Monthly Archives: October 2014

Poetry & Flute (Sam Hamill and Chris Yohmei Blasdel)

Please join us Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 7:30, for an evening of poetry and music as Sam Hamill and Chris Yohmei Blasdel are reunited for one evening at Spring Street Center, 1101 15th in Seattle at the corner of 15th & Spring. This event is made possible by Subud Greater Seattle and SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association, which exists at the intersection of creativity and spirituality.

Habitation (Lost Horse Press)

Habitation (Lost Horse Press)

In the liner notes to his 1999 CD, Heart of Bamboo, Sam Hamill  quotes Rainier Maria Rilke, who he says saw the foremost function of poetry: “You must change your life.” He also says that “the roots of poetry inevitably return us to music” and “Poetry and music share a common root: both begin in deep listening.” Hear the title poem of that CD here.

Hamill and Yohmei Blasdel first performed in Tokyo in 1988. “With his playing of the ancient masterpiece San’ya, a song I’d heard other masters play, I felt I had found a soulmate.”They reunite for this evening to celebrate Hamill’s new book: Habitation: Collected Poems.



Sam Hamill was born in 1943 and grew up on a Utah farm. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and served as Editor there for thirty-two years. He taught in artist-in-residency programs in schools and prisons and worked with Domestic Violence programs. He directed the Port Townsend Writers Conference for nine years, and in 2003, founded Poets Against the War. He is the author of more than forty books, including celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Latin. His new book is Habitation: Collected Poems.


Chris Yohmei Blasdel

Chris Yohmei Blasdel

Chris Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Japan’s Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi and continued with the master until his death in 1999. In 1982, Blasdel received his MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and was honored with the professional name “Yohmei” from Yamaguchi in 1984—the first of only two non-Japanese accredited by Yamaguchi. Presently, Blasdel performs around the world and has taught or lectured at such prestigious institutions as Earlham College (Indiana), Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), University of Washington (Seattle), Charles University (Prague) and many others.

Spring Street Center

SICA Outreach to BC

A report by Paul Nelson on his outreach to British Columbia to investigate the possibility of using the Cascadia Poetry Festival as a too for SICA outreach. Paul founded the festival in 2012 and there have been two iterations, the second being this last May at Seattle U and the Subud House in Seattle.

Errington War Memorial Hall

Errington War Memorial Hall

On Saturday, October 18, Bhakti Watts, Chair of Subud Portland drove to Seattle and we drove together to Vancouver, BC, Canada, where the next day we drove with Lucas Hille, Chair of SICA Canada, to Errington, BC. Our plan was to attend an annual gathering of Subud members from around Vancouver Island, from Victoria to Comox and discuss the potential for partnership between the Cascadia Poetry Festival and SICA, with the idea of creating greater awareness in the world of SICA while helping the festival gather momentum and become self-sustaining.

Bhakti, Lucas Hille 10.19.14 Ferry to Nanaimo

Bhakti, Lucas Hille 10.19.14 Ferry to Nanaimo

We got an early ferry from Horseshoe Bay Sunday the 19th, and met David Fraser and Kim Goldberg in Nanaimo, on the other side of the Strait of Georgia. We discussed the developments they were overseeing as members of the local organizing committee for the third Cascadia Poetry Festival in Nanaimo in 2015. This is a festival founded by Seattle Poetics LAB, (SPLAB) a non-profit organization I founded in 1993.

David and Kim discussed their participation in Cascadia II, in May 2014, and the remarkable experience they had, in large part, because of the use of the Seattle Subud House as a venue and hospitality center for the fest. The sense of community and the depth of the sharing in the democratic reading, the Living Room, were highlights as I recall. They discussed their recent news of being awarded a grant for $5,000 for the 2015 festival (Apr 30-May 3), use of the Painted Turtle Hostel for lodging (at a considerable discount) and how to get festival attendees from downtown Nanaimo to the events at Vancouver Island University and other logistical issues.

Paul, Lucas Hille 10.19.14

Paul, Lucas Hille 10.19.14

Bhakti and I had met in Portland on September 26 with John Beer, a poet and Associate Professor of English at Portland State University and head of the PSU Creative Writing Program and Kamron Taber, a PSU student and the campus representative for Cascadia Now, a non-profit organization working to develop a sense of Cascadia culture and a sponsor of the second  Cascadia Poetry Festival.

After about an hour our party headed north to Errington, and arrived at the Errington War Memorial Hall, where an annual Subud gathering had happened the last 6 years. We gathered with Subud members in a circle, then split up into two groups by gender and did latihan and testing. There was discussion of the role of culture and its definition, some men believing it to be the arts and creativity, and testing was done on that. The real key for me was a test on how it would be for SICA to be involved with the Cascadia Poetry Festival and all men received that it would be positive and half the men got that it would be remarkable, one man mentioning something akin to a sun in his receiving. The men present, in addition to Lucas Hille, myself and Dave Hitchcock, were:

Craig Rogers from Fanny Bay

Howard Pattinson from Comox

Rasjad Coleman from Duncan

In the sharing of the test results, Lucas Hille confided that when first approached about this potential partnership, his impression was that this effort was about me getting my person needs met, but he soon experienced that the effort is much more significant than that. Bhakti did not test on SICA but on personal matters with the women, of whim there about 16.

