We’re (It’s) ALL Connected!

Happy Friday, Y’all!

We made it through another week . . . TOGETHER!  So, T.G.I.F., then!

When was it, if it ever was, that “you” realized that “it’s” all connected … us included?  That’s right, from the gecko running on my wall to the spiders – young and old – lurking in the corners of my studio bathroom … to YOU and me!?  We’re ALL connected … yep!  Now, that thought might bother you a bit … that you are connected to someone like ME!  But get used to it …. just like “… ashes to ashes … dust to dust”  … we are all physically going to the same place at the end of this part of the “journey”.  The spiritual part is one we as a species often neglect.

It has taken some getting used to but I now know that there is a bird’s nest in the corner of the roof just across from my bed!  (Someone had told me it was probably bats, but after careful research, it’s just baby birds!)  I have gotten used to the baby bird chirps at like 3 or 4am when I first get up to use the restroom, then “segway” into meditating!  It takes me a few minutes to settle down … so … I convince myself that it is a good time to meditate.  No one is up … I am single … the silence is purrrfect …. so I do it.  It has become almost routine though I don’t force myself to meditate.  Yet, if I try a few times and my mind still wanders to some “issue”, I abandon the attempts to meditate until later in the day.

One new friend here with whom I shared my meditation exercises and author, Dr. Joe Dispenza and his book “Becoming Supernatural” asked me:  “Is it working?”  I am honest nowadays, brutally honest with myself and “professionally” honest with others.  So, the answer was, “It’s a process.” … which indeed it is! I still take one diclofenac 100 mgs. a day with pain reliever (sometimes vitamins B and D) and three or four doses of CBD/thc per day.  I also am still taking a tablet or two of tumeric a day as well as four tablets of “Devil’s Claw”, grown in parts of Africa to reduce inflammation and pain.  Coupled with yoga a few times a week, my daily routine of walking across town and my constant “squirming and worming” while relaxing to alleviate any discomfort in my hips that I can and assist in the healing, I feel some improvements!  The massage I had last Sunday was tremendous.  The masseuse is my yoga teacher, Molly.  I am able to stand a bit taller, walk a bit longer some days … and there are intervals when I feel little or NO pain in my hips!  I plan to have a massage once a month. Unfortunately, I stay away from swimming for now because it causes extreme irritation in my hips for no less than TWO WHOLE DAYS!  While I love the ocean and swimming, I must be disciplined for now.

I am learning that everything in our bodies is/are connected.  I am learning to embrace that we … geckos and mosquitoes, vultures and humming birds, women and men of all races ages and sizes … flowers even … are ALL connected.  How did we EACH get here?!?  Well, some two people “made love” and that’s how we reproduce.  Perhaps, that’s how we sustain ourselves here on Earth … by sharing love with each other!

Enjoy your weekends!


John I. Cook, Director


Good Things Take Time . . .

Happy Friday, All!

And a super special T.G.I.F. for each and every one of US … near and far!!

I must say that staying away from major tv headlines and internet posts has been extremely therapeutic for me here in Costa Rica!  I still don’t have nor want a television set … I am cool!  Most of the readers of these messages and the EE Blog know that my stuff is fairly simple and usually spiritual.  I talk about me and things that happen … and how I was able to deal with “things” … any “thing” … though I prefer “Good Things”.  I don’t read news stories that I had already anticipated like “So and so Caught in a Bribe to a Prostitute” or “So and so Says He Believes A KGB Operative Over US Intelligence” … enough already.  And “it” called Hillary “crooked”?!?  It’s the first thing you learn in child psychology: “When a kid starts blaming and name calling, THAT kid is hiding something!”  Can you say: “The proof is in the “Putin””!?!

So, my stress levels are down … and no I didn’t measure them.  I just know that waking up to birds chirping in the morning and the lulling sounds of howling monkeys and the periodic sounds of the rush and flow of the ocean waves licking the shore just blocks from the beach make everything go away!!  I started yoga classes again this past Monday and took a second one on Wednesday.  The classes are held right here where I live in Jacaranda Hotel and Jungle Garden.  It’s a nice place with my studio up on the third floor.  Now, I must admit that all the waist and hip bending that we did in yoga Wednesday took a toll on me.  I will not go today and will try to get a massage in before returning to class next Monday.  You see, I paid for 5 classes and took two so far, so there is some built in motivation to return.

