Download and print out this digest  for members of your group who do not have access to a computer.



Bringing in the Harvest: Melbourne artist Arifa Asariah writes about a lifetime of struggle and dedication to her art which has resulted in a big exhibition in Melbourne…Letter from California: Harris recalls Subud in the free-wheeling days of California in the 60s…Miracle of the Ants: experiences from Imron Comey…Puebla Report: the latest on World Congress preparations…Ilaina Lennard records what has happened to well-known Subud members…Halima Polk writes about the latihan…Melinda Wallis on her life in Subud…The Motto Business: rise and fall of an enterprise…Teaching at the Jakarta Subud School...A collection of experiences from Emmanuel ElliottBapak’s mission…and new items in the Editor’s Blog



EDITORIAL…from Marcus Bolt


LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA…from long ago and far away

THE MIRACLE OF THE ANTS… an experience from Imron Comey

PUEBLA REPORT…Latest on World Congress


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…? (Part 2) … Ilaina Lennard writes



MY LIFE (IS) IN SUBUD…Melinda Wallis

THE MOTTO BUSINESS…rise and fall of an enterprise


FINDING THEIR WAY BACK TO GOD…Compiled by Emmanuel Elliott




EDITORIAL…from Marcus Bolt

We start with an introductory article from Harris Smart about Arifa Asariah’s exhibition followed by her very open and honest ‘life story’ … (there’s a video to watch as well).  

Then, there’s a letter from California, a ‘miracle story’ from Imrom Comey, a report from Puebla about where you’ll be staying, eating and latihanning at the World Congress (Mexico 2014); some interesting items from SWN; Ilaina’s ‘Whatever happened to…?’ article (Part 2);

An article by Halima Polk with some  very good comments and observations on the experience of ‘doing the latihan’ – mainly for new members, but very useful for us all…; there follows another very open and honest life story from Melinda Wallis;

An article about teaching literature at Sekolah Cita Buana (SCB), the Subud School in South Jakarta school from Dachlan Cartwright; a collection of Subud experiences from Emmanuel Elliott; a cautionary enterprise tale from Harris and an article on Bapak’s 1976 talk about ‘his mission’ –  plus a really intriguing ‘favourite Photo’ and the usual collection of ads and notices.

We have the ‘Digest’ of this issue posted for those who can use it to print out for members without access to the internet…

We hope you enjoy the issue.


Harris Smart writes by way of introduction to this article by Arifa Asariah…

I have a recollection that a Subud member once told me that he had had a dream or vision in which he was told that “he would live to see the harvest”.

By this I understood that what was meant was that he would live to see the harvest of Subud. We all know we have been through many trials, tribulations and disappointments, but it was said “we would live to see the harvest”.

So I look for signs. Are there any signs of this reaping of the harvest? In individual lives or in Subud as a whole? Yes, I see many, and one such is in the life of my dear friend, the artist, Arifa Asariah.

Arifa has had a very hard life marked by much grief, and recently by life-threatening illness. She tells it all in her story here, entirely without self-pity. But throughout it all she has stayed true to her mission as an artist. She has been not only a painter, but also a sculptor, a maker of furniture, a poet, a performer and a writer of books.

EXTRACT…In the last year I have seen her bringing in the harvest of all her sufering and her effort. Last year she published two books: A Life Worth Living and Eve & Lucifer which can both be purchased as books or e-books at

One day I got a couple of canvases and felt to paint “A Heart As Wide As An Ocean”… from something Bapak used to say… and from my inner experience of having been through so much heartache that I’d finally had to expand beyond the extent of the wounds… with the understanding that ‘A heart as wide as the ocean’ meant that the wounds became as small droplets within that vastness.

From then on the dam burst and paintings flew out of me like the cascading of a waterfall… and they were so new… and so unexpected… and surprising. I had always worked with form. Now I was working in abstract. It was as if an unseen being was painting and I was merely witnessing the painting appearing as I ‘watched’ on, my hands having a mind of their own.

This went on for a while…. And it was landscapes… marked with lines… the wonders of the world… that appeared. Landscapes; like the mix between an inner and outer reality. After a while the works shifted and became more whimsical… with gardens of lightness and beauty; populated with small creatures and birds. I was loving painting. I was happy exploring this world. I was Eve in my own paradise. I was healing.

LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA…from long ago and far away

Harris writes…

In her article, Arifa Asariah mentions that she found out about Subud from a letter I wrote to my ex-wife who was living in London at the time, and it influenced her to join .(God alone knows why!)

My wife (my Australian wife) and I had been living in California and then we decided to separate. She moved to London, stopping off briefly in New York to join Andy Warhol’s entourage. (She was an extremely adventurous, attractive and popular young woman, easily able to fit into any social scene.)

During the separation we exchanged many letters and she, very kindly, kept all of mine to her, and one day presented them all to me in a folder. What a treasure.

Included amongst them is the letter which had such an influence on Arifa.

EXTRACT…One night I was lying in bed in the cottage surrounded by cats when an inner voice said: “Get up and walk.” I ignored it, but it kept on. “Get up and walk.” Finally, feeling ridiculous, I got up, cats grumbling at having their slumbers distrubed, and put on my clothes and walked out of the house. Where was I supposed to walk to? But it seemed that my feet were guided. I walked down the drive and came to the street. Which way should I turn? My feet turned to the left.

I walked down the street until I came to a crossroad. Left or right? My feet took me to the right. I walked for a mile or two in this fashion. Every time I had to make a decision about which way to go, it seemed as if my feet were guided.

I was moving through a part of town now where I’d never been before. I wondered where it was all going to end. Would there be a an end to it, or would I walk on forever like this?

I was walking down a street and I looked across and saw a Catholic church and I knew this was what I was supposed to see. I walked across, but the church was locked up and in darkness and I walked home.

I came back the next day and sat in the church. All the bitterness and anger I felt about the church dissolved away. I didn’t want to go back to it, but I didn’t hate it anymore.

I was free and at peace.

THE MIRACLE OF THE ANTS… an experience from Imron Comey

A previous article by Imron Comey extracted from his book, 2012: The Generosity Factor, aroused quite a lot of interest. That article dealt with a visionary experience that Imron had in Kalimantan and its possible import for the future.

The present article is about an experience that Imron had at a Subud gathering in 1987 in Sydney. Perhaps some readers will identify with what is said to the extent that it may remind them of similar occurrences at gatherings they have attended.

This article is the first in a series of three. In the further articles to be published in April and May, Imron goes on to describe unusual experiences of heightened awareness that happened to him after the gathering.

The intriguing title, The Miracle of the Ants (sounds rather like a Sufi story doesn’t it), refers to a small but meaningful incident after the gathering concluded. Things don’t get much smaller, or yet more meaningful, than ants.

PUEBLA REPORTSubud World Congress 2014

Report from Maya Korzybska, WSA Executive Vice-Chair, on her working trip to Puebla (January 5th to 24th 2012 ) for Subud World Congress 2014 

In a country where towns can be called Ixcaquixtla or Ahuazotepec, we decided that we wouldn’t allow for simple pronunciation and so the World Congress Organizing Team, is called WCOT instead of simply COT.

The team is steadily growing.  Fernando Fatah and Arif Rivero remain the Chair and the Vice Chair of the team, Stella Jassan continues being the finance/bookkeeper for the local side of the finance. Marston Gregory has agreed to take on the administrative/treasurer role in the United States as the registrations to World Congress will be carried out in the US. Lucida Garneau from Canada joins the team to handle the setting up and management of the on-line registrations with Reg Online.

Rasjidah Flores joins the team as the responsible coordinator for making our congress as green and with as much social awareness as possible by using local and fair trading for many suppliers as well as energy saving techniques. She does this both as a personal involvement and also as a representative of SDIA.

Marston came to Mexico for one week whilst I was there and with him we visited all the sites and brainstormed ideas, he has a history of experience with various World Congresses. Lucida Graneau is gaining experience working with RegOnline because currently handling the registrations for the America’s Gathering using this provider…this is a good opportunity to be able to iron out any difficulties, even if the World Congress will have its own challenges.

