Hilda's Experience at the Casa de Dom Inacio
Hilda writes a regular blog on her holistic health website www.holistichealthguide.ie. In December 2010 she wrote about her trip to Abadiania
Four Christmas's ago I was heading off to ‘Abadiania' in Brazil. This is where Joao de Deus (‘John of God') works endlessly bringing about spiritual and physical healing for thousands of people. He carries out physical operations in front of people's eyes without anaesthetic and without any medical training. My desire to witness this was so great that I uncharacteristically booked a flight to Brazil without stopping to think why. I didn't have any apparent illness needing a cure. I think I wanted to satisfy the ‘doubting Thomas' in me as regards healing. Maybe I was just one of the millions of people that go there because of an inexplicable urge that can't be rationalised. It certainly felt like that!
The healing centre itself is called La Casa de Dom Inácio and is situated on the outskirts of the town of Abadiania, an hour's taxi drive from Brasilia. I still remember the feeling of freedom when I walked alone down a muddy road in the rain, having left my accommodation and in search of the ‘La Casa'. I had a definite sense that I was meant to be there and, in spite of the obvious dangers of being in a very poor country, I had no feeling of fear.
When I found the centre it was evening time and everything was quiet except for the mumble of the rosary going on in the main room. There were many pictures of Jesus, Mary and the saints covering the fresh white walls. Although it obviously seemed to be a Catholic place, it was not strictly attached to this or to any other religion. Catholicism is the main religion of the country so the pictures etc. merely reflected this. I eventually found my bearings and things started to happen very quickly.
Firstly I went for a coffee in the restaurant that I had seen on one of the dvd's of the place. On walking in I recognised the actual people that I had seen on the dvd! They were from Dublin and happened to be visiting for Christmas also! I had to go over to them and make their acquaintance. This was the first of many synchronistic meetings I had while I was there. In fact everybody noted how the magic of the place drew people together when they needed to meet. You could almost touch this magic or spirituality everywhere within and in the environs of the healing centre. I could understand why it was advised not to ‘break' your stay there as it would interrupt your healing.
The sun was out on my first day and I joined thousands of people walking on the then dusty road to the Casa. Everybody was dressed completely in white, as requested. The day starts with an assembly at 8am in the main room of the beautiful four roomed, sunny, fresh Casa. Everybody quietly listens to various members of the Casa giving spiritual talks - mainly in Portuguese! Healing music is regularly played. Then, after instructions are given, the main part of the day kicks off. The crowd is divided up into three queues - the first queue is for those going to the ‘current room' to meditate, the second for those going individually to see John of God and the third for those going for operations.
It is in essence a ‘spiritual hospital'. In fact it was designed with full guidance from the spirit world. John of God is one of the strongest mediums known. He ‘incorporates' spirits of those who have moved on from this life i.e. his body is used as a channel for the spirits to heal people and bring messages. In this way he was guided on the layout of the building and how it would operate. It operates in a beautifully interactive way. Everybody is needed to make the place work. The meditators in the ‘current room' literally ‘raise the current' or energy for all healing to take place. John of God needs this continual supply of energy from the hundreds of meditators to carry out healing on each individual that comes to him. The people who are in the line to see him pass through the current room as an initial cleansing process. Those that are meditating are also bringing about their own healing as they sit there for three or four hours in the morning. It is, therefore, not ‘all about' John of God but about the contribution of everyone who is present. One day I noticed John of God asking people to leave the line to see him and to join the meditators as he needed an increase in energy that day for his work - it was that straight forward!
He repeatedly reminds everyone: "I am not the one who heals, God is the one who heals". Having trained in massage and kinesiology, myself, I had learnt a certain amount about how energy works and how healing comes about. One of the most important aspects of healing that I cherish is that it does come from ‘above' and the ‘healer' merely facilitates the process. At the Casa I was happy to witness a full on demonstration of all these aspects of healing right in front of my eyes. It was all the very same principles that are used by therapists at home - no new discoveries, just a pleasant confirmation for me.
On my first morning I joined the queue to see John of God. I had a grand sum of 50 photographs of friends and family between my hands. I had discovered before I left that John of God (I will call him ‘Joao' from now on) carries out distant healing on individuals using recently taken photographs of them. Taking these photos with me somehow quelled my guilt feelings for treating myself to this indulgent trip! See how my mind works! However I still remember the emotional / connected feeling that came over me as I stood in line to see this man in this far away place, clutching on to all the photos of friends and family. I actually felt we were all there together!
When it was my turn to see Joao I handed over all the photos - rather embarrassed for giving him such a huge pile! The translator by his side asked me to keep half for the following day and it was all ok then. Joao smiled and glanced at each photo. For each, he scribbled something on a piece of paper and placed it on the photo. So I was left with 25 unseen photos and 25 with bits of paper between them all. He had also marked an ‘x' on quite a lot of the photos. The Casa guides / translators were really helpful and explained to me what this all meant. Each slip of paper was a ‘prescription' to get herbs for the person in the photo and each photo with an ‘x' marked on it was a suggestion that this person visit Joao in the near future! So it became quite a task purchasing herbs for everyone and making sure everyone got the correct herbs. It meant two trips to a nearby town to get more money as well as contacting people at home to make sure they were prepared to take the herbs.
The very strange thing was that all the herbs were exactly the same - passiflora! I came to discover that the herbs were just a vehicle by which Joao sends his healing to each individual person. Those who were taking the herbs were given the message that they should also abstain from alcohol, peppers and spices and any sexual activity until they were finished the course - about 6 weeks in total, as far as I remember. I was really disappointed to discover afterwards that a lot of those who received the herbs did not adhere to this. But again I had to remind myself that everyone must contribute to their own healing. It can only happen when the person is ready and committed to change. It can't be forced upon them - another good reminder for me on an important aspect of healing.
Thus my first week was taken up with organising the photos, the prescriptions and the herbs. I ended up buying a new suitcase to carry all the herbs. A six week supply for everyone at €20 each came to almost €1,000! (Many thanks to Susan, if you are reading this, for all the help in contacting everyone) I later discovered that it is important to work on yourself first when you visit the Casa. Of course this is so true. When you heal yourself it affects everyone else around you automatically. Again - more learning for me!
Once the ‘busy-ness' of the photos came to a conclusion I decided to just join in with the meditation in the current room. This was a very welcome change. I had been told that the meditation would go on for two or three or four hours, depending on how many people were going to see Joao. I wasn't sure if I could manage this...but to my amazement I did. It was beautiful. It was a guided meditation with words and music and the time flew! Just thinking about it makes me want to go back again. After each session we were invited to go for blessed soup. This was in another building and was prepared by volunteers - all for free. Even the soup was part of the healing process!
The meditation, the operations and the ‘consultations with Joao' all took place from early morning until about 2pm. There was nothing organised for the rest of the day. In the afternoons people carried out their recommendations from Joao. These could have been a visit to the nearby stream and waterfall or a session on a ‘crystal bed'. He often advised people to just take part in the morning meditations. I particularly enjoyed the waterfall. It was so lovely to stand under the cool water as the weather was so hot. Many people had healings at that spot. I had been kindly given sessions on a crystal bed before I left for Brazil by someone who had imported one after their visit there. The crystal bed consists of an instrument that shines different coloured light on your body through crystals. The lights shine down on you as you lie on a bed. The colours are specific to each of your chakras or energy centres. Again, many people could feel healing and energy movement while receiving this treatment.
There was, therefore, a great sense of freedom to do what you chose as well as a sense of connectedness. I got to know lots of people and heard all their stories that lead them to be in Abadiania. Some had been healed repeatedly of the same illness. Possibly these people needed to return regularly for their spiritual development and their illness triggered their return. As somebody commented "The physical element just comes along for the ride", indicating that the experience is primarily a spiritual one at the Casa.
