Monthly Archives: June 2008

Zentraveler on the Zen Frog!

Are you stuck? What’s holding you back? As these phrases dominate your self-talk you can buy into it and literally shut down from life and even die if you don’t make a change. But that sounds impossible I have been living this way so long it must take a great effort to move from stuck to action. Not really! What it takes is a shift in consciousness and a belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. But here is the catch. You couldn’t do it all on your own even if you wanted to. Great! Where do I go from here?

The Zen Frog

According to Zen legend two frogs found themselves entrapped into a huge pit with no way out. Looking up the frogs could see their friends telling them how awful their situation was and concurred that it was such a pity there was no way out of their situation. The one frog accepted his terrible situation and just gave up and croaked. The other frog was deaf and he took the other frogs spouting off by watching their mouths open wide as a cheerleading session —giving him group effort encouragement. The deaf frog gave a giant leap and hopped safely out of the pit.

So the moral of the story is don’t pay any attention to your own self-talk when it is negative or your neighbors and relatives, who may be giving you their own dose of negativity. Align yourself with positive thoughts and allow yourself to tap into the cosmic intelligence, which will allow you to leapfrog out of any situation. If you thought superman had it all figured out— you can also run on the same wavelengths and create a new life —if that’s something you want to do.

In summary you already have super cosmic intelligence within you and so does everyone else including: the fish, reptiles, insects, birds, animals, plants and rocks. Just by knowing it is already in your makeup gives you a great bit of knowledge, which can allow you to be friends with your innate intelligence and do anything in this World that you want. Now that’s something!!!


QUOTE: “Often in the night the bells of the mountain temple Are swung by the wind from the pines. From my bed of stone by the wintry lamp I can hear the flowering rain of Buddha.”

– Wang Wen-lu—–

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: A person in the United states wanted to have a house. The only thing he had that he could trade was a paperclip. He traded the paperclip into a ping pong ball, which he traded for a paddle, which he traded for a pair of athletic shoes, which he traded for an endorsement, which he traded for a car, which he traded for a house. So there you have it! Anything is possible! (those aren’t the exact trades but he did start with a paperclip and ended up with a house—–you get the idea)

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Your Anger! It doesn’t do anyone any good so why choose to use it?

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: If you want to see a perfect example of your true inner self take a look at the animals, birds, fishes, insects and see what you come up with. They are so connected —-and you could be too.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes ions and ions as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone and on and on and on.


Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on the merits of CoQ10 for a healthy heart!

Think about it— would you run your engine over a million miles without changing oil? Unfortunately we are not much different than an engine. It is possible to have an engine with one million miles and is as clean and smooth as when it was put in your automobile; however every engine gets sludge unless you use the correct oil and additives.

By now we are sick of hearing about cholesterol, but what if we could run an additive through our bloodstreams that would strengthen the heart muscles and help with the plaque and sticky-like sludge blood that some of us are carrying around. That would be a good thing!

Enter Coq10 which was made popular in Japan. It used to be a prescription drug in Japan and then finally got recognized for its health benefits as a nutritional supplement. The Japanese known for their longevity use a lot of CoQ10 as part of their daily health regiment. “The widespread use of CoQ10 by physicians in Japan steadily increased to such a high level that by 1982, CoQ10 became one of the most widely used products by the entire Japanese Pharmaceutical industry.”—–livingwellnaturally

Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that can be found in every cell of the body, where it is used to produce the large amounts of energy needed for healthy cell growth, repair after damage, and maintenance. CoQ10 also functions as a powerful antioxidant, which protects the cells and the entire body from damage caused by harmful molecules.

Not only does it help keep the cells of the body healthy and in good condition, CoQ10 helps to keep the entire body functioning by helping to supply necessary energy to hard working organs. CoQ10 functions as a sort of catalyst, jump starting energy production within cells. The body then uses the generated energy for a host of vital processes, including smooth and striated muscle contraction and digestion.

