Author Archives: Bhakti Watts

Post-Latihan Zoom April 18th

Ramon will be hosting this Sunday’s post-Latihan Zoom call. Here is the link if you would like to join your brothers and sisters after Latihan his Sunday, April 18th:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9882021449

Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
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Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
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SPNW Loan Approved

The SPNW board unanimously passed a motion to loan SGS up to $10000 if our repair expenses on the south wall and deck above the bathroom exceed $10000. We hope we won’t need it, but we want to be prepared in case the work exceeds the amount we have to spend.

  Please, please, keep those donations coming!

Any Extra Couches?

We are looking forward to latihan in person as people feel ready. We are thinking of creating a homey after-latihan gathering space in one corner of the men’s hall, near the downstairs kitchen. If you have an extra couch in good condition that you think might be appropriate to donate, please let Bhakti know. Debbie is also on the lookout for us. Thank you!

Post-Latihan Zoom Sunday April 11th

Ramon will be hosting the post-Latihan zoom this Sunday. Here is the link:

SUBUD zoom is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Zoom
Time: Apr 11, 2021 11:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9882021449

Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,9882021449# US (Tacoma)
+16699006833,,9882021449# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
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+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdouZ8kIh8

Bapak Article about Ramadan

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-Latihan Zoom April 4th

Here’s the zoom:
Come one, come all! SUBUD zoom is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Afterrrr Latihannnnnn
Time: Apr 4, 2021 11:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9882021449

Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 988 202 1449
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SGS Treasurer Summary Report March 27, 2021

If You Haven’t Donated, Now Is The Time

Your committee appreciates everyone’s financial support. Even though Spring Street Center is able to provide some of our income needs. It is not able to cover all costs. Your donations, on average, cover only 51% of our costs. Our goal for 2021 is to have everyone contribute something toward the upkeep of our center. When you give a little bit each month, you become a part of a membership dedicated to preserving our building for the future. If you have not yet donated this year, please do so! If you need a reason to donate please read the rest of this report. Thank you!

Future Expenses

The extensive wet weather this year allowed water to permeate the window frames on bedrooms 2 & 3 and our small deck on the 2nd floor. iTrip has been helpful coordinating contractor estimates to help us understand how this was possible. When the building was painted, the caulking of the window frames was not completed correctly. When the deck was added, it was not sealed correctly. In order to stop further water damage to the interior of the building repairs need to be made as soon as possible.

Our painting contractor has gone out of business and moved out of state. We did deck installation ourselves. The committee believes that our only recourse is to have the work done professionally as quickly as possible. Karen Hunt of iTrips is helping us with coordination of this work. Current estimates for both jobs is $8820 with tax. The committee believes that the costs could be higher once the contractor starts work. I am now holding in reserve $10,000 for possible repairs.

Some of these costs can be covered through rental income. However, I believe that the costs for these repairs will exceed both our savings and iTrips year to date income. Jim will be exploring the following options for covering the additional costs: Home Equity Loan, Insurance coverage, a SPNW regional loan from the housing fund.

Building Rentals

iTrip booked 3 rentals in Spring Street Center in March. Income from all rentals is being held in escrow to pay for repairs.

Donations

Donations through March have been lower than similar months in 2020. Last year member contributions picked up starting in March. I am hoping that will be possible this year as well. Our donations plus iTrip income against our expenses for 2021 have resulted in a small net income of $614.

During a recent discussion regarding our need to operate our rental business, a member stated that they believed we could handle our expenses without having the rental business. On average this year, donations have covered roughly one half of our expenses. So, every dollar donated by a member is appreciated.

March Expenses

Our March PSE gas bill was $82 lower than February. Thanks to our members remembering to not put the thermostat in the women’s hall on Permanent Hold.

Budget for 2021

Your committee is in the process of creating our budget for 2021. Until we have a clearer picture of income and expenses, I am unable to finish this work. Once the committee has a clearer understanding of these, we will present a budget at a general meeting for your consideration.

