In 1995, I stopped by Nehat’s macrobiotic bakery.  He just came back from a trip, and he could not contain his excitement. He spent a few days in the monastery Vitovnica with a monk whose name was Tadej. This is how it all began. The monk was ill, and a person who knew that macrobiotic diets could help him suggested that Nehat cooks for the monk, and so they met.  Nehat was eager to nurture the monk as well as to enjoy the quietness and solitude of the monastic life.

Along with nutritious food, Nehat gave the monk Imoplex, a product that strengthens the immune system.  My husband and I made Imoplex. The old, perceptive man reacted positively to this way of healing. Within days, he was invigorated, and he expressed his gratitude to our friend Nehat: “Monks don’t have the luxury to eat such a delicious food prepared by others. Thank you so much. I already feel better.” He also told Nehat that he would like to meet the people that manufacture Imoplex; he had a jar of Imoplex in his hand and said he would continue to drink it on a daily bases.

Nehat told me this touching story about monk Tadej. In 1995, the monk helped numerous people that came for his advice, consolation, and prayer. Intrigued by this story and honored by his words, we decided to visit the monk. One spring morning, my husband, our two sons and myself, along with other devotees started the trip to the Monastery Vitovnica.

A kind-hearted person who desired to create a special experience for us organized this tour. However, the bus was an old-timer, similar to the one from the movie “Ko To Tamo Peva.” We were seated in uncomfortable seats, and I observed the bus being ornamented with traditional Serbian handicrafts, such as weaved blankets and knitted socks.  We were moving at 40km/h, and the trip lasted for 4 hours. It was a challenge to keep my toddlers quiet; they were 3 and 2 at a time, but we arrived at our destination successfully.

Once we’ve arrived, the incredible scenery took my breath away.  The monastery is in the valley of a tiny river, Vitovnica. In the back, we could see the mountain cliffs with the dormitories for hermits. In front of the monastery, there was a large tree, and hundreds of people gathered around it. About five or six buses that came from different parts of Serbia were already parked in the parking lot. It appeared that we came too late, and because of a large crowd, we won’t be able to see the monk.

We first decided to pray and light up the candles. Then we agreed that my husband heads towards the crowd surrounding the monk in hope that the monk will bless our product. I took our sons for a walk. As time went by, more people arrived, but nobody left. For hours, people patiently listened to the monk, who answered questions, offered advice, or shared words of wisdom. My children and I took a walk by the river and then we came back and sat across from the tree and the crowd. I knew that we had no chance to reach the monk, and I was sad that I wouldn’t even see him.

At that moment, the crowd split into two, and there appeared an old man in a black gown, characteristic for monks, and he walked straight towards us. I quickly took a box of Imoplex out of my bag and offered it to him. He placed his gentle, bony hand over it and blessed the product.  With the same ease, he blessed my sons and me. As if levitating above the ground, he left towards his chamber. I was shaken because of this sudden touch by a god’s hand. As if this wonderful man, full of love and knowledge has heard my thoughts. I stood for a moment, wondering if this was just a dream.  

The meeting with monk Tadej, his love and stillness have continued to inspire me. His teaching informs my life. He said: “Your life is a reflection of your thoughts.”

He advised parents with children that are difficult to manage by saying: “If you want to understand others, love them.” He told people to be aware of their ego, by saying: “Your soul sometimes has to suffer.” His words of wisdom live after his death. In difficult times of war when our country suffered, he was a caring soul always ready to offer consolation, love, and sympathy.  Now, when I feel sad, I often watch videos about him on Youtube or read about his teachings.

Don’t Stop Here​

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