For those who are ready, Costa Rica provides the right climate and environment for change. And for those who allow the spirit of this land to take over, their change can be both physical, in becoming immersed in nature; and spiritual, through the local collectives of energy workers who are ready and willing to guide humanity along the path to the global changes that they say we need to occur through holistic healing and living.
“Do you have the courage to change?” asks Dr. Walter J. Urban of the World Heart Revolution in San Isidro, Costa Rica. His goal is to raise the level of his patients’ heart awareness and to elevate humanity’s consciousness so that we can unite with each other and with our planet.
It has long been thought that human-caused destruction is linked to our disconnection from one another and from our environments. Dr. Walter, for one, teaches his patients to become critical thinkers who listen to their hearts. He says that the heart is more than just a mechanical pump; its main purpose is to love and to have compassion. When we stop listening to our hearts, we allow ourselves to become divided in superficial ways.
The best evidence for this growing division is the rise of technology for communication from our isolated, and often indoor environments, and the diminution of indigenous civilizations around the world. These circumstances have led to humans generally feeling resigned to a hopeless and passive existence; one that can only change by awakening our hearts.
Everything you think, say, do and feel at all times has an effect on your physical being. Dr. Walter suggests that the body, mind, emotions and spirit heal themselves with the right attitude, thought, actions, and nutrients.
Many who come to Costa Rica as expats are of an age where health concerns start to become the norm. But there are a growing number of more youthful travelers who are also experiencing health problems due to stress and environmental factors and are seeking out alternative treatments to the conventional western allopathic medicine.
Sacred plant medicine
One of those seekers is Zahrah Sita, who found the healing energy of Costa Rica to be the best remedy for her deeply debilitating conditions, which she carried with her for many years and from which she only found release when she reached this land, which she says presented her with the opportunities she needed for change. You can follow her journey in a regular series with The Costa Rica News.
All manner of traditional indigenous plant medicines can be found naturally occurring here, or they are imported from around the world to be used in this incredibly healing setting. Ceremonial houses for ayahuasca, iboga, kambo and other traditional shamanic medicines abound all throughout the mountainous regions of Costa Rica, where isolation is an extremely helpful element in the healing processes of these ceremonies.
Some of the more conventional and less controversial methodologies are more widely practiced in conspicuous places like in the coastal towns of Costa Ballena. One of those traditional medicines is cacao, which grows plentifully throughout Costa Rica.
Photo courtesy of Mystic Heart Sacred Cacao
Zahrah and her crew of healers perform sacred cacao ceremonies about once a month at Danyasa in Dominical and more throughout the country. These ceremonies are attended by up to 50 persons at a time and include beautiful music performed by local music sensation Camilo Poltronieri during the ceremony. A healing, heartily-spiced brew of warm cacao is a wonderful way to open the heart chakra and clear emotional blockages that are keeping us from connecting with ourselves and the world around us, says Zahrah. She is also a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, and an enthusiast of plant medicines and ancient indigenous wisdom from all traditions, which she says are abundantly present in this tropical land.
Smile like you mean it
Healing through smile meditation can sound kind of wacky if you are inexperienced in the act of smiling. When living in large urban centers, humans tend to lose the feeling of closeness with their fellow city dwellers. They find themselves to be more on the defensive front, trying to hold their own amidst the sea of people surrounding them.
The profound effect that occurs when we open up with a smile is a well-documented phenomena. A happy energy radiates within us that spreads to others, regardless of if you are smiling to yourself or to another person. Smiles are contagious, and one of the most remarked about aspects of Costa Rica recalled by visitors is that this is an exceptionally happy nation. We consistently find ourselves at the top of world happiness indices and it is very likely due to the smile energy that radiates throughout this land.
We may never learn who started the grinning chain reaction but it is obviously carrying its own momentum now. Wherever you go, smiles are energetic and genuine and it’s hard not to be affected by their presence. Smiling is an universal language that conveys the message of love without the need for words, speaking directly from heart to heart – and it is a well-defined art in Costa Rica.
The power of living with nature
It helps that Costa Rica is essentially one of the most beautiful places in the world. The sights, sounds and sensations here are such that they invite relaxation and feelings of inner-peace, allowing us to be healed by the energy of the nature that surrounds us. The monkeys in the trees, the birds singing, the gentle breezes and the salty sea spray in the air are all sensations that exude the power of nature and remind us that we are merely parts of a collective, all mutually affected by one another.
There are remarkable amounts of healing centers which practice yoga, meditation, reiki, Ayurveda, acupuncture, TCM, etc, all of which are rightly taking advantage of the bountiful natural assets present in Costa Rica. Away from the loud noises of living in cities, practitioners of traditional therapies in Costa Rica use the naturally present “tools” provided by nature for their patients to find the comfort in the environment necessary for these practices to best take effect.
More remarkably, the amount of people who create the space in their own homes to practice self-healing amidst the natural energy of the jungle, mountains, ocean and freshwater-ways is more than in most places around the world. I have no statistics to prove this, but for any visitors to Costa Rica, it is clearly noticeable that living is primarily done outdoors and with a huge emphasis on the appreciation of one’s surroundings. As a frequent world traveler, this to me speaks volumes: Costa Rica is a truly inspiring land where something as simple as a beautiful sunset does not go unnoticed and people will specially travel to the beach or a lookout point to appreciate it.
