March 30th, 2018

To friends in the Circle,

Its hard to not turn this update into some personal blog for me - especially when this past month has been so trans-formative! It feels like so much has happened, so much learned that I could not possibly tell it all here. I will share some highlights and info about whats new.

A 20 minute hike from where we have been renting here in Chiriqui, Panama.

First I want to remind all those who are participating in the community building exercise 'Individual values, group values', to send your submissions by the 10th of April (so we can continue to the second half). For those who joined the list this month, or for those who missed that email, write me back with that request and I will send the exercise to you.

Also, we are inviting anyone who receives these updates to add to them. So,  if you do have something you want the world to know about you, about this project or opportunities for us as a group and you want to make it public, just write Georgia and I and we will, be happy to find a way to share it on the site and in some cases in these updates. (Even collages, pictures, poems, stories, activity ideas, etc...) Perhaps this could become a community blog in the near future.

The Wake

Few people talk about mystery, speak truth to power or expose misinformation and the majority pretend things don't exist or have resigned themselves to the official news/history. Robert Beatham is one of those former few people and I love him for it! A strong willed yet modest man; nearing 80 years in this lifetime. A treasure trove of experience and an archivist of the lesser knowns.

Robert and Chepe repairing a palm cutter tool.

The day I arrived in the Costa Rica I visited him. The mother of Junior  - one of Roberts worker friends, died on her chair early that morning. "I dislike the word death" he told me, as I cut open an abui fruit and tasted its sweet white meat, "the word transition would be more appropriate."

She was in her mid 90's and vibrant and clear till her last breath. That morning she had a bath, then got dressed and called a taxi and sat in her chair on the porch waiting. Then passed away... transitioned. The morticians didn't come till the late afternoon and the wake was to be held the following morning. "Do you know why they call it a Wake?" Robert asked of his workers in Spanish. No one responded and I waited happily for him to continue, not knowing why myself. "There was a time when people were buried soon after they were proclaimed dead and years later thanks to grave robbers, it was discovered that there were claw marks found in the interior of the coffins that could have only been created after the burial. They revived! People on morgue tables have gotten up and walked out.  Some people have even awoken during their own funeral! So the 'wake' allows time for the 'not quite ready to transition', even when they are clinically dead, to come back." The wake is a ceremony; the 'dead' persons face is left uncovered and it usually is held at least after 24 hours of being presumed dead. Robert said that his father had witnessed a coming back to life in the US when he was growing up and there are countless stories around the globe of this phenomenon.

In Costa Rica, and probably in most 'civilized places on the globe, the cost of a funeral is inhumane! There are rackets left and right in our modern world and not even death is spared. Robert and I talked all afternoon in the shade, with the humid heat about many such subjects. The bird songs were constantly present and enjoyable. As dusk was approaching I decided to take a walk in the botanical gardens. 

I realized very quickly that I had never been down here to his farm this time of year (usually been there from Nov. to Feb.). It was now a blossoming of fruit everywhere!   rollinias, jackfruits, Guavas, velvet apples, caimitos, surinam cherries and of course bananas to name a few! One of the nicest gardens I have ever come across in Central America... An example of what can be done right, what I want to replicate on our new homeland, what inspires me and I aspire too;  a mixed multiple story food forest that feels like a park more than an orchard. In my vision perhaps just a little less groomed ... he is running a botanical garden after all. He does give tours but his mainstay is his farming of palm oil and a yearly ramboutan crop. You can check out his place here

I packed some of my harvest to share with Georgia the next day.

Absorbing the Mysteries

So, yes, both Georgia and I went to Costa Rica, separately and we met up again afterward at Ardent Light for a few days where we picked up a bag of small treasures we had left there 2 years ago! It was wonderful to see the Luzardo family again! They have been living in Costa Rica for 4 years.  They are in the middle of some experimental constructions, their food forest is at the beginning of production and the waterfalls along the property are always beautiful and refreshing to visit. They are looking for a manager to stay for a while. If you are interested in knowing more write me for more details. They are planning to go back to the USA for a few years, as their three teenagers, all growing fast, want to go to colleges there.

