Subud

Subud (pronounced [ˈsʊbʊd]) is an international spiritual movement that began in Indonesia in the 1920s, founded by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (1901-1987).[note 1] The basis of Subud is a spiritual exercise called the latihan kejiwaan, which was said by Muhammad Subuh to represent guidance from "the Power of God" or "the Great Life Force". He claimed that Subud was not a new teaching or religion, and recommended that Subud members practice an established religion; he left the choice of religion up to the individual. Some members have converted to Islam; others have found that their faith in and practice of Christianity or Judaism, for example, has deepened after practising the latihan.[1] There are Subud groups in about 83 countries, with a worldwide membership of about 10,000.[2]

Etymology

The name "Subud" is an acronym that stands for three Javanese words, Susila Budhi Dharma, which are derived from the Sanskrit terms suśīla (good-tempered), buddhi, and dharma.[3]

The meaning depends on the context in which they are being used. The original Sanskrit root words are defined differently than Pak Subuh indicates:

Sanskrit

Pak Subuh

Pak Subuh gives the following definitions:[5]

  • Susila: the good character of man in accordance with the Will of Almighty God.
  • Budhi: the force of the inner self within man.
  • Dharma: surrender, trust and sincerity towards Almighty God.

History

Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo
Bapak Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo

Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo explained in talks to Subud members, beginning in the 1940s, that during 1925 he was taking a late-night walk when he had an unexpected and unusual experience. He said he found himself enveloped in a brilliant light, and looked up to see what seemed like the sun falling directly onto his body, and he thought that he was having a heart attack. He said he went directly home, lay down on his bed, and prepared to die with the feeling that maybe it was his time, and that he could not fight it, so he surrendered himself to God.

According to the story, however, instead of dying he was moved from within to stand up and perform movements similar to his normal Muslim prayer routine. It seemed that he was not moving through his own volition; but was being guided by what he interpreted as the power of God. This same kind of experience reportedly happened to him for a few hours each night over a period of about 1000 days during which he slept little but was able to continue working full-time. He said he experienced a kind of "inner teaching" whereby he was given to understand a variety of things spontaneously.

As these experiences proceeded, Pak Subuh explained, he gained spontaneous insight into people and situations that he had not possessed before. Around 1933, as he reported, he received that if other people were physically near him while he was in a state of "latihan", then the experience would begin in them also. While still in his early thirties, Pak Subuh's reputation as someone with spiritual insight apparently grew, and people went to him to be 'opened'. They in turn could open others, and this is how Subud eventually spread around the world.

Rofe3
Husein Rofé in 1955 in Hong Kong

In Jakarta, Husein Rofé, an English linguist who had been living in Indonesia since 1950, met Pak Subuh. Rofé had been searching for a spiritual path and became the first non-Indonesian to be opened. Subud moved outside of Indonesia when Rofé attended a religious congress in Japan in 1954. Subud first spread internationally into Japan, followed by Hong Kong and Cyprus. In 1957, Rofé (who was then in London) suggested that Pak Subuh visit Britain. Pak Subuh accepted the invitation and visited the home of John G. Bennett in Coombe Springs. It was at this time that many UK followers of George Gurdjieff were initiated into Subud, including Bennett himself, though he later left the group. Over the next 14 months Pak Subuh visited many countries before returning to Indonesia.

Symbol

SubudSymbol
"Seven Circles" symbol of Subud

The Subud symbol was envisioned by Pak Subuh in 1959. The design consists of seven concentric circles and seven spokes, which, in traditional Javanese mysticism, represent seven levels of life forces as well as the Great Life Force that connects them. Each circle grows wider, the further out from the center, and each spoke narrows as it approaches the center. The space between the circles remains constant.

The symbol is often printed in black and white when color printing is not available. When colors are used, usually the circles and spokes are gold and the background is dark blue to black. However, the symbol is also sometimes blue on white or white on blue. The World Subud Association has registered this design, as well as the name "Subud", as a trade, service or collective membership mark in many countries.