Once again I am re-structuring my days and weeks to facilitate getting my meditation on each day, continue work on the manuscript, continue in an exercise routine each week with two or three active days and patiently love myself (and others!) as much as I can!  I know, I know … it’s a TALL order … but someone has got to do it.  Thanks for joining me again, dear readers!  My personal life continues to unfold … I still don’t have a “girlfriend”, so to speak, but there are a lot of lovely women of all ages, sizes and races around here to keep my blood flowing!!  I have made quite a few friends and am not becoming impatient for a “significant other” in my life – I don’t want to ruin a good thing like the peace and loving attitude that I have been able to achieve living here in Puerto Viejo.  It is truly a Caribbean town that I call  “city-country-city”!!  There’s a bit of everything here … scaled waaaay down, though.

Right now, I am looking at a trip to New York in October … again … just me, myself and I!  We’ll see how it goes as I have tentative plans to see my grandson, Caleb Isaac, on his third birthday as well as his mother, my daughter, Ayanna Lynne.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, wish me well … and of course … “May the LOVE of the Universe be with EACH of you!”


John I. Cook, Director

Quantum Field … Meditation … Peace

Happy Friday, All!

This is one of those Fridays when I can scream at the top of  my “quiet spiritual lungs” T.G.I.F.!  I know, you’re probably thinking, “This John guy is a new kind of crazy!”  Yep, and you would be right!  I enjoy a new experience nowadays as long as it doesn’t hurt me or drive me crazy!  And I would REALLY enjoy it if I can grow, learn or heal from it!  Y’all knew that was coming, right?!  After all, I have been talking and writing about healing and doing the meditation thing … transcendental meditation, to be exact!  The funny thing is that I have seen and heard most of this stuff before … I just wasn’t ready to pay attention!  Right now, while composing this … I am listening to “Enya” … and I haven’t listened to her in YEARS.  Some things are changing in me … for the better, good stuff, positive stuff!  These are the reasons that I came to Costa Rica!  NOT to fit in, but to be ME!  Those who really know me know that I am not such a bad guy.

Lately, as I delve deeper into healing meditation and increasing my intake of healthier plant based foods, I remember my years at St. Paul’s and people who first mentioned “transcendental meditation” to me.  I think back to some of the popular music during my years at Princeton, during and after St. Paul’s and I find some awesome music as “Santana”, Earl Klugh, “Mandrill” … shucks, even George Clinton and “Parliament/Funkadelic” and one of them wearing a diaper and another coming down in the “Mother Ship” and preaching “universal love”!  They were ALL trying to raise our consciousnesses then.  So many of “us”, me included, have been trained to literally “live inside this box” and get dictated to what “success” is and how to attain “happiness” … and so many of us BELIEVE it … even though to do these things requires us to sacrifice to the point where we hurt, damage and injure OURSELVES and our LOVED ONES …  Something is wrong with that picture for sure!  We don’t learn that we have the freedom to decide soon enough … at least we are taught to “live inside the box” from day one!  You know, it’s okay, some of us would probably KILL ourselves if we didn’t have “society’s structure”, folkways and mores and a system of rewards and punishments built into our institutions.  Yet, some of us … me included … may be curious enough to seek options … and stick with them!  Enter transcendental meditation.  For me, it sounds better than an “over abundance of medication” … killing us softly.  But, I could’ve searched for options or even done “TM” with “JT” at SPS!  At that time, I had other interests that I don’t regret but I am welcoming any options to healing and living a more spiritual life aligned with who “WE” really are … “divine spirits”.

On this note, I shall end the Friday message.  Once, my good friend Coach Blake from my years at SPS who is also a recipient of these e-mails from EE mentioned that my last e-mail was indeed long!  Thanks for reading y’all … ALL y’all.  But let me know if you would like to be removed from receiving these and I will be much obliged to do so.

Enjoy your weekends!


The Whole Picture … Please!

Yes, it’s good to be blessed … T.G.I.F.!

Happy Friday, in other words!  If you made it this far through the week, you deserve the “weekend”, Baby!  I am “up in here” today … The Jungle, to be exact.  It’s working well for me … Pura Vida!  Yes, so I woke up to get my meditation on, as this has become an important part of my life nowadays.  I am pretty much finished the book  by Dr. Joe … learning more ways to activate my pineal gland to release melatonin into my brain to help induce the transcendental state where I may be able to heal myself!  At least, I will be able to enhance the electromagnetic field surrounding my body to ward off disease and “evil spirits”!!  It’s a Full Moon … plus, I am a writer … So, I can talk “crazy” like this!  Anyone following me!?  How crazy do you want to go with this?!  Me … I want the “whole picture”!  “What’s it look like, y’all?!”  Does anyone remember that expression from “back in the day”?!  Maybe it was just me and a few of the boys like “Wiltshire” from the boarding school days at St. Paul’s!  It’s amazing what we live through and go through along this journey!