Scientists have also discovered that CoQ10 is found in especially high concentrations in organs that require a lot of energy, such as the heart. Without CoQ10, energy production and therefore organ function would screech to a halt.

“Researchers first discovered and named Coenzyme Q10 in 1957 while they were examining how the cell produces energy. Almost fifty years later, scientists are still finding new and better uses for the important substance, and have begun to discover evidence that treating patients with CoQ10 supplements may actually assist in the prevention and treatment of such devastating illnesses as heart disease and cancer.

CoQ10 can help prevent heart disease by first using its antioxidant power to prevent cholesterol from being attacked by free radicals in the body, freeing up precious reserves of vitamin E for other uses by the body. In this way, the coenzyme has also been found to work in conjunction with vitamin E to prevent the damage to arteries caused by cholesterol that leads to heart disease.

Also, because of its original purpose of generating energy for the heart, some researchers are beginning to believe that CoQ10 can be used as a drug to boost failing organs, especially the heart.

“CoQ10 boosts energy, enhances the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. A growing body of research suggests that using coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements may help prevent or treat many of the western diseases that are so prevalent in our society today.

Researchers believe that the beneficial effect of CoQ10 in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is due to its ability to improve energy production in cells, inhibit blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant. One important study, for example, found that people who received daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were significantly less likely to experience subsequent heart attacks and chest pain. In addition, these same patients were less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not receive the supplements.

In addition to the benefits of heart disease. Coq10 is also helpful with the following health related issues: congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart surgery, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, periodontal gum disease and maybe it’s greatest benefit of all— is it’s energy boost.

Preliminary studies also suggest that CoQ10 may:

  • Improve immune function in individuals with immune deficiencies (such as AIDS) and chronic infections (such as yeast and other viral infections)
  • Increase sperm motility leading to enhanced fertility
  • Be used as part of the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduce damage from stroke
  • Boost athletic performance
  • Enhance physical activity in people with fatigue syndromes
  • Improve exercise tolerance in individuals with muscular dystrophy

source: University of Maryland Medical Center

So there you have it if you had to select just one nutritional supplement to help keep your body in tip top shape CoQ10 might be that very supplement that you are looking for. You can order it over the internet or pick it up at your local health-food store.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any products, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

QUOTE: “How can he smile so happily? Do not compare him with others; His worldliness is not worldly, His joy comes from his own nature.”

– Fugai Ekun (1568-1654)—–

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: How many different kinds of insects are there in the world? Scientists have discovered and named about 1,000,000 different creatures in the animal world, from insects and worms to reptiles and humans. Of these, more than 800,000 are insects! Each year, from 7,100 to 10,000 new insects are discovered, but scientists believe that anywhere from 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 are still waiting to be discovered.

These small, six-legged creatures include bees, ants, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, cockroaches, termites, fleas, and beetles. Although some insects annoy us by spreading disease, damaging crops and household items, and biting people and pets, these represent only about 17% of all the 800,000 species.

The rest of the insects serve a very valuable purpose in nature. These serve as food for birds, frogs, fish, and other animals; pollinate crops; destroy other harmful insects; give us honey, bees wax, shellac, and silk; and keep the land clean by feeding on dead animals and plants.

Insects have lived on earth for at least 4,000,000 years. They have survived for such a long time because they are able to adapt to all types of living conditions and temperatures, from freezing to 120° Fahrenheit, and even in vacuum conditions, and will eat almost anything.

One square mile of land contains more insects than the total number of human beings on earth!—–

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Insects! They may save your life when you least expect it.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Take CoQ10 often to keep yourself in tip top shape.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes ions and ions as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!


Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler treks to Vieques and Culbera Islands in Puerto Rico!

The big jet lands hard in San Juan, Puerto Rico as we double and triple bounce across the runway. I give a few hail Mary’s and an glad to put my feet on Terra Firma. It is late at night and I am a bit dis-oriented as I try to figure out how to find an inexpensive hotel for the night. Bright lights, noise, and people moving fast every which way you look.

