Monthly Archives: March 2022

Ramadan info


Ramadan 2022 starts on sundown of Saturday, April 2nd lasting 30 days and ending at sundown on Sunday, May 1.

Qadar and Latihan

As Bapak has said before, the power that works in the latihan kedjiwaan is also the Qadar from God, for it is present not because you will it or strive for it but only because you surrender to the One God. Only through surrendering to God are you able to receive even the outer expression, the form, the cover or skin of the Qadar.

At present you receive movement and energy. You make various kinds of movement, but not because you decide to.  That is, so to say, the outer form, the wrapping, the skin. 

The content is the Qadar of God.

So, follow the way of the latihan, which you have received, with patience, trustful acceptance and sincere submission. And you also need to practice fasting every year, so that you can receive the content of what you have received in the latihan. Bapak does not say definitely that if you keep the fast you are sure to receive it, no. But the fact is that this fast will make you able to receive it. So, it was in Bapak’s own experience. Bapak’s first receiving happened to be in the month of Ramadhan, after twenty days of fasting.  Bapak says it “happened” that way because he did not know why it was so. And Bapak’s receiving stopped on the day of the feast (at the end of Ramadhan.) So, after thirty days of fasting, what Bapak had received came to an end, and he later channeled it to other brothers and sisters.

Thus, as Bapak said before, what we call traditions-which are only followed as a matter of custom-have causes which we really should know.

One cannot come to know the inner, the feeling, without receiving the Qadar of God. Thus what we experience in the latihan kedjiwaan just touches the outside, the skin. It does not yet reach the content. The content is what we need, and the content is the Qadar of Almighty God . Plainly, brothers and sisters you are still a long way from this in your latihan kedjiwaan; and you need to go on doing the latihan, because its content-the Qadar-is from Almighty God. So beside doing your latihan faithfully you need also to fast.  

Tjilandak 11/71

This is how it is, brothers and sisters, and so it is very useful for people to do this fast. And it really is right to take as an example and it really is right to follow what has been said by those who have received, the people who have been able to receive the qadar from God.

Well, brothers and sisters, these are the benefits and the results of the fast you have been doing. It does not matter if you have not yet been aware of its benefits or results. For probably the fast you have been doing cannot yet be counted as a hundred per cent fast, but is still just ten per cent or five percent. Thus the qadar is still slight.

But even so, brothers and sisters, don’t think that if that is all it amounts to, that it would be better not to fast. Don’t be like that. Little by little we add to it. If we add five percent to five per cent, and do that ten times, it comes to fifty per cent. that is and example of how it may be. That may be hoped for.

Brothers and Sisters, the fact of the matter is that development is always going on, and we must have it in us. If a thing lacks development, then it is something that will not change, for this something is characterized by apathy. It is like a stone that is always there, year after year. If it is like that, it means that the course of the era comes to a halt.

So as time goes on, as this century goes by and for the centuries to come, there must always be development, and we must keep pace with it. That is how it is, brothers and sisters; and this building up is no new thing, but is really a necessity for mankind. For God never stops building. If God stops building, there would be no progress. Because of this, brothers and sisters, don’t fall back. We must go forward. We must develop; develop everything needed for our life in this world.

So, clearly then, brothers and sisters, this developing is a quality of the human self, if people will put it into practice and really put their inner feeling to the test. And the way to put it to the test and to put it into practice is, for the people of Islam, the fast.

Thus this fast, brothers and sisters, truly is to test us, truly is to be put into practice, so that we may be able to receive and feel what we ought to do, and also what is that foundation of our inner feeling that is usually called one’s talent. One will not be able to discover one’s talent, or be able to know what it is, if one does not carry out or make any practical test of one’s own self. The way to test one’s self, as Bapak repeats once more, is through the fast.

