Why Did I Go See John of God?

For The Huffington Post. March 2017. 

I don’t have any life-threatening illnesses, depression or anything that is holding me from living my best life. Still, I felt drawn to go see John of God, a spiritual medium in a small town in Brazil, who has said to have cured millions of people.

I first heard about John of God almost a decade ago, when I dutifully watched The Oprah Winfrey Show every weekday. Oprah stood next to John of God, while he skillfully made a cut under the breast of a woman, without any anesthesia. The woman did not even flutter, with barely a trickle of blood staining her shirt. I did not know what to make out of it. Was this a magic trick or a miracle? I had to go find out for myself.

The minute I decided to go to Brazil, everything planned perfectly with very little effort from my side. Scheduled meetings got cancelled leaving my calendar open; a friend gave me a Buddy Pass and I flew from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro in first class during peak season (it was Carnival time). I stayed at my friend’s newly renovated apartment at no cost, and learned about tour guides, Cecilia and Debbie, who offered to arrange for my visit at less than a week notice.

PHOTO BY AMANDA-VILLA LOBOS
Casa guides Cecilia Zigher and Debbie Akamine

The days leading up to my visit, I started having very vivid dreams. They mainly involved a close friend, who was accompanying me to meet John of God. In my dreams, I was showing her beautiful places, giving her advice on her work and making her laugh. I also felt there was a presence in my room. This did not make me scared, rather peaceful, yet confused.

I had read a few blogs about how to prepare for a visit to the Casa Dom Inacio De Loyola and watched online videos posted by other journalists, but the pieces were still not adding up in my head. So, I tried to keep an open mind about everything and ready to receive whatever comes. My guides, Cecilia and Debbie advised me to do the same. They said to write down my wishes so I can present them to the entity (spirit) that John of God channels when we meet him.

On Wednesday morning, I arrived at the Casa dressed in all white and with some nervousness. What will I feel? What if he says I need a surgery? What if he asks me to stay at the Casa? The questions came up as I stood in the audience and John of God scanned the room looking for volunteers for physical surgery. I felt like that kid in the classroom who hasn’t done her homework and was secretly praying, “Don’t pick me!”

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel anything watching the surgeries being performed in person. While other spectators were stunned, marveled, perhaps even freaking out, to me it felt very normal to see John of God shoving a scissor up someone’s nose and twisting it with great force, scraping eye balls with a kitchen knife, or cutting open skin without surgical tools, while the fellas felt nothing.

PHOTO BY AMANDA-VILLA LOBOS
Over 2,000 people gathered at the Casa to see John of God

I joined hundreds of people from all over the world in the line of ‘first timers’ to go meet John of God in entity that morning. I had already spoken to his personal translator Heather Cumming about my wishes, that she would present to him on my behalf. As Heather spoke to Medium John (as he prefers to be called) in Portuguese, I held his hand and stared into his eyes. Undoubtedly, there was a strong presence. Heather told me “He says he will take care of you. Go sit in his current.” An usher led me to a seat on the bench which was already packed with people, some in trans-like meditative state. I wondered how long was I supposed to sit here?

I sat with my eyes closed, listening to melodious hymns playing in the background, praying for my family, friends and my life. I felt a rush of love, gratitude and happiness overcome my emotions. I couldn’t control how joyful I was feeling. I just wanted to get up and go hug everyone! I sat in the current room for 2 hours, falling in and out of concentration, and sometimes fell asleep. It was as if I was on an airplane, buckled into my seat for takeoff. Even though I wanted to get up and go, there was no way I could.

In the afternoon, Medium John sent me to the current room again, and I sat for another 2 hours. This time, it was more difficult to focus, but the collective energy of the people and the spirits in the room offered a peaceful space where it was easier to stay than to leave.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and hungry. I had terrible headaches. “This is normal,” Debbie consoled me. “It means the spirits are working on you.” My friend was experiencing the same fatigue. She had never meditated in her life before today and sat in the current room for 6 hours. She felt a flow of emotions that she didn’t know she had, pour out in tears, and was feeling much lighter, she told me over dinner.

PHOTO BY AMANDA-VILLA LOBOS
Me with Medium John at his office in Abadiânia

The next day, Medium John agreed to give me a one-on-one interview (watch the video). We sat in his office at the Casa where he held my hand and gestured me to ask anything. I have done dozens of TV shows, impromptu speeches, and spoken in front of thousands of strangers, but speaking to Medium John made me very nervous. He had such a strong presence around him. I could tell he was no ordinary being. I had my questions written down beforehand, but couldn’t remember them. He answered them rapidly, as if he already knew what I was going to ask. I wish I had prepared more things to say, I thought to myself, as the interview went by so quickly (or so it felt).

Perhaps my purpose of going there was to help my friend, or to share this message with the world, I don’t exactly know. But after 3 days, when I left Abadiânia, I felt more balanced then when I had first arrived. I was feeling positive, grounded, giving, loving and in control of my emotions. Though I had some wishes for my personal and profession life, I now had strong belief in a higher being orchestrating the right path for me.

While it has been challenging to hold that same level of calmness in day-to-day life, I still feel connected to the energy of the Casa and know that my own spiritual angels are taking care of me.

PHOTO BY AMANDA-VILLA LOBOS
Heather Cumming, author of ‘John of God – The Brazilian Healer who’s touched the lives of millions

Read more about my visit to John of God on my blog, Go Eat Give.

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