We shared a meal, discussed the test results and the vision for the collaboration, and Lucas, Bhakti and I each performed either a song or poem and soon we were on our way. We parked the car in the ferry line, walked to the Painted Turtle and got a tour of one of the rooms and one of the common areas where participating poets will be gathering and were quite impressed. We took the short ferry from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island and spent the night at the cabin Lucas has owned for many years, right on the water, with ferries silently criss-crossing until late at night. Lucas asked if I were interested in doing a poetry workshop at his cabin and I would love to do that and give the proceeds after expenses to SICA – Canada. Bhakti felt it would be good to have a place in Nanaimo during the festival to do latihan. This would serve a few purposes. Subud members could have a chance to gather and share latihan, our purpose and engagement in the festival would likely be more focused were this to happen, it would serve as a chance for Subud members on the island to engage with one another and might help revive the small Subud community in Nanaimo. In fact this festival might be used to strengthen already healthy Subud communities in the bioregion, or help revive struggling ones. My vision after Cascadia III in Nanaimo in 2015 is to stage the fest in:

Bothell, WA 2016 (perhaps involving Subud Greater Seattle with an emphasis on the East Side Subud membership;

Portland, OR 2017;

Vancouver, BC 2018;

Arcata, CA 2019.

We also feel that SICA may want to be a sponsor of CPF # (2015) at the Red Cedar level ($1,000) and have a table to pass out Subud and SICA brochures and talk to people about what Subud is. See: It would also be helpful if there were gold passes purchased by Subud members starting in February when a crowd-funding campaign will be starting to help raise additional funds for and awareness of the festival.

One last note. Bioregionalism is the effort to reimagine ourselves and the places where we live in ecological terms in harmony with natural systems that contain life. Peter Berg, one of the early users of the term bioregionalism said that the direction of traditional environmentalism was about preventing air and water pollution, protection of human health and a slowing down of the destruction of nature, it was essentially from “the mental perspective of industrial society surrounding nature.” He felt that thinking was backwards and that bioregionalists should focus on knowing the natural features of where they live, how they get their water, urban sustainability and restoration of habitats and ecosystems. His “Green City Program” called for some radical shifts in the way in which we design and live in urban areas and knew that the future was going to require urban sustainability given the massive shift of world population to urban living. I very much resonate with this perspective. – Paul Nelson

Dewan Meeting Minutes Oct 12, 2014

Subud Dewan Meeting Minutes.  Sunday 10/12/14 9-11 am

Attending: David Lynch, Maryka Ford, Sherwin O’Bar, Oswald Norton, Paul Nelson, Hadiyah Carlyle, Daniel Stralberg.

Review of Last Months Minutes 9/7/14.



From Sherwin O’Bar: Finance Report 10-12-14:

Revenue/Inflows thru Sept are $53,423  (Member Contributions $12,660; Rentals $40,763)

Expenses/outflows thru Sept are $44,557

Net of Revenue over Expense is $8,866

Member Contributions are projected to end the year several thousand less than the $18,500 budgeted; rental revenue are projected to end the year about $35,000 greater than the $20,000 budgeted.

Total expenses are expected to end the year about $18,000 greater than budgeted, and are able to be supported by the above noted increase in revenue.

Oswald brought up that it is time to take enterprise to the next level.  It’s now a running business.

Helper Report

In the last general meeting it was voted to let go of the house guidelines.  However, there is still work to be done so the helpers are offering after Sunday latihan to do a special latihan for group harmony.

Paul suggested that helpers have a clearing ceremony and cleansing for the house in a traditional Subud manner. He’ll bring it up next time he attends the Helper Meeting.

Spring Street Center

The Spring Street Center beat the projections for the year for income by two times. The Spring Street Center is part of our outreach, as cultural events are happening almost once a month, with a Memorial for poet Bill Shively on Oct 25 and a reading by legendary NW poet Sam Hamill with his shakuhachi flute collaborator Christopher Yohmei Blasdel on November 1. Already calls are coming in about that event and should be a perfect event, with a zen feel, to showcase the house.

Ramp Grant Proposal for MSF

We don’t need to put in minutes until it is time to review in 4 months.

SICA Events

Poems for Peace – Paul reported the event was very successful and it is great outreach. Faiza Sultan, a Kurdish woman and Gulf War refugee was among the poets who read.

Upcoming events through 2014:

Paul will receive a SICA grant to do an outreach trip to Errington, BC (Oct 19) to help connect Subud people on Vancouver Island with poets who are organizing the next iteration of the Cascadia Poetry Festival in Nanaimo in Spring 2015. There is some interest in SICA and Subud Houses in the bioregion to use the event as a way to create awareness of SICA and Subud in general and Paul is in discussions with the Chair of Subud Portland, Bhakti Watts, and a faculty member at Portland State University to have the fest happen there in 2017. Lucas Hille, Chair of SICA Canada and Bhakti Watts will join Paul on the trip to Errington, BC.

