Translations:


COSTA RICA RETREAT:
Awareness Center, Costa Rica;
BUILDING COMMUNITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ken:  Initiated into the Order of the Butterfly
View / Download
 
 

 
Costa Rica Ranked Greenest and Happiest Nation on Earth - 4th July 2009

Costa Rica Realtor Jeff Hickcox

Costa Rica has been recently winning many global accolades and recognition.

Already this year, Costa Rica was ranked the 8th Most Stable Country in the world by The Economist, the 5th Cleanest Country in the world by Yale's Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the first country to be designated a "BioGem" by the Natural Resource Defense Counsel.

Now, Costa Rica has been recognized as the Greenest and Happiest country on the Planet by the British independent research group New Economics Foundation.

The report, The Happy Planet Index: Why good lives don't have to cost the earth...

Published on Saturday 4th July 2009, by the NEF (New Economics Foundation) presents the results of the second global study of the Happy Planet Index (HPI).

The new Index is based on comprehensive data for 143 countries around the world, representing 99 per cent of the world's population, and Latin American nations featured nine of the Top 10 spots.

"Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world and have the second-highest average life expectancy of the new world (second to Canada)," the organization said in a statement.

They (Costa Rica) "also have an ecological footprint that means that the country only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of... consuming its fair share of the Earth's natural resources."

CNN reported, "The Central American country, tucked between Nicaragua and Panama, touts its lush rain forests and pristine beaches. Its president, Oscar Arias Sanchez, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for trying to help end civil wars in several Central American countries."

The runner-up was the Dominican Republic, followed by Jamaica, and Guatemala. The United States sunk to the 114th spot, while Britain ranked mainly due to its hefty consumption and massive ecological footprint. The United States was greener and happier 20 years ago than it is today, the report said.

"As the world faces the triple crunch of deep financial crisis, accelerating climate change and the looming peak in oil production, we desperately need a new compass to guide us," said Nic Marks, founder of the foundation's center for well-being.

The world is recognizing Costa Rica as more than just a vacation spot. Costa Rica's excellent stance on the environment, political and economic stability, perfect climate, and lower cost of living continue to draw foreign retirees from across the globe.

 

From AM Costa Rica today: Two readers sing the praises of living in Costa Rica
He found American dream right here in Costa Rica

 

This is a freer country where options are greater

 

One of our many beautiful beaches
 
cabins - Cabinas for your rental: approximately $300/month
 
Fanny's Five Cabinas
 
(NOTE: In what follows there is a wealth of information about Costa Rica and our vision there.  For a feel for Costa Rica, please click onto ALL the websites included below in order to see magnificent photos with wonderful opportunities)
 
FIRST TRIP (2/4/07)

  A few years ago, my wife, Maureen, and I joined a great group of folks who went through OMEGA for a Mindfulness Retreat at Sueno Azul (www.suenoazulresort.com) near Las Horquetas in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica.  The country and space were so beautiful that we could almost cry!  What a delicious week and eye-opener--to Costa Rica.  We absolutely fell in love with the people and the country. The owner Federico Gallegos enticed us to think about buying and/or building in Costa Rica, thus the seed was sown. Time didn't permit a visit to www.puravidaspa.com in Alajuela.
 
Click on the image to enlarge

SECOND TRIP (4/08)

  We heard about a community being formed in the rainforest, with lots for sale in the Southern coast on the Caribbean side: Samasati Yoga and Nature Retreat. Click here for information: www.samasati.com

 First, Edward, John and I headed to the Northern Zone of Costa Rica in order to find suitable land for our new retreat center, visiting Tabacon hot springs and the Arenal volcano and surrounding areas, such as La Fortuna.  GREAT FUN!!  We had hoped to visit Nosara Yoga Institute (www.nosarayoga.com) in the north, as well as www.pachamama.com (an Osho Retreat/Community) and www.panaceacr.com (in Guancaste) but didn't have enough time. Then we decided to revisit Sueno Azul and meet with Federico.  After that we headed to the Caribbean coast to visit some small villages near Samasati.  Quite an eventful trip!  More beauty, more rainforest, and many, many wonderful people at Samasati.  As much as we loved the place we decided that it wouldn't work for us.  So back to the US.
However, we do want to HIGHLY recommend Samasati for retreats/tours, and more.
 
Another interesting website for your review: www.satyogainstitute.org.

THIRD TRIP (6/08)

  Upon returning Edward's neighbors mentioned that they had two parcels for sale in Costa Rica. Peter and Ananda have had many years of experience in the construction business and GREATLY desired to resettle in Costa Rica (after traveling/exploring Costa Rica for 10 years).  Edward and I decided to purchase 8 acres from them and they will use the another 3 acres to build their own home.  

  So, off to San Isidro de El General in the Cental Pacific Coast: where the mountains meet the sea.
 
The beautiful San Isidro.
 
The Cathedral
 
San Isidro's Father, Son and Holy Spirit
 
Delicious farmers market of San Isidro
click here for more
 
  Next, to review more possible land opportunities we headed to the Southern Zone along the Pacific, especially Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula.  WHAT A TRIP--I felt like Indiana Jones!!

  While here we visited poormansparadiesresort.com and the yoga center, Guaria de Osa, www.guariadeosa.com., both located close by Drake Bay.  Many stories could be told about this trip!  Unfortunately we did not visit Luna Lodge (www.lunalodge.com), somewhat further south on the coast--but please check out their website.

  As you are starting to see, these are only a few of the beautiful yoga/nature retreat centers in Costa Rica--more will be forthcoming.
 
  Back to the US of A.

FOURTH TRIP (9/08)
 
This time we had the good fortune to meet up with some wonderful people in Costa Rica who have moved here and have created some wonderful opportunities to expand the existing community. We have summarized, to the best of our ability,  information in the table contents that follows which gives you more details.
 
During this time Edward and I had our closing on the property that is to become the Awarness Center - Costa Rica.
 
