Category Archives: General Announcements

A Short, Important Meeting and Testing after Latihan on May 8

We will have a short general meeting Sunday, May 8th after latihan.  Yes, it’s Mother’s Day, but we ask you to please stay briefly after Latihan for the meeting and testing!

Consider testing if a position on the regional board would be right for you.  Regional Helpers plan to send test questions to the local helpers to test with members that day.  Please plan to participate!

The regional congress will be in Portland the following Sunday, May 15.

Update on Eastside Latihan Continuation – We’re Continuing!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After our return from Los Angeles we – along with other Subud members – began the two-week trial period that was previously announced.

After two weeks members who attended Eastside latihans decided we would continue holding these latihans at the First Congregational United Church Of Christ in Bellevue.

Some members wondered if holding the latihan on a different night might bring more members.  After consulting with the church about availability, we were told that only Wednesday was available. A vote was taken and most members preferred to continue to meet on Friday.

Love, Oswald & Rayma Norton

Eid fast potluck interest?  Short general meeting and kedjiwaan day

Many Thanks to Jim O’Halloran, Rayma and Oswald Norton for their work November 13th on the Fall Cleanup at the Subud House.

We can have a potluck for Idul Fitri, and can have the living room, kitchen, and bathroom in the Subud house any time after 4 PM Sunday, May first, or any time May second or third.
Are you interested?  If so what day, and what time would you prefer?  Currently we have this scheduled for May first at 4PM.  Officially, according to the ISNA website, Idul FItri in the USA would be May 3rd; but, as always, there is quite a divergence of opinions on this.  Let us know if you have a preference-or, more important, if you are interested!
We will have a short general meeting May 8th after latihan, followed by a kedjiwaan day including testing.  Please also consider testing if a position on the regional board would be right for you.  The regional congress will be in Portland the following week, the 15th of May.
You will have a chance on May 8th to see our new South wall, which may well be completed by then!  Please keep those donations coming, this is a large, costly project.  Your committee thanks you!
Jim O’Halloran

Regional Congress Updates

SPNW is soliciting proposals for the regional congress May 15th in Portland.

It would be ideal for those proposals to be in the hands of the congress chair, Oswald Norton, by April 15, only 3 days away.

Member Proposal Format

  1. Summary: What is the proposal about? What will be done, by whom, how, over what period of time? What is the problem/need? Who will the outcomes benefit?
  2. Statement of Need: What is the issue that you are addressing and why does it matter? Why is what you propose necessary? What is the void in Knowledge? Who benefits?
  3. Project Activity, Methodology and Outcomes: Why did you choose to address the issue in the manner that you have? Are there other approaches? If so, why aren’t they appropriate to the situation? What are the specific activities involved? Who will do them?
  4. Evaluation: Essential piece that should be both quantitative and qualitative, if feasible. Outline clearly the methodology that you will use to assess the project’s success.
  5. Dissemination: Dissemination should be linked to your project goals and objectives. If you are trying to affect policy, your dissemination plan should target policy-makers, media, and affected populations. Describe your communication strategy.
  6. Budget and Continuation Funding: Show your budget in table form and use a budget narrative to explain each item.

Please also consider testing how you might serve our region.

The outgoing chair has offered to mentor the incoming chair, and the board members of each center will not change.

Test questions on serving the region will be provided by the Regional Helpers to center helpers on May 1st.  Local helpers will then offer to test these questions with members after latihans leading up to the Regional Congress. All members are encouraged to participate in this testing.

Shall the Congress Include a virtual Component? – Please Respond By Friday
All current members of Subud PNW should have received an email asking them to consider a change to our current bylaws to allow for a virtual – as well as personal – attendance. Please see the article on the Subud PNW website for more details. Please Respond By Friday!

New Info! Eastside Latihan, etc.

Eastside Latihan!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have been renting facilities from the First Congregational Church of Bellevue throughout the 2000’s. Gradually the attendance at these latihans has dropped to only a couple of couples and one member coming on a regular basis. When we were gone for two and 1/2 months, the concern was that only one couple would attend. And so, it was decided to suspend these latihans.

At our first meeting coming out of COVID-19 lockdown, our General Meeting In July, I asked the group if it was time to abandon these latihans and end renting this facility. At that meeting there were 8 people who said that they would attend regularly.  And yet they have not.

So, does it make sense to continue this rental?  For the next two Fridays – April 8 and 15 – we will see who attends, and if it’s just the five of us, we will then decide what makes sense as far as continuing to rent on the eastside.

Thank You, Oswald

Committe news! 
Work on the South wall will start the week of May 2nd.
We have been saving for this, and may be close, but are not at our goal yet for the project. Please keep those donations coming!  If you are new to donating, any amount helps.  You can put in the donation boxes in the Men’s Hall or the Women’s quiet room; or send to 1101 15th Seattle WA 98122.
Please make checks out to Subud Pacific Northwest-at Subud Greater Seattle.
Thank you and love, the SGS committee

Regional Congress – Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – In Portland

Subud Portland will host the PNW Regional Congress on Sunday, May 15th, 2022.

It will be a hybrid meeting, partially in person, and partially on Zoom. Latihan will proceed normally at 10:15 AM, followed by testing by the Regional Helpers.

Subud Portland will provide a light lunch. In order to plan for this, those wishing to have lunch are requested to RSVP by May 1. Please contact Morris McClellan to sign up for this lunch.

The Regional Congress will start at 1 PM. Main Agenda Items:

  • Reports
    • State of Our Centers – Committee & Helpers
    • State of The Region – Committee & Helpers
    • Financial Report
  • Testing for the new committee

The major agenda item is to select a new chairperson and treasurer. Hadidjah and Sherwin O’Bar have been serving in those two positions for a very long time and are ready to move on.

We will cease to function as a region without members willing to serve in this regional capacity. Please consider for yourself if regional service might be right for you at this time.

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.