On Wednesday evening, September 18, 2013, a group of 38 people gathered together at the Rollo Centre to participate in a program aimed at learning about Subud, a spiritual practice originating in Indonesia in the 1900’s.

As it is not a religion and not a meditation as we know it, Subud is an intriguing experience, as outlined by the Rev. Rohana Laing and her five friends from Saltspring and Vancouver.

Rohana Laing, Maemunah Coleman-Doran, Rosana and Lucas Hille, Martin Ebbers and Jacki all have had Subud in their lives over the past few decades.  All were originally searching for something “more” to deepen their spiritual lives and personal development. They all had tried a wide variety of experiences and Subud, (short for Susila Buddhi Dharma in Sanskrit) proved to be the vehicle that gave the greatest meaning for them.

In the stimulating and thoughtful discussion which followed the introduction of the six and the film “SUBUD – A Gift From God – The story of the founder Bapak 1901-2001”, these rewards were described by the group:

“It is meant for ALL – not just the saints, mystics, prophets – it is spiritual training and a quiet movement towards growth.”

“God is the universal force and the source of all energy.”
“It’s an inner process.”

“It offers us a vessel.”

“It is more profound with a group.”

“It’s giving a freedom to be ourselves – a wonderful experience.”

“It is beyond my heart and mind and intellect.”

“There is a peaceful groundedness of Subud members.”

The film itself focused on Bapak and the development of the Subud movement over the years, which reached its apogee in the sixties and seventies. Today it has members in 80 countries, is involved in many social, charitable and artistic projects and does not proselytize.  It has a world wide conference every four years and the next one will be in Mexico.

It is not well known, and there are not many members in Canada. However there are groups in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and  small groups in Victoria and on Saltspring.  It spreads mostly by word of mouth, and through family, friends, websites and books. One recommended book is A Special Assignment A Subud trilogy by Varindra Tarzie Vittachi.

The following comes from Vittachi’s book:

SUBUD is an international spiritual movement of men and women who have received a renewed contact with the Great Life Force and practice the “latihan kejiwaan” or inner training which arises from the contact.

The latihan (vibration or inner training) causes inner change in people. Pursuit of latihan comes from intense group meditation in which the goal is that opening to change. Remember that Subud is not a religion. It is not a monastic cult, a spiritist group, nor a teaching. The goal is to provide inner strength and guidance.

Here’s what GES Board Member Paddy Waymark had to say …

Overall, this was an interesting and challenging workshop on furthering one’s spiritual development in these complex times. The speakers were clear that  Subud had paralleled their other spiritual searchings, and that it had become an invaluable asset in their lives.