Intention is the key. As practitioner in the healing arts, I have learned over the years that the method used is only a piece of the healing picture and that intention is another. Both the intention of the "healer" and the "receiver" are key. And over the years, I have learned that the line between healer and receiver is a construct created by our minds, as there is actually no difference, both are giving and receiving to co-create a relationship around healing intention. At the Casa de Dom Inacio people are healed with the power of intention.
I have had many invisible surgeries at John of God's Casa de Dom Inacio over the past few years of traveling there first as a visitor and now as a guide. They have all been remarkable and unique, and they all started with me presenting my intentions to John of God, medium Joao in Entity. At the Casa, these invisible spiritual interventions, are sometimes called "spiritual surgeries or operations" because no one physically touches you. All of the work, which for me has ranged from the correcting of a heart murmur, uterine fibroids and spinal alignment amongst other emotional and mental healing, happens through the connection of Spirit through the energy field based on my intention. In a visible surgery, or what is sometime called a "physical surgery or operation", the energy field is still the portal for the healing, and along with this, the physical body is touched and altered by the entity who is working in John of God's body.
On all the previous trips I have made to the Casa, I had witnessed visible surgeries, though usually from some distance with many people between me and the events happening on the main hall stage. One never knows if John of God will come out to do these miraculous interventions, as it is up to the incorporated entity on where these take place. I personally had never had the desire to experience a visible surgery and on the contrary felt I was getting just what I needed through the invisible surgeries and meditation in current. So it surprised me when strong image crossed my mind of myself having a visible surgery on the stage. As quickly as it came, this image left my mind as I made my way to the Casa that morning and decided to sit in the garden as the main hall was very full of people coming to the Casa to see John of God. After 15 minutes of meditation in the garden, I heard an inner voice say "Go in now daughter", with an inner pull to be in the main hall. As I made my way in through the crowd, I felt drawn to be at the stage at the front of the hall. A short while later as the Casa translator lead the crowd in prayer to raise the energy, John of God came out to the stage with seven volunteers who wanted visible surgery. I was front and center to witness each one. The tall blond woman with her hand placed on her left breast, who received an incision there with John of God's finger penetrating into the opening, the small dark haired brazilian woman who had an eight inch surgical instrument called a Kelly clamp with a piece of cotton soaked in blessed water inserted and twist up her nose, and the grey haired man who was seated and had his cornea scrapped with a knife. I took it all in. I noted the calmness of each surgery volunteer and the way they eased into a wheeled chair after standing for their procedure. I noticed the blood that was on the Kelly clamp after removed from the nostril and the tug of the skin as the stitches where place in the breast tissue. John of God met my eyes at one point without a change in facial expression but giving me a feeling of knowing that I was seen and that my witnessing was contributing to this event. After the stage cleared, the Casa guides began to call the lines to go before John of God for that morning session.
I was to be in the second time line that morning and had my intentions translated into Portuguese to hand to the translator once I was in front of John of God. My written intentions, that I had meditated on for days, were to know the deepest truths of my heart, to stabilize myself at higher levels of consciousness, and for spirit assistance in writing my book. The entity suggested I go have two Crystal Bed sessions and the translator said this is to prepare for surgery. In that Crystal bed session, I had a profound feeling of my heart opening and very high energy swirling in my heart chakra. In this case, I could have gone back through the line to see John of God that afternoon to say "what next", however, I felt the desire to sit in meditation in the current room of the Casa and explore my open heart and did this the next morning too. By the afternoon of the second day, I had the feeling that I was "ready" for the surgery. Rather then spending the time to go through the line again, I choose to elect for the surgery as it was called for anyone who had already been before John of God and was wanting a spiritual surgery to come forward.