Fifth Trip (3/09)
 
From March 4th to April 1st Ken was in the San Isidro-Dominical area to lay the foundation for the Awareness Center, to explore a 60 acre Eco-Ashram, Ama Linda (www.amalinda.com; check out the Teachers, the photogallery and the accommodations) near his 8 acre property, as well as investigate some close-by organic farms and other properties of interest.  Plus have some fun and sun.
 
The following designs were created by Erick Barboza, architect/engineer.  To see how these structures are constructed, go to: www.idscasas.com    Also click here for Construction Photo Gallery.
 
Erick Barboza, local architect/engineer
 

Awareness Center Design
 

Built for Tropical Breezes
 
 
 
SIXTH TRIP 9/09
 
The last two weeks of September found Edward and myself returning to inspect
the construction of the Main House. The work crews are fabulous and Dennis Garber's
leadership is awe-inspiring.  Many, many decisions were made about the interior and
exterior of the building, fine tuning some changes, such as creating a large loft
above the bedrooms and bath, making the bodega a "dry room," etc.
 
Ed Burnhardt, a permaculturist, visited the property and drew up a 20 page report
indicating where and what to do to make our paradise more of a paradise, with
emphasis on sustainability.
 
 
Erick Barboza, our architect/engineer, visited once again to inspect the progress--
he comes out ONCE-a-WEEK to do this--incredible!  Not like the States!
We feel more and more blessed each time we return.
 
GOOD NEWS: The FIRST Awareness Retreat was a great success.
A goodly number of local people arrived for a 5-day Retreat, Sat-Wed.
Everyone was pleased with the experience.
 

7th Trip (January 2010)

This trip found Edward and I helping to complete the Awareness Center in CR
(dedicated to Consciousness raising of the planet and beyond).

   A multitude of decisions had to be made concerning the water system, lot maintenance,
plant and fruit-tree location but especially work on the house-Center--bedroom loft and
staircase, windows, carport, final grading for the grounds, etc.

  We managed some beach time with delicious ocean-wave swimming and enjoyed quite a few local meals
at various restaurants. The climate here is very warm and all one needs is sandals and barefeet, with a tee shirt
and a pair of shorts.

 Yet, two of the biggest challenges were obtaining and registering a Costa Rican
cellular phone with internet and TV access, purchasing a 4 x 4 1992 used Suzuki for Costa Rican
very rough unpaved roads.

   Many new photos will be added to our ongoing construction gallery

   The best part is constantly meeting new friends and spending a lot of time just hanging out.
Nothing like slowing down and enjoying friends, nature and the sheer beauty of Costa Rica.

  We are presently thinking of having , asap, a small intimate group of
people living in and sharing the Center and its opportunities--we´ll see.
For there is nothing like like-minded spiritually-oriented folks intending  to
assist one another in spiritual-personal growth.

   It is exceedingly interesting and inspiring to see what is manifesting and
what we will choose in the near future.
 
A SECOND week-long Awareness Retreat fulfilled many of my desires for an
"affordable spirituality" gathering.. The word is getting out!!
 
 
Eighth Trip (August 2010)

Another Yoga/Meditation Retreat proved to be well received by all. The participants indicated that they wanted a similar annual experience.
 
The major happening of this trip was the "Jungle" discovery on my property. Ivan, a local worker, and I, with machettes, chopped away at the dense forest to find FOUR new building sites (plantels), small waterfalls, and with much sweat, create many walking/hiking trails (senderos). The height of the ancient trees along with the clean sparkling water in the stream made me stop and meditate a long while.


I also planned and planted many "ornamental" plants/trees around the house/center thereby creating more of a Garden of Eden.
 
Another highlight was a trip to Quepos/Manuel Antonio (the riviera of Costa Rica), on the new coastal highway--absolutely beautiful and a MUST SEE!
 
Additionally, some DENTAL work was done by an excellent local dentist at a GREAT savings--enough to pay for my airfare!!! (Your dentalwork will pay for a Costa Rica vacation!!)

I also explored the possibility of opening a small bookstore (Nirvana 2) in San Isidro, and started planning many details for retreats this winter of 2011, including a new two-person tent with porch near the house.
 
9th Trip: January 2011
 
Spent one full month in gorgeous sunny, warm and invitng Costa Rica. Avoided seven (7!!!!) snow storms in N.Y.

This month found me realizing that the Center here is not just for programs, travels, etc., but especially for HEALING. One woman spent a few days with me and needed serious rest and recuperation, along with some GestaltWork. After some time she seemed quite restored causing me to understand, once again, what is here in CR.
 
So, toward the end of the month, a THIRD intimate Healing/Fasting Retreat was conducted by Ken and many lessons were learned about improvements for the next retreats.
 
10th Trip (Feb-Apr)

After my wife, Maureen, and her son, Joseph, spend 10 days relaxing and vacationing here with me, another couple I met at Omega's retreat in CR a few years back are arriving to spend time doing the same as that female: namely, meditation, rest, awareness exercises, healing, etc.

Then 2 other couples will come to help me plan retreats for next year and work through all the details needed to make it a GREAT event!!
 
This very personalized Couple Retreat (4th Retreat so far) should prove beneficial to all concerned, especially to future plans for the Center.

Finally, my daughter, Erin, and my granddaughter, Willow Maya, will spend the last two weeks visiting with me. How absolutley delicious!!

As for the Awareness Center, much has happened and more will happen. We built a new outdoor shower, set up the tent on a platform with roof, mapped out the building sites for 6 more tent/house sites.

Ivan completed many more steps down into the forest and actually brought up our first food: potatoes, squash, and corn!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, growing our own.

Created four Center signs and posted them for folks to find our space. Also managed to visit a near-by sheep farm with 112 sheep, with 24 NEWBORNS. What fun.

At the last moment we have posted 9 new photos from this month's trip on the Costa Rica Retreat Center category.

Here are the nine. Enjoy, especially those with the layouts below of the tent sites.

