BY ERIC TURK & MARGARET MAGNUS
During His Advent, Meher Baba very often would go into a self-imposed, confined seclusion for extended periods of time to do His inner work.
Meher Baba disclosed that he did His “Universal Work” at these times — work not for His own sake as He, suffering for all as God in human form, had nothing to gain — but for the spiritual advancement of all in creation.
Now, the Coast Live Oak at Meher Mount, known as Baba's Tree, that Meher Baba sat under alone in 1956 is in seclusion.
The still-living Baba’s Tree has the potential, hopefully, to live and grow for many more decades. Most of the tree toppled during the Thomas Fire in December 2017. The exposed, dry and lifeless supporting heartwood of the tree’s trunk was ignited and slowly consumed to ash, reducing the already hollow trunk interior to a relatively thin living shell which could no longer support the immense weight of the overlying branches.
Working with the ISA® Certified Arborist Michael Inaba, Meher Mount is implementing a care plan to create optimal conditions for the survival and regeneration of Baba’s Tree.
Baba’s Tree needs seclusion while the healing process occurs. “There’s much to be gained with a seclusion fence while the tree adjusts to the new conditions,” says Inaba. “The Thomas Fire was a harrowing, life threatening event for Baba’s Tree.”
Meher Mount has installed a temporary 300-foot seclusion fence around the perimeter of both the living and the fallen parts of Baba's Tree about 15 feet from the dripline.
The seclusion fence protects the ground around Baba’s Tree so the mulch can do its work without foot traffic compacting the soil. It also prevents the disruption of the irrigation system, the sunburn protection, and the bracing for the tree limbs. The fence keeps visitors safe from tree debris, roots and branches.
During one of Meher Baba’s periods of seclusion, a man unexpectedly arrived to see Him asking, "When will Baba really come out of seclusion?" Meher Baba replied,