Cases and Orientation

    In this chapter, cases will be cited to illustrate various of the techniques described above, and also to present the applied outlook of Sumarah in relating to various issues and problems. The presentation will be divided into three sections. In the first section, the cases will illustrate variations on the theme of checking. In the second, an example will be presented which demonstrates both accompanying and bearing. The third section will present various examples of Sumarah outlook, that is, the application of the principles involved to various problems and concerns.


    In this section examples will be given to illustrate the use of checking. The first is an example of checking in the past. It also discusses the process of maturation.

Bambang [fledgling  guide]: At  eleven o'clock  this morning, how  was I?

Wondo: It was related to the ones close to you.

Bambang: At  that time there was a problem in my family; but what I want to know is if I was confronting it properly.

Wondo: For you it was right for the time being.

Bambang: By that you mean it wasn't right.

Wondo: What's  right has  different levels.  For example,  what's  right for  me would be wrong for Pak Hardo. It's the same thing you know. (Keratonan 6/19/80)

    The following example illustrates the detail and prescience potential in checking and the problems it can cause. In it, one of the regular members asks Suwondo to counsel her son who is despondent about what he says to be his rejection by a girlfriend.
    The Javanese tend to be very secretive about such relationships. For example, our servant had a cousin she had been raised with. Her cousin planned to marry a man she had been seeing for nearly a year but she had never introduced her intended to her "sister". This is common. Young people do not talk about their boyfriends or girlfriends and this reticence is probably partially a result of the impermanent status of such relationships. If they do not work out, it can be a source of great embarrassment in a community as tightly drawn as the Javanese.
    In the case of the young man, Suwondo first gives a few seemingly standard remarks about letting it pass and not getting so involved in such relationships because it can interfere with other aspects of your life. However, Suwondo then brings out another factor that he received in checking the young man's condition. He asks if this were not, in fact, some sort of love-triangle problem. The young man admits that it is and then comes in for a great deal of kidding from the group.
    Suwondo seems quite pleased (improperly by Sumarah standards) to have received this information in checking. He gloats about it a bit, which further offends the young man, who left abruptly. Suwondo then goes on to discuss the process of reception in checking and expresses regret for is insensitivity in handling the situation (this was repeated a number of times in the weeks that followed). He then talked about the importance of experience in developing proficiency in the fine art of handling such situations and gives himself a rather poor grade on this one. He goes on to give the Sumarah philosophy of male/female relationships and their place in life.

Sudibiyo [young  man]: She's  already lost, but when I was trying  to win her it was intense.

Wondo: That's right. When you just let it be as it is, it passes. Like when you go to sleep, it will calm down quickly.

Sudibiyo: Calm down quickly.

Wondo: In  time you  will become  enemies. So  your love  becomes anger. Look,  you tried to win her. It's important now that all  that just  be put  aside for awhile. Girlfriends are all right, but don't  get carried  away. That  way leads to broken hearts.  Just let it go. There's no need to dwell on it any more. Broken  bones, broken hearts, broken . . . broken legs. [laughter] That  problem seems to have three sides though.

Sudibiyo: That's true.

Wondo: Apparently  the quarry  had been  rather elusive,  so  you  shifted to  another prey.  It looks  like you've  been  running  around in  circles. Have  I smoked  you out or not? You haven't  even told  your parents.  [to Sudibiyo's mother] This is what I  couldn't explain  before. How  do you explain love tangles like  this? Anyway,  he's been  running around  in circles,  so now I  report it to you. He hadn't told you yet, had he?

Arini [mother]: No.

Wondo: Apparently the problem is just coming out.

Anonymous: Stealing love! [laughter]

Anonymous: How could you be so sneaky?

Wondo: You didn't know, did you? When you invited him, you didn't understand.

Arini: Not too quick about putting things together.

Wondo: Apparently  this running  around involved  liking this one  but her not liking him, while in the meantime another likes him  but he doesn't like her. So he goes around in circles.

Anonymous: He's a person who...

Anonymous: That's not a person, that's an unidentified life-form.

Arini: He says school comes first.

Wondo: Yes,  that's the way it is. -- So in this kind of thing we can receive  vibrations and  they inform  the guide  in  inner-communication. They  let me  know about the problem. Then I ask about it  the same way, using inner-communication. This problem is a  kind of  rebellion. Here, there is something offered that isn't wanted.  Here, there  is what  is  wanted  but  it  isn't attained. This is a problem of the young. [laughter]

Anonymous: Really.

