What’s In “A New York Minute”?


It’s Friday … and I am ready to enjoy still another day on this Earth!  T.G.I.F., even!
Well, as usual, something came up with the new “Outlook”.  Not only does it seem to take forever to upload stuff (probably due to my 10+ year old laptop, too!), I can not figure out how to copy and paste the names of the recipients of the EE Family e-mail from the old “sent” ones to a “new message”!  So, I am back to doing it “one person at a time”!  Can you say, “HELP ME!”  Still, one of the things I have learned to do as a “protean man” is adjust and adapt … shucks, blend in for a minute if it will save my hide!!
One of the benefits of meditation for me is it teaches me to slow down with myself … be more patient … breathe slowly.  This is what distinguishes a creature that is angry and loses control until something devastating happens from a more divine-like (God-like) creature able to slow down the instinctual actions like “fight or flight” and be  more balanced in their approach to a situation.  I always liked practising yoga because it forces me to look INSIDE of ME!  Not many people want to see that “mess” inside, all confused and caught up with past emotions and unable to see the “forest for the trees”!  When we react from our basic instinctual behaviors, we are more like an animal than we are like our Creator!  I know, I know … who do I think “I” am talking about “other people” … cool!  But I am not talking about anyone other than “yours truly” – ME!  Now if you happen to be anything like me, perhaps, “if the shoe fits, wear it!”  The main reason that we … er uh … I slow down more nowadays thanks to meditation, is it enhances my ability to think clearly!  When I rush, I usually make a mistake.  Yet, we all know that life in “our world” as we knew it requires one to move fast … or get run over!  Imagine blending those two skills – slowing down and moving out of the way of oncoming “traffic” so to speak!
Initially, the trip I was planning to take to New York next month was to see my grandson on his 3rd birthday, October 19th.  But after slowing down a bit, checking flights and “Booking.com” locations … even a rental car, I am planning to include a visit to the family’s burial plot at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY just outside of White Plains!  Both Mom and Dad are buried there as well as my oldest sister, Barbara Ann.  They purchased four plots “back in the day” when they first moved to White Plains and three of the four plots are occupied!  There is a fourth plot to which my sister Edna holds the “deed”.  I am thinking that I’d like to be cremated or … pushed on a row boat out to sea when I am too weak to care for myself …  Peace be still.  It seems like the appropriate thing to do, right?!?  Visit your (my) parents’ gravesite while I am there maybe?!  Absolutely!  So, “Howie” and “Wid” (code names for two of my classmates from elementary school in White Plains!), see how your schedules look.  I already identified a “Booking.com” location in Nyack, NY just 5 minutes from Tarrytown and Valhalla as well as checked on flights.  Next week, I hope to book them all, including a rental car.
Can you say, “In … and out … in a New York Minute!?”  Well, I am planning it to be a weekend.  In the meantime, enjoy your weekends and be sure to “slow down” and think calmly, then make a decent decision in YOUR LIFE!
John I. Cook, Director


Happy Friday, All!
You “guys” know my drill of gratitude with the T.G.I.F. – thing, right!!?!  So, join in if you like!
Just yesterday, I was looking at social media photos in my phone and came across a photograph of my old 1999 Jet Black Honda Night Hawk “Cruiser” … 750cc’s to be exact!  Hey … I haven’t had girlfriends … definitely not a wife for 7 years.  But the faithful Night Hawk motorcycle took me through some of my life’s most serious episodes, cruising up and down I-95 from Ft. Lauderdale to Daytona Beach or Orlando to work for ACORN …  Of course, “she” also introduced me to this phase of my life where I am seeking to heal and at least have a decent “quality of life” in my retirement.  The accident, methinks, caused by an over-inflated “ego” challenging asphalt, concrete, steel and metal has served to slow me down during this phase of my journey.  Maybe now … I can smell the flowers along the way!
I realized something yesterday as I am seeking to organize the next few months of my retirement including healthy activities, cooking and yoga, meditation and moderation in ALL things that I do.  I don’t have any interest in unnecessary drama.  I don’t want to be “type cast” in someone else’s “play” on life.  I have my own to deal with … my OWN goals and dreams and aspirations of spreading peace and humility around the planet in my own way … the main vehicle to do so being “unconditional love”.  I don’t know about you but I feel so much better about life and others when I just choose the softer, less conflicting manners of living in an extremely competitive and materialistic world!  I remember when I was younger … before I “bought in to” the “dream” … there were moments when I wanted to “stop the world and get off”!  One time was when I was in fourth grade and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as the “world” watched . . .  Another time was when my brother “Hank” killed himself … SHIT!!  Yeah, I said it … er uh … wrote it!!  But, I am hanging tough right about now!!
Sometimes in my life, most recently … at least I am more aware of it now, when someone “misunderstood” me and tried to “weave me” into their “play” or “drama” as someone that THEY “thought” I was … I just wanted to hit a button or put a label on that activity saying, “RETURN TO SENDER”!  There are such moments when I don’t even want to dignify such behavior, comments or thoughts with a “response”!  That would be far too much for “me” …  Yet, as I see myself more and more as a motivator of “positivity” and love when I can … I embrace that challenge too and seek a softer way.  Sometimes, I feel better just being “energy” … not necessarily a “teacher” or a person named “John” … just loving positive energy …  Peace be still!  Now, I know I just “took some of y’all out there”, perhaps, into the quantum zone, but that’s because I woke up early this morning and did a 45 minute meditation.  Whatever I do nowadays, I try to make sure that it helps improve the quality of my life … and those around me.  Otherwise, I may be tempted to hit: “RETURN TO SENDER”!
Have a great weekend!