At this point, as I sat on the bench next to others having the spiritual surgery, I had forgotten all about me vision of having a visible surgery from earlier. I was contently meditating with my hand over my heart, enjoying the peaceful music and feeling of high energy when I had a sudden, jump of my heart, remembering of the intuition about the visible surgery. Within a few seconds if this, a Casa volunteer was asking if anyone between the ages of 18 and 52 wanted to have a "physical operation" (this is what the visible surgery is called at the Casa). Without conscious thought, other than to grab my bag, I was standing and being lead to the space in front of John of God's chair. I was surprisingly calm. The translator, advised me to think of my intentions and close my eyes. The thought came "I could just go sit down, why am I here?" With this a knowing came over me of wanting to surrender. I recalled the up-close surgeries I had seen the day before, the kelly clamp up the nose, the eye scraping, the incision. They do not ask you to choose a type of surgery when you volunteer for visible surgery. The entity in his wisdom, chooses what is needed according to your intentions. Was I willing to surrender? As I stood there in wait, I prayed. I opened myself to Divine Love and my higher self. I asked my guides for their presence. I asked for the grace to surrender to the highest good for myself and that this process for me of surrendering be a blessing of light for all being learning to surrender, learning to let go of trying to control, and let the Divine in.
I heard John of God's voice as he entered the room and spoke a blessing in Portuguese to those sitting in meditation. He then touched my hand and the translator said to me, "follow the entity." As I stood in front of his chair those few moments before, I had let myself think that I would be having the surgery right there, that I would not be going out onto the stage for those in the main hall to witness, as I knew that many of the surgeries were done away from the main hall. However, as I opened my eyes and began to follow the entity, I knew I was going to the stage. No fear came with this. I realized that the spiritual anesthesia, the vibrational energy that is focused in the "current rooms" of the Casa, was already in affect. No thought was going through my mind but was present completely in the moment. As I stepped into the main hall, as sea of faces was before me. I did not see individuals, but the eyes of 500 beings of love. As I lifted my legs to step onto the stage, I noted the heavy feeling as I moved with ease. I stood against the wall and placed my hand over my heart as the translator said to place my hand where I wanted the surgery and connect with God in whatever way I know. Placing the hand over the heart is the sign given so that the entities have permission to do the surgery where they see it is needed. And since I had the intention of knowing my heart's deepest truths, this also was fitting. Within seconds John of God was in front of me as I continued in a state of pure awareness. He first pushed his thumb firmly in the middle of my throat for a brief few seconds, which was uncomfortable but not painful and not fearful. I felt my chin pulled down and my mouth opened as my head tipped back. Immediately I felt a wet sensation of something placed deep in my throat and moved back and forth 5 or 6 times. I was aware of the possibility of the gag reflex, but no gag happened. With the sensation of something in my throat gone, I was quickly seated into a wheeled chair. My head flopped back as my awareness felt drool going down my chin and my feet dragging as I was wheeled off the stage and into the Casa infirmary. I was helped to stand and then lie down on a bed. Body heavy, I lay there with a slight discomfort in my throat and a full heaviness of body. Attendants covered me with a sheet and held a small cup of blessed water to my lips to drink. I was comforted to see one of the owners of the pousada, Jardim dos Anjos, where I had be staying the past month in the room caring for me. I opened my eyes feeling awake in what I thought must have been 15 or 20 minutes and was told it was time to get up and take a taxi back to the pousada to begin the 24 hours rest in my room. Three hours had passed as I notice the wall clock and heard the closing prayer being said in the current rooms. The high energy had carried my awareness out of the body for sometime and the discomfort in my throat was completely gone. Going back to my room, I slept for the next 24 hours with deep dreamtime. A knowing that I was deeply cared for and that my intentions were heard came in full awareness. My intention of knowing my hearts deepest truth was expanded to know that I will also speak my hearts deepest truths.
I am grateful for the experience of surrender and of the high vibration of the entities of light and medium Joao during my whole experience. Even now, I can close my eyes and by imaging the space and time, feel myself in the loving energy of that moment of being in pure awareness and surrender. John of God and the entities did not "do" anything to me that day. They worked with my own loving heart and intention and co-created with me an opening for me to feel my true nature, without any obstacles, and allowed me the opportunity to begin to release whatever obstacles I had been holding. Intention is the key. At the Casa de Dom Inacio people are healed with the power of intention.
