To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance, and to
release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and
benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth,
love, purity and beauty - this is the sole game which has any intrinsic
and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments
can, in themselves, have no lasting importance.
December 2011 Vol. 4, Issue 7
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December 4, at the home of Alan and Karen Talbot, we met for a
remembrance of our friend and brother in Baba, Robert Dreyfuss. Robert
passed away on October 31. We will share some highlights from Sunday with you in this issue.
Robert told his
Baba story several times to the local Northern California group, and we
have it recorded. Now we can listen to his story once again. Thanks to
the efforts of Larry Thrasher, we are slowly converting these many
talks, maybe over 300 talks from many speakers, from tape cassette into
digital media, and from there we will be able to post them onto the
Internet. Today, a talk by Robert is available for listening at mandalihall.org. Here is Robert telling his story in Mandali Hall, January 1970, two sections of 45 minutes each.
The following is Robert's description of his first meeting with the Lord of Love:
MEMORIAL for Robert Dreyfuss
A Memorial will be held for Robert Dreyfuss. His
family will attend, and it will embrace Robert's friends in the wider
community, his patients, his friends in Meher Baba, and anyone else who
knew him and wishes to attend.
Sunday, December 18
2 PM to 5 PM
The Memorial will be held in the main sanctuary at:
830 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, California 94701
(corner 6th and Bancroft, the entrance is on Bancroft) For directions visit www.Rudramandir.com
there he was! Sitting on his bed, unclothed from the waist up, beaming -
the Emperor of emperors. What occurred then I shall never forget - a
great loosening, a shaking from within. I am not given to visions, or
'seeing things,' or hallucinations, but on beholding his form, what I
saw was his resplendent face at the center of an effulgence so
brilliant, of a light so complete in its all-encompassing radiance, that
tears blurred my vision in rivers of delight. There was no way I could
stop it. The light was so brilliant, it was like looking into the sun,
and so tears naturally had to flow. Here he was, the One who in his
compassion had granted this speck of his imagination a glimpse of the
Sun!" ~Robert Dreyfuss
Lord Meher 6400
"I always find it difficult
to translate into words the essentially nonverbal experience of being
with Baba, but ... Emanating from him was an aura of total peace,
surely what is spoken of in the New Testament as "the peace that
passeth all understanding." This is not something I understood when
being with him, but rather felt in the core of my being. There was no
room for games or pretensions or masks; it was simply being alone
with my Self, and being totally accepted - for what I am and am not.
was a love radiating from Baba that I can only call dynamic, a love
that was not confined to that time and place, but is with me now and
that grows more vivid with time. This extraordinary dynamic love
emanated from Baba effortlessly, just as the light does from the sun.
There is no one else he could be, except who he says he is!" ~Robert
Lord Meher 6404
A wonderful account of Robert's journey to Baba titled, Game of Absolute Worth, is in Lord Meher online, pg. 6398 link to Lord Meher/ Robert's story
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Sebastian Baker
Dreyfuss , 68, died early Monday morning, October 31, after a lengthy
illness. He passed away peacefully at his home in Black Mountain, NC. He
is survived by his son, Joshua, his daughter, Mani Rose, and many
friends and loved ones across the world.
was a learned man, who was a lover of poetry, literature, and music. He
was a traveler to the end. He had an acute memory for the details of
his encounters with people everywhere. He loved his many friends, his
family, and he reached out to many. In the last year or so of his life,
he allowed others to assist him even though he had a fiercely
was a devotee of Avatar Meher Baba, whom he met in India in 1965 after
an incomparable odyssey across continents. Meher Baba, whom tens of
thousands in India and in the West take to be the God-Man and the
Christ, gave Robert His message about drugs being harmful physically,
mentally, and spiritually to bring to the youth in the West. Following
these orders became his work for the next several decades. While living
in the Bay Area of Northern California, he traveled widely in the United
States, giving talks about drugs in schools, colleges, churches, and at
other gatherings. He was the long-time director of a drug program in
the Berkeley area. He also lived in India at Meher Baba's ashram for
many years of the drug work, Robert became an acupuncturist and Doctor
of Chinese medicine, where he spent his remaining years as a healer and
beloved doctor to many.
his retirement, he moved to Black Mountain where he lived during his
last years. His was an engaging personality and was deeply spiritual. He
will be greatly missed.
