The Heart of the Matter
May 16, 2019
Focus!

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PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2019
Begin Your Day With Focus

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

May 02, 2019
The Case for Doing Nothing

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Fabulous article in the NY Times about the power and glory of doing nothing. Hooray! Thanks to Booth Dyess for the heads up.

PS: Very much related to something Lao Tzu once said: "The foolish man is always doing, yet much remains to be done. The wise man does nothing, yet nothing remains undone."

TimelessToday

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April 28, 2019
Being Human

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

April 24, 2019
Roses

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April 14, 2019
The Gift of Passion

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PremRawat.com

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MY AMAROO QUESTION

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Every once in a while, something happens in my life that blows my mind, opens my heart and brings me back to square one -- though I am not all that sure about the geometry. Maybe it's a circle or a trapezoid I am being brought back to. Like the birth of my two children, for example. Or the time I almost drowned. Or just about any interaction I have with Prem Rawat.

I'm not exactly sure HOW this stuff works, but whenever I'm around him, everything gets amplified. The playing field expands and the experience I have takes on a proportion way beyond the normal scope of things. You know, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto."

Anyway, two weeks before the recent Amaroo event in Australia, I received an email -- along with everyone else on the Amaroo mailing list -- informing me that Prem was going to be answering some questions at the event and that if I wanted to submit one, all I had to do was respond to the email. Simple.

My first thought was "ain't gonna happen."

First of all, I didn't have any questions. And second of all, even if I did, the chances of Prem choosing my question were slim to none, given all the other questions likely to be submitted. Probably thousands. That rather arbitrary conclusion of mine lasted about a day. That's when a question, bubbling up from inside me, made it's way to the surface. "What are the three most important things you have learned about people -- and yourself -- since the time you first began sharing your message of peace?"

Continue reading "MY AMAROO QUESTION"

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April 02, 2019
I Used to Write Love Poems

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2019
Poetry Unread in 39 Years

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Last night, while cleaning out my home office in preparation for selling my house, I found an old notebook filled with bits of poetry -- words I had written 39 years ago during the time I lived in one of Prem Rawat's ashrams -- a time in my life where I had majorly unplugged from the world to "go within." Each verse of what follows stands alone. There is no particular order to them. It is not a single, coherent poem, but rather bits and pieces of a moon-howling jigsaw puzzle that was my life when I was 32. Please don't try to make sense of this stuff. Just feel it. Just let these blasts from the past wash over you. Maybe a single phrase or line will speak to you -- or even sing. In the end, methinks each and every one of us, no matter what form our life takes, is on a quest to find what's real. Part of that process, it seems, has something to do with getting in touch with our thirst for the divine -- that deep, inner, ancient longing for love that truly moves us.

I sit in the cave of myself,
alone with my breath.
There is no one else here
in this cool, dark hollow of my soul.

I sing your praises.
I hang the seeds of treeless forests
in the heaven of your Name.

Night falls around me
like the arms of a lover
widowed by daylight
and seeking the warmth of another.

The one who yearns for God must die
like flowers to the fruit,
must fall to the root
around the tree of life that gives me shade.

He walks on water,
I walk on ice,
and when I lay my head at his feet
I remember there is no place left in the world to go.
Here. Only here.

How deep can I look into
anyone else's eyes?
Only to the place where they are looking for you,
unafraid of what they'll find.

Words are only burrs on the path
through the high country brush with God.

Homeless,
with only a few stars to guide me,
I am a bum in a roadside temple,
cheater, whose deck of cards
has long since been stolen.

There are angels buried in my flesh.

I must be in love
or is it insane?

Who can receive me?
Who is deep enough
for me to disappear into?

He joins heaven and hell
with a wave of his hand,
his breath, the wand,
his smile the ground I walk upon.

Void of all tears,
sworn to silence,
I lose everything, once again, but myself.

Oh song-studded boy of bothersome beauty,
fall to the feet of the only one here,
bring what you've stolen,
peel your skin like grapes
and offer it as cloth
so he might wear what once was you
for a twilight ride through the country.

Suture the ragged wound closed,
let all your scars be roads to follow home.

Like a breeze through lace curtains,
enter softly
and stay with me a while.

I bend because
he has removed the weight.

I am melting,
I am burning at both ends,
and what I see by this flickering light,
is enough.

How can the desert flower thank the sun?
It cannot speak, only bend in the breeze of his passing.

Oh Master of my soul,
you have ignited the brittle tinder of my heart.

The closer I get to you,
the more I see how far away I am.

Who else listens to me when, speechless,
my heart begins to sing? Who?

I have gone to meet you in your secret place,
but when I arrived, neither of us were there.

Forget about ashes on your forehead,
let your whole body be consumed in flames.

Who can this Master be,
the one whose path is strewn with rose petals?

PremRawat.com
TimelessToday
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2019
What Storytelling Themes Most Intrigue You?

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IF YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES TO SPARE, please respond to my new online storytelling poll. I will be launching a series of Wisdom (storytelling) Circles in Woodstock, NY on April 10th and am curious to find out what storytelling themes people find most compelling.

PS: You do not need to live in Woodstock in order to respond to the poll -- especially since I will be taking this on the road in the Fall and also teaching people how to facilitate Wisdom Circles in their own homes, towns, cities, or organizations. Thanks, in advance, for chiming in. Much appreciated!

