Mathew is two and a half years old, he has a brain tumor and the doctors tell his parents, Monika & Yvon, that there is nothing more they can do. Desperate for a miracle, Mathew’s parents call a healer, they don’t believe in this sort of thing but they are willing to try anything to save their son. One and a half years later, Mathew is now four years old; he is blind. His parents believe in miracles only because they experienced it first hand. The doctors can not explain the immediate shrinking of Mathew’s brain tumor after he went to visit the healer. The effects of the tumor left Mathew blind but he is healthy & normal like most other four year olds. Mathew and his family are in AbadiÃ¢nia, Brazil, far from their home in France. They are here praying for another miracle, Mathew’s sight.
Thousands of people travel from all over the world to AbadiÃ¢nia, a town so small you will not even find it on a map. Many of them come with life-threatening, incurable diseases. They come from different cultures, races, classes and religions. Some believe in God and some do not but the one thing they all have in common is a small glimmer of hope that miracles exist.
Stepping through the gates of the Casa (the healing center of John of God), I can’t help but feel I was entering another world. Perhaps it is being in Brazil, not speaking Portuguese and traveling thirty-two hours from my home in California to get here but somehow I have a feeling that all things are possible in the Casa de Dom InÃ¡cio. I come to Brazil seeking a miracle of a different sort, not so much to heal my body but to heal my spirit. During the orientation I notice a woman with a large, beautiful butterfly stuck to her arm. It is an extraordinary sight, as it remains on her arm the entire two hours of the orientation. My partner, Dana, asks the woman about this odd occurrence and the woman says the butterfly had landed there twelve hours earlier and had not moved from that spot; she also went on to explain, it is the same spot where she has bone marrow cancer. I couldnâ€™t help but make the connection that butterflies symbolize transformation and this woman was here to transform the illness that lay beneath the very spot the butterfly had landed. Each day that I spent at the Casa, I realize we had all come seeking transformation; in essence, this is what healing is really about.
Entering the main hall of the Casa, hundreds of people are seated waiting to see JoÃ£o Teixeira de Faria, a gifted and powerful medium known as “JoÃ£o de Deus” (John of God). As I look around I see many people in wheelchairs and on crutches, I see children who have serious illnesses that I have probably never heard the names of. In front of me sits a Brazilian family, a husband and wife with their two teenage children and a third child laying next to them in a large oversized stroller; I can’t tell how old the child is because she is so badly deformed. I see the hope and tears welling up in the parents’ eyes. One of the Casa guides comes over to the family to see if they can offer any help. The father begins to cry as he talks to this woman. I don’t speak Portuguese but I begin to cry as the pain in this man’s eyes transcends all language barriers. I imagine the man is telling this woman about his child’s difficulties. I begin to pray for this child’s healing.
My reaction is not uncommon, it is clear that all of us come here hoping for our own miracle and most of us leave praying for someone else’s, someone we have never even met before. Perhaps, this is the most cherished gift I am given at the Casa, the gift of giving and expecting nothing in return.
It is my first day at the Casa and I walk past a room filled with wheelchairs, crutches, canes, hearing aids, eyeglasses and various other implements that aid us when our bodies fail to work properly. I am told that those who are healed leave them, as there is no need for them anymore. I can’t quite grasp how amazing this sight is until much later. I am ushered from the main hall into the surgery line. It isn’t until several days go by that I learn how fortunate I am to be instructed to go right to surgery. As I meet various people throughout my stay at the Casa, they explain to me that they have been to the Casa more than once and have not been allowed to receive surgery while others wait anywhere from one to several weeks before they are ready for surgery. It is a process that is explained to me by one of the casa guides who says that some people are ready, spiritually speaking, to receive the healings while others are not. Of course, he goes on to explain, surgery is not the only way to be healed, by sitting in the “current rooms” (meditation rooms) you will also receive a healing.
Many people are instructed to sit in the current rooms as part of the healing process while others go there of their own accord to assist in the healing by raising their vibration and acting as a channel of energy. The meditation sessions last for three to four hours. After you get past your body being uncomfortable from sitting in one place for so long and you let go of your mind, you begin to connect to source at a very deep level. As a result, your awareness expands and sometimes you may even see colors and images. Many people explain that they begin to understand certain deep-rooted beliefs that keep them from moving forward in their life.
I spend several sessions in the current rooms. In one sitting, I have an extraordinary experience in my meditation as I begin to see very clearly the faces of others appear to me. At first, I have no idea who these people are but as the faces go by, one-by-one, I begin to recognize they are people I have seen at the Casa, people who have come for healing. I see the face of Mathew, the four year old who came to heal his vision, he is older, maybe about eight, and he has his sight. It suddenly becomes apparent to me that I am being shown all the people who will transform their illnesses and be healed.
As I walk past the current rooms on the way to my surgery, I am nervous not knowing what to expect; I suddenly feel better as the energy shifts and my vibration rises to match the hundreds of people who are meditating. I enter a room with twenty-five other people whom I do not know. They ask us who would like a physical surgery, and one brave American man stands up and is taken from the room. It was previously explained that we have the option of an invisible surgery, where there is no visible incision in the skin, or a physical surgery, where a surgery is performed with no anesthesia and very low-tech tools. Apparently, there is no difference between the surgeries in terms of effectiveness; however, the patient may need the experience of the physical surgery for it to penetrate their belief systems.
Once in the surgery room, we are told to place our right hand over our heart and focus our intention on what we would like healed. At first, I donâ€™t feel or sense anything. I start to feel disappointed, when suddenly a wave of sound comes over me. The only way I can describe the sensation is, it is the loudest silence I ever heard. This is the second time I have heard this very distinct sound, as I had it happen the night before the surgery, while I was eating dinner. It is now apparent to me I had been receiving surgery long before I stepped into the surgery room at the Casa.
During surgery I begin to feel movement inside my body. It doesn’t hurt but it feels awkward, similar to when you have a local anesthesia and can feel the doctor manipulating your body in a way that would otherwise be very painful without the anesthesia. There is a very distinct feeling in my right lower abdomen but then simultaneously, I feel movement in my heart, my knee and then, head. The movement is very quick and very brief, lasting for no more than a few minutes. I begin to cry, in fact, it is more like sobbing and it is not because I am in pain. I think I am so overwhelmed by what is actually happening to me and I am grateful to be a witness to my own miracle. When the Casa guides ask us to stand up and leave the surgery room, it takes me several minutes to get my bearings. I have a hard time walking to the next area where we are to receive instructions about what to do next. I feel dizzy and disoriented, like I am dreaming and can’t quite wake up. I get in a taxi to go back to my posada (hotel), my body feels achy and fragile; I get in bed and don’t get out of it for twenty-four hours.
As the Casa guides explained to me before and after surgery, I am to treat the invisible surgery like a physical surgery; it is bed rest for twenty-four hours. Of course, I take this Casa rule (and there are many) with a grain of salt, until I realize I can barely make it back to my posada, let alone lift my head off the pillow. My body aches and I have cold and hot flashes. I am clearly recovering from surgery. As I later learn, many people at the Casa have their own unique stories of recovery. Some don’t get out of bed for days and others felt weak for weeks but one thing is common, we all experienced an initial physical reaction from the surgery.
The experience of the surgery and recovery is mind-altering. If this didn’t happen to me, it would be hard to believe. How the surgeries and other healings at the Casa take place is even more phenomenal. When the invisible surgeries are being performed, John of God is not even in the room. The entities or spirit beings that work through John of God work on all twenty-five of us simultaneously, each person having their own unique experience. The entities have identified themselves as various saints and doctors who once walked this earth but it is quite apparent to me that there are more than two or three entities in that room.
In the next room, John of God sits in a chair as hundreds of people come before him with questions and requests for healing themselves and others. He is incorporated with a different entity during each session. This means that a spirit being or light energy enters his body and works through it to heal others. John of God is not conscious of the surgeries he performs or the wisdom he shares with others while he is incorporated. He is able to see each individual as energy and, as a result, knows immediately the blueprint to his or her mind, body and spirit. I am able to go before John of God several times. On one such occasion, he takes my hand and looks into my eyes. It is as if a transmission of light goes from his eyes to mine and lands in my heart. It is so powerful that for a moment it takes my breath away and I have a hard time walking back to my chair. As I sit down, I begin to cry; it is a rare and glorious experience for someone to look into your soul and acknowledge you completely for who you are.
Another time that I went before John of God, I ask him through a translator if the entities would be willing to work through me in my healing, teaching and coaching work. I feel very fortunate to receive his blessing. I also ask him for a prescription to go to the sacred waterfalls; the waterfalls are another form of healing at the Casa. John of God gives me a written prescription for myself and three others to go. I find this curious, as I had only asked for myself. Later that afternoon, I find that, Dana, for some reason is not given a prescription to go and yet, he wants very badly to experience the waterfall. It made sense that I will take him but who are the other two people I am supposed to take? Dana suggests that we take Monika and Yvon, Mathew’s parents. This makes perfect sense. Monika and Yvon are longing to go to the waterfalls but have been so focused on their son and his healing that they have not taken anytime for themselves. When we ask them to go with us, their faces light up like Christmas trees; it is quite evident why John of God gave me a prescription to take three others. I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in another’s healing.
At the waterfall, another miracle happens. Before I arrived at the Casa, I asked for a sign, something that will tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the entities are real and they are actually working on me. I had read that the entities sometimes left a mark or a symbol on a person after they worked on them; I was longing for such a mark. The rules of the waterfall are that men and women are to go down to the water separately, so I went with Monika. As I begin removing my clothes, I notice a huge symbol on my leg. It looks like a tattoo but it is red. It is a very distinct symbol, a circle with a straight line attached to it and an upward curving line crossing the straight one. I am flabbergasted and scream for Monika to come over and see. I want to make sure it isn’t just me and she is seeing the same image imprinted on my thigh. I copy the symbol from my leg to my journal and look it up later when I return home to California. I find this same image depicted in a dictionary of symbols. The symbol is the sign of Pluto; it means death and rebirth, as well as faith healing! I got my sign.
