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Mikael Spector

-by Julietta

What does the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Pranayama and Mantras, Astrology and the Kabalah, Polarity and the 5 Elements have in common with the Israeli Airforce, New York and Holland, Nijinski's dance and Stravinski's music, counseling and cheese? They all influenced one man and through all these inputs he became, what he is now: dancer, healer, teacher and artist.

Mikael gives us an insight into his multiple talents and his profound experiences.

The dancer

It takes two to tango

"I started to dance when I was three. My mother, who was working for the Jewish Agency hosting visiting artists, in Tel Aviv, took me backstage to meet the famous national Indian dance troop, starring Shanta Rao. I immediately took to the atmosphere, the Indian food, their dance gestures and colorful costumes. They where very kind and taught me to do mudras and encouraged me to dance. That was the first injection of my future addiction--dance," remembers Mikael. At home he used to put on Stravinsky's The Rites of Spring, a dissonant piece of music, full of fierceness, and jumped over sofas and tables. Pretty weird for a young kid. "Something in me recognized it, it was already in me, ecstatic and profound. It was the way to come out," continues Mikael. When he was five the family moved to New York, but went back to Israel when he was a teenager. "At the end of the 60's there were all these teenage dance parties in Tel Aviv, like everywhere in the world. We listened to the Temptations, The Beatles and all this hippie stuff. I quickly became The Dancer.

After High School I joined the airforce, but not to become a pilot- "I was trained as a sound technician and at that time we discovered other ways of flying" says Mikael.

His first encounter with Sri Aurobindo was at the age of 20, reading books he found on his mother's shelves. "The first minute I read it I knew I was going to settle down in India," he says. Still in the army, he is introduced to pranayama and meditation, having out of the body experiences, getting in touch with the higher mind.

"Wisdom was speaking to me".

In the army years he decided to study dance, but when he finished his duty after four years, things changed. In 1976, directly after the hard, macho world of the army he threw himself into the caressing arms of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their Ashram, or so he believed. "The first period in the Ashram was not easy, life in India was not easy.

What does one know at 22? I met wise Sadhaks, who took me under their wings. I studied the Integral Yoga, M.P. Pandit was my teacher. Then I met my guru - Ludar, a 75 year old Benedictine from Germany and Holland, an occult tantric master, who was also trained in the Tibetan Buddhist way. He encouraged me to complete my dance studies and so I left the ashram after 2 years and moved to Chicago, where I studied dance and dance therapy at the University until 1982."

The healer

See me- feel me- touch me- heal me

"Even as a little child, people used to come and talk with me, I seemed to be able to help them with their problems. Before I went to the army I had studied counseling and psychology at the Alfred Adler Institute in Tel Aviv. Later love brought me to Holland, where I lived and worked for 5 years. I was introduced to Polarity Therapy and trained by a master from Norway in that field. PT focuses on the 5 elements, which are the building block frequencies of matter, energy and consciousness. The elements are the spirit, body, heart and mind, the spiritual, the psychological and the physical, as is taught in Ayurveda and tantric tradition. Polarity is a powerful method of handling physical and psychological conditions by re-directing and balancing energy. As I had plenty of experience with Polarity Therapy, I integrated it into dance therapy and my own way of dancing. The connection between dance and healing was established."

During his time in Holland Mikael kept on coming to the Ashram regularly to meet his teachers. His frequent journeys to New York also helped him to continue his dance and therapeutic studies.

In 1987 Mikael settled down in Auroville. When Quiet Healing Center opened its gates in 95, he wanted to be part of it. As Quiet started from scratch, all kinds of visiting guests offered their expertise, "So much New Age stuff was coming through. I went there and told Michael Zelnik, the manager, that I would give him a session and that: 'the proof is in the pudding'. Michael was impressed with the sensitive body work and I was accepted. Now we have a quality team, filled with good therapists and a fine management. Quiet has its own special atmosphere down by the beach," explains Mikael.

The teacher

We don't need no education

"A teacher is what you grow into, it comes with experience and age. After a thousand sessions and classes your understanding brings you there," says Mikael. When he joined Auroville, he immediately started movement, dance and meditation groups in Transition School and worked through Village Action, dancing with village children whom he found in many ways to be most receptive to a spiritual way of dance.

Successful teaching experience brought more and more opportunities to grow in the field. Besides healing sessions he gives classes in Polarity Therapy, meditation, yoga nidra and dance in Quiet Healing Center and abroad when he travels. At Verite he guides an ongoing study group that researches the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo through meditation and dance. One can meet him formally or informally one-on-one.

The artist

Stop making cheese

Mikael describes himself also as an artist. Does cheese production belong to this category? "Definitely," says Mikael. "In 1988, when La Ferme cheese farm started producing mozzarella from Buffalo milk, people asked me to join in, because I had just settled down in La Ferme. I thought it would be something interesting to do besides counseling and dancing as I had developed quite a taste for cheese eating in Holland. We had no idea about making chseese, so we learned by trial and error. People sometimes returned the boring mozzarella, so we hung it to dry and it turned into yellow cheese. Like people in primitive non-technical situations, we just did what we thought might work and invented all sorts of new cheeses, based on experiments and observation. Much later I found some books on cheese making." Today- Mikael left after 7 years working there- La Ferme is a productive AV unit under the guidance of Olivier, and exports its great variety of cheese to all parts of India. And this is surely a very artistic way to making cheese!

But of course, this cannot be all. Mikael resumes: dance is something that you create and that creates you. Dance is about truth and motion, truth of substance, energy, structure and rhythm; it is about relationship with our selves, with each other, with the earth and with God.

I create my own way of dance, I danced alone for many years and performed for a while discovering that I was energetically and spiritually connected with Nijinski. I understood that dance was a means for transforming oneself, and it became essential to be with people, to feel and work with people's combined energies, body and soul. My interest in dance is in its being a way to encourage human beings to unfold, to evolve. Dance is the language of being of consciousness and of bliss, a language that all human beings can speak". But there is still another medium, in which he expresses his aspirations.

For the last year he has been writing a book called The Glorious Body - a Holographic Paradigm. In his book he attempts to explain and to demonstrate what the real relationship is between spirit and matter. "The division between these two made by the religious, intellectual and scientific traditions is receding into the past. A new body is emerging, a direct experience of true substance," says Mikael. The book also looks seriously into various occult and spiritual traditions - the Toltec, the Tantric, the Kabbalah, Astrology, Ayurveda- and their logical integration, most clearly arrived at in Mother and Sri Aurobindo's Yoga. Radically new ways of dance, meditation, healing work, rest and play are revealed through illustration, diagram and text. The Glorious Body will be finished hopefully in 2003. Until then Mikael will be busy with dancing, healing, teaching and eating a lot of cheese…..

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