Subud is based on a contact with the power of Almighty God or ‘the Great Life Force’ that each person can experience for themselves – and which is available to anyone who wants to receive it. This contact, known as the latihan, is a form of grace or worship that can be experienced regularly. Once received, the latihan is something that arises spontaneously from within a person’s being and which brings to life one’s own inner self.
Subud is not a religion – there are people of all religions within Subud who follow the latihan. Subud has no teaching and no dogma. It is based entirely on the experience of the latihan, which was first received by the founder of Subud, an Indonesian, Bapak Muhammad Subuh (or ‘Bapak’ meaning ‘father’ as he was affectionately known by Subud members). Bapak later passed the latihan to other people who wished to receive it.
Subud is also unlike meditation or other similar Eastern practices which focus the will. Once a person is ‘opened’ in Subud, he or she is able to receive the latihan which arises spontaneously within them and which provides them with their own guidance for right living. Each person receives the latihan in accordance with their own nature, capacity and needs.
The latihan is based on surrendering to the Power of Almighty God with an attitude of patience, acceptance and submission. It is usually practiced or received together in company with other members (men and women separately) although each person receives the experience for themselves. There are many Subud groups around the world.
Subud does not promote itself or actively solicit members – although it is open to anyone who truly wishes to worship Almighty God. There are many references to Subud on the web, but for those seeking more information from a spiritual or inner point of view, a useful starting point is www.subud.org.