There are many different kinds of healing. Pick up any copy of the endlessly entertaining Pathways magazine to get a sense of the countless options. But perhaps the least invasive form of healing comes in the form of Braco, a Croatian man who walks into a room and simply gazes at those assembled. No talking. No gestures. No sales pitches. Just five or six minutes of staring, seemingly making eye contact with everyone in the room. Then he’s gone.
There are many stories of the incredible results of recovery and wellness produced by the silent gaze of Braco (pronounced braht-zo). Plus, he gazes for free, though on tour he charges $8 per session to cover the cost of the room and transportation.
Cheap and noninvasive, my kind of healer. So I found myself in Ballroom A of the Sheraton Crystal City last week, with about 100 other folks, ready to drink in Braco’s healing gaze. I drank, heavily. I will do anything to get rid of these lifelong allergies. Others held up photos of family members. Two women next to me began sobbing.
Was I healed? Read more after the jump.
Braco, 44, is an economist by training. But at 26, he met a healer from Serbia and discovered his mystical, somewhat mystifying, powers. People who stood before him saw their migraine headches disappear. A woman seriously injured in a car crash rose from a wheelchair and walked again. People just generally felt an improved sense of well-being.
Braco stopped speaking in public in 2002, other than in a recording of a monologue known as “The Voice” which also has soothing properties, many say. He has a healing center in Zagreb, Croatia, which you can visit for free; you can watch a streaming video online or a DVD, which many say work just as well; or you can catch him on tour. He does eight or nine sessions a day, and many people attend multiple sessions.
Braco also comes with many disclaimers. He does not call himself a healer or guarantee any results. He does not consider himself a prophet or a religious leader, does not espouse a particular philosophy and does not want anyone to follow him. The impact of his gaze may be sudden or gradual, subtle or profound. If there’s any impact at all.
In Crystal City, he was introduced by Michael Salla, a former political science professor at American University whose explorations into the mystical and extraterrestrial did not endear him to the university. He now runs an institute in Hawaii. But in Ballroom A, he did not attempt any hokey sales pitch.
“The thing that makes Braco unique,” Salla said, “is he really doesn’t do anything...What you bring in, your desires, are what’s really the most important thing here. He stands before these audiences around the world and opens himself up to something. We don’t really know what it is.”
A video of testimonials was shown, in which a woman said, “Whatever is flowing through him is able to connect with a part of us.”
And then he took the stage. The photos here are exactly what we saw in Ballroom A. He stood calmly, hands at his side, slowly moving his head. Gazing at each one of us. I feel like I got eye contact twice. I did my best to discard my natural cynicism. As much money as I’ve spent on various drugs and treatments for the plague of allergies, I was open to anything.
For a few minutes, there was some new age-type music, but for the last couple of minutes, only silence. After six minutes, he turned and walked off the stage.
As we filed out, a number of people immediately went to the line to wait for the next session. Everyone I spoke with was quite happy with the session we'd just had, and some had traveled quite a ways.
Kevin Creegan, a psychologist from Scranton, Pa., said he had seen Braco elsewhere, and brought his wife and daughter for this trip. “I’ve felt physically better,” he said. “My sense of well-being is bettter. I think it’s helped my clarity and my meditation practice.”
Creegan said that, as a psychologist, “I really appreciate that he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t promise anything.”
Micaela Corazon and Christina Culver came down from Ithaca, N.Y., and after the noon session they went straight back to the line for the 1 p.m. session. “I feel he’s so authentic because he doesn’t talk,” Culver said. “You just know there’s so much power and light and beauty. I feel he just raises us up.”
As for me? No healing so far. But I’m open and ready when it comes.
Here’s a promotional video from Braco: