This morning, Annamari (two and a half years old now, just starting to speak and saying more and more every day) and I snuggled up in bed for a little while, as we usually do. At one point she said: "The woman makes an unkind face." I asked her where that woman was, and she pointed towards a certain point and also looked at "someone" there. Inside myself, I asked that woman to go away and leave us alone, and later on I asked Annamari whether she was still there. She replied, “Yes,” and she showed me again where the woman was, this time next to the bed. Then again, also just within myself, so Annamari didn't hear anything, I asked angels to help us and please make her leave and give us protection. Then a little later, I asked Annamari again whether the woman was still there and she answered: "No, angels took her away.".
Then tonight as she was about to sleep, I asked angels again to protect us from all evil, again within myself not speaking out loud, and based on the morning experience, I asked Annamari: "Do you see angels?" She answered, “Yes,” and when I asked her where the angels were, she said "In a circle around us."
- - - - -
I recently had a wonderful latihan with Jesus, Maria and Saint Rita, who offered her help. I know nothing about saints, so I checked and it turned out that she is the saint of the impossible.
- - - - -
Once I was asleep when I heard a loud voice shouting 'Allahu akbar.' I woke up and found myself sitting prostrated in my bed shouting 'Allahu akbar'. It was my own voice that had woken me up. I thought this was very strange, particularly since I am not a Muslim. Later that day, I met my neighbour on the stairway. Her bedroom was below mine in the apartment building where I lived at the time. She gave me a very suspicious look!
- - - - -
In 2008 I was fortunate to be able to spend time in Semarang visiting Pak Musa, the venerable and oh so humble Subud member described by Bapak in a talk in Jakarta in March 1968 (68 TJK 2) as having reached the rohani level. While there, I also got to know three other young members of the group, each one of whom had a special story to tell. As I do not believe they would like to be identified, I use pseudonyms.
Take ‘Jack’ for example: Jack prepared to pray one night and when he said “Allah Hu Akbar” and brought his arms across his chest at the commencement of the prayer in Semarang, he suddenly found himself in the mosque of Demak, the ancient Islamic capital of Java. He finished his prayers there and then found himself back in his own house. After that he took his religion seriously and began searching for someone who could deepen his faith, and eventually came across Subud. Before that, he had just been a diligent ‘outer’ person of faith, but this experience showed him that the spirit really existed. As it happens, the mosque in Demak had been built by Sunan Kalijaga, an ancestor of Bapak’s, and, “coincidentally,” it was Sunan Kalijaga who appeared when Bapak was a sickly infant and gave him his true name, and then later taught him the martial art Pencat Silat on the river bank below his house
Jack, when queried – after learning his family name and origins – acknowledged that he is a descendant of both Kyai Saman and Kyai Bintoro. Kyai Saman was a guru Bapak visited and respected, who in turn was the grandson and pupil of Kyai Bintoro. (see P. 43-44 of Volume 1 of the History of Subud). Not knowing about Harlinah’s book, Jack was very surprised that anyone had ever heard about his ancestors. When I first arrived in Semarang, I saw Jack standing in the crowd at the airport with light shining from him and immediately recognized him as Subud.
Another youngster I got to know well was ‘John’. He had had little interest in religion – being more interested in business – but started to say his prayers one night and found himself about 60 – 70 metres in the air above his house. “Okay,” he thought, “If I panic I will fall and die, so I will trust God, for there is no other way I am going to survive this,” and he continued his prayers. Later, someone told him of a Subud member who could explain this experience and teach him to pray under God’s protection, and he joined Subud.
Then there was ‘Joe.’ One day, on the way to Pak Musa’s house, he stopped at a wayside warang to talk to a girl to whom he found himself very attracted, so much so that he paused to calm himself before continuing to Pak Musa’s house. When he was well settled and centered he continued on, only to be asked by Pak Musa on arrival, “Who was that you left at the side of the road back there?”
Before coming to Subud, Joe was out walking with his eight year old son one day when he met a friend who, unknown to him, was a Subud member. They were walking along talking, when his friend stopped at a mosque and said he was going inside to pray for his spiritual father, who Joe assumed was some guru. With typical Javanese etiquette he did not enquire further, but thought, “I will go with my friend and pray with him for this man, because it is a noble thing to pray for someone.” When they started to pray, Joe began to weep uncontrollably, and he was very embarrassed that his young son should see him so. He would stop and compose himself, but as soon as he began again great sobs and floods of tears would rack him. Afterwards he asked his friend, “Who is this man?” and was told it was Bapak Sumohadiwidjojo, the founder of Subud..
There must be something truly special about this man, he thought, because whenever he prayed for him he found himself weeping for his own sins and failings. He wondered if he should join this kedjiwaan worship of his friend, and while he was sitting in the evening smoking a cigarette, wondering this and looking at the full moon, it was as if a door on the moon opened and a man came out and smiled at him. As his name given at birth mean’s ‘moon,’ he felt it was an indication to join this spiritual movement.
