Monthly Archives: December 2015

Reaching for Our Higher Selves

Forwarded by Halimah Bellows:

Kol HaNeshamahMessage from Rabbi Zari about anti-Moslem and anti-Immigrant rhetoric

December 13, 2015

Dear Friends,
This past Friday, I joined a group of interfaith clergy and other members of our various faith communities at a rally at the Idris Mosque in Northgate, to stand in solidarity with our Moslem brothers and sisters in light of the hateful and xenophobic rhetoric that we have been hearing from some who have the national spotlight. We also stood with them as some Moslems here and around the country have been targets of hate crimes.

Five clergy spoke, and I was honored to be one of them. My remarks follow. You can find the statement that we read, as well as the other statements at the following site:
There are also photos on Facebook:

In the meantime, please know that I am working with Moslem and other faith and civic leaders to see how we can continue to be of support as we face these difficult times. I will be sharing more information about things that we can do in the coming days and weeks.

Tonight, as we light our last candle, I hope and pray that we will all remember the true meaning of Chanukah: The right for all people to live and celebrate their religious practices in freedom and respect.

L’zedek V’shalom (toward justice and peace),
Rabbi Zari
Reaching for our Higher Selves
Rabbi Zari M. Weiss
Kol HaNeshamah
December 11, 2015

Today, as many of you know, is the fifth day of Hanukkah, a holiday which-more than any other on the Jewish calendar-celebrates religious freedom. Just over two thousand years ago, a man named Antiochus Epiphanes decreed that Jews were prohibited from celebrating and observing their sacred practices. He was not the first tyrant nor the last to argue that religious difference could not be tolerated. We see examples of this kind of tyranny today-not only in countries with repressive regimes elsewhere in the world, but to our shock and dismay, here in this country as well.

We are living through a critical time in history. In many ways, it seems that the world has been knocked off of its axis; every day, we find ourselves reeling from the violence and extremism that is spreading everywhere. At a time such as this, we need good and wise leaders who can guide us as we navigate our way forward.

This week, a verse from a well-known collection of ethical teachings from Jewish Tradition kept going through my mind. In Pirke Avot, Ethics of our Ancestors, it says, “U’vamakom she’ein anashim, hishtadel l’hiot ish.” “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” In the male-dominated world in which Rabbi Hillel lived, he spoke of men, but he wasn’t speaking about gender. He was talking about the importance of being a mensch, an honorable human being. Especially when living in a time or place where people forget or lose their humanity, Hillel seemed to be saying, it is important to remember the values that are most important.

We need leaders who will call us to our higher selves as human beings, not drag us down to the lowest common denominator among us. We need leaders who will stand for the importance of respecting the human dignity of every person – no matter their religious or cultural background. We need leaders who will not sow suspicion or mistrust of those who are fleeing their own homelands in search of greater safety and security for themselves and their families, just like many of our own ancestors did, enabling us to live in freedom in this country.

But we don’t need these things just from our leaders; we need them from ourselves, as well. It is also our responsibility to strive to be honorable human beings-in our treatment of others, particularly the most vulnerable in this world. It is our responsibility to respect the dignity of every person, and here, in our own country, to celebrate, not denigrate the diversity of religious and cultural backgrounds of all who make up the multi-ethnic fabric of the United States. It is our responsibility to act not out of fear and suspicion, but rather, compassion and good-will toward those who, through no doing of their own, were born in places where they had little chance to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. “Al Tadin et chavercha ad sheh’ta’gia l’mokomo,” said Rabbi Hillel: “Judge not another person until you have come into his place.” Indeed, having compassion for others rather than hard-heartedness is a manifestation of our higher selves.

Rabbi Hillel offered many wise teachings that still provide guidance for us today, thousands of years after he lived. “Im ein ani li. U’chshani la’atzmi, mah ani. V’im lo achshav, Eymatai.” “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, then when?” Yes, the times that we live in necessitate that we care for our own safety and security. But living with that kind of self-centered focus is not enough; we are responsible to and for the well-being of others, as well. And at this historic moment, when we are witnessing a modern Exodus toward greater freedom of millions of people throughout the world, the time to act with compassion and good-will is now. In a world in which some have forgotten what it means to be human, let us remember our humanity.

Kol HaNeshamah

Interview with Salamah Lorraine Arden

Salamah Lorraine Arden on Sept 6, 2015 at the Subud National Gathering in Redwood City, CA

Salamah Lorraine Arden on Sept 6, 2015 at the Subud National Gathering in Redwood City, CA

On September 6, 2015, at the National Gathering in Redwood City, California, your humble narrator caught up with longtime Subud member Salamah Lorraine Arden to discuss her incredible life, her art and her life in Subud.

Field And Stream Cover 1929The first segment started with Salamah discussing an experience from 4th grade, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that helped instill in her the notion that she had “unusual artistic talent.” The project was a recreation of a magazine cover, Field and Stream, of a hunting dog moving through tall grass. She also discussed other early art education experiences in Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Iowa after moving back there.

Part 1: 5:31

In part two she discussed her first sculpture class in which the instructor said: “You have the most three-dimensional mind of anyone who has been a student of mine.” She talked about hanging out with Black people in college and being asked what Black sorority to which she belonged and how she would do modern dance to poetry. She also discussed the negative review she got in the New York Times where her work was described as “too emotional” but the reviewer also assumed she was a man.

Part Two – 5:28

In the third segment she discussed meeting her long-time husband, Harvey, the instant recognition of him AS her future husband, moving from Chicago to New York, so Harvey could become a “famous writer.” She talked about being mentored by William and Marguerite Zorach and being nominated for the Rosenthal Award.

