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Tu n i n g I n
Emmanuel Williams writes from California about a SICA games, explore the natural environment, swim (weather
project which he describes as “one of the best I have permitting), sit round a fire eating marshmallows, play
ever been involved in”. The experience clearly evokes sports, make new friends, and lie on a big warm rock
deep and healing processes of self-revelation and gazing at the stars.
transformation… Many of these children are from impoverished, often
dysfunctional families. It’s deeply satisfying to watch
Tuning In Arts Camps at Seven Circles are run by a core them relax and open up, take creative risks, discover
team of 3: Mahalia LoMele, Sulfiati Harris and Emmanuel they can do things they never thought they could do,
Williams, plus a nurse, a cook, and a group of younger whether it’s sing a song or play a simple tune on the
counselors whose members vary. piano to an audience of 50 people, walk a path in the

Children of Tuning In. That’s Emmanuel Williams in the background at the left. The biggest kid of all!

The camps are for 9-12 year-olds living in dark without holding anyone‘s hand, or
the valley and foothills east of Fresno,
California, and we’ve run six so far. We’re
Increasingly, sustain a conversation in gibberish.
The returnees especially – one boy has
guided by the conviction that all children attended all six camps – are increasingly
are potentially creative and that, given
opportunity and support, they can make
at the centre self-directed, coming up with their own
ideas for things to do, their own rules, their
meaningful choices about what they do. own solutions to problems.
We believe that if we provide a safe stim-
ulating environment children will work and
of Tuning In, At the latest Tuning In camp – the sixth –
all these elements were present, but a
play together cooperatively and cre- new level was reached; the creativity
atively, and develop a sense of who they
are and what they can do.
there dwells attained a new fullness of flow, and it felt
as though love was alive in us, prompting
trust, laughter, companionable ease and
Most camps last 4 days, and are residen-
tial. During this time, according to what’s
on offer and what they choose, the chil-
God’s power deepening and widening time so that a
single day seemed to contain more rich-
dren will sing, work with clay, paint, tie-dye, make jewel- ness and variety of experience than a morning, after-
ry, write poems, stories and plays, do Spolin theater noon and evening could possibly hold. continued p 2 >

Tuning In cont and his face lit up excitedly. We stood by the burn barrel
Burning the Demons with some other kids and his counselor; he lit the horned
During the first night of the camp – as I now understand – self-portrait and the splintered story, and we watched
the lower forces went on the attack, and I was awakened the dark flakes rise into the sky.
very early in the morning by feelings of intense anger and A group of older girls got to talking to their counselor, a
resentment towards the two other core team members, wonderful young woman named Emily, about their
mostly without basis. families, about their unhappiness – missing dads, druggie
I struggled through the morning activities, tight as a rusty moms, lack of privacy, poverty etc.
vice, then drove away during afternoon swim time to a Each told her story, and cried, and they hugged one
shady creek a few miles away and did latihan on a sand- another then climbed a big granite hummock we call
bank, limpid water around me running through sunlight Amphitheater Rock and had a kind of primal scream
and shadow, dragonflies zipping about like fairies. session, yelling out their pain across the valley Seven
I asked to be lightened; asked that our work be guided, Circles nestles in.
protected and harmonious. Drove back clean as a laser. Then they came back down, tremulous, still a little tear-
There were two episodes that particularly characterized ful, slightly, dazed smiles. Next day they seemed, well,
this new level. different. Lighter. Will it last? They’re all back home now.
An 11 year-old boy – I’ll call him Steve – who was new to The context is the same, the problems they face are
Tuning In, had a lot of darkness, pain and anger in him. He probably the same, but maybe they’ve found some-
wrote a story that was so horrific as to be barely readable, thing inside them that they can hold on to.
and painted a self-portrait featuring demonic horns. And maybe Steve will take a step towards realizing, or
On the last morning of the camp we were busy prepar- deciding, that he’s a lot bigger than his inner demons,
ing for the presentation and performance to parents and assume his rightful place as their master.
who’d be picking up their offspring that afternoon. I told Increasingly, at the center of Tuning In, there dwells
Steve we couldn’t feature his story and picture because God’s power. Moving through us, I believe, into the lives
they were simply too graphic. of children, healing and strengthening them, guiding
We talked of the darkness in him, and of the more radi- them towards their true paths in life.
ant qualities, and of the choices he was always free to Truly it is a blessing, working with my brothers and sis-
make. I asked him if he’d like to burn his story and picture ters – Subud and non-Subud – to help this happen.

Of Cathedrals and The great Gothic cathedrals are stunning pieces of archi-
tecture, built with mathematical and musical dimensions
full of mystery and hidden secrets; yet their main purpose
Tapestries some say was to give anyone (from whatever walk of life)
entering them a truly spiritual and uplifting experience.
Osanna Vaughn, WSA Chairlady writes…
Imagine if…
It is clear that a lot of practical work was done at the Imagine if we had a similar approach in everything we
recent World Subud Council meeting in Bangalore, India. do. How would it be if each of our actions – whether
The WSA executive (ISC) ended up with 15 or so clear cooking a meal, painting a picture, starting an enterprise
objectives and lines of action for the next year; issues of or project, organising an event – were undertaken with
the legal responsibilities of the WSA directors were dis- the intention of creating a vessel to carry this essence for-
cussed; specific projects around the world were present- ward?
ed; the location for the next world congress was found, What kind of world would we help bring about if each
fulfilling both outer and inner requirements; the joint work- effort we make were to start with a sense of praise and
ing together of the wings was further refined. gratitude for the gifts we have been given by Almighty
Susila Dharma International and the Muhammad Subuh God, and a genuine feeling to share them with our fellow
Foundation held meetings in parallel; Subud India and human beings?
Zone 1&2 had annual gatherings. There was a buzz of I believe that the World Subud Council has a role to play
activity (involving at times probably close to 250 people), in all this, holding our association in its awareness - free of
interwoven with the gentle presence of Ibu Rahayu prejudice, expectation, judgement and self-interest. It
(photo with members from Subud India), who gave won- may call for special latihans, moments of deep quiet,
derful talks and testing sessions. We were blessed and prayer, or loving thought, and may extend also to the
grateful. world that surrounds us.
As all these tangible elements found their place, the Of course, this does not have to be limited to the Council
intangible ones also grew and found theirs. members. Any Subud member, anywhere in the world, is
Early in the proceedings, testing took the ladies right to invited to join in. This also does not mean that we turn a
the crux of the matter, with a question along the lines of: blind eye to issues that may need to be addressed; but
What is the essence of Subud as received by Bapak? I felt that our approach is from a quiet place, without jumping
it was to lift humanity to a higher place. to conclusions, trying to remain objective.
This became like the bright light on the horizon for me; I also had an image of each Subud member being like
the vision that we can carry in everything we do – from a coloured thread of unique beauty, and that the coun-
the smallest effort to the largest project; facing God in cil, with its broad overview, could be able to weave them
every step we take. In no way does it brush aside com- into a tapestry where each would recognise him or her-
mon sense, practicality and hard work; but rather it fills self as part of a larger picture. In this way, I believe that
them with content. Thus the essence of cathedrals can the Council is able to set a general direction that truly
be manifested in everything we do. reflects the reality of us all.
I mention cathedrals because they have come up so Another sense that came out of the Bangalore meeting
frequently in recent conversations and correspondence. follows up on Ibu Rahayu's words at the continued p 3 >