Cabbies approach me trying to grab my bag out of my hand. Fancy resort signs are being held up everywhere. Why don’t I just hop on on of those slick hotel destination buses and settle up later. I must look and act like a tourist— what do they know? Take the path of least residence I say to myself. Why do you insist on taking the hardest route— what’s in for you? I know! This is just another KOAN ZEN test to see If I am paying attention.

Finally I decide to run across a busy street in the rain and hail down a cabbie on the side street. He delivers me to a nearby hotel for about 35 dollars a night and I turn in. The following morning I head part way by local bus towards Rio Piedras, where I am supposed to catch a mainline bus to the town of Playa de Fajardo serving the islands. I have now walked at least three miles taking in the sights and enjoying the bustling cityscape. I stop for a local drink and like the idea that people are very expressive in their neighborhood sidewalk kiosks. People passing me on the sidewalk are walking fast as if rushing to catch the next bus or subway.

I am now in the Rio Piedras bus terminal and get aboard a bus heading east. A few other passengers tell me they will eventually leave when they have the bus about three fourths filled. One hour later I am still on the bus. I leave and go to the bathroom in the bus terminal. When I return the bus driver magically appeared from somewhere and is starting up the bus and says: “we are leaving mas pronto.” The bus wheels out of the bus terminal and I am on my way. Taking in the sights I see some road signs to the El Yunque National Forest. Puerto Rico has one of the most accessible tropical Rainforests in the world and is a ecotourism paradise. If you have the time try to schedule this national treasure as a day trip and hiking adventure.—It will be well worth a look-see and will definitely score some green points.

I say to myself on the road again I wonder what adventure lies ahead? Whatever it is it will be very, very interesting indeed! This beats pulling a nine to fiver I say under my breathe. At the small town of Playa de Fajardo I had lunch where I was told the locals eat. Nothing fancy but the food was to die for. A basket of fresh baked hard bread, a local whole baked fish with rice and a tropical salad. Wow! That’s what I like about travel You never know what new discovery you can add to your list and your memory bank. Belly full I feel like the big Buddha!

I board the ferry and take the hour and half trip and head to the island of Vieques. The island of Vieques is approximately seven miles from the mainland, has two towns and has a population of approximately 8000 people. It is mostly arid, similar to the U.S. Virgin islands, and is 18 by 5 miles in size. Vieques has many wonderful beaches, ideal weather and has not been overbuilt yet.

Vieques used to be the United States of America’s bombing range and home of The U.S. Navy which leased over two thirds of the island. One of the locals told me: “we had enough explosives buried underneath in tunnels to blow up half of the world.” At any rate after about fifteen years of the locals fighting— The US government returned the lands back to the sovereignty of Puerto Rico allowing the entire island of Vieques to have a bright future.

I checked in at the first hotel, where the ferry lands in the Port of Isabella Segunda, and continued to explore the island. I walk through the town imagining myself living here one day. I pass a small hotel with art-glass in the window, The lady explained she and her husband retired here and run this small hotel where they enjoy island life and the balmy weather.

Many official looking cars drive though the town and drive around the turnaround at the pier. The lady at the hotel explained a lot of these folks are on the government payroll and she is not sure what they do. She laughed and said: “I guess they are here to protect us.” I stop at a local pub and get a tropical salad and iced tea. I take a bus going toward the east coast. The bus driver tells me: “this is my stop and you have about a five mile walk to the ocean.” Perfect I thought to myself!”

Maybe it is times like this that allows you reflect and actually see weeds, horses, and the blue sky. Have you actually looked at the sky lately? I must tell you it’s a work of art. In fact it’s out of this world. Watching the clouds roll majestically the walking adventure turns into an artists landscape. As you head out of town you see some small houses built on the side of the hill. You think to yourself this gets the afternoon sun what a great place to have a retirement house. After walking up some very steep terrain and wondering if you would ever make it— you can see the tranquil blue waters in the distant.

