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Wholeness, Much Love, and Pura Vida.

If you’ve been following the bamboo scene in Costa Rica you’ll know that Rodo and Trey are local legends. Rodo, a life-long bamboo master has crafted some of the most compelling structures in the country and studied with many master craftsmen from Asia. Trey, well known for his innovative stage builds and developing the bamboo industry in Costa Rica also brings his ecological knowledge of how the plant grows, stemming from his other hobby as a passionate fruit head. When I got the news that EcoMaste would be hosting a Bamboo Building workshop with Trey and Rodo doing hands-on-training while building their shower and cabina frame, I was stoked!!

A construction site and training workshop combined with a rowdy group of natural building enthusiasts from all over the world is a big vibe! I was even more stoked when I drove onto the gorgeous permaculture oasis of EcoMaste with a stocked pond, dozens of tropical birds, and a stunning local river surrounded by bamboo and Reina de La Noche flowers. Amanda and Jose, the guardians of the land there are heart warming permacuralists and herbalists who have the unique ability to make everyone feel at home immediately.

The vibe was high and every day our communal bamboo stoke kept building. We started out simply learning how to shape nails and the regenerative and structural glories of bamboo. Bamboo when cut can regenerate its growth to a fully mature bamboo shoot in just a little as four years. When treated Asper and other types of bamboo can last for 50+ years and is structurally just as strong, lighter and more versatile than trees. It’s a great solution to prevent local deforestation. We also learned how to identify various species and within no time were out in the jungle with a chainsaw learning how to care for and harvest this amazing regenerative resource.

We all got super excited when our phenomenal chef and kitchen team let us put our new skill to good use and prepare some bamboo cookers to make rice and jungle plantain stew over an open fire. Every meal was delicious and gathering in a circle to sing and give gratitude before each meal helped build camaraderie and a groovy after work vibe where we’d watch documentaries about bamboo and get inspired about other international projects.

On the last day, in celebration we devoured all you can eat jungle vegan pizza. Then built a bonfire under the stars and shook out all our heavy lifting with an epic ecstatic dance party. We shared our little side projects of chopsticks, bongs, necklaces, and Rodo even gave away a mirror we had designed and built in class.

We all left inspired and deeply connected to the vision of natural building and bamboo with only a few cuts, bruises and bee stings and a seriously phenomenal week of growth. EcoMaste’s open door and open minded community made it easy for workers and other bamboo enthusiasts to walk in the door and share. And you might want to stay a while there too see the fresh new natural building structures being built on their incredible land.

By: Natalie Bankhead

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I had the pleasure of joining the Diamante Valley community at EcoMaste when the indigenous Mamos elders arrived. Masters at listening to nature and creating harmony with earth’s energy, this year they made offerings to the earth and held an open circle discussion for our heart tribe community. You could really feel the change in energy. As a frequent visitor of EcoMaste, I always love the family vibe, relaxed setting and abundance of nature. On their last visit the Mamos determined negative and positive stones on the property. They explained that all lands embody both masculine and feminine, positive and negative qualities. Negative or positive not being especially good or bad rather holding a specific charge. The co-founders of EcoMaste Amanda and Jose were instructed to not move the stones, acknowledge both the negative and positive and create a deep relationship with the land. On this recent visit they moved the negative stone, explaining that the stagnate, heavy energy of the land had been shifted and the land was calling for rock to be moved and erected. The positive stone was also positioned upright. The Mamos said that these areas were ready to be activated so their energies could flow harmoniously without obstructions.

I could feel it the moment I walked through the doors, the feeling was lighter. That’s one thing I’ve learned from Mamo's visit to EcoMaste, that each land has positive and negative energies. We don’t have to evade or cover up the negativity of the past or pain, but rather sit with it and listen to how the earth and what our bodies are telling us. There isn’t a lesser or better energy, they both need to be honored and given space to be fully expressed. Also, there is no need for excessive conversation about right or wrong, but rather the Mamo’s delivered a message of radical simplification and deep listening to self and land.

