A link to the live Zoom meeting: https://youtu.be/1t5tC3866UI
Meher Baba is quoted in Lord Meher as having said: “I am preparing a way for people so that they will be able to live a life of Truth. There is no religion higher than love. Love is the only way leading to Truth and God-realization.”
I don’t know anything about God-realization, but it resonates innately that everything boils down to Love. Only the love is real…. Everything else is a passing shadow. For me, the past year has been a living example of just that.
Maya took some freakish liberties with our lives this year. Obviously, the pandemic is the biggest news, stopping the whole world in its tracks with intense anxiety. In the US, health recommendations became political differences; George Floyd was killed; there were riots in Oregon; it was also a year of summer fires; and a snowy winter that took out power in unexpected places; and who could forget the crazy election season – our vale of tears has been unrelentingly intense this year.
On the other hand, Baba showed a silver lining.
I recognized that those early weeks when we were all strictly quarantined represented a break in our normal schedules that could be filled with a new community activity. I started with one tentative Zoom session on March 18, 2020 simply to discuss the pandemic together. It was sweet, and appreciated by the 20 in attendance.
That same week, I talked Jeff Wolverton into hosting his Effort and Grace discussion group on Zoom, at the exact same time that it used to be held in-person, a mere four days later. With very little advance notice, the first Effort and Grace was attended by over 70 people from all over the country and beyond! Still faithfully attended by 40-50 people, week in and week out for now 52 weeks, the E&G group has become a family of its own.
The next day, March 23, 2020 was the first of now a year’s worth of virtual arti, inspired by the way prayers and sharing is performed at the Samadhi. They are still anchor events twice a day on the Baba Zoom calendar. For me personally, arti has been a lifesaver, keeping me grounded in Baba despite Maya’s efforts to distract, with two hours or more of stirring poetry, music, prayers and readings in remembrance of Baba – every single day. So many regulars from around the world attend and participate that we have also become a close-knit arti family and even have a t-shirt! Join us any time, there’s always more love to go around.
The early months were a time when every morning would bring me a new meeting idea for this new medium. I was compelled from within to act on the idea the same day, conscripting perfectly innocent bystanders who were willing to be trained and put to work. I see quite a few attending today who know what I am talking about!
The exhilaration of those days is hard to describe. From the time I first came to Baba, I have been drawn to organizing Baba meetings. I have been involved with the Northeast Gathering for almost 20 years, had a stint as president of Meher Baba House in New York, and almost a decade on the board of the Heartland Center in Oklahoma. I have helped with the Southeast Gathering and the Asheville Music Sahavas, and most recently was on the board of the Circle of Friends.
Baba was always supportive, but never before has there been SO much support for my little efforts. A little idea that Baba planted in my heart is suddenly bringing so many people together from far-flung places! Initially started merely to bring people together without fear of getting sick, these meetings quickly manifested larger aspirations – that we would be able to meet as a community of His lovers unhampered by geographic separation; that people who haven’t seen each other in years might find each other again; that meetings would be less about a single person telling us how it was and more about all of us sharing our living experience of how it IS to be in Baba’s fold. And that we could even have deep and meaningful conversation about – and even the experience of – coming closer to Baba.
Baba turned the key to bring enough attendees, volunteer hosts, organizers and musicians, even theater players! And above all else, He opened the rivers of love to flow between us and Him. These qualities are what make Baba Zoom so exciting!
There is plenty of room to grow, and plenty of room for YOU to shape our community’s future! If you simply want to participate, Baba Zoom thrives through your love! If you would like to host meetings, there’s plenty of opportunity. And if you only have a meeting idea, we can help make it happen!
There is nothing more important to do in life but to remember Baba. We can remember Him more and more, every day, to the exclusion of Maya’s competing tugs. And for these precious moments when we meet, we are His love. We are His hands, His heart, and also His eyes and ears to witness. Nothing we can do in this world is more important than remembering Him.
It is our living love for Baba that brings Him here amongst us, and it is our enjoyment of His company that connects us all in His all-encompassing embrace.
Victory unto Him! Jai Meher Baba!