My wife Elaine and I just returned from a two-week vacation in Panama. It was clearly time for us to get away after the launch of the Clown Town Healing Fest (CTHF) which drained my time and energy.  I promised her that as soon it was over we would go anyplace she chose, which was a place with beaches, warm weather and sunshine.

The inaugural CTHF was the fulfillment of a dream that would help shift our healthcare culture from an interventional model to one that focused on prevention.  It was an enormous success… (see

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…and a week after its conclusion we left for Panama, to an archipelago on the Caribbean coast called the Bocas del Toro. We found a tropical paradise on the isla Solarte called the Garden of Eden. This extraordinary B&B provided just what we needed…quiet, comfort, great service gourmet food, early morning yoga in this silent mangrove jungle magnified every bird call and splash of the incoming tide. After yoga, a snorkeling swim enraptured by this aquarium.

This is as close to Nirvana as I can imagine, and I wondered how long I could live like this in such splendid isolation? For a short time maybe a week, but I can’t conceive of living here in the Garden forever… (just as I can’t imagine living on the golf course, playing every day, or cruising around the world endlessly). There is something in my nature that makes such pursuits seem self-indulgent. I am driven by the pursuit of productivity, a need to make a difference and leave the place at least as good as I found it.

For me, at least in this life, the Garden of Eden is not a place one lives in forever; in this life there is an impermanence to everything. I just hope I’ve learned not to wait until I am depleted and exhausted to bask in this soul-nurturing place of peace.

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