Posted on 04 May 2009.
Here is a shot taken from the front yard of our Ecuador sanctuary in the Andes.
This land is part of a cloud forest and we are often truly above the clouds!
Many valleys in Ecuador are famous for the longevity of the residents. Our search for such valleys led us to understand that we can use more than landscape to live better, richer and longer.
This article was written on May 2, 2009, on the 41st anniversary of starting my international business. Yet I plan to keep writing and sharing information for 41 more years!
This was more than an idle boast. The promise was made from a belief and understanding that began to grow when we first arrived in Ecuador and began searching for the longevity valleys there.
That longevity search an Ecuadorian Taita Yatchak (Shaman of the highest learning) who told us there was an unoccupied valley with special healing powers.
He offered to take us there. (More on why below).
Here is Merri and me with the Taita Yatchak after purifying in a sacred spring in preparation for the trip into the Ecuador longevity valley.
We invited friends and started our journey at 4:30 a.m. hiking from 10,500 feet, to 14,000 feet. Here we are getting ready to go.
After hours of climbing we descended 4,000 feet down a hidden, mud, animal trail for three hours into a virtually impenetrable cloud forest, ripped by thorns, cut by razor grass, soaked, and caked in mud.
Here we are ready to descend.
And here we are in the cloud forest during the descent.
By the time we arrived in the valley, it was just minutes before dark. We were fatigued by the high altitude, bone weary from our packs, every muscle aching from fighting all day with the sucking mud (which had regularly pulled off our boots).
We stayed in a floorless, leaky thatch hut, sleeping on dirt, no heat except the cooking fire, no running water, no nothing. The next morning, to our surprise we all felt and looked wonderful! Those who had been injured had no sign of the injuries. We explored the valley which is perpetually wrapped in mist and fog. We swam in small icy, deep blue lagoons and did ancient exercises while the Taita Yatchak talked with us. We were continually cold, wet, dirty and cramped-all 12 of us in this tiny hut with its earthen floor.
I cannot describe how we felt except to say none of us had ever had so much fun and had such a sense of well-being.
There is something about the valley I cannot yet explain. Even at times when we were really worried about some of the party who had gone into shock from fatigue, there was never a moment of regret.
We discovered a magical quality to this Sacred Valley and even over a decade and a half after our return have found powerful emotional and physical evolutions happening to all of us. Merri and I, along with the others, feel physically stronger, more alert, more positive, more active and yet more serene than ever before in our lives.
After this journey we purchased the 962 acre Hacienda Rosaspamba and lived and studied there for nearly a year with the Taita Yatchak and his apprentices.
Here is another shot at Rosaspamba of one of the yatchak’s apprentices.
Living in a healthy place like Rosaspamba can help longevity. More important is the fact that one can have longevity anywhere. We discovered this at our other sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains where we also live. The family cemetery on our farm has five headstones with people aged 86, 91, 95, 100 and 115 at death.
The 115 year old lived from 1794 to 1909. I wonder what type of medical insurance she had… back here in these hills. Here is that cemetery.
Merri and I have studied global health secrets for decades and have lived with healing masters from China, Tibet, the Andes and India to learn that it is not only where you live.. but how you live that creates longevity.
Mountain mists are important to longevity. One Ecuador shaman taught us that the hydrogen ions in the mists bond with free radicals on the skin to cleanse the body from the outside in.
Longevity does not come from quadruple bypasses, pacemakers, chemo, radiation and all the modern drugs so many people use.
Up here in these mountains people in decades and centuries past labored, breathed clean air, drank pure water and ate fresh food. These were hardy mountain people who worked hard, had little, ate little and with that made the most. Life was simple and they kept it that way. Longevity was their reward.
Now is the time to be thinking about longevity.
Many of us work so hard to build financial security then lose it through lingering illness or even worse death, heart attacks – stress, diabetes -bad diet, cancer – over-aggression created by the effort.
Good water is important to longevity. This is a mineral thermal springs near Cotacachi Ecuador that we visit for a soak on our Ecuador shamanic mingo tours.
Does this lifestyle make sense?
The answer, “No, it does not make sense” led Merri and me, many years ago, to sell our home in Old Naples, Florida, leave the stressful city and move here to our secluded Blue Ridge farm and Andean plantation.
We have learned that there are many simple secrets to longevity. They are harder to use in busy cities.
Here are three secrets we gain from untold hours shared with clients and friends who are expert in all types of healing. These secrets come from years of experience with disciplines like acupuncture (when I first lived in Hong Kong) when they were still considered witchcraft in the Western world, and from our years of living with healers from India, Tibet and the Andes.
