A Rather Special Opening
During my opening, I cried and smiled, cried and smiled, and ‘saw’ many faces of God: Jesus Christ (very high, almost up to a star, shining bright, full of light), Maria Magdalena (Mariam), Maria, Buddha and Krishna dancing to American Indian sounds. I felt a lot of light and energy in my cupped hands
I made circles - circles in many directions, as if to indicate many things I have to finish and complete - and I healed my stomach and closed the hole inside of me a little more and got a little more purified. The sounds from the others were beautiful. When the laughing came from them, it was like listening to life in a humorous way and, like children, a forgiving way too.
I felt the beginning of life and the ending of life, but without fear. I cried happily and was not afraid. At one point I could not concentrate, whereupon I climbed up into the hands and arms of Christ who healed me, like a small child. All I could say, although only inside, was: ‘Thank you God, thank
you God. Please, let me come to you!’ I almost wanted nothing more than to be whole and healthy again. So that I can heal and help other people.
The name Aisha came several times, like someone calling me! ‘You are Aisha’.
I saw the eyes of God and one eye of Jesus, then a range of mountains.Many, many of God’s children come streaming into my arms. I embraced them all, multitudes of them. I cry and love them.
Budha, Christ, Maria and Krishna are like birds in my hands
I cry and smile and pray; I am happy and not afraid
My stomach is healed very tenderly, albeit with mighty hands.
With a pregnant stomach I kneel on the floor, like a clear-eyed child inside of me: a soul who is also doing God´s work on Earth. My inside is healed
Aisha- Angelita – Angelina: A small child in the eyes of God
Beauty and sadness and forgiveness
Aisha: a glass bowl of crystals - the whole globe shimmering and shining
Many presences around me – white - beautiful Angels.
There is light and energy in my outstretched hands
My heart is healed
Then I heard someone say “Finish” and the opening latihan ended with me still kneeling.
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It was a beautiful experience. I was made to lie down on the floor and felt like I was going to give birth. I had a huge belly and beside me were Christ and the Virgin Mary. I was crying from pain. In my hands which rose towards Heaven there was a huge shining globe, the Earth, but it was split in two parts. I put them together and at that moment the globe transformed itself into a huge white dove - living, palpitating and loving. I could feel its heart with the palm of my hand
I was made to put the dove into my stomach, and then came the child - a living little baby all covered with slime like any newborn child. With joy I said,
"This is my son." But Jesus said: "It's the son of the Universe," and I said to
him "Yes, it is. It really is"
I cried and cried and cried. The baby had a golden colour and black hair and its eyes were wise. He was beautiful. The physical pain subsided and was gone, and I was lying on the floor - so happy yet still crying, seemingly for hours
This was in Denmark before I ever left for Indonesia. Then, in Jakarta, in another latihan, I was the baby coming out from a womb all covered with slime. But this time, struggling and struggling but with joy, it was not so difficult to be free of the slime.
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In January 2002 I had a special latihan, one in which I stood within a circle of fire. I stood in the middle and did not get hurt; instead I calmed the fire - my hands making circles higher and higher until in the end the white birds I had seen in a previous latihan were flying up in the sky.
I mounted the even steps I had also seen in a previous latihan, and found the courage to climb high up in the mountains. Still I was very scared because after the seven steps there was a huge hole, a void, empty and also full of light. Maybe it was the real Self, maybe an abyss . . . I don’t know.
Anyway, with these two small white birds in my hands I passed over the void, which became pure light, and easily climbed another seven steps. I almost ran up them, and there was Christ. I gave him the birds and they became souls and he gave them back to me. They became children and I sat down and settled them on my lap. I was looking for Bapak, he seemed to be there somewhere but I don’t know where.
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An Indian Life
During one latihan I experienced an Indian ceremony in which I was taken back a few hundred years to a plateau somewhere in Canada or North
America. A large white bird was moving in circles above my head, moving ever closer, both protecting me and at the same time telling me something. I saw myself in this familiar snowy landscape as an Indian woman, a healer, moving in the snow with a child on my back. I was trying to help an old man together with another woman, working through the night with leaves and oils and ceremonies. It occurred to me, that this man was my father in that life, a chief, wise and good. I was a chief´s daughter, and at some point in the latihan I was crowned with three big white feathers in my hair, maybe from the big white bird, and I lifted my head proudly.
Many men were interested in me during this Indian lifetime, but I only wanted them as friends - brothers, so to speak. Although I had a high position, I was always dreaming of somewhere else. I would sit in my canoe and look across the river to the white civilization. I fell in love with a beautiful white man, and, although I don´t know all that happened in that life, I know that I got away from my tribe and suffered a lot, because the white man had some kind of high position in the white society, and his family did not accept me.
We had a child, a little girl, and it occurred to me that a lot of Subud people were also part of that drama. It's as if it’s being played out again for all of us, albeit in different dramas, to see if we can learn and grow hearts that are big and wide.
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Years ago, I moved from a large Subud group in a big city, to a small group in a small town in another country. There had been no new arrivals or changes in this group for a long time and I was told -- in a kindly aside -- that the group was used to a quiet latihan. No problem, I assured my informer, I also have a quiet latihan.
