The Heart of the Matter
January 31, 2019
THIRST

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There is something within each and everyone of us that is timeless, universal, and divine -- a call from the great Beyond that is paradoxically fully present at the same time.

This something has been called by many names since language first began, but it does not need a name in order to exist. Indeed, it existed long before words, a naturally occurring primal force. Like gravity. Or cross-pollination. Or the way rivers run to the sea. This pre-existing force -- tidal, volcanic, and completely uncontainable -- is the raw energy inside a human being that activates the ancient quest for that which is truly worthy of questing. And because the full expression of this seemingly unquenchable energy can be profoundly uncomfortable and crazy-making, most of us find a thousand ways to mask or distract it, unwilling to endure the recognition that what it is we truly want can never be satisfied by this world. We look for love in all the wrong places, grab at the reflection of the necklace in the water and wonder why the experience our heart is aching for too rarely reveals its radiant face.

For want of a better word, let's call this state of ancient questing THIRST -- a state of being so lucid that no conversation is needed, no philosophy, no ritual, or debate. When you're thirsty, REALLY thirsty, all you want is WATER. That's it. Memories of past water-drinking experiences do not suffice. Nor do beautiful photographs of water or impeccable explanations of its molecular structure.

Only water, itself, will do.

In the so-called "outer world," it is not difficult for a person to quench their thirst -- at least in most countries. A turn of a faucet will usually suffice... or proximity to a water fountain... or the town well.

But the thirst I am talking about is not that easily quenched. The faucet may exist, but not the handle The well may exist, but the bucket is nowhere in sight. Something deep within us, deeper than the shale of our self-invented life, seeks something ELSE -- why wolves howl at the moon, birds sing for no reason, and lovers do not want the morning to come.

TimelessToday
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2019
Amadeus in the House

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2019
Joan Apter Needs Our Support

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Our good friend and all around awesome human being, Joan Apter, is reaching out to her community for support as she enters into the process of addressing one more health challenge that is upon her. Click here to read the full story and to consider contributing to her just-launched GoFundMe campaign. Thank you! Every little bit helps.

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January 15, 2019
The Long Walk Up the Hill

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Excerpts from 9/7/15
Excerpts from 9/8/15
Excerpts from 9/9/15
Excerpts from 9/10/15
Excerpts from 9/11/15

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January 10, 2019
When the Rain Begins

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Stuart Hoffman, Jennifer Edwards, and Stephen Rivera have joined their considerable forces to create an extraordinary anthem to love, hope, and possibility. Wow! When the Rain Begins is already a classic. Turn up the volume, turn off the news, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

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

January 09, 2019
THE FINGER SNAP, part 2

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A 4:20 excerpt from my forthcoming audiobook about a life-changing encounter I had with Prem Rawat a few years ago.

PremRawat.com
Excerpted from this book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2019
Sushila Wood's Lifelong Journey of Learning Continues to Unfold

9951755_300x300.jpg ED NOTE: This just in from aspiring Waldorf educator, mother of three, and long-time student of Prem Rawat, Sushila Wood...

Herein I commence the new year tradition of letter writing, carrying a small flame of what once was our primary method of communication. It's 5-6 minute read.

How did I get here?

At age 11, I uncovered a deep need for a relationship with my inner self. A story I had listened to several dozen times suddenly took on another dimension and understanding my inner resources became my focus. A few years later I ran away from home and school. I remember the crisp beach-side autumn air and the ridiculousness of riding my bike wearing my favorite white linen baggy pants that kept getting caught in the chain. The stains never came out, but I appreciated what they represented for years after. I did something.

I got a $5 an hour job flipping burgers at a gourmet burger joint in North Sydney's business district. I loved the endless supply of alfalfa sprouts and avocado and the lone morning walks along the harbor foreshores. I particularly disliked going to bed smelling like meat and grease. Looking into the eyes of all those kind-faced, educated customers was difficult -- they could afford to eat out daily and were convinced that it was worth paying an extra few dollars for one of our specially crafted burgers. Some of them wondered what I was doing there, exactly the minimum age to start legally working.

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I got a free lunch daily, but otherwise couldn't sustain the gourmet eating, living in a hostel room with a moldy, shared bathroom and a blocked shower drain. It was the glaringly obvious daily stench that pushed me to not give up on being educated.

I came to my senses.

More than 20 years later, I can look back and laugh at my naivete. If I could tell my younger ego-filled dragon one thing, it would be:

"Humbly, learn from others' mistakes. You don't need to make all the mistakes for yourself."