I share these as a layman, but one who has watched his weight melt from 220 to 150 pounds. They are shared by a 62 year old male with a pulse of 99 over 60 something and a resting heartbeat in the low 60s whose energy and stamina is high.
The secrets are not shared just to stop you from getting sick either. They are to help you have more stamina, vitality, energy, endurance as well as longevity so you can enjoy life more!
The first secret is not a secret at all, but a simple reality that most ignore.
Restrict your diet. Cut down your caloric intake. This is the only factor that I have studied that has been scientifically supported. Plus the residents in the three valleys where National Geographic documented extra longevity had caloric intakes ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day.
For example in Vilcabamba (one of Ecuador’s longevity valleys) over one person per thousand lived to be 100. In the U.S. the figure is one per 33,000! The average caloric intake in this valley (in the past) was about 1,200 calories a day.
Secret #2 is to have more than a routine.
Create ritual! Those who live extraordinarily long lives seem to share this common trait. Whatever they do they do in moderation, in a very similar way and with great gusto. For example, if they drink an ounce of whisky every day, at six o’ clock, they do not do this at five some days and eight others. They do not have a half ounce one day and two another. They tend to have one ounce at six p.m. every day. This instills discipline, keeps life simple (very important) and allows the body to get used to doing whatever it is it has to do. Take Chris Mortensen one of the oldest documented men in the 1990s who at 113 said of his weekly cigar, “If you take my weekly cigar away from I am going to die”. The anticipation and ritual of whatever pleasure he receives from this is far more life giving than the stress. The world’s oldest documented woman in the 1990s, Jeanne Clement, at age 122 drank cognac and ate a pound of chocolate a week (but never two).
Secret #3 is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed. One of the most important features that was found in every valley where people lived long lives was that old age was revered. Often people at age 100, even 110 are still active and working! Max Zimmer of Los Angeles came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business. One MD, who specializes in anti aging, points out that most centenarians seldom spend much time with doctors. When they finally get sick, they die quickly and with little expense. They depend on themselves to remain healthy not others. Having a good savings and investment plan for old age is also an important factor to remaining independent. Are any of these factors in your routine and plans? Most of us have to answer “no”.
This is why Merri and I moved to our farm in North Carolina and Ecuador and have worked at instilling these simple formulas (and many others) into our lives.
We live in a rapidly evolving, often frantic and polluted world. Escape from the crowds may help longevity a bit. However escape from bad lifetsyle habits helps longevity even more. Merri and I look forward to sharing the longevity habits we learn with you.
How We Can Serve You
Our Only Seminar This Year
Get a Life! Make 2016 -2017 your best years yet.
Become an International Club member and join like-minded souls, who take a positive view and think outside the box for better health, greater income and safer, more profitable investments.
We are conducting just one Value Investing Seminar this year in August 12-13-14 2016. Attendance is strictly limited to the few International Club members who can enroll soon.
This year our seminar will focus on how to make safety and profit easy consuming less time so we can focus on our individuals purposes in life.
Here is a group of International Club members meeting at our North Carolina farm.
In 2016 Merri’s, David’s and my mission is to share our 50 years of experience in international business, investing and living to make ourselves happier, healthier and wealthier.
Being in the international club surrounds you with successful… positive… like-minded souls. This benefit alone is truly powerful stuff!
Join us for a high mountain retreat that is strictly exclusive to club members and save over $2,000.
Focus on Better Health, Increased Income and Value Investing. Learn how to create a BIG INCOME by thinking SMALL.
In 2016, we are conducting online seminars about value investing, natural health and how to wrote to sell.
We will conduct only one Value Investing Retreat in person.
International Club members receive all the online seminars free plus can attend the August 2016 Value Investing retreat which is exclusive to club members. HIGH COUNTRY
In addition club membership includes:
- Personal investing Course (Pi), normally $297, FREE
- Self Fulfilled How to be a Self Publisher, normally $299, FREE
- Eventful Business, normally $349, FREE
- International Business Made EZ, normally $299, FREE
- Report “Three Economic Conditions for 50% or More Profit,” normally $29.95, FREE
- Report “Silver Dip 2015” normally $27, FREE
- Three online Value Investing Seminars, normally $477, FREE
- One online Natural Health Seminar, normally $119, FREE
- One online Writers Camp, normally $299, FREE
- Exclusive Value Investing Retreat in North Carolina, normally $799, FREE
- Three night’s accommodations at Merrily Farms, normally $315, FREE
This is every offer in our catalog. To purchase everything would cost $3,509.95. Club membership for 2016 is $1,199 so you save up to $2,310.95.