Once, Joe also experienced when praying in the mosque that he went to Mecca and found himself in front of the Black Stone at a corner of the Kaaba, and he could see all the seven pieces into which it been broken at some stage in history.
(This experience – of praying in the jiwa before the meteorite which
heralded Abraham’s wayhu - can indicate one may receive a blessing from God in the future, enabling and sustaining him in performing a spiritual task God asks of him).
- - - - -
We were staying in a luxury hotel abroad for a few nights and my
children were sleeping in the opposite room across a large corridor. Late one
night I was having a personal conversation with X and I started to feel deep
pain about the fact that my eldest child was growing up without hardly ever
seeing or hearing from her father, whom I divorced when she was less than five years old. At the time I had not at all expected their relationship would
develop the way it did, leaving our daughter without a real connection to her
father. On top of that, the man I had been involved with for several years after the divorce, had not treated her kindly. All together I told myself that I had caused my beloved and incredibly sweet daughter, who was in puberty now, a terrible burden by not having any positive male figure in her life. Somehow my whole being was taken over by the guilt and pain I felt about this situation and I cried from deep within. In the midst of this emotional turmoil, the door of the room opened unexpectedly and my daughter walked in, more sleeping than awake. “It’s all right, Mummy…” she murmured, and returned straight away to her own room on the other side of the corridor.
This calmed me down instantly and felt as such a blessing comfort. No
one else could have given me this comfort, except her. But how could this
happen? The rooms were quite big and the doors heavy, she could never have heard me from her own room and besides, she seemed to be still asleep during her short visit.
The next morning I asked her why she had come to my room during the
night. She didn’t remember anything about it!
- - - - -
One time I had a special experience at the beach. It was very simple
and short, but it made such an impression on me that I will never forget it.
I had been co-facilitating some intensive self development workshops
with two men from another continent, one a longstanding Subud member, the other not familiar with Subud. As a single woman I felt an attraction to the one who was not in Subud, whom I met for the first time and I knew was not married. As he would be travelling back soon, I decided to tell him about my feelings before his return. Although the man appreciated my company a lot, there were good reasons why we could not be more than temporary friends. However, we spent some wonderful moments together during the short time before his departure.
After I had said goodbye in the airport, my heart was feeling heavy and
sad. The next day I took some time for myself and took a long walk at the beach. The weather was grey and a bit stormy and there were hardly any other people out there. I was walking against the wind, trying to let go of the experiences and feelings that had evolved over the last few days. Totally unexpectedly, a person approached me from behind, tickled my shoulder and said, “Do you know that God really loves you very much?” Although I was a bit surprised by his question it only took a second to respond: “Yes, I think He does!” That was all the communication we shared before continuing our walk in opposite directions. After a minute or so, however, I realized that this was a rather extraordinary thing to hear from a stranger. In fact, it had changed my feelings from being heavy to a much lighter state of being. When I looked back, the man was alreadyfar away and I wasn’t even sure if it was the same person who had talked to me.
But the best thing of all was hearing about the man I had worked with
and felt attracted to; he had received spontaneous movements and sounds after
his departure, and once back home asked to be opened in Subud. I thanked God for this wonderful gift!
- - - - -
I once had a clear dream once that was just beautiful.. Most of my dreams pass by unnoticed, but at crucial times in my life I sometimes get the gift of what I call a “clear” dream, meaning that it helps me to understand my life better and move forward.
The dream came to me when I was in a time of trying to make a new start after a difficult period. One thing I knew about myself was that my intention had always been to be close to God and follow His guidance, but I was painfully aware that my ability to tune in with what He really wants for me was (and still is) verylimited.
Anyway, in the dream I see my bare feet. The big toe of one foot is swollen and dark blue. It seems like it’s dead. All the feeling has gone out of it. The next moment, this black blue big toe just falls off, without any effort or pain. At first I am a bit shocked, but then I realize that the toe was ‘out of use’ anyway, so I’d better get rid of it. After that, both my feet are
being washed with crystal clear water, while I am sitting on a chair. There are
five figures standing around me, all dressed in white robes. Each of them is
from a different race. One by one they wash my feet in silence. The feeling is
very serene and peaceful. And I feel relieved because I have two healthy, clean and complete feet again! Thank you, God.
- - - - -
Towards the end of one latihan, we were standing in a circle - a small group of women, each worshipping in their own unique way. I felt a strong emotion
coming up, an old one that I had dealt with many times before, about wanting to be close to God somewhere up there, instead of having to suffer in this miserable worldly life! At the same time, I knew that my time hadn’t come yet and there were still quite a few things waiting to be accomplished.
So I surrendered to God as much as I could, willing to accept my suffering, however much it would be, and so on. With my arms up in the air, I saw a white robe slowly coming down from above, and smoothly sliding around
my arms and body. It felt very comforting and peaceful.
I understood this was a sign that God was already with me in this world, as He will be in the next.
- - - - -