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Expectation, Assurances and Coincidences April 2003

Mary from County Limerick in Ireland has just returned after her fourth trip to the Casa.

Fresh from the throes of twelve weeks or so of 'morning' sickness (which incidentally in my case was morning-noon-night), I suppose I cannot blame friends and family for questioning our decision to make a one-week trip to Abadiânia over Easter. In any case, my husband Tim and I embarked on our fourth trip to the Casa - arriving in Abadiânia on Easter Sunday, surprisingly fresh and energetic after a 27 hour / 3 flight trip from Ireland.

Corny as it may sound, Abadiânia to us, really is like home away from home. It never ceases to amuse us how hilarious it is, in a sense, to stroll through this small village in Central Brazil and know many people as good friends or receive an affectionate greeting from a familiar face.

Each time we have visited Abadiânia, or more specifically the Casa, our experience has been different. This, of course, has been due to a large extent to our various expectations and hopes on each occasion. When we first travelled there in March 2001, we were in search of one of those famous miracle / instant cures. Tim suffers from ulcerative colitis and at the time total removal of his large intestine was looking more likely by the month. Rather than producing a miracle cure, that first trip was the beginning of a lengthy healing process, not just for Tim but for me also. This process has required much faith and patience during a continual roller-coaster of highs and lows. Two years down the road we both now realise that an instant cure wouldn't have been the 'answer' anyway. Through his healing journey Tim has learned the importance of balance in his life - had his colon been cured then this lack of balance would have just manifested itself in some other format in the future anyway. On a day-to-day basis the role of the Casa in this process is not always apparent but we have no doubt that directly - by spending time at the Casa, and indirectly - through the friends we've made at the Casa - it has played a central role.

Before we first travelled out there in 2001 we met Jim who had just returned from Abadiânia. I will always remember his words - 'You may not receive a physical cure at the Casa but believe me it will change your life forever'. .. no-one ever spoke a truer word! I have yet to meet someone who has not 'got something' from a visit there ... that something may be a cure from a physical problem, spiritual enlightenment or acceptance of an illness or personal situation. Most of us, in fact, feel absolutely privileged to have had the 'Casa experience'.

I believe there are three main components which make a trip to Abadiânia so special

- First of all, of course, is the core experience of the Casa - meeting the Entity, undergoing prescribed treatments whether this entails operation, herbs, crystal bed or visit to the waterfall.

- The people you meet there. It is simply beyond my descriptive skills to give justice to all the incredible and inspiring people we have met - while in Abadiânia sharing fun, laughs, support and advice but even more importantly in the months and years afterwards when we all return to daily routine - they have been, I believe one of mediums through which the entities indirectly continue with healing and support. This may be in the format of a friendly email or phone call offering support and advice just when it's needed most.

- Abadiânia itself has a wonderful, unique energy and welcome. The way of life there is simple and calm which undoubtedly plays a fundamental part in the whole healing process while there. You will regularly hear people mention that they return to Abadiânia time and time again to 'recharge'. The community of Abadiânia is also unique - the Casa is very much intertwined in the daily lives of the locals with, for example most if not all of the pousada owners also working voluntarily at the Casa. They are very special people.

We realise how lucky we were to set out again for Abadiânia on April 19th - this time with no specific expectations or hopes - we simply wanted to 'recharge our batteries' and say hello! Although Tim is by no means cured of colitis and continues on the medication, things have definitely improved and more importantly we are both more accepting of surgery if this is ever the eventual outcome. We just know that no matter what happens now that everything is going to be alright - and this is exactly what was confirmed to us indirectly at our recent Casa sessions. For the first time ever Tim was prescribed no herbs, no operation, no crystal bed, no waterfall. To me this is a blatant reassurance that everything is as it should be right now and also that treatments are not prescribed at the Casa 'just for the sake of it'.