As the four of us emerge from the top of the canyon that leads to the waterfall we all feel vibrant. As we walk and talk about the things that really matter to us, a sharing at the heart level occurs. In our normal lives, to have an experience like this with someone you just met is rare. I have to say during my stay at the Casa this happened many times, as people were authentic and open; this in and of itself, is healing.
Hundreds of people a day come for healing and no one is charged a cent. It is truly a gift of giving. I sit next to a woman at dinner from Seattle. She came with a serious heart condition called Angina. She has been here for almost one month waiting to receive a physical surgery for her heart. She explains to me that she had come for a week and John of God told her she must stay for three more weeks and then she would receive a physical surgery. She motions to her chest and says he cut her open with a knife, there had been a lot of blood but no pain and there was a substantial scar but John of God had said she was cured and could go home to her kids. With a smile on her face, she says she can’t wait to go home and get an MRI, to prove to herself and her doctors that she is indeed cured.
I meet a family who has a baby girl. She had arrived with tubes that allowed her to breathe but they limited her mobility. A week of various healings has passed at the Casa and the little girl is running around giggling (no tubes) like any healthy one and a half year old.
A Brazilian man stands in front of me in line; he can only walk with crutches but he left without them. As the man goes before John of God, John pulls the crutches away and tells the man he is healed, that he no longer needs them. The man hesitates to release his crutch, as his mind can not grasp that it is possible to walk without them. He slowly walks away. I later see the man strolling through town without so much as a limp.
I meet a little girl who is autistic. Her father explains to me that this is the third time they have come to AbadiÃ¢nia. He explains they are from France and the doctors there said nothing could be done to help his daughter. He explains how each time they have come to the Casa her condition improves and her quality of life is better. He plans on staying six weeks this visit and plans on coming back as long as it helps his daughter.
Many people who are too sick, too old or don’t have the resources to travel are represented by loved ones carrying their photographs. Standing in line, I meet a man from California, who has been to the Casa a number of times. On his last visit he brought a photograph of his grandmother who had recently gone blind. He had the photograph blessed by John of God and the entities and she was given a prescription of herbs. With tears in his eyes, the man told me she could now read his letters.
Looking back, perhaps what I find to be the most significant form of healing that occurred in myself and others, was that we began allowing who we are not to fall away and to allow the beauty of who we are to emerge. My friend, Barb, explained her experience at the Casa as being the first time in her life, she felt like she was enough. There was nothing she had to do or to be that was other than who she was. The constant comparisons to others, worries about age or weight or money in your bank account, just disappears, and that rare feeling of completely accepting oneself emerges.
It is hard to measure my own healing that occurred at the Casa, as I did not arrive with a serious illness to heal, however, I am very clear that I am more my true self than I was before I left. I also believe, my healing process continues as I have returned home. Recently, my face began to peel, this has never happened to me before and there is no explanation for it, as I was not sunburned. To me, my skin peeling is symbolic of letting go of another facade that keeps me from being my authentic self. My experience, both at the Casa and in my life has taught me that letting go of who we are not and embracing who we are is a prerequisite to finding peace and healing within ourselves.
Several days ago, I bent down to rub my aching knee which has been a problem for several years and in a flash of images I saw the injury that occurred when I was sixteen years old. I was crossing the street, proudly standing in my new high-heeled shoes which put me well over six feet tall, when a truck plowed into me from behind sending me flailing forward, landing on my knees. More importantly than recalling the memory of when the initial injury occurred (which I did not realize prior to this vision), I saw the reason why the injury had occurred. I realized that I had a limiting belief that I could not and would not be seen by others. I believed this so strongly that the truck driver didn’t see me as he hit me. I was unaware at the time that my unconscious belief had a direct effect on the world around me. Now that I have an awareness of the limiting belief that caused the physical problem, I can work on letting it go, knowing the knee will heal.
Upon returning home, I received a letter from a woman I haven’t heard from in fifteen years. For me, this woman represented the beginning of a pattern of dysfunctional relationships where I gave away my gifts without acknowledgement and then resented it later. In her letter, she apologized profusely for not acknowledging me for who I was, back then, and the gifts that I had brought to her organization. I don’t think it was a coincidence that this woman decided to send this letter, fifteen years after the fact, the day after I returned from Brazil. I took her letter as a sign that a healing had occurred and this would no longer be an issue in my life. Synchronicities continue to happen, not only in my life but the lives of my client’s whom I coach. I feel blessed to pass on the energy of the Casa to all those I come in contact with.
I do know for certain that my experience at the Casa de Dom InÃ¡cio helped me to open my heart and increase my awareness of what is possible in this world. I do know that to be in a place where there is no doubt that God exists is inspiring beyond words. I know my trip to AbadiÃ¢nia, Brazil has made me a better healer, teacher and coach. I know as the entities continue to work on me and through me, I am eternally grateful to know, with the deep resonance of my soul, that miracles exist.
For more information on JoÃ£o of God and the Casa de Dom InÃ¡cio contact www.friendsofthecasa.org. I also recommend reading a book called, “The Book of Miracles: The Healing Work of Joao de Deus.” by Josie Ravenwing.