You take a long swim in the waters and say to yourself: “this is it.” I hope one day to be able to swim every day of my life in the ocean. Now all I need to do is find that place. If I keep going that dream will also materialize. Under the law of natural abundance anything you desire will be given to you. So if I want the entire world I can have it? “Yes! Remember grasshopper this world we live in is just a micro-cosmos of the really big picture. ” Thinking to myself! Are you sure?”

I return to my hotel and watch the beautiful sunset from the rooftop. The following morning I walk through the town and stop in at the local bakery and pick out some of the best looking and smelling bakery goods I have ever seen. I take the bus out heading to the Southern coast to the small beach town of Esperanza. At the town I rent a room on the second floor for the night. I am told that the sea is the most electric ocean in the world showing an effervescence that emanates from the sea— giving off a blue-green light-show compared to none.

Hidden along the Caribbean coast is one of the most spectacular Bioluminescent Bays in the world. The mysterious blue-green light is created by micro-organisms which thrive in an environment uniquely suited to their needs. A trip into the bay on a balmy night is a magical experience. Fish flash by in dark water, and a swim is like floating through stardust.”Captain Sharon Grasso

I meet a fellow American who moved here from California several years ago. He invited me fishing the following day. We caught several six foot barracudas and I tore off on what appeared to be the king of the sea. My friend laughed and said: “all yes we have some big fish in the area—That’s for sure.”

Esperanza is set up for ecotourism which includes: kayaking, snorkeling, night dives, nature trails, fishing, birdwatching and more. Quite a few Americans have purchased retirement homes here and I must say this would be a pretty good place to make your home for awhile. Those who enjoy the afternoon cocktails can belly up to the bar overlooking the Caribbean. And by the sounds of what I heard could probably solve all of our problems in a nano-second. Remembering how temporary we really are—- what’s another address in the scheme of things?

From the Island of Vieques I took the ferry to the nearby island of Culbera to spend a few days there. My first impression was it had canals and a internal lake connected to the sea which made it appear like an Italian city. It had many good restaurants, the people were friendly, and they were building beautiful homes on the hills.

I met an old Puerto Rican native who was working on his fishing boat and he encouraged me to buy the piece of waterfront land next to his house. He told me his taxes were 100 dollars a year, his water free and his electric 15 dollars a month. I went to the building department and they told me I could not build on that piece of land because it was too small. What do they know —It seemed perfect for me!

So there you have it if you want to live on an island that belongs to Puerto Rico and retain all of your benefits of US citizenship maybe you should scout around and consider a look-see. Plus, you don’t need a passport to fly-there and you can get incredible flights to San Juan from any city in the US.

QUOTE: “This old monk meditates and Rests in the empty mountains In loneliness and stillness Through the days and nights. When I leave the pure cliffs, I am distracted by callers. The world of people is first And always the world of people. ”

– Seigan Soi (1588-1661) —–

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Why do Jellyfish sting? They look innocent enough; However, it is these tentacles that make them so dangerous, for on them are stinging cells called nematocysts. When the umbrella-like jellyfish moves through the water, its tentacles drift along behind it. Jellyfish do not attack their prey rapidly like sharks and other fish. They might slowly propel themselves along, but usually they lie in wait for sea creatures to come to them. Whatever living thing they touch, they sting.

All of the 200 varieties of jellyfish have stinging ability, which they use to paralyze the prey that comes within touch of their tentacles. The poison from the nematocysts of the jellyfish varies with the species. Some stings are very harmful to humans, while others will merely cause skin irritation.

Jellyfish are among the most dangerous creatures of the ocean. It is hard to realize this from their looks, for they appear to be nothing more than near-transparent blobs with long, dangling tentacles.

The deadliest jellyfish, the sea wasp, has a poison which can kill a person in 20 minutes by paralyzing the heart! —–

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes ions and ions as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!


Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


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Zentraveler on the fable of letting go!

