Monthly Archives: May 2015

Month of Ancestors

Subud Voice June 2015From Subud Voice. Download the latest edition here.Repairing


International helper, Isti Jenkins, sent us this information about the Month of the Ancestors…

For those members who practise the Ramadan Fast, the month preceding the fast has special significance; it is the Month of the Ancestors. This month is the time when all the ancestral stuff comes to the surface and can be a special time for work on this level. Ancestors! Like it or not, we all have them. Some of your ancestors may have led good lives, and some not so good. Unless you are on a very lucky break, it is likely that you have some real work ahead of you to repair the mistakes of your ancestors. Your inherited baggage, going back many generations, is a heavy burden on all of you. “…If there has been some impurity in an ancestor, it will be carried on and will even increase. If your grandfather had some fault, it will be handed on to his son, your father, and the existing fault will become greater… So a fault grows even bigger and is multiplied. The fault that comes down to you is doubled – these faults may have descended through many generations.” “Not only your own mistakes, but also those of your ancestors can be repaired with God’s help. It is difficult to say how long it will take – this purification can be a long and difficult process. But with the latihan it is possible to repair your ancestral damage, even if it has accumulated over 1000 years. “That is why, when you do your latihan, you must pray to God, ask God to give you a latihan which will purify your sins, purify the traces of the mistakes that have been handed down to you from your ancestors. It is much easier if you have a couple of generations in your family doing the latihan and working at your ancestral inheritance, because it spreads the load. “You are part of a chain connecting back to your ancestors and forward to your children and their children and so on. You are affected by your ancestors and can rectify the mistakes by living a good life, doing your latihan with diligence and receiving the help of God. In the same way you and your ancestors can be helped by your children, if they lead good lives. Hence the latihan you do does not affect you alone, it affects the parents who gave birth to you and also the children born of your marriage. “As a bonus from this whole ancestral process, if you can really understand your parents and grandparents while they are still alive, while you still have a chance to talk with them, then you will come a long way to being able to understand and love yourself.” How to improve your life Prihatin/fasting can be a great way to go! Prihatin is an Indonesian word meaning to restrain yourself from enjoyment of pleasures. A reduction in eating and sleeping, marital relations (sex) and all kinds of pleasure is very necessary, for it is in fact a way to make it possible to obtain an improvement in your fortune in life. Everyone wishes for a life of ease and abundance, but if you will not follow the path of prihatin, such a wish will remain no more than a hope.


