Meditations on The Ancient One
Paintings by Charlie Mills
Hardcover 28 pp., Full-page, full-color reproductions
Meditations on the Ancient One is not really a book; it is a work of art. It consists of magnificent pictures that are the culmination of Charlie Mills's 30 years of painting the Divine Beloved. Think of it as a bound collection of 24 reproductions of selected paintings. Of these, 23 are of Meher Baba and one is an exquisite portrait of Mehera, Meher Baba's Beloved.
This is not a coffee table book. The pages are 8 by 10 inches, a size intimate enough to hold in the lap or place on a surface in front of you. The intention of the book is stated in the title: it is designed for meditation by the viewer. In his Discourses, Meher Baba describes "concentration on the form of the Master" as one of the most desirable forms of personal meditation. Gazing at the Master's form in these artistic portraits is a simple way to practice this meditation.
Many of the pictures will evoke loving thoughts of specific places and times in Baba's life: sitting regally on his gadi near his Tomb-Shrine; smiling in the setting of Meher Center, with the lake, boathouse, and tall pines behind him; saluting the God in you during a Darshan; gazing out at sea from the deck of an ocean liner; relaxing gracefully amid flowers in his garden. You really must see it and experience it. The first page is an image of Baba that appears veiled, as if translucent vellum paper were laid over it. Then you slowly turn the pages, and the veil is lifted. Let the meditations begin.