Photo and Obituary courtesy of Alisa Genovese
Robert Remembrance read on 12/4/11 by Malcolm Sebastian Baker
I first met Robert in
late 1974, soon after I moved to the Bay Area from England. As I
remember, it was over a game of monopoly at Meher Baba Information.
I'm not sure of the exact symbolism of the circumstances behind this
encounter, but it somehow seems appropriate that I would first meet
Robert over a game of chance in a house dedicated to the Lord.
Robert was immediately
generous with his friendship and took me into his world. And later, as
we both remarried and had children, we grew close as families. Perhaps
it helped being English as Robert, being the romantic that he was, had a
overly romanticized view of my country, its culture and its people.
Somehow it was always high tea at Fortnum and Mason, and the fact that
this haughty English food emporium did not in fact serve high tea, which
I would often point out to Robert, was an irritating minor detail that
would not deflect him from his vision. Robert's ability to see things
as he would like them to be was a great part of his strength and his
charm although it was sometimes a quality which got him into trouble.
Robert and I shared a
love of travel, of poetry, of spiritual search, of mountains and the men
who climbed them and of tribal artifacts. On returning from a trip,
Robert would open up his suitcase and, being the trader that he was,
look to sell me something,: a tanka, an Indian miniature painting, a
tribal dress from Rajasthan. I usually ended up buying even though I
often felt that Robert's prices, like his dreams, were not always
grounded in reality.
I traveled with Robert.
We once went to Mount Shasta which Robert was determined to climb. But
we both knew that his asthma would preclude going too high, so we set
out getting no higher than about 10,000 feet. For Robert, it was about
the companionship on the journey rather than the ultimate goal. We met
up in India on a number of occasions and once spent two nights at the
Peninsular in Hong Kong. Robert was an accomplished hard scrabble
traveler but he also had an appreciation for luxury on the road.
Robert's love for and
dedication to Baba was total. I had huge admiration for the centrality
of Baba in Robert's life and how his love for Baba illuminated his being
and fueled his cheerfulness. For me, Robert was a powerful witness to
Baba's instruction: That life is a passing show and we should take Him
seriously and Life lightly. As Robert's physical condition declined over
the years, this Love seemed to shine more strongly. Robert never spoke
about his physical troubles, at least to me, and although he would
occasionally mention his Parkinson's condition, it was if he was talking
about an uninvited guest who was lingering, unwelcome in another
room. So part of Robert's legacy for me and I think for all of us is
this legacy, and indeed triumph, of spirit rather than a lasting
impression of his physical frame. I am reminded of a few lines from WB
An aged man is but a paltry thing
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
Being the determined
seeker that he was, Robert sailed his own seas and found his Byzantium
when he met Baba in 1966. I am sure we have all heard the story of his
journey and how he met Baba against all odds, reflecting his
persistence, his headstrongness and the absolute imperative of the
Divine at the core of his being. I took a photo of Robert on Seclusion
Hill on my first visit to India in 1978. He's staring out over the
plain, underneath a spreading acacia tree that is no longer there,
leaning on a stick which he assured me, with that impish twinkle in his
eye, was William Donkin's favorite. Unlike other photos I have of
Robert, and I have many, his feet are solidly on the ground. He is going
nowhere, he is clearly home. Goodbye, dear Robert, a wonderful soul
who has gone to Baba and who is now really at home with Him.