By the editor of Subud Voice, Harris Smart…

I’m writing this on Saturday night, May 16. The last few days, I’ve been feeling a bit strange. So what else is new?, you ask. Well, I’ve been feeling stranger than usual. Up one day, full of energy; down the next day, barely able to drag my carcase around. I believe that tomorrow night will be the beginning of the Month of the Ancestors, and I associate these mood swings and disturbances with that event. I am grateful to the international helper, Isti Jenkins, for providing us with that document about the meaning of the Month of the Ancestors. But I would like to add something about what is my 12 JUNE 2015 ” Repairing the mistakes of your ancestors… > “ • 13 JUNE 2015 actual experience during this month. And I know that, at least in some respects, it is what is quite often experienced by other Subud members. The simplest way to describe the Month of the Ancestors is that it is the month when things commonly go wrong. That is how I recognize it. That is how I identify it. I know that other Subud members have a similar experience. It is a month when it is very difficult to accomplish anything. Is a month in which things will not come together. It is a month in which you get sudden unexpected shocks. When your world, which seemed so secure, suddenly opens up and falls apart. If we put it in traditional religious terms, for me it is like the month of being shriven, that is, an intense episode of purification. I must say that it is not as bad now as it used to be. Perhaps this means that some of my more gross faults have been purified or reduced so that now I don’t suffer as much turbulence as I used to. Actually, that is a good metaphor for the Month of the Ancestors. It is like you are flying along in the a plane and it is a fairly smooth ride and suddenly the pilot tells you to, “Please fasten your seatbelts, we have some turbulence coming up, it could get a bit bumpy.” A Call to Live More Inwardly My experience of the month is a call to live more inwardly. And it’s not something I have a choice about. I don’t decide, I’m going to live more inwardly this month, it just starts to happen to me, and whether I like it or not I have to go along with it. There would be no point trying to fight it. At first, I resist, I want to go on with my life as it is, strongly involved in colorful worldly activities, but inexorably, these things are taken away from me. My energy is reduced and I have no choice but to focus more quietly on my inner life, such as it is. I can’t deny it. I have to give in to it. I have to “surrender” to it. I think it is a month for lying low and letting the storm blow over you. A month of battening the hatches. You can’t fight this month. You have to learn to get along with it. Befriend it if possible. Best of all, fall in love with it. I know it is commonly said that Ramadan is not a good time to initiate things, and I suspect that the same might apply to the Month of the Ancestors at least to some extent. It is a month for withdrawing from the world rather than engaging with it. Of course I am generalizing very much here, mostly just talking about my own experience, or things that have been echoed in the experience of other people I’ve talked to. Giving Two Months to God But maybe not everyone is affected by the month of the ancestors. Most of the humanity around me seems to go on quite oblivious to it. Is it only we, who for some reason or another have chosen to engage in this spiritual process, who become subject to these particular spiritual rhythms? The way I see it is that maybe in these two months, God encourages us to withdraw a little from the outer world, to give perhaps two months of the year to our inner life, and for the rest of the year we can go for it in our worldly life. It is a time of sobriety rather than exhilaration, of getting back to basics rather than exuberance, of consolidation rather than expansion. My energy is low and has to be carefully marshaled to accomplish those bare essentials which have to be done, rather than striking out into bold new directions and splendid vistas. I know that for me the Month of the Ancestors is often a time of shocks and humiliations. Very often I am so battered and bruised by the end of the month that I barely have the energy to crawl into Ramadan. In this way the Month of the Ancestors is a preparation, a “softening up” for Ramadan. I am so beaten up by end of the month that I just have no choice about doing Ramadan. I have to do it. > A time for getting back to basics… “ ” Please forgive me for anything I’ve said out of place here. This is just my experience. Please don’t take it as a prescription for what might happen to you during the Month of the Ancestors. You might have a completely different experience. Blessings to you all for the rest of the Month of the Ancestors and for the Month of Ramadan for those of you who fast.

Subud House Fragrance Free

Dear Subud Members,

Several women are experiencing difficulty breathing in the Women’s Latihan Hall (the Chapel) due to chemical sensitivity. See the letter below. It would be wise to reconsider all use of chemical perfumes and colognes when visiting the Subud House.

Ladies, there was an incident last Sunday where one of our members was impacted by another members fragrance,  she had a hard time breathing and had to leave early even though she opened several windows
And the fans were turned on.  After latihan she explained how she is very allergic to scents.
I don’t know if I need “permission” to do so but I intend to bring signage next Sunday to post which will say something like:  women’s latihan hall is a fragrance free zone as it has come to our attention several of our members
Have allergies to certain scents.
Thank you for your understanding.
Women helpers
Ok with everyone?
* * *
WebMDFrom WebMD:

Fragrances and Our World continued…

“From hair shampoos to carpet shampoos, from laundry detergent to shower gels, from home sprays to hair sprays to moisturizers, cosmetic, and personal care items, the scent industry has literally exploded. And for many people, it’s a real sensory overload,” says Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH, an olfactory researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

We do have some control over what we allow into our homes and other personal spaces — we can toss that magazine with the inserts or switch shampoo — but it can really become an issue when our senses are assaulted in common areas, such as the workplace or a college classroom, places where we have to be.

“Being forced to breathe in others’ fragrance choices is a lot like being forced to breathe in secondhand smoke,” Dalton tells WebMD. “It’s a loss of control over your personal environment, and for some it can have serious personal health consequences.”

And that is precisely the logic behind several recent legal actions aimed at cleaning up our personal air space.