Of Cathefrals and Tapestries cont laughter, and what
beginning of the year: that we have been preparing ourselves
for many years now, and that the time to act has come.
I saw a appeared to be intelligent
conversation. (I surmised
I feel that not only individual members, but the World
Subud Association in its own right is ready to be truly pres-
different this by the rapt attention
paid each speaker)
ent in the world. How this presence may be manifested
depends on us all and will reflect situations as they arise. Ibu Rahayu. Before the Question and
Answer session Ibu Rahayu
If we give these actions the kind of content I have spoken
She was held a talk for the ladies. I

of, I am confident that we will move forward together in
happened to walk into the
a blessed, fruitful and beneficial manner.
just one of room after the talk was
over. Tuti was sitting next to
The Congress in Japan the girls Rahayu and there were
several Japanese members
Levi Lemberger followed Ibu Rahayu from Bangalore to
the Congress in Japan… enjoying near them. They were all
laughing and enjoying
each other’s company.
The Congress was held from August 13–16 at the Wel herself I saw a different Ibu
Hotel in Chiba, Japan, about forty-five minutes from Rahayu. She was just one of
downtown Tokyo. It was a large hotel complex and many the girls enjoying herself in good humor. Later when I
of the Subud members were housed in a small building asked one of the women what the talk was about she
about 5 minutes from the main building, where the talks said, “Oh, she didn’t talk. We just all had tea together.”
and testing occurred. The Question and Answer session that followed was most
Ibu and her entourage were at another hotel nearby. interesting. Ibu Rahayu asked for questions from the floor.
There were about sixty people present for the congress. A question was asked by a young Japanese woman. “In
Because of the small number of members (compared to today’s world the lines of sexuality are blurred between
say the 250 at the Indian council meeting) there was a men and women. Can Ibu Rahayu speak about this?”
special sense of intimacy at the talks, testing and other I’m not going to try to transcribe what Ibu’s response was
events. and you will have to read it for yourself, but she did dis-
Since the talks will be available soon I will only mention cuss the origin of homosexuality and its continued pres-
one incident that made the deepest impression. Ibu ence in the individual.
The next question was: Subud has
existed for 50 years in the West. What is
the direction of Subud in the world and
in Japan?
Ibu’s answer was very specific about
the growth of Subud in the world
today. It is up to God how Subud
expands. But this is my simplistic mem-
ory of a much more developed
The third question was: Many of the
Japanese people are Buddhists. How
can we approach Buddhists and tell
them about Subud?
Ibu answered by discussing the role of
religion and Subud and then more
especially about Buddhism. She asked
Tuti to tell her experience about open-
ing a Chinese woman who said she
did not believe in God. After doing the
latihan for a while she began to
Left to right: Sharif Horthy, Levi Lemberger and Simon Guerrand joined the members believe in God. Her friends in China
from Japan when Ibu went there began asking her to pray to her God
Rahayu spoke of her experience of going to another so they could get visas to come to Britain.
‘place’. While she was there she was ‘told’ she must Listening to Ibu’s answers was a deepening experience.
return. But she found out she couldn’t. She said ‘If I have She had nothing prepared and did not know what to
to remain here I will’. expect but the source of her wisdom was profound. It was
After thinking this, she felt something change and she a privilege to be present and you can read the questions
could return. She spoke of learning how to surrender and answers when the talks become available.
when you have difficulties. It was a full day. That evening there was testing with the
The next day, I sat in on the Japanese group meeting. members.
The members had broken up into smaller groups the day The next day there was an informal talk with Sharif
before and were now reporting to the main group. I was Horthy and the members, which I will transcribe and
told that they were preparing the questions that would be hopefully publish here since I don’t think it was recorded.
asked of Ibu Rahayu at a Question and Answer session That evening there was a second talk by Ibu, which
later that day. should soon be available for you to read.
I did not understand a word of Japanese but I witnessed I hope this offers you a taste of the Japanese meeting.
that there was a lot of good feeling, much good-hearted Forgive any mistakes or omissions.


World Congress NZ Latest Quantum Visioneering Workshop
Maya Bernardes writes that the Quantum Visioneering
HI everyone
Workshop will be held at La Source in France, Thursday
Many thanks for your congratulations and good wishes –
30th of November to 4th of December 2006...
it's good to feel your support. No doubt there are many
It can be said that we are living through a major para-
people there who will contribute to organising this
digm-shift in our understanding of our world and man's
Congress and I hope we can draw on the experience
place in it - a paradigm-shift which is set to challenge
and wisdom of members there.
many of our existing institutions –- in the fields of work,
It is somewhat daunting to be thinking about organising
education, health and personal relationships.
such an international event in the face of this terrorist
Recent discoveries in the sciences, particularly in quan-
madness and its effect on international travel. We will
tum physics and neurophysiology, highlight these chal-
need all the help we can get from the power of Almighty
lenges and open up a world of unlimited possibilities - but
God as well as all the members.
only to those who have the courage to embrace many of
One of the major problems that surfaced on NZ being
the lessons emerging from these studies.
chosen was for the youth from the northern hemisphere.
This workshop seeks to present to participants state-of-our-
January is not good for them in terms of starting university
knowledge findings in a way that they will be able to under-
and college etc.
stand, concerning their applicability to their everyday lives.
I spoke to some of the youth at Bangalore about this and
Working in an open forum, this can be seen as a kind of
urged them to work on ideas for surmounting this. One
laboratory for those people who are ready to explore
idea they came up with was for us to create short cours-
and to step into an unknown future where boundaries
es that could be accredited to their courses in their home
can be expanded and seen for the illusions which they
really are.
On the other hand, this is a unique place, quite far off
With sessions structured in the highly successful ‘leader-
most pathways, and it may be good for young people to
less groups’ model, participants are placed in a position
simply take time out to really explore NZ and also
which allows them to accept total responsibility for them-
Australia, which has a big Subud youth population. To this
selves, leading to a powerful participatory experience –
end I have been thinking about setting up some kind of
all in a beautiful natural environment.
follow up programme in Australia as well as a pre-pro-
This is a unique opportunity in our hectic and busy lives –
gramme in NZ. Do you have any ideas on this?
an opportunity to work together intensively with like-mind-
Came the time for the selection, with Ibu in attendance.
ed individuals to discover new ways of being – set within
Garrett Thomson explained the process and how the
the context of current scientific developments.
committee had examined all the documents sent in by
It is fine to bring non-Subud friends
the bidding countries and used four criteria to judge
If you feel like exploring this with us please contact us at
them: cost, the strength of the organising team, the visa
La Source.e-mail> or
situation and how easy it would be for Ibu to get there. Full information and details
The IH's then tested all of the countries after first estab-
on this event will be on
lishing a benchmark by testing something like ‘how would

You can also visit la Source's website
the perfect country feel?’ and came out with a unani-
mous decision – NZ. Then Garrett stood up and
announced that they had also decided on NZ. It was very
clear and simple and almost everyone felt the rightness of Song Cycle
the decision. I thought it was a very good example of New York-based Minstrel, Geoffrey Armes, has written and
Subud processes working well with self-interest sidelined recorded a song cycle about Noor Inayat Kahn, known
and no politicking or lobbying. as the ‘Sufi Princess’, daughter of Hazrat Inayat Kahn.
All the bidding countries put in a lot of detailed work in She was a children’s book author, a musician and an
preparing submissions as required by ISC and this enabled Allied Spy in WW2. She died in Dachau at the age of 29.
WSC to make a realistic choice. I hope this process is fol- You can read an interview with Geoffrey about it at
lowed in the future.
Now we, together with ISC, are working on the process This sounds like a very interesting and serious work and
of how to actually organise the congress. I know that we would like to review it in a future issue of Subud Voice
Australia will help wherever it can and previous Congress if Geoffrey sends us a CD (hint, hint).
organisers have offered their help. So our intention is to More information, including art work available at
build on the experience of the past and not try to reinvent
the wheel – a tendency I see as a chronic problem for us
in Subud. For example, we will use the Innsbruck web-site
framework as this seemed to work pretty well. There were

Executive Director for SDIA

a few problems but we can sort those out.
Susila Dharma International Association wishes to hire
I see this process as a weaving together of many sep-
a creative Executive Director – an organized manag-
arate strands or streams from all round the world, grad-
er, able to work well with people, who has good
ually coming together in timely fashion to create the
knowledge of international development practices.
WC river.
For a full description of the background on the
So it's all alhamdulllah, mate.
organization and responsibilities of this position con-
We will have a National Committee meeting here soon
tact the SDIA Office, 3500 Ash Street, Vancouver B.C.
and people's roles and responsibilities and the way we
V5Z 3E7 Canada OR email
should work together with each other and with ISC will be
with ‘ED Application’ in the subject line.
explored through discussion and testing.
Ramzi Addison, NZ Organising Committee – reporting to
ISC Contact:


