Sam Cohen was thirty-one when he met Meher Baba at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel on a spring evening in 1932. Once Baba grasped Sam’s hand, he became entirely devoted to Meher Baba.
When Meher Baba left California, Sam gravitated north to the town of Oceano, where in the coastal dunes, he found an eclectic group of bohemians and spiritual seekers who had banded together with a group of devotees of Meher Baba to build a special cabin in the dunes for Baba in hopes that He would soon return to California.
When the other Baba devotees departed the dunes, Sam stayed on and constructed a small shack located in one of the coves where he spent his days in seclusion and meditation upon Meher Baba.
In 1933, Sam rode on top of a freight train for five days for a chance to see Meher Baba at the World Fellowship of Faiths Conference to be held in Chicago. However, upon arriving in Chicago, he learned that Meher Baba would not be attending the conference. With money provided by his family, Sam followed Meher Baba’s orders and returned to the dunes.
During Meher Baba’s 1934 visit to Hollywood, Sam invited Meher Baba to visit the dunes; Baba agreed, and along with a party of eighteen arrived in the dunes on December 26 for an overnight stay. On the day of Meher Baba’s departure, Sam recorded, “This was when a most unusual experience took place: Baba then pointed to the Pacific Ocean, I said, ‘Oh yes, it is very big.’ Baba shook his head as if to say ‘No.’ Again he waved his hand, and I said, ‘Oh yes, it is very beautiful.’ Once again, ‘No.’ Finally, a loud speaking voice said, ‘I AM AS BIG AS THE OCEAN.’ And you know Baba does not speak.” 
Sam had powerful experiences in the dunes running the gamut from sublime to terrifying. In October 1935, he wrote to Baba asking for permission to leave the dunes and return home to New York, and Baba agreed.
Once in New York, Sam began working in his family’s meat packing plant; he found the work challenging and it hindered him from concentrating on Baba. He wrote to Baba that he wanted to join Baba in India.
Baba wrote back, “I see no need for you coming over all the way to India, now. I would therefore advise you to stay there, and try best, as you have all the while been doing, to think of me. And rest assured, my dear Sam, solitude and concentration on me, will eventually lead you to me, wherever you are. Don’t worry for the progress, which will be sure and substantial in your case, even if it would appear to you to be slow. I have my blessings and love, as ever for you, my dear Sam." 
Elizabeth Patterson arranged for Sam, who was used to austerities, to spend the summer of 1936 living in a tent on two hundred acres of timber and farmland in Connecticut. He wrote to Baba of his plans: “Here I hope to loosen the chains of sanskaras which bind the mind and cast a veil that keeps me from Your beyond state.” 
Imagine the joy Sam felt when he received the cable from Baba, “Come London if convenient, but not India.” 
Sam traveled with a group of Americans to London to be with Baba and by Baba’s grace he ended up in India at Baba’s Nasik Retreat where he was given a separate hut apart from the others.
In July 1937, Sam traveled to Europe via Colombo to meet up with Baba and the group staying at Cannes. Baba then directed Sam to Mexico City with little instruction on how he was to spend his time there; Sam was just to be there for Baba.
Nineteen years passed before Sam would be reunited with Meher Baba. At the Sahavas held at Meher Spiritual Center in 1956, Sam asked Baba, “Suppose one feels that meditating by oneself is service? I like to visit the Monday group, but not all the time.”
Baba replied: “I would like you all to belong to certain groups. Why? Because you can cooperate and tell others about me and share your thoughts. You learn much more than when you remain by yourself. When you listen, exchange thoughts, prayers, my presence is there. Where there are five collected together, there is Parameshwar [Supreme God]; I am there. If you are talking of me, having love for me, then there I am. Is that clear?” 
Meher Baba hinted at the close of the 1958 Sahavas that He would send specific orders to some of His devotees throughout the world. Baba ordered Sam in America, Eruch Jessawala in India, and Francis Brabazon in Australia to fast for forty days. They were allowed a seer and half (6.5 cups) of milk a day and were asked to repeat God’s name.
In a letter to Elizabeth Patterson, dated June 22, 1958, Baba wrote:
“I have given orders to Sam Cohen to stay at the Centre for two months from 14th July if he gets leave; and if he does not get leave, he is asked to resign and live at the Centre as instructed by Me. You should not ask Sam to contribute to his boarding and lodging at the Centre; and you should provide him with the diet I have asked him to follow.” 
It is easy to picture Sam sitting in meditation at the Boat House, wandering the idyllic Meher Center grounds, having a cup or two of his rationed milk, and then retiring to his cabin; all the while repeating God’s name.
Sam spent his remaining days in New York. Right before his death, a Baba lover named Faye Fisher told Sam of a dream she had where Baba commanded Faye to go and see Sam and tell him that Baba was coming to see him. Sam was very happy on hearing this news. The next day, Sam passed away. 
 “Notes from a Few Pilgrims,” by Sam Cohen, Awakener Magazine, Vol 11, No 3, p.27
 AMBPPCT, Letter from Baba to Sam, 214_019
 AMBPPCT, Letter from Sam to Babaji, 214_017
 AMBPPCT, Telegram from Baba to Sam, 214_021
 Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 4046
 Letters of Love, by Jane Barry Haynes, p. 68
 Mystery of the Dunites, by Valerie McKean, Glow Magazine, February 2005