What in the blazes are you trying to do my self talk says? You know you can’t take it with you. Then why in the world are trying to and hang on to all of this stuff? One of the famous Zen practices is to imagine yourself floating down a river and not trying to hold on or to obstruct the float. Just let go and free float. Ok— close your eyes and try it. Wow that’s amazing their we go floating down the river without giving any resistance. As the French would say: “La Resistance!” It’s the resistance that’s causing you all of your unhappiness and pain. As soon as you learn to let go you connect with your free spirit inside and things change for the better. It’s maybe our most important Universal Law!

We are on a very long float —- just spinning with the eddies and traveling with the current taking in all of the marvelous natural sights. We are floating on our backs and are going with the flow. It’s amazing what you see as you read the auras of the green trees against the blue sky. Lying straight down like an otter we shoot the next set of rapids. A dragonfly shows off just above us as we continue on our journey. Wow that’s pretty cool— just think of the birds and the sky divers how free they must feel as they float along. Look Ma – no hands!!

We can have baggage and plenty of it. If you want to get rid of the baggage and wipe the slate clean you can do that. You can start with the prayer: Let go! Let God! If you really made this a part of your daily life you are in essence transforming your holding on to past grudges, injustices, and wrongs— caused by others. It happens to everyone, But it only takes hold if you give it merit.

By simply stating: “Let go Let God” you take all of the air out of your childhood and current hanging on to misery, prejudice, worry, and a life crippled with pain. You could probably save about a trillion dollars at the shrinks couch if you would just concentrate on the phrase: “let go let god!

If it is something really personal and bothersome you can write down your complaints and injustices and simply dedicate a personal ceremony to get rid of these bothersome intrusions into your life by sending them off in a balloon, cut them up with scissors or give only five minutes per day to these issues until you are free. That’s it in a nutshell. Let go let god!

The Fable of Letting Go

“A rose withered. A bee however was still sucking on it because she had sucked honey from it before. Now, on the same rose, all she could suck out was bitter, poisonous juice. The bee felt the difference as it was so sweet before. She became miserable and complained and complained, why did the taste change? Why couldn’t it be just like before? Finally, one day, the bee gathered her strength and flew a bit higher. Then and there, she saw that, nearby the withered rose, there were blossoming flowers all over the place.” —–translated from Chinese by

QUOTE: “The wise people of old who Took goodness as their way Possessed marvelously Subtle powers of penetration; They were so deep that None could plumb their mind, And, on this account, if forced
To describe them we can only Say that they moved cautiously Like people fording a river;

The wise people of old whoTook goodness as their wayWere retiring as though shy Their conduct to all was Respectful as though to Honored guests; they could adapt themselves Like ice melting before a fire;
They were artless As blocks of uncarved wood.”

lao tzu——

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: By the simple act of Letting Go you are transforming your life.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Nothing! Become less so you can be more!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: You are what you think! You better change your self-talk from time to time or your motor will wear out.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler discovers native Indian Cancer remedy!

There I was laying on the floor while Mohamed worked me over with some form of Chinese martial arts, which included boards and clubs. He warned me I couldn’t scream because that would give a bad impression to his customers in the waiting room. I half-sheepishly asked if I could have a silver bullet to bite down while he maneuvered me around with his knee and then stretched a board against the wall to keep me pinned down. I was thinking under my breathe: “now I know what they mean about a Chinese Torture Chamber.”

As you walk into his massage parlor there is a photo of him levitating above a bed of nails. He also was Shak Oneil’s personal sport’s trainer for several years and looks like Samson himself. So I just let go and thought to myself if anyone could loosen up these torn or stretched muscles it would be Mohamed.

After a very interesting session on my muscles connecting my backside to my legs he invited me for a cup of Essaic tea. Om my way out I purchased a box of Essaic tea and than began to read the incredible story of a nurse in Canada who actually discovered this herbal formula and has been using it for years in Canada as a treatment for various immune diseases including cancer.