Important! New name for donation checks to Subud Greater Seattle

Use only “Subud PNW – Seattle Center” on any future donations to our center. Bank rules, recently changed, are delaying deposits. Please be sure to change the “Pay To The Order Of” section of your handwritten or automatic withdrawn check from your account and use this name. If you intend to make your donation to the Region, please earmark your check Subud PNW.

Thanks for those who have setup monthly donations

Thanks to all our monthly donators who have a recurring donation sent from their bank. You save on envelopes and stamps. And, you don’t have to remind yourselves to write a check. These regular checks really help us meet our monthly commitments to the region and pay for our use of our facilities.

If you’d like to know how to set up a recurring donation to our group through your bank, please contact me, Oswald Norton.

Proposal to Regenerate Community Post-Covid at SGS

It has been over a year since the shelter-in-place guidelines designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 the novel coronavirus began to impact our ability to practice Latihan Kejiwaan. While in-person Latihans have resumed, attendance is very small. Concern of many members about their exposure to the virus, along with compliance with the state’s health guidelines has prevented larger Latihan experiences. With the availability of vaccinations, this situation has potential for change and will resume to the “new abnormal” – the life after Covid-19 before too long. The Subud House will have a different feel for those who have not attended Latihan since March 2020. Women must enter the chapel via the handicap ramp and men, the men’s Latihan hall via the basement. Fellowship in the kitchen and living room after Latihan is not possible anymore given the needs of the centerprise and the restrictions forced by Airbnb for lodging. This leaves us in a new situation. According to Subud Greater Seattle Treasurer Oswald Norton, member donations covered 29% of SGS expenses in 2019 and 43% in 2020. In that March 20, 2021 email Oswald wrote: “…Even before the major costs of recent repairs, it was the enterprise that allowed us to continue to have the use of the building as it took on more and more of the ongoing expenses for repairs. It took a major fund raising effort over many months to cover the gap that money from the enterprise didn’t cover…” Without a gigantic and unforseen contribution to Subud Greater Seattle, the revenues generated by the Centerprise will be necessary to maintain the Subud House for this and future generations. How to proceed? The kitchen next to the Men’s Latihan Hall requires an update, but is suitable for cooking, providing tea and coffee and supporting post-Latihan gatherings. For too long that kitchen has been neglected and now we have a good reason to update it and stock it with cups, plates, silverware, tea, snacks and all the amenities that aid genuine fellowship. What kind of fellowship? I propose that we have a post-Latihan event every Sunday after Latihan. Each week could have a theme: First Sunday – Culture Day: A performance, talk or workshop designed to give people the experience of culture that is informed by the Jiwa. This is how Subud was descibed as spreading to the general public and we should pay our artists (a mdoest stipend, $50), promote the event to Subud and non-Subud people alike and use it as outreach and fellowship at the same time. We are running out of time to do outreach and people will be looking for new, more meaningful experiences after the stress of the year-plus lockdown and we can hit the ground running. Second Sunday – Testing Day. General testing for membership to experience important aspects of how the Latihan impacts their lives along with testing for members who have personal issues for which they desire clarification, or guidance. Third Sunday – Helpers Latihan and Meeting. Helpers gather to meet and discuss issues affecting the membership and harmony of the group. Fourth Saturday – Dewan Meeting. Fourth Sunday – Fellowship Potluck. No agenda, but hanging out, eating each other’s cooking and enjoying the company of other Subud members. Fifth Sunday – Open House/Work Day. Let the community come to learn about our organization and experience the company of Subud members. At least one helper from the men and women should be present. In addition to greeting potential members, we can work on gardening and other issues affecting the upkeep of our house. I would recommend that we put stairs from the back deck to the back yard area and clean up/renovate that area for fellowship, plus install a security gate at the south entry to the area behind the house. May 30, August 29, October 31, January 30, 2022, May 29, 2022, July 31, 2022, and October 30, 2022 are all upcoming 5th Sundays. Submitted this 3rd Sunday of March, 2021 by Paul E Nelson