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Michael Irwin - How I Latihan

Talking about Latihan. From Arianne Laidlaw, October 25, 2007. Time 22:29

Enjoyed reading your account of the latihan and the possible consequences you suggest in conclusion. But the first few paragraphs explaining your terminology could be deleted as far as I'm concerned because they merely delayed the interesting part.

You remind me of a time I asked a national and regional helper who were on a balcony with me at some Subud event whether they'd actually experienced silence from their hearts and mind in the latihan. I was delighted when one said they'd achieved at least 10 seconds and the other cflaimed a few seconds more. I was reassured.

It will be interesting if other people are inspired to describe similar experiences. One of the things that attracted me to Subud was the notion that each of our latihans would be tailor made to fit each of us, so I don't expect anything would fit us all. Arianne

From Mike Higgins, November 24, 2007. Time 4:53

Arianne said: "You remind me of a time I asked a national and regional helper who were on a balcony with me at some Subud event whether they'd actually experienced silence from their hearts and mind in the latihan."

That's an interesting question. When I first came into Subud, I was in college and very stressed out: concerned about my school work, the job I was doing while attending school, my future career, a romantic relationship I was involved in, etc., etc. I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. During this time, my latihans were very intense. It became obvious to me that they were acting as a form of catharsis for me, a way to "let off steam."

To be specific, I was moved to do Sufi spinning (like a whirling dervish) in latihan. This is not something I could normally do for more than a couple of minutes without feeling dizzy and nauseous. But I could do it for most of my latihan without getting dizzy. The physical effect of it was a great release of tension and feeling of calm. The message I received was clear: your mind and heart are like a tornado. There is a still calm center in the heart of that tornado and that is where your attention must be centered if you wish to know peace (i.e., where my attention was centered while I was spinning). If my attention wavered from that center while I was spinning, I would begin to feel ill. In other words, I could make myself ill (and was doing so) by letting outer conditions rather than my heart dictate my thoughts and actions. - Mike

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