Like a Rusty Knife

Thus the fast is something important for your lives, for our lives-meaning that prihatin is important for life.  Avoiding the fast, avoiding prihatin means that we are like a knife that we never sharpen, or like clothes that we never wash. It is just like that. Thus after a while the clothes actually smell, smell bad; after a time the knife rusts. Once the clothes smell or the knife is rusty then no-one else, and not even oneself, will want to use them, will want to posses them. This is how it is, brothers and sisters.

Hence many people become irritated and fed up with themselves, and resentful about, for instance, how business is always bad, how the cooking is never any good, how they can never look nice, hard though they try-that sort of thing.

Why is this? Because of what has just been said. They never put themselves to the test, never give their inner feeling any practice. And the way to give the inner feeling practice and to test it is the way Bapak has just been speaking about-through fasting and prihatin.

That is how it is, brothers and sisters; so we already have something like an instinct that we are, as it were, obliged to fast every Ramadhan; and this is a lesson, a reminder, that is not only important but truly useful for our lives.

But, brothers and sisters, as Bapak has just said, don’t then just fast for fasting’s sake, which means you think you are fasting so long as you do not eat or drink-but that you can have a drink if you are thirsty. Don’t do that. The fast must be done properly, even though it is not done, say, for the whole of the thirty days. Yes, it may be for ten days, but it must be a proper fast. Thus if you do fast you will feel it, you will feel it. Bapak will show you a little about this later on, brothers and sisters.

Bapak uses the words puasa (fast) and prihatin (self-denial.) Puasa and prihatin mean the same. Only, to fast every Monday and Thursday by way of prihatin is called a minor prihatin, whereas to fast in the month of Ramadhan is a major prihatin. That means fasting for the whole month, the full thirty days.

The will of God for mankind, as it has been decreed, is that it is enough if people do their prihatin-that is, the fast-for one month in the year. Thus out of the twelve months, one is used for prihatin. That is enough.

So God wills that people should not force themselves by fasting and really doing prihatin all the time, by the seashore or in the mountains or on top of a mountain. It is enough if people fast for one month in the year. Just that.

Post from SICA International

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’d like to briefly share this talk Bapak gave in Pamulang shortly before he passed on.. Feel free to copy.