Never say this, because, in no time at all, I became the resident gorilla! However, help was at hand and quite soon another member who had been in the group for years, now began to burst into loud out-of-tune operatic warbling, drowning out my grunting. In a place where change had once been unusual, it seemed that we could now expect the unexpected. As it turned out, this was just the beginning.
A hen arrived from America to join us, loudly clucking all through the latihan and then, to top it all off, another member moved from Europe and proceeded, eyes closed, to whirl among us like a dervish stopping only to occasionally barge into a pole! However; by the time I departed years later, this wildness had settled down.
Some years later, I was reminded of all this, when I was told by one of Bapak's family that members from peaceful places can grow stronger in their latihan if they will sometimes do latihan in big cities. Otherwise, it is like hothouse growth.
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The Gremlins Run Riot
Years ago I was witness to the way the forces of this world, both within and outside of us, interact with Bapak's presence when he travelled.
I was given the welcome task of washing some of Bapak's clothes when he was visiting New Zealand. I considered it an honour to do washing for Bapak and approached the task lightly and quietly the way I felt that Bapak would want his clothes handled. For the first few days all went well until, one day, Gremlins got into the chain of command and panic ran through the ladies working in Bapak's house, then through the driver who dropped and collected these precious items and transmitted itself to me, the laundress, at home.
Where once all was calm and smooth, now there was a worry that Bapak's clothes might not dry in time because of the weather. The worry seemed to focus particularly on the pyjamas. Actually, the weather remained the same throughout Bapak's visit, very well behaved, so the panic had no basis in reality, yet it rippled through three people until it got to me and I felt it in
the pit of my stomach like fear. Now it was no longer good enough to trust the
weather. People were convinced that these pyjamas would not dry in time,
made as they were of interlock cotton like T shirt material. I watched the
weather with a suspicious eye and finally gave in. I took them off the line, and into the dryer they went. The seeds of disaster were already sown. After that, I seemed to lose control of the situation: Who put the dryer on to high heat? Who set it for 90 minutes?!!
The Gremlins had complete control now. Bapak's beautiful brand new pyjamas from Japan emerged from the dryer shrunk so much that they would fit a twelve year old! I felt such shame. I put them into the bag and returned them without a word, hoping that my Subud family would not confront me with this sad deed. Not a word came back to me, and the next day it was with
gratitude that I received another bag of washing and a chance to make amends.
While I was ironing Bapak's clothes after careful washing and line drying, guess what? There, in a pair of very new UK flannelette pyjama pants, was a large carefully sewn patch exactly the shape of an iron! Some poor sister had burnt them before Bapak arrived in New Zealand. I thought "Oh Bapak,
everywhere you go, we destroy your clothes." That was in 1978.
The sequel to this tale came four years later when, as I passed through the laundry of a house where Bapak was staying, I encountered a sister in tears and being comforted as she pitifully held aloft a pair of pyjama pants which, she said, had had a leg torn off by the washing machine which had somehow
gone berserk! No insight of mine about the maelstrom of forces surrounding
Bapak's journeys could have comforted her just then, so with resignation I just
went about my business.
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For many years now, one of the things of which I am most aware in my Subud life, are the latihan vibrations which for no apparent reason sometimes shake me so strongly that I wish they would stop.
I once talked about it with Khadarijah Gardiner, who was an International Helper at the time. She said, “When you’ve had enough, just ask them to go away!” I tried it, and to my relief that is exactly what happened.
However, I still wanted to understand what the significance of these vibrations might be to my own inner life or even to events going on in the rest of the world. For instance, these vibrations would often come during the fasting month of Ramadan.
But now I do begin to understand a little more of what is really going on. There was a time a few days ago when the vibrations were very strong and I did not know why – until I looked in my diary and saw that they had begun on the first day of the recent World Congress.
So it seemed that I had an inner connection to the Congress, and also that a strong invisible thread linked me to all the Subud brothers and sisters who were there.
I would love to know if others also felt those vibrations during Congress.
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I used to regularly experience a gentle feeling of blessing which came over me on Friday afternoons. It always came unexpectedly and made me feel peaceful, close to myself and loving myself. I had no explanation for this but wondered, even though I have no Jewish ancestors, if it could be related to the Jewish religion as Jews start the Sabbath on Friday afternoons. At some point it stopped coming. At first I missed it and after some time forgot all about it.
About ten years later I felt unexpectedly moved from within to embrace Islam. Prior to this, for years, I had felt touched whenever I read the name of the Prophet Muhammad, feeling this inexplicable love for him. I officially converted in the mosque on a Thursday and to my surprise the next day
the gentle blessing was back. It kept returning for several weeks on Fridays,
and much more strongly than in the past. Sometimes I felt the latihan for large
parts of the day. I learned that Friday is a holy day in Islam to which the
Prophet Muhammad has attributed many things.
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Years ago I'd moved to a different country. I joined a Subud group which was about an hour's drive from where I lived. The group latihans were Monday and Thursday evenings. Because of work I really struggled with getting to the Monday latihan. After a while I started to say 'Saturday' in my latihan. 'Strange' I thought, 'I wonder if this means anything?' This went on for weeks until one night I spoke to a brother who told me that they had recently started a Saturday evening latihan. Problem solved.
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