Practices

The core of Subud is the latihan experience. Pak Subuh gives the following descriptions of Subud:[5]

This is the symbol of a person who has a calm and peaceful inner feeling and who is able to receive the contact with the Great Holy Life Force. As the spiritual training (latihan kedjiwaan) of Subud is free from the influence of the passions, desires and thinking, and is truly awakened by the Power of Almighty God, the aim of Subud is naturally toward perfection of character according to the Will of the One Who awakens it, namely: Almighty God. It is also necessary to explain that Subud is neither a kind of religion nor a teaching, but is a spiritual experience awakened by the Power of God leading to spiritual reality free from the influence of the passions, desires and thinking.

The central practice of Subud is the latihan kejiwaan (literally "spiritual exercise" or "training of the spirit"[6]) or simply "the latihan". This exercise is not thought about, learned or trained for; it is unique for each person and the ability to "receive" it is passed on by being in the presence of another practicing member at the "opening" (see below). About twice a week, Subud members go to a local center to participate in a group latihan, men and women separately.[7] The experience takes place in a room or a hall with open space. After a period of sitting quietly, the members are typically asked to stand and relax by a "helper" (see below), who then announces the start of the exercise.[8][9]

In the practice of the exercise, members are typically advised to follow "what arises from within", not expecting anything in advance. One is recommended not to focus on any image or recite any mantra, nor to mix the exercise with other activities like meditation or use of drugs, but simply to intend to surrender to the Divine or the transcendent good or the will of God. (The term "God" is used here with a broad and inclusive intention. An individual is at liberty to substitute interpretations that they feel more in tune with.) One is not to pay attention to others in the room, each of whom is doing his or her own latihan.[9] During the exercise, practitioners may find that, in terms of physical and emotional expression, they involuntarily move, make sounds, walk around, dance, jump, skip, laugh, cry or whatever.[2][8] The experience varies greatly for different people, but the practitioner is always wholly conscious throughout and free to stop the exercise at any time.

Many Subud members believe that this experience, apparently arising from within each person, provides them with something of what they currently need in life. For some, the latihan may appear to initially involve a "purification", which possibly permits subsequently deeper experience. Members may describe their latihan as leaving them feeling "cleansed", "centered", "at peace", or "energized".[9] The latihan is sometimes said to "work" 24 hours a day, not only when one is explicitly "doing" it.[10] Supposedly, the regular practice of the latihan will enable people to experience positive development in various aspects of their daily life and being. The official website talks of "a deepening of the natural connection with wisdom, one's higher self, the divine, or God, depending on one's preferred terminology". (see links)

Although the latihan can be practised alone, members are advised to participate regularly, ideally twice a week, in a group latihan. When a member has enough experience to reliably sense the appropriate time to finish his or her latihan session, he or she may add perhaps one more weekly session of the latihan at home.

While the suggestions of Subud's founder are held as valuable by many members, there is no requirement to believe anything, and the latihan is open to individuals of all faiths - or none. Subud officially endorses no doctrine regarding the latihan's nature or benefits.

The Opening

The "opening" refers to a person's first latihan, which is specially arranged to pass on the "contact", metaphorically resembling a candle flame that lights a new candle with no difference in quality of the flame. Only after the formal opening process, in most cases, is a person able to receive for himself or herself, and is then welcome to participate in the group latihan. In the opening, the person is accompanied by one or more experienced members called "helpers", and is asked to simply stand and relax with the helpers standing nearby. A simple statement or agreed set of "opening words" is read by one of the helpers that acknowledges the person's wish to receive the contact. The helpers then begin the exercise as they would normally do. The contact is passed on to the new member without effort or intention on the part of anyone present. This is the moment of the person's first connection with the latihan kejiwaan of Subud.

Testing

Testing is a distinct variety of the latihan directed toward receiving guidance or insight on a particular issue. Some question or request for clarification is acknowledged, and then the exercise is performed with openness to the issue. The original word for testing used by Muhammad Subuh was "terimah," which is Indonesian for "receiving". Many people who have been practicing the latihan for some time claim to be able to recognize indications or intuitions "from their inner feeling" in response to questions that are put forward.

Such indications may take various forms, including sounds, visions, vibrations and/or spontaneous physical movements similar to, though perhaps more intense than, those experienced in the usual latihan. However, it appears that such indications often defy intellectual analysis and that the supposed guidance can be obscured or biased by the mental or emotional attitudes of those present. Testing is generally viewed as an instrument for helping to clarify issues in the present, but may lead to confusion if treated as a kind of fortune-telling. Nevertheless, many Subud members claim to benefit from testing in terms of resolving issues.

