aka   3-B (Baba's Beloved Baby)

Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

Born : 31st July 1943, USA

Died : 14th October 2012, USA

Married : Don Cobb ( divorced ) - died a few weeks before Diane

Children : Josie & Michael

Parents : Ludwig H. & Beatrice A. Dimpfl

Brother : Bill

Sisters : Claudia & Joan




She met Meher Baba in San Fransisco, California in 1956.


Diane visited the Sahavas at the Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, SC., in 1958 when Meher Baba visited for a short time.


Diane attended the 1962 East-West Gathering for Meher Baba at Guruprasad, Poona, India.



 1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour  - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
Diane's painting of Baba
Diane's painting of Baba


At 2:30 P.M., Baba was taken in the station wagon, driven by Lud Dimpfl, on a sightseeing tour of the city. Adi, Nilu, Ivy Duce and Lud's daughter, Diane, rode with him. The others went by bus. Joseph and Kari Harb also took their car. They visited Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Telegraph Hill, and then disembarked at Coit Tower to view the harbor. Next, they went to the Presidio Gardens via Lombard Street called "the crookedest street in the world." Suddenly, Baba turned to Lud and signaled that he must return to the hotel by 4:00.

It was then 3:45 P.M. and Baba told him to find the bus, and inform the others. Lud wondered how he would do both – find the bus and return to the hotel by 4:00. The bus was nowhere in sight. But at last he found it and drove back to the hotel at breakneck speed, reaching it by 4:00.

When the group had returned, Baba again called them into his room. He looked grave. It turned out that in all the hurry to leave Coit Tower, Sparkie Lukes and little Tara Frey, who had been going up the tower, had been left behind.


  Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5070
Courtesy of Cherie Plumlee
Courtesy of Cherie Plumlee

Baba then drove back to the hotel and visited Lud Dimpfl in his room. Lud had pneumonia. "Aren't you glad you got sick?" Baba asked. "For now Baba has come to see you on a personal visit." Lud smiled helplessly. Baba gave instructions to his wife, Bea, and said he would be well in two days. Much to the doctor's surprise, Lud did fully recover in exactly two days. Baba later revealed, "I precipitated this illness to save Lud from a much worse catastrophe due in a few months."

Baba had lovingly christened Lud's fourteen-year-old daughter Diane as "Three-B" – meaning, Baba's Beloved Baby. He told Three-B: "Next time I come, I will call you to India."


  Lord Meher Volume 14, Page 5074 
 Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - Standing behind Baba are Fred Winterfeldt (l) & Fred Frey(r) - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - Standing behind Baba are Fred Winterfeldt (l) & Fred Frey(r) - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
3B met Baba when she was 13 for the first time. Then saw him again in Myrtle beach when he came back, then in San Francisco, then at the East West Gathering in '62. Baba asked her to write Mehera starting when she was 13 so she did and received letters from Mehera until she passed.

3B worked at the Meher School teaching Art to the children and was a wonderful teacher.
She also taught classes on "how to draw and paint Baba" to the Sufis and Baba lovers,
and painted on commission the children at the school for their parents. She also took
commissions from Sufis and Baba Lovers for paintings of many varieties. I have a painting
of hers in my home and a large pastel/colored pencil rendering of Baba at Daulatabad
that she had made, in trade for something I did for her.
She, I, and Mara and Drew Landsborough (sp?) - Scottish BLs) made the stained glass window for the
MPR dining room. It was a gift from Sufism to Meherabad.
3B was amazing!
Cherie Plumlee
Courtesy of Cherie Plumlee
Courtesy of Cherie Plumlee


Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - Standing behind Baba are Fred Winterfeldt (l) & Fred Frey(r) - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - Standing behind Baba are Fred Winterfeldt (l) & Fred Frey(r) - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"

The group had to change planes in Los Angeles and had only twenty minutes to make the connection; but for some reason, TWA decided to hold the 6:50 P.M. flight (No. 77) for their arrival. Baba was again taken in a wheelchair by an attendant to the other plane, which took off shortly thereafter. They landed in San Francisco at 8:40 P.M.

