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Stefan Freedman - Buddhism and Subud

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... From Philip Quackenbush, June 13, 2008. Time 6:46

Hi, Stefan,

You said,

"In my experience, many Subud people seem to have a very generalised and incomplete picture of what meditation really consists of. Wikipedia says of Buddhist meditation that there are more than fifty distinct kinds. For example, of eight well-known forms, one is described as “walking meditation” and another as “just sitting”."

Having done several types of meditation both before joining Subud and after, I'd have to say that "latihan" IS meditation, and would be classified as such under any normal viewpoint except for the intransigent opinions of some members that it isn't. What is the founder's injunction to pay attention to what one is "receiving" except a description of what to meditate upon during a spontaneous "moving" meditation? And what is a "quiet period" except another form of meditation? It's all just semantic quibbling, IMO.

If enough research were permitted by members regarding the "latihan", I'm sure that the same brain wave and anatomical changes in the brain that are observed during other forms of meditation practice could be seen in Subud "latihan" practitioners, although perhaps not as regularly, since there is little or no specificity as to the "methodology" of "doing" "latihan."

Peace, Philip

From Stefan, June 14, 2008. Time 6:26

Hi Philip,

Well said and I agree. Most of my friends view meditation as a widely available tool for letting go of the jumble of thoughts, sensing what's underneath and restoring inner calm. In this simple accessible form meditation need not be attached to any belief system or restrictive discipline. It integrates easily with an active life. Whether they practice it or not people I know pretty much all agree it's a good and healthy thing.

The same can apply to the latihan, which I sometimes describe to people as a dynamic meditation. If we described it this way and didn't mask it with mythology & religiosity I imagine a lot more people would try it.

Best wishes,

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