The Entity during our 3 days at the Casa was exceptionally pleasant and had an amazing aura of compassion and kindness about him. His simple assurance to me that 'you will be very happy' is surely all that I could ever want to hear. Time spent in current for me, literally is hard work. I am sure I am only one of many who is new to the concept of meditation and find it difficult to get comfortable at one time and then at other times to stay awake! I admire greatly all those who sit in current, day after day, week after week and especially those with physical ailments and for who time in current entails much pain and discomfort.

I would like to share with you the highlight of my trip. On January 18th this year, my very best and dear friend Helen died suddenly in her sleep of a genetic heart condition called Marfan Syndrome. She was particularly in my thoughts during the week, I suppose mainly due to the Casa's close connection with the spiritual world but also because she was always intrigued by my stories from Abadiânia. In a silly kind of way, I was half expecting some sign from her that she was gracing us with her presence for some bit of time in Abadiânia. The first day I was walking through the first current room, in line for the Entity, I was overcome with emotion when I realised the music being played was by 'Secret Garden' which I just adore and tapes of which I shared with Helen. However the best was yet to come. On Saturday morning Tim and I spent some time at the Casa, relaxing and putting prayers and photos in the triangle. While I was at the triangle a man approached Tim and asked him the time and they got chatting. I joined in on the conversation and we exchanged stories of how we came to Abadiânia in the first place etc. Jamie informed us that a heart condition was his original reason for travelling. He went to the men's room and Tim immediately mentioned that for some reason he reminded him of Helen - particularly his long fingers and he wouldn't be surprised if he had the same condition as Helen. To make a long story short, I asked him when he returned if he had Marfan Syndrome and you've guessed it - he had. This condition is relatively rare and some quick research tells me that about 1 in 5000 people are born with the disorder. In any event the chances of this encounter we had are very small - well for me, it was as good as Helen standing in front of us saying 'hello there my friends!'

Finally I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned from my time spent in Abadiânia.

- Everyone who travels to Abadiânia, even if you are 'just' accompanying a sick relative or friend, should be open to the likelihood that this will change your life and that there is scope for healing even in the healthiest of beings. It is often the carer or supporter who is in most need of help and support.

- When we first travelled there in 2001 I had become totally anti - conventional doctors and medicine. I was 'hell-bent' on proving to doctors and others that colitis could be cured naturally. But alas, I have learned that both approaches can work perfectly in tandum and it is important to remain receptive to the benefits of both and in a lot of cases you need both. However I would still love to package some of the optimism and energy from the Casa and distribute among staff and patients of hospitals worldwide. On any working day, a standard hospital and the Casa similarly receive / accommodate hundreds of people with every ailment ranging from minor to chronic to life-threatening, yet it never ceases to intrigue me how the atmosphere at the Casa is optimistic and bubbles with hope whereas in general a hospital environment in my experience is quite the opposite end of the scale.

- I have also learned that those of us from the developed world need to leave our egos and expectations at home! We need to appreciate Abadiânia for the simple, basic place that it is. We can't or shouldn't expect standards or 'systems' to be like those at home. Even over a 2-year period I have seen how Abadiânia has gradually changed and developed to, no doubt, accommodate our expectations and demands. Some of these changes have been good and necessary but enough! Money, power, background or religion do not entitle one person to eg. more time with the translator or Entity, a bigger room, more attention etc than the next person. One issue springs to mind … something which is at once intriguing, unique but sometimes frustrating for us westerners, is the lack of a dependable reservation system for booking accommodation in Abadiânia. You could have your room booked months in advance and then arrive in Abadiânia to discover that you're staying at a different pousada because your number 1 choice is full to capacity. We discussed this issue with Miriam (our host) and she said some people are so angry when this happens. Her wish is that people would realise that the accommodation is not important, they are in Abadiânia because of the Casa and that is the most important thing. Just trust that everything happens for a reason in Abadiânia.

This is my experience of the Casa de Dom Inácio and Abadiânia. I wish you health and happiness always.
Mary from Ireland