The spiritual practice of Subud, known as the latihan kejiwaan, is the result of a renewed contact with the divine force of life. It is a natural process that arises within any person who asks for it, taking place at his or her own pace and according to his or her own nature. Sometimes, when we are still and quiet, or in an unusual heightened state of awareness, we can be suddenly aware of this deeper life going on. The process of the latihan reconnects us with something greater than ourselves and keeps this special awareness alive and active.
The latihan is a process, a receiving, and not a teaching. Nobody is expected to believe anything, only to recognize and trust what he or she experiences. People of different religions may find their faith deepened, and practice the latihan in harmony with each other and with those of no particular religious affinity.
The essence of the latihan is to allow and follow the spontaneous inner movements from within. It involves no instructions or rituals. It is different for each person.
Many people feel a sense of calm and a deepening of the natural connection with wisdom, one's higher self, the divine, or God, depending on one's preferred terminology. The latihan is a catalyst that leads to the development of one's character and which can guide one's everyday life. It can strengthen one's sense of intuition or the teacher within. Normally, this process of transformation is gradual and integrated with the practical requirements of one's life.
The name 'Subud' is a contraction of three Sanskrit words: Susila, Budhi and Dharma. Susila Budhi Dharma (Subud) represent the possibility to surrender to the divine power within, allowing it to effect inner change that will lead to the qualities of a true human being.
The latihan is available free of charge, although the association relies on contributions. Generally, there is a waiting period of up to three months before joining. This period provides the opportunity to meet people experienced in the latihan and to become informed about the process.
Subud was founded by an Indonesian, Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo. He is usually referred to by Subud members as 'Bapak' which is an Indonesian word for a respected older man. The latihan came to him as a revelation, suddenly and unexpectedly. He was able to pass it on to others, and it is now practiced by thousands of people in 83 countries.
The Subud organization is world-wide. There are national and international officers and committees and there are local groups where people meet to practice the latihan together. The association was established in the East in 1947 and in the West since 1957 and is working for positive benefit in the world. The ultimate vision is to affect an open-minded, caring world-wide culture.
Or you may be interested in A First Introduction to Subud and What is Subud?.