We have begun working on the budget and have met with many suppliers, as well as official bodies who are all extremely excited with our projection to bring the Subud World Congress to Puebla and we are looking to having a number of financial breaks related to Tax status and government support, which we hope will largely help our budget as well as help individual members for their onsite costs.

We are getting quotes for all our infrastructure needs, from lighting and sound, to bleachers, stages, A/V equipment, simultaneous translation equipment etc….and we aim to present an advanced budget to the World Subud Council in Vancouver in June, to then determine the registration fee structure and be able to put the registration on line in January 2013.



We are all looking forward to welcome you to our next Subud World Congress here in Puebla, Mexico, in 2014. We are already enthusiastic and busy with the preparations.

It’s time to choose the LOGO that will frame this great event. The Congress logo will be the iconic symbol for the Subud World Congress 2014 and will be used in all Congress advertising, website, letterheads, posters, souvenirs, t-shirts, etc. We know that we have many creative Subud brothers and sisters, full of good ideas. So we are sure that one of you will design the perfect logo for our next Subud World Congress!


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…? (Part 2) … Ilaina Lennard writes…

Ilaina writes about what is happening with some well-known Subud members including Seth Aronie, Rachman Mitchell, Raymond Lee, Hasijah Rosefield, Ed and Alfathah Kerner and Peter Filipelli…

EXTRACT…Emmanuel Aronie, who first brought Subud to the Ukraine, writes:

I am currently looking out of a window on a cloudy day in Kharkov, Ukraine…visiting some Subud folks ….and kind of resting, after about 14 days of visiting here, much of it quite busy….

I have a nice little travel story here, some of it Subud, some of it shooting a music video in Kharkov (I was only helping on the edges, Zhenya Zhebko being the motor force for the crew and cast of about 7-8 people, depending on when in the evening you happened to show up). There was also a very rare drinking adventure that took place in Cherkassy some 12 days ago on the erstwhile eve of the New Year…


EXTRACT…I have to begin, of course, with about a thousand disclaimers. The idea for writing this came – as many of my most brilliant ideas come – while putting on my make-up one morning. I have no illusions that I know best how to do latihan. It has been a continuing learning process and all the ideas I want to share I picked up during my Subud lifetime from older more experienced helpers and members. I lived in Cilandak for three years and it was a time when Bapak was especially energetic with scheduled talks once a month.

I also visited several times before and after Bapak’s death and on all these occasions have been given little stories that seemed to have helped my latihan. I was also lucky enough to travel with Bapak on several occasions in the role of spiritual junky and groupie and just hung out a lot with more experienced Subud members listening to their stories.

Also I think it might be beneficial to talk about the latihan in the way people talked to me about it when I was young in Subud. I notice that there’s not much opportunity for ‘latihan’ talk now; many of us older members avoid talking ‘spiritual talk’ because we are desperately trying to integrate the latihan into our outer lives and because it seemed for a while that’s all we were doing – just talking and not taking the kind of action that Bapak was urging us to do.


This month’s favourite photo shows a cat jumping accompanied by a mini essay on the nature of photography.

EXTRACT…I saw a cat on a Labassa window-sill about to jump. I was carrying a camera. I snapped. I snapped a 2nd time, and then a 3rd, recording the landing. There you have it! I was the man, I was there. (as Walt Whitman said). Isn’t that what every photograph says? I was a witness for a moment…

MY LIFE (IS) IN SUBUD… Melinda Wallis


By the age of 23, I had rebelled from my family, was seriously drinking, had had an “illegitimate baby” who I had put up for adoption. I was in deep pain, and desperate.

There HAS to be a God  out there somewhere!” was my only hope. I was scared to death.  There was a big black hole inside me where there should have been …what? My inner self? All I know is, it was black and empty inside me, and I had no self-esteem at all. The only thing that had kept me from committing suicide was that I couldn’t figure out how to do it without it being painful. (In that case, my ever-present fear paid off!)

I was a sheltered upper middle class East Coast girl, in spite of my rebellious activities, and the Episcopal church was my total previous religious experience. I DID have a real spiritual experience when I was 13, and my Episcopal minister  was condescending to me when I told him about it. That was the beginning of the end of traditional religion for me. Another earlier “memorable moment” toward my spiritual “awakening” was writing a paper in high school comparing the major religions – the reality then struck me that everyone was referring to the SAME “One God Almighty”.