Lud rented a car, and they left the airport at exactly 9:00 P.M. Baba wanted to know how far it was ( thirty-five miles ) to Lud's house ( at 141 Crown Road, Kentfield ) and how long it would take to get there ( an hour's drive ). Baba kept asking if they were halfway there yet, and how much farther they had to go. When they arrived, he asked about the arrangements: How many rooms? Where were the beds?

Baba decided to sleep in Diane's room ( Lud's daughter, nicknamed Three-B ). Shortly after arriving, Baba drew an imaginary line across the middle of the house with one of his canes and informed Lud, "Don't cross this during the night." Lud suddenly remembered that they had turned off the heat and hot water before leaving for Myrtle Beach, so Baba made an exception and allowed him to reenter the special zone to turn on the hot water. Adi and Lud then went out to shop at the grocery store for 7-Up soda for Baba and some groceries for breakfast.

By the time they finally got to bed, it was 11:30 P.M. – twenty-three hours since they had awakened in Myrtle Beach the same morning. As Lud was lying down to sleep, Nariman came to his room and said, "Baba wants me to tell you that for many nights now he has not slept well, but that tonight he will sleep well."


 Lord Meher Volume 15, Page 5454
1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour  - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
Private collection
Private collection
Courtesy of Sufism Reoriented - www.sufismreoriented.org/
Courtesy of Sufism Reoriented - www.sufismreoriented.org/
Courtesy of Sufism Reoriented  - www.sufismreoriented.org/
Courtesy of Sufism Reoriented - www.sufismreoriented.org/
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine Vol 15 no1
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine Vol 15 no1


At Baba's request, Diane (3-B) Dimpfl told the story of Majnun and Leila, after which Baba continued:



Majnun loved Leila; that was ishq-e-mijazi. He loved Leila one hundred percent the way a man should love a woman. He went mad for love of her – he could not sleep, he could not eat; he lost everything but his love for Leila. Even this sort of love of a man for a woman is rare. Then what about Divine Love?

There is a difference between these two kinds of love. You cannot have love for God until it is a gift from God. Then it is effortless. Once you receive this gift, you go on loving. It is all a burning within. The lover thinks only: "When will I see the Beloved, my Christ, my Baba; when will I become One with him?" He lives only for this. This is ishq-e-haqiqi or spiritual love, the real love.

Majnun had ishq-e-mijazi, physical love for Leila. When he could not find Leila, he asked everyone where she was. He even went to Mecca and embraced the pillars of the Kaaba, pleading: "Where is Leila?" He almost went mad for her love.

Then he met a Perfect Master who told him: "God is real, the world is illusion. There is no Leila at all; how can you find her? Only God exists and is real."

Majnun said: "Whether my Leila is real or illusory, I want her!" Then the Perfect Master had a whim – he touched Majnun on the head. Majnun became God-Realized and experienced himself also as Leila! There was no one but himself!


Lord Meher Volume 18, Page 5982


Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ;  Vol 15, nos. 3 &4
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ; Vol 15, nos. 3 &4

Mehera started to speak of all the things that had happened around the time of Baba's passing. She told us how on January 31st a man in Pakistan saw Baba standing on his veranda. He said "Baba, how is it that you are here? You were in India." Baba replied: "Yesterday I was in India, today I am everywhere. "Also, at noon, on the 31st, the whole of Mombosa in Africa was completely covered in darkness at 12 noon for 15 minutes and a very loud noise was heard. Also one of the English group stopped at Cairo, on his way to India, to the Darshan, and at night he saw a tremendous, brilliant star, in the southeasterly part of the sky (in the direction of India). This star was seen by others. Another phenomenon was the crescent moon which was seen — again in Africa — with a star stuck on its tip (Mehera holds her fingers out to illustrate the crescent and the star) with a bright pink halo around it: and — star and moon set together!


Then she got up and went over to her treasure-box and showed us a lock of Baba's hair, a reddish curl, from his younger days; also some special photos of Baba and some photos of Naja dressed in improvised, hilarious costumes. She explained how Baba used to ask Naja to dress up every day in a different costume to make him laugh. You wouldn't believe they all were Naja!


