Sunday, December 27, 2009

HO, HO, HO from Prague, America

So what’s new at Christmas time here at the Heartland Center in Prague, America? You might have heard that we had a Christmas Eve blizzard that buried Oklahoma, closed down everything! It has been beautiful but iced over ever since. Miriam and I were snug in Meher Baba’s Center house with a whole library of Baba books and videos (thanks to many generous givers over the last almost five years). The big news at AMBHC is that the M house (Mo house, Morrison house) next door is now at least semi-habitable. It has been re-wired, had the floor re-enforced and the heat and air re-installed. This year may be the time the second house gets re-furbished for pilgrim groups to come.

Speaking of pilgrims, we had a father and son drop by (whiz by really) the day before the storm hit. They were on their way to Myrtle Beach from California and wanted to outrun the weather. They had just enough time to drop in early in the morning, walk through the Burleson House and go out to Meher Baba’s accident site with me.

We have had a great year of pilgrims coming staying from 15 minutes to a week. We love how Baba sends people here and enjoy sweet moments with those coming.

Please drop us a note at the email address below if you are reading these messages, it would be nice to hear from you.

In Him,
Ron and Miriam

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Words of Encouragement from Bhau Kalchuri

Email from Bhau to Debbie and Peter Nordeen ("Daughter D." and "Air Compressor") about the Heartland Center
Debbie has just passed on this email that she and Peter received recently from Bhau Kalchuri, one of Meher Baba's last living men Mandali (close followers). It was slightly edited for personal content. Enjoy!

Beloved Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

My dearest Daughter D. and Air Compressor,

The magazine “Heartbeat,” that you sent is really very, very, beautiful. The pictures are so beautiful and all the contents in the magazine are very heart- touching. I find that you are doing such a work which will be well-preserved by His lovers and you will see: Heartland Center will become famous all over the world.

We are also trying to develop the site of the accident here in India. It was also horrible, but we cannot do anything because of the strict rules of the road and also it requires a lot of money. We also want to develop Mandla, but we could not do anything because money is not there. But now we have courage that Beloved Baba will see that it is all done and these places will become famous for His lovers to go there and to bow down.

They will be coming for Meherabad and Meherazad and when all these places are there also, they will come to know about these places. They will be going here and there and bowing down wholeheartedly and lovingly to serve His cause.

A great change will take place, and your work will be appreciated by all who love Baba. [...] So there is no question - everyone will take part in development. [...]

I feel as if I should bow down to the love of all those who are working in the Heartland Center, to you dear Daughter D. and Air compressor, my dear Sister Queen of Forest Garden [Jeanne Felknor], Miriam Rose and Ron Lansing, dear Saint John Poag, Jim Watson, Michael Ivey, Julia Margaret, Michael and Kathrin Burleson, Angela Lee Chen, Leah Johnston, Cliff Hackford, and all who have come to work and serve there. Their work is really most appreciated.

I bow down to all those, who go to Heartland Center, to see their love. After the opening of Myrtle Beach Center, Beloved Baba was passing through Prague, Oklahoma and the accident took place. Elizabeth was injured and also Mehera and Baba and they shed their blood there. What work Baba must have done there while shedding His blood!

I liked my Dr. Burleson and that their children would come to Baba, particularly Julia Margaret and Michael. Even in that state of His health while lying down in the bed in their hospital, Baba would play with them while in bed, and give them chocolate every day. Though they did not know who He was they would come everyday, very regular, and go to Baba direct.

Afterwards, on every Christmas Dr. Burleson would send Christmas greeting to Baba for years, and he stopped when he passed away. Christmas greeting to Baba he would send - very, very, sweet.[...]

With all love and Jai Baba to you, my dearest Daughter D. and Air Compressor and all dear ones there. [...]
From this year I stopped visiting the West and the East, and I just sit on the chair dictating, dictating so many things.

With all love and Jai Baba to you my Daughter D. and Air Compressor,

In His Love and Service,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back Again to Prague!

