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October 2013 E-News

 

"This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions, or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely upon God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving, and believe in the lovers of God, and in manifestations, and yet do not expect to receive any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of Truth, and who without being upset by calamities bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred per cent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed, and religious ceremonies." 

  ~ Meher Baba, September 1950

Kind permission to use, Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba,
pg. iv, has been granted by the copyright holder, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India.
 

October, 2013                                                                  Vol. 6, Issue 3  

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In This Issue
from Tales from the New Life
What the Heart Wants-review
New Life Sahavas Review

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Dear Reader

In this issue:

Alice Klein's recently published book of poetry is reviewed by Max Reif and we have a report on the October New Life Sahavas at Meherana.

I just came across this youtube piece on God Speaks by Tim Thelen and it is a real treat. Hope you enjoy!
GOD SPEAKS by Meher Baba 'The Theme of Creation' 
GOD SPEAKS by Meher Baba 'The Theme of Creation'


All previous issues of the newsletter are available to read at www.meherbabameherbaba.org


Jai Baba!
~Lisa Greenstein


Excerpt from Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba 

Don:
It is Meherazad in October, 1972. Mani is going to continue the narration of various accounts of the New Life with Baba.

Mani: Well Don, I don't think there is much to say about the New Life...

Don: Not much! We've only talked about it for fourteen hours so far!

Mani: In fact I think there is nothing one can say about- it is to be lived.  We can talk only about the outward things-- the activities that took place-- things that you can put down in a diary or in a notebook.  But the New Life is limitless, a timeless thing.  Baba said, 'The New Life will go on living by itself even when there is nobody to live it.'  So the New Life lives forever.  That is because it was given life by Baba, by the God-Man himself treading it, making a way for all in the timeless time to come.

Don: Making a living blueprint.  Is that your interpretation of what Baba did in the New Life?

Mani: Perhaps, 'footprint' is the word.  You see, God himself walked the New Life, and that has given life to the New Life.  The New Life is already lived because Baba has lived it on behalf of all who will follow it.  When Perfection performs an act in Illusion it is perfect.  We can never equal even a mite of what he can do. As Baba once said, 'If all of you had kept silence all of your lives it wouldn't equal one hour of my silence.  And if all of you fasted all of your lives it wouldn't equal one day of my fasting.'

Kind permission to use,Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba, pg.171, has been granted by the copyright holder, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India.



WHAT THE HEART WANTS  by Alice H. Klein            
reviewed by Max Reif
 

 

 
The reader of Alice Klein's WHAT THE HEART WANTS receives a great gift on every page. We read poetry for such gifts: those of a sensibility that goes beyond our own, sees what we can't see (or don't realize we see), notices what we don't notice. There are one hundred such gifts, each one brief enough to be a morning's companion, in this volume.

 

The poet also has great power, if we are able to accept these gifts, to take us places. Alice is, first of all, a noticer. Her perceptions appear in fresh language because they are fresh perceptions. She is also honest. She has the courage to face the world and her mind as they are, without cosmetics. There is beauty in both, all the more beautiful for the fact that there's nothing artificial. It's a bare-bones beauty.

 

There is also just a touch of humor in many of Alice's poems. It too is not interposed, but arises naturally. To illustrate this, let me quote one of the briefest pieces in the book in its entirety:

 

HARD HEARTS

 

Cold hands, cold feet.

A grey coastal fog, and dreary.

We wait impatiently for the sun

to break through and show us mercy.

The tomatoes wait too,

to draw out the red from the green-

hard little hearts dangling on the vine

waiting to ripen, like mine.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Some of the poems are about Meher Baba, with whom the author has had a long connection, or his mandali, or Jesus. A poem entitled "Dukka" and several others are informed by her years of Buddhist (vipassana) practice. Many of these poems with explicit spiritual references are wonderful. I especially loved one titled, "If Even Jesus," about the need to persevere bravely in the face of seeming abandonment.