So, within a few months of arriving in San Francisco in 1964, I had been told about Subud, (by Howard (Leonard ) Dixon)  and it was the weirdest thing I had ever been exposed to, but I was indeed desperate.

Subud San Francisco was big, loud, drug ridden, feisty, amazing. Sitting on the floor of a coat closet outside a big loud Latihan was like being on another planet. When a naked lady walked down the hallway one day, visiting both the men and women applicants’ rooms, I was paranoid enough to say to myself: “This is a test!” Someone else had the presence of mind to throw a coat around her.

THE MOTTO BUSINESS…rise and fall of an enterprise

This is a satirical article by Harris Smart about the foibles of Subud enterprise. But it is not malicious or destructive or aimed at anyone in particular. As Harris says, most of the follies described are ones which he has committed in his own forays into the field of enterprise.

The article has a light-hearted tone and the satire is expressed through an imaginary enterprise could “Destiny Mottoes” which Harris claims he is setting up with Marcus Bolt.

By describing the rise and fall of this endeavour, Harris hopes to pinpoint some typical things that happen in enterprise. We can all probably recognize from our own experience or that of others.

Some of the mistakes that the motto business makes leading to its ultimate ruination include…

Expanding too rapidly.

Diversifying into side businesses which prove to be an unprofitable distraction.

Getting carried away by hubris, pride and arrogance.

Writing a business plan on the back of an envelope.

Soliciting funds from Subud members with little hope of return.

Each partner in the business becoming obsessed with doing the other’s job. They then have an acrimonious falling out and sue each other for colossal sums of money they no longer possess.

Fortunately, at a chance meeting at a Subud gathering, they manage to forgave each other, and the article concludes with news of a new business they are setting up. Beware! They say that their prospectus will be reaching you shortly.


EXTRACT…For two years, from July 2009 to June 2011, I taught English Literature and ESL at Sekolah Cita Buana (SCB), the Subud School in South Jakarta. It’s a “Subud School” in that the Founders, Ibu Ismana and Pak Haryono, Board Members, Principal and Human Resources Manager are Subud members, and it was located for many years in Wisma Subud before moving to a purpose-built campus in South Jakarta. However, I would guess that no more than 5% of the students are from Subud families, and few of the teachers are Subud members.

The Middle School (MS) and High School (HS), where I taught, use the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) curriculum, although students are also prepared for the Indonesian National exams.

What readers are probably most interested in is “is there anything different about teaching in a Subud school?”. But first, let’s try and spotlight what is “different” in teaching in international schools in general. I had previously worked 16 years in Bandung International School, and five years at Jakarta International Prestige School. Quite simply, in Bandung, I used to think “these are the kids who will prevent World War Three.” On the whole, prejudice based on religion, race, skin colour etc was healthily absent. It was even considered the coolest to be of mixed-race heritage.  SCB very much follows this pattern.

Another positive feature of SCB is the almost total absence of bullying. Many of the students have been at SCB from kindergarten to high school, and they have this esprit de corps, which makes them proud of their school.  New students are however generally made welcome – new teachers generally undergo a waiting period. Bullshit if ye dare, teacher!

FINDING THEIR WAY BACK TO GOD…Compiled by Emmanuel Elliott

Emmanuel writes…For the past few months I have been committed to the self-appointed ‘mission’ of acting as a collecting point for the email circulation of personal experiences. What began as the occasional sharing between a few friends took on a life of its own and morphed into a regular distribution of spiritual anecdotes that now reaches hundreds of people around the world every week.

If you would like to be included in future postings, simply email me at Furthermore, do please send me your own Subud stories, no matter how short or long. I can assure you that these accounts have proved to be immensely appreciated by people everywhere.

Although these sharings cover every imaginable type of experience, what follows is a collection of four items (plus an addition of my own), all of which touch upon the precious relationship between the latihan and dying. As is usual, they are passed on to everyone on an anonymous basis.

