Friday, May 25, 2012

Article to go in the Prague Times

Remembering May 24,1952

On Saturday, May 19th, 185 people from all over the United States and abroad visited
Prague to commemorate Avatar Meher Baba’s time here 60 years ago. “Prague Day” was
part of a three day retreat held at St. Crispin’s Conference Center that included talks by
speakers, devotional singing, time for reflection and prayer, and a variety of music programs.

On May 24, 1952 while crossing the American continent Avatar Meher Baba and several
others in his traveling party were seriously injured in an automobile accident. This happened
in front of a farmhouse 9 miles outside of Prague on highway 62. The farmer and others from
a later second car in Meher Baba’s party cared for the victims as best they could until help
arrived. The injured were taken to the small Prague Clinic and Hospital where they were
lovingly and competently treated by Dr. Ned Burleson and staff. Thankfully there were no
casualties, but Dr. Burleson saved the life of one of the traveling companions whose head
wound was so severe that her survival was considered doubtful at the time. Dr. Burleson, his
staff, family, and the kind towns’ people of Prague put into practice the golden rule and the
age old saying, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”


Dr. Burleson’s family: Julia Margaret Brigham, Michael Burleson, Beth Adams

The commemorative ‘Prague Day’ May 19th included a talk by Dr. Burleson’s three children,
Julia Margaret Brigham of New Mexico, Dr. Michael Burleson of California, and Beth Adams
of Oklahoma City. They told the audience about their father’s extraordinary life as a small
town doctor, about their kind hearted mother and about growing up in Prague. They shared
their memories of that accident day in May 1952 and of meeting Meher Baba during his
recuperation here. Following this talk, participants explored Prague by touring the Shrine of
the Infant Jesus and the Prague Museum. The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center hosted
a lawn party complete with Indian chai, snacks, volleyball, and music. Formed as a non-profit
organization in 2002, the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center was opened in 2005 in the
former family home of Dr. Burleson. A tour was also given of the original part of the Prague
Clinic and Hospital. Just as in 1952, the warmth and kindness of the Prague community and
hospital staff was appreciated by all.

Born in 1894, MEHER BABA was one of India’s most revered spiritual masters, and has
a large world-wide following. He stated that his mission was “not to teach, but to awaken.”
He observed silence from 1925 until he passed away in 1969. Of this silence he stated that
throughout the ages, through innumerable spiritual scriptures and teachings, “You have
been given enough words. It is now time to live them,” putting love into action in everyday
life. “When it is recognized that there are no claims greater than the claims of the universal
divine life which, without exception, includes everyone and everything, love will not only
establish peace, harmony and happiness in social, national and international spheres, but it
will shine in its own purity and beauty. “


Deborah Burns of Asheville, NC volunteered at the Heartland Center

The Heartland Center is dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba as a place for information, retreat,
prayer, pilgrimage and study of Meher Baba’s unifying message of divine love. It serves to
preserve and foster knowledge of historical information about Meher Baba’s time spent in and
near Prague. A lending library is housed in the Heartland Center and visitors are welcome.

Submitted by Debbie Nordeen

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