Until the Very End by Alisa Genovese
This is a great story that illustrates so clearly how Baba was with Robert "til the very end."
night Robert slipped into a coma and eventually passed into His
Beloved's Arms, although peaceful for him, was anything but for me and
for his family. We were desperately trying to sort out whether to have
him stay home or sent to the hospital and once again save his life. In
the process of deciding, I called some of his dearest friends here. I
told them they could call because, although he wouldn't respond, people
in a coma can still hear. So a few of his friends did call, along with
the kids and me, so he got an earful at the end!
endearing part of the story is that the last person to talk to him was
his friend Roy. Robert passed away just minutes after the phone was
taken from his ear. Roy is a very long time close friend of Robert's; a
man for whom Robert had deep respect. Although Roy knows of Baba, he is
not a Baba lover nor does he know anything about our traditions in
the cremation, I was feeling very raw and sad, when Roy phoned to see
how I was doing. He then told me the most amazing story. He said when
he was talking to Robert toward the end, he had an overwhelming urge as
he described it, to sing that Roy Rogers song -- you know "Happy
Trails". He said he had no idea why, but he just could not help himself.
Then he said, "I ended it with Jai Baba, Robert!" He had never before
Baba. I told him just how significant what he had done for Robert was. It was no wonder Robert left just after talking
to Roy. He had heard "Happy Trails"!
Baba is so amazing in His myriad of ways. He cares for us all.
In Beloved Baba's Love,
Robert Remembered by Others
Photos from the '60's courtesy of Ursula Reinhart
"By God's great
fortune, I first heard of Meher Baba on the steps of the Student Union
at U.C. Berkeley by no other then Robert Dreyfuss. This was in 1967 or
1968. He gave me a "Don't Worry Be Happy" card that I kept for years. I
was in the Merchant Marines then and was shipping out at that time. I
would tape the Baba card on my focsle door and look at it every time I
went in or out. Years later I would occasionally see Robert at a
restaurant that Ed VanBuskirk and I owned called The Arbor Cafe. Many
Baba Lovers worked there or came by for the macrobiotic food and
camaraderie. As Robert and I got to know each other better, we realized
we had other loves in common other than Meher Baba, which were
motorcycles and mountain climbing. We would wax romantically about
mountain climbing, but as for motorcycles, Robert was way ahead of me.
He had a "Ninja", the fastest or one of the fastest production
motorcycles built at that time. He liked speed and pushing his Ninja to
the limit .He managed to safely stay upright most of the time, but he
did have a pin in his leg from a previous accident in Boston. The day he
sold his Ninja he got down on his knees on the asphalt and thanked Baba
for the pleasure it had given him and for allowing him to ride without
injuring or killing himself. I kept my bike and Robert would often
question me about it and suggest that I quit while I was still ahead of
As for the
mountain climbing, my most enduring memory of Robert was in Yosemite
when we had gone to do some guided climbs of the big walls. We were both
roped in but still a couple of hundred feet up. Even at just a hundred
feet or so, down looked very far down. Well, Robert slipped and quickly
fell, and just as quickly he started saying, "BABA, BABA, BABA, BABA".
He kept repeating it seven or eight times before the rope he was tied
into brought him up short.
Robert and his reliance on Meher Baba. Immediately it was Baba, Baba,
Baba. I can only wish someday my reliance on Baba is as automatic and
profound. I miss him.
Jai Baba" ~Harold Jamison
"My abiding memory of Robert
Dreyfuss is the image he left of his remarkable first trip to India. He
was well into his story when he arrives at Bombay, in 1965, and decides
to hitchhike to Ahmednagar. He was fortunate to hitch a ride from a
furniture delivery truck. The driver told him to take a ride in the back
with the furniture. Robert climbed up to the top where a cushioned easy
chair was tied on to the load. He sat there the entire journey, like a
king or a sultan with what must have been an incredible view of the
Indian landscape. Somehow that represents Baba's gift to Robert in his
journey to Him. " ~Ben Leet
"I found out about Baba through Robert Dreyfuss and Alan Cohen on a TV show called Tempo 2
when I lived in Hermosa Beach in Sept 1968. I became a full fledged
BABA LOVER that same week! I am so grateful to him and HIM!!! Jai BABA
Robert... enjoy your NEW LIFE!!" ~Patty Thorne
"I first met Robert in
1969, when I came to Baba. His telling of his story of meeting Baba
gave me confirming proof of Baba's being God. Over the years, our
friendship developed. In the last few years of Robert's life (in the
Bay Area), we developed a more intimate friendship.
very fortunate that our sons, Matthew and Josh, became such good
friends. As a result, we got good laugh material. We also began to
communicate by non-verbal gestures, punctuated by the ever present "Nu"
(the Yiddish word for "so", but in an all encompassing way).
was a magnificent soul. I heard his story here and at the Meher Center
at Christmas. I never failed to learn more and more about our mutual
Beloved. He will always be in my heart and I do greatly miss him."