Deadline: November 15, 2006


The Needs of Lebanon of the world... but if on the road, led in this fashion, they
met the prophet of an idea, who had nowhere to lay his
Salman Rogers writes about the situation of Subud head and who depended for his food on charity or birds,
Lebanon… then they would all leave their wealth for his inspiration.”
I was in Lebanon from February to July 2006, where I spent Latihans were generally held in the mornings, for the con-
a semester teaching at the University of Balamand in the venience of some of the group who were mothers of
north of Lebanon, located in the hills overlooking the city young families, whose duties would begin in the evenings.
of Tripoli. I had long been interested in rediscovering my The members are very warm towards each other; each
roots in Lebanon. latihan meeting would start with an elaborate but gen-
The first Subud members in Lebanon were Vartkes uine round of exchanging greetings, hugging, laughing
Derounian and Alexandra Asseily who joined Subud in the and kissing. “We have missed you!” – “We have missed
1960s. My father first lived in Lebanon from 1971–73, when you more!” After latihans in the members' homes, we
there was a small group of seven members. The members would generally have tea and sweets, and celebrate any
would drive between Beirut and Damascus for latihan passing birthdays.
while Rayner Witt was the Dutch consul to Syria. They also A conversation soon after I arrived went:
used to exchange visits with the group in Cyprus. L: “How long have you been doing the latihan?”
Most of the members were Christians, some nervous Me: “Hmm – 8 years”
about arousing the suspicions of their sects; Vartkes, for L: “8 years?!?!” (incredulous)
instance was an Armenian Christian, but prayed and fast- Me: “Well my parents were in it before me”
ed like a Muslim. Beirut was very multicultural at the time L: “Ah you must be so clean!”
– there was even a Jewish quarter still in the city. By the The Lebanese are culturally unafraid of approaching
time my father returned, from 1977, the first episode of the sensitive topics, especially if they feel any familial con-
civil war had already taken place, Lebanon was much nection. A conversation a few weeks before I left started
changed, and Alexandra was the only Subud member with one of the women asking me, “Are you a virgin?”
remaining, the others having left Subud or left for Greece which led to much teasing. By the time I left I was much
or the USA. endeared to the group.
My father revived the group to some extent, also intro- Sectarian Pressures
ducing Subud to my mother, who was the first Lebanese The fact that so many women but no men had joined the
Muslim to join and remain in Subud. My family left in 1979 group was perhaps a reflection of the sectarian/confes-
when the civil war was flaring up once again, and again sional pressures of the society. Some of the women had
the group all but disappeared, although a few women not even told their families that they were practising
joined, including Helen Emmian and later Mona as- Subud. However, before leaving, I conducted the open-
Saideh, who would introduce several more to Subud. ings of three young men, all relatives of the women.
New Members I left a couple of days after the war started in July, and
When I first met the group this year, I was struck by the was very sad to leave in such a situation, not least
number of new members – more than 20 women had because I had only done one latihan with each of the
joined the group over about a year, and there was not men before leaving. At the time of writing, none of the
one man remaining. Most of the women heard about it three men have continued to do the latihan of their own
from each other, and ultimately from Mona, and few accord. Moreover, Mona, who was the only permanently
have ever read anything about Subud. resident helper, has left for Brazil, and may not return for
Some are relatives of each other, and most are fairly some time.
young. Most of the new members are from the Druze reli- The group has needs which the international Subud
gion – a monotheistic faith often described as an offshoot organisations can address. First is to organise a visit by the
of Islam, but which keeps its beliefs and practices secret. international helpers, to bolster their morale and make
Indeed these members do not know much about their them feel that Subud in the outside world knows and
religion. However, the group also has members from the cares for them.
other religions and sects, Christian Maronite and Second is to support the creation of a Subud centre in
Orthodox, and Muslim Shia and Sunni. Lebanon, financially and otherwise, to accommodate
Many of the newer members of the group had followed latihans as well as social or charitable enterprises of the
other spiritual practices before Subud, such as forms of members.
yoga, and were also continuing with these practices. It is The group has started to think seriously of this idea since
obvious that people tend to search for some sort of spiri- the conflict ended, especially given the lack of jobs and
tual meaning in the absence of a satisfying belief and financial uncertainty. Another need is to have some
code for life. Subud literature made available in Arabic. This is a slight-
Lebanon has an excess of religion (with 17 official sects), ly sensitive topic, the danger being that the religions
but the religions are visibly out of touch with modern could feel their territory violated.
times; pitted against each other and closely associated The region known as the Middle-East consists of the mar-
with sectarian politics, while the society is heavily influ- ginal dusty land between three continents. Yet history has
enced by the western lifestyle and global trends. propelled it in our consciousness to the centre of the
I was with a section of the group as they listened to a self- world. It is no cause for celebration that in over 40 years,
styled spiritual teacher talk. I was instinctively distrustful of the Subud groups in Lebanon and Israel never had any
him, so while the group sat enchanted, I was thinking of contact with each other, but this may now be changing,
T.E. Lawrence's words about the Arab/semitic peoples: largely due to the efforts of Faustine Sfeir, who has con-
“Their largest manufacture was of creeds: almost they tacted Subud members in Israel and also organised simul-
were monopolists of revealed religions. Three of these taneous latihans between the two countries.
efforts had endured among them: two of the three had It would be an impressive symbolic achievement for
also borne export... Their failures they kept to themselves. Subud to establish itself and demonstrate that it has a
The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths... positive presence on both sides of the locally Great
“Without a creed they could be taken to the four corners



level, so do not let yourself be led too far by your
desires that constantly compete with each other –

Ibu Rahayu even when they are inside you – to get to the best

Talk What’s more, by subduing your desires that are always

with you, you give an opportunity to your individuality
[to be active]. Your individuality is the part of you that
really owns you. So when your individuality is present in
your movements and actions, that means you are

23rd Night of Ramadan guided by the will of God. And, because your move-
ments and actions are guided by God’s will, you do
not need to ask any more what God's will is. Only God
Wisma Subud, Cilandak knows what God’s will is. If a person could say what
26th October 2005 God's will is, that would make them smarter than God,
RECORDING 05 CDK 1 they would know more than God.
Final Translation by Raymond Lee
Surrender Means Have Faith in God
Brothers and sisters whom I love and respect: may the In Subud, we say that our lives are guided by, or we fol-
peace and blessings of Almighty God be with you. low, the will of God, so we have to surrender that to
God. To surrender means that we have faith in God,
We are in the final days of the month of Ramadan, we accept what we receive, provided indeed it is
and tonight is one of the nights we call a night of God's will. If you do that, your individuality will grow
power – one of the nights on which God bestows and become active, and your behaviour and your
God’s grace and rewards. And we are here tonight to work will not be driven by your desires all the time.
witness this night of power together. So, tonight’s pro-
gram is for what can be called sustenance for the soul To achieve this you have to repent to God. To repent
– an explanation about God's instruction means that you [learn your lessons and]
to human beings to fast in the month of
That is a big do not repeat your mistakes. In particular,
do not keep repeating the same mistakes.

I hope that many Subud members are mistake; If you keep repeating the same mistakes,
your individuality will not grow, you will
doing this fast, even though fasting is easy block its development. Today you feel
for some, and difficult for others, and it means you sorry for what you have done, but tomor-
some of you cannot fast at all because of row you do the same thing again. That is
one problem or another that affects you.
But, I hope you will fast willingly and that
cannot keep a a big mistake; it means you cannot keep
a promise to your self.
you will not have any intention to neglect
your obligation to participate in the feel- promise to Some of you may think, ‘It doesn’t mat-
ing of the fast, as we need this time to ter if I do something when I am influenced
subdue the desires that we have inside us,
that participate in everything we do in
your self by my desires; even if my desires end up
controlling me, it won’t matter.’ Perhaps
our life here. you think like that, but you don't understand where
your desires come from. Your desires come from your
For us Subud members, we not only have the obliga- low forces - from the material, the vegetable and the
tion to fast, to follow God’s command, but we also get animal forces.
an education from within by doing latihan. In latihan
we are trained to surrender, and to be accepting, so If God had decreed that you should be a tree, you
that in everything we do we try to bring ourselves clos- would not mind being one, because you would have
er to the power of God. never known what it is like to be any other kind of enti-
ty. But if God has decreed that you should be human
That is because God, and God's power, is always and you become a tree, obviously, you will suffer. It
close to humankind. But it is hard for human beings to would be torture. That is what hell means. Hell does not
draw close to God. So hopefully, by fasting, you will necessarily mean that you are boiled all day, hell is tor-
feel the benefit, as fasting trains you to restrain your ture, and that torture can take many forms.
desires. We need to do that because the low forces do
not just exist outside us; they also live inside us where Take that earlier example, suppose someone is stub-
they participate in our daily activities. So, it is not sur- born and they say, ‘It would be nice to be a tree!’or ‘It
prising that God decided to give us this time would be nice to be an animal!’ Well, it would be nice
[Ramadan] when we can experience what it feels like if God had created you to be a tree in the first place
to live without being ruled by desire. and you had never known what it is like to be human,
if all you knew was how to be a tree. That is not suffer-
Because, even though it is true that we need our ing. But, if God created you to be human and you end
desires and it is God’s will that they are our partners for up living on the vegetable level – that is suffering. It is
life, human beings are creatures of God on a high suffering that God can release you continued p 7 >

from to return to the human level, but you is that you got better because of your
don't know when. Hell is prayer, because you accepted your situ-
ation and you surrendered everything to
That, brothers and sisters, will be the con-
sequence if you do not try to be a good
torture Almighty God, and then God granted
what you asked for. Many people have
human being. Because, the purpose of
joining Subud is to become a good
and that experienced this in Subud.

