Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura

Brazil, South America

"It is my hope that, with the love and care of a grandmother, the words of our Council will enter the hearts of the men who govern this earth and awaken the child who inhabits each of them, so that their spiritual consciousness will be illuminated, thus reversing the course of history."

    Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised in Sao Paulo Capital. She is the daughter of Japanese immigrants who followed the traditional customs. Those customs were  very repressive, especially towards women. Grandmother Clara didn't fit in. She asked questions and was very concerned with social injustices and differences. At the time, she didn't believe in spiritual truths.

     Grandmother Clara's family was Buddhist, and she loved hearing the stories of her great-grandmother who was among the first women in Japan to access the sacred scriptures. Her great-grandmother lived in a monastery where the doors were always open to feed the indigent. While Buddhist scriptures instructed monks to join their guests for dinner, the monks began eating special foods in a separate place. Clara's great-grandmother, however, still ate with the poor. "This story made me happy and proud to have been descended from a woman of integrity, a defender of the sacred principles, someone who anticipated liberty despite her condition as a woman in the 19th century," Clara said.

     When Brazilian politics led to an upheaval, Clara's family became bankrupt, and Grandmother Clara was finally allowed to work. The work gave her freedom to lead her own life. She studied philosophy and joined others who believed in social justice and argued against the status quo.  She began living an extreme lifestyle.  At one point, Clara lived in an abandoned house where she kept her clothes in a sack and cooked her meals in tin cans. "Fortunately I was saved by Divine Providence, when I was magically put in touch with people of different faiths and spiritual teachings," Grandmother Clara said. She finally left the dark universe where her searching had taken her. 

     People connected with Bhagwan Rajneesh opened the doors to her perceptions. Things she believed as fiction began showing themselves as true. Various types of spirits came to talk with her. Most remarkable was an encounter with beings from a planet that is a great distance from earth. Their presence lasted 3 months. "[Their] words reminded me of Flash Gordon ...," Clara says.  "When they entered in contact with me, I felt my body alter, and during those three months almost did not sleep or eat. Everything happened fantastically.  I could not doubt it because the evidence was great.

     The beings had messages for the People of Earth. They said not to lose ourselves in material and technological lives that pollute and destroy our terrestrial atmosphere. They warned us to stop destroying our planet -- we are creating sickness on Earth and among her inhabitants.  And they told us to remember our spiritual connections and to remember God, the great spirit-creator of all things. "They told us this destruction would continue and that only a change to spiritual consciousness would give hope for our salvation," Grandmother Clara remembers. "This was 28 years ago, when these questions were not yet so grave."

     The beings told Grandmother Clara that she and other conscious people were destined to carry this message to Earth's people before our planet is destroyed and humanity is disgraced. They informed her that she would meet people living between Rio and Sao Paulo who, like her, were searching for spiritual consciousness and ways to save the planet. It was many years later that Clara learned about the Santo Daime religion in Visconde de Maua. "It was then that I had my first contact with the sacred drink and the hymns sung during the sacrament ... These were the people for whom I'd been searching for over seven years."

     Leading the Santo Daime community was Sebastiao Mota de Melo. After their first meeting, and to Clara's great surprise, Sebastiao exclaimed, "Ah! Finally the person they (the spirits) said they would send to sure me has arrived." From then on, doors opened and Grandmother Clara was led to Ceu do Mapia in the Amazon forest. She'd been invited by Padrinho Sebastiao to help him.

     Also part of the Santo Daime community was Grandmother Maria Alice Freire. Sebastiao saw exceptional healing powers in both women and had them do their healing work together. At the moment of Sebastiao's passing, his son put one of his father's hands in Grandmother Maria Alice's and the other in Grandmother Clara's. For both women, who felt humble to be so honored, it was a profoundly sacred moment.


     Today, 18 years later, Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura remains in the Amazon forest, one of the Earth's greatest biological treasures. She feels she is a testimony to the truth of her chosen spiritual path. Belonging to the Grandmothers' Council and joining her voice in prayers for the earth and humanity have become her cause. She hopes and prays that each nation living on Mother Earth will preserve God's wisdom and preserve this wisdom for future generations.

Text adapted from:  "Grandmothers Council the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision For Our Planet"
by Carol Schaefer
Trumpeter Books, 2006


Native Village Resources

Maria and Clara Native Village News  Articles Rainsticks
Santa Casa de Saude


Internet Resources

Casa De Cura
A film by Carole Hart about Grandmother Clara's healing work in the Brazilian Rainforest
California legislature journal
This meeting on April 27, 2006 includes Grandmother Clara as a guest.


Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:
Sources: wikipedia 

The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers  Native Village Home Page