I am the Observer

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I awake to my alarm set to 8 am, eat some fruit and have a coffee at my posada.  I’ve still got my Canivale Wristband on - it screams at me in bright green and reminds me that I am no longer wearing a watch.  I never do on my spiritual vacations plus they would have stolen it in Rio.

I did not bother to check in with my friends last night to see what the plan was for today and what time we would meet, so now it's up to the Universe and my own street smarts to figure it out. I walk onto the street and follow a woman wearing white who is far ahead of me.

All attendees to John of God are required to wear white so that the entities that inhabit John of God can see through to your physical body and what is ailing you … 

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All John of God first timers use a guide. I have a $50 bill and a few Reals ( Brazilian currency ) jammed in my pocket and my recently operated toe is wrapped in flip flops as I hustle down the street trying to catch up with the woman in white. Entering into the grounds of John of God at 8:30 I catch her and ask if she’s been here before, she says yes of course but thats the extent of the information that I am able to extract from her. There are hundred of people around all wearing white - in lines, sitting down. I think about trying to just get in the line but realize that would be poor spiritual form especially since I don’t have a ticket. I ask a man wearing a badge where to find Yutta who runs the Posada that my friends are staying in next door - I did not have the foresight to book in advance-so I am next door. He finds her for me in a sea of white. Yutta is a lovely woman with bright blue eyes and amazing energy- she is of German descent and moved her from her homeland seven years ago. She now owns and operates a Posada ( guest house ) and is a guide for newbies.  She asks me what my PHYSICAL issues are - and writes them down- you are allowed three- I chose my toes, a knee that was jacked up by a trainer last September and my frequently travel halted digestive system - what I really want him to do is cure some emotional patterns that have left me more challenged than any physical ones, but Yutta tells me that the other issues will be taken care of as well. She then guides me to my friends and the waiting begins. First we sit for a long time, then stand, then we are lined up moving through rooms of people meditating to be seen for a brief moment by John of God. There are some very sick people here, in wheelchairs, with chemo but the majority of the crowd looks pretty healthy. Everyone gets a different prescription. Our friend Rena is told she will get an “intervention" that day - which then requires 24 hours of bed rest sequestered to your posada room. I received a prescription for a crystal bath today which sounds delightful - will someone bathe me in crystals? Fun! But in actually it is 25 minutes up on a table on John of God Bed which has a light for each chakra. My “intervention“ is set for tomorrow - giving me a full 24 hours before I go “under“ “over" and “through."

After eating some soup with pasta, fortunately I relax my gluten free, no dairy going ways when I travel.  I am in the line once again for “The Current“ … The meditation room where we enter and sit with our eyes closed until they tell us to open them- could be an hour, could be five hours. Now I love to meditate but usually my limit is 30 minutes. I drift in and out, at once awakening to Snatam Kaur’s By Thy Grace - the song/chant I play at the end of every single one of my Yoga classes. And I struggle with myself - battling the desire to get up, leave, get comfortable - you know the usual mediation issues and finally it’s over - two hours later. A record for me. 

My friend and I go for a juice and acai ( very popular here ) and deconstruct the day. He is German, far more critical than I and also not very happy about his accommodations. I learned long ago to surrender to what I cannot control and my life today is easier as a result.

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If you Wikipedia John of God you will get this :

Joao De Faria says he was told by his spirit guides that he must expand his work to reach more people and a medium told him he should go to the small Goiás town of Abadiânia to fulfill his healing mission. Around 1978, when João first performed healings there, he just sat outdoors in a chair near the main road where people began to arrive seeking cures for their various illnesses and conditions. Gradually the numbers increased to thousands per day and he developed his centre, Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola. The Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola has since been visited by millions of people seeking healing. He also owns a nearby cattle ranch, Much of his income comes from selling passionflower preparations, the single herb prescribed by John of God to cure a variety of ailments. 

Claims of spiritual healing powers João on stage after performing a "psychic surgery".

De Faria claims to act as a vehicle for God's healing, and to have absolutely no recollection of anything during the procedures. He states:

"I do not cure anybody. God heals, and in his infinite goodness permits the Entities to heal and console my brothers. I am merely an instrument in God's divine hands".

De Faria also regularly prescribes meditation and walks to a nearby waterfall as part of treatment. The Casa also sells herbs, blessed items and artefacts such as magic triangles. 

When called for a spiritual surgery by De Faria, patients are offered the choice of 'visible' or 'invisible' operations. If they select an 'invisible' operation (or are younger than 18 or older than 52) they are directed to sit in a room and meditate. De Faria also claims that spiritual physicians can perform surgery on the actual patient via a surrogate when the actual patient is unable to make the trip.

A very small percentage of people choose a 'visible' operation where De Faria operates without traditional anesthetic. Instead he says he uses "energized" mineral water and the spiritual energies present, the latter which are provided by groups of volunteers who meditate in a separate room called the 'current room'. These practices such as inserting scissors or forceps deep into a nose and scraping an eye without an anesthetic or antiseptics have been scrutinized by medical authorities and skeptical investigators

De Faria tells people not to stop taking their medicine and says not everyone he serves will be cured, which has been cited as a cop-out. Often the treatment includes capsules containing pure passion flower that are claimed to carry special blessed spiritual energy to support the individual's healing process. De Faria has undergone trials and scrutiny of his work. He has been arrested several times for practicing medicine without a license and has been jailed once.

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I arrived depleted, dehydrated, very exhausted. If I am honest I am a workaholic, I often work out too much and I don’t eat or rest enough. I run my body like a machine- supplements, teas, B-vitamin shots, constant movement. I am excited about life every day, excited about YogaFit, excited about people, don’t want to miss out, rest when I’m dead and all that type A stuff that my yoga and mediation makes a dent in —— but not enough.

In certain areas of my life I make poor choices which exhaust my being and my heart even further. To be even more honest the real and only safe place I find to rest in life is through my meditation practice. I am a healer that needs to be healed. I am here because I am curious, I am here because if I am ever really sick or know someone who is, I want to have another resource. I am here as a seeker and I have the hope that perhaps he can heal some things I don’t even know I have, will develop and heal some emotional patterns that are not serving me and are causing me pain. I believe that all physical symptoms start with spiritual/ psychological / emotional conditions - I just want to be as clear as possible. That is my intention and my goal, but again I have no desperation and no attachments to what happens.

 I am both the observer and the participant in this thing called my life. 

Read on for Day 2: Spiritual Intervention

Beth Shaw