Monthly Archives: October 2017

Our Annual Kedjiwaan Retreat Awaits You – Nov. 9-12

Our annual Kedjiwaan Retreat at the Menucha Retreat Center awaits you.  This is the one time each year where we can be together as a region to experience the power of the large group latihans which include many members from throughout our region and beyond.

It is also the one time to be able to spend times with friends you have known for years that live throughout the region, but with whom you’ve not seen since last year.

There will also be time for personal testing, workshops that you create and entertainment from talented brothers and sisters from throughout the region.

The retreat center survived this year’s devastating fire. We, your regional helpers are ready to serve you. Please register by Sunday 10/29th so that we can submit our final numbers to the retreat center.

With all the chaos going on in our country, there has never been a greater need for a kedjiwaan retreat like the one we have at Menucha.

Looking Forward To Being With You,
Your Regional Helpers,
Elizabeth Flanders
Isadora Roth
Benjamin Boyce
Elisha Gullixson
Oswald Norton

How it All Began in Seattle: Our First Subud Seattle House

The first Subud Seattle House

This intimate interview of Ann and Chuck Cary by Sebastian Tedrow describes the early years of Subud Seattle and the first Subud Seattle house. Ann and Chuck are some of the earliest Subud Seattle helpers.



Chuck: The history of Subud in Seattle starts in 1959. We were opened by a group of Subud Members from Vancouver BC. Members of the Vancouver group were originally opened by the Von Bissings who I believe were on a world tour to promote Subud and sailed from San Francisco to Vancouver in a yacht. The Von Bissings, who had been living in Cyprus, were opened in London in 1956 by Hussein Rofe. Of course they knew John Bennet and some of the early people who brought Subud to the West.

Ann and I were opened in what later became the first Subud House in Seattle. It was quite beautiful. It is still there, a stately mansion, stucco, half timbered, 3 floors plus a basement, a garage and a carriage house. Many people prior to and after Subud lived in the many rooms. There were 5 bedrooms on the second floor and various other bedrooms on other floors. The main floor had a living room and dining room, library and adjacent to that was a kitchen. The rooms had beautiful hardwood paneled walls. The ceiling was white plastered ceiling with heavy wooden beams. There were tapestries, big French doors and windows which looked out on the gardens. It was on Capitol Hill at the corner of Broadway and Prospect.

Sebastian: The address is 959 Broadway Ea. It is currently a Bed and Breakfast – “The Bacon Mansion.”

Ann: From the upper windows, where we lived, we could see the Seattle Center across lake union. When we lived there we watched building of the fountain from our bedroom.

Sebastian: From the Subud House you could watch them building of the Seattle center for the world’s fair?

Chuck Yep. The house had a long history, probably built about 1910. They still had horses and wagons and carriage houses in those days. It was in a nice neighborhood of old tree lined streets and similar mansions. Before it became a Subud House it was leased by an organization called the “Center of Integration”. That was when I first knew about it. I occasionally attended Sunday morning meetings there. I attended a few lectures on Sanskrit and yoga. The Center was led by two men. The dominant gentlemen was Robert Carr. His partner was a man named Connie. Robert gave most of the lectures and did psychic readings. He was a student of oriental religions. His goal was helping people presumably to achieve Satori or Samadhi or enlightenment. He was a student of Yogananda and Krashnamurti. He had maybe 30 or 40 people who came every Sunday for his lectures.

Before I knew anything about Subud I would sometimes go to listen to the lectures. I also went to Vedanta Society about 10 blocks away and sometimes to the Theosophical book store about 6 blocks away. In those days I was probably 21 or 22 and had been a spiritual seeker most of my life, and had studied oriental languages and philosophies. I had a BA degree from the University of Washington on Far East and Russian History. People would come to the Center of Integration to give lectures. One of the people who came was from India and he taught lessons in Sanskrit. He knew Yoga and I wanted him to teach me Yoga but he never did. And that is how I became acquainted with the building.

I became personally acquainted with Subud when I was doing research in the University of Washington Library and came across deep in the stacks a series of issues of the magazines called “Tomorrow”. For some reason I pulled one of them out and there was an article about Bapak and Subud. I read that a person once being opened could receive the life force and could open others and pass the life force on to them. I thought this was too good to be true.

The article stated that the main problem for people seeking enlightenment was to quiet the mind and various techniques had been developed to do this. But in Subud it was easier because the latihan did it for you. I thought this was a miracle if true. I told my old friend Rashad (then Robert) Hopkins who was studying art at the University of Washington. In later years he has operated art galleries in San Francisco. I told him about Subud and we decided to seek it out. We found that there was a small group of Subud Members who had been meeting for a few months in private houses. We also found that the Center of Integration was interested in Subud. The original Subud members and some of the people from the Center of Integration became the core of the Seattle Subud group. They began to do latihan at the Center.

