The Heart of the Matter
November 13, 2019
On Simplicity

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"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." -- Confucius

"If you can't explain it to a six-year old, you don't understand it yourself." -- Albert Einstein

"It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials." -- Bruce Lee

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -- Leonardo da Vinci

"The more simple we are, the more complete we become." -- August Rodin

"Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple." -- Pete Seeger

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life." -- Socrates

"Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." -- Lao Tzu

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." -- Albert Einstein

"Simplify. Simplify. Simplify." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." -- Frederic Chopin

"The less you have, the less you have to worry about." -- Buddha

TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2019
Michelangelo's Reply

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When asked how he created his iconic statue, David, Michelangelo's response pretty much sums up one way in which Prem Rawat has helped me become a human being.

"I simply took away everything that wasn't."

The statue, you see, was always in the stone. All it took was the sure hand of a master sculptor to remove whatever wasn't the masterpiece. Simple? Yes. But not necessarily easy.

In my brief time here on planet Earth, I have never met anyone quite as masterful as Prem Rawat in the fine art of removing the unnecessary. Listening to him speak in ways that are utterly soulful, enchanting, and magnificent, the inconsequential falls away and what remains is the Masterpiece -- who we truly are behind the stone surface of our lives.

And as if that wasn't enough, he provides a simple way to stay connected to this experience wherever we happen to be at the time.

PremRawat.com
Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2019
The Sacred Space Between

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2019
The Sixth Noun

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I first heard about Prem Rawat in 1971. He was 13 then and known as "Maharaji." I was 24 and known as "Ditty." A long-haired, earnest seeker of the Truth, I was astounded by what this young boy from India had to say and how he said it, stunned by his clarity, wisdom, and ability to engage my attention in such a heart-opening way. Now it is 49 years later. He is 61 and I am 72. I am still astounded by him.

In the early days, I used to refer to him as a "Guru" -- a Hindi word that translates as "the dispeller of darkness and the revealer of light." I liked that word a lot. It had a nice ring to it and satisfied my need to think of myself as a deep soul on the spiritual path. But soon I realized that word carried too much baggage, conjuring up stereotypical images of the East: incense burning, saffron robes, and little red dots on the forehead. My experience of Prem was none of these. But it didn't matter what I thought. The real deal was how my family, friends, and neighbors related to the word and, if they didn't, the word "Guru" had to go. And so it did.

Continue reading "The Sixth Noun"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:12 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2019
What Remains

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As I sort through 25 years of possessions, preparing to sell my Woodstock home -- infused, as it is, with the many memories of birth, death, fire, celebration, ecstasy, devotion, countless guests, exaltations, rites of passage, madness, dreams, dancing, bedtime stories, clinking of glasses, baby showers, live opera, dead mice, and ten thousand outtakes from the movie that seems to be my life, it dawns on me how little there is I want to take from this abode, in physical form. And while it won't come close to fitting through the eye of a needle, it will, I think, fit into a VW bug.

Michelangelo, when asked how he created The David, said it best. "I simply took away everything that wasn't." Indeed! Indeed! The statue was always in the stone. All he had to do was remove what wasn't. Less is more.

And so as I give away, throw away, and sell, I get to experience the odd pleasure of seeing what remains -- my own David, you might say -- the treasured totems of my life, all of which, no matter what form they take, serve the exact same function. REMEMBRANCE!

What remains from my estate -- what I have bought, inherited, or received -- reminds me of what it is I truly value here on planet Earth. A FEELING, a sacred moment out of time -- my soul's longing, God within, a wink from the Great Beyond: Many Buddhas, especially, Hotei, the laughing Buddha. Photographs of Evelyne, Jesse, Mimi, and me when we were at our best, loving life and each other. A 40-year old I-Ching. The Tao Te Ching. The poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, and Kabir. Many, many photographs of my amazing Master, Prem Rawat -- some beautifully framed, some tattered. A black and white photo of my parents kissing on their wedding day. My dog Chili's collar. And a box of journals I have never been able to throw away -- the hieroglyphics of my soul on fire. This is what remains. I'm guessing it will all fit into a box. Just like my body. This is my David. The rest? Just stuff.

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2019
The Clear Path

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PremRawat.com

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September 23, 2019
Back to the Garden

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I'm sure there was a time back in the Garden of Eden before the biting of fruit, naming of lizard, and placing of fig leaf, when Adam turned to Eve or Eve turned to Adam and, in the delightful absence of language, greeting cards, or text messaging, found a simple way to communicate something real about their experience of being alive.

Ever since those halcyon days, we've been trying to do the same -- to express something basic, primal, and pure about what moves us and why we often linger in the gaze of another who lets us in just long enough to experience the blessing of being received, no strings attached.

It is into this space I find myself being transported upon seeing Prem Rawat -- a space that continues expanding the moment he leaves the stage. He's gone and so am I -- my body now a hologram, my heart a happy camper.

Stunned in my seat, I am completely still, infused, fulfilled, free, my blood a kind of overflowing champagne fizz.

I'm sure I could move if I wanted to, but I don't want to. The desire to go anywhere has vanished. All I want to do is sit here and soak up the feeling forever. My name, my plans, the details of my life all seem like odd relics.

I am driftwood here, washed ashore, something a curious tourist might find on a sunny day.

I breathe. I bask in the light of an interior sun now made brighter by the one I have no words for. I follow my breath like a happy drunk follows the dotted white line home after an endless night of celebration.

PEAK: Know Yourself
PremRawat.com
TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:33 AM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2019
ONE MILLION STRONG!

Fabulous anthem from Stuart Hoffman and team. Wow! Go full screen! Turn up the volume. Feel it! There is magic afoot. And remember, as Prem Rawat once said, "The bigger the circle of darkness, the bigger the circle of light."

Peace Education and Knowledge (PEAK)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:27 PM | Comments (1)

Give Everything You Have

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2019
THE LETTER

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When asked to explain his highly abstract Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein made it comprehensible in just two sentences. "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute," he said, "and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

I can relate. And though I like to think of myself as someone who understands Einstein's perspective, I realized, 14 years ago, that I haven't got a clue.

The year was 2005 and I was in India where I was living for three weeks at the ashram of my long-time teacher and favorite-person-in-the-whole-world, Prem Rawat. My mission? To learn how to coach people from North America who were in the process of being trained to facilitate Prem's Knowledge sessions.

Continue reading "THE LETTER"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2019
Prem Rawat in 3 Minutes or Less

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There's a lot of things you can do in three minutes. You can check your email. You can channel surf. And you can boil an egg. You can also watch one of videos below featuring Prem Rawat talking about something beyond time. Hmmm...

The Greatest Form of Prayer (:24)
This Blooming Called Peace (2:39)
Hang on to the Good (:50)
Simple Yet Valuable (1:09)
Singular in Nature (1:49)

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2019
Prem Rawat in Six Minutes or Less

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Lots of people I know are intrigued about Prem Rawat and his message of peace. Their interest to find out more is alive and well, but their lives are busy and they don't always have the time to follow up on their interest. And so, for all my time-crunched friends, here you go: five brief videos of Prem (all less than 360 seconds), culled from the many good ones on TimelessToday. Go for it!

Five Seconds of Heaven (2:37)
Simple Strategy (3:50)
Investing in Yourself (5:48)
What Life Wants to Show You (4:00)
A Powerful Force (3:15)

About Prem Rawat
Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:16 AM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2019
How Young Children See Love

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A group of professionals asked a bunch of 4 - 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. Take a look...

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."-- Rebecca, 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." -- Billy, 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." -- Karl, 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." -- Chrissy, 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." -- Terri, 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." -- Danny, 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that." -- Emily, 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobby, 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate." -- Nikka, 6

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." -- Noelle, 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." -- Tommy, 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." -- Cindy, 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." -- Clare, 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." -- Elaine, 6

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." -- Chris, 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." -- Mary Ann, 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." -- Lauren, 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." -- Karen, 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." -- Mark, 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." -- Jessica, 8

And the the winner was a four-year old whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

And happiness, too!

Big thanks to Carola Polakov for the heads up

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2019
Long Before Words

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Being of the Jewish persuasion, I'm not exactly the kind of person given to confession, but allow me the ecumenical luxury of confessing at least one thing in this first paragraph of what may well turn out to be the Mahabharata of blog postings:

Writing about Prem Rawat and the gift that he offers is not easy.

It's not easy for a few reasons.

First off, what I want to say existed long before words -- long before nouns and verbs and the leaky vessels we construct to float our shaky boats of babble. Secondly, words are approximations of the real thing at best. Like menus, they indicate something's cooking in the kitchen, but they are not the food itself. And thirdly, the dog ate my homework.

I don't know how it works, but there are years of my life I can barely remember, but seconds with Prem that remain a vast eternity, indelibly impressed on my heart like some kind of rock 'n roll Rosetta stone.

Continue reading "Long Before Words"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:46 PM | Comments (3)

August 30, 2019
Creating a Stage Upon Which the Heart Can Dance

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In my life, I've had the good fortune of having some extraordinary coaches -- people who had the knack for being able to bring out the best in me and spark meaningful insights and behavior change. Bill Stevenson, for example, my high school soccer coach. Stan Silverberg, my summer camp basketball coach. And Tim Gallwey, the Founder of The Inner Game. But of all the coaches I've had, the most extraordinary one has been Prem Rawat.

Allow me to be more specific.

A few years ago, I found myself in a room with him, having a conversation about writing and storytelling. I don't remember how we got onto the topic, but there we were, poised to explore it. The first thing he did, was raise his right hand and circle it around his head three times, a non-verbal clue that I interpreted to be an expression of the state of my writing at the time -- Prem's sign language for "dizziness" and "too much" and "too heady." No words were spoken, but I completely got what he didn't say. His gesture cut to the chase.

It was true -- my writing often was too much, too heady, and too dizzying. Where one word would suffice, I'd write five. Where pausing would have been the right move, I did the hoky poky. Where pointing at the moon would have been enough, I tried to build a space station.