Poetry by Robert Dreyfuss
You Are Not Who You Think You Are
You are not
who you think
you are. You are
a blanket of stars,
a woven interlude
between breaths. If
we don't let go,
we will not, at some point,
return to our origins,
the point where
fragrance and color,
shape and size,
create the miracle
that creates us.
Oh Brother, your life
is not who you
think you are.
We Knew It Was Coming
We knew it was coming,
You were born, lived, died-
inevitable, just a question
of when and how.
Everything else details
so many breaths,
no more than what's allotted.
Then puff, you are let loose
upon the world, the weight
of ashes scattered in a good
breeze. Even your memory begins
to fade, insubstantial, a slight
shiver along the spine.
How much good did you do?
How many did you help?
If you awakened
the heart of compassion,
that you take with you.
Otherwise you're dead.
The return journey
some of you may know already, Robert was a prolific poet. In the last
two years of his life he wrote profusely. Most of the poetry speaks of
his surrendering into the eventuality of his declining health and
demise. It is hauntingly beautiful and reveals the inner workings of
one dedicated to the spiritual path and to surrendering his life to the
Divine. A journey we all will traverse one day.
poetry he left behind, his family and friends would like to share. We
are hoping to have it published in the next year. In lieu of flowers or
other donations, I am respectfully requesting a consideration to donate
to this fund. Any amount is welcome.
Checks can be made out to and mailed:
Robert Ahrens (Robert's literary power of attorney)
Earmark checks: Robert Dreyfuss Poetry Fund.
722 San Carlos Ave
Albany CA. 94706
Thank-you so much for your consideration.
Center Library Note:
you like to be a "patron"? We have a library for your reading pleasure
and convenience. Our library is housed upstairs in a bookcase at the
MBCNC Center on Stockton Street. We have had 14 borrowers over the past
year. You may access a list of the holdings at the web page
meherbabameherbaba.org; look for library, and open the book or video pdf
When you visit the Center, remember to check out the library
books. We would also like donations. For a list of books we need see
the section at the end of the library holdings.
Contact the Newsletter about donations.
The TrustMeher Baba Center of Northern California
All who wish to share in the commitment laid down by Meher Baba through
the Trust should contact Jack Mormon, email@example.com
Meher Baba Information
For introductory information about Avatar Meher Baba, e-mail:
or write to P.O. Box 1101, Berkeley, CA 94701.
6923 Stockton Avenue
El Cerrito, California 94530
Meher Baba Center of No.CA website
Meeting schedule can be downloaded in pdf form from website (above)
The Meher Baba Center is open for drop-in and book store
most Saturdays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (check website for details)
Directions to our Center:
From Highway 80, Interstate 5, going north or south, in El Cerrito,
take the Central Avenue exit exiting east, toward the hills. Cross San Pablo Avenue.
Go under the BART train tracks and less than a block after the tracks,
turn left on Richmond Avenue. Head north on Richmond Avenue until Stockton Avenue
(the first stop light), turn right on Stockton. About two blocks onward, the Center
is located on the left side of the street. Address and phone are listed above.
More Local Meetings
Lafayette - Sunday Afternoons
Monthly meeting at the home of Kirk and Marlene Allen.
Please call to confirm. (925) 284-4066
Sonoma County - Arti happens once a month, usually the first Sunday.
Locations vary. Call Ellen Van Allen at 707-528-0357 for specific information.
Sacramento area - Meeting times and locations vary
Contact Marilyn Buehler (916) 812-9496 firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Gatos - Sunday Evenings
At the home of Clint Snyder
Call (408) 395-6865
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Northern California | 6923 Stockton Avenue | El Cerrito | CA | 94530