Is There A “Short Cut” or Big Pill?!?

Happy Friday, Y’all!  I’m going to give it a TGIF anyway!

Is “death” something that “humans” can bargain with?  Now, while I do know some people who seem “to have made a deal with the devil”, this one’s a no-brainer!  I won’t waste time nor energy “placing blame” but instead, embrace the beauty coming out in “humanity” at this time!  There is a lot of sadness around the world be it in Spain, Italy or … Capetown, South Africa …  Yet, there is a lot of beauty coming from small business owners and people agreeing to make and donate “personal protective equipment” as the States is now reported as leading the world in cases.  Even some “real beautiful people”, “AmeriCANS”, like Bill Gates and his wife have a foundation independently funded that is seeking various science-based treatments and cures for Covid 19!  How cool is that?!?

Living here in Puerto Viejo is good for me, especially in “Casita Azul”!  Last night, I walked to a local market nearby but on the back road.  There was No One on the street at like 7 pm.  The beach area there, the booths where the local artists sell their art, even the Beach near Puerto Pirata, my favorite hang out, was cordoned off with the ominous yellow tape with “PRECAUCION” pasted on it multiple times.  The day before, I stayed home all day!  It’s seldom crowded, even at the food stores and pharmacies.  All restaurants and bars are closed to the public.  I am feeling fairly safe as I continue to stay to myself and “good people” here wish me well as I am 65 …  Counting my blessings.  If prayer is “talking to God” and meditation is “listening to God”, why is it so hard to do the latter?!  (I know He is not telling people to do some of the stuff they’re doing!)

Imagine this …  you are are a “health care worker” that has to wear a garbage bag over your body and a re-used face mask to cover your face … or a filthy bandana!  Or, you go to an Emergency Department and there are people waiting in line in the parking lot … the “room” itself is full of New York City residents who are sick and waiting in line less than 6 inches apart!  Or, you work in a “COVID 19 Ward” in a medical facility with 10 ventilators and have to choose which patients on “that long line” is going to be allowed to use the remaining few ventilators?!?  Can “we” pray for these people, at least?  Thank youse!  Maybe some of us can “listen” to the Lord’s message:  “We are One!”

I am sending as much light and love that this humble vessel can muster to ALL in need of a healing “thought”, love or understanding.  Yes, we ALL must expire but let us do even that based on the wishes of “our Creator”, call it what you like!  “Just Do It!”

Stay well, be hopeful … and listen to the scientists!


John I. Cook, Director

Who Would've Thought . . .

It’s Anotha Friday, Y’all!

And the “Universe” is giving us humans yet another warning regarding “how we’re livin'”!!  Anyone have time for a “TGIF”?!?  I do!!  “Just Do It!”

Have you ever been part of a rowdy “crew”, maybe an athletic team that has been “losing more games than winning”, and the Coach said, “25 wind sprints just to start our practice today!!”  Perhaps she or he THEN said, “Do I have your attention?!?”

Here we are in yet another world-wide crisis that has no regard for the majority of the “man-made” divisions in humanity.  Of course, “the monied” still have an edge though “death is not proud”!  Yet, we still see some “name-calling” and “back-stabbing” by the current administration, not to mention the purported rumor the Chinese were saying that US soldiers were spreading the virus!!  What grade are we in again?!?  Rumors and hate being spewed by ANYONE during a pandemic that the world is experiencing are less than sensible!

So, like Wednesday, a former student from White Plains, NY where I taught High School for 10 years inboxed to inform me that a schoolmate of his, a friend of both of us, varsity basketball player as I was jv coach and assistant varsity coach then and close friend of Steve Morgan … had passed away!  I’m still unable to process that …

As well, I am on the last day of a “21 Days of Abundance” “challenge”!  I learned some stuff, now … about me mostly!  So, I wanted to share a “component” of the “challenge” actually extracted from Deepak Chopra’s “Course in Miracles”.  It goes like this:  “Those who attack do not know that they are blessed.  They attack because they believe that they are deprived.  Give, therefore, of your abundance, and teach your sisters and brothers theirs. Do not share their illusions of scarcity, or you will perceive yourself as lacking.”  – A Course in Miracles …  Again, who would’ve thought!  That’s a tall order for me but I am still working on it.  I believe that I am better than “that” …

Today I am up early and going to yoga as there are usually maybe three people in the class on Fridays and enough space for us to be six feet apart.  I am also going to wear a “face mask” that I got at the local pharmacy.  I had had pneumonia when I lived like a darn “cowboy” in Cali, Colombia for five years (1990-95), riding a motorcycle all over the place and then heading to the mountains to ride horses near Popayan, Colombia … Then, I would take a cold shower in the mornings with water stored in a large wooden barrel!  I almost died from that episode of “walking pneumonia” in 1995 at Broward General Hospital …  Peace be still … I am careful nowadays … very careful with my sensitive lungs!

