Cost vs. Value: Lessons in Discernment

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Cost vs. Value: Lessons in Discernment

It’s been a while since I have written a blog. Although since childhood I have loved to read and write, thankfully, our team has been growing and we have much better writers among us. So I have left that blogging to those who do a better job than I. But today, I have something to say — something that I want to share with the world. It’s a lesson that I learned through my recent work at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, about cost versus value.

Bodhi Lodge in Bahia Ballena Costa Rica

Fixing up the Bodhi Lodge for the high season

We are in the midst of rainy October, which, every year, means that we close the Bodhi lodge for repairs. I always look forward to spend time by myself, fully immersed in fixing, remodeling, repainting, and so on, this little corner of paradise that we get to call home. This is probably one of the endeavors that I love the most. It is quite exciting to work hard and get everything ready for the season. I believe that I speak for all the Bodhi Surf + Yoga co-founders when I say that we think of all of the guests who visit us as one big family. So it feels like I am fixing and cleaning the house ahead of a visit by our friends or family.

During this time, each day flies by. I run from one place to another, and the lodge is full of people fixing, cleaning, and beautifying the space. Among all our great helpers, we have “Macho” who has been my right hand man every October for the last several years. He mostly paints, but also does little and big tasks throughout the lodge. He always brings his best attitude and an extra amount of kindness. Macho is our neighbor, and he is calm, caring, and always willing to help me with every little detail that might seem annoying (or unnecessary) to others.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga studio at night

When the lessons are everywhere

Today I received an important life lesson through him. I told him some time ago that I wanted to make a little step of cement in front of the terrace below our yoga space. It was to be a very simple step but with a particular detail I had in mind to make it look nicer. That meant that right before it was ready, I wanted to do some sort of shape with stones that had come into my imagination intuitively. He was not clear what I meant by that, (nor was I to be completely honest). I asked him the price for this, and it seemed to me to be high. After deciding not to bargain on the price he had given me or even get a second quote, we moved forward with our little project.

The day began early and our kind and reliable Macho showed at the first ray of sunlight (and before my coffee) willing to work. With no time for coffee, we went straight to work, getting all the materials we needed, and he worked on it all day. Because of the characteristics of the weather during October, he had to be very strategic and attentive to his work to complete it in one day. It was clear he has gathered years of knowledge and experience to be assertive and know exactly what to do and when. I was not taking into consideration the value of all his knowledge and experience when I was originally ran numbers in my head.

Cost vs. value

So, long story short, there was teamwork, effort, and a lot of attention from both of us to make it happen. The weather was on our side, and we were able to finish right on the dot. At 4pm the storm came in, and he asked if he could go home. I thought he had left, but after a few minutes I noticed him under the rain, doing a few finishing touches. It literally made me tear up. I realized then that when he gave his price, I was looking at the cost, not the value. If I were to look into it in terms of numbers, it might have seemed high, but how much value should does kindness, knowledge, experience, good attitude, and willingness to help have?

Bodhi Shambala Yoga Studio

Viveka, or discernment, in action

There’s a spiritual attribute we aim for in Yoga. The Sanskrit name for it is Viveka, and it means “discernment”. The idea behind daily meditation is to allow the mind to remain present, calm, and aware during our days so we can discriminate between what is important and what is not. To figure out what thoughts and actions are skillful or unskillful, and be able to discern well in every moment. To practice empathy and compassion in all our actions (no exceptions). The goal is that Viveka help us to be less reactive. To be driven less by our emotions and the narratives inside our heads, so that we can show our wisdom and compassion through our actions. Having this kind of discernment was the key for me to place a value on someone’s work, instead of a price.

So, if you made it to the end of this blog and you come to Bodhi Surf + Yoga this season, I will be excited to show you the step. Some people may like it, to others, it may not be an important detail. But I look forward to seeing it everyday, and appreciating it because it will forever serve as a reminder of the difference between the cost and the value of things, and how important is to have discernment into my life.

Namaste amigos!

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About the author


Pilar is Bodhi Surf +Yoga's head yogini and travel planner. When Pilar is not doing her own Ashtanga practice, she can be found assisting guests improve their own practice, reading food and yoga blogs, or spending quality time with her beautiful daughters Maya and Clea!