Two Compatible Targets:
(1) fewer at latihan (2) many more doing latihan
Attendance at group latihan is falling. New people are not being opened in sufficient numbers.
The solution has two parts:
1) Give the latihan a presence in every town by renting a small shop premises in a reasonably central shopping street location.
2) Deliberately rent very small premises where only a few can do latihan at any one time.
The traditional Subud wisdom is that the larger the latihan, the stronger it is, and the bigger the group meetings the stronger and closer we will feel. This has influenced our thinking on Subud premises. But finding large enough premises at a cost affordable by our small numbers is usually near impossible, or if achieved is nevertheless burdensome in the long term. The alternative solution of meeting rooms hired by the hour has its own set of problems, such as latihan noise disturbing other activities in adjacent rooms, low availability of convenient times, inconvenient locations, and so on.
Although the more the better at latihan, the truth is that even just one other person present can considerably strengthen and focus oneís latihan experience.
So letís do things a different way ó rent or lease a small shop, and soundproof a back room (or two) big enough for 2Ė3 to do latihan together. Then use the shop front room as a means to advertise the latihan, meet and talk to enquirers, and provide a centre for latihaners to drop in at any time to chat and socialise or to wait for their turn to get into the latihan room.
Will it reduce social cohesion (assuming we want that as well as the latihan)? It should considerably increase it. The latihan centre will become an alive place offering the opportunity to meet and latihan with a variety of people depending on what time one drops in. Or you can plan your times to avoid the people you canít stand ó no more need for tedious pretence in the name of supposed harmony. Why should going to latihan be a strain? It should not. The central location will make it easier for people to attend by public transport if they donít have a car, or drop in for a latihan at lunchtime or immediately after work, so the majority will start to get the two latihans a week that we all know are much better than the one group latihan most manage at the moment.
Applicants coming to a centre that feels alive and constantly in use are likely to feel more positive about the latihan, plus our new policy of placing our premises prominently in shopping areas and using that visibility to display welcoming information about the latihan will attract many more than we can ever hope to attract by other means. Furthermore if this way of doing things works, it is easy to expand and duplicate elsewhere, because small rented shop premises are very much less financially burdensome than large purchased latihan halls.