Braco’s 44th Birthday Celebration
Braco's birthday on November 23rd was a touching and heartwarming celebration as thousands of people came to honor the work of this selfless man who has helped so many lives. By 3 am in the cold morning hours in Zagreb, Croatia, with the city glazed in a white frost that covered everything from grass to tree tops, people had already lined up to be the first to say 'Happy Birthday" to this gentle man and to express their love for all of the peace and harmony Braco had brought into their lives. Busses by now were arriving from neighboring countries and Braco greeted these first visitors as he would all others throughout this day of his 44th birthday – with food, cakes, drinks and his gift of gazing for all, young and old alike.
The faces in the crowds from dawn to dusk that day reflected love, joy and the happiness of being with their dearest Braco on his special day, which made them laugh in the cold and crowds as everyone patiently awaited their turn to enter the Onyx room in the morning hours, or later, the huge tent erected on Srebrnjak 1's grounds to accommodate the large numbers of people for gazing and refreshments.
For the first time on Braco's birthday, live streaming took place so that people around the world could also share in the gift of Braco's gaze and view the wonderful festivities.
All the members of Braco's team at Srebrnjak kindly welcomed each group with a warm smile and heartfelt introductions for the people before they gazed.
Rudi (left), a long time member of Braco's staff, wrote and offered these beautiful words to the people before a gazing session on Braco’s Birthday :
Hello and welcome to this moment of a lovely day. The day when the world becomes richer because of one big heart, Braco’s heart, and we are here to wish him all the best for his birthday.
But how? How can we say ‘Thank You’ to a man who, like a knight without a sword, unselfishly fights for us each moment?
He is not a teacher, but he teaches us without words.
He is not a poet, yet from the invisible letters of our life, he makes the most beautiful poem.
He is not a composer, but his silent notes bring us peace and harmony.
The beautiful makes more beauty.
Happiness makes more happiness.
He is not a doctor, he is not a scientist. He is simply Braco, who loves us. So how can we return this unselfish love that Braco gives us each moment? Do it simply like our small (feathered) friends do. Let your hearts sing together the most beautiful song, the song of love.
Braco will perceive this silent song in your own gaze.
Braco in the Onyx room in front of the Golden Sun, a symbol of hope that embodies the nourishment of Braco's work to so many.
A gazing tent was specially constructed for the birthday celebration to accommodate the thousands of people who arrived throughout the day. As people entered the grounds of Braco's Center, they were given a number and called in groups for a gazing session, and then refreshments . . .
People begin filing into the tent as the next session is announced to take place.
The line of people waiting to see Braco extended past the Center (on left) into the streets, as groups were ushered in to gaze from 3 am in the early morning to the final session at 8 pm that evening. Flowers are a symbol the people offer as an expression of their love for Braco and his work. As people enter a session, the flowers are collected by volunteers on behalf of Braco, and then Braco gives all the flowers back to everyone as they exit as a token of love and sharing amongst people of the experience. Therefore, people depart with different flowers than they brought, and all represent the spirit of love and giving.
After a group gazes, people stop at the bountiful tables filled with food, sweets and beverages. Birthday cakes are everywhere, including one massive Sun birthday cake big enough to feed 900 people alone. A vast team of volunteers were on hand to seamlessly guide the day and groups along, including those who cleaned and replenished the refreshment tables after every single group exited.
For over sixteen years, people have come to Braco and his Center, and have always been offered help without anything asked in return. Whether visiting Srebrnjak for a gazing session or to listen to "The Voice", no charge has ever been asked and donations are not accepted. Braco is a normal man with an extraordinary gift of love, and he simply wishes to share it with all who visit. No wonder his birthday celebration brings people from across Croatia, across Europe and even from the U.S. on this special day - a day of honoring a man who is true beacon of light shining in our lives.
Thank you and Happy Birthday Braco!
Report by Angelika Whitecliff