Hello friends of Meher Baba's Heartland Center,
Miriam and I are back from our trip to India. Thanks so much to Elizabeth and Hettie for standing-in while we were in Meherabad!

Actually it has been about a month since we got back. We thought that we did very well in not getting sick during our month in India, but, alas, I brought home an Indian infection that showed up a few days after we touched down and lasted until just this week! (a week of fever that about put me in the hospital, followed by very low energy, an outbreak of sores and fever blisters, boy was I ugly! I know TMI!) I am back to health and work now. Digging the grass up from the garden beds etc. Going to Cedar Rapids, IA for work on Monday.

Miriam is back at work in her medical clinic in downtown Prague. Things are going slow for her as people in our small town are slowing learning that there is another doctor in town and that she does weird long term health (and alternative) medicine.

Thursday was T day and Miriam's B day both. We hung out in the Center Library smelling the turkey cook and Miriam is putting together her favorite jig saw (a round butterfly puzzle). Miriam made eight pies with her friend Jean on Wednesday; it looked like they had a really good time and the place smelled great! Pies were yummy too! Lynn Wilhite, Jean and her husband Randy all came for dinner. We had planned for pilgrims to come also so we had a huge turkey; but alas left overs.

Fall is still wonderfully in progress here, sunny days, falling leaves and cooling nights. Prague is having its "Christmas in the Park" celebration tonight with hay rides and Christmas treats and cider from the church booths. It is nice to go over to the park (part of land donated to the city by Dr. Burleson) and meet neighbors and watch the kids enjoy it all. Miriam and Lynn really liked the draft horses that pulled the hay wagon last year.

Lots of little fix-it projects always need doing around the Center houses. We are keeping a list for us and for pilgrims who come and want to do some projects while they are here. Raj and Rashmeta were here in early November and they did a huge job of leaf raking and covering the AC units for winter; Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! (Oh, and Rashmeta made everyone a huge Bombay-style Indian fest!)

Also, we have room for pilgrims to spend time here during the Christmas/New Years holidays. We will be here and probably have another big fest meal to share!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elizabeth's final thoughts

Greetings ...
I'm back at home now, reflecting on my caretaking time at the Heartland Center. As I sit to write something about the ending of my stay, I find myself a little wordless. My time there was rich, serene, healing - such a bountiful opportunity to be closer to Baba in daily life. I could spend time gardening (my gosh, those front beds look happy!) or cooking, reading or writing, visiting with the local folks or pondering Baba's plans for my life. But all of it was infused with the sense of being very intimately connected to a place where Baba was present.
Touching my forehead to the ground at the accident site was profoundly moving. I found myself drawn there almost daily - including one day when it was raining and all I could do was sit in my car and know I was "nearby" that blessed spot!). Gazing at the hospital, knowing our loved ones were right there spoke to my heart. And knowing some of the mandali were often in the very house where I was staying - it all was quite touching. Out there in the gently rolling farmlands of Oklahoma, Baba has given us a place to be close to Him in a very intimate, immediate way.
During my stay, the weather blew through in constant waves of change - sunny and bright, then days of rain, then plummeting temperatures towards the end. When I first arrived, the windows were all thrown open and it was a little too warm in the house - by the end of the stay, the furnace was on and I was scrambling for a borrowed jacket (thanks Miriam!). I enjoyed my daily walks around town - even had a few folks who I saw regularly while out on my walks and we'd exchange easy greetings. It's a lovely little town - don't miss the city park with it's pecan trees, innumerable benches and a creek running right through the middle of it. Lynn Wilhite and I viewed the quilt show during the annual Pumpkin Festival, and giggled at the pumpkins local kids had decorated (with anything and everything available - paints, sparkles, ribbons, curly strings ... anything!).
I want to add a note of thanks to the Board for the opportunity of staying at the Heartland Center. And a huge thanks to Ron and Miriam for making my stay there very smooth and secure - their direction and guidance regarding the tasks and upkeep were impeccably clear and easy to follow. Thanks for all the post-it notes! Hats off to Hettie, who'll be staying there for the next couple of weeks. I hope she also finds the quietude and intimacy I found there.
When you get the chance, make the trip to the Heartland Center and spend some days where our Beloved rested and recovered; reside for a while in the setting where the mandali cared for Him and watched over Him. It's a holy place.
- Elizabeth