Diane Cobb and a few others came in to greet Mehera. Mehera told us how, after she had combed his hair, Baba sat on her bed. So then she asked Baba to sit also on the other side of the bed and he did so. "He was so kind!" She showed us exactly how Baba sat first on this side, then on the other.


Volume 13 Numbers 1-2 Page 33 - The Awakener Magazine


1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour  - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
1956 - Diane ( 13y.o.) with Meher Baba at Coit Tower over-looking San Francisco harbour - image excerpts from "Meher Baba's Grace"
Private collection
Private collection

But it is my good luck to see Guruprasad again. I go to have tea with Mehera and the other women around 4:30. Dianne Cobb and Joan Ruby are there too. As Dianne sketched her, Mehera tells us a story of the New Life. One time on their journey they took shelter in a house in North India. The women begged Baba to stay another day so they could wash their clothes and hair, and Baba consented. So they came to know the elderly English couple living next door. Through a series of mishaps, they were destitute, without funds to return home. When Baba heard of it, he had Dr. Donkin wire for funds and pay their passage back to England, Mehera also told us the story of the prisoner who cried out that he would believe in God if he got out of prison tomorrow.


Early the next day they let him out—for no apparent reason! Much later, when he discovered Baba, Baba reminded him of the day he called on God to deliver him. 'I was in that town, on that day.' Baba said.


Even with the lines of grief etched on her face, Mehera's beauty still glowed . . . true spiritual beauty. Baba once said of her: "She is the purest soul in the universe."


Diane continues: What a darshan it was! Baba had never been so generous! It seemed that from every eye light was spilling. What joy . . . and what grief! Mehera seemed the sum of all this feeling. After morning darshan, many women would gather round her bed where she sat telling stories of Baba in the old days . . . stories about His 'endearing little ways'. Her eyes would dance and sparkle and her face was seven years old, then suddenly she would recall His suffering, and that He was no longer there, and that was quite awful to watch. She said "Upasni told Him not to take on this Silence—that it would bring nothing but suffering". But Baba said, "I was born to suffer." She also said that Baba loved to sing, loved to walk fast, and had a fiery temper in the old days. But one by one He denied Himself all this delight and took on terrible suffering. She mentioned the pitiful thinness of His legs those last months. She said, "Love Him, never forget Him for a moment! He loved to be loved!"


What came to me this time was the great human love Mehera has for Baba. She loved Him not only as God, but as her darling, her child, her baby. And all the years of being His best beloved have not made her casual about His least kindly gesture. Twice she recounted how Baba had sat on her bed—He never sits on anyone's bed—and, she said, she was greedy—she asked Him to sit on the other side also and bless it with His Presence.


Volume 13 Numbers 1-2 Page 67 - The Awakener Magazine



Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ; Vol. 15, nos. 3 & 4
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ; Vol. 15, nos. 3 & 4

July 1969 Last Darshan celebrations - Guruprasad, Poona, India


Lenny Willoughby is Master of Ceremonies for the Westerner's program. First we have three songs from "Let Us the People Sing" of Francis Brabazon, by the Luck Brothers. Then "Baba Bhagavan" ―the same Mani had introduced to us. Next — Mike Childs on his inimitable ( 14 string !) guitar, playing and singing his own Baba Song. Next a short skit, by Diane Cobb ―of a chela ( Pat Sharin ) asking Baba ( Pamela Hudson with mustache!) for power to change a toad into a man, and getting a gestured "very interesting—come back in 700 years."After hundreds of years and several meetings with the Avatar, the chela finally gets the point —and surrenders his ego.


Volume 13 Numbers 1-2 Page 56 - The Awakener Magazine

Lud Dimpfl, Diane's father
Lud Dimpfl, Diane's father

Diane Cobb, one of Sufism Reoriented's best-known artists, is represented in about 200 private and public collections in the United States and Europe. She is also a long-time art teacher at The Meher Schools. Diane describes her style as "realism with heart." One of her recent exhibits included landscapes inspired by the beautiful hills that surround Walnut Creek, works of "impressionistic" realism, and even surrealism. It also contained portraits of children. "I'm so struck by the beauty of children and the surprisingly individual ways their beauty appears."




Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine  Vol 16 no 2
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine Vol 16 no 2

Highlights from a Talk by Diane Cobb


This account of some stories told by Diane at Meher Center, Myrtle Beach, SC, in August 2000 was written by Kendra Crossen Burroughs. Reprinted with permission from Kendra’s Notebook, http://kendrasnotebook.blogspot.com, entry of 3 July 2007.



Diane Cobb was thirteen in 1956 when she first met Meher Baba, who nicknamed her “Baba’s Beloved Baby,” otherwise known as “3-B.” Diane’s father was Lud Dimpfl, one of Murshida Ivy Duce’s students in Sufism Reoriented, the Western Sufi order “reoriented” by Meher Baba. Diane is the young girl with shoulder-length blond hair seen with Baba in some films taken in 1956. She is here at Meher Center along with a number of other Sufis who are presenting weekend programs including an art exhibit and a concert. Diane is one of the featured artists. Her paintings of Baba as Kalki, the White Horse Avatar, her drawing of him as Shiva, and a bust, one of the best sculptural portraits I’ve seen of Baba, are among the works on display in the Meeting Place.


Young Diane Dimpfl was among the crowd that gathered to greet Meher Baba when he arrived in San Francisco. Baba’s visit was long awaited — he was supposed to come to California in 1952, but when he was on his way, that’s when the first car accident occurred, in Oklahoma. Now at last he was coming. A big fluffy yellow flower garland was there, and the plan was for the oldest member of the group to garland Baba, but because she was late, Diane as the youngest got to do it. As soon as she spotted Baba, she rushed forward and garlanded him He squeezed her in an embrace and then moved swiftly on. In the following days Baba frequently wanted Diane near him and showered her with attention and praise.


Diane also met Baba at Myrtle Beach in 1958 and at the East-West Gathering in 1962. Since I did not record the exact sequence of events recounted by Diane, I’ll just list the highlights:



—Baba looked very beautiful in 1956. Diane described his many “changing faces of love”—now smiling and vivacious, now majestic, now looking wistful as if to say, “Do you think you could try to love me?” She spoke of Baba’s looking like a king completely at his ease, not caring whether he appeared like a king but naturally radiating “effortless might.”


—She heard Baba tell people on more than one occasion, “I am never displeased with you,” or “I am always pleased with you.” Once another little girl (Tara Frey) was overheard saying, “Oh, I hate myself,” and Baba immediately admonished her, “Never say that — or even think it.”


—Diane’s mother, Bea Dimpfl (who did not then love Baba yet), wanted to give Diane a haircut and permanent at home because she thought Diane’s hair a mess — she insisted on it, saying in response to Diane’s protests, “And don’t go running to Baba about it.” When Charmian Duce came by with Tara that day to invite Diane to come do something with them, she told them she couldn’t go out because her mother was going to give her a perm. They left, but soon they returned with the message, “Baba wants to see you right away.” Not caring about her mother’s reaction, she ran to Baba, who told her she was to tell her mother that he said she was not to cut her hair, that he liked her hair long. He made Diane repeat it three times. So she went and told her mother. Subsequently she grew her hair quite long, till she could sit on it. But eventually she realized that Baba wouldn’t want her to make a fetish out of her hair, or for her long hair to be a cause of keeping herself separate from others. So she did finally cut it and felt fine about it. Diane also commented in connection with her mother that Baba seemed at times to cause someone who didn’t love him to be angry, as Bea was in this case, because somehow the energy of that anger could be turned to love. And so it did happen in time, with Bea coming to love Baba. But before that occurred, both Diane and her young aunt Ellie were very judgmental of Bea for not loving Baba. But when Baba left San Francisco, at the airport he called them all around him and had Diane put her hand on Baba’s, then Bea’s hand on Diane’s, then Ellie’s hand on Bea’s, and Baba clapped his other hand on top and said, “Now we’re all friends!” And it was so, though Diane said it took time to work on it.