 
 
11th Trip  Feb-April, 2012
 
Hi Folks.

Just wanted to share some of my experiences with you on this latest trip. Back in semi-paradise--mostly paradise but always with some challenges.

The air flight was excellent and the taxi to the bus station okay, but then, riding over "Death Mountain," there was an accident and we sat in the bus for over 3 hours and no bathrooms--thank God I'm a man!!!

But a really hot bath at a nice hotel in San Isidro was delicious--just what the doctor ordered. It's 80 in the daytime and 60 at night--so whose to complain? Sandals, anyone?

Next day I was busy rearranging my new cellphone number, food shopping at the farmer's market-- GREAT fresh and organic food--and then some Internet Cafe emailing. Then meeting Dennis and on to the Center. Seemed strange being away almost a year but I took a tour of everything was delighted to be BACK TO THE EARTH. The fruit trees grew very tall and the "living" fences of hibiscus amazed me with their rapid blooming.

Next day I joined Dennis and Lee for a long leisurely breakfast--catching up on all the news and challenges one encounters in a third world. After breakfast, I laid out my plans for a "guest" house on the ground to see where everything might go. It would follow the same style as the Center House yet be separate, although the porches would be connect to produce a 65 foot long porch overlooking one of the grandest views in CR. I hope it comes to pass!

Also set up a newer and faster internet service--so just like home but better as I can look out over the valley all day!

The next day found Ivan, my great local worker, and I, checking out the two new tent platform/roof structures, cleaned up the place, watered plants and small trees, and figured out what more to do to finish the project. Then he went down into the jungle to create a new sendero (path) to the other side of the property--what fun exploring and seeing endless possibilities.

Observing the day, I now realize that any yoga/other programs outside on the porch would be best from 5:30 -7 a.m. as the Sun comes up about 6 and it gets warm very quickly. In the evening, best time would be 4:00-5:30 as darkness falls about 6 p.m.

The same day, talking my daily fast walk on the dirt road all the way to the gate, I came across a few guys building a rancho (like an outdoor yoga studio) AND I GOT HOOKED! Now considering building one for us--we'll see. By the way, octagonal-shaped--real sharp looking, all varnished with 2 coats.

An aside note: Building is only once, but maintenance and caretaking is constant. And so I'm grateful to have both Dennis and Peter right next to me for all emergencies and improvements. THIS IS VERY NECESSARY down here! Just like at the Point without Frank or Tom at the New Age Center, I'd really have problems. Can't thank these guys enough!!

Still following the NYTimes, Chris Martenson, and John Mauldin on things economic and political. Reading about Atlantis again: Atlantis: The Eighth Continent, by Charles Berlitz--fun!

Well, semi-paradise?? This morning while asleep at 5 a.m. my bed shook quite a bit--another earthquake! Never a dull moment.

I have taken many photos of much of the above and will send them soon, I hope.

Well, that's it for now. Much, much more to share but it's getting late--9 p.m. We go to bed early and get up right before the sun rises.

Looking forward to more creativity and challenges.

Su amigo en Costa Rica.

Zen, aka., Ken
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There is an interesting story about Flor, the other young local woman, in the photo with me. When I arrived in San Isidro one day and needed to check into a local hotel, as I approached the front desk, I saw FLOR! I was absolutely shocked!! Why? Because she was the exact "duplicate" of my first real semi-mature love (Norma) while I was at the University of Cincinnati. She was preparing to be an opera singer and I, an engineer. Her mom got ill and she returned to Chicago whence I hitchhiked
2 or 3 times. But due to studies and distance, the love affair ended. So now "Norma" is back in my life as "Flor," however WITHOUT romance!!
 
FARM TOUR

Well, today was quite interesting, inspiring and informative. Why?

A local farmer invited me to visit his farm right below my property. We walked up and down mountains and across valleys and meadows all the time examining his tremendous variety of crops:

corn, rice, beans, sugarcane, watermellons, peanuts, platanos, bananas, mangoes, papaya, yucca, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, and more. He even had a very small box with honeybees the size of FLEAS!! They traveled miles and miles to the mountains for nectar of needed flowers--truly amazing!

It's one thing to go to the supermarket and buy food and an entirely different experience to see all of these crops growing and producing great food. And slowing down to drink some delicious coconut milk.

I also experienced two guys cutting up a tree to make boards for a house--fascinating to say the least.

Of course I got hooked and am presently planning to start up a whole bunch of these crops on my land, if I can make a deal for him to be my "caretaker farmer."

And he wanted to know if I waned to buy some farm land. So he showed me 15 acres that his brother owns that borders my land. Such possibilities!!

JUNGLEWALK

After this farm tour, I decided to check out the work that Ivan did below in the jungle. I also wanted to take measurements of the path, including steps, in order to see how far down it went.

Well, amazing. There are about 230 steps within a 740 foot winding path (sendero) down towards the bottom. Great way to loose weight and strengthen leg and lung muscles!

If I ever have doubts (which, of course, I do now and then), then the antidote is the JUNGLE! Another world of silence, greenery, gigantic trees, beautiful wild flowers, vines everywhere, and even a stream in the deep, deep gully. AND, there are still unexplored parts. What FUN!!
 
* * *
 
Since my last report, Oscar, the farmer who discovered a NEW spring which feeds a running brook, even in the "dry" season, managed to build a cement holding tank so that we can utilize this new found, absolutely clear and fresh water for our needs.

Additionally, today I contracted with him to experiment creating a small farm on my property, using some cleared-out space for planting seeds and/or cuttings of a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, flowers, etc.

As a local farmer he has a wide variety of knowledge about which flowers, which plants, which trees go where and when they will yield their produce. Since there are innumerable kinds of even one fruit (for example, there are over hundreds of different types of banana trees), each one has its own planting and flowering time. Naturally we are striving to have those maturing just about the time I generally arrive in Costa Rica.

