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Articles

Silence on Silence Day
  – Jenny Keating

Burned by Beauty
  – Buck Busfield

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

The Way It Was – Meherabad
  – Ann Conlon

What Does THAT Mean?
  – Ann Conlon

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – 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 Stuff We're Made Of

I have mixed feelings about this time of year. Though Christmas is about joy and family and warmth and togetherness, it has also, sadly, become about Stuff. It is impossible to walk through town or turn on the radio or read a newspaper without being bombarded with messages about stuff you and your loved ones need to buy, and at a discount not to be missed. Don't get me wrong, I love a new purse or book or dress right along with the best of them but something about the over-the-top consumerism of December makes me question what our attachment to things is really all about.

There are of course the things we need, but those are very few: food, water, shelter, minimal clothing. The rest of it seems purely emotional: possessions that make us feel a little happier or prettier or smarter or more connected, gifts that bring joy to give, or objects that remind us of someone or someplace we know and love. Some of us become so attached to our things, we come to feel that we need them and cannot imagine our identity in the world stripped of our possessions. I, myself, have been known to have trouble giving things away—holding on to old t-shirts or letters or records just because they connect me to something that meant a lot to me once. But, Baba has given me several pointed opportunities to reflect on possessions and what they really mean.

It was the eve of my eighteenth birthday, January 30, and I was sitting beside Eruch on the side of Baba's cabin facing the Samadhi. The Amartithi crowds surrounded us in a torrent of color and song. I'd been living in India for months at the time and I was curled on the stone in the moonlight feeling very lucky to be in such a vibrant circle of His lovers. Then, I turned and realized in a flash that my wallet was gone. Someone had stolen it. And it had everything of value to me in it. I was distraught. But then Eruch spoke. "This is a blessing," he said, "now you will never forget where you were on your eighteenth birthday." The funny thing is, I did forget. It wasn't until my dear friend Steve Edelman, who was also there at the time, reminded me of this story, that it started to come back to me. And, as embarrassing as it is that I forgot Eruch addressing me on the Hill during Amartithi, it does go to show that "everything of value to me" was completely gone from memory just a handful of years later.

Then, in my mid-twenties, I was moving from California to New York to attend law school and decided to drive because there were certain possessions that seemed too bulky to ship—my bicycle, my stereo. After an extended drive across the country with my loyal mom as my companion, we arrived in Brooklyn a few hours before my new apartment was ready. As we went to get lunch, strangers broke into the moving van and took virtually everything I owned: that prized bicycle, the box conveniently labeled Stereo and almost all my clothes. Personal photographs and letters were strewn down the block. But the funny thing is, in the weeks that followed, once I got over the initial shock of having to buy new sheets and socks and chairs, I felt a lightness. Like I had been swept clean. Like the memories and attachments wrapped up in those boxes and clothes and histories were an anchor and I had suddenly set sail.

Just recently, we took our infant son Isaiah on a plane for the first time. After weeks of list-making and packing, we boarded the plane with suitcases packed with all of the essentials for a week away from home with a baby. And then we got stuck in a snowstorm in Salt Lake City and were told we had to stay the night. Without any of our stuff. And how did that turn out? Absolutely fine. We were happy to find a hotel room to shelter us from the snow, we had the sandwiches I'd packed from home and enough clothing to keep the three of us warm. We realized that of all the things we thought we needed to keep Isaiah happy, the only thing he really needed was us.

Which gets me back to my original thought about Christmas. As I prepare to share in my son's first Christmas, I think about the traditions we will create for him and it seems very clear that what he will remember is curling up in his father's lap to read about the Grinch, not which toys are under the tree; or singing songs through the neighborhood, not what he wore to the party. And I think that is true for all of us: the true stuff that matters is moments that touch our hearts, experiences that connect us to each other, and anything that helps us feel closer to Him. The rest is just part of the passing show and it all gets lost or stolen or forgotten with time.