Wondo: Sometimes  people from  the East  keep this  kind of thing under wraps,  but we  have a kind of radar that can pick it up. Sometimes it  reveals itself.  This is  like using  psychology; there's no  need to  ask because it reveals itself. Right here. [chest area] This is an art too. This knowledge can be studied. I'm  still  not  particularly  proficient,  but  if  there's  a vibration and  I receive  it, I  ask the  vibration to  explain itself. This  is an  art you  must be  clean for,  then you can receive these  things. Nothing is said openly, but inside there is something  that tells.  That's what  is picked up. Sometimes it's a  secret. His  mother  wasn't  told,  but  I  found  out. Sometimes when  it's really top secret, I don't dare reveal it. It wouldn't be proper.

Anonymous: You don't dare?

Wondo: No,  it's not  right. Because  then it can disturb or hurt him and he gets angry. But then I ask again, "May I reveal this openly? Will  he become angry and close himself off or not?" If  not, and  he will  just be  mad for a minute, that's all right. [laughter] Embarrassed?  That's all  right  too.  But  this  is needed in  order to  change or  improve him.  There is the risk that the  anger will  become hate.  This can  happen. But if it doesn't get  to  the  point  of  being  dangerous,  it  may  be revealed. But  if it's  not the right time yet, it shouldn't be said.

Anonymous: For me, that's right.

Anonymous: Yes, that's it.

Wondo: Here  there is  a wave  and  if  its  frequency  has  been  received precisely,  there's no  further disturbance  and it is  clear that he can't lie about it.

Anonymous: But get real mad?

Wondo: No.

Anonymous: You can't lie about it?

Wondo: Yes.  The reason  is clear.  This is  just me  over  here. What's the  real reason  I can  receive these  vibrations  like this? Sometimes  I myself  don't know.  I'm not 100% sure. This thing I  picked up,  is it  true or not? But then I ask to find out if  it's real.  When you  come out  and ask,  the proof  is reality itself.

Hartati: Like here, behind my eyes, why was it throbbing?

Wondo: You  were holding on there... Holding on is all right, you know. It's  like when  I'm embarrassed  but I  want to be found out, so  I hold  on to  it. It's true that there's a feeling of embarrassment, but  it's nothing.  This area  [eyes]  sometimes gets a shock, is given a shock -- zap!

Hartati: The eyes are what get the shock. The eyes before...

Wondo: Yes.  So with  a paranoid  person, you sometimes must have exact timing  -- then  it can  be released.  It has to be exact though,  because  if  it's  not  precisely  right,  it  can  be dangerous. Sometimes you get the timing right. But if you miss, it can  backfire on  you. That's what is hard. This is the real art. Sometimes  I'm not  as precise  as I'd like to be, because I'm still learning too. One learns from experience, and in time one gets  more accurate. That's how you become more proficient. But, as  for me, my intention is good; but in truth, I can't do it very  well yet. But I do my best. Later, after he has calmed down [Sudibiyo  had left]  I hope  he will  see that  this  was something to  help not  to get  in his  way. He  was  going  to continue being  unsettled and  questioning: "Living  like this, what's the  point?" But  it's  not  like  there's  no  purpose, because there  is a  purpose, but  he has let it go and life is  empty now.  Life itself must be studied. Why is he unwilling to learn. What  doesn't he  want to see what he should do with his life? This  can be  used as  a spur, not to weaken his resolve, but like  a spark. And your life is why you're thankful for her rejection. You  grit your  teeth --  like this -- you grit your teeth and  apply yourself.  What are you? Later if you attain a degree, a  good job,  try it, isn't that what you want? And you can try  to attain  more than  her, with  the Grace  of  Tuhan. That's the  way to  do it  --  not  just  getting  a  girl  and concentrating only  on her and eventually ending up quarreling. In the  long run,  you're sure to get bored. It's like when you buy a  new car:  how you pamper and polish it! But when it gets old, you  just let  it go.  To be sure, when it's new you shine and polish  it whenever  it gets  dirty.  It's  the  same  with  husbands and  wives. If  you've just  gotten engaged, it's like wow! But it's different when she's already your wife. It's like a new  car: when  it's new  -- wow!  Wives are  like that  too. [laughter] So  what we  strive for  when a couple gets married, first it's  a physical  marriage, then it becomes a marriage of feeling, then  it becomes a marriage of the spirit. That's what it is  to be married. When you have a child -- or with your own body --  even if  your body is ugly, it's your body -- you love your body. When it's sick, you take care of it. You should love your wife like your body. Even though she may look old and ugly now, you still love her. But often it's not like that. When she starts showing  the miles, you start looking at other women. It will kind  of... apparently  it's a kind of attraction, someone who looks  pretty to  you, pleasant isn't it? But in fact, it's agony. Imagining something beautiful like that causes suffering because it's  not reality.  [pause] When I found him out now, I didn't know beforehand. I didn't know before. I wasn't thinking that, but  then, suddenly  it just came to me like that. Was it true or not? But he hadn't said anything to you? [his mother]

Arini: No.

