Sixteen days ago, I flew from Tampa to Brazil. By now, I can hardly remember that frantic afternoon spent doing last minute errands before catching the plane to Brazilia, the capital, in the very center of the country on the high altiplano. I then hit the ground running with a five-day `13 Indigenous Grandmothers`boot camp (my word) where we got up before dawn to be bused 1.5 hours from our rural coffee plantation hotel to the big council tent in a lovely peace park called Unipaz. It was a loving and fanciful, free-form blend of ancient tribal truths involving council fires and the four directions, sage, and New Age; although it was orchestrated by true Western organization skills and modern technology. I feel as if I have glimpsed the shape of where our next religious revolution is taking us: back to the early past and into the spiritually-individualized future, all at the same time.
For five days, we learned a lot about ourselves and each other; as well as beginning to consider this planet as a living being. The Grandmothers wisely reminded us of our total dependence upon water, which was the theme of the event. We share that characteristic with the Earth, herself. If our tissues, (hers and ours), dry up, they get cracked and eventually, we will die if we don´t have enough to drink. So will our planet, with us on board, if our global water is not protected. They reminded us that each human being also arrives wrapped in its own little bag of pure liquid; though I suspect that the comparison with the planet stops there.
The Grandmothers are all respected tribal shamans and elders from deep in the Amazon; the plains and coastal regions, and far north in Alaska of America; Japan; Nepal; New Zealand, Australia and Africa, who have been meeting several times a year all over the world, bringing their ancient tribal wisdom to our modern population… which could certainly use a dose of it. These old ladies keep a pace worthy of a whole troop of Green Berets – meeting in council with each other, as well as spending hours meeting with us; conducting State ceremonial visits to branches of the Brazilian Government, and many, many other claims upon their sleep and restorative alone time. Lovelight flowed from faces of the mostly-women crowd, who always fly from far-flung places to glorify the importance of Grandmothers… and not in your usual Hallmark Card, syrupy way.
But, I have to confess that my very best moment came when the conference was over…at least for me. Some participants were soldiering on, to canoe deep into the Amazon. I needed to find a ride to the bus station to travel to Abadiania and the John of God Healing Casa, where entities have, for 54 years, been entering the body of a simple man, who has been called the greatest spiritual healer on the planet.
Distances in this recently-manmade city of Brazilia are so far-flung, that it would have cost $80 to taxi into the city, but only $50 to hire hotel manager Raphaela´s, husband to drive me to the station so I could catch a $20 bus for a two-hour ride. I dropped the idea of city sightseeing in favor of heading into beautiful, rural Brazil. My driver turned out to be a professional soccer player (they call it football here), on his way to his practice session.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Eat your heart out! I got to spend an hour driving in fast traffic with Eduardo Jose Turges. At least, I think that´s what he said, in our Portuguese/English attempt at communication. I don´t know sports worth beans, so I probably got it wrong. I can´t find that name on any list of their teams, so I´m sure I did misunderstand. He´s a goalie and the teams on top and they soon fly to Europe and he´s madly in love with his new wife of three months and a baby´s already on the way. Eat your heart out, Enquirer!
Eduardo soon realized that I couldn´t uphold my end of the conversation about any sports, let alone, his…..so he tried modern music. Nope! Í´m Just as dumb on that score. But things changed quickly when I pulled out my laminated topographical map of South America, with a profile of the human spine displayed beside the continent, making the obvious comparison of the Andean Mountain Chain and a human spinal column. Oh my God! I´ve never looked at it that way! May I take a picture of this map, so I can show my teammates?` Of course, this had to happen in heavy, six-lane traffic. A car shot dangerously across our bow just as he was balancing his iphone for the shot, but after the danger was past, I complimented him for his champion, game-winning reflexes.
What would Brazil do to me, I wonder, if I had crashed their star goalie by sharing a bit of my far-out thinking?
Even though he was late for training, Eduardo carried my bag into the station, explained my needs at the ticket booth, and later, came back to make sure I was headed for the correct bus slot. By now, we were such good friends, hugging goodbye, that the ticket lady probably thought I was his mother-in-law. Surely, recognizing him for the sports figure that he is, she came out of her booth and carried my extra bag through the terminal; even introducing me to three other people headed for Abadiania so I´d know when to get off.
But, it was sometime during the next two hours, traveling through that gently rolling countryside, that I truly died and went to Heaven! You´ll have to read about that in my next blog.