In one gesture, Prem cut through it all. And then, in the silence that followed, he spoke (and I paraphrase).

"When I do an event in India," he said, "there are sometimes 250,000 people in the audience. When I tell a story there, I say just enough so people can fill in the spaces with their own imagination. Storytelling is all about evoking a feeling. What I do," he went on to say, "is create a stage upon which the heart can dance."

Photo: TimelessToday
PremRawat.com
Video: Language of the Heart

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2019
Prem Rawat's New Book To Be Released on September 1st

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Global peace ambassador, Prem Rawat, has spent his entire life traveling the world to deliver one timeless message: Peace is Possible. Conflict, he explains, takes place at three levels: between countries, between people, and finally within each of us as individuals. These levels are all interconnected. Hence the conflict that rages within a person will lead them to seek out conflict with another. Similarly, conflict between people of one nation is likely to result in conflict between many nations.

So the first step to world peace is a simple one: we must first find peace within ourselves.

Peace is Possible draws together age-old stories which, as they have been passed down over generations, inspired and transformed the lives of millions. From the power of adaptability, to the importance of trust, to the sticking-place of courage, these are the messages that will change the world. For good.

Available on Amazon
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2019
The Impact of a Living Master

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Friends sometimes ask me what the impact is of having a living Master, or, in my case, Prem Rawat. Every once in a while, in response to their questions, I try my best to quote from one of his talks, not wanting my words to be interpretations of anything he's said, knowing how easy it is to confuse the people I love with my own, imperfect translations.

There are other times, however, when words, even his, will not suffice -- when the feeling is so absolutely radiant that I am taken back to the time before language, the time when not even a single song had yet been sung. And often this happens at one of his events.

There, I see people from many different countries having traveled great distances to see this man. These people are being lifted by something lighter than air, unseen. After hearing Prem speak, they do not want to rise from their seats. They just sit there, beaming, breathing, beholding something sacred within themselves. They have nothing to say. They have nothing to do. They have nowhere to go, having already arrived.

If it wasn't for the ushers on the evening shift, they might still be sitting there, smiling, soft eyes focused on nothing in particular. I watch them stand and walk, eyes to the ground like divining rods tracking an invisible current of love. Others feel their way forward, slowly adrift, it seems, in some kind of all-pervading buoyancy.

They are not so much moving as being moved.

And while they clearly notice others on their way to the exits, they are not engaging in the usual conversations. Why speak of 9-5 when you are, through no effort of your own, abiding in the timeless?

Out the door they go, into the night, surrounded by friends, known and unknown, equally enjoying the gyroscopic center of every dervish's dance since the beginning of time. Home base. The alchemist's stone. The sword. And the rock from which the sword was unsheathed.

Much laughter. Huge embraces. A hearty round of ordering something everyone shares, remembering a word, a phrase, a story told just minutes before -- a word, a phrase, a story that continues reverberating, at such a rate, that at least one waitress wonders, aloud, why the drinks she is carrying to her guests, on the tray above her head, all seem to be swirling from the inside out.

Photo: TimelessToday
Prem Rawat
PEAK

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2019
The Beautiful Stillness After Prem Rawat Speaks

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After great performers come to the end of a performance, it is not uncommon for grateful audiences to give them a standing ovation. They clap, they cheer, they focus all their attention on the one who has just opened the door to magnificence. Think Pavarotti. Think Martin Luther King. Think anyone you've ever stood your ground for and loved.

What I find amazing is this is how Prem Rawat's presentations begin. Before he utters a single word, audiences are on their feet, applauding. And when he's done? Pin drop silence. Somehow, through his own unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight, he finds a way to bring everyone to a place of perfect stillness, back to the very beginning, where there is nothing left to do, but be.

When Prem Rawat is done speaking, I find myself barely able to move. I am stunned, pinned to the back of my chair by the invisible arrow of love. All dramas in my life disappear and there is no me left to applaud the end of the show. What remains is a feeling.

Sitting in the afterglow of this man's communication of truth is a complete and total joy. Oh yes, I know I must move from my seat eventually. Oh yes, I know I will soon be walking and talking and asking someone to pass me the grated Parmesan in that great little Italian restaurant just up the road, but now -- here in this sacred moment after he speaks -- nothing else matters.

I close my eyes and breathe. Then I open my eyes again. I see people sitting. I see people standing. I see people wanting to linger just a little longer in this extraordinary state of arrival. Some walk in silence toward the exits, eyes down, not wanting anyone or anything to distract them from the deepest of feelings welling up within them far beyond time.

Photo: TimelessToday
PremRawat.com
Splitting the Arrow

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2019
The Glance

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What he sees
is who I am
and who I am
now seizes me
in this warm embrace of his glance,
my heart a lotus opening,
a dewdrop hanging
from a spider web at dawn.
What do you call this feeling
that wants to linger in the space
now made larger by him looking at me?
Is there a name for it,
does there need to be,
the fragrance of gardenias everywhere?

Photo: TimelessToday
Peak
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2019
Being Human

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TimelessToday.com
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

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