Tag Archives: SICA

Poems for Peace Sept 20 7PM

Poems For Peace 2014

Poems For Peace 2014

The third annual celebration of poetry and peace, Poems for Peace, sponsored by the Subud International Cultural Association, is set for Saturday, September 20, 2014, at 7PM at the Spring Street Center/Seattle Subud House, 1101 15th Av, Seattle, on the corner of 15th & Spring.

Anne Padilla and Paul Nelson are your hosts and the evening will feature food, drinks, fellowship and poetry related to the theme of peace in honor of the U.N. International Day of Peace. Invited to read are those poets who participated in the 8th August Poetry Postcard Fest reading a poem or two they wrote during the month and one or two they received. Confirmed performers include:

Samar Albuhassan
Dan Blunck
Jim O’Halloran
Faiza Sultan
Thomas Walton
Bhakti Watts

THE SUBUD INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL ASSOCIATION (SICA) is a nonprofit organization providing programs and services to individuals and organizations working to nurture human values through art, culture, and creativity. SICA provides information, training, networking and support services as well as opportunities to engage and collaborate with cultural initiatives and events around the world. SICA, which has a constituency in almost 90 countries, is an active member of the International Coalition of NGOs for Peace jointly led by Peace One Day and Interpeace as well as Americans for the Arts. SICA was begun by members of the World Subud Association in the UK in 1983 and is currently based in Austin, Texas, USA.



No Latihan Th & Sat



The Cascadia Poetry Festival (May 1-4) is utilizing the Subud House for several events. This is great outreach for Subud and for our Centerprise. There will be no latihans Thursday, May 1 and Saturday, May 3. Latihans will continue on the Eastside Wednesday and Friday, as scheduled. Please plan accordingly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Also, there is a new door code. Please see Paul to get that code if you are a helper, or open the house for latihan regularly.


SICA in Puebla

The Subud International Cultural Association will be very active (& INTERACTIVE) in Puebla, Mexico, during the upcoming World Congress. From their flyer:

Join the conversation, Engage, exchange, and interact with art, culture and creativity from around the world in the heart of a fabulous UNESCO World Heritage City, Puebla, Mexico.

See the whole flyer here or click the image below. Nos vemos en Puebla.

SICA Puebla Flyer

Poems for Peace 2013 (Audio)

Poems for Peace

Poems for Peace

Poems for Peace, an event conceived and initiated by SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association, was presented by Subud Greater Seattle on September 21, 2013, at Spring Street Center in Seattle, the Subud House. Paul Nelson organized and emceed the event and several regional Subud members, and some invited guests, performed poems, songs and musical invocations to celebrate peace. As was mentioned during the evening, peace is not the absence of war, but something more subtle and powerful. As M. Scott Peck points out there must be vulnerability and community. Both qualities were evident on this particular evening and celebrated by the audience of 40 attendees.

Here then is the audio of the evening as it happened:

1. Introduction, Paul Nelson (2:57)

2. Invocation by Jim O’Halloran (3:14)

3. Rant (Diane diPrima) performed by Paul and Meredith Nelson (5:04)

4. Excerpt from The Bidden Fruit, Benjamin Boyce (6:54)

5. Marching for Peace, Hadiyah Carlyle (4:16)

6. The Undergrown Beast and A Mother’s Nightmare by Ibtihal Mahmoud (3:35)

7. Peace all over the World (excerpts from a 50s style high school musical) Philip Quackenbush (6:22)

8. Notes on being a Gulf War Refugee Meena Rose (5:14)

9. Poetry Postcards as Peace Process, Paul Nelson (2:47)

10. Emile Ward (5:53)

11. Dreaming of Mother Moon, Carol Edson (Blackbird) (5:34)

12. Give War a Chance, Faiza Sultan (9:04)

13. Motherwit (from Pig War & Other Songs of Cascadia) Paul Nelson (6:46)

14. Happy Birthday to Paul (1:26)

15. Jim O’Halloran, Closing Flute Prayer (6:21)

And SICA Blossoms

And SICA Blossoms PDF Print E-mail
Latifah Taormina

Latifah Taormina

From Latifah Taormina, the new SICA Chair: We have a wonderful word in Subud, a word we use so often we almost take it for granted

We have a wonderful word in Subud, a word we use so often we almost take it for granted, a word that is both ordinary and extraordinary, a word Bapak gave us — and one we loved to hear him say:  “Begin.”