I just want to thank a few friends who came through for me again in “a pinch”.  You know who you are … grateful for youse!  That’s how I am “living” today … full of gratitude … and that’s because I see the “whole picture” … pretty much!  Nobody knows everything … even though they think they do!!  So, I am in the process of healing myself, a little different from Western medicine, but I prefer the “Gestalt” approach … or looking at the whole picture … even ME!  I am finishing this book up and I think that I am “on to something”.  While there are some “things” that I have been doing like “yoga”, meditation and seeking a more healthy spiritual life for the past ten years or so, it appears to be coming full circle … I can fathom the “whole picture” that we have before us!  I like to call it “The Journey” into the universe!  (If I am getting too deep for you, you can stop reading now!)  I thought the same thing as I attempted to digest different parts of “Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza … the book I have been reading for a month or so now.  Yet, I continued reading … and things began to unravel and unfold!  When I came across the word “amygdala” and remembered reading about it in 7th grade science class, another light bulb went off!  “I have been getting little pieces of a picture of this thing called ‘me’!  Why isn’t there a means to learn all this stuff sooner?!”

As life unfolds for me here today in Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica, we are about to enjoy a celebration of “Los Raices” … Wolaba Festival where ALL the peoples of the southern Caribbean cultures celebrate their roots!  They were setting up the stage last night down by the Beach area near the basketball courts and bus terminal as I finished up my early evening stroll down there!  I hear that it is going to be three days of “Roots and Reggae”, fun and festivities, food and enjoyment!  “Welcome to the Caribbean!”

Thank you all for continuing to read these pieces and thank you to those who have “subscribed” to my blog of Educational Excellence on Word Press.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t know everything though I seek excellence in everything I do.  And of course, the readers witness my imperfection in writing, typos, mis-spellings and all!  Besides, aside from our mottos here – “Know Thyself” and “be the best that YOU can be”, I firmly believe that we can figure “this” out … TOGETHER!  Let’s get “the whole picture”!  Have a great weekend, enjoy the full moon … much respect and love!


John I. Cook, Director

Taking It to My Next Level

Happy Friday, again!

Giving it up to my Creator is common place for me today!  T.G.I.F. then at the top of my thoughts!  Sometimes, I look at my life and I am amazed and simultaneously grateful for so many blessings and opportunities to fulfill my life’s desires … helping others at things that I am good at!

The first time I heard about transcendental meditation, I was at St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH.  I was a senior and we were doing all sorts of radical things.  We … well some of “them” … painted ties on their bodies and went to chapel and classes like that!  Some of “us” wore our ties on our heads as head bands rather than on our necks as we were supposed to.  No, it wasn’t something I heard being discussed in class.  It was something that I heard another “Paulie”, JT Howell, say as he dashed through the dormitory hall at SPS.  He was the kind of guy who was always looking beyond whatever we were supposed to be looking at … like quantum physics.  I watched him one day meditating and I decided that it wasn’t for me … no action!  After all, I was an athlete!!  I needed action … then!  Now, I am embracing meditation!

I have almost finished reading a book by Dr. Joe Dispenza entitled “Becoming Supernatural”, which I had mentioned in a previous message and blog post.  The book was given to me by a young lady from Las Vegas, NV traveling from the Pacific side of Costa Rica and ended up here on the Caribbean side.  We met at the beach near Puerta Pirata, a fine vegan restaurant/shoppe run by friends, and she was swinging her dog, “Nala”, around like it was a baby!!  So, as she walked toward the shoppe where I was sitting, I approached her and struck up a conversation.  She told me what she was doing here, I told her that I was a retired teacher looking to heal myself and write another manuscript.  She mentioned that someone had given her a book that I might like reading.  I am unable to put it down now … all 300 something pages, diagrams, charts, graphs and brainwave images included!!  I have started meditating at 3:30am or 4 or whenever I wake up before morning.  This morning, the howling monkeys helped me keep my rhythm in the deep breathing required for reaching the transcendental state(s) of meditation.  According to Dr. Joe, and many case study participants, one can transform … heal … recondition, if you will, your genes and cells, tumors and tissue as well as cartilage through constant meditation.  There are current experiments being conducted focusing on relocating “stem cells” in ones own body with ones own meditations.  Can you say, “Becoming Supernatural”?!?  I am working on it!

