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Dirk Campbell - Subud and Psychology

Subud may not be for everyone. From TD WalterSegall, December 4, 2007. Time 15:47

Subud may not be for everyone. The Latihan is as easy as falling off a log, but there are those who need something that requires effort in their spiritual work. I have been in Subud since 31Jan62, almost forty-six years, and I have seen that the vast majority of people who joined Subud in NYC seem to become unhappy about the fact that there is little for them to do except come to Latihan twice weekly.

Our culture seems to demand that people do things -- expend energy or effort, and the Latihan doesn't seem to satisfy this demand, and people often leave Subud when this demand is not met.


From Philip Quackenbush, December 11, 2007. Time 20:37

Hi, Walter,

You have a very good point, IMO. In fact, it might be useful to consider sending members away when they are dissatisfied to seek elsewhere. IMO, there's nothing particularly unique about the "latihan." As the founder of Subud said, we don't have a copyright on it and it's been around "forever."

I just got this in my inbox this AM, a quote outlining his "method" from a "guru" who used to send his students away when they "had it," to "do their own thing," even shouting at them angrily when they wouldn't leave:

Questioner: "In the beginning we may have to pray and meditate for some time before we are ready for self-inquiry."

Nisargadatta: "If you believe so, go on. To me, all delay is a waste of time.

You can skip all the preparation and go directly for the ultimate search within. Of all the Yogas it is the simplest and the shortest."

Questioner: "You mean to say that all these glories will come with the mere dwelling on the feeling 'I am'?"

Nisargadatta: It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow, people do not trust the simple, the easy, the always available.

"Why not give an honest try to what I say? It may look very small and insignificant, but it is like a seed that grows into a mighty tree. Give yourself a chance!

"I simply followed my Gurus instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being I am, and stay in it.

"I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the I am in my mind

and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state.

"In it all disappeared myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.

"Whatever happened, I would turn my attention away from itand remain with the sense 'I am', it may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so.

"Yet it worked! Obedience is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.

Just turn away from all that occupies the mind; do whatever work you have to complete, but avoid new obligations; keep empty, keep available,

resist not what comes uninvited.

"In the end you will reach a state of non-grasping, of joyful non-attachment, of inner ease and freedom indescribable, yet wonderfully real.

"Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focusing on the inner. It cannot be helped, you cannot skip your spiritual practice. You have to turn away from the world and go within.

"As long as you are engrossed in the world, you are unable to know yourself: to know yourself, turn your attention away from the world and turn it within."

Questioner: "What is the course of training in Self-awareness?"

Nisargadatta: "There is no need of training. Awareness is always with you.

The same attention that you give to the outer, you turn to the inner. No new, or special kind of awareness is needed.

"What you need is to be aware of being aware. Don't be misled by the simplicity of the advice. Very few are those who have the courage to trust the innocent and the simple.

"The all important word is 'try'. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly

and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions.

"You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure.

"It is not a matter of easy, or difficult. Either you try or you don't. It is up to you."

Does this not look familiar in terms of bung Subuh's advice to "empty the mind" during "quiet periods", and in terms of the simplicity of the "latihan"?

"My" "quiet periods" and "latihans" (and much of my life "outside" the "latihan") have been virtually what he described above. IMO, all else is imagination, which may be why bung Subuh usually described his stories about Jesus, Muhammad, etc., by saying they were just that. "Very few are those who have the courage to trust the innocent and simple."

Peace, Philip

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