am not limited by this form. I use it like a garment to make myself
visible to you; and I communicate with you through words best fitted to
your understanding. If I used the language of my own consciousness you
would not know what I was talking about. Don't try to understand Me.
My depth is unfathomable. Just love Me. I eternally enjoy the Christ
state of consciousness and when I speak I shall manifest my true Self;
besides giving a general push to the whole world, I shall lead all those
who come to Me towards Light and Truth."
~ Meher Baba, 1957
Kind permission to use, 82 Family Letters, pg. 17, has been granted by the copyright holder, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India.
January, 2014 Vol. 7, Issue 1
Click here to add your email to our newsletter list
In this issue:
Happy New Year 2014 to all!
Brian Drygas recently made a presentation on spiritual practices according to Meher Baba's Discourses at one of the Center's evening meetings. It was very well organized and thought out, so I requested that he share it in the newsletter. This is the first of 4 parts.
is also a letter to the membership from Janet White regarding Baba's
Birthday Celebration. If you would like to lend a hand with the Birthday
this year, Contact-
volunteer help: Ron Greenstein:510-215-7025
potluck & refreshments: firstname.lastname@example.org
would like to dedicate a future issue to your Bhau Kalchuri memories.
So, if you wish to be included, please email personal stories, memories,
and jpegs of Bhau for an upcoming newsletter
Letter to Membership from Janet White
Dear friends of the Northern California Meher Baba Center,
A long time ago, I was told that the ancient Romans used the same word for "host" and
"guest"-- it all depended under whose roof everyone was gathered. This idea seemed to
expand when, at Meherana events, everyone who attended had the chance to take on one
of the tasks that such an event requires. This is related to the concept of 'sweat equity', I
believe. This has been one of my favorite parts of Meherana events because one can enjoy
people's company at work as well as at leisure, and different aspects of ourselves can
thereby be revealed.
These reflections are part of my feelings as I give up my role in helping to put
together Baba's birthday celebration. I have enjoyed the opportunities to do this work
and am fortunate to have learned in the doing. I have given the Board of Directors all the
information I can remember about the way things have been done in the past, and I look
forward to the celebration that fresh hands will create.
In His Love,
Exploring Spiritual Practice, Part 1 by Brian Drygas
Brian Drygas gave a participatory presentation on "Exploring Spiritual Practice" at the Meher Baba Center of Northern CA recently. This is a write-up from part of that meeting.
Here is "Part 1 - Spiritual Preparation for the Path":
Baba tells us that there are ways for the spiritual aspirant to prepare
for the spiritual path. Here are three of those means. (All page
references are to the three volume 1967 version of the Discourses.)
Three of the ways for spiritual aspirants to prepare for the spiritual path are to:
1. Develop divine attributes
descent of grace of the Master is conditioned, however, by the
preliminary spiritual preparation of the aspirant. The preliminary
preparation for grace is never complete until the aspirant has built
into his psychic make-up some divine attributes." (Volume 1, page 161)
2. Have an open mind
the aspirant cannot be content with secondhand knowledge, or mere
guesses, he does not close his mind to the possibility that there could
be spiritual realities which had not come within his experience. In
other words, he is conscious of the limitations of his own individual
experience and refrains from making it the measure of all
possibilities." (Volume 2, page 12)
3. Develop critical and creative thinking"Critical and creative thinking leads to spiritual preparation by cultivating those qualities which contribute towards the perfection and balancing of the mind and heart and the release of the unfettered divine life." (Volume 3, page 117)
Individual spiritual practices can be thought of as consisting of three aspects:
- Mind (intention, focus, thoughts, effort)
- When (and duration)
- Environment (and posture)
The three categories within the "When" aspect of a spiritual practice can be thought of as:
- All of the time
- When opportunity arises
- At planned times (scheduled and/or periodic)
Baba makes clear the role of love in spiritual practice. "Hence, it
[love] has been given the foremost place among the methods which secure
release of consciousness from the bondage of sanskaras." (Volume 1, pg. 84)
The next article will be: "Part 2 - All of the Time Spiritual Practices".