Testing is normally used to help select helpers, and often committee members, throughout the World Subud Association. Pak Subuh's book "Susila Budhi Dharma" cites examples of situations in which testing may be useful, including self-training in putting any benefits of the latihan into practice. (Throughout Muhammad Subuh's book "Susila Budhi Dharma", which was written in 1952, testing is always referred to as "feeling" or "receiving". The first time "testing" was called by that name was in 1957 by John G. Bennett.)

Fasting

Individual Subud members often voluntarily engage in occasional fasting as Pak Subuh recommended. Each year, some members fast at the same time as the Muslim fast of Ramadan which Pak Subuh, himself a Muslim, claimed to be suitable for non-Muslims. Others fast during Lent or simply on a regular, private basis. In this context, fasting is regarded by many Subud members as spiritually edifying, although its practice is not expected.

Rules

Pak Subuh provided advice and guidance in his talks to provide direction to members as their latihan deepens. Although in general there are no rules in the practice of the latihan, non-members may not attend the latihan exercise without first receiving the contact referred to above, known as their opening.

Subud's founder wanted the latihan to be accessible to people of all cultures, faiths and ethnicities. Respect for the diversity of personal backgrounds and the uniqueness of each individual, along with a general absence of "thou shalt nots", are aspects of the organization that have been attractive to many members.

Association

Members who wish to take on organizational responsibility in Subud can volunteer as a committee member or as a helper. Each responsibility can be performed at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Members often move from one responsibility to another, as needed.

The broadest organizational responsibility rests with the World Subud Association, which organizes a World Congress every four years and consists of the Subud World Council, Subud representatives from each country, and individual members who wish to participate, although only representatives can vote. The headquarters of the international organization moves to a different country every four years.

Helpers

Each level of the association has members called "helpers" whose role is to coordinate the timing of group latihan, witness the opening of new members, speak to those interested in the latihan, be available to discuss problems relating to the latihan, and sometimes attend to the latihan needs of isolated or indisposed Subud members. Helpers are usually selected from members who are willing to perform the duties, and selection generally occurs through testing. In no way does selection mean that a person is more spiritually advanced than a member who is not a helper.

Helpers exist at the local, regional (in some countries), national and international levels. Helpers' geographical status relates to the regional or national supportive duties they are expected to provide – otherwise, there are no geographical restrictions on where a helper is considered to be a helper. A local helper from London who travels to Jakarta, for example, will be seen as a helper there, and can do testing or participate in a new member's opening in the same way as any Indonesian helper.

There are normally 18 international helpers—nine men and nine women. Three men and three women are assigned to each of the three areas in Subud:

  1. Area I covers Zones 1 & 2 (Australasia and Asia)
  2. Area II covers Zones 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Europe and Africa)
  3. Area III covers Zones 7, 8 & 9 (the Americas)

The international helpers are members of the World Subud Council. They serve on a voluntary basis for a four-year term, which runs from World Congress to World Congress. There is no distinction in rank between local, national, or international helpers. Nor is there a difference in status between helpers, committee or members. Being a helper is seen not as a talent but as a service role.

Ibu Rahayu

Ibu Siti Rahayu Wiryohudoyo is Pak Subuh's eldest daughter. In a talk given on 5 March 2010 to a National Gathering in Semarang, Indonesia, Ibu Siti Rahayu explains how she came to be appointed "spiritual advisor" by the Subud International Congress.[11]

Committees

Most Subud groups have a committee, typically including a chairperson, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary. This committee is responsible for making sure there is a place to do group latihan, communications, budgets, and supporting the mutual efforts of members at the local group. A similar structure functions at the regional (in certain countries), national, zonal and international levels.

The international executive is the International Subud Committee (ISC). Apart from ensuring communication, publishing, budgeting, archives and support of affiliates, it organizes a World Congress every four years. The ISC chairperson sits on the World Subud Council.

