I've had a few 'coincidences' lately. Last week I sent L. an email, telling him that my wife would like to be responsible for a certain job at the next congress. I immediately got an email back from him saying, 'I've been thinking for the last half hour who to ask to do that job and was just about to start ringing people!'
Last night, a brother phoned me and he was talking about how helpful he'd found it to pray and ask the Virgin Mary for help with his marriage problems. Tonight, I've got an email from a brother in a different country telling me of an experience he'd had when after praying to the Virgin Mary the state of his marriage improved.
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When a Subud couple returned from Medjugorje in the early nineties we invited them over and my wife and I were both astonished to see that they had this gentle light shining around them. So pure and beautiful.
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Our marriage was going through a difficult period, and it seemed there was no way out. We were quarreling in our big, isolated garden, shouting at each other as we discussed our relationship, divorce, lawyers and separating, all the while hoping that no-one could overhear us. I felt very bad, and it seemed to me that everything I said was misinterpreted, making the situation even more difficult. I walked behind the house, and said a little prayer; for about 10-15 seconds. I asked for help from Maria, the Mother of Jesus. I asked her, "Please help me, I clearly cannot do this alone. Help us to love each other and stay together." Or something like that. Then I walked towards my wife, and she just said (not shouting this time): "Change your clothes, we must go to latihan". End of quarrel, and it seemed miraculous.
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One night I was lying in bed with my wife, a fervent Catholic in her youth. We were just lying quietly, feeling rather nice after making love, when suddenly in the airspace about three meters above the bed and through the ceiling appeared Mary dressed in blue, open handed in the classic way..
This then faded and Christ appeared about where she had been and within a second his 'heart' began to glow' until the radiance shocked me. I 'returned' to the 'reality' of our room and told my wife, who had not seen them, and we were so full of energy of peace-delight we had to go out for a walk for about an hour to kind of ground ourselves.
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One evening a few years ago I was watching TV with my wife and started to feel the latihan but did not think anything strange as this sort of thing happens to me now and then.
When it was time to switch off and retire, I was still feeling the latihan so I told my better half to go ahead and that I would join her later. It was midnight and still the latihan continued and I waited till 1 a.m., at which point I decided to go to bed. Lying next to my wife, I was wide awake - quietly feeling the latihan. About a hour later I heard a familiar loud voice say, "Finish"
It was the voice of Bapak and how often had I heard the same words after testing. I jumped out of the bed fully expecting to see Bapak, but no Bapak, so I did a latihan and went back to bed and slept like a baby.
At 7.30 in the morning a Subud sister called me on the phone and said, "Ammi (Mother) passed away last night.” After offering our condolences, I asked what time she had passed away; it was about 2 a.m., just a few hours ago.
Her mother, Parami, was one of the first women to be opened in Sri Lanka on 1 January 1958. I had known her all my Subud life and even served as K.C. for Sri Lanka at the same time following my return to Sri Lanka. A week before I had visited her as she had been ill with cancer for a long time. After a long conversation she told me "My children and the doctors want to keep me alive, but its time to go Putha (Son).”
I still have no clear explanation for this extraordinary experience, except to feel the connection more strongly among Subud members.
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When my grandchildren were born, I felt the latihan on each occasion, especially when my granddaughter was born. The ambulance man and I pretty well delivered her between us, as the planned trip to the hospital was halted abruptly when my daughter’s labour suddenly went up several notches in several minutes. I knew exactly which contraction would bring my granddaughter’s head into the world, as I felt a rush of latihan just as the contraction started. How connected we all are!
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If you Google AN EASY WAY TO GOD, you will find yourself
looking at ‘The Subud Story,’ the report of an interview I gave to the Ceylon Observer in 2001. The title did not come from me.
Of all those who responded to this article, three people were rather special and perhaps Dharma, an elderly lady approaching 70 was the most noteworthy for our present purposes. A Christian and a long-time seeker, her journey is a true Subud story. She lived a few hours away from Colombo, and I duly sent her all the applicant information. Eventually she met women helpers at the main Colombo centre, but decided to put off joining Subud as she could not commit herself to attend latihan on Sundays (during the day) as it conflicted with her meditation, nor could she travel on other days when latihans were held in the evening.
More than a year went by until my wife and I were invited to the opening of a Tourist Inn by close friends of ours in Kandy. They had hired a couple who had experience in hotel management, and our friends introduced us to this couple, whereupon an old lady who was close by came up to me and asked me whether I was in Subud. Needless to say, I was surprised and jumped to the wrong conclusions, until she told me who she was and how we had once communicated by mail: yes, it was Dharma.
I believe I spent the rest of the evening talking to her about Subud and told her how I had first received the latihan. Before we left that evening she said she would give up the meditation and come for latihan. She stayed with her son for more than a week and I gave her plenty of Subud books. As she was over 64 she was opened without delay, and a few weeks later she told me how she had regretted not joining Subud earlier. It transpired that two or three weeks before she met us in Kandy, she was working in the kitchen and an unknown urge within her had made this appeal: " Bapak Muhammad Subuh, whoever you are and wherever you are please help me."
A few months after she was opened she was again working in the kitchen, when she turned around and there was Bapak seated in her favorite chair watching her work and smiling. The vision soon dissipated, but she clearly recognized Bapak from a picture she had seen in a Subud book. So, yes, Bapak is closer to us than we think.
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This is a story about when my son was opened in Subud. I knew that he was to be opened on a particular day at about 8.30 pm, and although I would like to have been there - perhaps to do latihan in an adjoining room - it seemed a bit over the top to travel all that way when I knew that the latihan doesn’t require
geographical closeness. Instead, I decided that I would do latihan at home at the same time as his opening, and spent the early part of the evening quietly settled down doing some college homework (I was a mature student at the time).
I was very aware of the time ticking by, and had one eye on the clock. At about 7.30 p.m., an hour before he was due to be opened, while in the middle of an essay, I was unexpectedly “hit” by the latihan, and knew that I had to do it then and there. It was a very powerful experience, very emotional and difficult, and I felt as if I was having all the attachment and maternal feeling for my son wrenched out of me. I was grieving as if I had lost him, while at the same time knowing in my mind that this was part of a spiritual process and that I was not to worry. The latihan continued for some time, and finished abruptly at 8.30pm. I felt completely rung out by the experience, and knew also that I was somehow forbidden to do latihan during his opening. That wasn’t my job! My job was to let him go and get out of the way.
I was living with some other Subud people at the time, and, tears still pouring from my eyes, was able to explain to a Subud sister what I had been through. About 40 minutes later, we decided to do latihan together, and it was utterly joyous, filled with light and gratitude. I realised then that I had been made to let go of my son on a spiritual level, to enable him to be able to come “clean” before God, as his own person.
When my daughter was opened it was completely different. I was there at her opening and felt the angels sing, as they say. I wonder if any other parent has had a similar experience?
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My husband and I had only been opened about 6 months previously, and this particular evening we were unable to get a babysitter, so my husband went to the group, and I stayed at home and did latihan there. I was a little late starting (so I didn’t coincide with the group exactly) and in the middle of my latihan, the face of one of the men members of the group flicked in and out of my vision. I thought that was very strange, as I had no particular contact with this man (and anyway, WHAT was he doing in my latihan?!!). My husband returned home a little later than usual, and I asked him how his evening had gone. He explained that the group had been testing the new chairman in, and lo and behold! It was the brother whose face I had seen in my latihan. This helped me understand as a young Subud member how connected we all are.
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