Ann: Was Betty Warden one of them?

Chuck: Yes.

Ann and I were married in September 1957 before we joined Subud. During those early years of our marriage Ann and I and Rashad went down to meetings held at the Center. We decided we wanted to be opened, partly because we admired the quality of the people.

No one had been opened long enough to be helpers, so the helpers came down from Vancouver BC to do openings for new people who wanted to join. One of the Canadian helpers was Joe Koach. The first members of the small Seattle group were already opened. We were opened in January of 1959. Many of Robert Carr’s followers also joined Subud but most of them fell away eventually.

Ann: I don’t think Baldwin Ancioux or Dianna Dickstein came in this early.

Chuck: About this time, (1959) Bob Carr and his partner Connie dissolved the Center of Integration and got regular jobs. They eventually moved to San Francisco. The Subud group inherited the lease on the mansion.

The whole building was an Ideal Subud House, big enough that you could have all of the latihans and the noise and the neighbors wouldn’t even notice. We could do simultaneous latihans and still have plenty of room for probationers.

Ann: I think the men did latihan in the library.

Chuck: Yes they did. Sometimes when the Canadians were down there would be very large groups. I believe there was a way of shutting off some of the rooms.

Our relations with the Canadians were close. In fact the first Subud Northwest combined British Columbia with the Washington and Oregon groups. Later, at the suggestion of Bapak, BC was separated out so there was a separation between the two countries.

Chuck: Ann and I were asked to become caretakers of the house. So we went to the top floor and made that into our living quarters. We cleaned it all up and repainted a lot of it. It was quite beautiful. It had been a Ballroom with beautiful hardwood floors. From the windows you could see the Seattle Center and some of the world’s fair preparations while we were there.

Now it became a Subud house we lived there and tried to keep it up, and manage it. We had a Subud book store where we sold Subud magazines and books like Tarzie Vatachie’s Reporter in Subud and Bapak’s book Susila Budi Dharma.

Ann: We carried copies of these books all over the world. So now after a year of this life we received our commission to join the Foreign Service and we left Seattle in January of 1961.

Chuck: We left in January 1961 to join the Foreign Service and moved to Washington D.C. about six days after President Kennedy’s inauguration. So our intensive time in Subud Seattle was in 1960 when you and I became Helpers.

Ann: Just at the time we were leaving, I was pregnant. Our oldest, Evan, (formerly Jack) was born before we were opened. Our second and third were born in Washington DC. We did latihan with the Washington group. We came back to visit Seattle several times and did latihan, first in the old house and finally in the smaller Belmont Avenue house.

Ann and Chuck Cary are currently living in the Olympia area and have helped revive the Olympia group.

Menucha Registration is Open

The Pacific Northwest Regional Helpers invite you to our annual PNW Kedjiwaan retreat at the Menucha conference center, located twenty minutes outside of Portland, Oregon. November 9-12, 2017.

We have designed this year’s gathering with the shape of the circle in mind: with a Friday opening circle in the morning where we can share and listen to each other’s spiritual journeys, and a Sunday closing circle for sharing our experience of the weekend. Saturday will be the “center point” of the weekend, with more time set aside for kedjiwaan activities, such as testing how each of us put the latihan into practice in our lives—or any other topics that emerge.

As with previous PNW Kedjiwaan gatherings at Menucha, most all “content” is “user generated”—if you have a talent, a project, or a skill to share there’s a glorious gift shop and titillating talent night to contribute to—and plenty of rooms to dance and sing and slouch with your friends inside.

We hope to see you at this beloved event! If you can make it, we strongly suggest attending all three days to receive the full experience.

Additionally, the Pacific Northwest Regional Helpers are still looking for one more woman helper to join our ranks—even the willingness to test to test (not a typo) for this position is appreciated!

God bless!

Your PNW Regional Helpers

—Elizabeth Flanders, Isadora Roth, Elisha Gullixson, Oswald Norton, Benjamin Boyce*

We are also delighted to welcome Margarite Charney and Beata Alexander as supporting Regional Helpers for this year’s event.

 How much does Menucha cost? Check the rates here

When you register, please consider making a donation to the Assistance Fund so that those who need assistance can share this wonderful weekend with us.

Questions? email us .


Menucha Retreat And Conference Center escaped the fire – Event Space is Safe!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Many of you have been asking, “Did the Menucha Retreat And Conference Center escape damage from the Eagle Creek wildfire?”  I have news.

All is well!

However, they lost $50,000 in revenue due to cancelled groups. And, could not have their annual fund raising event.

The best way you can support our friends who run this center is to attend our annual kedjiwann weekend November 9th to 12th.

Please register now open in support of this great facility!