Friday, October 2, 2009

Interim Caretaker Elizabeth's notes

I've been here in Prague for several days now, interim caretaking while Ron and Miriam have headed off to India. It's really been a remarkable experience - I find the peacefulness here at the Heartland Center reminiscent of the quietude of Meher Center; and the holiness very reminiscent of India. The house is lovely and serene, surrounded by huge trees and little flower beds and green lawns. The town is gentle and the people here seem so warm, so embracing.

I was warmly welcomed at a church pot luck last weekend that I went to with Ron and Miriam, and this weekend I'll get a chance to attend the local high school football game. I've walked all over town, and enjoyed the vast skies over central Oklahoma. One day, I found myself thinking: "Meher Center is near the ocean, but this place has oceans of sky." I could spend endless hours watching the billowing clouds scudding along up there. I was adopted for a couple of days by a sweet stray dog that was ecstatically happy to trot along next to me while I wandered around Prague - tail wagging, glancing up at me every few feet, full of joy. (The last time I saw her, she was trotting after a young boy who gave her some great pets in the park - maybe she found her human ...)

I have relished some long moments at the accident site, too. Yesterday, I went there and spent time sitting where Beloved Baba's body lay when thrown from the car. I noticed the sun getting hot on the back of my neck, and looked around for shade. Directly across the road, I climbed up an embankment and sat in a small circle of trees - hidden from the view of passing cars, but able to gaze down on His site for as long as my heart wanted.
Oh, I hope folks feel drawn to make a pilgrimage to the Heartland Center. Baba has blessed this place such a great deal of His Grace and Presence.

Jai Baba ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Off to India! Heartland Center in Capable Hands.

We (Ron and Miriam, co-caretakers) are off to India this next week for the month of October. We are leaving behind caretaker Elizabeth for the first two weeks and Hettie for the last half of the month. They will have the experience of soaking up the radiant feeling that Meher Baba left behind here in Prague in His hospital room and the stunning feeling at His accident site. There will also be some "fix-up" work going on across the yard at the M house while we are gone and the on-going care of the Heartland Center.

This year we have had so much rain and cooler weather in late August and through September that everything has grown wild! The grass on this now almost a 1/3 acre site seems to need constantly cutting. The yard shrubs are becoming tree and the Oklahoma strangle vines are trying to.... strangle them. It is the perfect time to visit however, now the rains are over, as the days are pleasantly warm and sunny with beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

So this weekend is really busy, just before we go, with pilgrims coming to stay over Saturday night, Elizabeth arriving on Sunday and our packing for the trip (oh, and I must mow the back yard one more time!)

Sweet Baba wishes to y'all!


Friday, September 4, 2009

New Life Work Week Planned for October

Jai Baba, one and all,

The whole Baba world is rocked by the shocking news of dear Meherabad residents, Heather and Eric Nadel, and the attack they suffered. Baba is helping every step of the way with their care and recoveries. Baba did not spare Himself or His beloved Mehera, and other close ones in the accident of 1952, and later in Satara. He alone knows what work is done thru suffering. We know He is the preserver and protector of all....and He alone does His work. He alone understands His work. We hold to His damaan.

By now you all should have received the HeartBeat, our annual newsletter. Thanks to all who contributed to the publication. Baba's love pours thru it. You may have read about the May work week and what was accomplished. It was amazing. There's more to be done!