Wondo: But now you know all.

Arini: What was hidden fast now is revealed.

Wondo: But  he  was  good.  He  accepted  and  didn't  fight  too much.Actually he fought it, but he didn't reject it.

Anonymous: But you've been left behind, haven't you?

Wondo: Yes.

Anonymous: What'll happen later?

Wondo: This  art is  like that. When his business is finished, he can go out and be spiteful. For example, if he doesn't go right away --  too late, he's gone. He's gone now. [motorcycle starts  off]

Anonymous: Why did he leave so fast?

Wondo: I  don't know.  How about that though. I didn't think he'd take off that fast. I don't know why. (Grogol 6/1/79)

    Problems of maturation in the Sumarah practice are discusssed in the following two examples.

Martono [middle-age  member]: As for me, is it that I have strong beliefs or am I just very stubborn?

Wondo: You're basically trusting, trusting by nature. You believe and you  trust, but you're afraid to try things on your own. So it's like  this, you already believe, so if you can, you should sort of  make experiments.  You should try things. If there are mistakes, that's all right. This way you'll be able to get some experience.

Martono: When I do that, I get scared.

Wondo: What  you lack  there is  just the capacity to be aware of your fear and go ahead anyway.

Martono: Unswerving.

Wondo: Your state is already good, but your deficiency is that it will take  you a  long time  to progress.  Flirt with  danger a little bit  every time, just don't do it too much. This way you will have  experiences and  you will  be able to learn from the mistakes you  make. So  I advise  you to be a bit bolder. Later when you  make errors, all right, you'll change it. So when you receive something,  ask, "What  the heck is this?" and then try to pursue  it. That's  what's  lacking.  You're  not  following through on  things. When something hits you, you should inquire about it.  Try it,  try it so that you get some experience. For example, when  you hear  my explanations,  that's what is said, that's what  is said, but how do you put it into practice? What do you  have to do? So just try this and then you will get some experience. Don't  just follow along. Don't just be obedient to the guides, and then you can get some experience too.

Martono: It's  real hard  for me  to do  that. Why  can't I  just accept it and let it happen, you know? That's what's hard.

Wondo: So  your reception  of reality  is right. It's already all right. But for the proof, proving to yourself whether it's true or not.  You're very  trusting. But  being that  trusting is no good because  than all  you get  is what other people tell you. This is  more, you  know. Being  that trusting  is no good. You can't believe so strongly. If you haven't experienced it, don't be willing  to believe it first. It's no good if you do. So you say to  yourself, "Okay, but I'll try it first. There is proof,  but those  are just  words. So  what's my  proof? My  proof  is getting an experience like that, but I haven't as yet." So that way you  grumble, but  you don't  block out  the experience, do you? There's  a difference.  This way  is all right, but if you  say,  "Later   when  I  die  it  will  be  revealed..."  That's different. It's  all right to believe, but then you should try, try to find proof. (Grogol 6/1/79)

    The following example concerns a similar problem but with a more advanced member.

Harno (another guide): How was at twelve o'clock last night?

Wondo: The feeling was good. What were you examining?

Harno: Well  it's like  this, last  night I  was meditating  when everything --  I think  the term  is  "transcended."  Was  this releasing transcendence  in the  unconscious or  what? So  this came out.  I just  went along  with it  and fell  asleep in the chair.

Wondo: That  was an  explosion in  the unconscious  but since you were aware  of what  was happening,  it became an expression of the unconscious.  Just let it go. Just confess to it. This is a very profound  experience. In  the study  it's as  if you  were examining yourself.  Then afterward,  when you  have been given  the material,  you can  see, "Oh,  I was  wrong, that wasn't my intention. It  would have  been better if my intention had been this. What  must I  do to correct this?" The investigation goes like this.

Hartono: So this was an explosion below consciousness.