human being, a human being with the

qualities of susila, budhi and dharma. You torture can But, if you get a grace that does not
come from God, you will lose your way.
do not join Subud to become rich, to For example, many people who want to
become important, and to get a job, and
so on.
take many get rich ask a satanic being to make
them rich. That is a kind of grace too, but

Do not Play Around with Subud

forms where does that grace come from? It
comes from a devil!
This is the truth. So be careful, do not play
around with Subud; if you do, you are only fooling your- I will give you another example, there are members –
self. I apologize for saying this – who take things belonging
God is all giving, and for that reason, if God asks you to other people. Here, in Subud! In Subud, where we
to do something, if God commands you to do some- are trained, where we constantly get explanations,
thing, God will reward you if you carry out God's com- members still lose their belongings, because some
mand properly. This shows that God constantly loves people take other people’s things. They think that if
and cares for all God's creatures. For that reason, do they get away with taking another person’s belong-
not waste it, now that you have this chance to try to ings without anyone knowing, that is a grace too.
draw close to God.
I still get surprised when I hear that a member has had
God's rewards come in many forms, in many shades, something taken at latihan, because when we come
and in many different situations. There are material to latihan we are supposed to worship God. I think this
rewards in that when you pray, you might ask to receive depends on your intention; you shouldn’t come to lati-
good fortune. Well, if you are accepting and let go, han intending to take someone’s belongings. That is
your good fortune will come to you. It will, of course, truly shameful! Even if no one saw you take something,
come to you via another person, or in some other way. God knows. Because the power of God is inside you,
But it will not fall from the sky, it will be the result of the there is a witness. But people fool themselves and they
work you do to surrender. think no one knows.

There are also rewards that are spiritual in nature. What The same applies when we work, whatever work we
kind of reward will God you give on this spiritual path? do, we must do it honestly. If you do not work honest-
Well, you cannot achieve a higher spiritual level unless ly, you will block your development. So, in many cases,
God helps you, it is impossible otherwise. it is small things that we pay no attention to, that block
our path.
Why do we need to do latihan? You have to do lati-
han to cleanse your being, but that is only the purifica- Now, on this spiritual path, if you are blessed and you
tion process. Once you are clean, you will be brought have an experience, that experience will usually
to life, and once you are alive, you will grow. As your come when you least expect or want one, but you will
soul grows, you will understand for yourself what you be given an experience anyway, to enable you to wit-
should do and what is right for you. ness reality through that experience.

So, clearly, the decisive factor on this spiritual path is These experiences come in many different forms
your degree of surrender, your submission to God, so depending on which parts of your body are alive. If,
that God can help you achieve what you need to for instance, your eyes are alive then - because they
achieve. are alive - when you close your eyes you can still see.
If that happens, you are not seeing with your physical
That’s how it is, because that is God's will. Therefore, if eyes, you are seeing with your soul’s eyes. You can
someone wants to make rapid progress, it is not possi- have similar experiences with your hearing or your
ble. Nobody can help you progress faster on this path. other senses.
Your knowledge of the spiritual will grow by itself once
every part of you, once the whole of your being, is filled And, if your individuality is fully prepared, you will be
with your individuality and not with desire. conscious and fully aware of what is happening to you
during such an experience, because part of you wants
So God’s reward comes when we least expect it. You that experience - the touch of God that is inside you.
might not be hoping for anything at all, and it arrives. So, if an order or summons comes from the power of
This is a grace that does not come about because you God that touches your soul, you cannot refuse.
thought about it. For instance, you are sick and then
something makes you better. The medicine did not Dealing with Somebody in Crisis
make you better, it was God's grace. The medicine was You see this, for instance, when you have to deal with
just the means for you to get better, the agent. The truth somebody in crisis. You should observe how they
cont on p 8 >

behave! Someone in crisis will only do something if you will feel very tired. When I was being used like that
they are instructed to do it by their true self - the part I felt strong, but afterwards, I was weak and exhaust-
of them that is touched by God that I just mentioned. ed. The reason for that is when we come back here
If you tell that person what to do, they will not do it. Not our low forces enter us again. So, it is true that, even
because they do not want to do it, but they cannot do though they tempt us, our low forces help us in this
it. That is why helpers, when you deal with someone in world.
crisis, do not approach them in your normal state or
talk in the normal way. You have to face them using For instance, when my experience ended, a voice
your latihan. You must be filled by your true content said, ‘Your assignment is over; now go back to earth.’
and then a connection is established between your But when I got back here I was completely helpless,
inner content and the content of the person in crisis. because I had no low forces, I was empty of low
forces. So, I could not make the leap – I could not get
This shows that the power of God is there, it is not back to earth even though I could see it in front of me.
absent! And it is also inside the person in crisis. If you try But then I understood what to do and I prayed, ‘As a
to force them to do something they will not do it. Just human being, it is not possible for me to get back
try to drag them away - you will not be strong enough. unless God helps me.’ Then I was helped and I could
get back here.
If, as your soul develops, you have experiences
like this, if you are conscious, ask God to help you. When I recall that moment, I know that people in cri-
Or, if you are scared, ask God to return you to your sis are the same way. If it is not the time yet, if you tell
normal state. So, you can have all sorts of experi- them to stop, they are incapable of ending the crisis,
ences depending on your needs and on your they cannot stop the crisis by themselves.
That was my experience. And because of that expe-
I have been talking to you about the different types rience I can tell you that Subud is not a game, every-
of grace or rewards from God, and if God wants you thing can be proven. Well, all this takes time. Some
to have one of these experiences, as one of God’s members have done latihan for years, but they do not
creatures, all you can do is receive it. understand what the latihan is.

Take Bapak’s experience, for instance. Bapak did not When I was in Jogja, I said that once you feel the bliss
sleep for a thousand days. During those thousand of your latihan you will never leave Subud. The mem-
days, Bapak had one experience after another. Like bers there asked me, ‘What is the bliss of the latihan?’
someone studying, the experiences went on and on. It is a feeling that is complete; it is not like tasting food
So, if you are not prepared, you will be left behind. for instance. Food is tasty, but bliss is a complete expe-
What I mean is that you cannot ask God to repeat rience. You are able to generate a peaceful and
something, like you can if you do not understand pleasant atmosphere around you. You generate it
something in school and you ask the teacher to yourself, and you feel bliss in the latihan.
repeat it. You cannot do that.
This is my experience and I have given you a little
Bapak had all sorts of experiences, some were things explanation about this, so that you can understand
that Bapak had to do, and some were about things what God's grace means, what kind of rewards God
Bapak would have to do later on, there were many will give you. Usually you cannot see those rewards,
kinds of experience. And these experiences are set out but you experience them. Without knowing why, you
in Bapak’s book - Susila Budhi Dharma. Those experi- experience a change in your self.
ences are real.
This is all. I will
Even though I did not have an experience like end my talk
Bapak’s, I believe that what Bapak experienced is now. Please
true, it is real. My experience did not last for a thou- take what I
sand days. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have told you
have no sleep for a thousand days. My experience as a story, and
only lasted for a hundred days. It was as if there was no do not dwell on
time for sleep, whenever I tried to sleep, I would be it or think about
woken up. I was woken up and told to come and it. I hope that
work. I was told to do all kinds of work, it was like being your fast, of
tested. And now that work has become a reality - I which there are
can explain things to you, I can give you something. only a few days
That was why I had to have those experiences. left, will go well
until the end.
We cannot explain something, or give understanding
to someone if we have not experienced it ourselves. Thank you.
May the peace
It will Just Happen and blessing of

But you cannot ask for this kind of experience. It will just Almighty God Sharif, Tuti and Ibu Rahayu in Bangalore
happen. All we can do is receive it. And afterwards, be with you. (Photo by Rohana Fraval)

when you break the fast in the evening. For eating a

I N N E R ridiculously large amount of very nice food is precisely

what is bad for you. This is obvious. Many people eat a
great deal of such foods as the various kinds of meat, that
are now available. They eat soups or stews made of
V O I C E snakes or frogs, sometimes even of scorpions. Well, of
course all those things are very nice if they are cooked up
Edited by Ilaine Lennard with special herbs and spices. But afterwards the result will
be that they get mixed into your blood, and your blood is
Inner Voice welcomes new stories and letters contaminated, so that you will easily develop various dis-
eases. There are cancers of this, that and the other thing.
NOTE: Ilaina’s new e-mail: There are all kinds of cancers. People think of cancer as
being all one, all the same, but actually there are many
kinds of cancer nowadays. It is not just cancer only, broth-
The Ramadan Fast Was ers and sisters, many other diseases are making their
appearance now, so that people feel that they live in the

Easier in Bygone Eras

An extract from Bapak’s first Ramadan talk at Cilandak on
midst of disease.

