About the Trip
João Teixeira de Faria
known as John of God
has been called “the Miracle Man” because of the healing energy and work that comes through him. At the Casa de Dom Inácio, his healing center in central Brasilia, literally the lame often begin to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. Those with diseases like cancer, MS and AIDS often find healing, as do those suffering from depression and mental disorders.
João channels many entities that do the healing work. He says, “I do not heal; God heals.” The Casa is accessible to people of any religion; no special beliefs are asked, except to hold the heart open to the possibility of healing.
Trip leaders, John Orr and Barbara Brodsky have been Dharma teachers for many years, teaching in the Theravada Buddhist tradition with a core practice of Vipassana, Dzogchen and Loving Kindness.
John was a Buddhist monk in Thailand and India for eight years. He returned to the U.S. in 1979 and began teaching at the Insight Meditation Society and other centers across the country. He is on the faculty of Duke University and is an Interfaith Minister. More information about John can be found at: NewHopeSangha.org
Barbara teaches meditation and is also the channel for the spirit Aaron, who incorporates into her body. In his final human lifetime in the 1500s, Aaron was a meditation master in Thailand, and teaches much from that perspective as well as his current broader view. Many books of Barbara's and Aaron’s teachings have been published. The latest two are Cosmic Healing; a Spiritual Journey with Aaron and John of God, and The Aaron/ Q'uo Dialogues. An Extraordinary Conversation Between Two Spiritual Guides. Since 1989 Barbara has taught dharma and meditation worldwide and led workshops with Aaron. She is the founding teacher of Deep Spring Center in Michigan and is also an Interfaith Minister. At the Casa, she is a Daughter of the Casa and Casa Guide. More information about Barbara can be found at: DeepSpring.org.
Barbara and John and Amy have spent much time at the Casa for their own healing. They have found their times at the Casa to be powerful spiritual experiences akin to intensive retreats. They have received permission to bring groups and to serve as guides.
Meditation is a central part of your Casa experience. John and Barbara’s main practice is vipassana or insight meditation, but those who meditate in another tradition are welcome. Guidance will be offered for all levels of experience including those new to meditation.
Insight or vipassana meditation derives from Buddhist teaching but no special religious beliefs are necessary to its practice and no forms or rituals are taught. This is a simple and direct practice -- the moment to moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm, focused awareness. Through this practice we increase our ability to be fully present in this moment. We become more aware of, and more comfortable with, our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, and lessen our identification with these aspects of our being as “self.” Thus, we decrease our need to hide from the experiences that are uncomfortable or to react to them. Mind is freed from conditioned patterns of self-centeredness and negativity, opening our heart to deeper wisdom and compassion. This process of opening non-judgmentally and compassionately to ourselves moves from the practice period to the whole of our lives.
We balance insight meditation with “pure awareness” meditation practice, where-in we develop a deep awareness of our true nature, not as something which we strive to manifest but as that which is eternal and present NOW. We learn to rest with stability in the experience of the deepest truth of ourselves. This experience might best be described as “coming home,” resting in a stillness and peace which become unshakable, regardless of outer turmoil.
We cannot hide in this inner stillness though. Rather, we find a stable center from which we can extend ourselves out to the world with increasing kindness and skill. The fruits of our work are growing freedom, clarity, joy and the ability to bring these gifts into our sometimes chaotic lives.
These practices will support our healing work at the Casa.
Those traveling with us are encouraged to have a current meditation practice, or to begin one prior to the trip. Non-meditating spouses/ partners are welcome and will receive guidance. We will meditate regularly together. In private and group interviews, we’ll discuss ways to integrate practice, healing and the Casa experiences.
Our guide service to you allows us to take care of all the details so you can focus on healing.... The fee of $1,900 for the two weeks trip includes all the items listed here; airfare is extra – about $1,400, depending on your location. We suggest adding approximately $150/week for souvenirs, gifts, books, water, an occasional extra taxi ride and other personal expenses. For those who wish to stay for a third or fourth week, your room and meals can be extended for approximately $300 to $400. Barbara and her assistant Terri will be present those weeks, but more as dharma friends than as guides, walking this healing path with you.
The Casa operates completely on a dana basis. We will donate 10% of your trip fee to the Casa. The Casa appreciates your support; you are welcome to offer further donation if you wish.