Dana Fields Biography

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My Meher Baba Story

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During His visit at Meher Mount, Baba said: "Dana loves Me very much, he is working very hard so that others can love Me. But he lives on dried fruits ... " (!) (Vol. V, Number 2, p. 18) This remark followed a light-hearted exchange between Baba and Dana where Dana recommended grapes, only .to find that Baba found them to be" an additional crucifixion, because this food does not agree with Me."

By the mid-70s, Dana's "group" was "meeting" via his newsletters. Lynne Berry would type his notes at her home in Dallas and circulated a handful of carbon copies to Baba lovers in Santa Barbara, Central California, Louisiana and elsewhere. Dana spent hours every day writing about Baba, and anecdotes about Baba lovers. Dana generously shared his love for Baba in these newsletters.

Adi K. Irani, Meher Baba's long time companion and secretary, encouraged Dana to continue his work and complemented him in a letter saying, "Dana, you have reached many people and continue to do so." He shared Meher Baba with all those he contacted through the years.

Marguerite Poley recalls during the Meher Mount visit that Dana asked Baba if he might relocate from New York to Los Angeles. Baba nodded yes, and Dana was living in L.A. shortly thereafter.

In 1958 Dana contacted Marguerite and insisted she go to Myrtle Beach to see Baba. At first Marguerite resisted saying, "I have met Him and He is God, and I do not need to see Him. I see Him internally." But true to Dana's nature, he telephoned relentlessly, even offering to lend her the money for the trip. In the meantime Marguerite received a letter from Kitty Davey stating "you must come." So she accepted Dana's loan which she later repaid. They traveled together, and she remembers Dana tearing up his ticket on the flight, not thinking that it was also his return ticket home!

Of the 1958 Sahavas, Baba said, "This Sahavas will be unique in the sense that you will witness and share my present universal suffering by being near Me as My fortunate companions--being with the Ancient One, who will at the same time be completely on the human level with you. It will be helpful to all those participating in the Sahavas, to know of the oft-repeated hint I have given to those living with Me--reminding them of My 'declaration' wherein I stated that My glorification will follow My humiliation, and pointing out that this period of My Sahavas will fall within the orbit of My universal suffering and helplessness. "

As profound a mood as this statement set, it was also during this Sahavas that Baba almost broke His silence by laughing out loud. At an afternoon performance in the bam, Dr. Pfunster presented "alligator bait, tender and unwilling," with Dana Field in a baby costume pushed in a wheelbarrow by Mr. DeLong. A lot of fun was created by three "Viennese doctors." Also there was an emergency operation on a man who was swollen up with sanskaras! Baba patted His cheeks and said, "I never laughed so much in this incarnation as I laughed today." (Awakener, Volume V, No. 3, p. 59)

In addition to Dana's articles in the "Awakener," he wrote for the "Glow" and "Divya Vani." One of his poems titled "Avatar Waltz" has been put to music by Scott Makeig.

For many years Dana worked on a book called Reach Beyond Religion but never completed it into final form. He also translated some Meher Baba literature into Spanish, having become fluent when he lived in Argentina during the depression. He ventured there with the mistaken idea that getting work in his trade as a jeweler would be easier.

Dana was a caretaker at our former L.A. Baba Center in the early 80's. Fred Stankus lived in the house behind the Center at the time, and Dana would ask to walk Fred's dog Gatspy, a mixed terrier who grew to love Dana dearly. These walks gave Dana an opportunity to scout the local trees for organic fruits for his strict diet, as well as collect fragrant flowers to adorn Baba' s photos and share with friends. One month Fred received a bill from Dana for walking Gatspy! Fred was shocked, but after discussing it with Dana he understood the motive: since Fred could afford to frequently buy take-out food, then he could afford to pay Dana who was always thinking of ways to earn money to send to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in India. Fred chuckled about Dana's logic and paid off the "debt."

Around this time Greg Butler and Marc Brutus wrote the play "Springtide of Creation." It was performed at the East West Center in Los Angeles and at the Baba Center. Dana played Baba, and several people commented they felt Baba' s presence very strongly in Dana's performance.

Dana had just finished typing his last manuscript on education and evolution in relation to Meher Baba's writings when he suffered a stroke in January 1990. He was living in a small apartment at Venice Beach where he overlooked the ocean. For the most part he lived alone, often in silence, writing about and "imaging" Meher Baba.

How far Dana had journeyed from the Russia he escaped in 1922 with his mother and two brothers, having to hide in the fields for their safety before they eventually could join his father, then living in New Jersey. Patty Thome recalls him saying he never even had any shoes as a child. But how much more severe was his childhood as a Jew living through the Bolshevik pogrom (an organized massacre of helpless people). The suffering and persecution he experienced as a child helps explain why Dana was quite harsh on himself and sometimes unnecessarily critical of others. Further torment followed with the death by drowning of his daughter at the tender age of 5, for which his wife allegedly blamed him.
Dana had the tendency to blame himself for many events of fate that saddled him.

Throughout most of Dana's life, his focus was 100 percent on Baba. Anything that happened, Dana would relate it to Baba no matter how unlikely the circumstances. For instance, when his shoes were in the dryer making a racket as they'd thump to the bottom of the cylinder, his comment was that Baba was reminding him that he wasn't imaging Him enough. And so on with other mundane events of the day-they all related to Baba.

Since the stroke almost eight years ago, Dana was confined to convalescent hospitals, living with the limitations of paralyzed legs and for the most part an inability to speak. His visit to our new Center last summer during Bhau' s tour made him very happy to feel so much love and see many friendly faces from his earlier days with our Center. Dana lived a life worth living: he whole-heartedly loved, served and remembered his Beloved Meher Baba. Jai Baba!

Authors of the Biography
Mary Kay Shubat-Hage
Lynne Berry
Adele Wolkin

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