Annual International Club (one year) Membership $1,199
Annual International Club (one year) Membership four quarterly $375 payments
Absorb through Osmosis
Merri and I have been organizing courses, seminars and newsletters about international and Super Thinking lifestyles for over 30 years. The importance of this sharing… by like minded souls… was reinforced when a delegate from a course sent an email that said:
My Dearest Merri and Gary, Thank you for your most gracious hospitality last weekend. I am just thrilled at being a part of your group. You and Gary were exactly as I imagined you to be, warm friendly, kind, considerate, genuine, helpful, fun, sincere, what else can I say……I felt so comfortable in your presence and learned so much in your course. I was sad to leave the farm that Sunday afternoon. You made us all feel so welcome and cared about. You were so kind to make arrangements for a ride with the other delegates from the Charlotte Airport. They were so nice to me and so helpful, by the time the weekend was over I felt like they were my long lost brothers. Monday morning we all had breakfast at the airport together and I was so sad to see them go, I was sad the weekend was over, perhaps sad is not the right word for how I was feeling perhaps Gratitude is a better way to describe it. Grateful for having the opportunity to share the weekend with such wonderful, like minded Human Beings, in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Thank you Merri and Gary. Thanks to you I now have new hope and a new direction to move forward in my life. I know by attending your classes and conferences that through education and due diligence I will make the right choices.
This delegate’s comments about “belonging and feeling like a brother” to the other delegates is a wonderful refrain we have heard from our readers, year after year.
Over 30 years ago Merri and I created a way that readers can join us to be immersed in a year-long learning program through our International Club.
The ideas behind this program began in Vienna, Austria while we were conducting a course there. One of our older delegates, had some sort of attack. The first fear was heart trouble. Several delegates took him to the hospital. Others stayed with him there. I don’t think that delegate was alone for a minute!
What impressed Merri and me was that no one asked the delegates to help this man.
The friendships of delegates sharing many courses had just grown so strong that it was a natural reaction, just as if a family member was ill. Fortunately, it was only travel fatigue and the delegate didn’t miss a session of the course!
When you join our International Club 2016 you become part of a special family. The very first member to join the club all those years ago wrote: Thank you for the enjoyable and informative courses. I am pleased to be part of your international family and look forward to continuing my education at the next course.
His feeling struck a familiar chord. It has always been one of my greatest satisfactions to see how much fun delegates have getting together, sharing information and making friendships as we learn how to improve our health and increase our wealth.
The courses draw like-minded souls. For this reason some delegates come back again and again. They come to learn, but also to be with their many friends made at the courses. When like-minded souls get together again and again to discuss a common purpose, magic happens! I can’t explain it in any other way-but it is true.
In a way our meetings are almost like family reunions. Perhaps it is getting together and reflecting on what has been said and what has been happening.
Learning with those who are also interested in the world creates thoughts that multiply the value of what we gain. This is hard to describe but results are most powerful and wonderful! This is to me is as important as the great financial benefit of attending many of our courses.
We started and have continued the International Club for 30 years because there are wonderful benefits from having repeat delegates at courses. Having repeat delegates makes the whole course somehow more exciting for all. Being a repeat delegate makes it easier to make and keep wealth and to lock in the knowledge you gain. It’s an exciting lifestyle. We have fun, gain adventure, discovery and friendships and share ways to improve our health and wealth!
Another savings: Lifestyle for Two.
We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to add another personas email address to every single course or tour, plus bring a partner to the m,members only retreat. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO! You can enroll bring whomever you wish. Choose your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you.
The International Club fee has been $1,799 but due to the savings of conducting our courses online, we have been able to reduce the fee to $1,499. This is less than the normal fee we have charged in past years from one seminar (without accommodations).
If you cannot attend the High Mountain Retreat, you are still entitled to a three night stay on a space available basis at the farm during the season we are open there (June into October).
Club members meeting at out home.
I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and a guest of your choice to join us for all our seminars including our exclusive August 2016 High Mountain retreat.
Let’s prosper in these times of change. Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? Join us at our farm and online. We look forward to being with you!
Club members receive everything we offer in 2016, plus the exclusive High Mountain Retreat in August that includes the seminar and accommodations.
Annual International Club (one year) Membership $1,199
Annual International Club (one year) Membership four quarterly $375 payments
Learn more about our trip into the Llanganatis Valley here