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Subud FAQ Page 1

Adapted from an article by D (U.S.A), 13-Mar-2002

Is Subud a new religion?

Subud is not a set of rules or a religion, nor does it cause confusion to people who follow a religion. In Subud
you do not imitate anybody. Subud helps you to get to know your own personal life-plan. Once you have become
familiar with it, once you've seen it, you come to know from your own inner guidance: 'This is what I have to do!'
Subud is nothing more than the working of the power of the Creator when we surrender ourselves to it. Subud is
an international spiritual association Subud and Subud members can be found in most countries around the
globe, and through this diversity we have no common political views and no common religion. Subud members
follow their own religions, and many others do not consider themselves religious. In fact we agree about very
little. What we do agree on is the benefit of a common practice called the latihan (an Indonesian word meaning
"training"). In Subud it is understood to mean the spiritual training of the soul or training of one's inner self.
Some members call this a form of self-improvement; some, a worship of God; others, a purification. Active
members of Subud practice this exercise regularly, in groups and also alone after they become comfortable
with the process. There is no authority or teacher to lead this practice; it is entirely up to each individual. People
who practice the latihan find that it deepens their understanding of who they are, and some say that it gives
them peace, direction, and the courage to follow their authentic life path.

How does it work?

When practicing the latihan, we become quiet and open ourselves to the possibility of change and development
as a human being. Then, spontaneously, a new life awakens within us. Some may talk of a "vibration", others of
a "life that is within our life", others simply of an "energy". During our practice, we may move around physically;
we may not. We may be noisy; we may be quiet. What we do and what we experience is not planned and not taught
by another person. We try to follow that feeling or experience, in the growing understanding that it will guide us
and show us how to live to our full capacity in this world. Members who believe in an afterlife believe this exercise
is very valuable in the life after death, though there is no agreement in Subud as to what shape or form this life
may take or whether it exists. Subud has no teaching or dogma.

How it started

The Subud experience started in Java, Indonesia in 1924, after the founder, whose name was Bapak Muhammad
Sumohadiwidjojo, had a number of extraordinary experiences which he found himself able to pass on to those who
asked. It became known simply as the latihan (training) of Subud.


One does not need to adhere to a particular faith or belief system to practice the latihan. Members do not pay to
practice the latihan, though most contribute towards the cost of maintaining their local meeting place.

Learning more about Subud

There is a period of time before a person interested in beginning the latihan can do so; a time to get acquainted
with this practice before jumping into it. Subud is a small global association, with about 13,000 active members in
the world today. To practice the latihan please contact a member of Subud. Contact information is available through
the Home page. To join you need to be at least 17 years old.