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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

The Importance of Being Furnished


Recently, as happens with all things we like to think of as lasting, repairs were undertaken at the Lagoon Cabin, at the Meher Spiritual Center, in Myrtle Beach.  While Baba’s familiar rococo chair is being re-caned by Tex Hightower (for the second time in twenty years), another chair Baba used (a blue, vinyl-clad chair, which is also pictured in Lagoon Cabin photographs with him) is in its place. The floor also needed refurbishing, so the furniture was removed while that work was being done.

Sometime after the work was completed, the furniture arrangement was changed from its familiar layout to one more closely approximating the way it had been, when Baba used the Lagoon Cabin for interviews in the 1950s. The altered appearance was strikingly different, and naturally gave rise to a wide range of reactions. It made me wonder about Baba’s directive that the Lagoon Cabin, Barn and Baba’s House be kept as they were when he was there physically: could the furniture and treasures be rearranged at all?

In reviewing the situation, I learned that the assortment and arrangement of furnishings and other paraphernalia in the Lagoon Cabin evolved, over time, to be what is now familiar to all of us. Elizabeth Patterson was given complete authority of the Center by Baba, and she made changes that seemed necessary. All those changes were, of course, in complete accord with Baba’s directive that the Lagoon Cabin, Barn and Baba’s House be kept as they were, when he was there physically, and in 100% repair.

I remember Charles Haynes once speculated, while speaking about Elizabeth, that if there were a terrible and all-consuming fire at the Center – something that would certainly rock almost everyone else back on their heels – that Elizabeth would simply set about doing the practical work that needed to be done, without pausing to lament. She was a very practical person. Regarding the Lagoon Cabin, as one person suggested, “Most likely, Elizabeth in her wisdom and pragmatism purposely rearranged the furniture from how it was in the 1960s (which is also not how it was when Baba was here) in order to create a more intimate setting, one which we have all grown accustomed to.”

It must be that Baba gave scope for such amendments as part of his directive, although that is not explicit. All the more reason for us – each one who visits and loves the Center and in whom its care now rests – to contemplate Elizabeth’s example of stewardship. We have to try to appreciate what our task is and to find out how to be ever more in harmony with Baba’s purpose for the Center – to understand the meaning, not just the words. When considered in light of Baba’s repeated emphasis on practicality – even as a means for finding one’s way through a problem which isn’t yet fully comprehended – one must examine how the Lagoon Cabin and other spaces are used, in order to find a useful approach to future tasks. It really is how the spaces are used that is at the crux of the matter, not merely reflexive adherence to the familiar.

The Lagoon Cabin has come to be one of the primary places for quietude, reflection and meditation on Beloved Baba. I can only imagine that the chairs, sofa, coffee table, etc. were added so that people would not have to stand or sit on the floor; to make it possible to remain there, in the company of their Beloved, comfortably, and in a way that would least distract us from Baba. This is in concert with other places that have a particularly cherished association with Baba. Mandali Hall and Baba’s Room at Meherazad come immediately to mind, as both have had long standing and similar changes made to them – in order to enhance communion and facilitate the give and take of the lover and the Beloved.

In one of Ann Conlon’s columns, she was contemplating how the Center had changed since her first visit there in 1958. I’m unsure of the original publication date, but it must 1998 or later:
There was one thing that hasn't changed over more than forty years: Meher Baba's presence. It is as strong and as sweet now as it was then. He has certainly kept the promise he made all those years ago, "I never come and I never go." And there are times when the sense of his presence is so powerful that one expects him to come striding along a path at any moment.
Of course, I sometimes miss the Center the way it was. On the other hand I know Meher Baba didn't create it for the less-than-a-handful of people who came in those early years. He made it for all "those who love and follow me and for those who know of me and want to know more." The numbers of people have grown, the number of buildings has grown, and so have the staff and the cadre of volunteers. And I have every confidence in Baba's promise that "the Center will be a place of pilgrimage for a thousand years," So we all better take very good care of it, seeing to it that it continues to be his much-loved "home in the West."

For the present, the arrangement of Lagoon Cabin furniture has been restored to its familiar state, which is not precisely how it was when Baba was here. When Baba was here, these places were “living” spaces – not static ones – and as living spaces were dynamically changed to suit Baba’s purpose of the moment and to best accommodate practical necessities; but these spaces and the Center as a whole can continue to be “as it was when Baba was here.” In the midst of this tamasha, Baba continues to be felt and is here, continually.