“Begin” may not have the cachet of other words in our Subud lexicon. Yet, it is at the heart — and start — of what we really DO in Subud.  And as the latihan also shows us, we must repeatedly “begin” to really grow.

So now we begin —  again — with SICA.

The day after our SICA testing in Christchurch, Helena, Susannah, and I had the intention of testing about our roles after the morning latihan. But as the latihan finished, I felt we must first sungkum Ibu and ask for her blessings for our work. Muti said Ibu could fit us in to her schedule right then. So we followed Ibu and party out of the hall to a meeting space the Congress Organizing Team had arranged for Ibu in the floor above the hall.

After we did sungkum, we sat for a moment together, and I told Ibu we were the new SICA team. She took one look at the three of us (and one of the women IHs who had come with us) and said, “Where are the men?”

We laughed and said we still had to attract them! Then I told Ibu that we had come for her blessings and prayers for our work ahead as SICA was “quite weak now” and had not yet been able to achieve the goals Bapak had laid out for us so long ago.

Yes, she said, (paraphrasing) SICA is weak because there has been so much attention to business. But SICA is still important because we cannot show people the latihan. But we can show the results of our latihan, especially as we continue in Subud and become more and more able to know and express our own real talents. And if people can learn to feel the difference between what has content and what does not, that can make a difference in the world.

I apologize that I do not have the exact words. We thought it was being recorded, but the recording didn’t take. What I put in italics is what I remember the most. Ibu also wished us well in our work — and reminded us that we would need much patience!

But even before our testing, and before Ibu agreed that SICA is weak now, all of us who tested, and those who met with us about where SICA might be headed, agreed that we need to re-vision SICA.

There were no SICA working parties scheduled when we arrived at Congress, and while there were all manner of cultural activities at the congress, none of them — save one — had the SICA name on it. The one? The wonderful work of our young filmmakers who set up the whole Congress TV program. Did they know that back in 1984 Bapak had predicted that film and technology would play a key role in putting SICA on the map?

The truth is SICA is not on our map, and it needs to be.

Our SICA team — and it’s still growing — includes Susannah Rosenthal (USA) and Helena Casbolt (Australia) as Vice Chairs. Rosetta Narvaez (USA) is Treasurer. Bachtiar Lorot (Spain) serves as advisor and SICA liaison to the UN and to the WSA’s External Relations group. Olivia Moyano (Argentina) serves as SICA liaison for South America. Rasjidah Franklin (USA), Rosario Moir (New Zealand and Colombia), Maya Korzybska (Indonesia and France) and Erica Sapir (France) are on the Board. Luke Penseney (Canada) is also on the Board ex officio as the WSA Chair. Sharifin Gardiner (UK) is our SICA-SD liaison.

As part of this re-visioning effort, we are also forming a sort of ad hoc task force of active Subud creatives to help us rethink SICA. Honorah and Dahlan Foah (USA) have already agreed to help with this effort, as have Hussein Dickie and Lilliana Gibbs.
To begin our re-visioning, we have given the acronym, SICA, an additional meaning:


Our re-visioning process will look at ways for SICA to establish a more direct relationship with people already working in cultural fields. We will look at ways to partner with dedicated and committed groups of people from all over the world that wish to be involved and active in the sharing process of one or more aspects related to Spirituality, Inspiration, Creativity and Action.

The partnerships between SICA and those groups can facilitate mutual learning, connecting, sharing and celebrating among a whole range of people: lay people, amateurs, professionals — especially through public cultural events. In fact, one of the things that sets SICA apart from the other wings is that it does EVENTS. (Exhibitions, performances, conferences, forums, festivals, workshops, etc.) Not to say, SICA is exclusively event-oriented, but it’s certainly key.