EXTRACT…This is an experience I had quite early on in Subud, when I was travelling by car with some Subud members from Montreal, my home group, to Toronto, for a “pre-Subud Canada” meeting. I believe it was in the fall of 1965.

We were barely out of Montreal when the car developed some kind of mechanical problem and we pulled off the road into a gas station in Dorval, Quebec. The others went in to consult with the mechanic, and I was left waiting in the small reception/office area in one of the two chairs. Outside the window I could see that there was a railway line and a crossing, and a train had stopped there.

Sitting by myself in the office, I suddenly began to feel very uncomfortable, and more and more I felt as if I was going insane. I tried to tell myself that it was just my imagination, but the sensation of turmoil inside me got more and more intense, until suddenly it reached a peak and I “saw” myself raising my arms up to heaven and I heard silently the words, “Go with God.” There was a great feeling of release, all the turmoil disappeared and I felt completely calm, although a bit bewildered.

A few minutes later, the others came back into the office and told me that shortly before, a school bus had been hit by the train, and all the children had been killed instantly. On the other side of the train there was a temporary morgue with all the bodies laid out on the ground. We had arrived 30 minutes after the event.

I realized that somehow I had been made to help those children to be released from the earth and go where they needed to go. I must have been visible to them, and in their terror, they had clung to me, and I could feel their state, and then the latihan had started and became a bridge for them to leave this world.

As we got back on the highway and drove on to Toronto, I sat in silence, overwhelmed. It was my first experience with death, and I felt it was a blessing to be able to help those souls with their transition.

BAPAK TALK…Bapak talks about his mission

Subud Voice is now available to everyone – the aim is to try and make the magazine a shop window for Subud for “all of mankind”. Because it is now open to everyone, we cannot publish Bapak and Ibu talks which of course are now available from many other sources such as online at Subud Library or in book form from SPI (Subud Publications International).

What we do in each issue is suggest a talk which may be of interest with a quotation from it.

This month’s talk comes from a talk which Bapak gave in New York in 1967 which, amongst other things, he talks about his mission on earth including the words…

This receiving of the latihan kejiwaan has come to Bapak first, and Bapak does not know, does not understand why God has chosen Bapak to be the first one to receive this grace and this latihan kejiwaan. But this is what has happened. And about this Bapak wants to say something to you, which Bapak hopes that one day you will be able to witness for yourself, or to know the truth of it.”

The talk code is (76 NYC 1)


In every issue we publish a brief written account of Subud along with a video about Subud which was made by someone who is not a Subud member in New Zealand.

We publish these things so that if people who are not Subud members come upon the magazine online, as we hope some will, that they will have some basic orientation about what Subud is.


Editor in Chief: Harris Smart,

Editor: Marcus Bolt,

Send all submissions to Marcus

Contributing Editor: Ilaina Lennard,

Spanish Edition: Andres (Samuel) Prez Morillas,  banque@grannet.grm.sld.c

Webmaster: Kitka Hitula

Subud Voice is published monthly and the English edition is issued on the 1st of each month at A Spanish facsimile edition usually appears a little later on the same web site.


Harris invites readers to have a look at his Blog which is available on the home page at

The Blog is of course a place where personal material, not so appropriate for the magazine itself, can be presented. Harris has added two new items to his Blog.

WHAT IF?…a children’s song about peace

The modern online presentation of Subud Voice in its current form enables many advantages over previous forms of presentation. For example, it enables photos to be well presented on colour. It also permits interconnectivity to the vast resources of the web. It also enables the inclusion of audio-visual material such as sound and video clips.

In this article What if?, Harris Smart presents a video of a song he has written and had professionally recorded. The song is written as a child’s plea for peace. It can be heard by clicking on the link in the article or you can go to

Harris presents the song to encourage other Subud members with audio-visual material such as recordings and videos to talk to him about presenting them in Subud Voice. Contact Harris at to talk to him about technical matters etc


Harris describes a walk he took with his two year old daughter. Again, photographs from the time are included. This simple little walk will perhaps trigger in readers memories of similar walks with little children.

Previous items posted in Harris’s Blog include the article BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE in which he describes an experience at some rocks held sacred by Dayak people in Kalimantan.