  • In July 2007, a government worker from Detroit sued her employers under the Americans With Disabilities Act for what her lawsuit claims is “fragrance toxicity” in the workplace. Her claim: Exposures to fragrances also means increased exposure to chemical neurotoxins that adversely impact brain function. The suit is pending.
  • In the fall of 2007, a group of students from California State University, Stanislaus, became so concerned about these same chemical exposures they asked campus officials to institute a fragrance-free policy. Their request cited headaches, nausea, and inability to concentrate, all caused by overpowering fragrance use among some students and faculty. The students are waiting for the administration’s decision.
  • Workers in the Portland, Ore., Bureau of Emergency Communications were recently banned from wearing fragrances under what has become one of the nation’s first government workplace “fragrance-free” policies. Portland State University followed suit, and now similar programs are in place at Cecil College in Maryland.

New Subud USA Newsletter

Subud USA Newsletter CoverAs Communications Coordinator of Subud USA, your humble narrator had a modest role in gathering information for Subud members in the U.S. Most of that information ended up in the current Subud USA Newsletter. (See below). The most exciting part for me was the publication of the first half of an interview with long-time Subud members Frederick and Melanie Branchflower of the Olympic Neighborhood group. I will post the text and audio on this blog in the coming weeks. My gratitude to the Branchflowers for their hospitality, to Elisha Gullixson, Hadiyah Carlyle and Bhakti Watts for their contributions to the transcription effort and to Mary Wold, who did a remarkable job in putting the newsletter together. Thanks all! Paul Nelson

Welcome to the new Subud USA newsletter. ​First off, thanks to everyone who contributed to its content, your patience in its birthing process and our regrets for any unintended exclusions of material we have received in these past months since Julia Hurd stepped aside as Editor. 

Download Subud USA Newsletter

We are transitioning to a new approach in compiling  our newsletter. The new version will be a selection of news items taken from blog postings on the Subud USA National website. It will be mailed electronically on a quarterly basis to members with email addresses and distributed in print form to active members without them. Contact the Subud USA Communications Coordinator, Paul Nelson at: to offer newsworthy morsels.

Share the Wealth!

Please consider sharing a printed copy of Subud USA News with your members.

Subud USA Newsletter Contents

More Ramadan Info

From Isman Kanafsky:June 2015 Moon Phases

For those observing the fast of Ramadan

Explanations of the Ramadan Calendar
Compiled from explanations given by Bapak, by Mas Sudarto and by Mas Prio

Eve of Ramadan:  The way to observe Ramadan is to take a full bath, including hair washing, and also cutting the hair and the nails, the evening before the fast.  Then, after you are clean, to state your wish to observe Ramadan as a sincere expression of your worship of Almighty God.  Then stay up at night, preferably spending the night together with other Subud brothers and sisters, in the home of a member who is also observing Ramadan.

Around three o’clock in the morning, you should take breakfast and you should brush your teeth no later than 4:30 in the morning, and after this, no more smoking, not even gargling till 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM – along about sunset.  (The local mosque can clarify as to the hour for breaking the fast.)

To break the fast, start slowly by drinking warm tea and a light snack; you can eat your dinner about half an hour or an hour later.  Bapak also recommends no sexual union during the whole month of Ramadan.  It is also beneficial to sleep as little as possible during Ramadan, not only on Nights of Power.

During the month of Ramadan: it is not permitted to have sexual intercourse, and our fasting must also include abstention from the following:
a)  We must not use our ears to listen to gossip, quarrels or bad words.
b)  We must not use our mouth to say anything wrong or unkind.
c)  We must not use the emotions to reach the emotions or passions of others.
d)  We must not use our eyes in a way that is not good or nice.
e)  We must not use the heart and mind to imagine or think about unhappy things, fantasies or unrealities.
f)  We must not eat or drink or smoke anything between dawn and sunset each day.

During the month of Ramadan, we have to fast thirty days, and during the thirty days of fasting we go through three important periods:

The first ten days (ending evening of 9th day  Ramadan):
This is a period of putting the passion in an inactive state.  During this period we are made aware that our passions become weaker and weaker day by day, and on the 9th day of fasting, it is felt that our passion is completely inactive.