Clearly it is the public event that often allows the public to engage with and feel what has content and what has not. Consider the organist in Christchurch who played during our Subud concert. He was not in Subud, but he was so filled with something he’d never felt before, his music soared in a way he’d never experienced before. And we were all touched with the content of his playing.

These public events do something else, especially when they are done in the name of Subud International Cultural Association. They give the name value. They help us build a public track record that can in turn empower SICA to better help our members while giving us the cachet we need to enable SICA as an international organization to be connected, affiliated, and accredited to the main cultural governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders.

We need that value. Subud needs that value.

We very much look forward to partnering with our brothers and sisters of Subud Mexico in organizing the cultural programs of the next World Congress, and we welcome hearing from our brothers and sisters around the world who are already doing exhibitions, workshops, performances and other public events in the name of SICA. We would like to catalog all that has been done over the years.

Right now SICA is working closely with the Wisma Subud Historical Preservation Project (WSHPP). It’s an effort launched within Wisma Subud to explore a UNESCO cultural heritage designation for Wisma Subud. Such a designation can be based on tangible or intangible assets. (“Outstanding Universal Values.”) The WSHPP could apply for UNESCO status as a physical place or for its content in terms of ideas, processes values, international meeting space etc. That there is an international cultural organization with worldwide cultural activities associated to Wisma Subud is beneficial. In fact, SICA was asked to have a representative on the steering committee from Innsbruck Congress and Bachtiar Lorot served in this capacity. This position was renewed in Christchurch, and Helena Casbolt, our vice chair, is now serving on the WSHPP steering committee.

Helena is also working on setting up a new SICA website with an emphasis on member services while we further devise our public outreach programs. It will include a built-in cultural data base capacity and content management system to facilitate contributions to the site from many editors worldwide. It will also invite member participation and interaction. We will showcase, support and provide communications services for Subud members within the broadest definition of creative activity. We hope to have the new site up and running in the next few months.

Here in the USA, Susannah Rosenthal, our other Vice-Chair, is working at the join point of creativity, spirituality, the expression of individual talent, and enterprise. She is exploring ways in which local centers can serve as action centers for SICA. That she is also chair of Subud Los Angeles — as well as Chair her local community Arts Commission — fits rather nicely with this task. She’s already dreaming of beginning something called a “Creative Café” in the downstairs part of the LA Subud center. (The LA Center is also just across the street from the Los Angeles County Art Museum.)

I am working on getting money to help support our endeavors, getting our re-visioning retreat to happen, and continuing to build the creative team that can help make all this happen.

We would very much like to hear from our brothers and sisters around the world who have been doing SICA work. We want to hear about their successes, their difficulties, and their goals. We especially want to know how to be in touch with them!

Oh. There’s one other very important ingredient to SICA work. Without it, I doubt that anything can happen. Play. There must be time to play and have fun.

May God bless, guide, and protect us in our actions for our Subud International Cultural Association and in our lives, both inner and outer. And please forgive us also for our mistakes and shortcomings and for anything we have said that is out of place.

With love,

Latifah Taormina
Chair, Subud International Cultural Association.
March 13, 2010

Poems for Peace

Poems4PeaceSeattleAnne Padilla and I are facilitating an evening of Poems for Peace on International Peace Day, September 21, 2013. An international event preparing for its second annual iteration sponsored by SICA, poetry being the main vehicle by which people express their desire for peace, in all of its manifestations. http://www.poems-for-peace.org/ Bring a dish to share at 6:30.

Poets involved in the recently concluded August Poetry Postcard Fest have been invited and the event will happen in the Chapel of the Subud House/Spring Street Center. There will also be music and dance performance and a collaborative poem composed at the event as a Prayer for Peace. We hope to see you. – Paul Nelson

See also: http://paulenelson.com/2013/09/03/poems-for-peace-seattle/ One poet confirmed:

Faiza Sultan

Faiza Sultan

Let’s Give War a Chance
يَمشِي الحُبُّ
أبوابَ الخَنادِق

So that
Love can walk about
Barefoot, knocking at
The doors of trenches.