He will also add a wide variety of colorful flowers in certain spots, such as around the house, the tent platform structures, and the yoga rancho. I can hardly wait till next January. Paradise, here we come.

My daughter and granddaughter and their friends arrived for ten days of intense fun, music, and extraordinary eating. They totally loved sleeping in the tents and even needed a blanket or two at night. Moon watching at night and Sun gazing in the early morn really made their day and night.

My Network Chiropractor daughter hopes to lead a 10-day Network Retreat next winter bringing a core group from Ashland, Oregon. We both are anticipating a GREAT retreat! Watch for more information.

Another tent platform is being built down below at the top of the jungle with a gorgeous view of the Guabo River, with water access, a compost toilet, and hopefully solar-powered lights.

A surveyor came and used a GPS to make a large map of the senderos (paths) and the water sources--should be fun to see and even plan other projects.
 
* * *
 
Well, another day with another miracle!

Oscar, the farmer below my property, went on a hunt to discover where the source of the running water was. We spotted that water while we were exploring his finca (farm) the other day and were surprised to see it, especially now during the "dry" season. And this year has been the driest in the last 16 years according to Oscar. Frequently most streams dry up in the summer and come alive again after the rain starts falling--so what a surprise!

Anyway, we headed deep into the forest walking along a "path" which seemed to be about 6 inches wide with a long drop into a deep chasm on one side. This poor gringo could hardly make it--legs atrembling!

We finally got to the place where the source was--down about 50 feet with an incline of 80 degress (YES, 80 degrees) to the bottom. How he managed to stand up was amazing to me. I had to slide down on my butt clinging to vines and roots so as to not fall into the abyss. Indiana Jones, here I come!!

We ultimately arrived at the source. GREAT, CLEAN, refreshing water flowing out of the rocks with a good flow power. Now this is a miracle!!!

Water here as elsewhere is becoming more and more important so I can count my blessings. I had hoped to have water on the property when I bought it but had to accept that that wouldn't be.

AND NOW IT IS!! Miracle of miracles. What delight! What luck! What a blessing!

Now to start the process of legally obtaining access to this water. You see, the country owns it, not individuals so it might take a year to manage to get a percentage of it for my house and soon-to-be little finca (farm).

Wish me more luck.
 
* * *
 
On the trip back to the States, reflecting on the two-month trip to Costa Rica, I experienced much GRATITUDE. God, the Universe, Luck, Spirit Guides, or whatever else you want to call it, supplied me with many graces/gifts.

Here is a partial list of some of them:

-Practicing Presence
-Discovering the invaluable fresh, clean water spring, down in the jungle
-Working with my hands again--carpentry, painting, digging holes/steps, gardening, etc.
-Meeting Oscar, a local farmer, who will CREATE a small farm on my property with a
variety of trees, plants, flowers, vegetables, etc. (maybe even chickens with eggs)
-The opportunity to "hire" many locals and supply them with much-needed work
-Rereading the Autobiography of a Yogi, slowly and meditatively, plus The Buddha Walks into a Bar . . .,
by Lodro Rinzler (2012).
-Having my daughter and granddaughter and their friends visit with lots of music and
following a great vegan diet
-Erin, my daughter, falling ever more in love with the country, and planning to lead a Network
Chiropractor retreat next year.
-Finishing more of the infrastructure, and building a 30 foot yoga rancho (outdoor studio)
-Meeting new friends and re-connecting with others
-Discovering new great beaches, and possibly creating a naturalistic "swimming hole" in the jungle
-The opportunity of living a mindful "monkish" few weeks in silence and aloneness,
facing the irrefutable truths of impermanence and death.

So . . . Nothing like partaking in the CREATIVITY of the Creator. It is liberating to see
the world clearly, JUST AS IT IS!


Some PHOTOS of interest:




 
* * *
How Costa Rica Is Saving The Environment
What would you say if we told you there was a country that used 99.2% renewable energy, has kept is GDP growing for decades, disbanded its military, and transformed itself from one of the most deforested nations in the Western hemisphere to one with forest cover over half its area?
 
Post 11th Trip
 
For over 32 years at the New Age Center I do not believe that I have EVER solicited money from any of you for anything.  However, many of you know that I have been involved with a few local community groups in Costa Rica the last few years, and you have read some of my reports about my doings and beings there.
 
My good friend Dennis Garber (see the photos below) has reached out for donations to help rebuild the very poor schoolhouse very close to where he and I have our residences down there.  The kids need our help, as do their parents.
 
If you desire to help, you can send me a donation and I will have Dennis subtract it from my account there.  Wiring money is a waste of money. Just make out the check or money order to:
Ken Pollinger
1 South Broadway
Nyack, N.Y. 10960
and put a note at the bottom "For CR Schoolhouse."

I can compile a list of donors--so if you want to be recognized, a summary will be posted for all to see.
 
Many thanks for your consideration.
 
Loving the Kids,
 
Ken

 
PS As of May first we raised over $1500.00 and will start work soon.


The Punto de Mira School needs you!
 
Friends and neighbors, please, if you can, donate something to the school in Punto de Mira. They need a house for the teacher, who commutes from San Isidro and a comedor (lunch room/kitchen) for the kids, and another bathroom. The condition of the existing falling down house is pitiful (it is not habitable), there is no lunch room or kitchen for the school (the government provides money for feeding the kids) and the only rest room is pretty grim. I'm doing all I can to help since I found out about this earlier this week.
 
The municipality donated some panels four years ago for the house, but there was no money for anything else-labor, sand, gravel, cement, rebar, rafters, roof, electrical, plumbing, etc. So the cement panels have been laying there for all this time.  

The government has made available a fund of about $1,400. That won’t get us very far. We're working on a plan, a budget, and trying to get a realistic handle on exactly what is needed. But right now “it” needs money. With a several thousand dollars more we can get this done. I have about $500 in tentative pledges from a few others with property here who are absent right now.
 