I'm writing to announce that the Heartland Center is planning a work week sometime around New Life week. The dates aren't firmly set yet. Could be from Oct 7- Oct 17 or so. We are interested in knowing if there are 3-5 skilled, or semi-skilled buidling trade type workers with good stamina to work some long days helping with ongoing basic infrastructure repairs and updates at the Morrison and Burleson Houses of the Heartland Center. We'd like it if you could commit for the whole week, but if not, how about at least a full 3-4 day stretch. You would need to make your own arrangement regarding transportation, etc. It's a close drive if you live in Texas or Arkansas or even Illinois! Some airfares are very reasonable this time of year. Flying into OKC, there is a Baba lover who offers a shuttle service to Prague.

Please email for more information or call Peter Nordeen directly with questions about the nature of the work, etc. His number is 828-274-0307.

Thanks so much,
In Beloved Baba's plan for us all....Debbie Nordeen, for the board

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The HeartBeat newsletter is in the mail!

Hurray for Angela and her helpers all!! The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center HeartBeat newsletter is in the mail! Printed (yes, printed on real paper) once a year, the HeartBeat is a beautiful color collection of stories and news from the past year. See what has been happening with the new Mo House, pictures from the May Accident Day Tea and everything Baba here in Prague (except for Jeanie's recipe for cherry pie!)

If you received a copy that means you are on our snail mailing list and if you didn't get one let us know and we will put one in the mail to you. The AMBHC Prague email address still is: and our phone number is 405-567-4774; snail mail is 7804 NBU, Prague, OK 74864. If you would like extras copies for your group we can do that also.

We would love to hear from you or your comments to the blog.

In Baba's Love,


PS Photo of Baba's Photo in His hospital room.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is this Oklahoma !??

We woke up to 75 degrees and gentle rain, I thought I had been transported back to Oregon! Baba has been giving us pleasant days with thunder storms to cool things off. In the past few weeks things around the Heartland Center have been more relaxed then the busy days of June and July. Buzz and Ginger stopped by for lunch on the way across the country and we are getting ready for our get-away to Baba's home in India coming up in October. Also, caretaker things have been getting done (slowly in a Prague kind of way!) We now have most of the new awnings up on the Burleson House, the softwater heater is working again (thanks, John!) and some of the siding was replaced that blew off in the frequent high winds.

Notice that the grass is green! All the rain has keep things green into the middle of August. The grass is still needing mowing and seems to be growing all night long as well. If you have time and want to stop by and help with gardening, the peripheral bushes, trees and flower beds are growing and growing, AAAAAh! There is always small inside jobs to be tackled also. For example, the old place has wood window sills and years of rain damage have left its toll. Most things are in great shape however.

Miriam and I are happy to be here, by Baba's Grace!

In His Love and Blessings,

Ron Lansing, Co-caretaker

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kirkpatricks did the Trail

Jai Baba Everyone!
Want to see some great photos of the Heartland Center, Hospital and site go to the Kirkpatrick's blog.

Jim and Bridgitte visited on their way through at the beginning of the month. They were driving the Trail back from MB to Walnut Creek, both of them photographers and taking lots of shots.

Miriam and I really enjoyed their visit as with Peter and Mary Brooks who also came through driving over from Little Rock after a family reunion. Both couples are west coast sufis and shared their love of Baba and art with us. Mary and Peter "performed" singing and speaking along with a video of 1956 footage of Baba in the states; a very sweet devotional time. We had our little Prague Baba group over for the "show".

Hope all are having a wonderful day!

In Baba's Sweet Love,


Michael adds:
I sent a correction to Jim about one of the details in one of their photo captions – it said that it was 400 miles from Altus, AR to the accident site (Baba’s last day of driving before the accident). It’s actually almost exactly 200 miles between those points.

Jim Kirkpatrick adds:
We had a blast doing the trip and we're going to put it all in a book, eventually. I put an album of all the shots we thought usable up here:

In His Infinite Mirth, Jim

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer at the Center

Sunday August 9, 2009

Well, June and July have been busy pilgrim months! We have had four couples and six single pilgrims come since the May anniversary day. They have come from east and west as well as East and West! Jehangir Daver from Sydney, Australia and Bob Fredericks and his wife Toktam Mashad from India came followed by Mark Choi from LA (newly back from the Phillipines) and Don and Margaret Euker from New Jersey (Baba House in NYC).

