50th Anniversary Amaroo Gift Set Now Available on TimelessToday
GOOD NEWS! All nine of Prem Rawat's talks from the September event in Amaroo are now available for streaming on TimelessToday as part of a just-released 50th Anniversary Gift Set. These talks are also available as downloadable audio files. Click here to order.
Giving the Gift of Ourselves
Every year, about two days before Christmas, I experience something I am not particularly proud of.
Thinking about the gifts I've bought for my wife and kids, I get the feeling that I don't have enough for them. This feeling has almost nothing to do with how many gifts I've bought or how "good" the gifts are.
Beyond the quantity and quality of my offerings is the sense that my efforts to express my love for them is lame and doesn't really measure up to how I feel -- and that, somehow, they will be disappointed.
Indeed, there have been some "nights before Christmas" where I've left the cozy warmth of my home to return to the mall, looking for the perfect gift. It's humbling to witness this kind of behavior in me. And it's humbling to admit it. But it's also healing.
In time, with some reflection and a deeper dive into selfhoood, I've come to realize that it's not about fixing my flaws, patching up the quirks in my personality, or compensating for some imagined black hole.
It's about being.
The deep love we feel for the people in our lives begs to be expressed and yet the mind will never be satisfied with the form of its expression. No poem, no song, no diamond, no trip around the world will ever be enough.
In the end, the only thing we have to give -- is ourselves. And that is plenty.December 22, 2016
What Is a Student?
December 21, 2016
You See Differences
Photo: Ira Meyer
Update on TRPF's Fundraising Campaign
Many readers of Heart of the Matter are very interested in the work of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to address the fundamental human needs of food, water, and peace.
Towards this end, TPRF is now in the midst of its Welcoming a New Era fundraising campaign to support it's various initiatives (i.e, Peace Education Program, Food for People, Peace for People, and Special Aid Projects).
To date, $121,315 has been raised -- 81% of it's $150,000 goal. If you would like to make a contribution to this worthy effort, click here. Tis the season to donate. Every little bit helps.
VIDEO: Daya Rawat, TPRF President
Peace Education in Academia
A Conversation with Prem Rawat and Burt Wolff
The Most Powerful Person in the World is the Storyteller
"The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the values, mission, and agenda of an entire generation that is yet to come." -- Steve Jobs
While this may seem just a bit exaggerated, there is something very TRUE about what Jobs was on to. The Hopi Indians said the same thing: "He who tells the stories rules the world."
This goes far beyond the Creation myth and "Once upon a time." This is about the way we perceive, conceive, and construct reality -- then share that construction with others in a way that is immediately grasped.
What is YOUR story these days? What story are YOU telling -- to yourself and to the world? We are, methinks, as a species, in the difficult time BETWEEN stories. The old story is dying and a new one is being born. Like any birth, the experience is both ecstatic and painful. Me? I am toggling back and forth between these two poles -- not the POLITICAL polls, but the far edges of the two narratives that rule my life.
Here's what I invite you to do in the next 24 hours. The next time someone approaches you with the DOOM and GLOOM story, after listening with compassion, see if there is ANOTHER story that will emerge from either of you -- a story of possibility... a story of awakening... a story of courage... or resilience... or breakthrough... or whatever you feel guided to say.
Stories are like water. We can drown in them or they can give us life. Choose life. Drink deep. And share your water with anyone you cross paths with who is even just a little bit thirsty.December 04, 2016
We Were Made For These Times!
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.
"My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The luster and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes: American poet, post-trauma specialist, Jungian psychoanalyst, and author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.