Wondo: Yes,  so if  you can, your intention should be to let this stuff go  and not  let it split off and fill you up again. It's like developing  a new  character, but your apprehension should be reduced. What are you worried about? Let's see, what are you worried about? Why are you so apprehensive? You know that being afraid isn't good.

Hartono: I'm afraid of losing control.

Wondo: Yes,  there's fear  there. When  you let  go, there can be fear there. But, in fact, this can change your character.

Hartono: I was with Pak Sri the other day, and he said not to let things get out of control.

Wondo: It's  not that  you shouldn't let go, it's that you should be unwilling  to let things get out of control. But they're two different things.  Of course  you're unwilling  to lose control but that doesn't mean you don't want to let go. That's the fear right there,  "If that happens I won't be able to handle it, it might overwhelm  me. I'm  clear about  where I am, but if I let go, my ego won't be there."

Hartono: A lack of faith.

Wondo: Yes,  Wiryotanoyo got  stuck there  for a long time. "If I let go,  then I will be gone and I won't be aware of anything." This is the expression of the ego. The comfort of the ego comes when it  feels it can understand. When you let go, it generally opens a  tool that's  like clairvoyance, but you have to let go first. Formerly  I was  very gifted  at that,  but nowadays I'm not. When I need it, it comes; when I don't, it doesn't. (Grogol  6/1/79)

Accompanying and Bearing

    In the following example both bearing and accompanying are discussed and illustrated.

Wondo: You  should realize that your duty is not just to your own body. That's  because meditation is an effort to help. When you try to  help, it's  good, isn't  it? This meditation isn't just for your  own body.  When you meditate, your children should be included as if they were gathered in your arms.

Dewi: In fact, when I go out at night I always...

Wondo: That's  not what I mean. I mean to take them in your arms, to be  holding them  in your arms before you go to sleep but to do it in rasa.

Dewi: But  isn't this  being improper and requesting something of Tuhan?

Wondo: No,  they were  born as part of you. "Here, Tuhan, me and, how about  it, me and my little children." So when you lie down to sleep,  you meditate  and recall  your children, think about them. I  don't mean  to cradle  them physically,  but encompass them within your rasa.

Dewi: How about it, Pak? How is this done?

Wondo: You  can just  do it  like that  or you can also bear your husband along  with your  children. It'll  be heavier with your husband, but  you can  try. If it's too heavy with your husband included, then  don't. But  try it  with your children, try it. Just now  you thought,  "Well, with  my husband,  I don't  know about that." It actually would be harder, you know.

Dewi: I'd like you to show me by bearing me.

Wondo: When  you're going to bear your husband and your children, you don't  use your  arms -- that would be heavy. They are born in your  rasa, you  bear them within your experience. Let's try it. Let's  meditate together.  No, no,  that's wrong,  not like that, not like that. Not yet, not yet, don't mutter to yourself like that.  Try to  relax. Be  empty, no, no, not... that's all right, be  empty. Yes,  like that.  That's firmness there. Just relax, but not that much. Relax, relax. It's heavy if you do it  like that.  Hold on,  wait a  minute. Now  please, you  and  me together now  please. Recall  your husband  and your  children. Yes, all  right, here there was a change in feeling. Try not to respond. Just  receive it,  just feel  it. Surrender  to Tuhan. "This is  my duty  as the mother of my children. What must I do so that  they will  be healthy and safe?" Surrender, surrender. [long silence;  at one  point Suwondo does the full exhalation, heavy breathing]  All right, that's enough for now. Slowly now, take your time. How about it? Tell me. Please tell me the truth now. How was it?

Dewi: My true feelings?

Wondo: Yes.

Dewi: I just felt steadfast.

Wondo: And before you felt steadfast?

Dewi: I didn't enjoy it.

Wondo: How was the meditation itself?

Dewi: My meditation was very . . .

Wondo: It was rushed. But the steadfastness was right. That's the way you bear someone. Like that. That was bearing.

Dewi: I  felt like,  "This is  meditation, why do I feel weighted down?"

Wondo: It's  heavy bearing  people. Your  body feels heavier when you meditate  bearing someone.  The feeling  is like that. It's heavy bearing people, you know?

Harno: Was there a hot feeling?

Wondo: There  sure was. In this case there was a feeling of heat, but it isn't always like that.

Harno: No, I mean in Dewi just now, how about it?

Wondo: Yes, there was a heat.