All of Nature Bears Witness
Talk by Bapak given at his home in Pamulang, May 10, 1987
This talk was not recorded. What follows was based on the notes taken by Salamah Pope (who understood Indonesian and knew shorthand) and by Latifah Taormina of Sharif’s provisional translation. It was later published in Remembrances of Bapak’s Last Days.
Brothers and sisters, Bapak was going to greet you in the pendopo (the traditional Javanese open-ended hall) but you can see, the glazing around the sides is still unfinished, so it was too windy for Bapak, at his age, to sit there. Bapak is almost eighty-nine years old. In fact, he just had his eleventh Windu.
Have you seen the pendopo? Later Bapak will give talks there. It should be able to hold 500 people sitting down. Someone has just given Bapak a present of the chairs. but Bapak doesn’t know who sent them. (We were all sitting in folding chairs under a canopy between Bapak’s new house and the pendopo)
And what have you experienced now as a result of your fasting? How long have you been fasting? What? Only twelve days? (Bapak laughed.) Oh, then not yet.
But even in these first ten days or so of fasting you are beginning to be aware of how the nafsu operate now that they are being separated from you. For although they are not yet paralyzed, they are already being set aside.
In this way, we are more able to feel the presence of God. Not that we can get closer to God. No. It is God who can come closer to us. If we think that we can get closer to God, then that is the way to feel we are better than others and this is the opposite of God coming close to us.
Don’t think that it is you who are close to God. Such an attitude is very dangerous and can lead to bad consequences. It is God who is close to you. The moment you start to think that you are close to God, it brings into play your human heart which always wants to be better, always wants to be on top, always wants to be extraordinary. The result is in fact worse for you.
Kebudayan, human culture, comes from God. Javanese culture, European culture, and all the rest. It is awakened by God, and it is filled with the Power of God. And that is the meaning of culture for humankind. It is from God.
God’s power is such that there is not enough paper in the world to write about all of it. There is no way for man to describe the totality of the nature of God because the content is, or reflects, the nature of the universe itself.
For example, in the matter of human culture, God’s power envelops the entirety of human culture and every kind of culture. And because this is all from God, if you could express this inner content, the things you could do would be extraordinary. For example, if you made a movie, it would really be able to move people because it would be the reality. It would seem miraculous because it would be so true.
Well, if Bapak says this, then you will go away now and think, “Oh we’re special,” and again, that makes you the opposite.
These things Bapak talks about to you are things that people in Europe are hungry to hear. Where is Simon (Guerrand)? You should pay attention to this. People would really like to hear the truth like this, especially in the West, in a way that they can understand. It isn’t enough just to translate what Bapak says. Bapak’s English is almost nonexistent, and when what Bapak says is translated, it is already different. Bapak is old now and leaves it to the younger ones to tell people.
Bapak is now really very old. Most people are pensioned off when they reach 55, but Bapak is far past that age. Bapak will shortly be 89 on the Islamic calendar. Bapak is now at the time when it can be said that Bapak is facing death. Bapak’s life has two currents: life in this world and life in death.
But nowadays, it’s not so nice for Bapak. It’s not nice for him to sleep, for instance. Usually, when you are young, you like to sleep. It’s nice and makes you feel good. But for Bapak, the meaning of old age is that Bapak is empty of everything. There is no joy and no sadness, and that is how it is for Bapak; everything is empty. It just is. Pun. That’s it. But not everyone feels this way when they get old. There is a certain political leader, who is still active, and he is Bapak’s age; he does not feel empty of nafsu obviously.
Bapak feels at peace, but more than at peace. Bapak feels conscious but more than conscious. Bapak doesn’t want to say too much about this, as Ibu Mastuti will get worried. All the people around Bapak feel like this, too, very peaceful. So much so that all they want to do is sleep and not do anything! A child who is crying will fall asleep when it is near Bapak. Ibu Mastuti is closest of all to Bapak, and yet when Bapak turns to Ibu Mastuti at the end of the day to ask how her day was, she is already asleep! They don’t get a chance to talk because the moment Bapak speaks to her, it’s as if Bapak’s voice is a violin, and she is already asleep!
For Bapak, though, there is no joy and no sadness. Bapak doesn’t need anything. So one day, Bapak asked the prophets Moses and Abraham, how was this, was it OK? And they said, Yes, that’s how it is if you have received the Will of God within you.
(An elderly gentleman walked across the back of the room and Bapak looked up suddenly and laughed. “Oh so that’s what I look like!”) For Bapak it is useful to see someone like that walking, then Bapak knows what Bapak looks like when Bapak is walking. Odd. (Bapak laughed again and gestured with his hands) Yes, it’s like that, from side to side.
How is it for all of you in Ramadan? The real thing is to feel a very strong urge, a really strong feeling that you absolutely must do the fasting, an inner obligation, before the fast begins. That is the first thing to feel. Then all the details of what food to eat, and when, and how much and so on, all fall into place. You know from God’s power within you, for your guidance about all that.