The second ten days (ending evening of 19th day Ramadan):
This is a period of becoming aware that in general our attitude and actions are guided by our inner-self and the guidance day by day becomes stronger and stronger and on the 19th day of fasting our actions are as if in a complete latihan state, but in harmony with our daily activities.

The last ten days (ending evening of 30th  day of  Ramadan):
This is a period of receiving the lailatu ‘lkadar (the Nights of Power), and this is sent by God on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th days of fasting.  This lailatu ‘lkadar is not something that falls from above, but it forms a certain power which can change our state.
Most of the Subud members who fasted felt, after completing the fasting, that there were changes to their inner.  Mostly, their spirit to worship became stronger and stronger and also the intention of doing ‘prihatin’ became stronger and stronger.

LAILATUL-QADR (The evening preceding 27th day Ramadan):  Although it is generally accepted in the Moslem community that the last ten days of Ramadan are days of receiving, this particular evening is celebrated with special prayer, in the Moslem community, because it is thought that this is the day upon which the Messenger Muhammad received the verses of the Qu’ran.

TAK-BARAN: (30th day Ramadan):  The last day of fasting.  Sundown marks the end of the month.

The Night of Forgiveness.  At the end of Ramadan, we again take a full bath and put on new clothes, and then we should go to our family and our friends and ask forgiveness for whatever sin we have done.  This is a time of special celebration and thanks to Almighty God.



Posted by: “Mhd. Isman Kanafsky”

Ramadan 2015 by Isman

From Muhammad Isman Kanafsky, originally posted on Facebook:


Muhammad Isman Kanafsky

Muhammad Isman Kanafsky

We are now in the month of the ancestors. Bapak said that in this month God allows those of our ancestors, who are spiritually developed, to visit us in this world,

I will start my Ramadan fast on the evening of Wednesday June 17th and fast for 30 days through July 17th. Idul Fitr begins on July 18th. That is the time that I ask forgiveness to all those that I have offended during the past year. That is also the time that I give help to the poor and needy.

The way I do the fast is to wake up at 3:00 a.m. and prepare a meal similar to breakfast. After that I make my intention to start my fast which usually begins at dawn or 4:30 a.m.. Then I make my intention to recite the dawn prayer and then recite it. At that time I do not eat or drink anything until sundown that day, or approximately 6:30 p.m. that evening, when I break my fast. I do that for 30 days.

In my understanding, the purpose of the fast is to be close to God. To experience living in a state that is close to the power of God and free from self interest. Of course I can only do this as far as I am capable. But each year I do the fast, I notice that my capacity to experience that becomes greater. After fasting for 20 days, the Nights of Power begin. On the 21st night through the 30th night. That is the time when, if I have fasted correctly, I can receive a gift or blessing from Almighty God. Of course, there is no guarantee that I will receive anything, but according to the Koran, that is the time to receive a gift from God.

May the One Almighty God bless all those who do the fast this year, in this life and in the life in the hereafter. Amin!

Halimah Bellows Book

Subud Sister Halimah Bellows has a new book!

For more than 20 years, Halimah has been helping her clients champion their careers and find their ideal jobs. She has a special gift for gently but relentlessly sifting through the mist and fog of clients’ experiences and impressions and bringing the clarity in their insights to light. She is a seasoned workshop presenter and group facilitator and has led many seminars and retreats for a variety of educational institutions, religious groups, non-profit organizations and corporations.

Halimah Bellows Book

E book available for Kindle, I books, Barnes & Noble & Kobe.
Champion your Career – Winning in the World of Work – a self coaching guide of self assessment tools and career advice to guide you on the path to finding fulfilling work.With empathy & enthusiasm the book encourages readers to delve deeply and honestly into their experiences to determine an appropriate career path. The wide range of self assessment tools enable individuals to explore their personal passions and values and recognize the strengths and skills they can bring to the work place.The book also offers sound strategies for decision making, goal setting and networking in order to move forward on their chosen career. Special advice is provided for college students, retirees and those changing careers in mid life. The book also offers time tested and up to ten minute suggestions for identifying and researching potential employers and job seeking skills advice including internet based tools.