An experience of Subud testing
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dear Blithe Spirit
this observation is from my personal experiences of a technique used in Subud called ‘testing’. I hope other Subud members aren’t upset that I share this publicly, in fact I ‘tested’ with the Subud composer, to ask if it would be OK to share this information and received a ‘yes’! It’s a kind of inter-composer contact, which can be used to communicate with any other composer that one is able to connect to.
I should mention that on your Subud page there is a paragraph that doesn’t reflect my experience as a member at all:
“Subud can combine a number of different techniques, it actually varies by location - chant and mantra, meditation and controlled breathing, fasting, repetitive loud music, the use of herbal tobacco [as a drug] - all aimed at inducing spiritual experience; but the core technique is that of shaking - prolonged frenetic shaking. Subud is the modern day equivalent of the older techniques of quaking and shaking.”
I have no knowledge of any chanting, mantras, meditation, controlled breathing, playing music, herbal tobacco, breathing techniques or shaking being used. Actually the only instruction is simply to receive and let go, just following whatever comes to you. Anything that naturally arises is OK, people sing, they move about, following their inner promptings in a spontaneous way. There is nothing to learn, no dogma or faith. That’s it!
I would like to remain anonymous please.
Description of the experience
I had this experience as a member of Subud, it does not describe the spiritual practise of Subud called latihan - meaning ‘exercise’, which is a completely different thing.
Receiving a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’.
To begin, a number of us stood in a circle with eyes lightly closed, in a relaxed, open and receptive state.
One person spoke on behalf of everyone, “may we each feel clearly for ourselves, how does it feel in my body, to receive a ‘yes’?”
For me, the right side of my body had a clear feeling of wanting to rise up! All my right side felt light and lifting.
And then the opposite question was asked, “may we each feel clearly for ourselves, how does it feel in my body, to receive a ‘no’?”
This time the left side of my body felt heavy, with a strong sensation of sinking down. (Each person may experience the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ quite differently in their own body, the point is to recognise one’s own individual responses.)
This testing for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ can be used as a way to enquire about a situation, or subject, or help make decisions as a group, or individually.
Aside from Subud, I was very curious about the possibilities of this technique, and have experimented by using it in various ways. For instance, if I address questions to ‘my angels and guides’ they will advise me. Sometimes I consult the consciousness of the I Ching in this way, and get a reply. It helps to have a clear intent and frame the question carefully, then be genuinely receptive to whatever feelings arise. I can ask life path questions to my higher self, or ask plants or crystals if they are willing to help me. I now have a whole range of bodily feelings, yes, no, maybe, yes but in the future, which I’ve discovered. I just ask inwardly or out loud, and my body gives me an answer!