Dewi: If my children have a fever, would that do it?

Wondo: Yes,  that could  be. But  how about  it, like  before for instance? While I was accompanying you, it was just going along and  then  suddenly  the  feeling  got  really  claustrophobic, stuffed (suseg). And  you know  that when  the feeling gets constricted like that, I go into the heavy breathing to clean it up. As for my role  in that,  in a  contact like  bearing, the  linkage is mutual and you should try to help.

Dewi: I felt very constricted too, but I didn't do the breathing.

Wondo: When  you hear  me breathing like that, you know something is stuffing  me up,  thunk, like a weight, so I tried to do the breathing to  see if  that would  help. It  was funny though. I myself didn't  have anything going on but then suddenly, thunk, this disturbance hit.

Dewi: So the feeling was coming from my children.

Wondo: Your children and your husband.

Harno: Do they have a fever?

Dewi: Yes, all three of them are running a fever.

Wondo: I didn't know; then bearing them is your duty.

Dewi: Actually,  during times  like these,  I try  to meditate as best I can.

Wondo: You meditate, but you don't bear them. Didn't I ask you?

Dewi: Yes, you did.

Wondo: It's different. You're looking for an easy way, but that's called cheating.

Anonymous: Unwilling to bear, she asks to be born herself.

Dewi: But it's hard.

Wondo: Now  then, if  it gets too hard, just do the best you can. When you  receive something like that just try the breathing to see if it helps. So the meditation isn't just for you yourself, it's for  all you  are a  part of  and in  contact with in your experience. It's a service.

Anonymous: So even here at this meeting.

Wondo: It's a service.

Anonymous: This is a kind of service.

Wondo: It's service. The children were given to you or rather, to us all, to be taken care of, to be raised, to, ah, you know...

Harno: When  you've studied  it yourself,  you're sure  to see it that way.

Wondo: There  should be  no personal motive to acquire something. This is an exercise in giving service.

Dewi: I  was in  a quandary  last night.  I  couldn't  sleep;  so  instead of bearing them, I just tried to meditate.

Wondo: No,  no, just  try this.  For a  fact, when  you bear your children it  will be  heavy. I can't say that it won't, but how about it mom? What's your part in all this? But you should ask, "Does it really do any good?" This next really happened; it was an experience.  My son  came down  with typhus fever. We hadn't been to  the doctor yet and I questioned inside, "How about it, what should  I do?"  I was quiet about it, but then suddenly it came to  me what  I should  do. So  I  gave  him  water  I  had meditated on  to drink. He started getting better, but we still went to  a doctor. I gave him over to the doctor, but the fever was already  broken. I was running a fever myself, but that was all right. (Grogol 6/1/7)


    The following citations do not depict applications of technique but, rather, give examples from Suwondo of how Sumarah practice is used to interpret incidents and problems. In the first, romantic love is considered. In the second, Suwondo takes up the topic of girl-watching. In the third, he discusses responsibilities in having children. In the final citation, Suwondo describes the death of his uncle who was a mystic adept.

When you're  like that,  when your  passionately in love, it has  to  influence  your  studies  --  when  you're  called  to concentrate on  your studies,  you can't.  Even during  a test, you're still  thinking about your girlfriend, your fiancee. You can't concentrate.  This disturbs  the powers of concentration. When you try to think about something, your attention is split. But this  isn't just  the result  of lover -- hate is like that too. If  you hate  someone, just  by meeting  him  the  emotion rises,  the  emotion  comes  out.  It's  just  the  same.  Love influences and hate influences too. Actually, this is generally common among  young people.  But there  are old people too. But generally, especially  among us  Javanese,  we  are  repressed, restrained. Women  here, even  though they  may have  a thought like that,  they repress  it. It's  not expressed because women here are  not generally  aggressive. But  in other  places it's common. Sometimes  even to  the point  where the  men are  less aggressive than the women. Everyone has their own customs.