Actually, it is not just Muslims who ought to fast; everyone ought to do it. It is a universal requirement for humankind. In the same way, the latihan is too. When we fast, we find that the latihan is lighter and more powerful within us. This happens spontaneously, without force. In this way, you can feel that all your movements and all your activities are accompanied by the power of Almighty God.
Well, now that you have all come out here, you should all have a look around Bapak’s new house. It is very ordinary. Bapak has no secrets, just look around and you’ll see how ordinary it is. In fact, if something should happen tomorrow, and Bapak couldn’t be here, it wouldn’t matter to Bapak. Bapak has no needs like that. Bapak just accepts what comes. And this is just like the latihan. It is a normal part of ordinary life. In fact, if you want to live, follow the latihan.
The whole of human culture is actually because of the latihan, because culture is the latihan of life, and that comes from God.
By the way, have you heard about this? There was a man, very well known in his field, a scholar, Professor Dr. Kiyai Haji Rashidi. He used to be the Minister of Religion. He heard about Subud a long time ago but wasn’t impressed or interested. But now he is older and feels the presence more of the end of his life. He was opened in Cilandak two months ago and met Bapak a few days ago. He is now president of the World Islamic League. So perhaps he will be able to explain Subud to all the sheiks so that they become interested in experiencing the latihan.
It is odd, you know, how Bapak doesn’t read any of these learned books on Islam, and yet people come to him like this. But then, all this (Bapak indicates himself) is Bapak’s book.
The guidance we need comes by itself, if we are aware. Like this. . . (Bapak sways slightly from side to side). . . it all comes from inside . . . it is given to you . . . Now you are one with Bapak . . . how does your nose move? . . . How does your chest move? . . .Can your tongue move with Bapak’s? . . . La-illaha illalah. It is clear that the Power of Almighty God encompasses everything. It is within everything. Well, Bapak will finish here. (Bapak starts to get up and then stops and waits in his chair.) Brothers and sisters, Bapak still wants to give you some more. It’s like a Rolex watch — it keeps winding itself up. Although it is time to stop, Bapak still wants to give.
In reality, there is no such thing as time, because all of time is filled with the Power of God. And there are witnesses all around us when we receive God’s power. All nature bears witness to our acts. So what else is there to look for? All you have to do is receive it.
Feel now, how does the alang alang grass sway in the wind? How is the movement of a banyan tree? A river? A wave in the wide ocean? And how does the earth feel the movement of an earthquake? Yes, this is witnessing the proof in you. It is clear that the Power of Almighty God encompasses everything and is within everything.
Brothers and sisters, Bapak feels the condition of the world. When there was that earthquake in Sumatra, Bapak felt it. Bapak didn’t know what it was, but Bapak felt it. Bapak can feel the war between Iran and Iraq.
If there were a nuclear war, Bapak would experience that, too. He would feel the destruction and suffering and he would also feel what is left intact afterwards. All of it, Bapak would feel. But God has told Bapak that Subud will not be destroyed. It will be preserved if anything like that happens. So do not worry about it.
Do not think that Cilandak is empty now without Bapak, because it isn’t. God is there. Bapak knows you feel Bapak has left, but it really is only a few kilometers away — and in any case, it is God who fills everything, not Bapak. So the important thing to realize is that God is everywhere. In fact, the term ‘everywhere’ cannot apply to God because it implies that there are places where God isn’t. Actually, God embraces all.
About two years ago, Hardjono brought someone from the United Nations who wanted to meet Bapak. When they reached the gates of Wisma Subud, she said, “I can see this place is full of angels; I don’t need to go further.” Hardjono witnessed this. Bapak doesn’t’ know what this story means. One day they may ask Bapak to come and talk at the UN. But Bapak is old, and he will ask someone else to go.
Simon is a possible candidate to do that, but he is not yet popular like a pop star. You are a rich man, but you don’t act like a rich man, no. And this is your work, Simon to go to the UN to talk to people. That is Simon’s true work, and also Sharif’s, for example. Simon should not be a trader because he is too tight with money. Nor should he be a restaurateur, because he likes good food, and he will eat it all himself. So his restaurant will not succeed either. (laughter). Bapak has been to Europe, but the best food was in France. It was Simon who took Bapak to the restaurant there.
Well Bapak will finish now. Bapak is already tired. That is all. Thank you for coming.
(Bapak then recited the Al Fatihah and added: “All you need to know is there.”)
Al Fatihah
Bismillah-ir rahman-ir rohim
Alhamdu lillahi robbil ‘alamin
Arrohman-ir rohim
Maliki yaumiddin
Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Ihdinas sirotol musta’qim
Sirotol lathina an’amta ‘aleihim
Ghairil magdubi‘ aleihim waladdolin
The Fatihah
In the name of God, the Most Gracious
The Most Merciful
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and
Sustainer of the worlds,
The Most Gracious, Most merciful,
Master of the Day of Judgment
Thee alone do we worship
And Thine aid do we seek
Show us the straight way,
The Way of those on whom Thou hast
Bestowed Thy Grace,
Those whose Portion is not wrath
And who go not astray.

