Exciting News... The Meher New Life Center Takes Form
As MAC continues to expand into fulfilling its purpose of collecting, preserving, and sharing Meher Baba’s Divine legacy of materials, artifacts, and words,it has become apparent that the Red Oak School building is on the way to becoming a dynamic hub devoted to Baba. As such, we have renamed the school the Meher New Life Center as a reflection of our broader vision.
In the short term our plans for the use of the building include extensive archiving space; library with display areas; a Baba room; meeting room(s); and space for contemplation and reflection. In time, we anticipate that the Meher New Life Center will attract visitors from near and far for research and study, classes and workshops, recreation, fellowship and celebration. One of our key ambitions is to create a world-class spiritual library and media center available to everyone. We see the potential for spiritual seekers previously unaware of Meher Baba and His teachings, to be drawn to the library as a resource and, as a result, to discover Baba.
By fostering creative thinking and offering the opportunity for artistic expression, we see that the Meher New Life Center will serve to support the flourishing of community. We are consciously bringing new life to this venture; namely repurposing and revitalizing the building and the land, tapping into community resources, and in turn providing an opportunity to serve the greater good.
MAC remains the same - a professional archive for the purpose of preserving and sharing Baba’s legacy; we’re happy to report that the archiving work continues to expand and we expect MAC to take up residence at the Meher New Life Center by the end of this year! We will keep you posted on our progress, in our bi-monthly newsletters, regular bulletins and on our website www.meherarchive.org If you have any thoughts, ideas or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAC’s Remote Library With the current restrictions on socializing, this is a good time to appreciate more, and still yet more, about Meher Baba. The Remote Library has many books, CDs and DVDs about The Beloved that are available for checkout. Debby Blackman has the materials at her home in Asheville and will bag your requests for you to pick up from her porch. Call her at 828-505-0334 between noon and 7:00pm to make an appointment. Meanwhile, thank you in advance for any donations you might have for the library.
Open House - Tea & Tours Update Due to the present pandemic, we have unfortunately had to cancel this event. We will let you know when we are free to reschedule.
Annual Picnic To be scheduled for later this year - we’ll keep you posted.
MAC’s Archive Director
Eruch D. Adams, one of Meher Archive Collective's founders, is moving into the position of Archive Director.Since MAC's inception, Eruch has worn many hats, often at the same time and including that of Executive Director. As a central and valued member of the team, his great passion and dedication to MAC's mission along with his archiving skills, have been instrumental in bringing MAC to where we are today. In his new role, Eruch will supervise teams in the maintenance, preservation, storage and exhibition of records deemed culturally and/or historically important to the Meher Baba Community. The Archive Director is the decision-maker for accession, processing and documentation of new materials and archival collections. As of now, Eruch is responsible for creating a safe and secure space for preserving materials, continuing a high standard of preservation practices, and facilitating access. Eruch can be reached at Eruch@MeherArchive.org
Eruch D. Adams
MAC’s Library Committee
Debby Blackman, Laura Wuest and Anne Barker are members of the MAC Library Committee. Their immediate aim is to prepare the present library collection to be moved to the Meher New Life Center. Anne is the committee chair; she has a Masters in Library Science along with many years of experience, and is now retired from the role of director of a public library. The committee has produced draft versions of a budget, timeline, job descriptions, mission statement and donation policy. In the near future, a collection policy will be formulated and the greater task of creating an inventory will begin.
Communications, Marketing and PR Committee
This committee is currently under construction!
To date we have a chair, Diane Tower-Jones, and two other members, Irma Sheppard and Karl Moeller. Diane has been instrumental in co-producing MAC’s newsletter since its inception, and is excited to play a growing role in letting the world know what MAC is up to through the written word. She has many years experience writing and editing for various projects in a range of genres. Irma, as many of you know, is a published author; she is our copy editor extraordinaire! Karl, a man of many skills, is standing by to do layout and graphic design.