What we  are studying  is an  art for conforming to the true nature of the desires and making our tools neutral so that they tend to a more positive aspect. The meaning of positive here is not necessarily  connected with good or bad but with that which conforms to natural law. This is an art... it's badly needed by young men  and women  who wish to achieve a goal -- a provision for later  life. These  capacities must  be harnessed, but they cannot be  dissembled. Eventually it will be revealed. When the youth is  advised, he  will resist  -- that's the way youth is. But eventually most of those who compromise their future end up with broken  hearts. When  a youth  has a  problem  like  this, usually he  is easily  offended and  angered. The outcome isn't just that  you love  Miss A, but rather the problem extends far beyond Miss  A to  your family and other things as if it were a kind of up-rising. The problem is simply that you're not happy; but the  result is very general, like being unwilling to study, not wanting  to try,  as if you had given up. But the giving up is not acceptance, but a protest of the spirit. True or not?    You can  behave like  that; it's not forbidden. But be aware  of the  ground-rules. As  far as achievement is concerned, if I love some  girl this  should be  seen as  a whip, a stimulus. I have her  as my ideal, but how can I achieve my ideal with what I have?  I must  study  hard  in  order  to  get  a  degree  or something. How  about it?  If I want to achieve that, these are the necessary  conditions. Sometimes  kids are in love but they don't fulfill  the necessary  conditions. They don't work, they live on  charity. In  a love like that the young woman is bound to be  easily influenced  by others  because there  are lots of conditions that  can affect  her love. That's the way the world is. For  example, someone who has lots of this, who has lots of money --  she has to be attracted. Sometimes the girl is blamed for running  away -- her love is not true love. But can you get along without eating?

There are  lots of  other conditions  to love  too. It's not just heart  to heart,  living and  dying together  -- that's  a magnificent ideal,  but it's  a fantasy.  When you die, you die alone.  If   living  and   dying  together  were  serious,  the graveyards would  be full  of couples  where one  died and  the other went  along. It that were the case, funerals would be for two. So  even though  people have  been married for years, when one dies, the other doesn't want to go along. (Grogol 6/1/79)

    Here Suwondo talks about girl-watching and the problem of sexual attraction, basing it on his own experience. In a humorous fashion, Suwondo depicts the seriousness of the obstacle of girl-watching (mata kranjang) to receiving the world accurately and maintaining a balanced perspective.

Being a  guide isn't easy. Formerly, when they first started to practice  guides usually  dealt only with men. Even when you were mature  enough to  be guiding regularly, you still weren't allowed to guide women. It was considered dangerous.

Before I  was allowed  to guide  women, I  had to be cleared  first --  to enact  an oath.  My most  powerful attraction  was always girl-watching.  Even though  I didn't  do  anything  but look, there was a strong urge. When I looked at a pretty woman, I got  a certain  glow. Even  after I  started guiding, I still wasn't complete.  Pak Hardo forced me to deal with it. "Are you going to change this habit or not?" "I can't change. I can't. I still like  looking at  girls." So  he said,  "The way that you change that  is to  enact an  oath in  your life so that you'll stop." At  that point  I said  to let  me think  about  it  for awhile. "Later  for that."  So I  thought about it for a month. Very ponderous. Then this came to me spontaneously from inside, "You dare  to do  bad things; how is it that you don't have the nerve to  do something  good? You  accept the  consequences  of doing bad  things. For  example, when you get angry, you accept that later  on you  will pay for it. How is that you don't dare to do  what is  proper? If  that's the  way you are, there's no need to  surrender to  Tuhan at all. There's no need to study."

That impressed  me. When  Pak Hardo came over from Yogya I told him I  was ready. So with Pak Hardo witnessing I swore to Tuhan that I  wouldn't do  that inside  or out.  "But I  can't do  it myself. I  humbly request a change, Tuhan." From the outside it may look  like there's no problem, but inside Tuhan will always  know. I  could fool  other people,  "No    problem  now. It's just like with my little sister." Yeah... but inside it's different.

So I swore first.

One  day   I  was  coming  home  from  the  meeting  at  Pak Beisastra's house.  It was  eleven at  night and there were two girls walking  down the  street. I  wanted to  look, "Are  they pretty or  not? When you're by yourself it's all right to look, isn't it?"  While I was arguing with myself, this truck came -- zoom. If  I had  been looking  at the girls, I wouldn't be here now. That would have been it.

That was  the first  time. I  confessed this  openly to  the group and  got bawled  out, but the struggle went on. One day I was riding my scooter and there was a girl walking, "Hey, she's pretty. I'd  like to  take another look. Why is it I can't even look? There's  nothing wrong with just taking a little look, is there?" So I looked and got a crick in my neck. I couldn't move it. I went to Pak Wiryo's house and he said, "Yeah, that's real good. Just  keep it  up." But after I confessed to it, the pain disappeared completely, just like that. I was very surprised.

