20 November 2023 Quepos
In search of a toilet seat
The Buddha’s ‘awakening’ under the Bodhi tree wasn’t a sudden spontaneous revelation, it was the culmination of his quest for ‘truth’ after 6 years of intense, and sometimes austere, practices. Not forgetting the insights he had before he even left his family.
In the Buddha’s first talk after he awakened to life as it really is, he shared four important realisations. He proposed that the basic pattern of life is painful and suggested that we investigate and fully understand what that pain actually means to each and every one of us. This is his first realisation; his first teaching!
He went on to point out that much of the pain of life comes as a result of our human compulsions, our preferences and aversions, which he says, can be overcome and abandoned.
He then says that it is possible for anyone to personally experience and to personally verify the absence of these compulsions.
Lastly, the Buddha suggests that we actively engage in a programme that supports the abandonment of harmful compulsions and minimises unnecessary and avoidable pain.
As tasks, these realisations might look like this:
– Recognise what it is to be human.
– Abandon painful compulsions and addictions.
– Familiarise ourselves with freedom from compulsions.
– Teach our body and mind to live a good life.
We can use the Buddha’s R.A.F.T. in our daily life to navigate our way to the safety of the far shore leaving behind our cravings, aversions and confusions.VJC (from a talk for Sangha Live Sitting with Pointlessness – Living with Potentiality – October 16, 2022
Alarm set for 7:00 am – awake at 5:55 am.
Breakfast at the Hotel Don Robert was the usual eggs, toast and coffee with the very welcome addition of a large bowl of fresh fruit.
Before I checked out, I presented the owner with a broken toilet seat. I explained in my best Spanish and with some mime that the plastic seat had nearly caused me a concussion when it snapped and slipped sideways off the toilet. The owner expressed her concern and sent me on my way.
It was a short walk to the bus station (Terminal de Buses Puntarenas – Quepos). Puntarenas is a very different town on a week day. Most of the shops are open, people are going about their business and kids are going to school.
At the bus station there are four ticket windows but not one of them was open. There’s a small cafe and a free toilet for passengers. There’s also a self appointed information guy, just like the young men at the Northern Radial bus station in San Jose.
The bus for Quepos arrived just after 10 am and left about 10:15 am.
Jaco, the first major stop on the 3-hour journey, is a surfing beach, it seemed busy, buzzy and upmarket… certainly in relation to Puntarenas.
It was a nice journey arriving at the small but busy Quepos bus station. Costa Rica’s small but most famous Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is a 20-minute shuttle bus ride away.
I found my apartment accommodation for the next three nights just a couple of blocks away. It’s comfortable and conveniently situated, near shops and restaurants.
I bought the ingredients to make tuna pasta, along with some snacks and ice-cream from the nearest supermarket.
Eat, sleep, be happy.
- Bus Ticket Puntarenas to Quepos € 5
- Supermarket shopping € 19
- Apartamento Aliga 2 booked through Booking.com € 47 self catering.