Brian has been a follower of Meher Baba for over 36 years. He
has also recently given another presentation, "The Inner Path -
Elements of the inner path as expressed by spiritual texts, experiences
of people from different spiritual traditions, and explained by Meher
Questions or comments? Contact: email@example.com
Trip to India by Karen Talbot
We arrived at
Meherabad in time for morning Arti on December 15, 2013 which was Mani's
birthdate. Each of the songs sung that morning were either songs Mani
wrote or songs she really liked. Heather was the first one to sing a
song that Mani wrote. We learned that when Baba's twins, Rustom and
Sorab, were going to the U.S. for the first time, Mani wrote a song for
them. The song, 'Be a Baba Boy, Be a Baba Girl' was sung
enthusiastically at Arti. December 15, was a Sunday, so we went to
Meherazad that morning. The film, shown by Hughie MacDonald, was
created for Mani's Birthday. It was a joy, a delight, and a pleasure to
see and hear Mani on the screen.
There was a special
program in honor of Mehera in Hostel A the afternoon before Mehera's
birthday. Deborah Ash was the emcee. Songs were sung and stories were
told. December 22 was Mehera's Birthday. Morning Arti was very
special. The Meherabad women residents brought beautiful garlands for
Mehera's tomb shrine. Songs sung were composed by Mehera or songs
especially loved by her. Since December 22 was a Sunday, we went to
Meherazad after breakfast. Hughie showed, 'Happy Birthday, Mehera',
filmed by Kacy Cook. That afternoon, under the tin shed at upper
Meherabad, many gathered to share stories of Mehera. The day was filled
in loving remembrance of Mehera and Meher.
The afternoon before
Christmas, there was another program in Hostel A. Alan Talbot was the
emcee. There were songs, dances, and a new film created by Bob
Fredericks, 'Mehery Christmas'. The only songs sung at Christmas Eve
arti were Christmas carols led by Ward Parks. On Christmas Day, there
was a special program at Meherazad. Everyone lined up to enter Baba's
room. Many gathered on the veranda to share stories. Inside Mandali
Hall, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus passed out Prasad packets. This is
the second year that Alan and I have had the honored distinction of
being the Clauses.
In between these celebratory days, we enjoyed time spent at Meherabad and Meherazad. These special places of pilgrimage radiate the fragrance of His Love.
New at the El Cerrito Center Monday Night Meeting Series
First Monday of the month: Program Committee
p.m. at the Center on the first Monday of each month to plan events,
gatherings, and activities of the Meher Baba Center. All are welcome
to attend and contribute their ideas. Next meeting: February 3
Third Monday of the month: Effort and Grace Series
A monthly meeting with the focus on Darwin Shaw's book, Effort and Grace, which is based on Baba's Discourses.
This meeting will be on the third Monday night of the month. Initial
meeting time will be 7 pm. The structure will be open to the ideas and
requests of those attending and may change as we go along. We may
start by reading together, we may want to read the associated
discourse, we may read in advance and just share our thoughts at the
meeting, or we may improvise some other way to do this. All are
welcome. You don't need to have a copy of the book to attend. Lisa
Greenstein will facilitate the first meeting.
Fourth Monday of the month: Discourses Meeting
are welcome for reading and discussion at the Center at 7 p.m. on the
fourth Monday of the month. the people who come to the Center on
January 27th will decide where in the Discourses we will begin.
It's me and you
like sky and blue,
like sticky and glue,
like a sole and its Shoe-
it's you and me
like a cup and tea,
like One and not we,
like is, was, and will be.
Mind finds endless ways to say "You're like that" or "You're like this."
Heart cries "Meher Baba"- existence, knowledge, bliss!
Jonathan lived in San Francisco in 2009 and frequented our meetings.
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 Trust |
All who wish to share in the commitment laid down by Meher Baba through
the Trust should contact Jack Mormon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meher Baba Information For introductory information about Avatar Meher Baba, e-mail:
or write to P.O. Box 1101, Berkeley, CA 94701.
Meher Baba Center of Northern California
6923 Stockton Avenue
El Cerrito, California 94530
The meeting schedule is now included in our online calendar (web link above), and can be printed directly from the calendar.
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
More Local Meetings:
Sonoma County - Arti happens once a month, usually the first Sunday.
Locations vary. Call Ellen Van Allen at 707-528-0357 for specific information.
Los Gatos - Sunday Evenings
At the home of Clint Snyder
Call (408) 395-6865