And Back Again

Some Western followers of Meher Baba have remarked that they have felt more culture shock returning to the West from India than vice versa. Whatever your experience, give yourself plenty of time to rest and don't try to re-enter too quickly. Allow yourself a period of time to absorb and reflect on what you've experienced.

Perhaps no words can describe the challenge of returning to one's life in the West better than these from Meher Baba's sister Mani, from the 82 Family Letters, written just after the 1969 Darshan to those who had just attended this moving event.

Parched tree-beds thirsting for water, you were filled with His grace-rain and sparkled in the sunshine of His darshan. And your hearts said in wonder and fear, "This cannot be true! Oh, will it last?" On the surface it cannot last, if it is to be lasting.

The water is for the roots. It must soak deep into the earth to reach the heart of the tree, for its beauty to be made known to all men by the strength of its limbs and the richness of its leaves, by the fragrance of its flowers and the sweetness of its fruits.

For this the Divine Gardener prepares the beds. He labours to make the hardened earth receptive, hoeing it thoroughly with the prongs of His Compassion. It hurts at the time and we cry out in pain, but He suffers it for our sakes, He allows us to endure it in the knowledge that nothing endures except His Love.