تَلبسَ الفَراشَةُ
واقِيَة الصدرِ
عِندَ بوَّابَةِ كُلِّ زَهرة

So that
Butterflies can wear
Chest armors
At the gate of every rose

تُكَشِّرَ الشمسُ
عن أنيابِها
ويَحتَرِقَ الليل

So that
The sun can bare
Its teeth
And the night can burn away
كم رَأساً
نحتاجُ لِنُفِيضَ نهر
So that
We can start counting down
The number of heads
We will need to overflow the river
قِصَصاً لِأَطفالٍ مُشوَّهِين
عن “مُفَخَّخةٍ فِي بِلادِ العَجَائِب”
So that
We can tell the tales
Of disfigured children
About “A booby-trap in the lands of wonders”
بِأجسادٍ مُنتَفِخَةٍ بِالأحلام
على أرصِفَةٍ سَوْداء

So that
We can stumble over
Corpses bloated with dreams
On dark sidewalks
نرى الوَطَنَ
مِثلَ السَفَّاحِيَطعَنُ أيَّامَنَا
على فِراشِ الحُلُم

So that
We can witness the nation,
Like a murderer, stab our lives
On a blanket of dreams
كَيْ نرى
الدُولارَ يتَسَكَّعُ
مع امرأةٍ جميلة
فِي ليلةٍ خانِقة
So that we can see
Dollars flirting
With a beautiful lady
In a choking night
تَفرِشَ الأمُّ
جناحيها علىأطفالٍ مَذعورينَ
وتَلتقِطَ القنابِلَبِأدعِيَتِها

So that
A mother can
Spread her wings over her petrified children
And catch bombs with her prayers

كَيْ تتَسَلَّلَ الوحدَةُ
وتحتَضِنَ الأرامِل

So that loneliness can sneak in
And hold the widows in its embrace
نَسمَعَ العَويلَ
مِن عَصافِيرَ
So that
We can hear the wailing
Of sparrows
Whose nests have turned to ashes
نتَخَثَّرَمعَ الدمِ
فِي سِجِلٍّ بارِد

So that
We can clot with blood
And be left as numbers
In a cold record
يُوشَمَ السِياسِيُّون
عاهاتٍ سوداء
على جبينِهِمُ

So that
Politicians can be tattooed
With dark blotches
On their foreheads
Of religiosity

قنابِلَ بشَرِيّة
خلفَأسوارِ الدين
So that
We can catch
Human bombs
From behind the walls of religion
نقترِبَ مِن الموتِ
ونتَحَسَّسَأظافِرَهُ البَشِعةِ
فِي ظُلْمَةِ الوطَن

So that
We can draw closer to death
And feel its disgusting claws
In the nation’s darkness
كَيْ نبقى
في نُقطَةِ دَمٍ
سقَطَت مِن سُرَّةِ

So that we can remain
In a drop of blood
That has fallen from the navel
Of history
ننامَ ونَحلُمَ
بِحُروبٍ جديدة

So that
We can sleep and dream
Of new wars
تبقى أغانِي الحرب
كعُشِّ الزنابِيرِ
في ذاكِرَتِنا

So that
The songs of wars can remain
Echoing in our memories
Like a hornet’s nest
نَسرِقَ لحظَةَ حُبِّ
سقَطَت سَهْواً
مِن جُثَّةِ مجهولةِ الهَوِيّة

So that
We can steal a moment of love
That fell off inadvertently
From an unidentified body


ننشُرَ الذُّعرَ
في قُلوبِ اليَماماتِ
وهِيَ تُصلِّي

So that
We can spread horror
In the hearts of doves
As they pray

نُلصِقَ وردَةً
على جُثّةِ كُلِّ شهيدٍ
لم يَتَمنَّى الشهادة

So that
We can stick a rose
On the corpse of every martyr
That did not wish for martyrdom

نُلوِّنَ العالَمَ
بِلونٍ جديد
من الدمِ

So that
We can paint the world
With a new color
Blended with
And Insanity

نستَقبِلَ في بُيُوتِنا
لا نَعرِفُهُم
يحمِلونَ نُعوشَنا

So that
We can welcome in our homes
Unknown to us
And who carry our coffins

Faiza Sultan


Moroccan Poet and Beat Scholar Visits Seattle


El Habib Louai

El Habib Louai

SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association is delighted to welcome El Habib Louai to the Northwest for a series of readings and talks at various venues in August, 2013. We invite you to attend and spread the word. (Download poster here.)