So far, Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica is the place where I want to do my living, healing … and writing.  I don’t have to wait an hour for a bus to catch to the doctor’s office where I sit for one hour waiting in a room half to completely full of people.  I don’t have to argue with a primary care physician to get a prescription for pain relief and inflammation here … I buy it over the counter.  I can walk three or four blocks to the supermarket as well as the pharmacy and when I am ready, I can walk three blocks to the ocean … which I hear all night every night as I lay in the bed.  My new location/flat is a little more “upscale”, still no tv nor air conditioner, as it is a self-contained studio on the top floor (3rd) of a residence at the Jacaranda Hotel and Jungle Garden with various postcard views from my windows.  The sounds, including the youngsters at the day care across the street, but in particular the numerous species of birds, dogs, chickens … and howling monkeys, add to the healing aura that I seek!  This is my residence while the business address for Educational Excellence remains as my PO Box in Ft. Lauderdale.

Enjoy your weekends … step out of your comfort zone, if necessary.  That’s where the true “work” and living is done!


John I. Cook, Director

Coming Full Circle: The Cycle(s) of Life!

Happy Friday, All!

This time, and like always, it’s imperative!  “T.G.I.F.”!

Did you ever start working on a task and found yourself deep in thought as to how you were going to handle the situation(s) ahead?!?  And then, after putting your “nose to the grind” and occasionally looking up until finally … when you look up again … it’s finished!!  Perhaps after many deep breaths, yoga sessions, meditations, prayers and/or church programs, “you” were able to complete the challenge that once loomed ominously before you.  Yet now, it lays quietly on the concrete behind you.

“Life” is not always that way, but “… if you hang around this Earth long enough, you’ll see things come full circle!”  It is one of my major motivational “thoughts”:  I know if I stick to the grind here, keeping my loving and caring/sharing feelings in full bloom, things will work themselves out!  I mean, “we” learn this from experience … should we decide to pay attention to the lessons of our life experiences.

My trip to my “business home base”, Ft. Lauderdale, FL was successful!  Friends came through over and over … I had lost a lot of weight so the first question that I had to answer for most was: “Darn, Cook!  You’re so skinny!  What’s happening?”  Most people got the explanation that I am starting to include more plant based foods into my diet as it seems to have helped many people overcome different disorders and diseases, like prostate cancer.  While reducing fish and chicken intake and learning about plant based foods that I actually can cook and like to eat, I have lost a bit of weight.  Those who asked me and had a little more time to talk got the full answer!  “Even while I was in Spain, Germany, France and Holland, I struggled with acid reflux!  There were times when I didn’t want to eat because my tummy hurt so much.  But, this time staying with my friend, John Shelton, and chatting I remembered that the best medicine for me against acid reflux is Prilosec OTC!”  My second day in Ft. Lauderdale after buying and taking the first of 14 tablets of a “three-treatment package” of Prilosec OTC, my appetite came back FULL FORCE!  Candy, Johnny’s lady friend, cooked up omelettes with Swiss cheese and veggies in it especially for me as well as an omelette with “crawfish” in it … Cajun-styled!  Shucks, Candy got down and made some “Candy-style fried potatoes” for us with onions and red peppers … cooked golden brown!  I ate like a “champ”!  “I got my appetite back!”  I have been trying to satiate this increased appetite within the realm of my food budget, which is the most expensive part of life here in Puerto Viejo!

When I got back to Ft. Lauderdale, I had some information from the lawyers, Unger & Kowitt, who represented me in the case I caught on the “4th of July, 2017”.  This was the event that pushed the needle as far as I could take it!  So, a pre-trial hearing was held in July and the results were: “No points on my license, $80.00 fee to Clerk of the Courts of Broward County (for hearing my case!)”  So, this is the result of my desire to follow instructions (unspoken by bus driver who let “us” off at the stop he chose!) as I enjoyed myself with a French friend (Alejandro Schmidt) on the 4th of July, 2017 in my own country – USA!!  (I wonder, what would have happened if I DIDN’T HAVE A DRIVER’S LICENSE, JUST AN I.D.?!)

The trip was also successful because my first day getting on “the ground” in Ft. Lauderdale, catching buses and visiting my primary care physician who was livid since I hadn’t visited him in one year, I got so much done.  I didn’t bring any baggage because I wanted to buy a small bag and stock up on some supplements that I had been looking for and inquiring about in Puerto Viejo.  Even the “health specialists” hadn’t heard of “Devil’s Claw” and its use in the treatment of osetoarthritis.  I didn’t carry my CBD/thc oil with me as it would’ve melted into nothingness, and my primary physician begrudgingly gave me a 15 day “script” for diclofenac 50 mgs.  So, as I ran my errands the first day, I put up with some fairly uncomfortable moments.

