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WHAT IS SUBUD?… in words and video

This magazine is produced by members of the spiritual movement known as Subud. Recently the magazine became available free and online to the general public as well as to Subud members.

Because  there will probably be some new readers who are unfamiliar with Subud, it seems a good idea to provide a few words of explanation about the movement.

Subud is a spiritual movement which originated in Indonesia in the 1920s and spread to the West in 1957, first to England and then all around the world.  It has always remained fairly small and inconspicuous, with perhaps only about 15-20,000 active members worldwide, although it is represented in close to 80 countries.

The central spiritual experience in Subud is called the latihan. “Latihan” is a commonplace Indonesian word which simply means exercise or drill. It is short for the Indonesian phrase “latihan kejiwaan” which means spiritual exercise.

Although it originated in Indonesia, and although the founder, Bapak Muhammad Subuh, was  a Muslim, Subud is not Indonesian or Islamic. Everyone in Subud is encouraged to follow their own nationality and beliefs. Subud is not a system of belief but an experience available to everyone regardless of race or religion. It does not contain  any particular culture or religion. It is open to people of all religions, political persuasions, nationalities and ethnicities.

Subud members are encouraged to be active in the world and endeavour to give form to what they have received in the latihan. Activities include setting up businesses and humanitarian and cultural projects. There is a democratic international Subud organisation, the World Subud Association (WSA) which unites the various national organisations in Subud which meet together at World Congresses usually held every four years. A more compact body, the World Subud Council (WSC), looks after the affairs of Subud between Congresses.

Other important organisations in Subud are Susila Dharma International (SDI) which co-ordinates the social welfare projects of Subud members; the Muhammad  Subuh Foundation (MSF) which funds a variety of Subud projects; Subud Enterprise Services International (SESI) which supports the work of Subud entrepreneurs; Subud Youth Activities International (SYAI) which works with young Subud members; Subud International Cultural Associaion (SICA) which supports cultural projects; and the Subud International Health Association (SIHA) whihc works in the area of health.

This is a very brief sketch of Subud. Those wishing for a more detailed explanation should go to http://www.subudvoice.net/whatissubud/home.html. There is a link to it on the left hand side of our home page. There are also links to the web sites of the various organisations mentioned above which also include explanations of Subud. See for example the official web site of WSA, www.subud.com.

If anyone would like to make contact with a Subud group near them, they should check the telephone directory to see if there is a group in their locality. Or they should go to the web site www.subud.com where they will find contact information for the WSA and the various national bodies.

VIDEO ABOUT SUBUD…View it now right here

FINDING SUBUD” is a 9 minute documentary by Sam Mulgrew (not a Subud member), a student at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

“As a class film assignment, we have to make a documentary. I’m making mine about Subud. I was searching the internet for what’s been happening recently in Christchurch looking for ideas, and I came across an article about the Subud World Congress event held locally, attended by 1700 people from all around the world. I’ve never heard of this thing called Subud… so I became intrigued.”

See it for yourself on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJfaHQeevE