Thousands of pilgrims gathered Monday in Bulgaria’s Rila mountains to welcome their “spiritual” new year with a cosmic-like dance performed in concentric circles, creating a striking image on the verdant mountain plain.
The white-clad dancers hiked up to Bulgaria’s Seven Rila Lakes at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,900 feet) and performed a special meditative dance known as “paneurhythmy” for more than an hour under the sound of singing and violins.
They are followers of the Universal White Brotherhood — an esoteric society that combines Christianity and Indian mysticism and was founded by Bulgarian theologian Peter Deunov back in 1897 but banned during communism and still considered a sect by the country’s Christian Orthodox Church.
It emphasises brotherly love, healthy habits, positive thinking and living in harmony with nature.
The movement does not keep track of its numbers but is believed to have tens of thousands of followers worldwide, possibly more — the majority of them in France, Belgium and Switzerland but also as far as the US, Canada, Mexico, Iceland and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Its followers believe that positive cosmic energy is at its strongest in the region of the Seven Rila Lakes around August 19 and that paneurhythmy will help them channel it and spread it around the world.
“Paneurhythmy combines music and movement (…) With these exercises we get in touch with the physical, the spiritual and the divine worlds,” said Ventsislav Kuninsky, a 59-year-old machine engineer and follower of the Universal White Brotherhood for 30 years.
Others found purely individual pleasure and health benefits in the exercises that seem graceful and easy but are in reality quite strenuous to perform.
“For me this is a recharging, a reconnection to nature, the road to good health and the road back to my heart because nowadays we have become very reasoning, we think a lot.
“Here, as banal as it may sound, everything is love,” said 40-year-old Ralitsa Kovacheva, who discovered Deunov’s teachings five years ago.
Viewers astonished as Fiona Hill rips apart the falsehoods spread by ‘bloody nitwit’ Devin Nunes on live TV
Fiona Hill knocked down conspiracy theories about Ukraine spread by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and other Republican lawmakers, and impeachment viewers were astonished by her thorough debunking.
The former National Security Council adviser testified that claims pinning blame on Ukraine for 2016 election interference absolves Russia and serves its president Vladimir Putin's interests, and undermines U.S. national security.
“The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today,” Hill testified in her opening statement. “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career Foreign Service is being undermined.”
David Holmes details Giuliani’s mission to get Marie Yovanovitch fired: ‘Unlike anything I have seen in my professional career’
During his opening statement before giving testimony at the House impeachment hearings this Thursday, National Security Council expert on Russia, and David Holmes, went into detail about former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, who has become a key figure in the Ukraine scandal enveloping the White House. Lutsenko allegedly urged Rudy Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to fire Marie Yovanovitch from her position as ambassador to Ukraine.
Giuliani saw Yovanovitch as a hindrance to having the Ukrainian government investigate Hunter and Joe Biden’s ties to a corrupt company Burisma Holdings. In his statement, Holmes detailed Giuliani's dealings in gunning up a Ukrainian investigation against the Bidens.
Gordon Sondland revealed something huge that hardly anyone noticed: CNN commentator
During his testimony Wednesday, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland told the world that the "quid pro quo" is exactly what President Donald Trump intended. Further, he told Americans that everyone was "in the loop" on the bribery effort to get Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his family. It was only once that promise was made and the whistleblower came forward that the Ukraine military assistance was released to Ukraine.
While those revelations dominated the news, CNN's Chris Cillizza wrote that there was one key piece of evidence that seemed to go unnoticed.