MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Greetings to each one of you from all around the world. We love hearing from you, appreciate your interest and support, and are grateful for your enthusiasm for this work offered in Love for Baba.
Directing tours of Baba lovers through the Meher Archive Collective building brought an exquisite edge of surprise and wonder during the recent Music Sahavas weekend in Asheville. Hugh Huntington fielded questions as visitors viewed the newly appointed rooms designated for future use. Those who had seen MAC in past years were astonished at the changes. We share some of their comments.
"Our hearts are 100% all for MAC's completion and success!" - Raine
"I was impressed with the amount of work and dedication that the team of volunteers continues to put into this beautiful old building. I can imagine many amazing gatherings in Baba's Cause in this space. Thank you to all who have played their different roles in this undertaking.” - Fereshteh
"It is magical to see all the improvements to the building since our last visit! The lift and second floor are so welcoming. So wonderful to see the vision unfolding, with dedicated volunteers and fundraising." - Angela
"What this small crew at the MAC is doing for Meher Baba is impressive!" - Anonymous
"We really feel this is for Baba, and we are so excited!" - Anonymous
"The tour was wonderful. It's very exciting to see it coming together." - Alisa
Baba Lovers were excited to tour the building and the future spaces for Baba-related archival work and activities.
A total of 35 people visited the building during three scheduled tours. Visitors came from California, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida. Those who had difficulty climbing stairs were transported in MAC's new lift, which was completed with a grant from the Avatar Meher Baba Foundation, for which we are extremely grateful.
Earlier this summer, an afternoon Tea for MAC volunteers was held at Jean Brunet and Phil Ludwig's home. Its purpose was to show appreciation to our volunteers and to introduce John Dalisky, a key member of the IT team from California. Volunteers gathered to socialize and hear a building progress report by Peter Nordeen and an IT update from John Dalisky. The IT team implemented a Volunteer software program that coordinates volunteer teams and records volunteer hours for the purposes of tax reporting, grants, and other funding opportunities.
MAC initiated contact with Avatar's Abode Archives in Australia to develop collaborative practices for sharing Meher Baba's legacy across the world. An energized first meeting was held in late August with more to come as we develop common projects and practices. The Australian archives are beautifully organized and MAC anticipates fruitful outcomes as we collaborate with their dedicated team.
Let us continue to move forward, as we listen internally for ways to please Baba with the development of MAC for the current generation and for those to come.
In His Embrace,
Evie.Lindemann@meherarchive.org / 203.915.8017
SPECIAL EVENT with MEHERWAN IRANI
A Specific Giving Opportunity to cover unexpected infrastructure needs . . .
In order to accomplish a from-the-ground-up renovation of the massive Red Oak School building, all of the building’s 95-year-old infrastructure had to be torn out and replaced, the replacements being subject to modern building code standards. Given limited resources and labor, the job was divided into three phases — and phase one is nearing completion!
Each of the four sections (upper floor, lower floor, kitchen, auditorium) of the building are served by large electrical sub-panels, fed from the 1200 amp main panel that’s connected to the incoming feed from the power grid (utility poles).
Newly purchased copper cable conductors ready for installation.
This resulted in MAC’s having to buy and install an unbudgeted large amount of copper cable conductors. The heavy copper conductors alone came to $11,400. With the estimate for labor at $4,500, the total is $15,900. The ball-park estimate by the electrical contractor for wiring the first floor came to $45,000, plus additional monies for labor costs.
Such are the surprises that Baba has in store for amazing endeavors like the Meher Archive Collective project.
WIth love and thanks to all in Baba,
John Dalisky, Fundraising Chair
BUILDING RENOVATION PROGRESS
Take a virtual tour with Jeanne Felknor of late summer progress
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August has been an extraordinarily busy month at MAC for the work crew, volunteers, and MAC’s board members. Please enjoy taking a video tour with Jeanne Felknor and celebrating all of the recent accomplishments with us!
Volunteer, Wilson Van Winkle, goes on a pilgrimage and brings back a Baba treasure
"I can break off from anyone,
except that presence within.
Anyone can bring gifts.
Give me someone who takes away." - Rumi
When my son, Jonathan, invited me "to do the Camino de Santiago" with him and a friend, an unqualified YES leapt from my lips. Little did I know that the destination of my "pilgrimage" would not be Santiago, Spain, but Meher Baba's Samadhi in Meherabad, India.