 

But Alice achieves the same transcendental effects writing about horses! Were I a poetry teacher, I would "teach" her poem "In the Gloaming with Horses" (which for some readers will echo James Wright's well-known "A Blessing"). It puts one right in the equine world. Listen to these lines, in which rhythm, alliteration and description all work together:

 

Fetlock, forelock, mane and muzzle-

swishing of tails and quiet snorts-

the fading silhouettes of huge handsome heads

gracefully dipping.

 

Alice goes even further than this marvelous evocation, and in the last stanza of this one-page poem, she brings the reader to a mystical communion where the words launch the reader to another, rarified realm:

 

Alone in a field, listening,

I breathed with the breathing of horses.

And my feet became earth.

And my breath became sky.

 

Finally, I want to note how some of these poems express clarity in states of desperation. This quality is invaluable, as one tends to panic in such states. In Alice's verse I often find "grace under pressure," Ernest Hemingway's definition of courage. Thus, she can write beautifully and helpfully, with such a stunning image of our human predicament, in this final, short poem I will leave you with:

 

 

LAST RESORT

 

Only as a last resort

do I turn, turn to Thee and call

and in that single word

lay before you everything-

a pomegranate split and spilling

its red juices, and all the seeds embedded

like so many stubborn bits of me,

waiting to be dug out and set free.

 

 

 ~Max Reif

 

WHAT THE HEART WANTS is available to order online from its publisher, Sheriar Press:  www.sheriarbooks.org. It is also available for purchase at the Meher Baba Center of No. CA bookstore in El Cerrito, CA.

 

 

 

A native of New York City, Alice Klein has been writing for as long as she can remember. She majored in English in college, with a concentration in writing, and worked in publishing for many years, as an editor and also as a book designer. In 1967 she heard about Avatar Meher Baba and in 1969 went to India to attend the Last Darshan. She has also been deeply influenced by vipassana meditation as presented by Western Buddhist teachers. She has done art in various media, played recorder and guitar, written a few short piano pieces, knocked around tennis balls, planted many wonderful gardens. She's studied acupressure and tai chi, danced Argentine tango and West Coast swing, backpacked and bird-watched. She moved to Berkeley in 1975 and, except for traveling and a few years each in Santa Fe and in the northern California coastal town of Mendocino, has lived there ever since.  

Max Reif, writer and poet, lives in Walnut Creek. His new book, Journey from here to HERE, is available at Searchlight Books in Lafayette, CA, Meher Baba Books in Los Angeles, and Sheriar Books, as well as on the Lulu site: lulu.com

 

2013 Meherana New Life Sahavas                by Karen Talbot                                 

The Meherana New Life Sahavas was well-attended. Those that came had a weekend filled with His Love.

 

The special guest speaker was Davana Brown. Her first talk on Friday evening was on memories of Mehera. On Saturday, she spoke of her time spent with Eruch. On Sunday morning, she spoke about the New Life. Each of her talks left listeners longing to hear more and more.

 

Jamie Newell, the special guest singer, regaled us with his remarkable voice. He sang the "Song of the New Life" and such classics as "Sing A Song of Meher Baba Sing" and "Baba Gundewar". Jamie sang during his three performances, at the Saturday night Dhuni and at both morning artis.

 

Kebi's bookstore was busy throughout the weekend. There were lots of Baba books, CDs, clothing and other items for sale including impressive Harold Jamison ceramics.

 

As usual, there was lots of delicious food. Ralph and his crew prepared Friday night dinner. The Choi family brought a Korean lunch on Saturday. We enjoyed a Persian dinner on Saturday evening. Harold and his crew presented delicious breakfasts Saturday and Sunday.


We learned that Charles Haynes will be the guest speaker at the 2014 Spring Meherana Sahavas. This should be a well-attended Sahavas, so start making your plans now to attend.

 

 

Announcements


Center Library Note:
Would 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 files.
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, ambkj@aol.com
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Meher Baba Information
  For introductory information about Avatar Meher Baba, e-mail:
info@MeherBabaInformation.org
or write to P.O. Box 1101, Berkeley, CA 94701.
http://MeherBabaInformation.org
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    

Meher Baba Center of Northern California
6923 Stockton Avenue
El Cerrito, California 94530
(510) 525-4779
www.meherbabameherbaba.org

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 listed above.
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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

 

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