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What is Subud?

1) Subud is a practice that simply involves becoming quiet and allowing the finer or higher energies within one to work spontaneously to affect their changes. The practice is an exercise that consists of putting aside one’s thoughts and desires, and following what happens effortlessly and naturally.

2) For most people, the practice of this exercise has three aspects, which develop side by side. First, there is a process of becoming more in touch with one’s body, and opening one’s feelings. This results in a healing and purification through which one can become more fully oneself and live more in harmony with one’s own nature.

Second, there is process of understanding and illumination, which consists of learning from the deeper parts of oneself through the exercise. This may consist in obtaining insights regarding, for instance, one’s development, one’s work and relationships or, more generally, the nature of the world.

Third, there is a more mystical process akin to worship, through which one comes to freely love what is around and within one, and to transcend one’s ordinary individuality.

3) These experiences occur spontaneously and independent of one’s thinking, will and desire. One simply has to let them happen by following the exercise without preconceptions and expectations. The exercise does not have a specific, predefined, objective. It is something that happens to one rather than something one does. However, in order for this process to commence, one has to have an opening contact with the higher or finer energy within, and this opening consists in being inwardly receptive and quiet in the presence of a person who already practices the exercise.

4) The experience of the exercise can vary considerably from person to person and within each person from time to time, because its development depends very much on one’s own nature.

5) The people who practice this spiritual exercise around the world come from different religions or have no religion, and come from all walks of life.

6) Although many people who practice the exercise believe in God or a divine force, or, more generally, in a reality that transcends our everyday perceptions, there is no dogma or set of beliefs to accept, nor a teaching and code with which to comply. It is merely a question of following the exercise.

7) Practitioners tend to form their own beliefs based on their personal experience, according to their religious or cultural background. The founder of Subud, who was from Indonesia, gave talks to explain the exercise based on his own experiences, but these are to help provide a context for each person’s unique path and do not constitute a creed or teaching.

8) Subud is open to all people over the age of 17. It does not seek publicity. It does not cost money to receive and practice the Subud exercise. People interested in practicing the Subud exercise are usually asked to wait for a period of three months before beginning so that they have the opportunity to verify that this is something for them. All explanations of Subud are incapable of predicting or conveying what any person’s experience will be.

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