Here is the only rest room:

  

It would be nice to have one rest room for boys, and another for the girls. That is one of the objectives; these can all be done as one construction. The house for the teacher (he only needs a small kitchen, bath and bedroom-that is all that is being requested - about 7 meters x 5 meters, or about 23 ft. x 15 ft.) The comedor could be attached to the house at one end, and perhaps the kitchen could do double duty for both his house and the comedor. The rest rooms could join the dining room.
 
Exterior of the existing comedor:

Interior of the existing comedor:

There are ten students currently enrolled at the school. About half of them are from homes of single mothers who are very poor. Some of the others are from homes where the fathers work sporadically, or are subsistence farmers, and none of them have much in the way of material possessions. Two have full time jobs, more or less.

This Sunday, April 15, beginning at 10:00 AM, the community is holding a feria to try to raise some money. If you can take a couple of hours from your busy schedule tomorrow and join us, it would be a wonderful thing. There will be soccer games, other games, food, refrescos fun and fellowship. We live about 1.5 km south of the school, and employ three full time people from Punto de Mira on our farm as well as others from time to time on an as needed basis. We have come to love these wonderful people. We have limited resources as well, but we can help with our support, some money, and a few materials with some expertise and assistance with permits and the actual construction plans.

But mainly we need both money and a show of support from the adjacent gringo community. Please do what you can! And come by Sunday just to enjoy a little break from your routine, get to know some neighbors and to help support this worthwhile cause.

The future of this country, which we have all come to love, is in the hands of the children. If we can in some small way help to influence these local children in a positive way, it will help bring us all closer together. We can help create a better future for all of us who call this home. And we can help our neighbors by combining our efforts toward a common goal that will benefit all of us in the years to come.

If you are unable to attend, but can help financially, (every little bit helps-$10, $25, $50, whatever) please contact me personally and I will help you get the money into the right hands.

Thanks, and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Dennis and Lee Garber

 

12th Trip

Jan-Mar, 2013

First of all, the January and February Retreats were very successful and more will be planned for 2014.

Having recently purchased the adjacent Lot #3 thereby adding another 5 acres to our Center's holdings, our first project was to survey/explore the land in order to see what type of plans might emerge.

In addition to a large 75 by 150 foot building site (plantel), after clearing the land, we discovered another similar building site slightly below the upper one.

Oscar and his son, Kennet, then cleared an intriguing pathway (sendero) all the way to the bottom, through the jungle. After that, they built a small round pavilion (ranchito) between the upper and lower sites, with incredible views of the valley, rivers, and mountains.

Above, on the older lot, the area with two tent structures were fantastically planted with gorgeous flowers and new pebble pathways, again with GREAT views.

Some water infrastructure was undertaken and completed on Lot #3.

Also, near the bottom of the new lot, way down the mountain, we cleared a large section of the jungle thereby creating a NEW and very useful area for a smallish farm where we plan to plant corn, beans, and rice (the Costa Rica food staples) and other vegetables.

The new raised bed veggie gardens and chicken coops provided very fresh eggs and some good meat for cooking.

My daughter visited with me for a solid week and we had a ball!!

Other friends also spent some time with me and all had a very good time.

I plan to return July 9th and stay till Aug 6th for my 13th Trip. I need to inspect plans and locations for two more cabinas on the new lot. Care to join me?

 

13th Trip (July 2013)

Gallery

 

GREAT to be back in God's country.  GREAT to see old friends and meet new ones, and see all the developments down here.
 
   Our flight took only FOUR hours as we arrived one full hour early--amazing!
 
   After getting settled, spent hours with the builder/engineer/ etc. on the plans for the 2 or 3 cottages--they look wonderful.
 
   Today I laid out the floor plans on the building lot trying to decide how to configure them--really fun work.
 
   To the San Isidro farmer's market for fresh food and especially delicious fruits.  Had a papaya today that had to be the best ever--what glorious fortune.


On flight I started to read God is NOT Dead: What QUANTUM PHYSICS Tells Us About Our Origins And How We Should Live, by Amit Goswami, author of The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World (the best book I have ever read about quantum physics--a MUST for the beginner).  By the way, Goswami was a staunch materialist before.

 
   He presents the materialist's perspective and then explains his quantum perspective. I cannot recommend it enough!  Thoroughly enjoyable and to the point.
 
  Nietzsche said:  "God is Dead" (referring to the God of the Bible), Goswami says: "The Godhead is quantum Consciousness." alive and well!!
 
  Recently I've come to firmly believe that the COMBO of Sitchin and Goswami offer "a change of context for our entire framework of thinking." Sitchin presents a different prehistory of humanity (The 12th Planet plus 13 other books), while Goswami EXPLAINS HOW EVERTHING came to be, using quantum physics.


For me, thousands of questions, large and small, have been answered--questions that I have had over MANY, MANY years, studying philosophy, theology, metaphysics, astronomy, archeology, prehistory,

Egypt, Aztecs, Maya, Inca, psychology and more. So, you can see why I want to share some of these thoughts with you. Goswami is a REAL gem!!!
 
   On another note, one of my neighbors has to sell his lot, reduced from $80,000 to $40,000--interested??  I can be of great help here.
 
   So, updates will be forthcoming this month as well as detailed information about the Peruvian Ceremonial Retreat and the four sweatlodges around Labor Day weekend at the Point of Infinity.
 
  Greetings from Cool, Sunny Costa Rica,

 

14th Trip (March 2014)

Hard to believe that I bought my first lot in Costa Rica in 2008--WOW! 6 years ago! My, how times flies.

The present trip found me intimately involved with the completion of the new two guest houses on the second lot (2 bedroom, 1 bath, large outside porch, with shared bodega --which is a storage/security small building), with magnificent views of valley, river and mountains, and with peeks of the Pacific.

Dennis, the builder/caretaker and local workers all did a great job. (See Guest House Gallery under Costa Rica Retreat on website). As we speak, the final furnishing phase is underway, along with necessary landscaping, etc.

