The New Life, one of the most enigmatic and least understood phases of Meher Baba’s Advent, has as one of its core statements The Song of the New Life. This beautifully phrased and revolutionary challenge to anyone embarking on the spiritual path will be central to our October Beads gathering in France. We will begin by focusing and exploring, together and in small groups, this New Life and its Song. To prepare for this we ask each of you to look at and bring with you a verse or phrase from The Song of the New Life that resonates, inspires and challenges you within your daily life; to develop questions, rather than answers, and to also look at connections within varying spiritual traditions. Companionship with God and each other is central to The New Life…it is also integral to the evolution of the Beads on One String project. With reference to the first two paragraphs in Baba’s Last Message on the Alphabet Board, we will look at the meaning that the role of spiritual companionship can offer – through group discussions, circle time, dance, music and song and other inspiring and inner-linking activities – in the natural and beautiful surroundings of The Mill Retreat. One of the key elements of the Beads is the opportunity for companionship. This is a pioneering structure which is non-hierarchical and not dependent on experts. In bringing together spiritual seekers of various paths to explore the thread of Truth and Oneness which strings all religions together, a central theme emerges: the importance of companionship on the spiritual journey
Beads on One String Gathering
France October 12-14 2018
Everyone arrives and settles into rooms
5.30 pm Gather for tea
6.15 pm – 6.30 pm – Welcome and Introduction from Marnie
6.45pm – 7.45 pm Singing Together with Wendy
7.30 am – 8 am Qigong warm up for the day with Keith
9.15 am – 10 am – Musical exploration by Ignacio.
10.30 am – Exploring ‘The Song of New Life’…
Introduction and reading of the song in French and English by Marc and Robert.
10.45 am – Working Within Groups…Introduction Renate and Wayne
Participants to consider the verse from the Song of the New Life they have been asked to choose in preparation for this session. Then all to sign up with the 8 small groups to explore their chosen verse.
11.15 am -1.00 pm – Small groups gather together to work with and discuss their chosen verses from the Song of the New Life with personal reflections and observations.
1.15 pm Lunch
2.30pm – 3.45 pm Circle time – with each group reflecting on their morning discussions…with Cynthia facilitating.
4.45 pm – 6 pm Exploring Companionship…with David and Wayne:
Introduction and reading of first section of Meher Baba’s ‘Last Message on the Alphabet Board’, followed by Circle Time questions and reflections from the group.
6.15 pm – 7.45 pm – Ignacio develops his second Musical exploration within ‘Inner Links’, Healing Music and Oneness.
Evening: Circle Dancing with Jan
8 am – 9 am Breakfast
9 am – 9.30 am – Zazen with Sevn
to include looking at the ‘Circle of Companions’ and ideas for future projects, with an introduction to the new ‘Special Projects Grant.’
11.30 am Coffee break
12.00 midday – 1.00 pm – Closing of Gathering with prayers. Final musical interlude with Ignacio.
1.15 pm Lunch
Those that are taking minibus back to UK will be given packed lunch for journey
SONG OF THE NEW LIFE
Meher Baba and Dr. Abdul Ghani
Listen to the silent words of Meher Baba;
The life story of all lovers of God is based on the practice of these words.
If you are serious about living this New Life,
Then wholeheartedly renounce this ephemeral existence.
We have taken to this life, in which we rely only on God;
In this, our will (to do or die) is strengthened by the oath taken;
We merrily sing the song of hopelessness;
We invite all calamities and difficulties.
We neither wail over lost hopes, nor complain about broken promises;
We neither covet honor, nor shun disgrace;
Backbiting we know not, nor do we fear anyone;
This is now the tenor of our New Life.
No confusion in the mind now, nor any ties left;
Pride, anger, lust and greed are sloughed off.
No religion for any of us, nor care for physical and mental fads.
The Shaikh and the Brahmin (typifying all castes and creeds) are now sailing in the same boat.
There is no small or great now for us all;
The questions of disciple, Master nor Godhood no longer arise.
Brotherliness or fellow-feeling is the link that exists,
And this contributes to our present enjoyment of suffering.
This world or the next, hell or heaven, we are no longer concerned with.
Shaktis and siddhis (psychic powers) occultism and miracles we are no longer plagued with.
All these false impressions have been purged from the mind.
What has value and importance for us now is to live in the active present.
Dear ones, take seriously the words of Baba when he says:
“Although now I am on the same level with you all,
Yet all orders from me, good, bad, extraordinary,
You should carry out immediately, leaving the result to God.
“Even if the heavens fall,
Do not let go the Hand of Truth;
Let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy the garden of your life,
Beautify it once again by the seedlings of contentment and self-sufficiency.
“Even though your heart be cut to bits, let there be a smile on your lips.
Here I divulge to you a truth:
Hidden in your penniless hands is treasure untold;
Your beggarly life will be the envy of kings!
“God exists indeed, and true are the Prophets.
Every cycle has an Avatar, and every moment has a wali (saint).
For us, however, it is only hopelessness and helplessness,
How else can I describe to you what our New Life is?”