Thursday, 28 February 2013

Spiritually realigned!

So I didn't get to go to the dance fusion concert last night because Fernando's lesson preparations didn't go as well as he hoped but I should be able to meet up with him this weekend and I still got to go on some fun adventures.  
Don Bosco Sanctuary- not much to look at from the outside
Awe-inspiring interior
 First stop was the Dom Bosco Sanctuary- a fairly unimpressive concrete box from the outside, kind of in the middle of chaotic streets.  But inside, I found a breathtaking, inspiring space.  Its walls are formed by 80 columns over 15 m, which unite in the high Gothic arches. The structures contain 2,200 square feet of stained glass, with twelve shades of blue to create the feeling of a starry sky.  The building commemorates Saint John Belchior Bosco, an Italian priest who had a prophetic dream about the rise of an important civilization in the region where Brasília is today. The chandelier is  3.5 m high chandelier, to symbolize Jesus, the light of the world. 
Traveling to the next stop allowed me to see a different side of Brasilia.  We drove through the hospital and school sections of the city and I still didn't see any slums but there were definitely poorer sections of the city.  Many tents outside with vendors selling street food, some horses/donkeys and carts carrying supplies, more graffiti including a huge display which was actually the exterior of the contemporary art museum.
The second stop was the Temple of Good Will, which was a much stranger place.  It proclaims itself to be "one of the seven wonders of Brazil" and "the most visited monument of the capital".  It was founded by a journalist and radio broadcaster to "promote Ecumenism without restrictions and has the supreme objective of fostering the Earthly and Celestial Beings of all ethnic groups, philosophies, religious and political creeds, atheists and materialists".  It had a weird mix of things inside- posters that showed the faces of Leonardo da Vinci near Gengis Khan near Lao Tzu near Mother Teresa.  Inside there was artwork for sale that included geometric modern art, religious paintings, more indigenous traditional works then pieces that looked like graffiti.  They had semi-precious stones for sale which is quite common in Brazil but also healing crystals to align your chankras.  There was an Egyptian room, a room with Jesus and a waterfall and behind a mandala, there was a "floating box" that contained the body of the man who built it.  It was an impressive, pyramid-shaped exterior but was pretty plain inside the actual nave.  We arrived during the daily 15 minute healing ceremony.  That was also interesting- a man lead a prayer session with people gathered in a circle, directly under the central crystal under the pinnacle of the pyramid.  Then there was a booming god-like voice coming out of the speakers, Ave Maria playing then the people in the circle walked to the exterior and started praying over seated people around the perimeter.  I thought it was an interesting idea for a space but kind of cheesily executed- definitely got the impression it was designed as a tourist trap.
Temple of Good Will from the outside- also known as the Pyramids of Luminous Spirits

They had tons of these posters of random- you can see Lincoln, Gandhi, Krishna here
This morning, Reva and I got up at the crack of dawn (6:15 AM which corresponds to 4:15 AM EST)  to go to yoga.  Reva used to go but has been too scared to go alone since the teacher changed 3 years ago.  We had a nice walk and the studio space was beautiful- small, plain room but in front of a huge glass window which was cracked to let in the sounds of birds chirping, a harmonica player at one point and the fresh breeze, as well as a view of jungly vegetation.  So that was fun- it was hatha yoga which isn't my favorite but it was nice to move.  Reva kept thanking me for giving her the courage to start going again and I said I was happy to help.
Altar symbolizes four elements and it reads "Every day is the day to renew our destiny"

It's been a fairly relaxing morning- we'll head to campus after lunch.  I miss hot showers- I figured out how to make the water not teeth-chattering-cold but the temperature doesn't go above luke warm.  Rainy season humidity does not do good things for my hair and in order to use my straightener, I have to power up the transformer, use a plug adapter and the humidity still usually causes it to frizz... sigh.