During this time I took advantage of an excellent dental office and had full-mouth periodontal work done--at a FRACTION of the cost in the States. Come on down and SAVE mucho dinero.

My daughter Erin, Dennis and I spent much time planning and organizing a possible February Retreat, now that we have more facilities with the new cabinas. You cannot believe the work that goes into such a project.

Bonnie, a naturopath and her family, visited and we had a grand time--she MAY also lead a wellness/healing retreat next year--let's hope so.

Additionally, Eric, the architect, was here to draw up plans for a much larger rancho (yoga studio--25 x 25 feet), plus another bathhouse/restroom.

I'm presently working on the local food menu for the retreat, with local cooks--should be delicious and fun.

Found a bathtub here ($50) and plan to put it outside under the stars--I LOVE hot soaking baths! after a day's work.

We have a few other small projects planned but there is one that I am considering that requires a 2-3 year timeline: Establishing a Permaculture School, with dormitories, scholarships, etc. Basic stuff, of course. But who knows what's in store for ourselves and the land.

I am so thoroughly already blessed here, it's hard to imagine more blessings.
But as Goswami, in The Self Aware Universe, says: There are infinite possibilities (in potency), just awaiting for an observer to materialize these into matter! So, join the club.

Hope to see you in Costa Rica some day. Ken

 

 

August 2012 Fountain of Youth Retreat
 
1. THE "FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH" RETREAT
with Ken Pollinger, Ph.D.
 
August 2012
Sat Aug 18th - Sun Aug 26th
 
Retreat of 7 days/8 nights (plus two days of travel)
 
Cost: $965 (includes lodging, food, tuition)
 
Additional costs: airfare (approx $575), transfers ($98), optional events, depends
 
More detailed information forthcoming upon receiving deposit of $250 by June 30th

-Be totally restored, rested and healed
-Fasting: veggie and/or juice/fresh fruit/just water style
-Many hours in deep "letting go" relaxation
in absolute mountain silence overlooking the valley
-Some Gestalt experiences in awareness
-Optional deep tissue massages
-80 degree days and 60 degree nights
(No A.C. nor heating needed)
-Just natural PURE mountain air and fresh well water
-Periodic sunbathing in small doses (strong sun here)
-Slow and/or Fast walking for exercise and weight reduction
-No T.V. yet decent internet service available
-Bring books for reading enjoyment
-Some mutually-agreed-upon tourist events
-Balance between BEING and DOING
-Optional mindful yoga and/or stretching
-Reasonable/affordable sliding scale rates
-Optional outside work on the property and/or in the jungle
-Get your passport early!!
 
Lodging: lovely 2-person camper; 4 separate spacious 10 x 10 foot, 7 feet high tents, on raised platforms with roof; 3 in-house quaint dormitory-style bed spaces; 1 airy double bed bedroom. Thus, a maximum of 10 people.

P.S. I personally guarantee that you will feel and look anywhere from 5-20 years younger, and be in much better health and state of mind.
 
FUTURE RETREATS IN 2013

1. A Chiropractic Network Retreat with Erin Pollinger, D.C.
 
2. A Daskalos retreat

3. A Non-Violent Communication retreat

4. Another Yoga/Meditation retreat

5. Another Awareness/Healing retreat

Please watch for details and dates.
 
 
THINKING OF MOVING TO COSTA RICA

Or, Would you just like some time away from it all?

A SPECIAL REST AND RELAXATION STAY
at The Awareness Center of Costa Rica
between Aug 12 -Sept 2


Experience REAL Costa Rica Living with interesting, like-minded
people at the greenest and most magical time of the year

With our WEEK-LONG rental rates, you can afford to rent a 4 x 4 car
and EXPLORE Southern Pacific Costa Rica with our Awareness Center
as your home base.

AFFORDABLE RATES: $275/week/person for lodging (includes a healthy
breakfast; for lunch, add $8; for dinner; add $17, although local eating out is
fun, inexpensive and adds flexibility). Or, stay a minimum of three nights at $40/nite.

Price includes: full use of 8 acre Center, jungle trails, various lot tours,
beautiful beaches, quaint town visits, fabulous farmer's markets,
with excellent meditation instruction thrown in.


Optional (extra costs): great massages ($40/hr), unforgettable horseback riding to a
waterfall lunch ($50), visit the exquisite Riviera of Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio, and have many, many
more experiences., BUT ESPECIALLY REST AND RELAX!

See Frommer's Costa Rica 2012, Southern Pacific, for excellent information.


For more information or more details: contact Ken Pollinger, Ph.D. 845-358-6448

PS The non-stop round trip takes about 5 hours and costs about $570.
If you are thinking of buying or renting-to-buy some land and build a house,
this vacation is FOR YOU!
 

I'd like to recommend ANOTHER book: The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates The Material World, by Amit Goswami. One of the best I have ever read on quantum physics. He tackles the BIG Questions and offers very interesting integrating theories about the primacy of consciousness over matter. He demonstrates that Eastern philosophy/spirituality is more in accordance with quantum physics than the Western Materialistic perspective. A VERY exciting book, but difficult book--not ean easy read but IMPORTANT. The treatment of the brain-mind split is wonderful, which includes classical physics and quantum physics

The last two months have been truly inspiring as my wife, Maureen, and my step-son, Joseph, visited with me for 10 days and then my daughter Erin and granddaughter, Willow, along with Jim and Fiona came for two weeks to experience the wonders of Costa Rica. During this time we visited many intriguing places, such as:

Finca Amrta (a local organic farm), Jungle Joy Retreat went horsebackriding to great waterfalls
 
We also had a big FIESTA this week wherein I invited many of the workers and their families to join me and a few friends to celebrate our Center. GREAT local food was prepared and wonderful music by Willow, Jim and Erin made for a fantastic evening--a mini "Babette's Feast," except it was two cultures coming together in a unity of spirit, with much music thrown in.

Here are some photos of the GREAT event!!
 
