The native Costa Ricans have a lovely saying that is truly symbolic of their unique way of living: pura vida, which literally means “pure life.” It is used as a warm, friendly greeting, and as an expression of the inner joy that they feel while living their simple, natural lives--one day at a time.The natives, or “Ticos,” have an almost childlike zest for life and take time to fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Their Pura Vida philosophy was the inspiration for this book.
Like millions of others, my husband Len and I have always been drawn to the primal energy and raw, quiet beauty of rainforests. Eventually, our journey through life led us to the Monteverde Biological Reserve in Costa Rica, one of the last remaining virgin cloudforests in the world. Here, for an entire month, we were able to temporarily leave behind our busy, often hectic lives, and concentrate on taking time to collect our thoughts, while living completely and fully in the moment.
Together, we experienced the exhilarating feeling that comes from breathing fresh, unpolluted, oxygen-rich air as we hiked under the canopies of ancient strangler fig trees. In the jungle bordering the mountaintop village of Monteverde, we experienced the true meaning of the Pura Vida philosophy while galloping high-spirited horses along the ridges of lush, green volcanic mountain ranges.
From its beginning, our journey seemed to be propelled and guided by a series of meaningful coincidences, with one helpful person leading to another, charting the course for an adventure that eventually took on a slow, sensual rhythm all its own. As our pura vida adventure progressed, we began to feel as if we were slowly moving back in time toward a simpler, more balanced, and healthy lifestyle. Certain areas seemed to possess an almost magical power to transport us to another place and time. Clearly etched in my memory is the moment that we spotted a pair of brilliant, rare quetzal birds nesting near a pristine waterfall in the cloud forest.
It truly felt as though time were standing still as we witnessed these exotic, iridescent, blue-green and crimson creatures with tail feathers close to two feet long, fluttering gracefully in one of their last refuges on earth. I will never forget the feeling of the powerful, primordial energy of ten-foot waves crashing over us while body surfing along the rugged shores of Montezuma--a wild, frontier-like town on the Gulf of Nicoya.
I will always treasure my memories of the humble, gentle people that we met in Costa Rica who changed our lives for the better and reminded us just how closely interconnected and integrally related we all are to each other and to our environment.
Our adventures and experiences in Costa Rica also helped to reaffirm our belief in the interconnection between the spiritual mind and the physical body, and the power of one to affect the other. It was during this time in the jungle that I felt compelled to begin organizing and condensing the health related information and ideas that I have collected over the course of two decades.
The end result is the book that you are holding. I sincerely hope that you will gain some useful insight from reading it and referring back to it as your personal guidebook for healthier, more energetic living.