John I. Cook, Director

We’re (It’s) ALL Connected!

Happy Friday, Y’all!

We made it through another week . . . TOGETHER!  So, T.G.I.F., then!

When was it, if it ever was, that “you” realized that “it’s” all connected … us included?  That’s right, from the gecko running on my wall to the spiders – young and old – lurking in the corners of my studio bathroom … to YOU and me!?  We’re ALL connected … yep!  Now, that thought might bother you a bit … that you are connected to someone like ME!  But get used to it …. just like “… ashes to ashes … dust to dust”  … we are all physically going to the same place at the end of this part of the “journey”.  The spiritual part is one we as a species often neglect.

It has taken some getting used to but I now know that there is a bird’s nest in the corner of the roof just across from my bed!  (Someone had told me it was probably bats, but after careful research, it’s just baby birds!)  I have gotten used to the baby bird chirps at like 3 or 4am when I first get up to use the restroom, then “segway” into meditating!  It takes me a few minutes to settle down … so … I convince myself that it is a good time to meditate.  No one is up … I am single … the silence is purrrfect …. so I do it.  It has become almost routine though I don’t force myself to meditate.  Yet, if I try a few times and my mind still wanders to some “issue”, I abandon the attempts to meditate until later in the day.

One new friend here with whom I shared my meditation exercises and author, Dr. Joe Dispenza and his book “Becoming Supernatural” asked me:  “Is it working?”  I am honest nowadays, brutally honest with myself and “professionally” honest with others.  So, the answer was, “It’s a process.” … which indeed it is! I still take one diclofenac 100 mgs. a day with pain reliever (sometimes vitamins B and D) and three or four doses of CBD/thc per day.  I also am still taking a tablet or two of tumeric a day as well as four tablets of “Devil’s Claw”, grown in parts of Africa to reduce inflammation and pain.  Coupled with yoga a few times a week, my daily routine of walking across town and my constant “squirming and worming” while relaxing to alleviate any discomfort in my hips that I can and assist in the healing, I feel some improvements!  The massage I had last Sunday was tremendous.  The masseuse is my yoga teacher, Molly.  I am able to stand a bit taller, walk a bit longer some days … and there are intervals when I feel little or NO pain in my hips!  I plan to have a massage once a month. Unfortunately, I stay away from swimming for now because it causes extreme irritation in my hips for no less than TWO WHOLE DAYS!  While I love the ocean and swimming, I must be disciplined for now.

I am learning that everything in our bodies is/are connected.  I am learning to embrace that we … geckos and mosquitoes, vultures and humming birds, women and men of all races ages and sizes … flowers even … are ALL connected.  How did we EACH get here?!?  Well, some two people “made love” and that’s how we reproduce.  Perhaps, that’s how we sustain ourselves here on Earth … by sharing love with each other!

Enjoy your weekends!


John I. Cook, Director

Good Things Take Time . . .

Happy Friday, All!

And a super special T.G.I.F. for each and every one of US … near and far!!

I must say that staying away from major tv headlines and internet posts has been extremely therapeutic for me here in Costa Rica!  I still don’t have nor want a television set … I am cool!  Most of the readers of these messages and the EE Blog know that my stuff is fairly simple and usually spiritual.  I talk about me and things that happen … and how I was able to deal with “things” … any “thing” … though I prefer “Good Things”.  I don’t read news stories that I had already anticipated like “So and so Caught in a Bribe to a Prostitute” or “So and so Says He Believes A KGB Operative Over US Intelligence” … enough already.  And “it” called Hillary “crooked”?!?  It’s the first thing you learn in child psychology: “When a kid starts blaming and name calling, THAT kid is hiding something!”  Can you say: “The proof is in the “Putin””!?!

So, my stress levels are down … and no I didn’t measure them.  I just know that waking up to birds chirping in the morning and the lulling sounds of howling monkeys and the periodic sounds of the rush and flow of the ocean waves licking the shore just blocks from the beach make everything go away!!  I started yoga classes again this past Monday and took a second one on Wednesday.  The classes are held right here where I live in Jacaranda Hotel and Jungle Garden.  It’s a nice place with my studio up on the third floor.  Now, I must admit that all the waist and hip bending that we did in yoga Wednesday took a toll on me.  I will not go today and will try to get a massage in before returning to class next Monday.  You see, I paid for 5 classes and took two so far, so there is some built in motivation to return.

Once again I am re-structuring my days and weeks to facilitate getting my meditation on each day, continue work on the manuscript, continue in an exercise routine each week with two or three active days and patiently love myself (and others!) as much as I can!  I know, I know … it’s a TALL order … but someone has got to do it.  Thanks for joining me again, dear readers!  My personal life continues to unfold … I still don’t have a “girlfriend”, so to speak, but there are a lot of lovely women of all ages, sizes and races around here to keep my blood flowing!!  I have made quite a few friends and am not becoming impatient for a “significant other” in my life – I don’t want to ruin a good thing like the peace and loving attitude that I have been able to achieve living here in Puerto Viejo.  It is truly a Caribbean town that I call  “city-country-city”!!  There’s a bit of everything here … scaled waaaay down, though.

Right now, I am looking at a trip to New York in October … again … just me, myself and I!  We’ll see how it goes as I have tentative plans to see my grandson, Caleb Isaac, on his third birthday as well as his mother, my daughter, Ayanna Lynne.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, wish me well … and of course … “May the LOVE of the Universe be with EACH of you!”


John I. Cook, Director

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