Part Three – 5:40

In the fourth segment, she discussed finding out about Subud and being opened in New York. She had heard about Subud through Bob (Hamilton) Camp and through their connections with the NYC Gurdjieff and Ouspensky group. She talked about the application process and how she and Harvey were opened at the Briarcliff event which Bapak attended. (The 4th North American Congress, July 9-25, 1963.) She talked about her receivings after being opened, that she needed to give up drugs, that she had to quit painting for a period of time to focus on “becoming a human being” and after ten years receiving that she could “go back to being an artist again.” The caveat was that she should stop painting and become a sculptor. She talked about how she was looking for something like Subud before she knew it existed and that her Grandfather and three of her uncles were Methodist ministers, so she was looking for a “direct relationship with God.”

Part Four – 8:18

In the fifth segment she discussed her painting hiatus and her receiving that she needed to have two more children. She received she needed to take lessons for bronze casting and stone carving, among other things. One receiving was, in her words, a “fast-forward movie how the rest of my life should ideally be.” She experienced it with long-time friend Lusana Blond. She discussed Julia Schusterman’s “sewing circle” and called it “the greatest thing to have for new members.” Part Five – 7:20

In the sixth part she continued the discussion of her receiving (the fast-forward movie), including parts that did not manifest, like teaching at a Subud school in Tucson and some that did, including a series of sculptures of holy women and men. Women like Fatima and Mother Mary, Ibu Samari and Ibu Rahayu among others.   Part Six – 7:50

In Part Seven she discussed recent exhibitions of her work as well as prophecies she received about upcoming periods in the world, including a Rainfall period, in which there would be purification of the world, a Fire period (in which we are, currently), Hands and Roses falling from heaven and a Golden Dust period.         Part Seven – 6:27

In the eighth segment she talked about the series of sculptures of Holy Men, of which she has done one, Bapak. She discussed a Bapak talk on Holy Men in which his appearance changed each time he spoke of a different holy man. She responded to a question about the impeccable nature of her receiving ability, even before Subud, by suggesting Subud Sisters like Lusijah Marx have a similar receiving capability. She then talked about her Latihan in South Carolina, in which she crawled on the floor and received the percentage of surrender by each participant and about books different people should write. She also discussed a Bapak talk in which he discussed how certain Subud members who have ancestors who “earned their descendants a place in Subud.” She discussed a collection of letters from her Swedish ancestors. Part Eight – 12:44




SGS Financial Report/Rehab Needs

The latest Dewan Meeting Minutes are posted here:

From Sherwin O’Bar:

November 2015 SGS Financial Report

November 2015 year to date financial report:  Revenue (member donations +rentals) is $73,834.  Expenses are $67,692, resulting in a net income of $6,142.  AirB&B rentals are going down for the winter season.  Member donations through November are $14,081 and it is very unlikely we will reach the 2015 member donation budget of $20,000.

As in 2014, the committee approved a one-time year-end 2015 donation to SPNW of $1,200.

Also, see Marston Gregory’s report of house maintenance needs here.

October 4, 2015 Minutes Subud Bellingham/Skagit Valley

From Serena DuBois:

October 4, 2015 Minutes for Subud PNW at Bellingham / Skagit Valley

Present: Paul and Nadia Woodcock, Rosalyn Neel, Roosmiwati Reynolds, Helaine and Rainer Burrows, Robina Page, Serena and Michael DuBois, and Julia Hurd

Meeting called to order by chair Michael DuBois with a few minutes of quiet.

Minutes of the March meeting were read and approved by the members. Nadia brought up the question of a board meeting at our Subud house, and Michael will take it to the next phone meeting. He stated he had brought it up before. Minutes are approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report: Paul passed out an Income/Expense year-to-date sheet. Every year we end up hundreds of dollars less than the year before. Bird walk brought in $890, which included some donations. Paul stated that he paid for Susila Dharma and Subud Pacific Northwest to the end of the year .

Michael’s Report:  Family Camp had a net loss of  $1000, most likely because National Gathering was held the same weekend.  The region has reserved the Labor Day weekend at Camp Indianola for next year. Michael has conveyed our invitation to the region that we would host a board meeting but no answer has come back.

Helpers Report: Roosmiwati spoke with Luciana and she is doing well. Rosalyn is leaving October 5 for another house sitting job and will be back the following Tuesday. Nadia reminded us of Rasjad Lints’ blog. Group would like to send a “Thinking of you with our prayers” card to the Lintses.  Rosalyn is currently the only active women’s helper.

Old Business: House Maintenance: Lawn has been mowed. Michael unplugged the sink. Paul: we need a diagnosis and repair of the house. Rosalyn spoke with Marston who said money from the Mohammed Subuh foundation didn’t need to be for Eco grants. Robina said we needed to be lockstep with the region who wasn’t clear about it either. We need to get estimates and a good evaluation to give to the Region.  Discussion ensued as to what to do next, with Robina, Michael and Paul saying they would work on finding someone to look at the house and give us an estimate.  Rosalyn suggested Marius Harold in Portland who is in the trade, and said she would call him. Serena suggested another meeting before the end of the year to carry on with all this.

New Business: Bird Walk. Tentatively decided on Feb. 20th. Rates will stay the same. If someone comes up with a van they can come in free. More to follow later.

Robina suggested doing tour cars for Tulip Festival. Will add to next meeting’s agenda as new business.

Set next Kedjiwaan day for the November 1st here at the Subud House and the next general meeting for December 6, 2015.

Meeting dissolved before Michael could adjourn it.

December 6, 2015 MEETING AGENDA: Bellingham-SV Group

Approve October Meeting minutes (see above)

Treasurers report Paul,


    Regional and other news [Michael and whoever??]
Julia — Personal

Helpers report

Old Business

House maintenance, specifically gutters and drain pipe 

New Business

2016 Birdwalk

Anything else??

    Set date for next event