‘Ya, ya. Just surrender.’

August 24th, 1978 RECORDING 78 CDK 1
Sharif Harris remembers a significant dream
Bapak spoke just Many years ago, I used to spend a lot of time at John
now of the merit Cooke’s house in the Carmel Highlands, California,
acquired by peo- where I had been opened and where the group did
ple who did the Latihan. I became one of a close knit circle of members
Fast in bygone there, who sometimes on other nights experimented
eras. It is not sur- with Ouija boards.
prising that it was During one of these nights with the Ouija board, the
easier for them, contacted ‘spirits’, or what we might assume was our
and that they did own subconscious – started asking us questions. One of
not feel the these - which was directed to any of us, was ‘Who will
fasting h e a v y , take a message to the King?’
because they I said, ‘I will take the message, what is it?’. The answer
were less affected was, ‘You will know, when the time is right.’
by the state of the I forgot all about it till approx. 11 years later, just after I
world than peo- had married my wife Sulfiati. It was then that I had a
ple are now. It very strong clear dream. In this dream I was part of a
was different from small village that was suffering from intense poverty and
the present, which faces people with all sorts of tempta- the elders had called a meeting to see if they could find
tions and obstacles and all sorts of things to think about. someone willing to take a message to the King, who
Of course, it is very heavy for people who live in this pres- would surely send help if he knew our predicament.
ent era. So if the people of the present time, of this pres- In the dream, I was only about 11 years old, but I hollered
ent century, do the Fast, then their merit is greater than out that I would take the message to the King. The
the merit of people who did it in the past. response was just laughter, and they said that if the men
You can consider for yourselves what Bapak is saying were unwilling to risk the journey they would not let me try.
here. If someone’s job involves staying up all night - like a Then, just as everyone was going off to bed, an elderly
night watchman for instance - such a person stays awake grandmother came up to me quietly and said, ‘It is cor-
all night and every night. He stays up because he is keep- rect for you to go, so take this pack of supplies that I have
ing guard against thieves; not just for one one two days, prepared for you and leave now so no one will miss you
but for months. But what do such people gain from it, till morning and by then it will be too late to find you.’
brothers and sisters? Yes, they just get paid in the ordinary As dawn appeared I noticed a wolf watching me. But
way. But in your case, and because you are not obliged my fear of being attacked and eaten subsided when I
to stay up late at night, then if you do stay up and make remembered that I had a pack of food, so I opened it
yourselves stay awake till dawn, that truly is a real prihatin, and threw some towards him. He came over and ate it,
a real self-denial. It means experiencing and enduring then moved closer to me again, but my fear seemed to
hardship in your life. have vanished and he just lay down next to me. He
To take another example: it is said that if a king refrains became my travelling companion and protector and
from food for, say a week, it is the same as if you were to helped us both find food.
do it for a year. It counts for as much. Of course that is After searching for about a week with no clue as to
obvious, brothers and sisters. Thus it is clear that what where we might find the King, we came over a hill and
Bapak has just been saying is something that you can were looking into a valley with many campfires. As we
feel. met the people gathered at these camps we discov-
Foods that can contaminate your blood ered that they were all looking for the King and no one
Besides this, brothers and sisters, the Fast not only trains had a clue as to where to look next.
you, so that you become accustomed to being able to In a few days we were all asked to gather together and
feel what the influence of the nafsu within you is like, but were told, ‘The King knows that you are here and why,
it is also like a purification for your physical body. That is so he will be sending a guide to
why, when you fast, you should please not eat to excess bring you to him’. Everyone was very continued p 10 >

excited and started mak- gift far beyond what I could expect or even imagine. I
ing plans as to how they burst into tears of gratitude and asked for forgiveness.
would approach the Again Bapak said, ‘Ya Ya, just surrender’. Again I tried, but
King with their needs. everything went blank as if I had passed out, there was
On the day the guide just nothing.
arrived I was surprised, After a while, I have no idea how long, I started to feel
yet not surprised, to find some awareness of where I had been and felt that I was
that he was Bapak floating back to earth. Then I started to wonder why I had
Mohammed Subuh, who gone on this visit and it occurred to me that I had forgot-
I knew from outside of this ten to tell the King about my village and its poverty. But
dream. He made a before I could finish the thought the answer was there;
motion with his hand that the King knew more about my village than I did and
we should follow him and understood its needs completely. So I relaxed and contin-
Sharif Harris just said, ‘Come’. ued to float down until I envisioned myself arriving back
Then many of us just followed down the path he had at my village and pondering what I would say to them.
taken, while others scurried around to get their belong- But before I could even finish that thought, the answer
ings or find their family members, or to find someone to was there inside me.Their poverty would only last as long
take care of their affairs while they were gone. as they continued to hold onto it.
At the end of the path was a huge wooden building, The dream went on a bit longer, however that was the
and Bapak opened the door and said, ‘Come in’. message I was intended to retrieve so I will stop here.
As I approached the door and Bapak, I said, ‘Bapak, Some time later I was visiting Bapak’s grave and was invit-
there are still many others wanting to come,’ but he said ed, along with bus loads of brothers and sisters, to have
‘Don't worry they will come on another trip’, and he ush- lunch at Ibu Rahayu's house nearby. After returning my
ered us all in and shut the door. I realised that we were dishes to the kitchen I noticed that Ibu was sitting alone
going to do latihan and then I noticed that the room outside in the middle of her patio and I understood that
contained not only men, but women and children as she was sitting there to be available so that any one who
well. Since women do not do latihan together with men, was moved, could feel free to come and speak with her.
and children don't do latihan at all, I asked Bapak, ‘What Knowing that I might never have such an opportunity
are we doing?’ and he said ‘Ya, Ya - just surrender’. again, I went over and sat down next to her. I asked her if
Then I understood this was necessary so I just closed my I might share the vision with her that I've just described.
eyes and tried to surrender all of my concerns. She said ‘Yes, please tell me’.
After a while I heard beautiful music like angels singing As I did so, she would nod to show that she was listening.
and felt compelled to sway and dance to this music. Then And when I mentioned the last message – about holding
I felt moved to begin leaping higher and higher, and I felt onto poverty, she looked up at me and said, ‘That is right’.
like there was diminished gravity. I had to open my eyes to Then she thanked me for sharing my vision and I thanked her
for listening and we parted and went on with our day. I felt

see if others were being affected, and I noticed that even
Bapak was leaping into the air like the rest of us. that she had really listened and understood completely.
S o I asked, ‘Bapak, what is going on?’, and he just said
‘Ya Ya, just surrender’, so again I closed my eyes and tried
give up all my concerns.
Ramadan –
As time went on the movements got slower and the
singing got quieter, but the intensity of the vibrations got
one of the greatest gifts
stronger and stronger. Soon I had to open my eyes again In the early days of Subud, in Carmel Valley in the 1960’s or
and I noticed that the building had disappeared and we so, before anyone had even
were dancing and swaying in a beautiful sunlit meadow heard of Ramadhan, a bunch
with flowers and birds and butterflies, so I turned to Bapak of us were working in carpentry
again and asked, ‘What is going on Bapak?’ and again and landscaping. We were a
he said, ‘Ya Ya just surrender’. group of youthful members. A
Since I knew him to be a benevolent guide, I closed my good half dozen were mem-
eyes again and asked to be free of my concerns.This time bers of a newly formed enter-
the movements almost stopped and the music became prise, Stone, Post and Flower.
very faint, but the intensity of the vibrations became much And in the office the fledgling
stronger, and after a while I just had to open my eyes again. group met each day to
I saw then, that the earth under us had disappeared and exchange work experiences. I
we were suspended in space amongst the stars. had to return to Oregon for
I could feel the presence of those around me doing lati- about three months and so
han, but I could not see anyone except for Bapak, so I goodbyes were said.
asked again, ‘What does this mean, what's happening?’ Emmanuel Kennedy When I returned 3 months
and of course he repeated, ‘Ya, Ya - just surrender’. He is later, as we were sitting around in the office, I suddenly
the boss, so again I obeyed. saw each of the members had a golden glow coming
This time the silence was like thunder and the vibrations from the central portion of their body. Curious, I asked
were very fine but intense beyond anything experienced them what they had done to get this glow. They respond-
by me. Again I felt I must ask Bapak what to do, so I ed that they had done something called ‘Ramadhan’
opened my eyes and saw that this time there were no and I said, ‘I will do this too, next year, because I have
stars, just total blackness. I was scared and looked for never seen anything so spiritually beneficial for mankind!’
Bapak. When I saw him he was as if made of glass, but and so it has been, forty years later. At 83, again I fast,
alive and moving. though it is not required. Subud and Ramadhan are the