My awareness was first turned towards the man we call John of God in the winter of 2006. I was suffering from a great deal of anxiety and some depression, and sought out a teacher schooled in Zen Buddhism to help me try and understand why I was caught in these heavy and disconcerting feelings. The teacher invited me to his home, and we sat in his study for hours, listening to and telling our respective experiences. He was a Danish national who had hitch hiked to India in the 60's to live as a sadhu, eventually making his way to America and then California to join the newly formed zen monastery at Tassahara.
As we talked he began to pull books that he thought could help me off his shelves and toss them into my lap. Kirkegaard, Jung, Thich Nat Hahn, Pema Chodron and others flew across the room towards me. As I looked in bewilderment at the covers of the deluge of information I heard him say,
"Here is a book by a very smart lady named Emma Bragdon. She was at Tassahara with me. She is a doctor of psychology now and into this guy in Brazil named John of God. I don't know much about it, but it is probably very interesting."
The book came flapping through the air and thumped into my chest. Feeling overwhelmed, and somewhat resistant, I pushed all the books aside and asked if we could continue to just talk.
"Sure thing" he said. "You will pick these books up when you are ready. No hurry"
About a year later I met my wife to be Amy. As we were getting to know each other I quickly discovered that Amy had been following a spiritual path since her early twenties. One of the first things she told me was that if she ever had the opportunity she would love to go to Brazil. When I asked her why Brazil she said
"Well, there is a healer there that I've heard about named John of God. For some reason I am really drawn to go and see what he is all about."
I recalled the literature that had struck me a few years before.
Brazil and John of God came to be a consistent topic between Amy and me as our relationship grew until finally an opportunity arose for Amy to go and visit Abadiania and the Casa de Dom Inacio on a three week trip. I could not go as my father was already scheduled to visit. Amy offered to take my photograph with her, to present to the entities that work through John of God. I was ambivalent, thinking to myself that I wasn't really into all this faith based healing stuff. I had grown up a skeptical and cynical agnostic. Psychiatry I could grasp and was willing to work with, but the idea of invisible "entities" coming to my aid was slightly beyond my rational beliefs. Underlying this, I was also still stuck in the semi-conscious belief that I was somehow "unworthy".
With my half hearted consent Amy took a photograph of me with her to Abadiania.
I clearly remember the day that Amy presented my image before the entity. I was having a difficult time relating with my father on his visit. In an attempt to cope with the anxiety and tension that my habitual story about our relationship was bringing up I would sneak out of the house to smoke some pot. It helped me feel detached from the emotional discomfort and pain. Another, and healthier way I was coping was to spend time working in our garden, and this particular day I had gone out to pull weeds, water and commune with broccoli as a respite from our familial tensions. Our garden had always been a peaceful and joyful refuge for me, and a natural place to unwind from stress.
As I sat by the vegetable and flower beds, watching and appreciating the bees and sunlight and vibrant color of chard and calendula, I experienced a distinct "electric" gravity behind me. All my hairs began to stand on end and I turned around. I could see nothing unusual, yet I had a very distinct and real sense of a presence. It felt warm and loving and deeply reassuring. I simply stood there, soaking it in. Then I "heard" or felt that it was time for me to stop running from discomfort. I felt the gentle urge to throw my stash of pot away. And that I did.
Later in the afternoon, I received an email from Amy saying that she had taken my photo before the entity that day. She relayed that I would not require "surgery" and that the entity had stated that he was already working with me. As the evening progressed I began to experience a gentle and highly pleasurable warm, floating sensation in the middle of my chest. It reminded me of being a child on a swing, and the first experience of that weightless sensation in the moment of pause at the top of the arc, when one is briefly free of gravity and the heart leaps.
It was my heart opening fully, like it never had before. There was no fear or worry for safety. It was simply the feeling of pure, unconditional love. It was the entities of the Casa introducing themselves.
A little less than a six months later we had another opportunity to return to Brazil, and this time my schedule was open. Besides, after the profound changes and realizations that had been continuously occurring since that afternoon in the garden, there was no way I was going to miss a chance to visit the Casa myself!
Amy and I were to go as part of a group of medical professionals to observe how spiritism is partnered with psychology in some Brazilian health institutions to treat conditions such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. The group was led by an American doctor of psychology who is a Daughter of the Casa, and is working to integrate the healing treatment of a whole person (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) view with our western medical model, which typically treats only the physical symptoms. Western medicine tends to reduce the human to parts and systems. Our groups' interest was (w)holistic healthcare.