In 1958, some of the Sufi men had put on an entertainment for Baba having to do with an “Alligator Club.” Diane and her aunt Ellie decided the women should have a club too, so they created the Stinkers’ Club, whose sole aim was to get near Baba by whatever means necessary. ( It was difficult to get close to Baba with all the people.) They had a hard time getting members, though she said Filis Frederick and Beryl Williams were game. Diane and Ellie tried various mischievous ruses to get to see Baba, until they actually thought of asking Adi Sr. if they could tell him about their club, and Adi said, “Of course, Baba said you were to see him whenever you asked.” They came and presented Baba with his membership card—they had made up cards with drawings of skunks, each with a flower name. (The mandali got cards too — Eruch was “Magnolia.”) Baba, of course, was to be the president, and Diane informed him that he was the biggest Stinker of all. She said he laughed so hard she could hear the sound of it in his nose!


— In 1958 they were eating with Baba and Diane had a 7-Up. Baba was expressing a lot of concern about it, asking her father if she was “allowed” to have 7-Up. Diane, who was 15 at the time, thought this was preposterous and asserted that she drank it “all the time.” But Baba kept making a fuss, saying it was too chilly and she would catch a cold from it. He would touch the glass to test its temperature, and so on. She was very annoyed by this and waited till Baba wasn’t looking and then gulped it all down. The next day she woke up with sore throat and couldn’t even speak. Anyone contagious was not to go near Baba, so she had to stay in bed. By the time she was better, she found that another child had replaced her as Baba’s favorite — Charles Haynes. She spoke of how naturally reverential Charles was (proudly showing her a prize possession, the white Bible his minister had given him), and how he adored Baba even though he didn’t seem to quite realize who Baba was. She tried hanging around Charles in order to get closer to Baba, but that didn’t really work (though she did get to know Charles better!).


—Baba said that Murshida Duce should initiate Diane as a Sufi, even though the rules were that you had to be at least 16 years old, and she wasn’t. When other children heard about it, they wanted to be Sufis too, and Baba allowed it.


—In 1962 Baba no longer looked as beautiful as he had in 1956, was no longer as energetic, smiling, and charismatic. He looked old and ill. Diane began to see that what she had thought was her love for Baba was really her enjoyment of his lively personality and the good way he made her feel. She realized that to really love Baba would be to care more about how he was feeling — and to love him even if he ignored you or didn’t look as outwardly attractive. She had the opportunity to observe Mehera brushing Baba’s hair, and she noted the elation that Mehera felt in Baba’s presence—the feeling that Mehera was overcome with joy and gratitude each time she was able to be with Baba, even though she saw Baba frequently. And it didn’t matter if Baba seemed old, tired, or unsmiling.



East-West Gathering 1965, Poona, India
East-West Gathering 1965, Poona, India

Glow International: Spring 2011 Issue


In 1956, 13-year old Diane Dimpfl started an intense correspondence with Mehera J. Irani, Meher Baba's chief woman disciple. Over the years, Diane Dimpfl Cobb blossomed into a fine artist.
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ;  Vol. 15. nos. 3 & 4
Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine - 1974 ; Vol. 15. nos. 3 & 4


Meher Baba's Visit to America, 1956: Myrtle Beach and California
Charmian continues her account of Meher Baba's 1956 tour of America, accompanied by scenes from her documentary film. She describes playing by the seashore with Baba at Myrtle Beach, a dinner with Him at Murshida Duce's home in Washington, D.C., and the journey to California, where Meher Baba visited devotees in Los Angeles, at Meher Mount in Ojai, and in San Francisco. Among the many vignettes are an account of a trip with Meher Baba to Muir Woods near San Francisco, and Meher Baba's playful interactions with children, including a very young Diane Cobb (3-B), whose paintings of Meher Baba are now well known. A montage of 3-Bs work is included in this video.

Video: West: 24-05
54 minutes
DVD only




Front cover
Front cover



Bibliographic information

Cover  painted by Diane Cobb
Cover painted by Diane Cobb



Compiled by :WILLIAM C. BODMAN


Cover art : Diane Cobb

Published by : Sufism Reoriented

300-350 pages


" Songs of a Vagrom Angel "




originally pulished in 1916 by Mitchell Kimberley ;


Published by : Sufism Reoriented

Diane Cobb illustrations

55 pp.