Jean Brunet is board liaison for the Communications, Marketing and PR Committee, as well as for Community Outreach; she ensures that communication keeps flowing and that MAC keeps in touch with the community. Thank you Jean! We are in the process of finding additional committee members, specifically with IT and Social Media skills. If you, or anyone you know, would like to find out more about MAC and Messaging, please contact DianeTowerJones@gmail.com
Ken Blackman Interim Chair of MAC and Project Manager for Meher New Life Center Greetings all, Just a few updates and reflections on our work here at the newly named Meher New Life Center. We have finished the stairways from the attic to the roof in the north and south wings, each is complete with a beautiful dormer and provides easy access to the entire roof. I can picture the stairs being used to bring solar and HVAC systems up onto the roof as we continue our trajectory towards being off grid, independent and sustainable.
The North end of the roof has been decked out with new eaves; the older roofing has been removed; the decking has been totally repaired; new shingles have been put on the sloped areas; and bitumen has been applied to the flat roof. This extensive refurbishment has been accomplished by our crew and many volunteers, resulting in what Peter Nordeen refers to as a fabulous accomplishment ensuring a substantial, long-lasting, completely refurbished attic and roof system. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!
We presently have two crews building the stairs from the second floor up to the attic, as well as preparing the archival storage area to receive new floors, ceilings and walls. Many tons of concrete will soon be flowing in preparation for housing numerous precious artifacts—all being archived for posterity and, ultimately, for availability to the world. Peter has now returned from India and is already working on the plumbing, fire door installation, and a host of other exciting projects awaiting our attention. In His Grace, Ken.
The upper archive storage room, under construction.
Jason, Baba Lover Musician turned construction dude, working in the lower archive room.
Preparing to build stairs up to the attic - one floor closer to heaven!
Update from the Archive
Eruch Adams, Archive Director
Baba on a picnic at Trimbak, March 25th, 1937 - from Jean Adriel's collection.
ON THURSDAY MORNING, March 25th,  Baba took the Westerners for a picnic at Trimbak, the source of the Godavari River, sixteen miles from Nasik. The group left Nasik at 5:00am in three cars. At the base of the hill, they got out and began ascending seven hundred stone carved steps. Baba had Jean, Nonny and a few others, who were not well, carried up on seats swung between two poles. At the top, Baba showed them the source of the river. He then directed them to a shady spot to unpack the picnic lunches and eat a snack. It was still morning and afterward Baba motioned for them to repack the uneaten food and be ready to move. Then he took them on a walk. After an hour's walk, the group was noticeably tired. Baba then asked Delia to make tea and indicated that he was hungry. "Why don't you all eat?" he then asked. But Delia objected because there would be nothing left for dinner. "Never mind, we will eat", and he motioned everyone to be seated. The baskets were again unpacked, the food was distributed and tea was served.
It was only 10:00 A.M. and they had already eaten their lunch, tea and dinner. Baba spelled out, "Since there is nothing else to do and the food is finished, we should go home." The sun was high by then, but nevertheless they descended by a different route. Once they reached the road, they returned promptly to Meher Retreat.
"Places and physical conditions do not matter where longing and determination are deep and strong. It is not a question of patient, endless walking. It matters how and where you walk – in which direction. You may walk and walk for years, but if it is in the wrong direction it is a waste of energy and time. If you go further away, of course you do come back when the time comes, but it is such a long process."
Regarding these extraordinary, unprecedented times...
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our primary concern is for the welfare of our workers, volunteers and their families. We are taking the appropriate steps to comply with evolving public policies in compliance with the CDC and are doing everything we can to protect and safeguard everyone associated with MAC. MAC’s administrative protocols now include limiting office hours to essential admin tasks, and video conferencing. Some work is continuing at The Meher New Life Center, with everyone practicing social distancing. Meanwhile, many of us will be taking this time to sort through our own collections of Baba treasures. As we all do what we can to embrace physical seclusion, perhaps this is the perfect time for us to focus on our personal collections in remembrance of Him!