My daughter Erin and Jim
 
My grand-daughter Willow playing the violin
 
Erin and Ken
 
The Feast
 
Ken and the future of CR
 
More feasting
 
Lastly, here is an interesting article about climbing Cerro Chirripo. CR's tallest mountain--come and try it!!   
 
 
Costa Rica Flying Ultralights

Scott Oliver

We had traveled to the Flying Crocodile Lodge a few hundred metres from Playa Junquillal, situated on the Nicoya peninsula between Samara and Nosara.

We drove there because for a only $60 (please check as prices may have changed) you can go flying with a professional pilot over one of the most scenic parts of the Costa Rican Pacific coast in an ultralight.

Waking up early on a Sunday morning to the powerful sounds emanating from the throat of the male howler monkey is not something that we are accustomed to but it's unanimous - it is exciting!

The three children with us, aged 15, 12 and 10 at the time were thrilled to hear the howler monkeys and even more excited to see one only ten feet hanging by it's tail above the roof of our jungle villa, chomping on the leaves of the tree.

If you want to see the biggest, brightest smile that you have ever seen on your child (or partner), you might want to email Ms. Anke Scheidt, the General Manager to organize your trip and go Costa Rica flying in an ultralight.


And please don't forget to mention that Scott and his family from WeLoveCostaRica.com sent you...

 

 
For a background of Costa Rica trips, see below.
 
Map of Costa Rica
 
Map of southern Costa Rica only:
The Central Pacific Section of Costa Rica.
 
More specific directions to Laguna.
 
A closer look at Laguna. Rio Vista Community is also located there.
 
 
Living in Costa Rica On The South Pacific Coast - Lagunas del Baru.
Costa Rica Realtor - Daveed Hollander in Dominical
 

 
Lagunas del Baru is in the shape of an amphitheater in the mountains; only 6 kilometers from Dominical. The shape of the community offers those who live here cool breezes and exquisite ocean, mountain and valley views.

Yet the area beaches, restaurants and shopping are very close. With the new road completed from Quepos to Dominical, it's only a 30 minute drive to Manuel Antonio for lunch.
 
Simple cabins are available, plus comfortable homes and million dollar estates.

I always enjoy seeing the hectares of palm plantations along the way. San Isidro, one of the fastest growing towns in Costa Rica, is only 45 minutes away and offers even more shopping options.

Surrounded by several nature reserves (Guapil, Seabreeze Farms, Firestone and Baru) with hundreds of acres of wildlife corridors preserved for eternity, the tropical flora and fauna are plentiful. The ridges of the mountains form a natural aerodrome for the many birds.
 
And don't forget those Pacific ocean views

The hawks and vultures glide gracefully in the thermals over the valley. The toucans and parrots gather in the trees along the ridge to plan the day's events in the mornings and share their tales of their activities in the evening.

Sloths slowly make their way throughout the treetops while the monkeys and black squirrels are busy skittering here and there. Pizotes and coatis often jump out of the jungle and you will have the pleasure of watching the family of 9 cross the road.
 
 
The human inhabitants of Lagunas del Baru are just as varied as the animals.

It's a great mix of Ticos, Europeans, and North Americans. There is a real sense of community. Last week a truck carrying harvested teak from the teak farm along the Lagunas road overturned at the sharp turn and blocked the road.
 
Some of the greenest areas in Costa Rica

The neighborhood watch group got on the phones and let everyone know. It was a nice excuse to go the longer route to Hatillo and cross 10 streams along the way.

The residents are easy going and social group known to organize pot lucks, beach parties, quad rallies and impromptu cocktails to watch the soul inspiring sunsets. Or they'll let you live in peace if that's your preference.
 
 
The majority of homes are quietly situated off the road to ensure privacy for the owners and preserves the lush tropical scenery. There is a little something for everyone from lots, acreage, simple cabins, comfortable homes and million dollar estates.
 
 
Living in Dominical, Costa Rica - The wonder of Diamante Falls.
 
Living in Dominical, Costa Rica - The wonder of Diamante Falls.
 
Living in Dominical, Costa Rica - The wonder of Diamante Falls.

Costa Rica Realtor James Drews in Dominical
 

Triumphs of natural beauty, waterfalls are a majestic sight to behold.

Recognized as one of the most beautiful places in the world, it's no wonder waterfalls are in abundance in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a small country that offers so much in terms of natural beauty and ecological diversity and with each waterfall having its own unique characteristics; it's certainly worth visiting each and every one, but where to start?

Living the good life in Costa Rica's Southern Zone.
 
Living the good life in Costa Rica's Southern Zone.
 

The South Pacific has numerous, but perhaps the most notable is Diamante Falls, Playa Dominical, Costa Rica. Located adjacent to a protected reserve, Diamante Falls is a series of seven waterfalls beginning at 3,300 ft that cascade down a lush green rock face.

Lots of moisture in the air means lots of green.
 
Lots of moisture in the air means lots of green.
 

The remote location means you need to undertake a half hour hike through the mountains to reach the Diamante Falls, but the reward is well worth the effort. It's an opportunity to get to know your fellow nature lovers or just walk through the rain forest using the time for reflection.

Diamante Falls, Dominical, Costa Rica
 
Diamante Falls, Dominical, Costa Rica
 

Capturing your experience on camera is just an added benefit to the many beautiful memories you will have after visiting Diamante waterfalls.

The culmination of these watery wonders is a 600 ft elegant waterfall, the perfect place to find peace and tranquility. Enjoy the relaxing sound of rushing water and take a refreshing dip in the natural pool; known to the indigenous for its healing powers, this is paradise at its best!

Pacific ocean views.
 
Pacific ocean views.
 

The surrounding landscape of the Diamante waterfalls and the Rio Baru is home to a variety of Costa Rica wildlife including macaws, toucans, two and three toed sloths, armadillos, capuchin and spider monkeys as well as many reptiles.

