Meher Spiritual Center -- Meher Baba's Home in the West
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PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
''As we walked onto the Center property, I was struck by the delightful quiet beauty of the wild woodlands: it gave one a sense of primordial freedom.''--Darwin Shaw, June 1944
 

Five hundred acres of woodlands, wetlands, marshes, and lakes, along the Atlantic coast, provide a rich natural setting for retreat and walking during all seasons. Meher Spiritual Center is richly endowed with a vast diversity of native animal and plantlife, including a few endangered species.

Elizabeth Patterson wrote to Meher Baba about the five hundred acre property in 1944: “The trees which predominate are long-leaf pines, cypress, live-oaks, cedar and gum trees, and infinite number of shrubs and plants including the palmetto, which is a short palm tree for which South Carolina is known as the ‘palmetto state’.” She had actually written to Norina Matchabelli about the land ten years before, when it was being used as a game preserve, saying, “The dunes at Myrtle Beach have more underbrush and trees than the Pacific dunes—the lakes have myrtle and other bushes dipping right into them from the edge. Many birds of all kinds are here, ducks, and other game, and we saw one blue heron. They say deer are in the woods and come to drink in the lakes.”

While the summers in South Carolina are hot and humid, often above 90° F, the woods and ocean breezes provide a moderating effect most of the time. Spring and autumn are usually a perfect mix of warm days and cool nights. During the winter the temperature can drop below freezing at night but warms up for enjoying outdoor walks during the days. The average wintertime temperatures are highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Lightning and thunder storms are common events; hurricanes occur occasionally, requiring evacuation. In winter, snow is rare enough that everyone enjoys the surprising and beautiful vistas it provides.

Yet, it is not only the silent natural beauty of Meher Center that provides its serene nourishment for the spirit. Meher Baba’s love and presence, experienced by so many during his three visits to the Center in 1952, 1956 and 1958, still permeate the entire property. To an early visitor in the Lagoon Cabin, Baba had conveyed:

“I will tell you why you feel happy here. Those who are connected with me ought to feel happy here for two reasons. Ages ago this was a place where Baba visited, moved about and stayed, and the combination of the lake, ocean and the woods gives it a unique atmosphere.”

Baba referred to the Meher Spiritual Center as his Home in the West.
 
Boathouse on the lake
 
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