For purposes of a practical organizational structure, the Subud association is divided into nine multinational zones, more or less as follows:

  • Zones 1 & 2 – Australasia and Asia
  • Zone 3 – includes 8 countries of western Europe
  • Zone 4 – central and eastern European countries
  • Zones 5 & 6 – Francophone and Anglophone African countries, respectively
  • Zone 7 – USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Surinam, and the Caribbean
  • Zone 8 – the upper part of South America
  • Zone 9 – the lower part of South America

Each Zone has its own four representatives that are the voting members on the World Subud Council. They also serve as volunteers a four-year term like helpers. They are selected at Zone Meetings.

The chairperson of the World Subud Association serves a four-year term from one World Congress to the next and is also the chairperson of the World Subud Council. The World Subud Council is responsible for ensuring that decisions made at World Congress are carried through.

Affiliates

Subud affiliates (sometimes called ‘wings’) are subsidiary organizations that focus on specific projects at a national or international level. They are technically independent organizations but have overlapping boards of trustees. They include:

Some chairpersons of these affiliates also sit on the World Subud Council and serve a four-year term.

In addition to the above affiliates, a foundation – the Muhammad Subuh Foundation (MSF) – has been set up, whose main work is helping groups acquire their own latihan premises.

Informal networks and interest groups initiated by members include a Peace Network, a Spiritual Support Network (Yahoo group) and several Facebook groups.

Enterprises

When Subud first spread outside Indonesia, Pak Subuh talked mainly about the spiritual exercise. He started to encourage Subud members to engage in enterprises and donate a proportion of profits to welfare projects and to maintaining the Subud organisation. He explained that the fact of the latihan "bringing to life" the physical body indicates that worship need not be viewed as narrowly as prayer in places of worship; that people's ordinary lives, when following and guided by the Power of God, are ongoing worship, such that there is a dynamic interplay between "material" life and "spiritual" life. Therefore, his encouragement for Subud members to engage in enterprise is seen in the context of putting the latihan into practice.

Membership

Membership is open to any person over 17 years of age, irrespective of the person's religion or lack of religion. (As Pak Subuh saw it, the latihan is for "all of mankind.") The exception is that someone suffering from a serious mental illness may not be initiated as a member.

There is normally a waiting period of up to three months before a person may be opened. During this period, the enquirer is expected to meet a few times with the local helpers so that he or she can have questions answered and doubts clarified.

There is no membership fee, but most Subud members contribute, for example, to the rent or upkeep of premises where they meet.

Notes

  1. ^ The name Subud was first used in the 1940s when Subud was legally registered in Indonesia.

References

  1. ^ Matthew Barry Sullivan. Living Religion in Subud. 1991.
  2. ^ a b Hunt (2003), p. 122
  3. ^ "About Subud". Subud Britain.
  4. ^ Sanskrit Dictionary, "Suzila". Spokensanskrit.de.
  5. ^ a b Pak Subuh (1966).
  6. ^ Chryssides (1999), p. 261
  7. ^ Webb (1995), pp. 269–270
  8. ^ a b Chryssides (1999), p. 263
  9. ^ a b c Webb (1995), p. 270
  10. ^ Chryssides (1999), p. 269
  11. ^ Subud Canada (2010) SCAN The Quarterly Newsletter of Subud Canada, p. 13 SCAN Autumn 2010 Archived 6 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  • Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London and New York: Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5.
  • Geels, Antoon (1997). Subud and the Javanese mystical tradition. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-0623-2.
  • Hunt, Stephen J. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-3410-8.
  • Mulder, Niels Mysticism & everyday life in contemporary Java : cultural persistence and change Singapore : Singapore University Press, c1978
  • Pak Subuh (1966), The Basis and Aim of Subud, Subud Publications International (SPI)
  • Sumohadiwidjojo, M. S. "Autobiography" ISBN 1-869822-07-2, Subud Publications International (March 1990)
  • The International Helpers, "On the Subud Way" ISBN 0-9757497-0-6, (c) The World Subud Association (WSA) 2005
  • Webb, G. (1995). "Subud". In Miller, T. (ed.). America's Alternative Religions. New York: SUNY Press. pp. 267–275.. ISBN 0-7914-2398-0.

External links

Badger, California

Badger is an unincorporated community located in Tulare County in California. It has a population of 140. The zip code is 93603 and the area code 559.