I had better describe my experience of an operation before I close up. I actually witnessed one ‘physical' operation while I was there. It was when I was in line to see Joao. Sometimes people were ready there and then for their operation, such as this particular man in who was about ten people ahead of me in the queue. Joao inserted a long needle-like object right up the man's nose and removed a small ‘tumour' from his brain - all in the space of about a minute. I don't really understand how this works but it was quite momentous. The man was sat into a wheelchair straight after (totally conscious) and wheeled away to the recovery room. That was it! Apparently it all depends on whose spirit is ‘coming through' Joao at any particular time. It could be a surgeon, a spiritual healer, a chiropractor, a doctor or any other type of health practitioner on the day! Joao actually takes on the personality of the spirit coming through - sometimes smiling and calm, sometimes snappy and rushed! Sometimes a message comes through Joao advising the person to go to the nearby hospital for treatment. This, to me, is quite profound. It embraces both the ‘conventional' with the ‘alternative' methods of healing - very ‘wholistic' indeed!
There was one other ‘physical' operation while I was there which I missed. By all accounts, it was quite dramatic and took place in the assembly room on the stage-like structure. Aside from these dramatic physical operations there were continual ‘invisible' ones being carried out each morning as previously mentioned. I experienced two of these - one as a ‘surrogate' for my brother and the other for myself. When Joao saw the photo of my brother he said that he needed an operation. I couldn't understand how this could happen as he was at home in County Cork! However I was told that I could be his ‘surrogate' ie I could be his representative on whom Joao could do the operation. I went in to the operation room one morning with a photo of my brother. Soon Joao came in and said something over us all who were receiving operations. In a very short period of time it was over. My brother at home was prepped to wear white and be still while the operation was taking place. He also had to follow the rules of getting an operation which was to spend 24 hours being quiet after the operation had taken place. When in contact with him later, he said that he definitely experienced something energetically. Thanks to my kinesiology training I was already familiar with healing using a surrogate so I could understand the process. Here again I was being given confirmation of what I had learnt and how healing works - fulfilling, I guess, one of the main reasons for my trip.
I was feeling quite emotional one morning towards the end of my stay and decided to go in line to see Joao. When he saw me he immediately told me to go for an operation the following morning. It made me quite excited as I was looking forward to my own experience of an operation. Everyone else I met had had operations and at last my turn had arrived. It was the same procedure as for my brothers. I felt quite normal during and immediately after the operation but during my 24 hour rest period I had a continual discomfort just below my left ribs. I had experienced this discomfort occasionally previous to that but never so intensely or for so long. I was returning home very shortly after that and the general advice for people travelling soon after operations was to be very careful of themselves and not to carry their luggage as this may upset the post operation healing. I continued to have the discomfort on the way home and for a period of time after I arrived home but it went away eventually and never returned again! Apparently there are spirits that actually carry out these invisible operations. X-Rays have shown evidence of them having been carried out such as the presence of stitches etc! Amazing!
I never did discover what my operation was for exactly but I did get a strong idea. One day I compared notes with a man who had been to Joao shortly after me. His description of his operation was very similar to mine. The post operation discomfort was in exactly the same place. He had the sense to go back to Joao the following day to ask what his operation was for and was told that it was for his diabetes. Because of the similarity of our experience I reckoned that I may have been on the way to diabetes also and was cured before I had any strong physical symptoms. Prior to my trip to Brazil a reflexologist had questioned the idea of my having diabetes and furthermore my doctor had recorded extremely low blood sugar levels. So all these things seemed to tie up and point to a diabetic condition for me if I had not met John of God.
Amazingly the man mentioned above had gone to Joao to heal his arthritis and hadn't told him anything about his diabetes (as he had it under control with medication). Sure enough, both his diabetes as well as his arthritis were subsequently healed!
I am glad to have put my experience of Joao and the Casa de Dom Inácio in print. I hope it will be of benefit to someone. When I was in line to see Joao one day he asked me (through the interpreter) to be a guide for the Casa. This meant that I would be somebody that assists others in going to the Casa. I accepted so he made me an official guide. Somehow I couldn't see myself organising trips to Brazil so I just left it to see how I would be able to carry out this purpose. As it turned out I didn't have to think about it too much. When I returned home I was telling the story of Brazil to lots of interested people. I wasn't giving talks but having one-to-one chats about it and being taken out for lunches over which I would pass on my experience. Sometimes I feel that we could do something similar here. We could create a healing current through meditating together in great numbers.
La Casa Dom Inácio seems to stay very much alive in my memory, even more so recently. I'm sure I will know when it's time for a return visit to the lovely place.