The feelings that were present in the chapel we were using for Dainuri’s memorial were good, if not happy. There were no ministerial speakers.
He had suddenly died a few weeks before, and those who contributed were inspired to speak of fondly remembered experiences with Dainuri.. We Subud members in attendance were few, as this is a small group, while his close friends were there in abundance.
One by one, those who felt moved to share their remembrances came to the platform to express their feelings. About thirty of his friends outside Subud spoke. They recognized that they were speaking openly to each other, not holding anything back. It was very touching for those of us who never
had such friends. Do you like authentic? His friends certainly were!
Dainuri’s mom was seated to the right side of the speaker by herself, where she could be close to the speakers. This lady, who I have known her for forty five years as a Subud member, wasn’t shy. This night she occupied her space with dignity and grace. As I was sitting in the front across the narrow hall from her I could see that she was transformed into a beautiful, confident lady. Sometimes a speaker would give her a hug. Not that she need these hugs; tonight she had inner strength, which showed in her eyes. I had a similar wish to share my energy with her but I realized that she didn’t need our energy, not at all.
Mom was peaceful and her pride in Dainuri was evident for all to see. When it seemed that no one else felt to speak she crooked her finger to invite me. There was a twinkle in her eyes, she was enjoying this memorial to her beloved son. This night God saw to it that mom was spared from heavy worldly feelings.
The members of our group were touched by the love and friendship shown by Dainuri’s closest friends and by the Grace that was showered on his mom.
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Farewell to my Father
My father and I hadn't been very close. He had a business to run and was always away working. Children tend to be self-centred and I was resentful of him never being at home and giving me any attention. Later when I grew up I realised that my father simply didn't have the time or energy to spend much time with his children because he was working very hard to sustain his family. I was able to forgive him and instead wished that I had been of more help to him.
Around the time my father died I had been particularly resentful of him. I was a 13 year old boy and it was towards the end of the summer holiday. Most of my friends had done things together with their fathers: some went on fishing trips, others went to football matches or did other activities together, while I hardly ever saw my dad.
The day my father died I woke up around 8 am. I went downstairs to make myself breakfast. I noticed that the atmosphere in the house was different. The weather had been particularly bad that week, there had been a lot of noise around the house because of the rain and wind and the night before there had been a storm, but now everything was still and peaceful. When I passed the sitting room I could see my father sleeping on the sofa. He was still wearing his suit and tie, but he sometimes came home late from work and fell asleep on the sofa so this was not unusual. Something made me stop and watch him
this time however. There was something angelic about his face, the way he lay
A ray of sunshine entered through the window and lit the room. This, together with the strange quietness and peacefulness that was in the house had the effect on me that I felt my eyes filled with tears and I wanted to weep. A feeling of forgiveness and love arose in me towards my father. He then woke up, and instead of avoiding his company and being critical and resentful
towards him, as had been my habit for years, I was moved to help him and I asked him if he needed anything. We spent about 20 minutes together with a lovely warm feeling between us, though all the time I was fighting back the
My father went to work and later in the afternoon a phone call came telling us that he had collapsed and had died of a heart attack. I am forever grateful that I was able to part with him in this way on the day he died.
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The Latihan Scores
Five generations of my family have played the beautiful game (football/soccer) at some time or another so that now, not surprisingly, it all
comes naturally to my grandchildren. You can say soccer is in our blood.
In the seventies I was very much involved in coaching youth soccer teams in
California, and the coaches and interested parents of the youth players used to
play pick– up games on Sundays. It became so popular that we formed a regular soccer league open to anyone over 30 years of age. At this time I was coach/ player for our team, and, aged over 40, I was slowing down so that my value to the team lay more in my extensive knowledge of the game.
Often in Bapak's talks we are told that the latihan can guide us in our everyday life while working or doing other activities like cooking at home or driving a car, etc. I had experienced some of this and when Bapak once said that the latihan was in Pele’s feet (the famous Brazilian soccer player) it caught my eye. With my interest in the game I always wondered about this, and I even saw Pele himself in action in San Jose, California.
