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A report from the new year in Céu do Mapiá

We received this report as a contribution of Isabela Lara (, from Céu do Planalto Community in Brasilia, who was present in the new year gathering in Céu do Mapiá last January. While we wait for the novelties in its official format, which will be soon published here in the site, we get to know a little about what happened in our enchanted forest in the birth of the new millenium.

Brasília, February 2, 2000

All around the planet, people met to greet the new born 2000 year. For the Santo Daime brotherhood, the great meeting point was Céu do Mapiá, our community located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazonian Forest.

Amid the astounding beauty of the rainforest, hundreds of visitors coming from all parts of the world met in the local community not just to celebrate the birth of a new millennium but, mainly, to greet a new time: the time of the powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit in each living being.

We heard a lot about the birth of a new age, the age of aquarium, a new time of harmony and prosperity for the humanity. Who had the opportunity to participate in the countless feasts and activities accomplished in Céu do Mapiá can testify part of that birth within his own self..

To the several works already programmed for the festival were added several others. Some already developed ordinarily by the community - as the cure works - and still other especially accomplished for the event as: São Miguel works, hinários of the community's members, etc. In this way, besides the prayers that happened daily at the church, almost everyday it was possible to participate in some other spiritual work. In fact, a very rich and fine study which results will for sure be delivered to the whole planet through the heart's heat of everyone who attended.

Also present to the celebrations were the members of the North American native church, whose sacrament is the peiote, which accomplished two works to celebrate, once again, the friendship and close relation among the two churches.

In spite of the great number of visitors - the official hinários counted with the participation of more than 800 people - the church, and the main Santo Daime community were capable of absorbing hundreds of people from various cultures harmoniously, speaking at least five different languages. Several churches and centers of Brazil and of the world were there represented. There were Japanese, English, Dutch, North American, Tcheck, Italian, Spanish, Argentinean, Chilean, Uruguayans, living together daily with the native and several Brazilians of the south of the country.

The church was full, as if it had been built to absorb exactly that number of present people. The "general kitchen" was capable of feeding everyone arriving there after working all morning in the collective efforts and workmanships that happened daily in the community. It is worthwhile to remind that is was a live example of Padrinho Sebastião's community spirit and a celebration of the group conscience and of the voluntary donation as viable alternatives of relationship among people. The plate of food of the "general" had no cost. Who was able to, and wanted to, made a donation in food, work or money. In the "general" there was no lack of food nor hands to help in the preparation of the meals.

There were several memorable, unforgettable moments. Certainly one of the most important for the community was Santos Reis' day when there was the "entrega dos trabalhos" (delivery of the spiritual works).

There were already many years that "the delivery" was not performed in Céu do Mapiá and many rehearsals were made in order to attain perfection. That resulted in a beautiful ritual in the dawning of the day.

A special highlight should be made to the work developed by Rádio Jagube. From the first hours in the morning the villa of the Céu do Mapiá would be wakened up with beautiful music through the radio waves and in speakers installed at the church. Sometimes the radio took advantage of a good musician's presence, presenting a solo performance, other times it presented a message of the community's leaders motivating and guiding the works of the day. Besides, it's been two years since the radio is recording and transmitting live all the works accomplished at the community's church and creating educational programs that has been transforming the inhabitants of the villa daily life.

During 10 days in January, the several churches there represented gathered to talk about the institutional directions of Santo Daime's Church and of the Institute of Environmental Development, the no-government organization responsible for its maintenance. One of the most important questions during the encounter was the establishment of standards to the association system in each nucleus affiliated of the new administrative context of Santo Daime's church. Each nucleus, church or point will have 2 months, counted starting from the end of the encounter in the middle of January, to normalize its juridical participation in the brotherhood following the chosen general model: separation of the religious part, the church, from its funding institution, no-government organization in agreement with pré-defined categories and the size of each nucleus. The leaders of each church of Santo Daime that want to continue to receive the sacrament and to participate of the religious and ecological organization as a whole should update its legal situation, what should be made directly at the general administration in Céu do Mapiá (official details will be published on the site)

Another important question discussed in the encounter was the legalization of Santo Daime's sacrament in other countries. Several actions were proposed and, starting from the administrative restructuring of the nuclei, some coordinated actions of the churches and points should be organized.

In relation to the ritual norms, it was presented some modifications already approved by the Doctrinaire Council that will soon produce a reprint to the Norms of Rituals edition.

But Céu do Mapiá don't live only of flowers and spiritual works. The community faces the challenge of the rapid growth, of the maintainable development, of the intelligently managed progress. The search of viable and no-pollutant sources of energy, the need to create income generating activities, the urgency of the installation of "talking" telephones (we are tired about the dumb ones). What to do with the disposable garbage, and the countless coke cans so appreciated by the residents and visitors seems to be one of the most important issues.

Each visitor certainly brought a very peculiar impression of the feasts that happened in Céu do Mapiá. However, most of them, I am sure, came back with the strong will of returning, of inviting those siblings that didn't have the opportunity to participate in this new year to go to Céu do Mapiá, to get closer to that blessed and curative forest.

So that, starting from the actuality of the Céu do Mapiá experience, that blessed force, that spirit of freedom, union and communion with the siblings and the nature can be infused in all the Santo Daime centers around the world.

Isabela Lara
Comunidade Céu do Planalto

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