We began our 500-mile Camino in April. Going step by step was painful at times, but allowed the beauty of the countryside and the uniqueness of the villages and its people to be taken in. New friends from all over the world came into my heart and then went, as we had different walking paces and stayed in different places. With the first rain, my phone died, and with it my Kindle library of books that I had cleverly brought, all of my contacts with my primary means of "staying in touch," and in a mysterious way, my personal history. To top it off, my son and I had an altercation and, subsequently, decided to do the Camino separately. I was alone with Baba, the Elusive Presence.
I completed the Santiago portion of my Camino and headed toward Meherabad, via Assisi, Italy. My love for Saint Francis, who like Mehera, loved his Beloved above all else, justified the "detour." The presence of the love of Saint Francis can still be felt and I wept as I entered Assisi.
On to Meherabad. Twenty-five years ago I was caught in Baba's Love-net, and now, my first trip to India. The places made sacred by the Presence of the God-man, and the articles touched and used by Him, caused His Presence to blossom like a spring garden in my heart. I could feel the unqualified YES to Baba arising within.
In reflection, Baba not only takes away, but gives, unreservedly to all, in a more refined way, through inner links, beauty, and whatever other ways to serve His wish. One of the inner links occurred when I met Vijay Bhalekar. That chance meeting resulted in Vijay learning about the work of MAC and he wished to add to MAC’s Guruprasad collection with a Baba treasure he had from his family’s connection with Baba.
A gift from Vijay Bhalekar — a piece of Guruprasad history
Recently, while visiting Meherabad for the first time, Wilson met Vijay Sulloo Bhalekar, a Baba lover since his childhood. Vijay’s father, Sulloo Meshram, was in contact with Meher Baba since 1938 and stayed near Baba and His mandali in Jabalpur. Vijay asked Wilson to deliver to MAC an important Baba treasure from Baba’s Guruprasad days. Wilson hand-delivered the treasure in early August to MAC’s archival department.
Vijay was in close contact with Baba on many auspicious occasions. Vijay says, “I got His touch in 1953 at Nagpur and later in 1960 at Guruprasad, in 1962 at the East-West gathering, in 1963 and 1964, and finally during the Last darshan in 1969.” Vijay has visited the Meher Spiritual Center several times since 1978. He hopes to someday visit MAC as well.
A floor tile from Guruprasad in Pune was recently displayed during MAC’s public tours.
Vijay shares: “I hope you find the tile useful in light of the memory of the Avatar’s work for those who love Him.” MAC is deeply appreciative of this gift and of the “inner links” Baba so carefully orchestrates.
MAC's NEW TEAM MEMBER
Accountant Amy Tipps Joins MAC
As my years continued, I found that I better related to the non-profit industry and the rules and regulations that follow suit. Ten years ago, I relocated to North Carolina to raise my son, Sam. I fell in love with the atmosphere and people here. I have continued working for the non-profit sector, most recently working as the Staff Accountant for WNC Communities for several years.
Over the last few years, as I have spent my time raising and teaching my son, I have enjoyed watching him grow! I am now back at school at AB-Tech where I am brushing up on accounting skills and eventually will start the path of getting my pilot’s license. I love the air and the speed. I look forward to the view from the cockpit!
Recently embracing my own spiritual path, I found peace and solitude in practicing silence. Although raising my son involves a lot of interaction, I am finding myself being generally more selective with my conversations and aware of choosing meaningful words.
I am excited to find Meher Baba and His teachings as I continue my spiritual journey. I hope to meet new people on my path and discover new experiences. I am invigorated to begin looking at this vast world and to consider exploring various areas with the goal of experiencing peace and furthering my knowledge of love.
Thank you for this opportunity to work with MAC.
IN TOUCH WITH MEHER ARCHIVE COLLECTIVE
— CHERISHING MEHER BABA’S LEGACY
Keith Gunn and Ward Parks share thoughts about the importance of Baba-related Archival work
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The “In Touch with Meher Archive Collective” program, hosted on Baba Zoom in August, featured two interviews with Keith Gunn and Ward Parks. Keith has edited or co-authored five books of stories and memoirs of Baba lovers. Ward has researched and written about early writings and messages given by Meher Baba. A recurring theme in the interviews centered around the role of archives in providing essential research materials for scholars.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES
MAC's Monthly Dhunis Bring the Baba Community Together in His Name
Evie Lindemann, President: Evie.Lindemann@meherarchive.org
Hugh Huntington, Secretary: Hugh.Huntington@meherarchive.org
Anne Barker, Director: Anne.Barker@meherarchive.org
News, blogs, and updates on interesting archival finds and events.