The Bonfin – a place of spiritual apprenticeship

Walking down from the Rock of Prayer

A stay at the Bonfin was an apprenticeship in what he called ‘our real work’, the work that harmonizes and unifies all other activities. ‘Never neglect the practice of concentration and meditation,’ he used to say. And as he often referred to the spiritual journey as ‘a work’ to be accomplished, he was asked more than once to explain what he meant. It is a work which goes on where you would least suspect it. It is possible to remain completely motionless and silent and yet take an active part in God’s work.

How? By rising to the level of the universal soul. Once there, you unite yourself to it and participate in its work. Nobody knows what you are doing; not even you. You can be in several different places in the universe at the same time. The implication is clear: perseverance is an essential ingredient of the spiritual quest, and it was in this sense that he liked to use the popular expression, ‘Bonne continuation!’—Keep up the good work!—thereby stimulating in his disciples the forces necessary for the continuation and completion of the work undertaken.

In 1960, there was a large gathering of people at the Bonfin for the summer convention. When the Master left his chalet at dawn and saw the long lines of shadowy figures walking up to the Rock, he could not help but be moved. ‘Dear Lord’, he thought, ‘how beautiful they are, all these brothers and sisters coming to pay homage to your splendour!’ One morning, after his talk on the Rock, he confessed that he had been unable to restrain his tears as they sang.

The power of singing and music
Beautiful music often brought him to a state bordering on ecstasy, plucking at the secret chords of his being that linked him to the world of perfection. And as he had said two years earlier: ‘music has the power to stir the most sensitive fibres of the human heart by linking it to sublime entities. I use music in order to bring the most beautiful and beneficial things down onto the physical plane for you.’

‘For me the question is clear: my whole life has been accompanied by music; I owe to music many of the benefits I enjoy today. Yes, thanks to music I have experienced some unforgettable moments.’

If you knew the effect of music you would sing all day long
‘Music has the power to stir the most sensitive fibres of the human heart by linking it to sublime entities. In India he had noticed that many ascetics did not sing and even considered music a distraction from things of greater importance. That conception of the spiritual life was utterly foreign to him: in his view, music was an essential part of life. If you knew the effect music can have on your different bodies—etheric, astral, and mental—you would sing all day long…

Louise-Marie Frenette,
Extracts from The Life of a Master in the West  (Amazon, ‘look inside’)
‘Flip through’  at Prosveta bookshop

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