Message from Mardiyah!

Rachman, could you pass this on and put it on the website?  Thanks.
For several years now, I have been receiving an anonymous birthday card from somebody in Seattle Washington.  It was especially appreciated this year, since I had my 90th
birthday, now I’m the same age as Rashad, and on the 11th, we celebrated our 60 years of marriage.
So come out, come out, whoever you are! We’d like to personally thank you!
Mardiyah and Rashad Tarantino
(PS we are now moving back home to Cathedral City Ca from a medical stay near our daughter Liliana and son-in-law, Humphrey.)

Group News!

Please keep those donations coming+!

We have accepted an estimate for replacement and repair of the South wall of the Subud house.  It will be a big project, and the rental business will be down while it is in progress.
Currently we have been able to meet our commitments to the region, keep the house in order, and pay all our bills.  The income is split roughly 50/50 between donations and the house rental business.
Thank all of you for donations.  Any amount helps.  If you have not donated before. please consider stepping up and beginning now.
We have begun discussions regarding having the house available to Subud members one Sunday monthly.  If we do that, it will certainly put a dent in that portion of our income, and we’ll need to make it up by increasing donations; so, if you believe this is a worthy endeavor, now is the time to act on your feelings.
Thank you, the SGS committee
Jim O’Halloran
Sebastian Tedrow and Chuck Cary

Archives Interview Weekend

On March 4, 5 & 6, the Subud USA Archives interview project came to Seattle. Two experienced interviewers, Benjamin Boyce and your humble narrator, working closely under the auspices of the SUSA Archives project, interviewed several long-time Subud members about their experience in Subud, how they found out about the organization and what practicing Latihan has meant for their lives. The schedule was packed:


5:00 – Paul Nelson with Benjamin Boyce


10am – Jim and Lucinda O’Halloran with Paul Nelson
11am – Elisha Gullixson with Paul Nelson
12N – Sebastian and Lorraine Tedrow with Paul Nelson
2pm – Evan and Annie Padilla with Benjamin Boyce
3pm – Halstein Stralberg with with Benjamin Boyce
4pm – Daniel Stralberg with Benjamin Boyce
5pm – Halimah Bellows with Benjamin Boyce


12N – Danela Mauguin with Paul Nelson
1pm – Sebastian Tedrow and Chuck Cary with Paul Nelson on the founding of Subud Greater Seattle and the acquisition of the Subud House
2pm – Hanafi Libman with Benjamin Boyce

Benjamin and I were at the house at 3pm Friday and got things set up. Benjamin’s equipment is perfect for a job like this, it seems to me, though my expertise is audio. We did an interview with me to use as a test run and it came out good. the interviews are rich and touching and it was a lively weekend which aided our community’s harmony. This is incredibly important as we come out of the pandemic. There were people in attendance who had not been to the Subud House in years. I had a moment of very deep gratitude before the interview with Chuck Cary and Sebastian Tedrow. Chuck talked about the metaphysical community in Seattle and how that community was the seed of how Subud Seattle got started. Back then Vancouver, BC, was part of our region and the first Seattle folks got opened by Ronimund Von Bissing. The Quest Bookstore, a Theosophical bookstore that is still open on Capitol Hill, was part of that 1959 milieu. Sebastian is the man most responsible for acquiring the Subud House in 1974 when he was 25 years old!

I loved most of all my time with Danela Mauguin. Her recall of specific things is remarkable and she was magnificent. On Monday she celebrated 57 years in Subud! Some members needed gentle redirection. The Tedrows required only one question during their interview!