I had to ask, ‘Where are we, how can this be?’ And even greatest gifts ever given to mankind. Emmanuel Kennedy.
as I asked I began to understand that I had been given a Reprinted from Subud USA News no. 122

insights, for some a change in planned direction, for oth-
The Seven Circles Quest ers an affirmation of goals and talents, for some a real
shift in perceived baggage and obstacles.
Lusijah Rott writes… All left with a plan, how to move across the gap of where
The YES Quest at Seven Circles was the creation of a safe each is in their personal life toward life goals that were
and sacred space for personal exploration of life direc- clarified in the Quest process. Personally I have never
tions for all who participated. The masterful YES Quest experienced any two weeks in my life that compare with
team (Marcus MacKay, Marlena Basser, and Peter this experience. The trust, the featherlike touch of aware-
Jenkins) has a magic in the combination of what they ness and support by the YES Quest team for all the partic-
each bring to the process, providing insight, care, com- ipants, the incredible love, trust, compassion, and support
passion, and humor. among all the participants was extraordinary.
The YES Quest experience is an incredibly well put In finishing what can only be an inadequate attempt to
together mix of activity that nurtures a mind/body/spirit tell the whole story, I would like to express deep gratitude
connection, a process involving a deep and intense per- to MSF who provided critically needed grant support of
sonal exploration of who one is, looking to identify talents the YES Quest at Seven Circles. Also gratitude to Subud
and strengths, life goals, obstacles, excess baggage that California who generously gave scholarship assistance
prevents the fulfillment of talents and abilities, and impor- which made attendance possible for two Subud youth to
tantly making intentions and mapping out plans in aware- participate in the Quest.
ness of personal "trip ups" and sab- Deep thanks also to those who
otage tendencies. made contributions in the Seven
On a personal level, I was very Circles annual campaign that provid-
grateful that YES Quest took place ed scholarship assistance for another
at Seven Circles. It was an exten- youth participant. Thank you to
sion of working within a Subud con- Rachmat and Halimah Martin, who
text, now across international respectively acted as guide for the
boundaries; a Seven Circles and wilderness trek and provided very
YES Quest collaboration with the important help for the trek meals.
shared mission of supporting per- Finally, huge thanks to Isti Jenkins and
sonal growth for young people. Jandira Shelly, onsite caretaker at
I was specifically interested in experi- Seven Circles, who prepared truly
encing whether YES Quest is a pro- Rhea Dempsey and Lilliana Gibbs say “YES” to life after incredible meals during the residen-
gram that could be held regularly at the Quest tial phase of the YES Quest.
Seven Circles. There were two additional goals for both
Seven Circles and YES Quest. One was to initiate a process And Rachmat Martin who led the wilderness adventure
of training to expand the facilitator base, so that the YES part of the YES Quest adds…
Quest programs can be expanded to other parts of the I suggested that we each find our own pace of hiking
world. (The hope is to have more local facilitator teams, ulti- along the 3.7 mile distance to the lake that was our des-
mately, for the goal of more affordable Quests.) tination and encouraged everyone to hike alone, with
The second goal was to consider the program in a some separation from others, or not, as they preferred.
broader context, for non-Subud youth and for different We began our hike at 7,500 feet and climbed to 8,500
target groups, for example those undergoing life transi- feet at our lakeside destination.
tions or early stage entrepreneurs. Can the YES Quest I further suggested that each person really pay attention
program be adapted? to the trees, rocks, streams, flowers and fauna we would be
Successful on all Fronts passing, as well as the sounds of the forest.
This YES Quest was overwhelmingly successful on all fronts. I invited each person to be especially attentive to any feel-
The feedback from the participants was that Seven ings that were coming up as well as to notice whatever
Circles, because of the natural setting, com- thoughts might be running in their thinking
fort of the retreat center, and proximity to
the world class wilderness of the
I have never minds, but cautioned against not getting
caught up in these thoughts, but gently bring
Sequoia/Kings Canyon Parks made Seven
Circles a wonderful place to host Quests. experienced their attention back to the amazing natural
world we were in.
Testing among those who came for the
Quest with an interest in facilitation, indicat- any two weeks I suggested that we plan to come togeth-
er around a campfire the next evening to
ed clear future roles for most in an organiza- share with others what this coming in experi-
tional and/or facilitation capacity. It was in my life that ence revealed.
very clear that the program would have rel- There were 17 of us in total on this trek.
evance to those not in Subud because of compare with During our first full day at Weaver Lake,
the very well put together combination of many people choose to hike off in several
"modalities" of exploration that tap into
deeper awareness and feeling.
this experience groups to climb atop the little mountain that
rose up another 1,000 feet on the opposite
The participants came from Europe, Australia, and the US, side of the lake from where we were camping.
and because of the goal to initiate an expanded facilitator My only disappointment around this Quest, was that
team, was a mix of ages. The youngest 18, the oldest 50 some- there were only 3 American youth in the program. This
thing, with a full range in between. The mixed ages worked. was an amazing event with the great potential for life
The YES Quest process and experience was a deeply transforming revelations and change, run by an outstand-
personal one in a cradle of incredible support, love, com- ing and very experienced team from Australia.
passion, and trust. Although it is impossible to say there To contact Seven Circles Retreat at Badger go to
was a clear personal result at this point - only time will tell
– it was clear that there were life-changing personal To contact the YES Quest go to


brought profound change in one’s life.
Rethinking Educational Transformative vision of education
This built upon the understanding gained by each group
Change from our experience in the first part, and was to articulate
our transformative visions in education. This was also
Scherto Gill, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, when groups could go through a meaning-making
writes about international dialogue and discussion on process and come up with a shared vision in education.
transformative education and human development at the Application of our vision to one’s learning context (both
Third Vittachi Conference held in Morocco In July… personal and institutional)
The next step was to identify the challenges and opportu-
This is a two-part report. In the first part, I give an overview nities for transformative education within one’s own per-
of the Third Vittachi conference: its aim, process and sonal or institutional context. The purpose was to provide
some highlights at the conference. the opportunity for participants to identify key actions
In the second part, to be published in the Subud Voice’s that could effect positive changes.
November edition, I summarise the proceedings and the Construction of personal action plans
insights that participants came up with in terms of a vision During the final work within the small groups, participants
for education, transformation and human development. were encouraged to come up with personal and institu-
There will also be information about follow-ups and how tional action plans in order to further negotiate the reali-
to be involved in the forum initiated by the conference. sation of our visions for education.
The third Vittachi conference was held on 1–7 July at Al Sharing ideas and practices of transformative education
Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. The aim of the Running parallel to the small group discussions were a
conference was to explore how individuals and educa- range of workshops and paper presentations. These sem-
tional institutions understand transformation and identify inal sessions opened up further debates on the well-con-
the radical changes needed in order to enable ultimate tested subject of transformative education, from peda-
human development. It truly embodied the spirit shaped gogical and institutional perspectives.
by the former two Vittachi conferences by being, To inspire the participants
according to many participants, a transformative experi- To inspire the participants to be open and go deeply into
ence in itself. oneself, keynote speakers set examples by narrating,
This event brought together 140 people with diverse analysing and reflecting on personal life stories and how
voices and perspectives on transformative education lived experiences had impacted on their understanding
and its impact on human development. Participants from of their own growth and development.
multiple educational constituencies, i.e. students, teach- During his opening speech, Simon Guerrand-Hermès
ers, researchers, administrators and NGO shared his experience of surviving a dan-
educationalists – and socio-cultural and gerous car accident in New York, high-
economic backgrounds came together lighting the fact that transformation
to address questions such as: involves chaos and energy, like dying
1. What constitutes a transformation in my and being born. He pointed out that
own life? what is transformed can include our ways
2. What learning experience is considered of thinking, perspectives and assumptions
as transformative in my education? of the world and, above all, our percep-
3. What changes are necessary in order for tion of self.
my education to be more transformative? Anuradha Vittachi, daughter of Varindra
Over several years the Guerrand-Hermès Vittachi, gave an illuminating and mov-
Foundation for Peace has developed a ing keynote speech; a personal account
particular methodological framework for on her view of transformative education.
allowing the construction of an open dia- An excellent story teller, Anuradha start-
logue and discussion. Based on the ed by quoting her father’s famous saying
Foundation’s ongoing research concern- that ‘information without transformation
ing the effect on self-understanding and Anuradha, daughter of Varindra Vittachi, is nothing but gossip’.
personal growth through narrating one’s was keynote speaker at the 3rd Vittachi She then moved on to tell two stories
life history, the conference’s dialogue was Conference about her personal experiences of chil-
structured as a narrative inquiry within a social process. dren’s learning, summarising her own understanding that,
This approach encouraged personal stories, shared in particular, for education to be transformative there
meaning-making and critical self-reflection in small work- needs to be ‘fertile conditions … we need to create a
ing groups. These groups, each made up of ten to twelve welcoming, stimulating space, with a clear focus – and
participants, were guided by facilitators, who helped con- then let go’. She stressed the power of all children and
struct an intimate space in which everyone shared their that adults need to learn from them.
experiences with a feeling of safety and togetherness. Nearly all the facilitators at this conference are Subud
To maintain this space, the make up of each group members. They included Reynold Feldman, the original
remained the same throughout the three and half days’ Vittachi conference founder; and facilitators Hugh Lynn
dialogue and discussions. Each group was therefore able and Solihin Thom; Subud educator Renata FitzPatrick; as
to bond and, depending on the combination of personal well as GHFP board members.
backgrounds and group dynamics, to formulate their Amongst the facilitators was also 22 year-old Andrew
unique understanding of topics discussed. Thomson (Subud member, UK). Currently reading
The conference was divided into five parts… International Relations at the University of Kent, Andrew
Personal transformation showed unusual confidence and inter-personal skills in
This involved, with a spirit of openness, reflecting deeply facilitating discussions of the small group.
on one’s own life histories, and led to a broader discussion Subud projects were represented: ICDP, Roda Viva
on transformation and learning experiences that had (Portugal), Lewes New School (UK), cont inued on p13 >