Whether you are in Dominical, Costa Rica for a vacation or are lucky enough to live in this part of the world, the Diamante Waterfalls are certainly worth a visit.

The Southern Zone is green...
 
The Southern Zone is green...
 
 
 
1. An overview map of the 3 properties with 28 lots,
with a total of approximately 425 forested acres
 
 
Six lots available at bargain prices: $55,000-70,000.
Motivated seller; owner financing available with negotiable down payment; electricity, water, full infrastructure; owner/
developed lives on site/ caretaker possibilities.
 
2. The Rio Vista Community (8 Lots)
 
 
 
3. Overview of buying into my 8 acre Awareness Center above
 
Updated Exact Jungle Map, with pathways, and water sources.
 
 
Our Camper for Guests
 
I recently decided to be the steward of 8 absolutely beautiful acres (Lot 2 in Rio Vista) in Costa Rica between Dominical near the Pacific coast in the south and the newly developing quaint city of San Isidro, where we are only 15 minutes from a majestic beach and 25 minutes from this intimate small city.
 
Our 8 acres in the Rio Vista Community
 
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Dennis Garber (pictured above) is presently our builder/contractor for construction of the new Awareness Center, Costa Rica. He will also become our caretaker when we are not in Costa Rica. Dennis can do it all, from land purchase and title to plans to construction - an amazing man. To learn more about Dennis, see below: Refugio Mira Piedras Community.
 
 
 
Note from Ken Pollinger:
 
A vision seems to be coming through me concerning the Awareness Associates property mentioned above:

1. Come on a VACATION and be introduced to beautiful Costa Rica and all it has to offer in beauty, fun, contact with incredible varieties of nature, slowing down and RELAXATION.

2. Once you have tasted and experienced Costa Rica, then on a second trip add the dimension of focusing on MEDITATION and mindful AWARENESS CIRCLES and possibly some fasting/cleansing with wonderful periods of silence, stillness, and quiet.

3. On your third visit (or first, if you are ready), experiment with a SOLITARY RETREAT where you truly come totally face-to-face with "yourself," for one or more weeks.

4. At some point, after these experiences, you may wish to explore the way you will GIVE BACK to nature, the planet and its people. Thus, an individual or intimate group retreat/conference may be in order.

 
This is an example of what we plan to do, however, with much more space between the casitas, so that various Retreats, especially solitary retreats, can happen.
 
 
A view of the valley and Guabo River

It takes 5 hours to fly and the cost has been around $400-600 round trip.

If you have any interest, please call Ken at 845-358-6448 or email: info@awarenesscenters.com.

 
Some others lots in Rio Vista may shortly be for sale.  Info-- will be forthcoming--please check periodically.
 
4. Refugio Mira Piedras Community
 
 
 
 
5. Description of Refugio Mira Piedras
 
The Environment

This unique private community is one of very few that encompass a fully protected private nature reserve. It is remote enough to provide tranquility and privacy while being close to amenities. The farm was allowed to go "back to nature" about 20 years ago and fruit trees and other indigenous species were planted to encourage the jungle and its wonders to return. The results are in and the birds and monkeys have returned to beautify this peaceful area. Through an agreement with CEDARENA (Centro de Derecho Ambiental y de los Recursos Naturales), the nature reserve within the farm is protected in perpetuity and can never be disturbed by cutting or development. This is where you can truly live a greener lifestyle.

The property is located in the South Pacific-Costa Ballena area of Costa Rica near the town of Dominical, about 15 minutes drive from the pristine and private beaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Guabo river with enthralling views of the river and the surrounding mountains and valleys. At a perfect 500 meters above sea-level, there are constant breezes that provide a comfortable living environment. Delightful and clear springs provide an abundant supply of cool, potable water year-round.

The Infrastructure

Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you that installing an infrastructure in our adopted country can be enough to send you screaming back to a condominium in Wisconsin! We've saved you the headaches; besides we want you to stay. Electricity is available for your lot and water is provided from prolific springs within the reserve and distributed to your lot. The main road to the property is maintained by the county (municipalidad). The road within the property is well-established with gravel, concrete gutters, and excellent water drainage that has ensured year-round easy access for many years without problems.

Environmental Commitment Contract

This agreement protects the environment and the property of the owners in a way that encourages harmony in this exclusive community. You own your lot and share the surrounding area which is protected from disturbance and further division or development. You enjoy privacy and rights of ownership while making a smaller footprint on the environment. This is a proven model developed and in use by a neighboring community for many years. The government of Costa Rica has supported this legal framework to ensure the protection of its natural resources while maintaining the rights of individual property owners.

The Properties

The mother farm is titled land and title insurance for individual lots is available for a nominal fee. Each of the lots has been legally segregated from the mother farm and registered in a private corporation that transfers to the buyer at closing. There are 10 lots available; 4 are currently fully developed. Buyers have input to the placement of the building site within their lot boundaries. All the lots are separated from each other by a part of the private, protected reserve.

Lots sizes range from about one acre to 2 1/4 acres. Access to the private community only nature reserve is included. It's a smaller footprint in a greener lifestyle. Prices range from $70,000 to $150,000.

Check our website:

www.greenpropertycostarica.com, for additional information, photos of lots and views, surveys, and the farm and reserve master plan.

More Services Available For You

Green Property Costa Rica can provide additional services to help your transition to paradise be worry free.

The owner/developers have 30 years of professional experience in the U.S. and Costa Rica in:

- Building Site Preparation
- Construction
- Home/Interior Design
- Property Management
- Landscaping and Maintenance
- Translation
- Legal Services
- Household Goods Shipping
 
6. The Punta Mira Villas Community

 

7. For further information: visit www.welovecostarica.com and sign up for a free weekly newsletter.
See Frommer's Costa Rica 2008, pp. 292-304 (Dominical and San Isidro; p 255 Central Pacific Coast map; p 307 The Southern Zone map.
 
See also: Other Community Possibilities in Costa Rica with exquisite photos


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