The return to Panama was smooth and we met George, a Canadian who told us about a property in Bocas Del Toro. I had never gone because the price out there I assumed was way over our heads... but there are always exceptions... or more likely options with tricky complications which I am still trying to navigate through. We are curious about the possibilities...and Ben and I traveled to check out the land there and practice some due diligence.


Ben looking at lands with me and some of the landscapes.

Some other amazing inputs from the universe that I absorbed this past came through an audio book version of 'How to win friends and influence people', a video documentary on Terence McKenna, my travels with Ben, meeting new friends here in Panama, being a massage guinea pig and reading a few biographies, somehow all of which had a connection to Africa. Also, learning more about the law in this country, communicating with real estate offers and watering plants.

Georgia has been busy reading and studying in her field(s) and getting a great reputation with her massages. Work has picked up the last few months and is helping us out financially and we do a good job with not eating too much into our savings.

As for a definitive answer on any land... it is too early to tell... , more research and communication is pending, more lands to see in another zone of the country (the last one) as far as we are concerned and we may also here back from the Bugle too.

We have also begun the process of shifting our focus to personal plans and getting ready for our departure here in 3 weeks time. We will be returning to Canada to tie up loose ends, have my operation, see family & friends and work! The plan is to then return to Panama in September (after 4 months)...(or to Columbia or Nicaragua) depending on what happens in the next few weeks with land explorations before our departure. This Northern return will also be about finding more international tribe members - that is we will begin profiles on FIC - Fellowship of intentional communities and the GEN - Global Ecovillage Network for better publicity. Mostly though, this returning to the North will be an excuse to spend time with more of the people that we love. How life keeps us apart! Sometimes that makes me feel alone on this quest...

The Latest Rebirth

Only a few days ago, I was on my way to the Colon province to check out the region for possible land ... the universe then presented me with an opportunity that I could not refuse. I have been thinking about doing the serpent medicine for the last year now and in the last few months that thought intensified. The experience of death and rebirth... the Ayahuasca experience! Needless to say I postponed the land search in Colon... which I plan to still take on, in the second week of April, which by then I should also have more leads.

It was a very intense 'trip' for me and I won't get into it here, however at dawn, as I reflected upon the night, I also questioned the work I am doing, the energy I am putting into manifesting  community and finding a good land for that community.

Is it still important to me and why? The answer: Absolutely!  And why? - To allow myself and as many others who want to join in some basic shared values, the freedom to be in a place that each of us can truly be ourselves (without shunning or shaming), explore ourselves, live a great life and share with others our amazing experiences, talents and creations ... that covers a lot of ground! This can manifest in countless ways and can shift for people over time. For example, for some its having support or recognition of some kind, for others its to delve into nakedness and feeling free, for others its to sing and dance, to give service, to play games etc... for me, at this point, it is to eat and share copious amounts of exotic fruits - plant the forests to allow that to happen and watch and guide their growth. I believe that each of us following our paths, living our shining glory, by default, support others in some capacity, be it physical, mental, spiritual or emotional or any combinations thereof! Why also... because I feel good moving in this direction and I believe in doing this and think it will help humanity shift in better alignment with all living things. For me it is the place I want to be, the base to complete the things I have been called to do.

A collage Georgia made imbuing aspects of community for us!

I therefore am looking for a home for the community that will be beautiful, forgiving (in debt, in the work needed to be comfortable and to live healthy lives) and full of possibilities. It has been a challenge so far to find it with the budget we are looking to raise however we are narrowing down regions, places, lands and Georgia and I are feeling optimistic about the right place manifesting soon!

With lots of love and gratitude
Ivan your correspondent
Georgia your editor in chief

For those who don't already know it, I want to share with you a song - 'From the Ground Up' by Ayla Nereo, which took on a new meaning for me this month and is 110% inspiration!



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