Sometimes you have to look outside of the box to find something that is not well known or has the support of the medical community. If by drinking the Essiac tea formula for the rest of your life could make a difference in you overall health— would it be worth it to give it a try? The answer will eventually have to be decided by you. But, I for one believe that nature and it’s natural outdoor pharmacy has a cure for every disease known to man. It’s just a matter of time before our scientists connect with our DNA cell structure and create a match for your particular disease,

Discovered in Canada the herb locally known as Essiac, given its name by Rene Caisse (“caisse” spelt backwards), consists of four main herbs that grow in the wilderness of Ontario, Canada. The original formula is believed to have its roots from the native Canadian Ojibway Indians. The four main herbs that make up Essiac are Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Inner Bark, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb Root

“In 1922, a Canadian nurse named Rene Caisse met an 80-year old woman who claimed she had been cured of advanced breast cancer. The woman credited the cure to an ancient Native American recipe of herbs and roots that had been given to her by a medicine man 30 years before.

“Rene asked the medicine man to tell her what the herbs were and how to take them. She did, and Renee filed the information away to be used one day if needed. Two years later, her aunt was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and liver and was considered terminal. The aunt’s doctor agreed to let the patient take the brew. Rene located the herbs, with some difficulty, brewed the tea, and successfully treated her aunt with it. She lived another 21 years with no recurrence. The doctor was so impressed with the result of the herbs that he asked her to treat his other “hopeless” cancer patients! That was the beginning of Rene’s new career.

Rene called the remedy, “Essiac” Together, she and her aunt’s doctor treated terminally-ill cancer patients. The doctor considered Nurse Caisse a worthy colleague. He spread the word about her treatment and by 1926, she was well enough known that a group of eight medical doctors consulted her in the case of an old man whose face was almost eaten away by malignant growth. They said, “If your treatment can help him in this stage, we will know you have discovered a successful remedy for cancer. “Rene recorded, “My treatment stopped the bleeding in less than 24 hours. The old man’s face healed and he lived for six more months, with very little discomfort.”

The eight physicians were convinced. They submitted a petition to the Department of National Health in Ottawa, Canada, requesting that Nurse Rene Caisse be given facilities to do independent research with her herbal remedy. But the petition back-fired. Health and Welfare’s own investigating physicians showed up at her front door without warning, carrying papers that authorized Rene’s arrest, but because she charged no fees for her services, she was not jailed. Because of this event, she decided never to disclose the herbal formula or the brewing instructions, through the next 50 years she continued to treat anyone who came to her.” ——Michael Reynolds

She later died and the formula went into the public domain. Since that time their have been clinics and herbal teas available through the internet and herbal health food stores. So there you have it! A product originally used by the Indians and refined by a nurse-care-giver that could be a breakthrough in the treatment of Cancer and other immune diseases.

If all of this research from around the world is put together, I think it’s just a matter of time before they find a cure for cancer. Let’s hope our mutual governments include extra money in their budgets for research. This is not the time to cut our medical research budgets. If they have to cut something how about take one military airplane off the docket and get serious about our health issues.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

QUOTE: “When suddenly mind and environment are both forgotten, there is the ability to penetrate freely earth, mountains and rivers. The whole substance of the real body of the king of Dharma is manifest; people these days face it without knowing it. ”

Daio (1235-1309)—–


THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Zentraveler is a Swordfish and they are certainly worth saving!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Drink your Essiac Herbal Tea!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.

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Zentraveler hats off to Rio Hato, Panama!

Just outside the modern and explosive city of Panama lies several Pacific Ocean islands connected by a ferry system. If you have nostalgia for military bases and would like to see one of Noreiga’s old haunts or would just like to explore a Pacific island then Rio Hato might just fit the bill.

A former United States military training base this island has all of the marks of island life including brilliant bougainvillea growing wild throughout the area. While hiking around you can find bread shops, (locally called pan) small restaurants, and neighborhood bars where the locals hangout. With some of the best offshore fishing in the world you can make arrangements with the locals for a day trip charter.