Famous for their role as “Big brother” and guardians of the heart of the spirit of the world, they told us that we as “the little brothers” are not lesser or bad, but simply the younger siblings who choose to travel the lands. They believe we have been gone too long and have lost our way home due to confusion. As members of the community asked questions of diet and why they are drawn to this place, the Mamos reminded us gently, if you ask the question you already know the answer. Don’t weave in confusion and doubt. Learn to listen to yourself. Even the most skeptical can learn to listen to our mother earth for she is telling us what she needs, what we need to survive.

We are all one family, the big brother, the little brothers, the waters and earth. We are earth people and this is our home. As little brothers we must learn to integrate and guard the spirits of the earth instead of just taking from our mother. We can stop weaving the ideas of profit, productivity and fear. When we think these things we create them in our physical reality. As humans we are thinkers and we are the creators of our own realities. We all will find peace and harmony as we return to the natural laws of our earth and live in alignment with our mother’s call.

Simplify, Listen, and Be Empowered were the main takeaways from the Mamo's message. As a community we made beautiful organic meals, some brought black bean cake, others made music and many just sat by the river and listened to her sing. It was simple and happy. We came knowing we have a lot of ups and downs to work through, to create the healing communities and destinations many of us envision, and we left united knowing that our careful thoughts and words could be the thread that can weave our visions together.

By Natalie Bankhead

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What does love mean to you? We dove into this question and others for this Full Moon gathering the theme being, "Love as a New Creation." The inspiration of this theme came from the progression of our last gathering which focused on forgiveness. After releasing the suffering and pain caused from ourselves, others, and situations within and out of our hands a new spaciousness was made available.

Surrounded by Love

Many of us have stories and conditions around love. We have reasons why we don't accept love or why we grip onto it so tightly that we eventually suffocate what we wanted to flourish.

The first step in reprograming is acknowledging what's there and why, forgiving, and then setting down a new foundation which supports who you are now and how you want to give and receive love. A light was shed on women's moon time because it is another area of our lives that has been hidden and made into something unholy. The truth is women's moon time reflects the life cycle, death, birth, growth, decline. By seeing this parallels in ourselves and honoring it also opens yet another door of potential love and new creation. After moving and transforming so much energy and digesting the last several events I can say that I am not the person I was 3 months ago. I've been shown that I am a every evolving being. I have my ebbs and flows and so does everyone else. Sometimes the way I love is by choosing to close my door and just simply being alone. Other times its by making delicious food, offering full hugs, and giving my complete attention to someone.

My husband and I have been married for over 6 months now and have been in a journey since February. Taking a huge leap of trust and committing to move to Costa Rica and creating EcoMaste. During the last several months I've surrendered more and more into trusting love and appreciation of my partner. Learning the art of making direct clear requests, and not taking things personally. Acknowledging each other for what we do for ourselves, each other, and for the community.

For me my new creation of love is one that mimics the torus. I am love within and project love, and I choose to receive the love around me. I set clear boundaries of what I do not wish to experience. I'm learning to release expectations and be open to receive someone else's expression of love and accept that its beautiful even if, its different than mine. My love language is thoughtfulness, little gestures like, (making me cacao in the morning when I don't ask), touch, listening, and patience.

I invite you all to re-create love for who you are now. Dive into how you want to express it, feel it, embody it. How would you like to offer it, receive it, in what forms. Those parts of yourself that you spend the least amount of time with, befriend them, they need it the most, and see if you can truly encompass all that are with love. Then play with love, with all different relationships. How can you bring love within every exchange you have. What would change in your life if you practiced this. Can you imagine the shift if every person in a small community or even a household did this?.

The thing is, it's possible for your to experiment with these practices and take note of the changes within your life. Then, the people around you will become curious because you always seem to have this presence contentment. Slowly you share or just simply modeling love and your vibration will carry and inspire others to create the love they want to experience. May you and all beings always feel loved and cared for.

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