The following article was printed in the European Journal for the Dances of Universal Peace, issue 26 Spring/Summer 2003
I'd like to introduce Subud to you - a rather new spiritual path, which involves sound and movement. My guess is that quite a few peace dancers would love and benefit from Subud and our spiritual practice, called 'latihan', if only they knew about it. Especially for the freedom loving spirits, who may have their very own spirituality; or for Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Quakers, Unitarians etc., who could do with some more depth or direct experience with the Divine, or who may want to deepen the contact with God by joining Subud.
Subud is not a religion but a spiritual practice for all. People are encouraged to stay in their current religion when joining Subud.
"The necessity to put aside your heart [emotions] and mind [thinking] during the Latihan is so that our inner feeling can immediately come into contact with the inner, and at last movements of life will appear which are not caused by our wanting." (Bapak)
So we do not do anything, but allow everything to happen. Usually sounds and movements arise from within. One benefit of allowing God to work with us is a process of healing, balancing and transformation. A name that supports your spiritual development may be given to you if you wish.
Subud has democratic structures on local, regional, national and international levels. The International Subud Council moves its country every four years to avoid attachment with power, a nation or a culture. Subud Britain is a registered Charity.
There are several wings within Subud: social welfare (Susila Dharma International), culture (SICA), health (SIHA), Subud Publications International (SPI), youth (SYA) and enterprises (SES). Susila Dharma is in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] and the International Children's Fund [UNICEF]
Subud has spread to about 80 countries, including most European countries. In Britain there are 60 Subud groups, in Germany 12. See www.subudbritain.org or www.subud.org. It is free to join Subud for everyone from the age of 17. The Latihan may cause major changes in your self and your life. It is therefore usual to have a preparation time for up to three months before you join Subud. We call the first Latihan your "opening".
There is no membership fee - members are expected to give voluntary contributions for overheads
Both spiritual practices are rather new, involve sound and movement, have a strong multi-faith aspect: and reflect many ways to worship God. The own experience, the chance to have a mystic experience is central in both. Both respect the individual freedom to leave their organisation at any time.
I started introducing the peace dances to Subud at last year's Big International Gathering and to mention DUP events in the member's Bulletin. Subud as a modern mystic way gives me spiritual depth; the Dances of Universal Peace give me joy, contact and community experience - both practices compliment each other perfectly. Would other peace dancing Subud members in Europe please contact me to exchange experiences?
Ralph Nimmann, Cambridge, England, 0044 1223 510 442 e-mail
Ralph likes to build bridges of understanding and has developed the Cambridge based Rainbow Network (www.rainbow-cambridge.org.uk). He is currently also chairing the Cambridge Inter-Faith Group, Subud Cambridge and regularly attends a Quaker meeting. Last year he was baptised and married Russian Orthodox.
Articles about Subud by Ralph Nimmann:
The Subud Cambridge group has now it's own web page: www.cam.net.uk/home/subud
New Subud group in Hebden Bridge / West Yorkshire?
Ralph's experiences after joining Subud: www.cam.net.uk/home/subud/myexperience.htm#ralph
other articles by Ralph | top of page
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