Baba drew her to the Center two years ago. Three years prior, Susan had used collage as a way to get through the loss of her beloved husband. She then began incorporating collage into her psychotherapy practice, as a tool for her clients to envision their own transformation.

Since she was encouraging her clients to collage, Susan made a new one for herself that she hung in her office. For some reason, it consisted almost entirely of lagoons and swamps. Her clients sometimes looked at it askance, but though she couldn’t explain it, every time she saw a picture of a lagoon, she was drawn to add it to the picture. 

Through the collages and other therapeutic techniques, Susan was able to support many clients on their journey of healing. One Christmas, one of those clients gave Susan a unique gift: a book on spiritual retreats. 

Susan looked through the book, and landed on the Meher Spiritual Center because it was close to where her cousin lived. When the gateway sent her information on Baba, she was particularly struck by the quote “I have come not to teach, but to awaken.” As Susan puts it, “I really felt like I was ready to be awakened.” She registered to stay ten days on the Center.

When Susan first arrived, it was nighttime, so she was guided to the Log Cabin by the caretaker. The next morning, she woke up and looked outside. The lagoon stretched out in front of her. 

Susan walked down to stand in the middle of the bridge. All she thought was “yeah—I’m here.” Throughout her life, Susan had noticed incredible things happen that she knew were gifts from God. Of coming to the Center, and coming to Baba, she says, “It’s powerful. It’s powerful to have your needs met so completely. Both physically, spiritually, emotionally, just to have a gift given with love.”