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Rapunzel, Rapunzel

A story by Harris Smart about how the world of dreams, myths and fairytales can erupt into everyday life…

RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL

Harris Smart writes...have you ever had that experience where the membrane between the worlds, usually so thick and impenetrable, suddenly wears thin and the world of dreams, symbols, myths, legends and fairytales invades the “real” world, so that you might tell someone of an experience you had in the “real” world, but you can tell it as if it was a dream? You might say, “I had this dream that I owned a tower and in the tower was a beautiful woman living, a fairytale princess...” Read more...

Paris, France

A story by Harris about a visit to Paris in which he was robbed by gypsies… it also has something to say about photography…

PARIS, FRANCE

I wandered through Paris, imagining myself to be Cartier-Bresson,

shooting the life of the streets… Read more...

Paris: Jazz

by Lawrence Brazier and is also set in Paris and has something to say about jazz and other things…
PARIS: JAZZ

Lawrence Brazier writes…

For years advertising persons have had a leaning for jazz. The crowd on Madison Ave. felt the charisma, recognised the potential but knew, instinctively, that you can’t mess with this kind of power. Jazz as a media vehicle for these people is a waste of space. Jazz does not belong to beautiful people. It does not go well with suntans. A guy deep into a solo, with sweat standing on his brow like he has malaria, would be unacceptable.  Someone would have to run on and powder-dust him dry. Advertising does not relate to the concept of improvisation (making it up as you go along).

Jazz - hip, cool or otherwise - requires a certain lifestyle savvy. Remember black-knit ties...lowered a little, naturally? And nodding knowingly over an eighteen-minute solo from a boss tenor, with a honk or a squeak being okay? Read more...

The Man who Stuttered

A chapter from Husain Chung’s book GOD THE THERAPIST (available from amazon.com) and gives an insight into the way that Husain works with people…
THE MAN  WHO STUTTERED

This extract is taken from Husain Chung’s recent book GOD THE THERAPIST which is available from Amazon.com. Everyone should read this excellent book. This chapter gives a good idea of how Husain works with people… Read more...

RELAX! THE BODY KNOWS THE WAY

A reflection by Harris on the nature of the body as an indicator of the inner nature and a portal to spiritual experience…

RELAX! THE BODY KNOWS THE WAY

Harris Smart writes…

How fortunate we are to be in Subud. Can we ever appreciate this gift enough? Can we ever be sufficiently grateful for this gift which has transformed our lives for the good?

And such a simple gift. You do not have to do anything. You do not have to study it, you do not have to make any effort. On the contrary, it is all about not making an effort. It is all about surrender.

But actually I prefer the word "relax". I have decided that for me, the word “relax” is the most important word in Subud. Such a simple, unpretentious word.

Surrender is rather difficult concept to come to terms with. I once went around and asked six people what they understood to be the meaning of the word “surrender” and got six completely different replies.

But "relax!" We all know what that means. We'll have some idea of it. We all have some experience of it. We all have some idea of how to go about doing it. We do not have to worry if it has being rightly or wrongly translated from the Indonesian like all those other words. This word exists in every language I am sure.

Relax! Sink into the warm bath of the latihan! No effort required

And as Bapak has often told us, the latihan begins in the body. It is not in the turmoil of the mind with all its grand ideas. It is in the simple, humble body that we must first become aware.

In our age, the body is the portal to the spiritual life. We don't have to worry about the mind with all its big ideas and alluring images, just sink into the body. Become aware of what is happening in the body.

Isn't that a marvellous thing? A new revelation. The body which was previously so much despised in religion, thought to be a source of temptation and an obstacle to the spiritual life, is now the gateway. Everything is integrated.

And we c an recognise also that Subud is part of a much wider movement of understanding. The attention to experience in the body which we find in Subud is also reflected in many other spiritual movements and psychotherapies which flourish today. This is the age of knowledge through the body, the much despised body.

Of course, the mind does not like it. The mind has been boss for so long that it does not like giving up its position to the humble body. The mind thinks it is so brilliant, it is not going to give up easily.

And so as we relax, and surrender, the mind is always trying to pull us back to the material world. Never mind! The more we do it, the better at it we become.

The following little story is an example of how body and soul are connected... Read more...