Story of Healing
The Ever Healed Heart
John’s letter from The Casa de Dom Inácio, Brazil
I’m writing from The Casa de Dom Inácio (the house of Saint Ignatius Loyola) a spiritual healing center located in the town of Abadiânia in Central Brazil. The Casa, as it is known, is where the healer, John of God, does his remarkable healing work. Each time I come here I am touch deeply by this house of love. People from all over the world come to The Casa seeking healing of body, heart and spirit. This is a spiritual hospital and people come on crutches, wheelchairs and some are rolled in on gurneys of sorts. Those with cancer, MS, ALS, AIDS, the blind and the deaf all seek healing. Others come because they suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental condition. Many seek direction and clarity on their spiritual path and want to know what is their life’s work at this point in time. Still others come to serve for the highest good.
This is my third trip to The Casa. I originally came here for a medical condition that wasn’t responding to the allopathic medicine I was taking. Thankfully the symptoms of the colitis have gone into remission and except for a brief period have not returned in the last year and a half. However, soon after arrival I realized that there was much more healing to be found here than just the healing of my body. Since coming here I have developed a deeper connection and richer relationship with Spirit. While my many years of study and practice of Buddha Dharma has been the foundation of my spiritual life and helped me in so many ways, it has been a natural next step on my path to be more connected with Spirit. My intention, as stated when I first came to The Casa, is to serve humanity and Spirit with a loving heart. So much of my work, this past year and a half especially, has been letting go of heavy negative emotions and trusting more fully the loving heart. On my first trip to The Casa while I was getting spiritual surgery I felt such love in the room where the surgery was taking place. A voice in my mind said, “This love is what God is” and “It is love that heals.” I have heard so many wonderful stories here about the healing that people have found through their connection with John Of God and the love that pervades The Casa. Most everyone I’ve talked to is touched in some way by being here.
However, The Casa and the community of people who live here still reside in relative reality. As much openness of heart and love I experience while here, there are times when I feel fear, loneliness, anger and resentment. I was at The Casa for the Christmas holidays and felt particularly lonely and in pain on the evening before Christmas. Not much goes on at The Casa during Christmas as many people return to their homes in different parts of Brazil to be with their families for the holidays. On Christmas morning I went to meditate at The Casa my heart feeling closed and in pain. I then remembered my mother who died a couple of years ago and the love we shared together as a family, especially at Christmas time. I open to that love, which is very intense, and my heart begins to break. I hear a voice say, “let your heart break.” I let it happen and it is both wonderful and painful. Waves of love and pain flowed through me. Over and over my heart broke open.
Then the no-see-ums (small flies that are bothersome, but don’t bite) which have infiltrated the current rooms landed on my face. I then heard Spirit say “can you love them to?” My heart opened further to embrace the no-see-ums (which I felt only aversion towards up to that point). I realized that if I could love the no-see-ums, then I could love anything. Ironically when I embraced the no-see-ums, they went away.
I then saw the unconditioned. I was looking at it from a distance, as though I was looking through a portal. There wasn’t full body and ego dissolution and I wasn’t fully in the unconditioned. I was more in relative reality looking at the unconditioned. Spirit said, “This is the realm of love.” And then, “The realm of love is within your heart.” Earlier in this stay one of my guides said, “Your practice is very simple, just rest your attention in your heart. While sitting, walking, eating and loving rest your attention in your heart.” Now I see why.
A number of times during this present trip of winter 2008 situations arose that caused the heavy emotions of anger, resentment and defensiveness to arise. However, I see the negativity and anger clearly. I have a choice to further contract around the negativity and suffer or bring attention back to the heart and let go. I see how much of this “retreat” is about releasing heavy emotions. First there is awareness and acceptance of them and then letting go through forgiveness. Forgiveness is the key. One by one as people’s faces appeared before me, I said, “I forgive you.” A parade of people in my life, who I have experienced pain with in our relationship…I forgive…I forgive. Included in this is forgiveness of my self. I wasn’t so much forgiving a person as much as opening to the forgiving heart. Experiencing forgiveness as a Brahma Vihara (divine abode), as a place of letting go, love and peace. It is through forgiveness that I can let go. It works! I’ve experienced the heavy emotions long enough. At this point in my life, they aren’t serving me any longer. It’s time to let go of them and forgiveness seems to be an effective way of doing this.
It’s later in my stay at The Casa in the late afternoon. I enjoy being at The Casa around 6:00 pm because most people are at their hotels having dinner. The grounds are quiet. I’m sitting in the Meeting Hall my mind quiet and spacious. I then reflect on how this visit has been about healing the heart, when Spirit said,“Your heart is already healed, rest your attention in the Ever Healed Heart.” I rest my attention there and know this to be true. My practice now is to be present in the Ever Healed Heart.
I’ll be returning to the United States at the end of this week. I’m looking forward to being home even though I’ll be leaving summer to return to the North American winter. I look forward to being with you and sharing the Dharma of Love.