If you were a writer or had your own home Internet business this would be a pretty good place to hang your hat while watching nearby beaches explode with activity. Still with a village feel you can find all of your local stuff at reasonable prices and also remain in the country of Panama, which has been the number one destination for the last several years for x-pats from the states. Panama offers excellent incentives for retirees, has a good health-care system and still has reasonable prices on most

While you are exploring around the area you might want to check out Santa Clara. Santa Clara has a beautiful white sand beach, with not many tourists throughout the week, (locals come here on the weekends) a few really good fish restaurants and excellent overnight accommodations. Even though there is plenty of construction in the area— this is just the beginning of year’s of Real Estate development in Panama. This might be a good time to check out the three town area and purchase your own beach front property or condo.

You should also check out Farallon which is now a hot beach destination. It was just another sleepy fishing village until the Colombian owned Decameron Hotel Chain built a mega resort in late 2000. Now with condos sprouting up the days are probably numbered for discovering this sleepy fishing village hideaway on your own. At any rate these off the beaten path communities are a short distance from Panama and can transport you instantly into the island mood. You can visit all three beach towns and come back with a nice suntan, lots of outdoor water adventures and plenty of excellent photos.

While your in Panama you should purchase an authentic Panama hat with the tight weave. Not only do these Panama hats have style, but they are very durable as well. And if you have ever been a sucker for nostalgic movies— what could look cooler than a white linen suit topped off with a Panama hat? Brad Pitt is sporting hats these days. Families used to pass these fine Panama hats down as heirlooms.

It’s funny when I travel in Merida, Mexico they tell me they make the only original Panama hats, and when I am in Nicaragua they tell me the same thing, and to top it off the real Panama hat is actually made in Ecuador. So if all of this still sounds confusing we can say that these beautiful Panama hats are made by hand by indigenous folks from Mexico, Central and South America. While in Panama you can purchase an authentic Panama hat made locally at one of the craft shops, which helps support the local artists—and that’s a good thing. And when the conversation is a bit dull you can always discuss where your Panama hat was really made. Really— I dare say ole boy!

The country of Panama is a democracy and is relatively free from political strife. You also have the balmy weather, excellent offshore fishing, and groupers the size of 12 year old boys brought up by local divers. So if you wanted to pick a place that felt like Spain, had a sense of island and bright blue waters, found the people to be friendly, and needed a new address, away from the hustle and bustle— anyone of these three islands just might be the ticket.

QUOTE: “Lu-men moonlight spills through misty trees and I come again to the old hermitage.The path leads through pines, to the brushwork door back again to solitude and silence. Where a hermit lives, there’s no need for companions.”

– Meng Hao-jan (689-740)—–

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The Panama hat is made in Ecuador! “The Panama hat is one of the original traditional components of the sartorial treasures of numerous indigenous communities in the provinces of Azuay and Manabi in the south of Ecuador. The manufacture of this hat is made with the leaves of carludovica palmata (tree of the cyclanthacees family), called straws of toquilla, rests largely therefore, once again, on a traditional manual, and essentially feminine ability. The Panama hat, secular evidence of a way of life and things (handicrafts) created by these indigenous groups, became the object of the attention of the privileged among western consumers around 1881 when work was first begun on the Panama canal. Curiously the hat was and is distributed around the world under its present name which refers Panama City, its first distribution center. Coveted for the first time for its functional qualities (hardiness, suppleness and lightness) it soon became well known in the Hollywood movies of Forties as it entered the pantheon of hat wear for the stars. This is how an everyday piece of hat ware of an indigenous people became a symbol of sophistication and luxury for occidental countries.'”——

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Panama Hats: Like Levy bluejeans— they are already being sought after as collector’s items. They keep you from the hot sun, shelter you during a rain storm, and they are oh so cool. My hat’s off to the Panama Hat.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Always wear your Panama hat—especially when you blog.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.


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