It is in the Cutler-Orosi Unified School District; High-school-aged students who live in Badger must ride a bus for about 23 miles (37 km) to attend school. They must also travel down for food and supplies to the nearest city, which is Visalia. A grocery store had attempted business in Badger, but failed due to people's lack of interest in changing their routine. A local Hare Krishna group is also known to run their own school in Badger, called New Braja Village School. A Hare Krishna festival is held there every year, in May or June, celebrating the visit of a spiritual guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. Badger has recently experienced a lot of growth. There is a Subud spiritual group in Badger; its Seven Circles Retreat Center hosts a variety of youth, family and spiritual programs.

Eva Bartok

Éva Márta Szőke Ivanovics (18 June c. 1927 – 1 August 1998), known professionally as Eva Bartok, was a Hungarian-British actress. She began acting in films in 1950 and her last credited appearance was in 1966. She is best known for appearances in Blood and Black Lace, The Crimson Pirate, Operation Amsterdam, and Ten Thousand Bedrooms.

Hamilton Camp

Hamilton Camp (30 October 1934 – 2 October 2005) was an English-American singer-songwriter, actor and voice actor.

Helper (Subud)

Within Subud, a "helper" (Indonesian: pembantu pelatih, meaning “helping to train” or “assistant trainer") is a person who fills a certain support role. The nature of this role, and the actual performance of those who fill it, are subjects of some controversy within Subud.

Most Subud groups have helpers, who are responsible for assisting other members in various ways, as well as simply timing the latihan. Helpers exist at the local, regional, national, and international levels within the Subud organization.

Ideally, a helper should have at least seven years of practicing the latihan and to be generally 'loved and respected' by their fellow members. One becomes a helper by asking the helpers to "test", or receive, whether the person has the capacity to fulfill the helper job at that point in time. That is, the helpers make a decision based on what they receive in their testing, and with as little mental thought and personal opinion as is humanly possible.

A focus of criticism is the role some helpers adopt as spiritual and personal counselors. Their ability and understanding apparently vary considerably. Reviewing the internet one can see a whole variety of balanced and not so balanced opinions of helpers. Helpers are as imperfect as the next person, and as is natural in any position of 'authority' interpersonal clashes involving helpers and other helpers and helpers and members do occur. There is no official training program nor set of predetermined skills necessary to become a Helper. Thus most Helpers, unless they have obtained training and licensure outside of the Subud organization in psychology, or behavioral health, or psychiatry, or other related career field, are thus untrained and unskilled.

According to the Subud USA National By-Laws (posted at www.subudusa.org), Helpers serve six main functions. Note that these functions apply only to the By-Laws, and that other functions are specified in other places, such as Bapak's "Advice and Guidance for Helpers" (see link below)):

Verify that members are active in the national (not-for-profit) organization, thereby giving membership status (Article 3, Section 1);

Removing membership status (Article 3, Section 2);

Reinstating membership status (Article 3, Section 3);

Supervising the national census (Article 5, Section 2);

Serving as members in standing national committees (Article 6, Section 6); and

Consulting with the National Board of Directors in certain situations regarding filling vacancies of the Officers of the Corporation (Article 7, Section 3).Note that the relationships between the Helpers (but not the duties and responsibilities of the Helpers) are found in Article 11.

Officially, helpers are there to help Bapak, the founder of Subud, by supporting the Subud association in his absence. They have the responsibility to explain what Subud is to any interested person, to facilitate a person's first receiving (opening), and to serve members in deepening their receiving and applying it in their lives.Bapak has said frequently that being a helper is absolutely not a sign of spiritual superiority and that it is possible that some non-helpers are spiritually superior to the helpers. Similarly, there is no spiritual hierarchy of helpers: international helpers, national helpers and local helpers are simply designated as such for practical purposes.

John G. Bennett

John Godolphin Bennett (8 June 1897 – 13 December 1974) was a British mathematician, scientist, technologist, industrial research director, and author. He is best known for his books on psychology and spirituality, particularly on the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. Bennett met Gurdjieff in Istanbul in October 1920 and later helped to co-ordinate the work of Gurdjieff in England after the guru had moved to Paris. He also was active in starting the British section of the Subud movement, and co-founded its British headquarters.

