And now, go home

Translated by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
After Jean-Yves Leloup, “Notes on Hesychasm”

Father Seraphim’s young disciple stayed a couple of months more on Mount Athos. Jesus’ simple prayer often impelled him in endless and bottomless abysses, bringing him on the verge of a real ecstatic elation: “I am not the one living now, but eternal Jesus lives in me” he could say as Saint Paul. When he was overwhelmed by those states, he had a continuous delirium of humility in himself and the desire of interposing in others’ favour at the same time. It manifested as a burning desire “that all people were saved from the state they were in and were able to reach the ecstatic plenitude of knowing the Truth”. He became a live flame, burning in the fire of love. “He was burning all the time but he never consumed himself”. He often had sublime luminous visions. Some said they saw him walking on water or remaining still, in ecstasy, a couple of meters above the ground…

One day, Father Seraphim came again and started screaming: “Enough! Take your things now and leave!”. This is how Father Seraphim asked his young disciple to leave Athos and return home to see what he would be left with of his wonderful prayers and hesychast meditations.

The young hesychast disciple left immediately, without questioning the reason he was asked to do that. Back in his country, his acquaintances found him thinner. They did not see anything spiritual or divine in his almost dirty beard and in his casual look. But all that did not trouble him at all, anymore, as he could not forget Father Seraphim’s teaching.

Sometimes, when he felt too agitated, not finding time for himself, he gave up everything for a moment and he went to meditate as a mountain on the patio of a café. When he felt his ego, vanity amplified, he suddenly remembered about the poppy. “Any flower fades” he said to himself then and his heart focused on God’s eternal light again. When sadness, anger, disgust invaded his soul, he retired in solitude and started to breathe rhythmically and profoundly, as the ocean; by doing that, he shortly felt he put himself in unison with God’s Soul and full of humility, he invoked His name, murmuring: kyrie eleison.

When he often contemplated his fellows’ suffering, malice and helplessness, he immediately remembered Abraham’s meditation. When he was defamed or when he had to listen to different infamies about him, he re-found the happiness and innocence of a God’s child by meditating together with Jesus. On the outside, he was like anybody else. He was not up to look like a saint. Seven years after his return from Mount Athos he forgot to practice, for at least once a month, the method of hesychast inner listening. Still, he never did and never will forget to love God every moment and always walk in His presence (God).

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