Life indeed is a journey and we each have our challenges along the way.  I personally think that the universe is calling us … over and over again … to remind us that it is OUR job to heal our human-made divisions.  It is our job – not “the governments” – to come together … right now … or else!  I know some people say, “Sure, we’ll make it!”  Those are the folks who don’t like to PREpare but simply “cast their fate to the wind” …  It’s our call … indeed … “We are ONE!” Blessings!


John I. Cook, Director

What Is Abundance . . . for ME!

Happy Friday, Yeah … “and anotha one!”

T.G.I.F., then fellow travelers!!

In my “retirement” here in Puerto Viejo, my health is of primary importance to me, both the physical and spiritual (mental) health.  I engage in activities that foster the aforementioned, and allow me to be the wonderful person that I am!  If anything comes between me and those most important aspects of my life, it gets eliminated.  A dear friend and former yoga instructor, “Dr. Christen Scott”, started a “21 Day of Abundance Meditation” to which I accepted the invitation.  Today is “Day 14” and the meditations that follow each “lesson” are done by Deepak Chopra and, so far, have provided tremendous guidance in achieving “abundance” for me.

It is interesting because the simple word “abundance” may take on different meanings for different people.  Yet, if one “lives life” focusing on making things better for ALL of us, one has a better chance of tuning in to the “power of the universe” to receive direction.  The first two ingredients for me were “love” and “trust”.  You see, one has to trust the process and everything that one does must include what I’d like to call “universal love”.  I know, it’s a tall order, especially for those of us who look for excuses to be “nasty” creatures always looking for a way to “one-up” one’s fellow human!  Do you know anyone like that?!?  So, now you may understand that they believe that “you” do NOT deserve to be happy, content, at peace and loving in YOUR life.  “They” believe that their job is to thwart anything that you do that makes “you” look better than them!!  What a waste of human energy and universal love!

I have found that some of the concepts that Mr. Chopra “illustrates” are those that I have held dear to me for years.  One such concept is “truth” and the second is “love”.  I know some people will say that “they” didn’t have much of that in their lives so they are not interested in spreading it, sharing it with others even.  Don’t make excuses for your shortcomings and don’t blame anyone else.  In order for “one” to be a better person, perhaps the “best that they can be”, one has to believe they can be the best that THEY can be!  (Don’t worry ’bout me!)

There has been a “bug” going around Puerto Viejo for a while now.  There was a “notice” that two American tourists visiting San Jose had brought the COVID 19 here last week!  I wouldn’t be surprised if it is now “on the shores” of Costa Rica, considering the number of Americans who come here.  Of course, I don’t “blame” Americans because I don’t believe in the “blame game” as it takes too much away from my “positive vibration”.  So, I am keeping up with my daily vitamin C and teas of my choice as well as any other activities that keep me and OTHERS as healthy as possible.  I am going to yoga this morning, too!  I continue my meditations and they flow even smoother now that I am involved in the “abundance challenge”.

In closing this morning, I simply want to re-suggest that you “be the best that you can be” … and then some!  I have no doubt that you will see the “laws of good karma” enter your life.  What do you have to lose?!  Believe …


John I. Cook, Director

300 Million Students Out of School!

Happy Friday, All!

Whether you “believe in a power greater than ourselves” or not, it might be a good idea to have a “chat” with “it” … T.G.I.F., then if you understand me!

I don’t know if you’ve ever read “The Bible” or if you really believe that there is “a power greater than ourselves”.  I hope so because things are looking “rough”, y’all.  I actually pushed back tears as I watched news reports of the area between Turkey and Syria called “Idlib” and the death, dearth and human despair being experienced there.  I have come to accept the FACT that humanity owes a huge “debt” to the planet Earth.  It – the Earth – has sustained humans over only God knows how many years; and to “repay” the Earth’s kindness, human civilizations have stripped this Earth of as much of its life-sustaining power to nearly a “barren wasteland” in some places on the planet.

Nowadays, I still facilitate at my home office two sessions of English with a “local” young lady whose grandmother is my landlord.  Britney is an excellent student!  I have her choose an article from PAW (Princeton Alumni Weekly) which she selects based on her interests.  One article she selected focused on a player-coach duo who worked and “played “together in the MLS in US futbol (soccer)!  The articles that we are examining involve her reading, translating, identifying vocabulary and confirming reading comprehension with questions in both English and Spanish at the end of each section!  Meanwhile, back at the “El Cole” where I focus on the American/World history part of the GED (general equivalency diploma) for 4 hours every Tuesday, the students are preparing their “own” multiple-choice GED questions as homework for next week … a new learning strategy that I am employing!

Tonight, I have been invited to dinner with a 17-year-old student, and her father, who passed the GED and all the other requirements for her to go to Belgium where her mother is from and enroll in a university there!  Thanks to my Creator, there are many things in my life today that reinforce my goal of living in peace, harmony and love with my fellow humans … and the energy of our universe …

Have a wonder-filled weekend … and work for PEACE …

John I. Cook, Director

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