SICA “works at the intersection of creativity and spirituality to advance and celebrate activities that grow out of the development of the human soul.”

El Habib Louai is a Beat Scholar from Agadir, Morocco, and is working on translating the poems of Allen Ginsberg and other U.S. poets into Arabic.

Saturday, August 10th Habib will perform a poem as part of the annual concert by the Jim O’Halloran Quintet at Bradner Gardens at 1730 Bradner Pl S,  Seattle. 6:30PM.

Sunday, August 11th, he’ll discuss the Beat poets from a Moroccan perspective at Spring Street Center, 1101 15th Avenue, Seattle. 12:30PM.

Monday, August 12th he’ll be the featured reader at the North End Forum at the Wedgwood Ale House, 8515 35th NE, Seattle. 8:30PM.

Thursday, August 16th, he’ll discuss the Beat poets from a Moroccan perspective at the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center near Sedro Wooley, WA. 7PM.

El Habib Louai received his B.A in English literature and linguistics from the University Of Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco, in 2007. A number of his poems have been published in various online magazines and journals, such as Indigo Rising Magazine, troubadour21, Eunoia Review, Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Istanbul Literary Review, Sagarana and Camel Saloon. He was the representative and organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change cultural event in Agadir, Morocco in 2011, and is currently translating the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and other U.S. poets into Arabic.


About The Subud International Cultural Association (SICA)

SICA is a global nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas that provides programs and services to individuals and organizations working in the fields of art, culture, and creativity for the development of human values across all fields of human endeavor. SICA believes the development of individual talent is critical to building love and respect among people everywhere. SICA was begun by members of the World Subud Association in 1983. www.subud-sica.org


Sam Hamill and Ian Boyden at the Subud House, Nov 10 at 7:30P


SPLAB Presents: Sam Hamill with Ian Boyden
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Admission Free (Donations accepted)








Spring Street Center
1101 15th Avenue (15th & Spring)
Seattle, WA 98122
Co-Sponsors include: SICA (Subud International Cultural Association)

Ian Boyden will give a presentation of the two artist books he’s made with Sam: Habitations and Edible Earth. He’ll talk about the ways these books came to be, ideas that coalesced in their making, his contributions to the projects as an artist and bookmaker, and some thoughts about collaboration. Sam Hamill will read from his new chapbook Border Songs published by Word Palace Press (www.wordpalacepress.com) and, perhaps, from Habitations. This event is presented by SPLAB in association with SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association.

Sam Hamill is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, where he edited and printed for 32 years while writing more than forty volumes of poetry, essays, and celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin, and Estonian. In January 2003, declining an invitation to the Bush White House, he founded Poets Against The War, compiling the largest single-theme anthology in all of history—30,000 poems by 26,000 poets—now archived at Ohio State University. His most recent books include Border Songs (Word Palace Press), Almost Paradise: Selected Poems and Translations (Shambhala Publications) and Measured by Stone (Curbstone Press). “Sam Hamill has reached the category of a National Treasure, though I doubt he’d like the idea.” —Jim Harrison “The shape of Sam Hamill’s mind is the shape of both a revolutionary and a monk at work. His sacred text is poetry.” —Terry Tempest Williams “No one—I mean no one ever—has done the momentous work of presenting poetry better than Sam Hamill… [his poetry] is no less than essential.” —Hayden Carruth


Ian Boyden is an artist and writer currently working in the Blue Mountains southeast of Walla Walla, Washington. Boyden’s practice, in both his paintings and books, displays a fundamental drive to link the literary, material, and visual imagination. He makes his own paints and inks from unusual materials such as meteorites, shark teeth, and freshwater pearls. He often works in collaboration with other writers, artists, and scientists. His work has been exhibited widely and is found in many public collections including Reed College, the Portland Art Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Suzhou Museum. Website: http://ianboyden.com/

Edible Earth