The Heart of the Matter
October 01, 2012
We Are All in This Together!


The following invocation is in honor of the wonderfully inspired One Voice for Laos project -- born in Woodstock, NY, and being nurtured by inspired teens, parents, and local citizens who have come to realize that life is for going beyond ourselves and being of service to those less fortunate than us.

I speak today with One Voice,
here in this town known around the world for peace,
a place that is metaphor
for the highest aspirations of the human soul --

Silencing child in white.jpgWhat I have to say existed
long before speech,
long before teachers
and those who thought
they needed to be taught.
I speak of the time before time,
before "us" and "them",
before otherness, separation,
or the need to make amends.

Pure presence there was back then,
Isness. First light. Love.
What the wise ones among us now call
by many names according to their faith,
but it has no name,
this impulse to be,
this pulsation of life,
this truth --
what poets feel before they pick up their pens,
why dancers, quivering in their own skin,
look around the room for space in which to move.

Back then, before the yes and no, the good and bad,
the black and white, the East and West,
back then,
before our addiction to naming and thinking
and the curious claim most people make
that God is on their side and their side only,
there was only one thing,
one infinite expanse of grandeur,
one breath.
The human voice was silenced with awe before it.

I speak of presence and wonder
and the state of divine recognition,
I speak of being at home with ourselves
and with each other,
what children feel before they sleep, alone in their bed,
knowing their parents are awake in the next room --
the place where no fear of death abides
and even more importantly,
no fear of life.

In this beginning,
breath by breath,
the only path there is
is the one we make by walking on it --
the path Buddha walked, and Mohammed,
the path Jesus walked, and Krishna,
Moses, Rumi, Kabir, Lao Tzu, the Ba'al Shem Tov,
Masters known and unknown,
your neighbors, your friends,
each on fire with the possibility
of living life as it was meant to be,
each ignited by the very same power some call God,
the God whose name, lovers, no matter what their path,
invoke at the height of their passion,
the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Abdul,
the God of wizards,
the God of fools,
why the earth turns,
and the Sufis
and the seasons.

It is this unreasonable force, this power of love,
that joins us here together today.
The question, my friends, is not what to die for,
but what to live for.
What is your calling?
Your dream?
Your gift?
What is your responsibility?
The choice, as always, is yours.
The messenger abides within you,
comes to your threshold,
sneaks past the guards you've posted at love's gate
and speaks:

"The cave you seek is the cave of the heart.
The air you patrol is your breath.
Walk whatever path you choose,
but know that each step is also an arrival.
Slow down. Breathe deep. Trust.
Give roses to people you barely know.
Make someone tea.
Embrace humanity all you want,
but don't forget to embrace each other.
Let your weapon of choice be cupid's bow.
See God in everyone.
Have fun. Wake up! Be real!
Live as if this was the first day of your life,
or the last.
Men, be men. Women, be women.
Win the war inside you --
the battle between darkness and the light.
Rejoice in the undeniable fact that you are alive.
Find your voice,
and when you do, use it wisely.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at October 1, 2012 09:02 PM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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