Other Topics

Money request policy. 

There was discussion if we need a policy to govern requests for funds.  It was decided to put it in the budget for 2015.

We voted to contribute $250 toward Rachman’s successful bid for the banner from Australia.  We are officially a Cultural Capital for the next 4 years. What resources we can expect from SICA are not yet known, but Seattle is “twinned” with Portland and it is likely they will contribute some of the funds we are committed to sending SICA for the status.


Daniel spoke that the national committee will be meeting in Seattle Nov 21-23. We will have a potluck that Sunday.

Other Events

40th Subud House anniversary event after latihan.

Oct 25 – Memorial for Poet Bill Shively

Nov 1 – Sam Hamill (Poetry) and Christoper Yohmei Blasdel (Shakuhachi flute).

Meeting Dates

Next Dewan Meeting – Nov 2

General Meeting on the Eastside – Nov 14 Friday night

Testing for new Committee – Jan 25, 2015

Oct 5 General Membership Meeting

Subud Greater Seattle General Meeting 

Minutes:  Sunday October 5, 2014 (taken by Hadiyah Carlyle)

Present:  Sherwin and Hadijah O’ Bar, Halimah Bellows, Lorraine and Sebastian Tedrow, Maryka Ford and David Lynch, Ida and Halstein Stralberg, Paul Nelson, Insiah Caspers, Ray Brown, Elijah Gullixson, Evan and Ann Padilla, Hanifi Libman, Kathleen Gillette, and Hadiyah Carlyle.

Financial Report:  Sherwin reported that our revenues are going up, but so are operating costs while at the same time donations are going down. We should consider increasing our payments to the Regional Housing fund and dues to the National organization, which is in need of more operating expenses.

Helper Report:  The main focus of the meeting was to discuss the guidelines that had been put together several years ago.  Both the men and women reported that the testing indicated that they were not useful at this time.  The vote was unanimous to eliminate the guidelines.  We had a lively discussion concerning the issues that precipitated the guidelines.  Many felt that we still had a problem. Both the women and men now are doing a latihan after regular latihan for group harmony every Sunday.  There will be more again on the issue of harmony.

There is now a daytime women’s latihan starting  at 12:30 pm quiet time on Thursdays.  We hope women will attend this latihan during the day.

The national dewan will be meeting in Seattle on November 22/23.  They will be available for latihan and testing with members on Sunday Nov 23.

Menucha:  Regiatration ends Fri Oct. 10. 

Regional Congress:  Alexandra van Horst is Chair

        Oswald Norton – Vice –Chair

        Sherwin O’Bar – remaining as Treasurer

        Elijah Gullixon – Regional helper

The regional committee now is spring to spring having been changed from the fall.

Paul is doing outreach to Canada and will attend the Errington, BC, gathering on October 19 as a SICA outreach initiative to connect Subud communities in the bioregion with the Cascadia Poetry Fest which he founded and which happened at the Subud House and Seattle U back in May. The 2015 fest happens in Nanaimo, BC, an hour south of Errington.

40th Anniversary Party

Subud Greater Seattle's Building in 1974

Subud Greater Seattle’s Building in 1974

We had cake a week early today, but we celebrate 40 years of Subud Greater Seattle’s house at 1101 15th Sunday, October 12, at 12N, after latihan. It’s a pot luck, so please bring something tasty. There is a dewan meeting at 9A, with latihan before that for dewan members at 8:45A.

Sebastian Tedrow can’t attend on the 12th, but told us today that upon walking into the house 40 years ago, he knew it was perfect and Lawrence Crouse wrote a check on the spot for the earnest money. The house was purchased from the Missouri Synod and, because of discord in their organization, the closing did not happen until August 1974, though Subud members were doing latihan as early as March. The first Subud celebratory event happened in April of 1974, so April is probably the best month to celebrate future anniversaries. Sebastian also mentioned that when they saw the downstairs room, they knew that would be perfect for a latihan hall.

One member today wondered if we are still feeling the effects of the discord in our community. It may not be us! Perhaps a cleansing, Subud-style, is in order. Both the men and women have taken to doing short latihans AFTER the Sunday general latihan to focus on group harmony for Subud Greater Seattle.


40th Anniversary Celebration Sunday, Oct 12, 2014, after Latihan. 

Other news, Menucha sign-up deadline is Friday, October 10. Register here.

At the 10.5.14 general membership meeting, the vote was unanimous to remove the House Guidelines, so they are no longer on this site. It was expressed by more than one person that Bapak was not in favor of guidelines, but wanted Subud members to use their own capacities to work out issues. One other member suggested that the by-laws of Subud Pacific Northwest called for Helpers to take a more active role when there is behavior by members that is not in accordance with group harmony.

Also, with Oswald Norton taking over as Vice-Chair of Subud PNW, we need a Secretary as he was essentially performing those duties for the local dewan. If you are interested, please come to the dewan meeting at 9A, Sunday, October 12. Latihan before that meeting, to insure the best meeting outcome, happens at 8:45A.