Space for Grace – Osanna Vaughn

A dialogue to encourage and empower Subud communities that express the action of the Latihan in the World


This initiative is based on an awareness arising out of the experiences at Subud Gatherings and World Congresses, where many of us feel a great vitality, wider capacity, and deeper connection. Yet, we acknowledge that when we return to our local groups, we are often challenged in communicating and sharing our hopes, inspirations, concerns and fears with our fellow members. Thus the intention is to explore ways to empower local Subud communities, so that the reality so often experienced at congresses and gatherings can be experienced in our local Subud communities and as part of our daily lives.

This initiative is very timely, as much feed-back from members and groups all over the world confirms that the issues surrounding Subud groups and communities are now of central concern.


Our Subud Groups and Communities bring us together to worship through the Latihan. They also offer the chance to create safe, inclusive spaces that provide the opportunity for respectful and open communication, and that empower us with a sense of ownership, engagement and renewal. Within the safety of our communities, we can nurture opportunities to discover and develop our unique natures and talents, encouraging each other to incorporate the Latihan as a core element in our daily lives, and helping each other to become whole, healthy human beings who can demonstrate the fruits of the Latihan.

How to begin?


With dialogue.

We encourage groups to come together and open a space for sharing the Subud reality each member hopes for: a space to revive Subud through honest dialogue without interruption or crosstalk, where each member is listened to and feels their voice is heard, respected and valid. We encourage members to support each other in the outcomes of that dialogue, and in their efforts to put the latihan into practice in their daily lives. Acknowledging the key role of the helpers and the committees in this process, we also encourage each and every member to take up this initiative and start a process in their local group. In some cases, a specific action may serve as the catalyst for a dialogue.

Our Wing organizations exist to offer further services, providing resources for, supporting and mentoring members’ endeavours. Mentoring programmes, such as the Yes Quest, already exist, and we are happy to share information about them. They aim at nurturing members’ talents and the expression of what they receive in the Latihan – whether in areas of enterprising, cultural, health or social endeavours –, also supporting members wishing to reach outward to their local communities and the larger world community.

The SPACE FOR GRACE team is collecting specific examples of initiatives happening at local levels. Some we are sharing here (see two examples further below), others will be posted on websites, through the Subud media, and distributed as requested. A facebook page has been set up and offers space for discussion and interaction on this subject. You can be invited or can put in a request to join. In addition there is a Forum space, which you have to register at, and then can join in any of the discussion threads. With input from national committees and members in general, we are also building up a network of people willing to help groups looking for support in different areas. For more information, please contact

“It’s All about You” Initiative in Hamburg, Germany

Imke Wolf-Doettinchem

During one of the Women’s Kejiwaan Days in the Hamburg Group, we realized that we somehow missed the opportunity to really know about each other. Of course we do generally know each other and we meet at Latihan times, have tea or coffee afterwards, but we do not really know what moves our sisters at this current time; and so we also do not know how to support each other. So we created the “It’s-all-about-you-Day”: That means we meet, do Latihan first and then we all focus on the sister, whose “turn” it is. She then tells us whatever she feels to, we can ask for further explanations, comment if we feel to do so. The important thing is that we really listen, try to understand – to create a safe space for sharing. During the conversation possible test questions arise. And when the sharing has come to an end, we do some testing. One standard question has evolved: How can each of us support this sister at this time? Whether we exchange the results afterwards or not, this question always creates a feeling of mutual support and the evening usually ends with exactly that feeling. We have had seven of these events so far and they all ended with a very close feeling.

These meetings are not about a member talking to the helpers about a problem. Instead it is open to every sister who likes to come, so that we have the chance to become closer as a group and to support each other.

Comments, thoughts and questions welcome:


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SD as a Core Value – Portland, USA

Haris Wolfgang

Seven years ago the Subud Portland Community began an inspiring and very fruitful process initiated through a series of honest sharing and open dialogues. We learned how to establish a truly safe and inclusive environment for our members to share how they felt being a part of the community, how the group was meeting our needs and what we aspired to for our Community.

During this process we learned how to listen, to respect and validate what we each have to offer. From these safe spaces we learned what was meaningful and important to each of us and identified community values that held a common purpose. Our group made the intention to reflect a Caring Community and adopt Susila Dharma as a core value of our community.

This became a powerfully transforming factor for us all. It allowed members to step forward to assume leadership and ownership of our community by sponsoring many dinners, musical events, plays, classes, sharing our values with a SD fundraiser component. Often these events drew 75 to 125 attendees including friends and relatives. The group started our own Almoners fund and adopted Subud Kinshasa as a Sister City and the Lemba Imbu school as a project.

Each year since, this Caring Value has deepened within our Community and our relationship with Susila Dharma has matured. During 2010 we created a Susila Dharma Forum vehicle committing to raising no less than $3600 through a series of Social & Humanitarian, Arts & Culture, Health & Educational events planned in January for throughout the year. Our Community fundraised a combined total of $6500 for 2010.

Acting from a shared vision created a powerful new dynamic for our community, where there was a willingness to explore our talents and gifts with each other, our community discovered it had great strength and the ability to successfully resolve extraordinary challenges both social and financial.

We look forward to seeing where these core values will lead each of us in our lives and within our community in the years ahead.

Comments, thoughts and questions welcome: