From Barcelos, we made a side trip by bus to Braga and to Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mountain), which overlooks Braga. There is a chapel high above the city with terraced gardens and fountains, each with a religious theme. The gardens, fountains, and shrines extend down from the church above.
We will guide you on a special pilgrimage. First, walk into the light and be transformed.
Let’s look inside a shrine. Jesus was nailed to the cross.
Look at a fountain on another level. Water which existed before the creation of the universe comes from the holy cross of Jesus.
We walk down to another fountain, below the one above and using the same water.
The eyes with which you see God are the same eyes that God uses to see you. How does art, music, poetry, prose, and insight come to humans but from the spirit that flows through all of us? This water is yours.
I say a prayer for you. I request that I be directed to a special place. We came to a shrine and I realize that this is the place. At this shrine, you can say a prayer and this prayer will be answered. We will look into this shrine and you will pray. You cannot see in clearly and I will explain this to you.
Inside this shrine is a statue of Jesus wearing a blind-fold over his eyes. This is one of the stations of the cross. He is being beaten. You also have experienced suffering and cannot understand exactly why. Now it is time to close your eyes and pray. Afterward, remain silent and still.
Lao tsu writes (chapter 23):
“Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
If you open yourself to the Tao,
you are at one with the Tao
and you can embody it completely.
If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.
If you open yourself to loss,
you are at one with loss
and you can accept it completely.
Open yourself to the Tao,
then trust your natural responses;
and everything will fall into place.”
After experiencing these things, none of us can be the same. Karen and I took the bus back to Braga and another bus to Barcelos. The next day, we walked to Ponte de Lima.