Ad Humanitas (USA), and the rather than being content to just follow the general guide
The process Garden of Forgiveness were lines transmitted from earlier generations through the
amongst them. These were joined
was helpful by other major international
organisations including represen-
These comments are not to deride the value of the con-
tributions of the Churches and Religions in the promotion
of decent behaviour, nor to overlook that despite the
and tatives from the World Bank,
UNESCO, UNICEF, World Assembly necessary growing pains we are going through in Subud
there are not groups where there is a real awareness of
enlightening of Youth, Scholarships Foundation
and universities and educational the need to be open and ready to welcome both new-
comers and members who are themselves having strug-
institutions, worldwide.
Many young people aged 15-25 attended the confer- gles on their road of purification.
ence through sponsorship provided mainly by the GHFP. Personally I favour the concept of paid support where it
Some were supported by the scholarship fund raised by is needed and when we have reached the capacity to
Reynold Feldman and Sharif Horthy in 2004, when they deserve it. In my estimation that will only be made avail-
ran the Hawaii international marathon, obtaining dona- able to us, in the right form and manner, when we have
tions from Subud members all over the world. been able to develop further in our capacity to manage
The conference itself was transformative… the material forces.
On reflection, I believe that the reason this conference was We need to be able to guide and use these (and other
regarded as transformative in itself was largely owing to life forces) so as to support God’s Plan for each person’s
the Subud facilitators’ being able to create that stimulating development, whether that individual is aware of and
and open space in small groups and at plenary sessions. practicing the latihan or is at the stage of needing to
Towards the end of the conference many participants know their true nature and purpose in being in this world.
took the microphone to speak about their change and
transformation. They reflected that the process had been AREN’T WE FORTUNATE?
both ‘helpful’ and ‘enlightening’. The diversity of voices In the September issue I wrote about my experiences of
and ideas presented helped create a ‘fertile ground’ on ‘feeling things at a distance’ like a visit by ibu Rahayu or
which to discuss transformative education and apply it to the recent Bangalore meeting. This inspired the indefati-
our own lives. Overall the dialogue and discussions gable Melinda Wallis of Subud USA to write…
helped individuals to personalise the conference and
enable all to go through a profound personal journey Hiya Dearie,

letters to the editor

together. (to be continued) First, thanks for writing ‘My Personal Bangalore’ in
September issue. (Another terrific action-packed issue!)
This happens to me a LOT. Since I have a gimpy leg and
so can't comfortably travel much anymore, I often expe-
rience people saying to me, ‘Oh, too bad you had to miss
this congress, it was fabulous!’ and I want to say: "I know".
A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT Sometimes I DO say ‘I know’.
Adrianna King-Hall comments on an article by Sjahari The example of the moment is that the USA SES
Holland in our last issue… Conference is going on right now at Badger. A part of
me, actually it's on the right side of my brain – a visualiza-
Why do people who join Subud often feel they do not tion of blue skies, green grass, and the feeling of the peo-
receive the warm welcome they may experience when ple there in general – and I know it’s that meeting. It just
they join a Church or other similar organisations? Sjahari flashes on periodically.
Holland suggests it is because Subud groups do not (usu- One time while a national congress was just starting up
ally) have paid staff – and the work of keeping everything on the East coast, and I was in the office here on the West
in order is done on a voluntary basis. coast, I had an unforgettable feeling. It was a feeling of
Is it possible there is another aspect also at work? The very the foundations of Subud shaking, and I KNEW that there
nature and purpose of Subud membership is that each are no guarantees that Subud will continue to exist in this
one of us goes through an individual training programme world. I later asked what was going on at the congress at
to lead us closer to being a true human being. that time. It was something upsetting.
As we know this training requires that we let go of those Other people say, ‘Boy, I wasn't there, but my latihan
aspects of ourselves that are blocking our potential sure felt like a congress latihan!’
development as people who I also find that I don't MISS people whom I love but haven't
Subud doesn’t have and can manifest the quali- seen physically for a along time or maybe even haven't
ties of a true human being. talked to. It's because I feel close to them anyway.
let us Subud doesn’t let us ‘paint over’ Aren't we incredibly fortunate? I think it’s high time we all
‘paint over’ the muck and dirt that we start to admit to these experiences as a part of our reality.
brought with us – it requires that
the muck and we let this come off us, through THE DIFFERENCE NOW
God’s Grace in our latihans.
dirt that we Adjusting to this change in our-
Someone who asked to be anonymous also wrote on the
same subject…
brought selves isn’t always easy and nor is I liked your article ‘My Personal Bangalore’ in which you
adapting ourselves to a new way described your inner ‘experience at a distance’ of Ibu
with us of behaviour - and a new way of Rahayu in Australia and the Bangalore meeting. Rings
being with others who are going very true.
through similar challenges! Have had similar experiences to those you had when Ibu
By its nature this new way of developing our being needs was in Sydney – but mine were of other times, when
to take time. It requires each of us to make a fundamen- Bapak was still living here.....
tal shift to submit to God’s personal guidance for us – cont on p14 >