Bennett was born in London, England; educated at King's College School, London; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; School of Military Engineering, Chatham; and the School of Oriental Studies, London.

He was a Fellow of the Institute of Fuel, London, from 1938 onwards; Chairman, Conference of Research Associations, 1943–1945; Chairman, Solid Fuel Industry, British Standards Institution, 1937–1942; Chairman and Director, Institute for the comparative study of History, Philosophy, and the Sciences, Kingston upon Thames, 1946–1959.

Kejawèn

Kejawèn or Javanism, also called Kebatinan, Agama Jawa, and Kepercayaan, is a Javanese religious tradition, consisting of an amalgam of animistic, Buddhist,and Hindu . It is rooted in Javanese history and religiosity, syncretizing aspects of different religions.

Latihan

Latihan (from Indonesian latihan kejiwaan; "spiritual exercise") is a form of spiritual practice. It is the principal practice of the Subud organization.

Lewis Arquette

Lewis Michael Arquette (December 14, 1935 – February 10, 2001) was an American film actor, writer and producer. Arquette was known for playing J.D. Pickett on the television series, The Waltons, where he worked from 1978 to 1981.

Lorenzo Music

Gerald David "Lorenzo" Music (May 2, 1937 – August 4, 2001) was an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer and musician. He was best known as the original voice of Jim Davis' comic strip cat Garfield on animated projects during the 1980s.

Muhammad Subuh Foundation

The Muhammad Subuh Foundation (MSF) is a charitable foundation named in honor of Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (called "Bapak"), the founder of Subud. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt body constituted in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its major functions are to finance the purchase and construction of Subud centers, and to preserve and disseminate the writings and talks of Bapak,

including his definitive book, published in 1952, Susila Budhi Dharma.

The MSF has assets of about two million USD.

Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo

Bapak redirects here. In the Indonesian language, it is a generic term to address elderly man. Literally, it means father in the Indonesian language.Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (born June 22, 1901, in Kedungjati, near Semarang, Java, Indonesia; died June 23, 1987) was an Indonesian spiritual man who founded the movement known as Subud.

As a young man Muhammad Subuh claims to have received a series of intense experiences that he believed gave him contact with a spiritual energy from a higher power. By the 1930s, he believed that it was his task to transmit this energy - which he called latihan kejiwaan (Indonesian for "spiritual exercise") - to others, but that he was not to seek people out but simply to wait for those who asked for it.

In 1956, Pak Subuh, or "Bapak" as he was called by members of Subud (the word "Bapak" is Indonesian for something akin to father), was invited to England by J. G. Bennett, where many Westerners joined Subud. He was then asked to go to other countries such as the United States and Australia. In this way, Subud spread rapidly around the world.

When he died in 1987 he left many talks on tape, video and in print, which Subud uses to guide the organization he founded.

Subud Enterprise Services

Subud Enterprise Services (S.E.S.) is one of the "wings" of the spiritual organization Subud. It is not an independent entity, but a division controlled by the World Subud Association. Its purpose is to assist Subud members in their entrepreneurial activities.

Subud's founder, Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (called Bapak) encouraged Subud followers to develop "enterprises" (Indonesian: usaha, "efforts"). This was to demonstrate that Subud has practical advantages, and so that more Subud members would have the means to support Subud financially and have a work-life balance that would allow travel on behalf of Subud.

Subud International Cultural Association

The Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) was founded in 1983 by a group of artists, educators, and cultural activists attending an international gathering of Subud members in the UK. They represented creative disciplines across all sectors, and they came from many nations. Their intention was:

To establish a communication network for Subud members working in creative fields to share experiences and best practices;

To provide opportunities for collaborative projects and mentorship;

To build greater public awareness and support for the role of arts and culture in the development of Subud and the world.The founder of Subud, Bapak Mhd. Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, welcomed this new initiative, but advised SICA to embrace a very broad definition of culture as culture is not just about the arts. “The arts can show the way,” he said, “but culture includes all aspects of human endeavour.”