Click this link to register.

Thanks, Oswald Norton
Subud PNW Regional Helper

Subud & Culture


A fascinating discussion of the foundation of SICA came up on the SICA Facebook page yesterday:

Muhammad Isman Kanafsky:

From “Susila Budhi Dharma”

An excerpt from English renderings of Susila Budhi Dharma, originally
received as a high Javanese poem by the late R.M. Bapak Muhammad
Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo at Jogjakarta in l952 and later translated in
Bahasa Indonesia. The English is derived from the Indonesian version of
the text.

In this way you will soon become adept at doing work that is in tune with
your soul, and this will certainly make your life happy, for this skill will
grow from your human soul which will have brought to life your whole
inner feeling. As a result, my child, you will acquire a lasting interest in
your work and your achievements will not be disappointing.

This is the true meaning of culture, for its source is the human soul, and it
is received in an inner feeling that has awakened and become free from the
influence of its own subordinate powers. It is a culture filled continuously
with the life-force. That is why, when you reach this stage, the work you do
will be a means for your worship of God Almighty.

Seen from an ordinary, outer point of view, your work will appear no
different from ordinary work. In reality, however, there will be a very great
difference. For ordinary work and skill are acquired by learning from
someone else – or from a group – unable yet to determine whether or not
the work is in harmony with the one’s identity. But the skill in work that
you will acquire in this way is of a quality which has its origin in the human

Later, therefore, in doing your work, you will act in harmony with yourself,
both inwardly and outwardly, and so you will certainly progress in your
work in a way which will correspond with the advances and changes of the
times you live in.

It is therefore hoped that you, my child, will not neglect these spiritual
exercises (latihan kejiwaan) for in reality they constitute a way which is
easy to follow, which does not require you to isolate yourself from others,
and which can bring you an enlightenment which will strengthen your soul.

Moreover, you will gain a great deal by this means and will easily achieve
those things which correspond to your true needs. Furthermore, in this
state – which cannot be comprehended by the thinking mind – you will
always be enveloped by the life force, with the result that you will easily find
the way, which will then be wide open to you, for understanding the true
significance of your own life.

Plainly then, the skill in work you will acquire as a result of these spiritual
exercises is truly a quality of genuine culture, for it is born and grows as a
result of the human jiwa becoming free from the influence of one’s
subordinate or ancillary forces.

So for that reason this culture will neither destroy human knowledge, nor
close the way whereby man may worship God – for the truth is that it has
its origin in God and returns to God again.

Latifah Taormina:

Yes, what Matthew asked me directly was”What is the Meaning of SICA?” I will share my response, but it pales in comparison with the initiative Matthew has launched here in California re PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
— putting our latihan into practice. It’s like a whole new wave of LIFE and hopefully it will spread faster than the fastest virus out there and get us all infected with how we can put our latihans into practice in our lives, in our work, in Subud and in the world. Thank you, Matthew. And so… my answer to Matthew’s query. This is what I shared:

SICA stands for Subud International Cultural Association. How we describe
SICA to the general public is on our SICA website here;

The Indonesian word for culture is kebudayan. It comes from two words: budhi —as in Susila Budhi Dharma —that essence of the power of God that is within every human being — and daya or action. In other words it is the
action of the Power of God that we express in our lives. Bapak once said that this way: “Culture is the latihan of life.” More of what Bapak said about culture is on the SICA website here: http://www.subud-

Now culture, or kebudayaan, is a movement or an action of the budhi, or the inner nature of man, which in other words can be called the jiwa. So, in the olden days, when people used to sing or perform, what they did had the nature of a latihan. It had the effect of awakening the jiwa of those who listened to it. And what came out, what they did, was entirely received, something that they were moved to do from their jiwa, from within.

But this is not the situation today, because nowadays people attach more importance to their heart and mind, to their pleasure, than they do to their jiwa. So that today the culture which used to be a living culture is now a dead culture. In fact, people nowadays sing in order to sell what they sing. They pay attention merely to the heart and mind and to their own pleasure. So that, in fact, we human beings are now beaten by the animals. When animals are happy, when they feel joy, they demonstrate their closeness to their Creator by singing — (at this point, a nearby bird began to sing, and Bapak continued) — as for example, the birds.
The song of the bird is still a demonstration of its closeness to its jiwa. But that is not the case with us human beings. What has happened to us, what we have received in the latihan kejiwaan, is something that can bring us back to the place where we were, to the closeness of the jiwa, which we used to have in olden days.
This is why it is really necessary for us to awaken culture, or that culture should awaken again within us, the culture which truly originates in the human nature and represents humankind’s worship of Almighty God.”
— Wolfsburg, 1972

Ibu also spoke about culture and why Bapak set up the Subud International
Cultural Association, That’s on the SICA site here: http://www.subud-

A few things that I cannot forget are things Bapak said about SICA and
culture before he died. SICA was established at the Anugraha congress in
1983. Richard Engels of Germany and I were selected by Bapak to be its
first chair and vice-chair. We, along with the rest of the council, met with
Bapak every year between that time and his passing in 1987.

