The Wonder of Paneurhythmy
Ask anyone there and they will tell you that this is God's choreography and the song of the universe
“The whole world bows to me, but I bow to the Master Peter Deunov of Bulgaria
Beautiful words, right? Perhaps they will become even more powerful if we tell you that the man who uttered them was no other than the great Albert Einstein himself. That’s lovely, but who was he talking about? No idea? Well…
Master Peter Deunov was not only one of the most distinguished spiritual leaders ever to have lived in Bulgaria, but was also among those who played an instrumental role in the saving of the lives of no less than 50,000 Bulgarian Jews during WWII. His generosity and the unlimited love he felt for everyone helped him develop a doctrine based on the principles of compassion, virtue and truth. Deunov claimed that the only way to reach God was by recognising His supreme cosmic rhythm and for that purpose he invented the paneurhythmy – the art of praising nature and becoming one with the universe.
Today thousands of people follow the steps of Master Deunov and practice this ritual. Every summer the members of the White Brotherhood – that’s how his movement is commonly referred to as nowadays – climb the sheer slopes of Rila Mountain, set up camps in the area around the gorgeous Seven Rila Lakes and celebrate the cleansing light of the rising sun and the infinite wisdom it brings. We have seen the whole thing with our own eyes so we know exactly what you can expect: a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will certainly never forget.
It all begins in mid-August on the picturesque plateau with the kidney-shaped Babreka Lake in Rila. If you happen to be in the region around this time of the year, you’d most probably be hiking along one of the many lovely trails there and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
That’s when you will come across a huge camp comprising hundreds of remarkably well-organised tents. Please, don’t be weirded out by this unusual sight – all of Deunov’s followers are extremely friendly and hospitable and they will never do anything to bother you. Instead, they will greet you politely and if it is lunchtime. They will most probably also invite you to join them to the improvised field kitchen they have set up, where they will share their delicious organic food with you.
The feeling of amity that reigns in this place gets even more palpable when you take a closer look around. It is full of tourists just like you who have pleasant, quiet conversations with the people in the tents. No one is arguing or trying to impose their beliefs on others. This tranquil atmosphere will most likely lure you in to spending the night there. And that’s good because the next morning you will become part of the wonder of paneurhythmy.
Make sure you wake up early as the ritual starts before dawn.
When you wash yourself and get ready, just follow the people dressed in symbolic white clothes to the top of the nearby hill, then wait for the energising sun to come up. This is when all the dancing and spiritual exercises commence. The members of the White Brotherhood form concentric circles and perform elaborate steps and sequences with incredible precision, accompanied by the heavenly melodies of violins and acoustic guitars. Ask anyone there and they will tell you that this is God’s choreography and the song of the universe. You will feel that, too, once you forget about the petty problems and fears that have gripped your heart and surrender to the blissful harmony of the moment.
Written by: Milena Raikova
PUBLISHED: Jul 30th 2013 | UPDATED: Jun 9th 2017