The second day, Tuesday last week, through the help of a hometown friend, Jacquie Young who picked me up and returned me to John’s place where I was staying for the week, I was able to present a motivational talk to the BSO’s “Community Justice Program” in Cooper City, FL.  My friend of many years in Broward County, Nicole Mercado Valencia, who runs the program invited me so that they could award me with a plaque for being a faithful community volunteer for that program!  Jacquie even took pictures!  The participants were very welcoming to me and each wrote an “evaluation” of my presentation, which included a demonstration of the “lotus position” for yoga and meditation as well as reading and reflecting on an excerpt from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s New York Times Best Seller, “Becoming Supernatural”.  His work on biofeedback and how to re-energize our “energy centers” or chakras to remove blockages as well as how to re-inform our body’s “cells” and molecular assignments, so to speak, has caught my attention and become the center of my healing.  I also got some flax seed oil and tablets and was gifted a bottle of “Black Seed Oil” by a friend also from White Plains, John Young, who was thinking of making the trip but opted out as something came up.  I got my fingerprints taken at the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department and then mailed them from the post office to the FBI Headquarters in Virginia myself, which completes the Stateside-steps needed to complete my application for residency here in Costa Rica.

As I sat here this morning writing at 8:00am, the rain was falling gently … then harder … and I inhaled the freshness of the air and observed the harmony of nature from my open windows.  Please, be sure to have a wonderful day.  The rain has stopped … the Sun’s out!  Always strive to be the best that YOU can be … no competition necessary … and “Know Thyself”!


John I. Cook, Director

Time Passes . . .

Happy Friday, All!

So I am up for it today, a hearty T.G.I.F.!  How does that make you feel … being grateful and stuff?!  Cool, I hope!

Well, this message comes on the heels of a highly charged spiritual morning I had a few days ago.  It goes something like this.

Waking up in the morning, listening to the extreme sounds of nature in a rain forest country and observing all the foliage heightens my senses and establishes a peace within me in which I feel at one with the universe.  Often on mornings like this, I relax in my bed, dangling my feet from the “foot” of the bed and just sit there.  Then, I had occasion two mornings ago to just flop back down on the bed!  I had no appointments at 7am, which is what time I usually sit up, though I wake up anywhere between 5 and 6am.

Two mornings ago, I woke up thinking about a public school and a boarding school buddy of mine, Robert Aurelius Hipp.  He was out of White Plains like me, and we both had been selected from “The Projects” to apply for St. Paul’s School.  We bonded from that process though our families were very close and had siblings of the same age as were “Bobby” and me.  His family was from the “Dirty South”, too, and his father was an expert mechanic and antique car restoration specialist.  We lived in the same apartment building, “135 South Lexington Avenue”.  My father and “Charlie Hipp” had that in common … cars!  “Bobby” was in our senior class triple dormitory room at St. Paul’s with me and Larry T. Woody out of Baltimore, MD … “College Park” to be exact.  All three of us played varsity basketball under Coach Blake who was also the director of the athletic department at St. Paul’s.  Strangely enough, our senior year, “Bobby” had a medical emergency one night while we slept that all but scared the shoes off of us.  We learned later, after he had passed away, that he had been suffering from cancerous tumors in his brain …  But before “Bobby” left this realm of existence, he had finished a business degree at the University of Wisconsin, landed a job back home in White Plains with General Foods as one of if not the youngest product manager … and had gotten married.  He left us in his early 20’s … peace be still …

I had just been inspired to write to Coach Blake the day before I woke up thinking about “Bobby”.  I also had been thinking about another boarding school buddy out of “Bed-Stuy” Brooklyn, Jose St. Elmo Wiltshire.  He left us a couple of years ago unexpectedly for me …  So here I am this morning, thinking of how wonderful these two people were in my childhood and growing up, and wanting to tell Coach Blake how much I appreciate and love him while he and I are both still here!  Do you have a “chip” on your shoulder for someone?  Get rid of it … it’s interrupting your peace!  Reach out to each other, take your time and care about each other, because these apparent “situations” are actually opportunities for us humans to grow and commune in love, peace and harmony!  TAKE those opportunities before they pass with time …

Have a great weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

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