Being a very experienced guide to the Casa, she held several group meetings before we went through the lines to see John of God. She talked about looking at our expectations and helped us to set our intentions, and emphasized that usually what we think we want is very different from what the entities see we actually need. As she prepared us to open fully to the experience ahead, she challenged us to examine our views of death. She explained that we typically view death as a failure and illness as a war.
"He lost his battle with cancer " and "She's fighting the disease" are typical attitudes. She illustrated this through her own experience in witnessing the transition through death of her first Buddhist teacher, while she was a young seeker at Tassahara monastery.
"Before Suzuki Roshi died, I really began to understand through him that death was not the end, but rather a transition of consciousness" she said.
As I digested the implications of those words I had another realization that made my hairs stand on end. I had come to see John of God with the woman who's book had thumped me in the chest years ago as an introduction to John of God! I was in Abadiania with Dr. Emma Bragdon!
As Emma continued to prepare us in the days leading up to our going before the entity incorporating through John of God she explained how our conditioning may be challenged by what occurs at the Casa. She talked about how sometimes we will experience a fair deal of discomfort before we feel better, as conditions long buried or ignored are drawn to the surface to heal. Things need to be first brought into the light of awareness before they can be fully released, she said. The entities help, but we must also do our share of the work. That sometimes means being fully present to, and aware of our discomfort.
Ok, " I've got it " I thought. Bring it on.
Wednesday morning arrived and our group went to the Casa. Looking at my intentions for healing, Amy felt that I would surely be likely to get a surgery. I was curious as to what it would feel like.
There were hundreds of people in the main waiting hall, all dressed in white. People from all over the world, speaking all sorts of languages. When our turn to go finally came we formed a line to file through the current rooms to go before the entity. We slowly shuffled through in silence with our eyes open, walking past the meditators in current who were sitting with their eyes closed. As I came closer to John of God he seemed to be bathed in a soft blue light.
Now it was my turn and I stepped forward to hand the small card with my intentions written on it to Vinicius, the translator. John of God looked me up and down briefly and held out his hand and as I extended my hand he touched it quickly and then said something in Portuguese.
"Go, sit, meditate, now! ", said the translator, and I was ushered to a third room off to the side, to a pew where other people were already sitting with their eyes closed. I slid in and closed my eyes as I was instructed to do.
After a few moments my mind did a little flip flop. No surgery? No intervention? He only looked at me for a second! I've spent thousands of dollars and come all the way down here to get …
BENCHED ! ! !
Now for me, being an ex athlete, the bench is the last place I thought I wanted to be. The bench is where you sit when you're not quite up to the task, or injured, or maybe waiting to get in the game for your chance, but it is definitely NOT where the action is!
All my old stuff about being seen and appreciated and being able to contribute bubbled to the surface. It was not pleasant or comfortable to say the least. I went into complete rebellion for a while.
Then I began to remember the things that Emma had told us about our conditioning being challenged in the healing process. I rapidly calmed down to feel reassured that perhaps, even in spite of myself, everything was going just as it was supposed to. Not only that, but I remembered Emma telling us about the third "entities current room" where one could only sit if specifically instructed.
"I must have been asked to sit here in order to help with the current " was a thought that crossed my mind. I began to drift from thoughts of inferiority to thoughts that perhaps I was really special, and invited to sit here to assist John of God in the healing work for all the other people who are suffering!
"I wonder where the others in our group were sent, I'm probably the only one he picked for this job."
I sat, feeling a bit smug. I again began to experience the delightful heart opening sensations that I had felt so profoundly when Amy first took my picture before the entity the year before. Sitting in a state of bliss, I felt like I was home.
When the final prayers were said we were told that we could now open our eyes. I lingered a bit with the inner peace I was experiencing. When I let my eyes slowly open I looked around me. Almost everyone in our group was sitting beside me!
I wasn't so special after all. Yet perhaps I wasn't unworthy either! I didn't know what to think anymore. I sensed that perhaps issues of self worth was the focal lens I had just been given to work with. And so it was.