I went to Bangalore and felt it was hugely intense on an
inner level, yet outwardly everything appeared very nor- Sixteen Steps Re-issued
mal. After the second lot of testing many had to go
Harris Smart reports that he is republishing his book
straight to bed. One man was so blown away by the test-
Sixteen Steps…
ing he got lost in the fourth to last test, and knew nothing
Over the years, many people have asked me when I am
of the last three. We tested those three with him the next
going to reprint my book Sixteen Steps, which has been
day – and again I was wasted.Boy! Was the volume
out of print for some years.
opened for those tests! Just as you can feel the beneficial
They have said that it is a good book to give to people
exhaustion from a solid Gym workout, so I felt stretched
who are interested in Subud because it is a collection of
and pushed on the inner in ways I had no hope of meas-
Subud stories told in a very natural and human way by
uring other than by the stupiferous and stretched - wea-
the people involved. It is clear and simple and also has a
ried - exhaustion that I dragged with me to bed...
very comprehensive introduction to Subud.
I have absolutely no reason or basis that I know of for
Well, the good news is that I am republishing Sixteen
saying this, but on Ibu's last day there I knew with quiet
Steps as an e-book – one you will be able to download
certainty that we have entered a new stage in Subud.
and then read on-screen or print out (go to my website
From this time on, for maybe the next 4 to 5 years, it is pos- and click on the ‘books’ icon). This
sible to make rapid strides in spiritual progress if we are sin-
new edition includes an updated introduction about the
cere and - as you point out - meet Ibu's injunction to live
developments in Subud in recent years.
disciplined and worthy lives, and truly seek to stay close to
I am also republishing as an e-book Stella (originally pub-
the latihan within ourselves.
lished by Subud Voice) which I co-authored with the artist
And this spiritual development is not of the blanket type
Stella Duigan. It tells the dramatic story of her recovery from
where Bapak might say, "Ya, Ya you have all made good
atrocious childhood abuse through the process of the lati-
progress since Bapak was here last" and we would all
han and other forms of help – a story of hope and recovery.
think "That's good", but have no real evidence, no sense
Not Only but Also…
of the truth of it.
While you are at the site, you may also like to sample the
Now it is like we are getting back to the intense reality of
other offerings I have recently developed as a musician
those early experiences one reads of at Coombe. Or
and songwriter and if you are curious about this develop-
tales from the early members in Java.
ment, my first CD, precious morning, is also available on
This time we will know it; we will see it in ourselves, and see
the site. There are some sample tracks to listen to for free.
it in each other. This is the difference now.
precious morning is a collection of songs in popular idioms
like jazz, rock, gospel and blues. There are a couple of
CORRECTION ‘sacred’ songs, and quite a few ‘secular’ ones. There are
In the August issue of Subud Voice we published an arti- some humorous ones and some more deeply felt ones. I
cle by Riantee Rand based on an interview with Rashidah am very much into the full-on emotion of soul music.
MacDonald, mostly about the Bina Cita Utama School. You will see from all this that I am endeavouring to
Unfortunately, the article contained a number of errors for become more enterprising by marketing my products in a
which Rashidah is not responsible and we would like to professional way using the Internet. I guess this is one of
draw your attention to these corrections. Rashidah my expressions of trying to become more enterprising at
writes… this point in my life. I hope you will support my endeav-
ours. I will give 10% of all income to Susila Dharma.
I am writing to ask you to please set the record straight on What if…?
some of those errors. As well as the items for sale, you will also find some free-
Firstly, the title was incorrect. I had explained to Riantee bies on the site. You can listen to my song What if? which
many months ago, that “Where Bapak put his Thumb” is a plea for peace. A lot of people are writing songs
was not Rungan Sari, but was further up north where the about peace and protest again these days. I guess our
mineral exploration concession land is. Bapak had envi- world situation is becoming so bad that it is impinging on
sioned Rungan Sari as the “base camp” for all the proj- everyone's consciousness.
ects around Kalimantan, but it wasn't where he put his You will also see a link to another Subud song for peace.
thumb on the map. (See item in this issue). And there is also a link to a video
In the fifth paragraph; “We are not an official school, but of a very wonderful song by Chris Kristofferson about the
we want to...” is not correct, and certainly not something need for peace and reconciliation. No charge for listen-
I said. Bina Cita Utama has been an official, registered ing to What if…? but you may like to do a good deed or
school since July 2005, and Karim and I have been here donate something to Susila Dharma.
since before that beginning. Also, Mustafa is not a travel Blog
agent here, he runs the Muhammad Subuh Centre. He On the site you will also find my blog. Do you know what a
may have helped visitors arrange tickets because he's a blog is? Well I didn't until fairly recently. A blog is like a diary
helpful person, but he is not a travel agent. that you keep on the Internet. In my blog I will regularly post
I do hope that you can set the record straight for the stories, poems and little essays, my reflections on life, distilling
readers of Subud Voice. As the editor I know that you can the wisdom of my years (Wisdom? If any, I hear you say!).
find the most appropriate way to do this. I don't want an My intention is that when they have reached a certain
apology or anything; I just want people to be informed volume I will republish the best of them as a book. Some
correctly. It is especially important about the school of you may think it cruelly presumptuous of me to inflict
because we really depend on donations to survive, and my effusions on an unsuspecting public, but I feel that
if people think it's not an official school they may not want after having lived on the planet for 64 years, if I do not
to support us. have something useful to say by now, then what was the
Please forgive me if what I have said offends you in any point of the whole exercise?
way. That is certainly not my intention. You do a fantastic Anyway, see what you think by visiting my blog at
job on the Subud Voice and I am very grateful for it.
Love, Rashidah



Tyger, Tyger burning Bright... o b i t u a r i e s
Harris Smart writes..
Sometimes I think we should make a feature of a photo-
graph. Editor's choice. Here is my first choice... DON CHIPP
I get many e-mails all the time, the spam that ricochets
around in cyberspace. (Please do not send me any of those Don Chipp, who was one of the most important
ones that say I will be blessed if I send it on to 10 people, and Australian politicians in the last half of the 20th cen-
cursed if I don't. The only person who is going to get cursed is tury died in Melbourne on August 28, 2006, aged 81.
you – by me). Don was a long-time friend of Murray Clapham’s
But this morning I got one I really enjoyed. It was so charm- and had recently joined Subud. He was a devout
ing, so funny and so happy-making. And yet it also had
Christian and very concerned with interfaith issues.
something profound about it. A message about life.
(See the article in this issue.) Unfortunately the
A tiger in America gave birth to 4 cubs. They all died. The
Parkinson's Disease he suffered from limited his
grief-stricken mother began to languish and decline.
Someone had the right idea of dressing up four piglets in tiger capacity to be involved in Subud.
pullovers. Mother and cubs took to each other instantly and He was originally a parliamentarian in the Liberal
party (which in Australia is the Conservative party).
He served as a Minister and was noted for his open-
minded forward-thinking views. He was responsible,
for example, for the relaxation of censorship in
He resigned from the Liberals in 1977 to form the
Australian Democrats which he led as a senator
from 1978 until he retired from Federal Parliament in
1986. He famously defined the role of the
Democrats as to ‘keep the bastards honest’ and the
Democrats through their role in the Senate have
often been an idealistic middle force in Australian
On Saturday September 2, he was given a State
Funeral in a packed St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in
are now deeply attached. He is survived by his second wife Idun and their
It is funny, it is cute, but it is also deep. Because in the Bible, daughters Juliet and Laura, and his children from his
doesn't it say that in the kingdom of heaven the lion and the first marriage to Monica – Greg, Melissa, Debbie,
lamb shall lie down together? Why not the tiger and the and John.
Surely this is a message for us, if we have eyes to see... A MARIA CHAMBERLAIN
message about tolerance, love and the acceptance of dif-
ference. Which qualities this tigress seems to possess in more

abundance than many of us.


Maria Chamberlain of the Lewes and Worthing
Group in Sussex died in her sleep on 25 June at her
home at Batworth Park, Arundel. She was the
beloved sister of Hartati Horthy, and a Subud mem-
ber of more than 40 years.
The committee of Subud International Health Association
She will be sadly missed by our family especially by
(SIHA) has appointed Marcus Bolt as the new editor of reso-
our 5 children and 12 grandchildren whom she
nance, their occasional magazine all about health and
health issues. Marcus takes over from Harris Smart who has
adopted as Great Aunt Extraordinaire in the
stepped down. absence of a family of her own. She was a unique
Although not a health practitioner, Marcus has studied Adlerian person and a frequent benefactor to Subud
Counselling, has written articles for resonance and given Charities especially the Almoners.
demonstrations at and participated in SIHA events in the UK. Maria was buried in a natural woodland burial site
For the next issue of resonance, planned for the winter of in West Sussex at East Meon in a casket of woven wil-
2006, Marcus welcomes articles on any subject related to low branches. The family wish to thank all her friends
health and health issues, both physical and mental. These who sent flowers, cards and beautiful words of
can, for example, be on any form of medicine (alternative or remembrance, and also the many people who
conventional modalities, health practices and remedies), came long distances to attend the funeral.
experiences of illness and cure – or otherwise – whether as
patient or health practitioner, family member or observer.
We also welcome poetry, stories, research on innovative tech- MARK ERLING WEEK
nologies or remedies, health tips and so on. The article(s) can
be written with or without a Subud slant as it is hoped the mag- David Week writes...
azine will appeal to a broader readership. This is to let you all know that my father Mark Erling
Please send your article(s) via e-mail to Week died at 2:15 am on the 8th of September. either typed in the e-mail or as a We'll be having the funeral in Remora, Auckland,
Word document. Photographs, charts, drawings etc should be New Zealand, on Tuesday 12 September.
attached as 300dpi jpgs. If you wish to become a member of Subud Voice will publish an obituary for Mark in the

SIHA, go to: – membership automati- November issue
cally qualifies you for a subscription to resonance.

• PAGE 15
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