Mikhaël – to the right and slightly behind Peter Deunov
Two of the most important means Mikhaël used to open his soul and spirit to the spiritual world were fasting and silence. More than once, while still a young man in Bulgaria, he followed a practice much recommended by Hindu Masters and spent thirty days in silent retreat.
In India, where such methods are used by those seeking inner revelations, the practice of silence requires great self-control. How much more so in a country where few understand the meaning of such a thing! Mikhaël had to muster all his inner strength and discipline. People questioned him, trying to get him to talk; children laughed and teased him. But the rewards of his silence must have been very precious, for he repeated the experience a number of times during his twenty years with Peter Deunov.
He was thirty years old but he still did not feel sufficiently prepared. Convinced that he still needed to purify his motives, to strengthen his will, to be more detached, he prayed ceaselessly to the invisible entities whose presence he sensed all around him to give him ‘the strength to work for the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth’.
Friends, recognizing his wisdom and his experience in the spiritual life, often sought his advice. But to be Mikhaël’s friend was never just a ‘walk in the park’. He asked a great deal of himself, and although he was devoted to his friends and very sympathetic, he asked a great deal of them also. He tried to stimulate them and give them something vivifying. In his desire to help all those he met he was always genuinely interested in them. Some people found his lofty ideals and his personal integrity uncomfortable and even exasperating. Some became angry.
Others were envious of the apparently effortless influence he had on his companions. But most people sensed that he understood them and shared in their personal interests. His spontaneity and sincerity attracted friendship, and although his outspokenness sometimes brought him enmity instead, he knew that he had to deal with that as we all have to deal with light and darkness; both are necessary to life.
Peter Deunov teaching Paneurhythmy, the Sacred Circle Dance, at Izgrev in Sofia
He would say later that he had tried to help and encourage those who called on him, but that he always directed them to Peter Deunov, always reminded them of the aspects of the teaching most likely to enlighten and encourage them. He made no attempt to assume the role of teacher—he probably mistrusted himself in this respect—and recognizing that humility was essential to evolution, he preferred to remain in the background.
When he went to Izgrev he did so discreetly. In spite of his profound understanding of Peter Deunov’s teaching, he avoided the dinners and receptions to which many of his fellow disciples were invited to give talks. The truth is that his whole life was oriented toward something very special and unusual.
To be continued…