Besides its beautiful beaches, friendly people, and wonderful weather, Brazil is also known for its many spiritual communities.
During a recent trip to Brazil, I had the pleasure of visiting one of them-Cidade Ecletica or The City of Eclectic. The experience was awesome.
Cidade Ecletica or City of Eclectic is a religious commune that was founded by Mestre Yokaanam, a spirtualist, in 1946. According to Wikipedia, the sect is described, “as an eclectic-religious movement, philanthropic and universalist, and pioneer in the unification of all the sects of the planet."
The first community was established in Rio de Janiero in 1946. Ten years later, it was transferred to Brasília, in the state of Goiás, and has remained there ever since.
Presently, there are approximately 600 people living in the community. These individuals are called internal workers; while those living outside the community are called external workers.
There are 12 spiritual centers or branches throughout the Brazilian region. Outside of Brazil, there are two more- one in Argentina and another in Paraguay. There is an estimate of 3,000 members connected to the movement.
The goal of these spiritual centers is to assist all those who are in need of spiritual guidance free of charge.
Before attending the spiritual center, I was informed that no short skirts, slacks, shorts or tank tops were allowed. Shoulders had to be covered at all times.
As I approached the main gate, I was welcomed by a man dressed in a long white robe. He checked to see if I was dressed appropriately before allowing me to enter. As I entered the grounds and approached the church, I noticed that the church doors were closed and several people were waiting outside. It appeared that we had gotten there too early. Instead of standing around like everyone else, I decided to explore the surrounding area.
Next to the main gate was a building that had the word hospital on top. I was informed that a few years back, the hospital was in full operation. Due to political differences, the hospital was turned into a first aid center with volunteer doctors. They are in the process of restoring their old status.
On the right side of the church was a gated area. From where I was standing, I could see several houses, a meditation hall, an odd shaped building and a parking lot. Later on, I was told that the area was the living quarters of the community members.
By now, the church doors had opened and we were allowed to go in. On each side of the entrance door stood two church members- a woman on the left and a man on the right, dressed in white. Their assignment was to assist the people.
I was instructed to go to the side where the woman was standing. The woman smiled and took me to the appropriate sitting area.
As I sat down, I noticed that the women were sitting on the left side of the room; while, the men were on the right. It seemed that the arrangement was done accordingly to the yin/yang concept-an ancient Chinese philosophy.
The inside of the church was similar in décor to other churches- rows of benches on both sides of the room, a large open space in front, and an altar situated front and center against the wall.
The altar was unpretentious. It consisted of a long table with a large cross attached to the top of a globe placed in the middle of the table. Go to Spiritual Altar for more information on spiritual altar.
In addition, pictures of Jesus Christ and noted spiritual mediums decorated the walls around the room.
Even though the room was very plain, the atmosphere was extremely rich in peacefulness, spiritual energy and love.
After ten or fifteen minutes of waiting patiently for the service to start, an alarm went off. It was to announce that the service was about to commence. The mediums, dressed in white, began to enter the room and congregate in the large open space. As they entered the room, they turned to the altar, bowed their heads and moved on to their designated space.
When all the members were present, they began to form two or three circles. A man with a moderate size pot of burning incense appeared. He began moving around the four corners of the open space as if doing a cleansing. Then, he stopped in front of each member and allowed them to cleanse themselves with the smoke. When the ritual was finished, each member moved to his/her designated area- women on the left and men on the right.
By now, the mediums were ready to commence their work. They divided into teams. Each team consisted of two mediums- two women or two men. One of the mediums was the one who incorporated the spirit, while the other was the assistant.
The children were the first to get spiritual healing. Afterward, the adults were called. Women were treated by women mediums, while men were attended by men mediums.
As I approached the front of the line, I was escorted to a woman medium. While standing in front of the medium, she grabbed my hands, closed her eyes and proceeded to incorporate a spirit. In a matter of seconds, a spirit had entered the medium's body. The medium, under the influence of spirit, began telling me things that only I knew. All of the information was completely accurate.
When the medium began to give me spiritual passes- transfer of energy from one person to another through the hands, I felt a bolt of energy entering my body. I started shaking all over. I wanted to stop, but could not. As she continued giving me passes, my conscious mind began to drift away. I was no longer aware of my surroundings or my person. It was as if some entity had taken over. Although the experience lasted a short time, according to others, it felt longer. When I came to, two women were holding me.
By the end of the treatment, I was given blessed water, and a flower. When the session was over, I thanked the mediums for the experience, and walked away feeling immense inner peace. The spiritual experience was like no other.
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