Oca da Paz Peace Chamber & Caminho do Sol Dance Land

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Elders: Felicity and Andrew Macdonald

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TOUCANS, MONKEYS, JACU NA SELVA, TERMITE MOUNDS, TROPICAL BLOOMING SUMMER BEAUTIES, HUMMINGBIRDS, ARAUCARIA ANGUSTIFOLIA…OH MY…2017 SACRED DRIFTING IN BRASIL!

Traditionally hand built by four members of an indigenous Brazilian family, from the Kariri-Xoco tribe, the Oca da Paz Chamber, with its red earthen adobe floor and walls, and topped with intricately woven locks of long coconut fiber (resembling hair), embodies a sense of joy, charm and ‘down to earth’ humor.

 

             

Oca, as the local community fondly addresses her, was a delightful Peace Chamber space to give Sound Journeys, experience a Fire Ceremony and chant and sit Zazen each morning. Most mornings a vibrant, joyful Hummingbird, with two elegant extended tail feathers, entered Oca, circumambulated the interior, stopped to gaze at me, and then zipped out into the day leaving his medicine-trail of joy.

Felicity and Andrew Macdonald, the Elders and Keepers of Oca da Paz and the Caminho do Sol Dance Lands, work together symbiotically to carry Grandfather, Beautiful Painted Arrow’s vision forward. They have raised three boys and enjoy being grandparents to five lovely grandchildren. I enjoyed absorbing the many photo collages of beautiful moments throughout their lives, hanging in their spacious home.

Grandfather Beautiful Painted Arrow’s work manifested in Felicity’s life, through Sally Perry, leading vision quests at Jeff Romanowsky’s in Connecticut. In Felicity’s second vision quest, raccoon medicine collectively arose for the five vision questers. Sally then conveyed this medicine to Joseph and he said that the five people in this vision needed to come to the Sun-Moon Dance in Tennessee. This was Felicity’s first Sun-Moon dance. In 1996 Felicity invited Sally to bring the first Long Dance to Brazil. Felicity describes it as “rough and rustic”. The first Drum Dance in Brazil took place in 1998, and the first Sun-Moon Dance made it’s way to Brazil in 2005. 15 Sun-Moon Dances have now been completed on the Caminho do Sol Dance Land. In addition to leading Fire Ceremonies, Sweats and Sun-Moon, Long, and Drum Dances, Felicity travels the world to other Dance Communities, to dance the Sun-Moon, and has completed 21 dances to date. In addition to the enormous responsibility and job of raising a family, and tending to the multitudes of responsibilities within the Oca da Paz and Caminho do Sol Dance Communities, Felicity has found interest and joy in teaching children fun dancing, with traditional Scottish reels, Irish jigs, and Argentine folk dances, among other international dances. She engaged in competitive flower arranging with the Sao Paulo Garden Club and worked as a volunteer in Oriental Natural Health for 7 years, quite some time before starting to lead dances.

Andrew, who addresses himself as “just the driver”, has worked all over the world in the textile industry, including India, Bangladesh (East Pakistan), North America, Argentina and Brazil. Andrew was honored by the Queen of England, receiving the OBE (Order of the British Empire), for his work with the British community in Sao Paulo that included the Cheshire Homes for disabled people, the British School Board, the Board of British Chamber of Commerce, and the BCCC (British commonwealth community council), a charitable organization for Elders. Andrew supports Felicity in her vision with such dedication and love. He has danced several Long Dances, is of service to the Sun-Moon Dance in Brazil, as Alpha Dog, participates in sweat lodges and Fire Ceremonies and does indeed serve the role of ‘driver’ for Felicity and the community.

Andrew and Felicity met in Argentina at a Bridge Game and then again at a Badminton Club. They married in Argentina and had their first son and then moved to Brazil. They spent two years in South Carolina, to accommodate Andrew’s work in the textile industry, where their three sons quickly unlearned their smart British accents. Andrew and Felicity have spent the majority of their 46 years together in Brazil raising their family, working, doing ceremony, and since 1996, facilitating the Dances.

Felicity created a Dance-Away Fund program that has financed many dancers, drummers, and moon mothers over the years, giving those without enough funds, and who have given exceptional service to the community, the opportunity to experience the Dances in other countries with other communities! In her own words, "About 12 years ago I felt that it would be a satisfying and interesting project to use any excess money from the dances (sometimes there was some and sometimes there was not) to sponsor one member of the community each year, who had really put themselves out to help, before, during and after dance ceremonies, and sometimes even in between.  This has appeared to work very well, the chosen member has grown, expanded and seemed to benefit from their dance away from home base, and come back with extra energy and new ideas.  Because of its success, the Dance Away Fund and the intention behind it has evolved and grown into something everyone is contributing to, by, for example, buying homemade jams and other items in our bazaar.  I have never felt that our chosen member would go off and abandon his/her home dance but rather bring back renewed energy and ideas from where they have participated. Roughly twelve people have already benefited from this idea and we hope to be able to keep this going indefinitely, as a dance community endeavor.

While Sacred Drifting in Brazil, my generous and conscientious hosts offered me a private room and bath with a gorgeous view in their beautiful home and nourished me well. I even learned how to cut a mango properly. I was also offered access to the refreshing swimming pool and to Oca da Paz.

The day after arriving in Brazil, Felicity invited me to join their Drum Circle, lead brilliantly by their Sun-Moon Dance Drum Leader, Denis Rojas. 14 of us chanted and drummed into the night on this enormous sacred Drum, and at times it felt like the beater was beating the drum without my assistance! The combined sound of the voices and drum penetrated deep into my heart. Phenomenal!!!

I find it tremendously fascinating that along this Sacred Drift where the Peace Chambers exist, White Plum Lineage Zen Centers are found! Brazil was no exception! I had the pleasure of sitting Zazen with the Sangha and the beloved Zendo Dog of ZendoBrasil.   The Zen teacher there is Roshi Coen De Souza, or as she is known in Brazil, Monja Coen de Souza. After Zazen, Monja Coen de Souza gave a profound Taisho talk from Dogen’s Shobogenzo, first in the lyrical sounding Portuguese and then in English. She was amazing, shifting languages back and forth, and she did it to benefit this Sentient Sacred Drifter! It was beautiful to meet Monja Coen de Souza. She graciously offered me an apple and tea, and expounded a bit about her experience as a Zen student of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and her many years spent practicing in Japan, while we waited for my hosts to pick me up.

Felicity wanted me to experience several places outside of the Serene Oca da Paz Oasis, and so she brought me to a historic, cultural and artisan center in Sao Paulo called, Embu das Artes! Here we visited out-of-doors and indoor artisan vendors, oooo-ed and ahhhh-ed at the works of art and uniquely crafted furniture, sampled different kinds of honey, smelled hand crafted candles, appreciated the stunning tile roof lines along these craft-lined avenues, and all along the way we enjoyed “chatting it up” with the various vendors and artists! I adore the lyric musical flow of Portuguese!

Andrew, Felicity and I spent a few days at their scenic mountain dwelling called Aratoca, breathing in the magnificence, and hiking around this Earth Space. Aratoca, listed on Airbnb, is situated in the tropically forested mountains, called the Serra da Mantiqueiras, near the trendy artisan town of Campos do Jordao, where tourist from all over the globe enjoy fresh air, beauty, and culture. The winter months of July and August, in particular, draw crowds of tourist from all over the world to the famous Brazilian Campos do Jordao Music Festival. Brazilian’s enjoy this resort town throughout the year.

Important aspects to Grandfather, Joseph Rael –Beautiful Painted Arrow’s teachings are the Drum Dance, the Long Dance and the Sun-Moon Dance! Where the Peace Chamber Communities around the Earth exist, so do Sacred Dance Sites. Many of these dance sites existed long before the Peace Chambers were manifested. Sitio Cominho do Sol is the name for three of these Earth-sites where Felicity, Andrew and their community, Drum Dance, Long Dance, Sun Moon Dance and walk a beautiful Labyrinth.

When we reached this sacred energetically charged land, I was stunned by the beauty surrounding me; the expansive fields of green, speckled with white Indubrasil (Indo-Brazilian) bovine; the cry of hawks and birdsong, the white egrets nesting in the trees as the sun was bidding us farewell for the day; the blooming orchids living on the tree-people; the magnificent mountain vistas as far as the eye could see; the chirping sounds of cicadas, crickets and other unknown bug creatures; the beautiful blooming beauties (flowers); the fresh invigorating smell of the air.

The Long Dance and Drum Dance are danced on a leveled, grassy and finely coiffed plateau overlooking all the above magnificence! The Labyrinth rests below the Dance plateau, and Felicity and I enjoyed mindfully walking the Labyrinth and picking sprigs of lavender and rosemary along the way. After being taken to this gorgeous Long and Drum Dance space, Andrew drove Felicity and I to a secluded space surrounded by a serene forest of tree-people, and there sat a tremendous Sun-Moon Dance Arbor with it’s guardian directional stone animals; Hawk, Frog, Bear and Buffalo. The energy there was indescribably vivacious and delicious! I can only imagine what kinds of transformations have taken place on this site!

Ceremonies on Oca da Paz and Caminho do Sol Dance Lands:

  1. Sweat Lodges once a month.
  2. Fire Ceremony and Sweat Lodge: The 7th day of Each Month starting at 7pm (drumming and chanting begin at 6:15 and fire is lit at 7pm) A world-wide community does the Fire Ceremony every month on the 7th at 7pm. Some light a fire and others light a candle, and ALL join together in this Ceremony for the Waters of the Earth.
  3. Adult Long Dances each year.
  4. Adolescent Long dance each year.
  5. The Sun-Moon takes place over Easter weekend Thursday through Sunday each year.
  6. Drum Dance once a year mostly in September.
  7. Solstice Singing in Oca da Paz.
  8. Drum making workshop with Denis Rojas and Heidi Baur.
  9. Drumming vision quest each winter with Denis Rojas and Heidi Baur.
  10. Alexia Pescuma leads a Woman’s Moon Circle and Sweat Lodge (4-6 times a year).
  11. Sacred Dance Shawl workshop to make shawls for dances with Heidi Baur.
  12. Children’s Open-Door Sweat Lodge – the day before Mother’s Day each year.

REMERCIERS

I offer heart-centered gratitude to the following lovely hearts:

Andrew and Felicity for their gracious hospitality, for sharing a bit of their “Story”/”threading yarns”, for their service to Joseph’s Rael’s vision and their respective community, and for the many hours of driving…:o)))

Tomas for carrying blankets to Oca, preparing the Sweat Lodge, being Fire Keeper, heating the Ancestral Rocks/Abuelitas and for breaking down and cleaning up the ceremony the next day!

Santa and Luciana for preparing such delicious cuisine and nourishing me with their beautiful Brazilian energies, infused in their food!

The two lovely canines, Mel and Brisa, who joyfully greeted me each morning!

The Sound Journeyers, who opened their hearts so beautifully and fully to this unfolding process, and Ancestors for their guidance.

Alexia Pescuma, Moon Sister ExtraOrdinaire, for her creative spiritual photography of the flutes and yours truly in performance, and gifting me with a co-created Women’s Full Moon Ceremony! Thank you for your sharing!!! Aheya!!!