As I sit in the lobby of the Programación de Educación Permanente (PEP) Hotel at Earth University near Guapiles, Costa Rica writing on a notebook made of 90% banana/10% recycled fiber I think back to my alternate life living in the United States. So much time misspent stressing about bills, about whether I would make enough money to start a family (‘cause love don’t pay the bills), and if I would ever make my “American Dream” a reality.
Now, I listen to the rain, reflect on my day spent touring Earth University and envision a night discussing the Earth’s sustainable future with my new friends and colleagues. I relax in my chair and think about our visit tomorrow to a local bamboo guru where we will devise a plan to give work to the local Tico (Costa Rican nationals) homeless having them to help harvest, treat, manufacture and build bamboo structures to be flat-packed and shipped to Tree of Life’s properties near Dominical. These properties will eventually house everyone from teachers, the homeless, and disadvantaged local farmers to co-create sustainable villages thus catalyzing a new paradigm on Earth.
I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica on October 24th, 2009 with the intention of working in the city as an ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor and hopefully making enough money in six months to move to the beach, build a tree house, create my art and live a life of simplicity and true alignment with Nature and Spirit. Since human evolution seems to be accelerating in quantum leaps these days, this vision of my simple life happened much faster than anticipated, proving the Divine power of intention.
After living in San Jose for one week with a high school friend, I was compelled to scan for non-profit job advertisements on the ubiquitous Craigslist. Lo and behold, what do my wondering eyes do appear? A job helping to create sustainable eco-villages, coordinate spiritually centered adventure tours, and become a member of a leading edge think-tank for a new global paradigm.
I sat back in my chair and held my breath – could this be for real? Had I traveled 5000 miles straight into my destiny? Had I honestly aligned myself with exactly what I have wanted to do for the past five years (but thought it out of my grasp)?
I left the confines of the crowded, polluted (although the mountains surrounding are quite breathtaking) city of San Jose, Costa Rica on November 1st, and my true purpose for being in Costa Rica was revealed to me. A short 3-hour bus ride later brought me to the city of San Isidro and I emerged from the bus to the smiling, welcoming face of Jon Chapman (whose name, interestingly enough is the same as the legendary Johnny Appleseed). His countenance glowed with a mélange of child-like excitement, compassion and utter humility.
“This man is truly an enlightened being,” I thought, “eager to greet me and share his vision with someone equally as eager to listen and learn.”
Sheltering ourselves from the pouring rain and carefully shielding my two gigantic duffel bags filled with almost everything I own (I still think I over-packed) from the passing splash of traffic; we waited for our ride to the main house 40 minutes away in Platanillo, about 20 minutes East of Dominical. Jon’s eyes lit up as he made out the forest green Ryd-On vehicle, a fully converted short school bus owned by fellow compatriot, Chris Hoover. Chris also hailed from Boulder and arrived a month previous (the synchronicities kept lining up).
The Ryd-On bus sidled up to the curb and the door swung open. Inside were Christy and Bernard, their 5-year old son Gio, and the instantly lovable Akida, Koma (a play on “Kuma” the Japanese name for Bear, which oddly enough was my DJ name when I lived in Brooklyn!)
OK, now this is getting weird, but a good weird, y’know?
I immediately felt at peace, and the anxiety of blindly moving my entire life to Latin America quickly faded – these were my peeps.
Being welcomed into this evolutionary fray was like passing into another parallel dimension, truly defining the existence of the multi-verse. I was still in this dimension, but I now existed on an evolutionary plane that I would have never imagined. I spent the rest of the evening settling in to my new living space (a cot with a mosquito net on an expansive back porch overlooking the jungle), relished in my new freedom and drifted off to sleep.
I have been living here now for three weeks and my eyes and awareness are opening wider everyday. The reason, I believe, that I have been Divinely transported here, as I was Divinely transported to Boulder two years ago, is to live my life ON PURPOSE. I could regale you with my magnificently mediocre former life as a frustrated, although passionate, remora of the music industry, or I could tell the story of a 36 year-old man who was destined to keep making the same mistakes over and over, but began meditating everyday and managed to break away from ego and drift (although very slowly) towards true realization of the Divine within – but that is a whole other story.
Tree of Life is an organization of forward thinking humans who share the common goal of evolving our planet into a new paradigm. There are myriad methods of planetary evolution, whether through technology, sustainable development, community building, or education, but the question TOL asks is,
How can this evolution take place on a global scale? Can we create a community right here, right now, where a relatively untouched 3rd world nation can create a blueprint for a fully sustainable, socially just and spiritually aligned Earth?
We are surely going to try. As I have learned, and am still learning, evolution only occurs by first evolving the individual. By evolving oneself into a person who is dedicated to serving their fellow human, by default you are evolving the entire human race through your energy. There are many schools of thought on this subject, but the one that has always resonated with me is that at a quantum level we are all one energy, and one person affects the entire whole. Call it the Butterfly Effect, call it collective consciousness, call it quantum mechanics, whatever; but when just one person acts, or does not act, that vibratory emission will always have an effect on the people (plants, animals, technology, etc.) around them. That is why in order to truly evolve our society we must first evolve ourselves by serving the whole.
The main focus of Tree of Life is to co-create a spiritually based sustainable community that will directly serve the needs of others. By providing a place on Earth that will not only teach people to live in harmony with their natural environment, but also create a harmonic, generational shift in consciousness, TOL’s efforts aim to create a blueprint for global oneness communities.
The founder of TOL (although he does not resonate with titles), Jon Chapman, has saved 12 pristine areas of Southern Pacific Costa Rican property from developers and has been running adventure tours (whitewater rafting, rappelling, hiking, snorkeling, etc.) for over 14 years. Fortunately for the rest of the globe, his vision does not stop there. This is where it all begins.
For more information on joining our sustainable community here in Costa Rica, or to book an adventure tour with Tree of Life, please email.
Domincal, Costa Rica