Chapter one of the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu reads,
"The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name..."
The interpretation according to Derek Lin reads like so,
"The Tao that can be completely expressed in words is not the constant, eternally changing and true Tao... Names did not exist prior to Creation. The nameless Tao is therefore the source of the universe."
As I sit at the small table at the top of the hill I cannot help but wonder if that's why it feels almost impossible to find the right words. What exactly is the Tao? The original source from which all things stem from, the center, the universal vibration, I imagine everything and also nothing. My thoughts feel scattered while I begin to think on the differences between Prana and Qi. The only thing that came to mind was the idea that they were the same philosophies that were just given different names. If you truly believe in God, do you attempt to name it?
A gecko began to chirp and I realized I was listening to my thoughts. I began to chant a single Om to help wipe my mind of other distractions. The vibrations quickly helped release more and more tension simultaneously throughout my mind and body.
As I deepened my breath I felt the abundance of life around me. From directly ahead a group of cows communicated while grazing. To my left a family of monkeys howled. Birds sang so closely behind me I almost felt as if they were on my shoulders. I realized how closely I was with so many different species. The trees danced in the wind and I knew we were all coexisting.
The idea of Taoism is to try to become one with the Tao. To live in harmony with the Tao, the way, the path, the driving force behind all that exists. To go with the flow. My best teacher has always been nature. I focus on my Dan Tien and feel one with the surrounding life. I breath the same breathe as everything and truly believe I understand what it feels like to be connected.
I bow my head slightly deeper, expressing gratitude for my surroundings. Costa Rica Yoga Spa has provided me with an incredible atmosphere, and truly immersed me into a place where self reflection comes so easily. My thoughts drift away slowly and with ease.
I first met Franklin last March. After everything I heard about him, I had to go see him for myself. Just a short walk down the hill that Costa Rica Yoga Spa is located on, I came to his rasta-painted gate. As I walked down his driveway I noticed his yard was a garden full of turmeric plants, cacao, pineapple, mango trees, and coconut palms to name a few.
A couple of large glass cases full of neatly placed jars and handcrafted jewelry rested outside of his door. The jars contained all sorts of goodies, from raw organic honey, marmalade, to spices and hydrated fruits. I thought I saw it all until I walked through his front door. First, I noticed a large table made from a large sliver of a very old tree, with a couple of people chatting and drinking some sort of yellow concoction. When my attention averted to the rest of his place, I was taken back by the variety of raw foods and ingredients he had on display. Large glass cases separated the patron area to the back of his store, which contained dozens of well organized glass jars each with a unique raw fruit or spice. Even more jars perfectly lined the shelves that were located behind the cases. To the right were a couple of refrigerators displaying different colored beverages, which radiated health and wellbeing.
I could tell whoever owned this shop, took great pride and care to what he was doing. This is the guy to talk to about super foods, and for the next hour I would be his pupil. Franklin shortly appeared from the kitchen, wearing a Bob Marley shirt and a big smile. There was a jovial kindness to him. He was someone you wanted to listen to and learn from.
Franklin began telling me how he got started in raw foods and how many of his ingredients are homegrown organically and dehydrated at the raw temperature. I asked him what his favorite things to make and eat were. He began telling me about a snack he calls a fruit sushi roll. Of course, there is no fish involved, just dried fruits and spices. He starts the roll with a square sheet of pressed and dried mango usually and then adds slivers of papaya, banana, coconut, and pineapple. He likes to top off the roll with some cacao and a dash of cayenne to accentuate the flavors and help with absorption. I put the roll in my mouth and immediately thought of a fruit roll-up with a hint of chocolate aftertaste. It was delicious and of course very healthy and nutritious.
After leaving Franklin’s I felt inspired and even a little lighter. He peaked my interest about a raw food diet and how great they can taste when they are paired correctly. I have since been back to Franklin’s and always learn something new each time I visit. If you ever find yourself in Nosara, I would highly recommend making a trip to Franklin’s located at the bottom of the mountain of Costa Rica Yoga Spa, just south of Playa Ostional.