I think having two interviewers is an excellent way to go about these things, so one can get a break. It is an intense experience and requires very high concentration. To aid recall, I have added a question that I did not ask this weekend, about the Subud friends people had/have. This could lead to stories. Since these interviews will not be made available to the general public like some other interviews being done at this time, encouraging interviewees to say anything they want, to be as “woo-woo” as they want, would be something I would encourage.

Spreading out the interviews to allow for some down time is critical. I believe we should tape in the Men’s Latihan hall next time, because the bathroom and a kitchen are connected and the background is unimportant. I think interviews with all members should be encouraged as it could be a time capsule in a way and be a record of where members are, what they are about, at this time.

I want to say that we have been discussing this project for a long time and now that it is here, I am filled with gratitude for this community and awe at how much work the SUSA Archives committee has done to make this happen. I pray that we can continue this in an harmonious way, keeping our eyes on the end game which is creating open spaces where Subud people of all ages can talk about their experiences with this remarkable practice and community. Benjamin got some wonderful photos.

Danela Mauguin

Hanafi Libman

Sebastian Tedrow and Chuck Cary

Lorraine and Sebastian Tedrows


Ramadan is coming!

Month of ancestors begins March 3, and Ramadan will begin April 2.  Many test to determine how they should observe these events.

Ramadan 2022

Ramadan 2016Ramadan this year will begin April 2. While Subud members are not required to observe Ramadan, there can be many benefits for those who do and many Subud members do observe it as a way of reevaluating their lives and connection to the divine.

There was a great post on the Subud California site last year with many tips, including those for the “inner fast” which is a good idea for anyone, not just people observing the month-long ritual. They are:

Fasting includes the following restraints or abstentions:

  • Do not use your ears to listen to gossip, quarrels or bad words.
  • Do not use your mouth to say anything wrong or unkind.
  • Do not use your emotions to reach the emotions (passions) of others.
  • Do not use your eyes in a way that is not good or nice.
  • Do not use the heart or mind to imagine or think about unhappy things, fantasies or unrealities.
  • Do not eat or drink or smoke between dawn and sunset each day.

Ideally, couples refrain from having sexual relations during the whole month, or, if they cannot do that, at least during the hours of the fast.


SUSA Archive Interviews

Subud USA is helping the SUSA Archives project conduct interviews with long-time Subud members in Seattle, March 4-6, 2022. These interviews are to focus on one’s life in Subud and Subud experiences. Benjamin Boyce and Paul Nelson will be conducting interviews and the schedule is below. All interviews will be conducted in the women’s Latihan hall at the Seattle Subud House.


5:00 – Paul Nelson with Benjamin Boyce


10am – Jim and Lucinda O’Halloran with Paul Nelson
11am – Elisha Gullixson with Paul Nelson
12N – Sebastian and Lorraine Tedrow with Paul Nelson
2pm – Evan and Annie Padilla with Benjamin Boyce
3pm – Halstein Stralberg with with Benjamin Boyce
4pm – Daniel Stralberg with Benjamin Boyce
5pm – Halimah Bellows with Benjamin Boyce


12N – Danela Mauguin with Paul Nelson
1pm – Sebastian Tedrow and Chuck Cary with Paul Nelson
2pm – Hanafi Libman with Benjamin Boyce

The archives project is prioritizing older members. We expect there will be future weekends when interviews are conducted for those who were missed the first time. All interviews have been confirmed by the interviewers and the SUSA Archives project, led by Lucas Boladian and Matthew Clark, with the assistance of Laura Paterson.

Ibu Rahayu has asked that these interviews not be made available to the general public, which of course includes posting on Facebook and other social media sites. The SUSA Archives committee is doing everything possible to ensure these interviews are conducted and presented in the best way. Individual members are asked to refrain from conducting interviews without working in concert with the SUSA Archives effort, which has been going on for almost two years and has taken care to address legal, ethical and other issues in the best way possible.