This morning I woke naturally at 5am as the light was already beginning to make its way through my window. Shortly after my morning walk along the shore I could begin to hear the gentle trickling of rain outside, then followed by a long, meditative stretch of heavy rain showers on my metal roof to awaken the morning. There is no need for an alarm here. Nature herself simply woke me in accordance with my own natural rhythm.
It was the most effortless thing in the world for me to get up, place my pillow onto the hard floor in my tiny room, and sit in silent meditation. The ants seemed to join me.
For many months prior to leaving Austin, I began to observe that my mediation practice all but fell apart, largely due to the level of stress I felt in my environment, the chaotic pace of daily life, busyness and consumption in America.
There were also many challenges I faced during the pandemic. Additionally, my parents began to face their own health challenges and this weighed heavily on me. I became quickly aware that my daily meditation practice had gotten out of sync.
On this first attempt in Costa Rica, I could not even make it for thirty minutes. Meditation or sitting is like any practice. It just takes time to get back into alignment with myself. This is why it is called a practice.
My morning sitting was followed by my first cup of Costa Rica coffee. The room has a small coffee maker. I reflected on how much I missed my simple drip pour over maker. After living in Kyoto for a year, this routine of making my coffee became my simple morning mindfulness practice. I am sure I will find one along the way.
My first cup turned out perfectly. No sugar. Sin Azugar in Espanol. At the market I had picked up what I misread to be cream the first day I was here. It turned out to be vanilla iced coffee. Likely some sugar in there. In any case, it was fantastic.
I sat out on my porch amidst the tropical foliage and the gentle breeze and quietly sipped my coffee.
This was also a form of mediation. Anything done with complete focus of the mind on nothing else can be a form of meditation.
The early morning rising already suits me well. Without my phone or being tied to a fixed schedule of any kind, the morning seems to be a rich, unfolding experience. So much seems to get accomplished and yet time here seems infinite.
After what seems to be half a day, I discover it is only 10am. This is Costa Rica time, Tico time as they call it. There is nothing hurried, no need to rush.
I took my morning walk on the beach. It was pure, majestic nature. Magic. There seem to be very few people along this tranquil stretch of coastline in Guanacaste, especially as it is now coming into the low season, the rainy season.
I did some exercises along the beach. My body and breathing seemed to effortlessly take on the flowing movement of the ocean and the gentle rhythm of the clouds. Internally, everything slows down. I am mindfully adapting my body to this new rhythm, the rhythm of Costa Rica.
About the Author
Kirk Lee is a Writer, Meditation teacher and nomad currently living in Costa Rica. Kirk has been an explorer on the journey for over 25 years having traveled to 14 countries culminating in a year living in Kyoto, Japan. Kirk writes about travel through the lens of simplicity and kindness to be found in people and places of every culture. Explore Kirk’s travel journals at https://zenandink.substack.com/