Laurent and Lilly Weichberger along with their 10-year-old daughter, Aspen, are the new Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount in Ojai, California.
Lilly and Laurent both came to Baba in the same year, 1986. Lilly was not yet a teenager, and Laurent was 17. They met at the Southeast Gathering for Meher Baba in 1992 and were married in 1993. Lilly’s profession is as a potter. Laurent Is an instructor and consultant in Java language programming, on a large scale, to big corporations all over the world.
More from Lilly
I came to Meher Baba when I was 11-years-old, and have been connected with the Baba community since then. Meher Baba’s teachings are without a doubt the foundation of my spiritual life, and my relationship with Meher Baba continually enriches my life. When I was 15, I was one of the three individuals who first proposed the idea of a Youth Sahavas to Jane Haynes [at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, SC] and subsequently attended the event for three years.
Laurent and I started The Light House spiritual center in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1999. The Light House was devoted to supporting the spiritual development of individuals of all faiths and backgrounds. We held "Baba meetings" once a week as well as coordinating other meetings and community events as well.
In all the meetings and spiritual groups that I have been involved in I have tried to integrate Meher Baba’s teachings and my relationship with Him into the group process in a way that supports the spiritual beliefs of all involved. I truly believe that each individual’s path and relationship to the divine is a sacred thing, and that there is nothing more important than that relationship. Anything I can do to help support a seeker’s quest toward greater connection with the Divine, I see as a gift from God.
The first time I went to Ojai, I felt a great connection to the land there. One of the things I most enjoy is puttering around in the garden and working on the land. I have also worked on and managed a horse farm, so hard physical labor is not something new to me.
As Laurent likes to say, I’m a country mouse, so living on top of a mountain is along the lines of a dream come true. Meher Mount is the kind of property I have always dreamed of living on and caring for.
More from Laurent
When I came to Baba in New York in 1986 I was 17 years old. I joined the New York Meher Baba House and shared deep companionship with many there, which last until this day. In 1990, I served as Vice President, Board of Directors for Meher Baba House.
“After moving to Myrtle Beach in 1991, I was asked to be a Youth Group leader at the Meher Spiritual Center. Each weekend the Baba kids (aged 12-19) would come to the center, and I along with Chris Ott would coordinate programs for them. That was a fantastic experience, and through that work I got to meet many parents (who are now friends) and great kids who are now adults.
Lilly and I co-founded The Light House spiritual center in Flagstaff, Arizona, and I was Light House Keeper from 1991 to 2001.
In addition, I authored A Mirage Will Never Quench Your Thirst, a source of wisdom about drugs based on Baba’s God in a Pill published by the Sheriar Foundation in 2003. I am also a co-author of Meher Baba’s Word and His Three Bridges by Don E. Stevens published by Companion Books in 2003.
I have also been involved in drug use prevention serving as a Board Member of Youth Quest in Sedona, Arizona and as a Board Member of Citizens Against Substance Abuse in Flagstaff, Arizona.
My relationship with the Meher Baba community has now lasted almost 20 years. After five personal trips to Meherabad, and two work trips with Don Stevens throughout India, as well as side trips throughout France, England and Mexico City, I have a profound love for and respect for Meher Baba lovers the world over. Lilly and I attended the Young Adult Sahavas at Meher Mount in the 90s, when Bhau Kalchuri visited.
Being a caretaker at Meher Mount is appealing because Meher Mount is one of the few Meher Baba centers actually blessed by Beloved Baba’s living presence. When I first visited Meher Mount, I felt Baba’s spiritual presence. I have dedicated my life to serving and loving Meher Baba, and this is yet another way to live up to my dedication.
On our last visit to the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, Aspen asked the staff if she could help as a volunteer to clean the cabins for the guests. They allowed her to join the cabin cleaning crew, and we saw very little of her while she apparently tremendously enjoyed her new volunteer job. Speaking to Jeff, Annie and Mina [workers at the Center], afterwards, they all seem to be thrilled to have a new helper, and said she rapidly rose rose in the ranks from toilet cleaning 101 to 102, without any fusss. She has definitely already pitched in and started carrying her share of the workload at Meher Mount.
"What's Happening at Meher Mount: New Caretakers at Meher Mount" is reprinted with permission from the Love Street Lamp Post, July and October 2005, pg. 74. Published by the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.