Since its beginning, SICA has organised numerous exhibitions, workshops, youth camps, performances, concerts, conferences, and publications throughout the world. It has produced international cultural festivals featuring artists and performers in Sydney, Australia in 1988, Spokane, Washington, USA in 1998, and Innsbruck, Austria in 2004. SICA also helped provide cultural events and activities at World Subud Congresses in Amanacer, Colombia in 1993, Bali, Indonesia in 2001, and in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010.

SICA's mission is to advance and celebrate activities that grow out of the development of one's soul — one's genuine inner gifts or talents. SICA serves its mission by providing programs and services to individuals and organisations working for the public benefit in the fields of art, culture, and creativity. SICA provides information, training, networking, and support services and opportunities to engage with regional, national, and international cultural initiatives and events.

The Subud International Cultural Association was incorporated in the USA as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1993. Affiliated with the World Subud Association, SICA has subsidiary branches in the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia, with representatives in India, Chile, Indonesia, Colombia, Germany, France, and Italy. SICA serves a worldwide Subud membership and the general public in the many communities where it operates. A volunteer Board of Directors coordinates its activities.

SICA's main office is in Austin, Texas, USA.

Subud Youth Association

Subud Youth Association (S.Y.A.) is a branch within the World Subud Association, and one of four "wings" of Subud. It was founded in 1983, at the urging of Subud founder Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, called Bapak. His intent was to allow Subud youth to plan their own activities. Its main purpose is that of helping young Subud members network with one another.

SYA publishes a newsletter, Youth Times.

Subud and religion

Subud literature rejects the suggestion that Subud is a religion, but rather describes it as "spiritual dancing." The difference between religion and spirituality is much debated. Subud is treated as a religious organisation in some countries, such as the UK, where it is registered as religious charity, but in other places, such as Indonesia, it is viewed by the government as an education organisation, since the government officially endorse only six religions, and religious conflicts between majority and minority are rife). It appears that Subud (along with numerous other groups with similar reservations) is forced because of conditions in some countries to register as a religion as there are no alternative categories offered for registration.

Susila Budhi Dharma

Susila Budhi Dharma is a book written by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, the founder of the World Subud Association, in the city of Jogjakarta, Indonesia, in 1952. Its name corresponds to the three main qualities that are to be developed through the training in the Subud path. The name "Subud" is a contraction of these three Javanese words of Sanskrit derivation.

Susila Dharma International Association

Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA) is a non-profit association that aims to relieve human suffering and promote just and sustainable development. With activities in 29 countries, SDIA has 21 voting and 41 associate members (development projects). It works by:

Partnering and supporting grassroots, participatory development and humanitarian initiatives

Empowering individuals and communities to engage in human, social and economic development

Raising awareness of global issues and interdependence.SDIA builds the capacity of its members to develop and sustain their organizations and projects. It provides training and coordinates technical, financial and human resources. It builds connections with donors and provides communication and information-sharing services. SDIA promotes awareness of key issues such as gender equality, children's rights, health care, sustainable livelihoods, and innovative and effective development practices.

Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA) is a US-registered non-profit organization (US Charitable tax No. 98-0156249) and holds special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UNICEF and the Department of Public Information(DPI). SDIA is governed by an international board and by the decisions of voting members at the Annual General Meeting.

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (born December 4, 1927 in Malmö – died July 3, 2004 in Copenhagen), often known simply as Torun, was one of Sweden's most important 20th century silversmiths and a master jeweller. She is the first female silversmith to have become internationally noted. Among her most important works are the watch "Vivianna," the bracelet "Mobius," and the earrings and necklaces "Dew Drop."

World Subud Association

The World Subud Association (WSA) is a non-profit association registered in the state of Virginia, United States. Its members are the national Subud associations of around 80 countries worldwide.

The WSA meets every four or five years for a World Congress. Between congresses, the development and implementation of world congress decisions is overseen by the World Subud Council (WSC), made up of the chairperson of the WSA, the chairperson of the International Subud Committee (ISC), the Zone Representatives (to a maximum of 9), 18 International Helpers, the representatives of the so-called "wings":

- Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA),- the Subud International Cultural Association (SICA),- Subud Enterprise Services, and- the Subud Youth Association.The chairperson of the Muhammad Subuh Foundation is also invited to sit on the council. The International Subud Committee is the executive of the WSA and carries out the practical business, including the organisation of world congresses.

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