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Articles

CCCs
  – Billy Goodrum

Amartithi
  – Bruce Felknor

"You'll find Me in the garden"
  – Jenny Keating

'Heart Tires of Its Gaudy Dress' – Francis Brabazon
  – Buck Busfield

HOLLYWOOD
  – Billy Goodrum

Trust and Intimacy
  – Jenny Keating

Living with Baba
  – Bruce Felknor

When Words Fail . . . Just Use More Words
  – Buck Busfield

Suffering and Service
  – Juniper Lesnik

SPOILER ALERT
  – Billy Goodrum

The charm of His ways. . .
  – Jenny Keating

The Importance of Being Furnished
  – Bruce Felknor

It's Been Fun
  – Steve Klein

Let’s Talk about Love
  – Juniper Lesnik

Cannes
  – Billy Goodrum

In the world but not of it . . .
  – Jenny Keating

Give Me Your Imperfections
  – Wendy Connor

Children of the One God
  – Bruce Felknor

As the Poet Says
  – Steve Klein

Happy Endings
  – Jenny Keating

Thoughts on Furniture
  – Billy Goodrum

Going Home
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Tale of Two Connections
  – Bruce Felknor

The Flowering Seed
  – Wendy Connor

Baby Steps
  – Steve Klein

Patience
  – Jenny Keating

Hold On!
  – Juniper Lesnik

Waiting for the New Humanity
  – Billy Goodrum

Remembering
  – Bruce Felknor

The Beloved's Beloved
  – Wendy Connor

Compare and Contrast
  – Steve Klein

It's in the struggle . . .
  – Jenny Keating

Time
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Tipping Point
  – Billy Goodrum

Learning Poise
  – Bruce Felknor

When "Good Enough" Isn't
  – Steve Klein

Conflict and Joy
  – Jenny Keating

Sleepless in San Jose
  – Juniper Lesnik

Vacation Incarnation
  – Steve Klein

Nerve Endings of the Soul
  – Jenny Keating

"Let the World Wait"
  – Wendy Connor

Religion vs Spirituality
  – Steve Klein

The Bigger Challenge
  – Wendy Connor

Que Sera Sera
  – Steve Klein

To Be Honest
  – Juniper Lesnik

Praise and Blame
  – Steve Klein

Being Right
  – Steve Klein

To Love God is To Love Our Fellow Beings
  – Juniper Lesnik

God is Alive in the World
  – Wendy Connor

Determined to Be His
  – Steve Klein

The Stuff We're Made Of
  – Juniper Lesnik

"I Will Always Be With You": Memories of the East West Gathering
  – Wendy Connor

Half Full or Half Empty?
  – Steve Klein

Love The One You're With
  – Steve Klein

Ordinary Life
  – Juniper Lesnik

Baba Loved Us Too
  – Wendy Connor

Feeling His Love
  – Steve Klein

He is both Father and Mother
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Leap of Faith
  – Wendy Connor

Becoming His
  – Steve Klein

Don't Worry, Be Happy
  – Juniper Lesnik

A Life Worth Living
  – Wendy Connor

Love The One You're With
  – Steve Klein

What a Mighty Beloved our Beloved is
  – Wendy Connor

To thine own self be true?
  – Steve Klein

The Sweets of His Love
  – Wendy Connor

Sickness and Health
  – Juniper Lesnik

Giving Advice
  – Steve Klein

"Garlic-Faced"
  – Wendy Connor

To Love and Be Loved
  – Juniper Lesnik

Talking About The Truth
  – Steve Klein

The Script was Written Long Ago
  – Wendy Connor

Excuse Me, Which Way to God?
  – Steve Klein

Letting Go
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Mosquitoes are Bad Today
  – Wendy Connor