Here's what people are saying about their Wisdom Circle experiences.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2019
Prem Rawat Excerpts from Amaroo

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Live 2.jpg

Problems 3.jpg

Inspired 4.jpg

Afraid 5.jpg

Emnbrace 6.jpg

Ship 7.jpg

keel 8.jpg

Map 9.jpg

Not religion 11.jpg

No war 12.jpg

As IS 13.jpg

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Process 15.jpg

Cow 16.jpg

Resilience 17.jpg

Think Living 18.jpg

knowledge does 19.jpg

Feel 20.jpg

Just you 22.jpg

Divine within 23.jpg

THANKS 24.jpg

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Excerpts from 9/7/15
Excerpts from 9/8/15
Excerpts from 9/9/15
Excerpts from 9/10/15
PremRawat.com
Words of Peace Global
The Prem Rawat Foundation
Rawat Creations
TimelessToday

Amaroo Photos: Chris Corbett #3, 6, 19, 23
Photo #12: Ira Meyer

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:20 AM | Comments (2)

March 08, 2019
We Were Made For These Times!

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What follows is an extraordinary call of the heart by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Not only is it worth reading, it's worth reading aloud -- so you hear it and feel it as well as see it. Then, you get to decide who you want to share it with -- and how. This is a piece of deep, soul-inspired, primal writing that deserves to travel to every corner of the Earth.

Continue reading "We Were Made For These Times!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:44 PM | Comments (3)

March 04, 2019
Stand Still. Stand Very Very Still.

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2019
Last Night, I Had a Dream

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In the dream, someone told me that Prem Rawat was going to have an event within driving distance of where I lived. This very much inspired me and I began making preparations to go. I got my ticket, but I couldn't find the exact address, so my attempt to use my GPS didn't work and I felt some anxiety.

As I began my journey, I realized I had four people to pick up -- four people who also wanted to attend the event. Me getting a "late start", I felt some crankiness at having to slow down and pick up four more people (running the risk of getting to the event after it began), but I went with it.

When I got to the house of the fourth person to pick up, I was informed that he was upstairs, sleeping. Ouch! Now I was faced with a choice. Do I wait for him to wake up, increasing the risk of missing Prem's event, or do I just make a beeline to the event? I waited a few minutes, impatiently, and then, his mother informed me that he (the sleeping son) decided NOT to see Prem, so I immediately took off, asking the person in the "co-pilot" seat to enter the address of the event into my GPS -- still anxious that we wouldn't find the venue.

Continue reading "Last Night, I Had a Dream"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2019
Six Years with the Bloods of Ibarra

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What follows is in interview with Paul Murtha -- the Director of Mountains of Hope Foundation in Ecuador and Coordinator for Calle Paz y Respeto, the legalized entity for the Ibarra Bloods gang. His six years of work with the Bloods and other gang members has resulted in their well-documented transformation to peace that has become an exemplary model for other development programs seeking to support marginalized youth.

How did this work get started? What is your back story?

In 2012 I was presenting the Peace Education Program in the Ibarra Social Rehabilitation Center (prison). The Director got wind that the local Bloods and Latin Kings gangs were in a state of tenacious detente after two killings. The gangs were confronting the raw certainty that ongoing revenge only made matters outrageously worse and, after years of this, they had had enough! But what then? How to manage this tense hold-off and engage some kind of non-violent approach?

Continue reading "Six Years with the Bloods of Ibarra"

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

February 20, 2019
Is That So?

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Once upon a time, many years ago, before the invention of Starbucks, Velcro, or Fructose, there lived a humble monk in a remote monastery in China. His name was Wan Loo and he was much beloved by everyone he met, dedicated, as he was to realizing the highest truth with every fiber of his being.

Every morning, he meditated with the other monks in the Central Hall, then ate breakfast, washed his bowl, and worked in the garden for the rest of the day, taking brief moments now and again to read the sutras and teach calligraphy to the younger monks. Life was simple for Wan Loo. And very fulfilling. He couldn't have imagined a better life.

Continue reading "Is That So?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2019
The Glass of Water

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I first heard the following story many years ago from Prem Rawat. I loved it then and I love it now, as it brings me back to a simple place of appreciation for life

What follows is my retelling of this tale. If I have messed it up in any way, please forgive me. It won't be the first time. If you enjoy it and would like to know more about my teacher and his message, click here or here or here. If you don't feel like clicking, no problem -- just savor whatever this story evokes in you.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a young disciple of a great Master who found himself wrestling with a very difficult question -- one that would not go away no matter how much he contemplated it. Though he had asked all the senior monks in the monastery that had been his home for the past 20 years, no one had an answer that rang true to him. And so, one fine Spring day, gathering up all of his courage, he decided to approach the Master himself.

Continue reading "The Glass of Water"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:36 AM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2019
With Love, on Valentine's Day

Don't know what to get your loved one for Valentine's Day? Looking for something a little different? How about the above slide show video -- 26 inspiring quotes on love set to some beautiful music?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:25 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2019
What Is Wisdom? Who Is Wise?

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All people, at sometime in their lives, aspire to be wise. But what is wisdom, really? I don't know. But here's what some sages, throughout the years, have said about it. Food for thought and beyond thought for you to contemplate.

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle

"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling." - Carl Jung

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought." - Basho

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." - Shakespeare

"All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience." - Goethe

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." - Isaac Asimov

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand." - Albert Einstein

"The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them." - Paulho Coelho

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom." - Lao Tzu

"The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms." - Socrates

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." - Jimi Hendrix

"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise." - Maya Angelou

"Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Gandhi

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." - Socrates

"This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond." - Rumi

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." - Albert Einstein

"A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise." - Buddha

"There is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart." - Charles Dickens

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." - Marcel Proust

"Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two, my life moves." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children." - Kahlil Gibran

"Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only the sayings of the wise will remain." - Kabir

"I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have." - Plato

"Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeates all things." - Heraclitus

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody." - Benjamin Franklin

"To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once Upon a Timelessness

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:31 AM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2019
When I Grow Up...

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TimelessToday
Illustration: gapingvoid

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