My Healing Story
In January of 2004, I was hitting my professional stride as an academic researcher at a major research University. I worked with the top people in my field. Personally, I was on less solid ground: my eleven-year marriage was in disrepair. Waves of anger, fear, and helplessness would wash over me as I watched my husband gradually shut-down. After three years of trying conventional therapy, I came to the difficult decision of seeking a divorce. And yet there was a deeper pain, a more profound disconnect from almost everything in my life, a feeling of “is this all there is?” My journey to John of God was two-fold: to heal the emotional trauma of my pending divorce and reconnect spiritually to life.
I arrived at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The Casa de Dom Inacio was teeming with people of all ages, colors, and ailments. There were wheelchairs, crutches, small children, elderly persons, and at least five different languages being spoken in addition to Brazilian Portuguese. People were queuing up, anxious to be seen by John of God. I stood in silence, small beads of sweat trickling down the back of my neck, eyes closed, trying to take it all in.
I felt a hand brush against me. When I opened my eyes I found a young man deep in meditation, tightly clasping my hand in his. Almost immediately, I felt an electric shock surge through my entire body. I heard a voice speak the exact words that were echoing in my mind: “What was that?” I opened my eyes, expecting to see someone on the other side of me, yet there was no one. The man who held my hand was still deep in prayer. Confused, I turned my gaze across the crowded room and was drawn to a young woman. It was as if we had literally heard each other’s thoughts above all the noise, but that seemed impossible. We made our way toward one another, held hands, closed our eyes, and focused on the presence of something greater than us, something Divine.
The remainder of my trip was filled with more strange experiences. I could not explain it given my rigorous scientific training. I saw technicolor visions with my eyes closed, and felt energetic hands as I sat in the current room, gently bending my body, filling it with light and heat. These experiences were not confined to the Casa grounds. On the fourth night of my two-week stay, I felt a presence in my room as I lay in bed. It felt as if two hands gripped my ankles and pressed down hard. I could feel searing heat and pressure rise up into my body, and when it reached my knees, millions of charged needles fired. The pain was overwhelming, but with that thought it lessened. Yet with each breath the hands continued to move up my body, pushing me against the bed. As I looked down at my chest, I could see my body rise up with each movement. I saw bursts of bright light and felt as if someone was realigning my entire spine. Then I felt a hand inside of my mouth, pressing up as waves of electricity pulsed through my teeth, gums, and jaw. Finally, there was a rush of air and the presence was gone. The next morning, I conveyed my story to Heather, who assured me that it was quite common for the Entities to come to our rooms and work on us. I was told not to worry, but trust the process.
I thought about my life as I stood in line that morning. The daughter of immigrant parents, I grew up in a home that was filled with pain and fearfulness. Yet my own direct experiences were so different—I found life to be filled with joy and love, and I embraced it fully. I had passion and a desire to alleviate the world of all suffering. But when my thoughts turned to my marriage, a sorrow weighed upon my heart and soul. I felt lost and ineffective, unable to bridge the chasm that had ripped me away from my husband. Beneath that sorrow was anger, an emotion I preferred to ignore. As these emotions swept over me, I remember asking for help in releasing them, without knowing what that meant or if it were possible.
Heather instructed me to write my husband’s name on a slip of paper, along with his date of birth. I had not brought a photograph, but when I approached the Entity he gently took the piece of paper from my hand and held it. He looked into my eyes with love and compassion, and said, “He is a good man.” Once again, I felt as if someone was reading my thoughts and I smiled. The Entity repeated, “He is a good man,” to which I replied, “I know Father, but I can no longer live with him.” He took my right hand and began speaking very quickly in Portuguese. Heather said, “You do not have to do what he is about to tell you.” I told Heather that I was so grateful for the healing I already received, and would do anything to relieve the pain in my heart. Again, the Entity said, “You do not have to do what I tell you.” I remember feeling confused and impatient, but then Heather explained, “This is about free will. The Entity will offer you advice, but you are free to ignore it.”
I looked straight into the Entity’s eyes and said, “Father, please tell me.” Heather translated, “Get three photos of yourself and be here tomorrow morning on the 8:00 a.m. line. If you do this, I shall give you much happiness in your home.” Tears of gratitude streamed down my face as I was ushered into a cab by Heather, who explained to the driver what needed to be done. I was driven to Anapolis and eventually found a passport photo shop in a small mall. I returned to my hotel room that evening, photos in hand, tired and unsure of what awaited me the next morning.
At 8:00 a.m., I was standing in line to see the Entity, clutching my photographs and filled with hope. I approached the Entity and he took the photographs from me. “Are these your photographs?” he asked. “Yes, Father,” I replied. A smile. “Are they recent?” “Yes, Father.” Another smile. “Are you sure?”
Sensing my growing unease, Heather told the Entity about my trip to Anapolis. Once again, he drew me close and held my right hand. “Now I will give you what I promised.” At which point I felt a rush of energy into my right hand and was told, “Your faith is strong and has healed you.” I was then quickly ushered off the line and instructed to go and “sit in the current room.” It was as simple as that—and as complex as that.
On the last day of that trip, while standing in line to say farewell to the Entity, I was told I was a Daughter of the Casa, a member of the Casa family of mediums, and I was given a prescription for herbs. Throughout my two-week stay at the Casa, I had received no surgeries or herbs, just instructions to sit in the Entity’s current room. I was unsure what being a medium entailed and, quite frankly, the very word conjured images of crystal balls and séances. And yet, from what I could surmise, the Casa mediums were faithful, thoughtful men and women who opened themselves to the Divine just by sitting quietly, offering prayers, or directing their consciousness for the benefit of all who traveled to the Casa. My own knowledge about health was based upon the premise of alleviating suffering. The medium I felt most comfortable with was education and concrete action. Perhaps it was time to look at the bigger picture. I was told to take the herbs and follow three rules: no pork, no alcohol, and no spicy foods or peppers. “Just go about your life as usual,” Heather said. Quite frankly, this made little sense, because life as I had known it no longer existed.
Things seemed very different when I got home. Actually I was different. I tried my best to convey what had happened to me at the Casa, but it was difficult because I was not sure what happened. My anger, fear, and sorrow had been replaced with a spacious openness. I felt humbled by the simplicity of the Casa, the easy and loving environment. I now felt ready to take an honest look at the way in which I conducted my life, with an eye toward releasing what no longer suited me. I found myself drawn into a world I was unfamiliar with: visions throughout the day; sensing energies and hearing thoughts and ideas that were not my own; and that familiar energetic hand on my back. As these experiences grew stronger, I realized I needed help to navigate this new world. I immersed myself in shamanic training for the next two years, spending countless hours learning about the gift of mediumship and the responsibility that comes with serving others.
I return to the Casa every year and expect to continue this pilgrimage, not only out of gratitude but also a desire to serve the other people who make their way to see this amazing healer. My husband visited the Casa for a week in the summer of 2005, and he has also experienced a reconnection with what he holds Divine. We have been working hard at our marriage and have made remarkable progress—something neither of us thought possible. There is still much to be done, but we are willing to do it together, with the love and support of the Casa Entities.
There is a saying that asks us to study the finger that points to the moon. For me, the Casa is that finger—a beacon of light that called me home, warmed my soul, and provided a safe container for me to reconnect to my own light and awaken from my deep sleep of indifference. I learned that as long as I live and act from my heart, right action follows.
Excerpted from John of God: The Brazilian Healer Who’s Touched the Lives of Millions. H. Cumming & K. Leffer, Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2007