Wednesday, April 02, 2008

VII Encounter for the New Horizon
The Closing Days
January 8-9, 2008

It's always rather difficult to summarize the annual festival at Vila Fortaleza where so many things get packed into a 10-day intensive of spiritual works. This year the conclusion of the VII Encounter for the New Horizon was especially hard for me to capture into a story, and much less into something that I would consider as "documentary."

The reason for this is that I was very involved in my own inner work of sorting through my life and reaching deeply to find the core of both personal and general meaning(s). It was not easy. Mostly, I felt tired. Often I was caught in thoughts that carried me very far from the present moment. Thus I can only provide a few fragments -- moments that somehow grabbed my attention and caused me to lift my camera.

The closing spiritual work involves singing and dancing two collections of hymns -- the first hinario is Nova Jerusalem from Padrinho Sebastião. In the performance of this ritual singing and dancing, I felt I very special perfection in the way the music, voices and dancing were producing "oneness" of minds and bodies -- music and movement and harmony. And there was a pervading sense of gratefulness.

The hymn offers gratitude -- simply with the precision and union of a single unit working together.

I give thanks to my Father
I give thanks to my Mother
I give thanks to all beings
Who are in this flock

I give thanks to my Mother
I give thanks to my Padrinho
I give thanks to my brothers and sisters
Who are in this garden.

The power of ritual and the Doctrine produces a current of energy that makes one wonder who the dancer, who is the singer?

I'm here because my Father sent me
I'm here because I'm the Savior
I am bottled, I always live em-bottled
And the people are very excited
Seeking their worth

I'm here because my Father sent me
I'm here because I am the Savior
The Master says, the Master sings, the Master speaks
And the people get confused
In the line of love

People had come from far away places to participate in this reunion. They came not only to receive put to offer the gift of their participation. During the interval people often spontaneously offered more hymns. This one caught my attention. Reinaldo (from São Paulo) is joined by George (from Portugal), Joanna (from Holland) and by brothers and sisters from Acre.

Here are a few more photos from the last days and the farewells.








More photos here.

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