Share in the fruits of our labors
Plant medicine also goes beyond the Shamanic traditions in Costa Rica and can be found on your everyday plate. Costa Rican bananas, for instance, have been declared the best in the world by the European Union, which granted “Geographical Indication” status that recognizes the quality of the produce and the sustainable production methods. As an historical part of the lifeblood of the Costa Rican economy, this is a prestigious designation for something so commonly found here, and a good indicator of the quality of all of the produce in this land.
Costa Rican coffee – another staple export – is world-renown for its rich characteristics and generally regarded as some of the best Arabica in the world. Husbanded animals are free-roaming on pastures tended by families and communities with long traditions of farming. Meat, fish, fruit and vegetables are rarely imported other than for the bigger supermarkets in the more international communities (some people just can’t give up their peanut butter or smoked salmon!), and farmer’s markets with the freshest produce are found all along the road networks of this nation on any day of the week. Trucks and roadside stands are everywhere and the produce is fantastic and always seasonal.
Most expats who move to Costa Rica instantly see the health benefits from the changes in their diets to include more raw and natural foods, making weight-loss very common and often immediate.
To use the one example of bananas, this amazing fruit contains melatonin, which is a hormone that the body naturally secretes to induce sleep, and is filled with nutrients that help to regulate emotions. Eating bananas also helps to remove toxins and heavy metals from the digestive tract and they are great for remedying dehydration and replenishing electrolytes. This is just one example of the many naturally-occurring superfoods in this region and I have listed but a few of its many benefits.
Treating the land with respect
Tropical rainforests are full of medicinal foods and are traditionally thought to contain every remedy necessary to mankind. Despite this traditional understanding held by the indigenous people of Costa Rica, only 1% of the known plant and animal species in the Amazon have been thoroughly examined for their medicinal potentials. Meanwhile, around the world, roughly 2% of the world’s rainforests are irreparably damaged each year.
But in Costa Rica, a land mass that represents only .03% of the total of the planet’s terrain, this region also represents nearly 4% of the world’s total biodiversity, with 25% of Costa Rica’s total territory being protected by national institutions. This is thanks to the many protective measures taken by consecutive governments in Costa Rica since the 1970s, when tourism began to grow as a viable industry in this nation.
Subsequent Costa Rican governments have thankfully had the foresight to understand that much of the tourism draw of this land would be in its biodiversity, so measures were taken early on to protect these assets for economic reasons. One of these measures is the national green energy initiative, which has seen the country running on 100% renewable energy for most days of the year since July of 2015.
Living pretty, naturally
Mama Toucan’s is one example of a successful business operating in the Costa Ballena, which retails all-natural and locally crafted products. The entire complex near the entrance to the surf-town Dominical where Mama Toucan’s resides is dedicated to local, natural, vegan-friendly and non-alcoholic business practices. This ethic is spreading throughout the local communities, where more and more people are looking to live an alternative lifestyle built around healthy living practices.
Local ferias (farmer’s markets) take turns throughout the week, with nearly each region of our Costa Ballena communities having a feria on a different day. Most of the vendors are local, organic growers of produce, organic meat and fish purveyors, or hand-made crafts-people who sell everything from preserves and spices to art, skin-care and wearable fashion. There is so much on offer in our communities that there is hardly a need to hit the super for the health-inclined.
Cultivating our communities
Giving back is another practice that many find helps them in their healing, if only spiritually to start. As expats and guests in this nation, we may sometimes find ourselves taking opportunities that have only been afforded us by working in the wealthy nations from which we originate. It is easy to forget that we are not the owners of anything, only renting what we have during our time on this planet.
Living in a land where the locals are so friendly and welcoming makes it easy to form lasting bonds and a mutual understanding. Although many locals are accustomed to what they have and are not necessarily looking for more, they are always grateful for being invited to share a meal and a conversation. Anything like buying a present for a child in your local community during the holidays can bring a sense of inclusion that helps to bridge the gap between rich and poor, helping us recognize that we are not that different after all.
Tending to your garden, cleaning your daily walking trail or beach of litter, or helping in official turtle release efforts are just three of the many ways that living in Costa Rica can bring you closer to your environment and tune you into existing needs other than your own. There are numerous opportunities to become involved in your local community and so many organizations that have the platforms ready for getting involved. Advertising is done through online networks and word of mouth, so ‘getting involved’ often means getting to know your local community better – a bonus for those who want to integrate and make new connections.
Costa Rica is a country that forces you to slow down, giving you more time for reflection and paying attention to the signs that nature gives us when something is wrong. For those lucky enough to find themselves in this luscious land, the vibrant energy in the jungle is a revitalizing one. Negative ions are created in nature by the effects of water, air, and sunlight, all of which are fresh, clean and abundant in Costa Ballena. Sometimes all it takes to increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity is to step outside. What better place to do that than in Costa Rica?
If you are living anywhere else, allow yourself this moment to mentally explore what it feels like to be here.
“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.” – Mo Willems.
Contact Osa Tropical Properties for your best opportunity to join us in this naturally healing land.