The houses are both basking in the summer heat and the yards are growing like crazy even in July as we have had lots of rain to keep everything green. Unfortunately this means the grass is still needing to be cut ($) and vines and bushes are getting overgrown. Where the garden has been wonderful this year yielding many greens, roots and herbs it is now getting overgrown with squash vines and tomato bushes and heading toward the “dormant” hot month of August before time to plant the fall garden in late September.

Yeah, partial success!! The B house has two more of the four awnings up, thanks to Dan Sparks coming out from OKC yesterday (Saturday) to help Ron put them on the back of the house. That makes three and leaves only the hardest one, two stories up, to finish mounting. The one that went up last fall made it through the winter with only light hail dent damage, and it stayed up!

We had a great Baba meeting with the Euckers a week ago Friday, reading Mehera Meher, and then a fish barbeque with Lynn Wilhite, Dan and the Euckers yesterday. We had local ripe, ripe watermelon and watched “When Meher Grew Up” by Bob Fredericks and the Meher school on the tube.

The week before that, Mark Choi came roaring out from LA non-stop to light the Dhuni at the accident site. He was out at the site that Thursday afternoon with his little white car, doors thrown open, and a red carpet laid out in front of the Dhuni brazier ready to light it when the next door neighbor (who’s parents lived there at the time of the accident) came along mowing the grass. Mark reported that they talked and “she was cool” with his lighting the fire there. We came along later and it was quite nice to honor Baba with the Dhuni there. Does any one remember the Dhuni being lit at the site before?

Personally we have been busy also. Miriam has opened her clinic on Main St., Prague (eighteen people in her first weight management class!) and, in mid July, Ron just spent a week in Charlotte, NC with time for a side trip to the Meher Center. We are looking forward to our October trip to Meherabad, India when there will be temporary relief caretakers coming to be here at the Heartland Center.

Be well, and we will try and write more often,

Ron & Miriam at the Heartland Center

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pix of May work retreat

Hey All!

Some of the photos from the May Board/Work retreat!!! It was a lot of work, but what a great time to be working together for Baba's cause! And the weather was great... and so was the food!

Jai Baba!
: )

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coming to the Anniversary Gathering? May 23

Hello again everyone!
May is starting this week and Miriam and I are getting excited about visitors that are coming for the Anniversary Meher Baba's Auto "Accident" outside of Prague. If you haven't heard, there will be a gathering at the Center on Saturday May 23rd. We will also be Dedicating the Morrison House to His service. All are welcome to come and add to the celebration in their own way.

You can meet our Board of Directors and us, "the new caretakers", and enjoy the beautiful "Prague" spring. (It's pronounced Pray-egg!) There will be a tea and tours of both the accident site and hopefully the hospital room where beloved Baba stayed in 1952.

Let us know if you are coming and also if you would like travel and lodging assistance. We know have a "shuttle-wala" in OKC for the hour's drive East to Prague. There are many places to stay in near-by Shawnee, OK, a wonderful retreat center up by Tulsa with cabins in the woods and, if there is still room, a bed and bath in downtown Prague. Camping is available out by Prague Lake (closer to the accident site).

We would love to see as many of you come as possible (Memorial Day weekend).

Hope to see ya'!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is Here and Annual Open House is Coming!!

See, flowers do grow in Oklahoma!! We are excitedly getting ready for the up-coming commemoration of Avatar Meher Baba's 1952 auto accident here in Prague. There will be a one day gathering here at the Heartland Center on Saturday, May 23. Our whole board of directors will be here and a formal dedication of the newly purchase Morrison House next door will take place. A tour of the hospital is planned, trips out to the site of Baba's accident and tea, cookies, music and camaraderie will ensue!