In the late seventies I was playing in a game one Sunday and, being a lefty, I always played on the left side. At one point, our best player passed the ball to me from the middle and I dribbled forward ready to set him up with a through pass but when I looked up he had stopped running for some unknown reason. I looked back and saw that there was no-one open to pass to, whereupon I sort of froze, not knowing what to do, but then I relaxed and played on without any thought or using my mind.
The goalkeeper had taken the proper position covering the near post and the last defender covered the far post when the ball went flying and looked to be going past the far post. When it hit the ground, however, it was spinning anti clockwise in what we call a reverse banana and the ball went into the net just past the goal post. Although I was totally unaware that I had used the outside of my left foot, it was as though my left foot had known exactly what to do! If had used my head, I would have tried a chip shot. It was a beautiful goal, and everyone in my team started to clap and then Peter, the opposing goalkeeper, also started clapping and others followed in appreciation of a classic goal. Pete was a diehard Italian soccer player and we remain good friends to this day. There were shouts of ‘Uno Mas’ from the spectators, but for me it was a strange experience - no elation, no joy oranything like I had experienced before.
Instead, what I felt was a deep latihan, detached from everything. I felt alone, so alone, untouched by everything that was happening around me. If I had tried to explain what had really happened, who would have believed me?
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This happened in my early years of doing latihan. My husband and I were somewhere for a family reunion, staying in a rather small room of a youth
hostel. One day, we had an urgent need to do latihan, but no other space than
our hostel room. And, I think, we had a tight schedule, so we decided to do a
parallel latihan in the room, one in one corner, the other in the other corner.
Because of these slightly unsuitable circumstance for doing latihan we asked to be well protected. The latihan took its course and when we both came out of the closing quiet and started talking again, my husband made some slight comment about my latihan.
The next thing happening was that I saw him flying across the room, hitting the back wall sliding down the wall and radiator, ending up on the floor in a crouched stance, holding his stomach and trying to regain his breath, gasping that he had been punched in the stomach.
Well, since there was no-one else in the room than myself, it was clear to me that an angel had stepped in with a drastic intervention for my protection. Our prayer had been heard - and answered!
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Knew Him Before
Often on our way to Kandy we need to drive round the lake where the Hotel Suisse is located on the hill overlooking the lake. Kandy is the ancient capital of Sri Lanka and the hotel which was built over hundred years ago, still has the old world charm.
If my eyes stray towards the hotel as I drive by, it is not unusual to remember our dear brother Abdullah Pope who is no longer with us. By strange circumstances, Abdullah was born in this very hotel in the nineteen twenties.
I first met Abdullah at the World Congress at Wisma Subud in 1971. With two other helpers i was involved in testing about enterprises at this congress and Abdullah was big on enterprises. We met over the years at Subud gatherings all over the world and had only time for the usual Hello and Hi! In Spokane, I informed him that I was moving back to Sri Lanka, and during the Bali
world congress in 2001 I spotted a notice that Abdullah would be giving a talk
on enterprises that I was moved to attend. After the talk, I walked up to
congratulate him on a very revealing talk, and as we shook hands he asked me if I had a few minutes to spare to talk to him. I said ‘Yes” of course and hung
around till everyone had left and he had put away the PA equipment.
We sat down in a corner and right away he asked me how I was doing in Sri Lanka after my return from the U.S. I replied that it was a little rough, but that since I lived in the suburbs of Kandy I was fairly safe. We were of course referring to the terrorist activities and the war that existed in the north of the Island. I even told him how one Sunday when a truck bomb went off at the Temple of Tooth, I made it to Colombo for latihan against all the odds. As we were talking, I had the distinct feeling that I had met this person a long time ago, even in another lifetime. At this point he told me that he had once
applied for citizenship in Sri Lanka, the country of his birth, (dual
citizenship is possible) but the authorities had turned him down which truly
He then went on to tell me about the extraordinary events that followed at the time of his birth in Kandy, Ceylon (SL); how his mother had fallen very ill at childbirth and hope that she would survive was zero because medical help was minimal. In fact, his mother had what we would now call an extraordinary Near Death Experience, in which she found herself leaving her body and in a very short time arriving at her family home in U.K. Here, as she sort of resigned herself to her fate, a voice had instructed her to return to Ceylon if she wanted the baby to survive. She did this and slowly regained consciousness and after some time her health returned to normal. I listened with absolute fascination as he talked about his mother’s experience, which in reality was a chapter from his own life.
