What is Subud?

Subud is an international organization of men and women who practice the spiritual exercise known as the latihan kedjiwaan of Subud* and who follow the spiritual path that is received during this exercise.

The Subud latihan is not based on a teaching or theory. It arises spontaneously, as a receiving that is initiated, moved, and guided by direct contact with the power of God. Each person receives this in accordance with his or her own unique nature, character, strength, and capacity.

Subud is not a new religion and it is not the aim or purpose of Subud to replace one’s religion or to change one’s religious affiliation. There is nothing in Subud that contradicts what exists in the great religions, and Subud members are encouraged to continue to practice the religion of their choice. Many people of all religions, including clergy members, report that their Subud experience helps to deepen their spiritual awareness and strengthen their commitment to their religious practice.

Subud has no charismatic leader or hierarchical authority structure. Subud members are encouraged to think critically, to trust and follow only their own experience, to use their hearts and minds fully, and to be actively engaged in the life of their families, work and communities. Subud social activities are funded by the voluntary contributions of its members.

Subud is not a new age psychological self-help technique or self-improvement program. The aim and purpose of Subud is simply to surrender and submit completely to the power of God with patience and sincerity and to receive and follow the guidance and direction that arises spontaneously from within.

Although Subud originated in Indonesia in 1932, it is not an “Eastern” spiritual movement. It has since spread to more than 95 countries around the world. People of all religious, national, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds come together in Subud to worship God harmoniously. When we stand before God we are all equal.

Subud does not advertise or proselytize in order to seek out new members. The Subud contact is a gift and grace for all of mankind, and it is freely shared with all who sincerely desire it. All that is required to receive this contact is a genuine willingness to surrender to God with patience, submission, and sincerity, and a commitment to follow and to put into practice what one receives.

Membership in Subud is open to anyone over 17 years of age. Applicants are asked to wait for a period of approximately three months before receiving the Subud contact for the first time. During this waiting period, applicants are encouraged to regularly attend applicants’ meetings, to ask questions, and to get to know Subud members. The decision to embark on a spiritual path is not one that should be taken lightly. In order to avoid misunderstandings, confusion, or disappointment later on, applicants should try to acquire as clear an understanding as possible of what Subud is and what it is not before making a decision to join.

If you are interested in learning more about Subud Boston, click the Contacts link under the About Us link in the menubar for a list of Subud Boston contacts. The people on this list can send you literature and arrange for you to attend a Subud Boston applicants meeting if you would like that.

If you are interested in learning more about Subud but you are not in the Boston area, click the International Contacts link for a world-wide list of Subud contacts.

* Latihan Kedjiwaan means spiritual excersize in Indonesian.