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History of SIHA

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SIHA History & Milestones

The Subud International Health Association came into being at the 10th Subud World Congress in Spokane during August of 1997. It was by no means a new idea. 

The intention to have a registry of Subud professionals working in the health and caring fields dates back to the late 1950's in England when the first attempts to make this happen took place. It came alive again at the Anugraha Congress in 1984. At that time, Bapak gave the name of "Subud International Health Association."

Health is a universal issue that touches everyone. SIHA provides a resource for Subud Members, and helps to support the many Subud professionals who work in the health and caring professions.

The Early Days 1957 -1959


In July 1957 we invited as many doctors as were doing the Latihan to a meeting at Coombe, asking them to advice on a proposition which had been made by Pak Subuh that “Sooner or later we would need a Subud hospital”. Soon after, Melissa Marston invited Pak Subuh to see various places and selected Brookhurst Grange as the most suitable. Brookhurst Grange was then purchased in mid-November 1957 and became known as Brookhurst Grange Nursing Home.


"Once we are able to set up hospitals, don't think we won't need doctors to work in them. We do need doctors, to enable us to bring about a collaboration between the knowledge of the mind - which is science - and the knowledge we get from God, which is spiritual knowledge. In these hospitals there would be doctors and nurses with qualifications from the medical schools. But, besides them, there would also be those who have done the Latihan, to help in the hospital. These two can then work together to heal and fulfill the wishes of the patients. It is even better if the doctors themselves, the nurses themselves, already have a lot of experience in the spiritual field. That's even better, because then we won't need so many people to help. The doctors and the nurses will already be able to work in both fields, the scientific and the spiritual."

It Is Real


The name of SIHA was approved by Bapak at the Anugraha World Congress in 1983. There is an old copy of Subud World News from after the Anugraha congress that has a story about the setting up of SIHA and about the idea of setting up a Subud hospital. During the congress, Sjahari Hollands, a medical doctor from Canada, organized a meetings of doctors and at that time Bapak gave the name SIHA (Subud International Health Association). Bapak was very pleased that the doctors were organizing and also offered to test the Chairman of SIHA.

"The fact is that God guides man to be his own doctor, his own teacher, so that he does not need to depend on anyone else. And once you can do that, once you can be independent of everybody and stand on your own feet, it will lead you to a feeling of confidence in yourself."

Gearing Up

Spokane to Bali 1997 - 2001

There were several working group meetings at Spokane Congress in 1997, originally organized by Richard Salisbury, a psychologist from California, with others under the name SHAPA (Subud Healing Arts Professional Association) umbrella. At one of the early meetings, the name issue came up and it was decided to go forward with the name SIHA.
The meetings were productive, and a proposal was drawn up to be submitted to the WSC. It was presented as the very last item of the WSC agenda at Congress.

But then there was a twist of fate — by the time the SIHA Proposal was made to WSC, the budget had already been closed and the Council members were two hours or more past lunch trying to finish up the remaining business. They actually approved the SIHA proposal but strange as it seems, it was not recorded in the minutes.

The SIHA members who presented the proposal and witnessed the approval were under the impression that it was all agreed upon by WSC with the exception that no funds were allocated as the budget was already passed and was a closed item. But later, as there was no mention in the minutes, and of course the members of the World Council change after Congress, the new Council members weren't aware of what had happened. It seems there was a memory failure...

As a result, SIHA had to start from scratch with nothing but the active members to bring about an international association of health professionals. Fortunately, many Subud members were also interested in health and wanted to support SIHA.
It was then decided to incorporate a dual membership base - professional members and associate members - meaning that anyone can participate in SIHA. The original team was Maxwell Fraval, Hermione Elliott, Hedley Bennett, Richard Salisbury, and Latidjah Miller, Rohanna Salom joined later after Hedley stepped down. Robyn Burke was a big supporter as the Treasurer, before she passed away.

Soon after Spokane, a periodical called Resonance was published, developed by Hermione and Latidjah. The aim was to create a publication about health, including latihan experiences.

The year 1999 was an active year with a seminars and gatherings in UK, USA, and Holland, where SIHA held its first international conference.

WSA-SIHA Agreement

Signed agreement January 2010

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