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39

 

with Don Stevens. She also brought out Beams and Life at Its Best; the latter contains the messages Baba gave us on the '56 trip. She also worked with several of her gifted students to bring out children's books with a spiritual theme. In the 70's she moved to Walnut Creek and the Sufi Center also moved there. An old restaurant was rebuilt to contain a small theatre and the Ivy Bookstore.

 

One of her most effective ways of training her mureeds was through creative and sometimes exhausting group theatre. The tradition of celebrating her birthday with entertainment had grown to full-fledged musical plays on different segments of Baba's life. Zuhair AI-Faqih, coached by Ivy, was a startling Baba look-alike; it gave you a real jolt to see him walk out on stage with an alphabet board, long hair and white sadra. Music was mainly by Hank Mindlin, the scripts by Charmy and her husband Duncan Knowles, and others. I even played myself (in a wig) in the drama of the '52 trip, I Never Come, I Never Go . The presence of Baba was palpable especially at the last performance which Murshida always attended.

 

Anyone who steps out in the public eye must expect criticism; spiritual workers are no exception. Ivy, as head of a "mysterious" closed order (Sufi meetings are not public) was subjected to the usual criticism. The presence in San Francisco of another Sufi order following Murshid Sam Lewis and Pir Vilayat Khan, Inayat’s eldest son, was also confusing. But Baba had told her never to defend herself. In any case her group continued to grow and by the mid-70's numbered about 300. She published her book, How a Master Works , which is divided between her autobiography and a collage of Baba quotes and anecdotes, many from the pages of The Awakener.

 

She joined the '62 East-West gathering in India and also was able to make a special trip to see Baba in 1959. Baba said she could see Him "for five minutes, and five more to see the girls," but graciously allowed her to sit beside Him as He gave public darshan for four hours the next day.

 

In '69 she brought a large group of Sufis to India to "the Last Darshan," cheering the Mandali with their first taste of Sufi theatre. Hank Mindlin's "Arti" was very moving, especially when the eccentric Poona lights flickered on and off in tune with the music! I was supposed to join this darshan group but because of "flu" went later.

 

Ivy had a lovely smile and a wonderful sense of humor. To me this, plus her kindness, were her best traits. I think she enjoyed having a friend of old standing with whom she could be informal and relaxed. We shared a mutual interest in Baba archives and publishing. We had our disagreements too. I could not go along with her use of psychics, as Baba had plainly stated to us consulting psychics, for any reason, pulls you off the Path.

 

Inayat Khan appointed Rabia Martin as his successor; Rabia appointed Ivy; Ivy appointed Dr. James Mackie, a psychologist. The controversy over this decision gave her some painful moments before her death in October*, 1981. But she surely had fulfilled Baba's words “She will do great work for Me."

 

P.S.  In the '50's when I was really broke, I worked for a short time as her housekeeper on West 67th Street, New York. She always had beautiful things; and one was a huge round glass bowl. When washing it, it slipped out of my hands and broke. I worried how I could pay for it, but Ivy said, with a sweet smile, "Never mind, dear, there's a mischievous ghost in this kitchen. He must have done it!" I blessed the old ghost — and Murshida's gracious sense of humor.

 

 

VII Kitty Davy

 

England was the first Western country visited by the Avatar of the Age, and 32 Russell Road, Kensington, London, home of Kitty Davy,** was the first place He stayed. The year was 1931, eight years before World War II, the same year Gandhi first visited England. In fact, he and Baba arrived on the very same boat, the Rajputana, at Marseilles, September 11. Gandhi's mission was the liberation of India, Baba's mission was, of course, the liberation of mankind, with, as His target on this first visit to the West,

 

*Correct date is September 9, 1981-webmaster J.K.

**home of Kitty Davy” should read “Kitty Davy's family home” - - see Corrections in Table of Contents” - webmaster, JK

 

 

 

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