MEHER MOUNT

9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000
Email: info@mehermount.org

HOURS

Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed

MANAGER/CARETAKERS

Buzz & Ginger Glasky

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director

OFFICERS

Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

Baba's Tree - Gathering the Ash

Margaret Magnus

By Margaret Magnus

 BURNED PORTIONS OF BABA'S TREE after the December 4, 2017 Thomas Fire struck Meher Mount. (Photo: Byron Pinckert, December 21, 2017)

BURNED PORTIONS OF BABA'S TREE after the December 4, 2017 Thomas Fire struck Meher Mount. (Photo: Byron Pinckert, December 21, 2017)

On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire – the largest wildfire in California’s history – burned Baba’s Tree leaving large deposits of ash from the tree.

Ten days later, Cassandra Bramucci emailed, “I'm feeling a sense of urgency to preserve the ashes from the tree as soon as possible - I sense rain will be coming soon.”

 ASH DEPOSITS from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Margaret Magnus, December 21, 2017)

ASH DEPOSITS from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Margaret Magnus, December 21, 2017)

COLLECTING THE ASHES FROM BABA'S TREE

She gathered the equipment: 12 mason jars; a clean, unused trowel; a clean, unused pair of garden gloves; and a N95 mask, as the air was still filled with smoke.

On December 16, 2017, Cassandra was at Meher Mount collecting the ash and storing it in the new, clean canning jars. She was careful to not include any dirt that was mixed with ash, focusing on gathering ash directly from the heart of Baba's Tree - the trunk. 

 ASH FROM BABA'S TREE at Meher Mount collected by Cassandra Bramucci on December 16, 2018. (Photo: Cassandra Bramucci)

ASH FROM BABA'S TREE at Meher Mount collected by Cassandra Bramucci on December 16, 2018. (Photo: Cassandra Bramucci)

Cassandra collected 12 quarts of ash, and yet, there was still more ash. Less than a week later on December 21, 2017, Margaret Magnus took 24 empty, new and clean quart-canning jars to Meher Mount to gather the remaining ash. She, too, used new gloves and the same ash-collecting trowel.

 MARGARET MAGNUS collecting ash from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Byron Pinckert, December 21, 2017.)

MARGARET MAGNUS collecting ash from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Byron Pinckert, December 21, 2017.)

Margaret labeled the jars identifying the contents, date collected, and name of collector.

 EMPTY JARS waiting for ash from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Margaret Magnus)

EMPTY JARS waiting for ash from Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. (Photo: Margaret Magnus)

Cassandra’s sense of urgency was correct, within a week or so, it rained and washed away all remnants of the ashes from Baba’s Tree.

LONG-TERM PRESERVATION OF THE ASHES

For tips on long-term storage and preservation of the ash, Margaret contacted the Avatar Meher Baba Trust Archives in Meherabad, India. Jessica Mednick responded with the following:

“A sealed jar is a good way to keep ash. I would make sure the jar and lid are glass or ceramic. The lid could also be stainless or good quality plastic as long it has a tight seal. There is danger of the ash eroding metal over time.

You don't necessarily have to worry about sunlight, the ash is not going to fade or be affected by further chemical reactions or pests but keeping it in the dark won’t hurt.”

BABA'S TREE A TOUCHSTONE FOR MANY VISITORS

Baba's Tree is a touch point for many visitors to Meher Mount and the symbol of Avatar Meher Baba's visit to Meher Mount in 1956. 

During His visit, Meher Baba went into the tent of leafy branches and sat down on a bed of dry leaves. He signaled that no one else should sit down. His eyes shone in the half-light, and He made a sign that He was very happy.

A recent visitor returning from her walk to Baba's Tree reported to Cassandra Bramucci, "Baba's Tree is as powerful as ever..."



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