My career dreams and life goals played out. I got a dream job and bought a house at 21, completed a Bachelor's degree and moved to California. There I became a producer of the very videos that had so inspired me to seek a connection to my inner self. (At the end of this letter is a link to one such video, called Always Remember.)

When all the dreams on my list had been fulfilled, I took a step back. Did I just need a new list of dreams? I realized dreams are fleeting, like the hugs from a one-year old when their arms don't quite reach around your neck, and the way they say "Wuv" instead of love. Precious. Beautiful. Fleeting.

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In 2011, I became a Mom and identity crisis 101 happened. Being Mom, suddenly nobody cares what you do, or once did. Motherhood is the best gift imaginable, yet it requires the most amount of effort conceivable. Success is happy children, a happy family, and a happy mom, yet all of those things seem to cancel each other out at times. I want to do my best. I fall again and again. I get up and keep trying. It's like learning how to walk. There is no giving up. Sparks of light fly in every direction and the world is discovered anew with the learnings of each child. Awe is a prevalent state of being. I am indeed grateful that my own mother and father never gave up despite what I put them through.

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As my three children grow, I want the best of life for them. And in wanting the best for them, I have discovered I also want the best for all the other children and the grown-ups too. Above our basic needs, which themselves present a huge, worldwide challenge, I see the efforts of a person, whether young or old, have the potential to send them on paths of passionate discovery, with empathy, enthusiasm and kindness.

I want to teach children that it is about their effort, just like when they learned to walk. Unrelenting effort. Assuming their basic needs are met, with love and support, there is rarely a question of giving up. When you truly give your best effort, every moment along the way might not be filled with joy, but you can surprise yourself, and maybe discover something new that is worthy of attention. The best thing about effort is that you are the only one qualified to judge whether you gave something your best shot. That's a relief.

Much of today's learning is focused on what we can fill our heads with. But our thoughts are only one part of what makes us human. When you ask a person, "How are you?," the complete question is really three questions: "How is your health?" "How is your mental state?" And "how are your relationships?" These are all essential parts of our existence in this world.

The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's approach to education, beginning as the first Waldorf school. The impulse for starting it was pure -- do something good for humanity after the devastation of World War I. It is the one approach I have found that resonates closest with my vision of learning. It's not because I like dogma or old fashioned things. It's because Steiner's vision was of a holistic education, educating the body, mind and spirit -- the hands, head, and heart. The child is the curriculum and each teacher has complete freedom to choose what will best help the child along their way.

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The very beautiful caveat that Steiner presented regarding education is that the education must be living. So I am honored to be living and learning and now helping those awestruck, smaller people learn all the things, including about their inner self. In Steiner's words:

"Inner knowledge is no different from other kinds of human knowledge and ability. It is a mystery for the average person only to the extent that writing is a mystery for those who have not yet learned to write."

For that inner aspect of learning, Prem Rawat really knows what he is talking about. He's the one who told that story that awakened my need to know my inner self. Thankfully, he is prolific in sharing his wisdom.

In assessing all the options for helping the children learn, I was compelled to study Steiner's education methods and theories. If all goes well, I will graduate as a Waldorf teacher in May 2019. You may already know that I started a GoFundMe campaign to help me graduate. You can read more about that here: So far, 25 people have helped me reach over 10% of my campaign goal. If one of those people was you, THANK YOU!

In lifelong learning, it is a relief to know I can always seek the advice of others. I humbly finally understand that it is always -- always -- okay to ask for help.

NOW I MUST ASK: Are you able to help me with the funds needed to complete my education? If so, I gratefully accept your support in any amount.

May you carry your light into the new year with empathy, kindness and passion. I wish you prosperity of the heart.

Happy New Year!

Sushila

PS: If you feel to share what's been happening for you , I would love to hear from you.

PPS: Here is the link to the video I produced, as mentioned above. It's a 9-minute investment of your time.

PPPS: Here is my GoFundMe campaign link

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)

January 01, 2019
Kathleen Cook Needs Our Support

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Kathleen Cook is in need of our support.

Please click here to learn more about her current health/life challenge as described on her GoFundMe page just launched by Joan Apter. No donation is too small.

This is chance for Kathleen's extended community to come together in her time of need and contribute some support. Thank you for your consideration. And here's to a happy healthy 2019 for all of us. May this coming year bring you as much love, peace, health, happiness, compassion, commitment, and gratitude as possible.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

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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