I thought  to myself, "How would it actually be to look at a pretty girl without that attraction?" Take my word for it, it's very pleasant. When you look at a woman who's with her husband, it's not  like you  want to  get in a fight with him, "I'm just looking; you  see I  have this urge." It's a source of tension, and when  you're free of it, it's very relaxing, very pleasant. To be  able to  look at a pretty girl and feel like you do with your own child. It's like looking at your own daughter.

It's very  pleasant not  being pushed  and pulled by it. The compulsion is  actually a  form of  suffering  and  it  can  be dangerous. That's  why you  can only start to guide women after the change  has taken  place. The  problem is  that is you have become sensitive  but have  not yet  attained selectivity, when you're confronted  by a  pretty woman  you can't receive it and remain neutral.  If she's  putting out  heavy sexual vibrations and you  receive them,  it can  be very  difficult. As  long as you're not  clean, it's  like your  radar tells  you, "Hey, she likes me!"  This awakens  your desire. That's what's dangerous. Sexual contacts can be very hard to handle.

When it  comes, the  change is  really  very  pleasant,  and afterwards I  truly gave  thanks. But  while it was happening I was afraid I wouldn't feel like a man or something. But after I had gotten  used to  the change,  it was very pleasant. I could look at a girl and it didn't influence me. The old way was like being hungry  and not being allowed to eat, you know? Like when you've just come down with typhus and, in fact, you want to eat but it's  not allowed.  That's what's  real hard;  you just sit there and drool.

But you  have to  learn  to  watch  yourself,  to  be  self-critical. Like  before the  oath, I would be walking along with my wife and there would be a girl over there. Actually I was no longer with  my wife; my attention had jumped over to the other woman. Of  course, I  didn't want  my wife  to know  so I'd  be sneaking a  peak out  of the corner of my eye without moving my head. When  you're able to stop doing that, it's very pleasant. After you've  stopped your wife can relax too and can trust you more. When  she gets  jealous or something you can confront and correct it.

One time  I was coming home from a meeting at Pak Darso's. I had just  taken the  oath. I  was giving  a pretty Australian a ride home on my scooter. Pak Wiryo is getting old now, but back then he was still very strong. So as I was taking her home, Pak Wiryo was  spiritually accompanying me, monitoring my condition all the  way home. He didn't tell me he was going to do it, but he went  all the  way home  with me.  The next  day  Pak  Wiryo greeted me  by saying,  "How'd you  do it? I couldn't have done that myself."

The sexual  capacity remains  but it  is tuned to your wife. That's called  instinct or  primal urge.  It's not  desire  but instinct. They're  different. For  instance, you  can do  birth control without  using any  pills, tools,  kitchen  appliances, anything. Sex  is instinctual but the instinct is not something you feel  every minute;  that's desire. Like when you don't get it and you get angry. It's not right. "I'm busy dear." "Aaarhh, what do you mean?" That's not right, that's desire.

When you fully accept your responsibility, that's the primal aspect. It's  like when I go out, my family goes with me. In my rasa I'm  always with my family. So when anything comes up, I'm with my family. It's very pleasant.

    In the following, Suwondo presents the Sumarah perspective on sex and the responsibilities of having children.

There are  three kinds  of marriage:  marriage of  desire or physical marriage;  marriage of  feeling which is when the rasa is linked and the two feel as one; and marriage of the spirit.

A marriage  of desire  is unstable. When you're attracted to this person, all right; but when you get tired of them you want another, and so on. That's marriage of desire.

The danger  of all  this is to the children. Much of what is done in  meditation is dedicated to pre-natal education. As our elders used  to say,  "When a  couple wish to have sexual union they should  take a  cool bath  first." The  idea is  that  the coolness of  the bath  brings calm.  You should  also put  good pictures on  the  bedroom  wall.  This  can  help  through  the influence of  seeing the  pictures. But the main thing is to be in a  state of  meditation during  the act because if the whole situation is  calm, it  will attract  a good  soul if  there is conception. If  this is  done before  birth, then  it's easy to  teach the  child after  birth because  the spirit is mature and good.

We are  all confronted  by three  kinds of sin: the sin from before our  birth that  our spirit  carries on from before; the sins of  our father and mother that is the sin of the family we are born  into; and  our own  sins after we are born. Before we are born  we still  have the  sins of  the soul  from  previous incarnations.