The M house will not be open for pilgrims yet as it is still an empty shell of its former grandeur. It has great "bones" though and plans are underway to re-do it. Thanks to all of those who so lovingly donated funds to help the AMBHC plan for the future. Prague property doesn't change hands very often so getting this place right next door was a real Baba-find.

What I heard, Speedy Morrison, who owned the house, was a friend and business associate of Dr. Burleson and helped finance the hospital back in the fifties. His heir, son Scott, met Baba when he was here. Scott really went out of his way to pass the house along to the Center.

For those who are coming for the Baba Memorial Day Weekend, let Miriam and I help with travel and lodging plans. NEWS: A new Bed and Bath is now available in downtown Prague just a few blocks walking distance from the Center.

Around the place, there are tiny little lupine all through the grass. They are beautiful!

See them under the big old tree out front!

The garden is getting planted in the twelve beds Michael set up and we are looking forward to sharing fresh veggies with those who come and stay.

Any stories about past visits to the Center would be appreciated (let me know if I can post them here).

Baba's Love to y'all!!

Ron & Miriam, co-caretakers, AMBHC

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Springing into March

Good Day March!
It may not be quite the first day of spring but the first day of March has dawned bright and sunny here in the Heartland, though below freezing again! This week we saw the daffodils start to bloom and trees budding in 70- 80 degree sun shine but the old North wind has blown in again for a few days.

Miriam and I are looking forward to the annual commemoration of Meher Baba's car accident in May. There will be a tea and day of activities on Saturday, May 23, here at the Heartland Center in Prague, America. Last year, I am told, there were 30 plus people who came. If you would like to come and need local travel and lodging information you can drop us a line or give us a call ( 405-567-4774).

I went up to Osage Forest of Peace (near Tulsa) yesterday to hear Marilyn Buehler give a Baba talk to the folks who hang out there. The talk was well received and Marilyn did a wonderful job of presenting Baba to this group of Christian-based spiritual seekers. Osage used to be a Benedictine monastery until a year ago and has been transformed to a more eclectic spiritual retreat center. It is a beautiful wooded spot on a hill (yes, Virginia, there are hills in Oklahoma!) with little cabins like at Baba's Meher Center.

Also, for anyone looking for a Spring Break retreat, we have rooms available and this is a very pleasant time to visit OK. We put fresh flowers out at the accident site recently and sitting in the grass next to where Baba so profusely bled and suffered moved me deeply; reminding me why I moved here.

Over at the hospital things continue as usual though we hear that the operating group has been bought by a company that will be building a new hospital on the edge of Prague. The newspaper says that ground-breaking will begin soon. The City of Prague owns the old hospital building. We are keeping an eye on progress of things.

Drop us a note here on the comments if you want, I plan to start watching this blog more regular like.

Love In Him,


Friday, January 16, 2009

It's a New Year and Things are Stirrin' !

It's half way to Meher Baba's Amartithi and this is my first journal entry of 2009! Miriam and I have both been busy with personal work stuff; she is hoping to get her medical clinic open in the next month and I just got back from the cold, white north of Hartford, CT on a business trip. The Center "complex" (now the two houses) is doing fine, a little heater problem with the Morrison house (upper left) and some plumbing fixes and a new basement door at the B House, right photo.

The OK weather runs, as they say, "hot and cold" and it does it quickly! We had 65 to 70 degrees last weekend and went out on Sunday to put fresh flowers on Baba's site next to the highway. Then the temp dropped so that we had a high of 16 yesterday and we will be seeing 50's and sun for the next week! Baba's flowers take a beating. We went out and found the water in the vase frozen solid and His red roses gallantly standing tall!
We have just heard from the Board that this year's Accident Anniversary Open House is definitely happening so mark your calenders to be in OK the weekend of 23 and 24 May! A special treat should be coming out in a letter from Debbie Nordeen soon.

Please let Miriam and I, the AMBHC Board members and the rest of the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland community hear your comments and ideas here or through the web site email, and

Happy Meher New Year!

Caretaker in Prague