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Articles

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

What Does THAT Mean?
  – Ann Conlon

The Way It Was – Meherabad
  – Ann Conlon

Doing "Baba Work"
  – Ann Conlon

Broken Heads
  – Ann Conlon

Enid
  – Ann Conlon

On Being Ill
  – Ann Conlon

Meherjee
  – Ann Conlon

To Each His Own
  – 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

Amartithi
  – Ann Conlon

Dreams
  – 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

His Promise
  – Ann Conlon

"Baba's Group"
  – 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

Is That A Religion Coming?
  – Ann Conlon

Detachment
  – Ann Conlon

A Country of Our Own?
  – Ann Conlon

Manifestation: Did He Or Didn't He?
  – 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

Conflict and Joy

I've always been inspired by Meher Baba's statement in His Universal Message: "My Love . . . will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way." It has enabled me to be more open-minded and accepting of the different paths fellow Baba lovers take in loving and serving Him and has been particularly helpful when dealing with conflict in my life.

Despite being someone who hates confrontation and fighting, and loves peace and harmony, incidences of conflict in my life have increased rather than decreased and in recent years have grown in intensity. This has forced me to confront different aspects of my personality, my particular sanskaras, and has had me digging deep to find solutions in the wealth of material provided by Baba Himself, and in stories from His mandali.

 I once asked Eruch about conflict and he had a very simple answer: "One must see to oneself then everything else comes right." He added that feelings do have to be brought out, but in the end it's only when we look openly and honestly at our own part in conflict that things will get resolved in a harmonious way. I remember feeling the rightness of what Eruch said, but have also found great difficulty in putting this into action. I tend to be more focused on the other person's part in the conflict, rather than seeing the part I play. Over time, though, Baba has made sure that I have had to look at my own part – I've learnt that the conflict doesn't go away until I do.

When I first experienced serious conflict in my life I found invaluable help in Kitty Davy's book Love Alone Prevails, which first alerted me to what Baba wanted of us when conflict arose: "Love and forget. . . . Learn to jane do (let go), to give up wanting the last word; give up wanting to be understood. . . . Spiritually it is not cowardice to give in. If you cannot love, at least have the courage to give in."

Gradually I've realised more clearly that this 'giving in' is about elimination of the ego and that to expect anything to improve while asserting myself was a vain hope. Baba expresses this very clearly in the Discourses: ". . . conflict of one sort or another is inevitable until the ego-self is finally tamed and eliminated."

And in Kitty's book, Baba makes a clear link between the ego and one's moods: "All . . . moods feed the ego life. . . . And how can you help in this game of Mine? . . . By control of your mind and moods, and yes, weaknesses which are there for the purpose of exercising control over them . . . The slightest advantage given to the ego with the help of the mind bursts with all fury."

 In another attempt to unravel the mystery of conflict, its sources and its solutions, I explored what Baba has provided for the world through psychology. I discovered it did exactly what Baba has said it does in the Discourses: ". . . unravel the workings of the mind . . . reveal the sources of conflict . . ." but I was then struck forcibly by His following statement, that psychology: " . . . has yet to discover methods of awakening inspiration or supplying the mind with something that makes life worth living." Because no matter how much I clarified and understood the causes of conflict, and my own part in it, I could not find a way out when it got really intense and there was no compromise or middle ground in sight.

Reading on though I found a very clear statement that pointed me in the right direction: "The most important requirement for the satisfactory resolution of conflict is motive power or inspiration, which can only come from a burning longing for some comprehensive ideal." From the mandali and the stories they shared over the years, I learnt that wanting to please Baba, to make Him happy was that 'comprehensive ideal' and in developing that 'burning longing' one can find the strength to go beyond the limited and limiting point of view of the ego.

I have found time again that if I can quiet my mind and ask myself would Baba be happy with me, with the words I've spoken, the thoughts I've had: would He be happy with me standing my ground because I felt I was right and the other person wrong, invariably the answer was 'no.' No, He would be sad because He wanted us to get along, to love each other, to look for the best in each other because, He said, all are One and this is a game, an illusion, a dream.

So the only way I can hold on to this 'ideal' is to silence my mind, to control it, to not let it think the thoughts that take me away from pleasing Him, making Him happy. And when I practice this, gradually joy replaces my need to be right, to have the last word, to make the other person understand and agree with me. And that joy feeds my resolve to keep trying.

Doing it once hasn't guaranteed that I can do it always but it gives me the inspiration to continue trying, knowing that in this practice joy and happiness is found.