I've investigated  this with  my four  children and tried to relate it to their characters; "Oh, when this one was conceived I was  like that and now it shows up in her." For example, when the first  one was  conceived I  was doing  the kungkum form of self-discipline and she came out strong willed. When the second one was  conceived I  was kind of doing what I felt like. I was just  playing   badminton  and   wasn't   thinking   about   my responsibilities at  home. I  argued with  my wife all the time back then  because I  played badminton while she worked. When I was told to help with the work I just wanted to get my own way. Now the  second child  tends to be lazy and self-indulgent. The third child  died. After  the fourth, who became the third, had been in  the womb  for three  months I  started  having  phobic attacks. The child was timid and frightened. Afterwards, when I started to study Sumarah, I meditated on him to try to give him courage and he got better.

While I  was sick  Pak Hardo  forbid me to have children, it wasn't allowed.  The children had been planned. The first child came one year after our marriage. The second was born two and a half years  later. The  third came  three years  after that. He died and  we waited  three more years before having another. At that time  I got  sick and Pak Hardo forbade me from having any more children  -- it was prohibited. When the desire would come I would  hold it.  After I had recovered Pak Hardo said I could have another  child. That was after five more years. We haven't had any more since then.

When I  was going  to have  sex with  my wife  I would be in contact with  Pak Hardo.  Inside I would be in contact with Pak Hardo, "What  should I  do?" And  afterwards I would ask him to check it,  "Was my meditation proper while I was with my wife?"

It's funny,  isn't it? But I did it because I knew that this is very important.  As a  result of  that we gave our fourth child the  name   Kesnabudisanyata: kesna  means  good;  budi  means kindness; and  sanyata means  reality. Some  people objected to the name  because sanyata  isn't used much in names, "How about santoso?" "No, sanyata, reality."

For those  who are  young and  will be having children, this practice can  help improve  the coming  generation. It can help bring peace  to the  world starting with each child. This is an art; this  meditation is  an art  of living so that we can face  life.

    In the following, the issue of death is considered. This recollection illustrates what the Javanese would point to as the experiential basis of their belief in the "journey of death" (perjalanan) and the nature of death in general. It concerns the passing of Suwondo's great uncle, who was a mystic adept, though not, to my knowledge, connected with Sumarah. The story was presented in a humorous fashion but is no joke.

This happened  when my  great uncle  died. He  was one of my teachers and  this took place back when I still had the phobia, the fear  of death.  I was  summoned,  "Please  come  pay  your respects because  I going  to die  in an  hour or so." I got so scared I  felt like  it was me that was going to die. Boy I was scared! What  a situation and here I was right in the middle of it. I  was there with his two children. He told me to watch, so I watched.  I watched  the show.  A little  while later, wait a minute, wait  a minute,  he's gotten real still. It looked like he was  passing away. Was I ever scared! I was watching but you know I  was scared. Then he told me to hold his hand. So I held his hand  in order  to help -- and then he let go. That was it; he died. He died. That was the final match. Then my mother came and started crying, "Please don't die!"

He  came   back.  What   a  situation.   He  came   back  to consciousness and  chatted with  us. "Actually  this coming and going isn't  very pleasant." This was because he had been drawn back by  my mother's crying. He hadn't made the full separation from his body yet. Then they started chatting away like nothing had happened.  So they  talked for awhile and then I said I had some things  I needed  to take care of and asked to be excused. He told  me to  be sure to be back by four when he was going to start to  go again. I said, "Yes, of course." I said I would be back but  I was  scared and when the time came I didn't want to go.

The time  came to  return and I didn't want to go. I decided to go  visiting. I was scared so I went to a friend's house and told her about my experience. I was watching the clock, "Now he must be starting again." At that point I was in a great deal of pain; I felt like I was dying myself. I told my friend about it and said I wanted to go home. I felt there must be a connection between his  dying and  my feeling like this. I went home. Then suddenly it  just stopped.  I was  still scared  because if the pain was  from my connection with him, its stopping was trouble too.

My heart  had been  beating tik,  tik, tik,  tik, I  was  so scared. I  was afraid  of having  a heart attack. Then all of a sudden the  pain just  stopped and  I wondered,  "Maybe he  has passed on."  I was  still scared  but the  pain was  completely gone. I  still had  to go  back there  though. So  I was slowly getting myself  together when  one of his grandchildren came in and said,  "Grandfather is  no longer  with us."  "When did  it happen?" "Just now." So he was gone.

He was  conscious when  he died.  Even afterwards, though, I didn't have  the nerve  to go  back there. He just chatted away like nothing  was happening,  conscious  throughout  the  whole  thing.