What If A Teaching Moment Never Comes?
  – Steve Klein

Beads On One String
  – Juniper Lesnik

Youth Sahavas '07
  – Wendy Connor

Stop, You're Both Right!
  – Steve Klein

God, Please Give me a Job
  – Juniper Lesnik

"It Just Passes More Quickly"
  – Wendy Connor

Multiple Meher Babas
  – Steve Klein

Winking Back
  – Juniper Lesnik

The Treasure Within
  – Wendy Connor

Holding On, But Losing One's Grip
  – Steve Klein

1969
  – Ann Conlon

Obedience
  – Ann Conlon

Meher Center – The Way It Was
  – Ann Conlon

Armageddon, Anyone?
  – Ann Conlon

What Does Baba Want Me to Do?
  – Ann Conlon

Baba's 'Things'
  – Ann Conlon

What Does THAT Mean?
  – Ann Conlon

The Way It Was – Meherabad
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

To Each His Own
  – Ann Conlon

Meherjee
  – Ann Conlon

Youth Sahavas
  – Ann Conlon

Kitty
  – Ann Conlon

The Lonely Path
  – Ann Conlon

Isn't He Enough?
  – Ann Conlon

He Said What?
  – Ann Conlon

Goher
  – Ann Conlon

Taking a Dare
  – Ann Conlon

Seeking Suffering
  – Ann Conlon

Dreams
  – Ann Conlon

Amartithi
  – Ann Conlon

Margaret
  – Ann Conlon

"The Disciple"
  – Ann Conlon

I Wonder ...
  – Ann Conlon

Backbiting, etc.
  – Ann Conlon

Hearing His Name
  – Ann Conlon

Rites, Rituals and Ceremonies
  – Ann Conlon

"Baba's Group"
  – Ann Conlon

His Promise
  – Ann Conlon

Then and Now
  – Ann Conlon

Middlemen Revisited
  – Ann Conlon

Padri
  – Ann Conlon

Gateway Days
  – Ann Conlon

The New Life
  – Ann Conlon

Books, Books and More Books
  – Ann Conlon

Elizabeth Patterson
  – Ann Conlon

His "Last Warning"
  – Ann Conlon

Detachment
  – Ann Conlon

Is That A Religion Coming?
  – Ann Conlon

Manifestation: Did He Or Didn't He?
  – Ann Conlon

A Country of Our Own?
  – Ann Conlon

Remembering Mohammed
  – Ann Conlon

Advice (Sort-Of) for Newcomers
  – Ann Conlon

You're a Baba Lover If...
  – Ann Conlon

Real Happiness
  – Ann Conlon

Baba Lover, Baba Follower or Both?
  – Ann Conlon

Meherazad – The Way It Was
  – Ann Conlon

The Strongest Memories
  – Ann Conlon

All (Baba) Things Considered

It's in the struggle . . .

Francis Brabazon lived with Meher Baba as one of His mandali from 1959 until Baba dropped His Body in 1969 and his correspondence with Australian Baba lovers and our family in particular gave details of the various activities and moods of the Avatar and the experiences Francis had living with Him. They also chart the development of an extensive body of poetry and songs that were Francis’ effort to entertain and please His Divine Beloved.

He sent copies of his songs to my mother who had a good ear and singing voice and she proceeded to teach us our first "Baba songs." This became a highlight in our family life, a way we remembered Baba and entertained each other, with each one of us learning the songs and attempting to sing them. I still remember the excitement on receiving the handwritten music and words for what was later published as The East-West Gathering. There were so many songs to learn and Baba had listened to them all being read to Him by Francis.

My sister Maree and I developed a repertoire of these Baba songs which we sang accompanying ourselves on the guitar. In 1967, our father was invited to India to spend two weeks with Baba at Meherazad to discuss Avatars Abode and its future, and Francis suggested we make a tape of our singing, just in case there was the opportunity for it to be played to Baba. This opportunity arose and the tape of our singing was played to Baba on the morning of His 73rd Birthday in Mandali Hall. A cable arrived soon after with the message that He "was touched by our wonderful voices and wanted us to pursue the art of singing . . . to make it our lifework". He sent a further message saying: ". . . I am the only Real One and they should sing about Me to awaken the hearts of all who hear them to the knowledge that I am the Only One . . .”

I don’t recall exactly how I felt about this message at the time but I had a strong sense of duty and I knew from the training I received from Francis and my parents that if Baba asked anything of you, you must try to obey Him, try to do as He asks. But instead of His wish for us bringing me joyful pleasure it became a constant source of angst – of on-going frustration and disappointment. As I began to take singing lessons, I discovered I was not that talented, I had to struggle, I needed to be disciplined and determined – qualities that don’t come naturally to me – I wanted things to be easy, for life to be fun – learning to sing turned out to be hard work. Procrastination was my daily companion: “I’ll practice tomorrow when I have more time, when I feel stronger, when the mood is right . . ." on and on. Sometimes I would practice, but more often I would find reasons not to.

I became so despondent that at one point I stopped singing all together. But every day I would think of His wish for me and feel badly that I was not obeying Him. Discovering how hard it was to actually obey Baba and how incredibly skilled I was at procrastinating made me recall a story from the Ramayana which my father used to read to us at night after dinner.

It’s towards the end when Rama had finally defeated Ravana and he lies dying. Rama aware that Ravana, despite his evil deeds, might have some words of wisdom concerning the affairs of state asks him for his advice on how to rule wisely. Ravana says to Rama: "if thou wishest to do any good work, do not delay, but do it at once otherwise it will be difficult to achieve thy task – a good deed deferred may never be done" and on the other hand, he said: “do not hasten to do evil deeds as they will be one’s undoing".

Eventually, I got over my despondency and wanted to sing again, to sing anyway, even if I wasn’t talented. I wanted to try again, because that was His wish for me. I started to get a sense of what He has so often said that it’s the trying that matters, that the results rest with Him. Many stories from His life indicate that He never gave you something to do that was easy and that you were good at – what would be the point? I’ve come to understand that it’s in the struggle to please Him that we remember Him and that’s all we can do. I may not be talented at singing but I can still at least try to do what He wants, take singing lessons, and practice when I can.

I recently came across a letter from Francis to my mother written from India in which he addresses this same theme and which I found immeasurably helpful: ". . . we can never afford to wait for ideal conditions in anything; we must always start with how things are, with what we have. If we use what we have as well as we can, better conditions and things will be given to us."

I am still trying, still struggling, but now I take it as the journey that’s important not the end result of singing well for Him – that will only happen when He wills it.