I was to meet Abdullah for the last time in Perth, Australia, where he had settled down, when I visited with the IH group for the Aussie National Congress. He put us up at the hilltop farm and now he had plenty of time to shoot the breeze. One day I had got up early and decided to take a walk at the farm. I ran into Abdullah on a path and as we walked back the same feeling overcame me that I had known this person a long long time ago!
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Unexpected Signs of Connection
Quite a few experiences shared in this newsletter refer to a surprisingly strong connection between Subud members, often at least expected moments. I can confirm this with some examples, although I am rather sure this sort of connection is not only between Subud members, but can exist between any
human beings who somehow ‘know’ one another on a deep level.
Some time ago I was playing with the idea of setting up an international art gallery, having a handful of Subud artists in the back of my mind who might be interested to take part. One of them, whom I had only met briefly a few times but always felt naturally close to, spontaneously contacted me saying she had been thinking of me a lot recently and wondered what I was up to. The last time we spoke was over three years ago. Did she somehow catch my plans?
Or just the other day, when I was dealing with sad emotions and did an extra latihan at home, I felt a deep longing to be surrounded by Subud members from other parts of the world. The experience of being part of a wide international brotherhood can be such a powerful and uplifting feeling. Right
after finishing my prayers, I found a most heartwarming message in my mailbox from a Subud brother on the other side of the globe, whom I had not been in touch with for quite a long time. I immediately felt much better.
A last example and for me very meaningful one, concerned a man who had been very important to me for a certain period but had disappeared out
of my life. I didn’t feel I wanted to see another man for years. When I opened
up to the possibility of finding a new relationship, at some point the sadness
about my lost love returned in full shape, though I thought I had left the
mourning behind long before. I got rather desperate, wishing I could find out if
there still was an opportunity to meet again, but X was living his own life far
away, and I felt all I could do was surrender my emotions. Exactly at that time,
out of the blue, X called me saying he was considering attending a conference in my country the next week and to ask if I wanted to meet. I just couldn’t believe it. It was like he had heard my cry for contact. So we met and had a very good conversation, which helped me to finally let go of him more completely. Even though we continue to live separate lives, it reminded me that we are still connected on another level.
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Sensitivity to Others
Many of us who have been doing the latihan for a long time experience that the latihan makes us inwardly more sensitive towards other people. I know a Subud sister who when she thinks about someone can sometimes feel what state that person is in. It happens to me now and then when I am about to phone someone that I can feel whether this is convenient to this person or not. Sometimes you sit next to someone and you can feel if they are happy or sad. These feelings tend to be very fine and subtle, unlike our emotions.
One morning I was sitting at my computer when I unexpectedly felt this disturbance and I seemed to be getting the message that A. was thinking about me right now and that she was really angry with me. This sister and I get on well and the day before we'd met at a Subud gathering. So I decided to test this out and see if my receiving was right and also to see if we could 'solve the problem' - if there was one. I rang her and asked how she was and what she'd thought of the gathering. After a while, she said to me 'You've really upset me with that joke you made yesterday, I am very angry with you!' I realised that I had been a bit clumsy and apologised, and she realised that it had to do with a particular sensitivity in her. We had a laugh about it and all was well again!
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Living in a third world country had its dangers.
I had been giving English lessons to bank employees after banking hours making it necessary for me to return home after dark. The bank arranged for a taxi to pick me up when class was finished and this plan worked very well until one night the taxi did not arrive
The bank closed and the students left but I still waited just outside the bank, rather far from the curb where the taxi should have been. Nevertheless, after waiting for a bit, I suddenly started walking towards the curb, although there was no taxi in sight.
As I was walking I noticed two men coming towards me from the parking lot but felt no alarm. Just as I reached the curb a taxi swung in front of me. I opened the door, threw my briefcase into the backseat and hopped in closing the door behind me, just as the two men hit the door. The taxi sped away and I realized with surprise that the men had been coming for me.
There were many situations similar to this, but being in Subud made it possible to go out and about without fear. .Praise be to Almighty God.
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