At one of those meetings, after a report of our activities from Richard, SDIA
started to make their report and Bapak stopped to go back to SICA. We
were all in his living room and I was not more than 8 feet from Bapak. And
he stood up as he was so excited by what he was seeing about the future of
SICA. I could see that he was telling about things he was actually seeing —
like watching someone watch a movie or TV show, but we couldn’t we what
he was seeing. There is no recording of this. But he was talking about how
wide culture was and that through these different activities ‚ singing,
dancing, and on and on (not just the arts) one could worship God. And he
was excited because he was seeing that this is how people would come to
Subud in the future. And then he said that one day there would be a book,
and it would show that “Subud is very big and very wide and has every kind
of thing in it.” And he then looked straight at me and said, “And SICA’s job
is to make a film of this book. And Los Angeles is a good place for it.” (I was
living in LA at the time.)

Unfortunately there were writers in the room who then started asking
about the book. I kinda felt they were trying to find out if maybe they would
be the ones to write the book. Bapak made it clear that it had not yet been
written. At one point, he looked at Richard and said Richard could write the book but it would have to be in English. Richard did write a book, but not in English. And I read part of it, but it didn’t feel like “the book.” But that’s
me. But….the clue is the book is in English.
That’s part of why I want to do this little film of that poem. To make a place
holder for SICA Films. It doesn’t have to be that name, but it’s the intention
behind it that matters— I think.
I really like the simplicity of Ibu’s descriptions of SICA.
One is: “SICA is for activities that emerge from the development of the
human soul.”

Another is this; “This is why Bapak made the decision to set up a Subud
wing called the Subud International Cultural Association, or SICA. Bapak
hoped that through SICA, Subud members who had a talent in a particular
field would create something truly new or different, something that would
touch other people, meaning people who are not in Subud, people outside

So in this way, through SICA, we can provide proof to people who are not in
Subud. This is needed because we cannot explain Subud to other people
who are not opened, to people not in Subud. They cannot understand what
Subud is if they have not experienced the opening, or how the latihan fills

So by creating something for other people, you may be able to demonstrate
something that without their being aware of it, may exert a positive
influence on people who are not in Subud. So we hope that Subud will
spread through SICA through activities that other people can see.
This is particularly hoped for from young members who have a lot of energy
– that they will generate something new that will also be a part of SICA’s

The above bit from Ibu is my mojo for action. That’s why I feel sad when we just do SICA things for Subud people . I feel we’re suppose to put things out in the world.

One reason SICA activities tend to stay inside Subud may be that many are
shy to even say they are part of Subud. SD doesn’t have Subud in its name.
SICA does. But I am not shy to say I’m in Subud or that SICA is the SUBUD
International Cultural Association. Maybe because I lived in Indonesian all
those years and Wisma Subud is over the entrance gate. Its a public place.
Everyone knew about Siubud. It wasn’t anything we had to hide. We
weren’t afraid of being considered a cult. And there were some who thought
that even there. We were grateful to be part of Subud.
One last bit….Salamah Pope once asked Bapak what the difference was
between Susila Dharma and SICA — as both have missions that go out into
the world. She said that Bapak told her that “we do Susila Dharma to
correct the mistakes of the past, and we do SICA to build a human future.”
So that’s our SICA tagline: “Working to nurture a human future through
art, culture, and creativity.”
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Latifah Taormina:

Note: While Ibu and Bapak say that SICA is for activities that emerge from
the development of the human soul, SICA cannot make anyone’s soul
develop. That’s between you and God. What SICA can do is present, share,
celebrate, support, encourage, advance those activities. How do we
recognize those activities? I think one clue is that they are ALIVE.
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4 · 5 hrs
Leonard Dixon To quote someone other than Bapak:
“Receive and transmit!”
~ Peter Gabriel
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Latifah Taormina:

Bapak also said in those meetings that technology is also culture. He said
technology is born in the USA and then is cooked in Japan, and that then it
would come to Indonesia. He said that technology could work against
excessive nationalism in some countries and excessive religious fanaticism
in some countries. He said when nations can express their real culture as
nations, that would be the beginning of true welfare and peace and
prosperity for mankind. Bapak’s prayer for all of us was that the latihan
would spread so that there could be real peace and tranquility and
prosperity for the life of humankind. he also said peace could not exists in
countries full of strong nationalism. He reminded us that Subud was
international in its outlook and practice. That we are all one race — the
human race.