The Heart of the Matter
November 26, 2019
WAFA: Water Air Food Awards

If you haven't heard of WAFA yet (Water Air Food Awards), here's your introduction. Based in Denmark, WAFA is a global volunteer organization that recognizes our world's silent heroes -- people making a difference in their communities with low cost, high impact, environmentally friendly innovations and initiatives. Prem Rawat is one of WAFA's four patrons.

WAFA's vision and mission
WAFA's patrons
A sampling of WAFA success stories
How to volunteer
WAFA's new 2020 Youth Climate Award

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2019
ANTHEMS ON THE RISE TAKES OFF

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Dominos delivers pizzas (547 million per year). FedEX delivers packages (3 billion per year). And Anthems on the Rise delivers custom songs (one, so far, this year).

One? Just one? Yes. But what a one it is -- One Lit Candle (Song for Greta) -- now featured on WAFA's (Water, Food, Air Awards) website in the Youth Climate Awards category.

Hoffman and Edwards' compelling anthem (with gorgeous vocals by Stephen Rivera) has found, in WAFA, the perfect partner to get its message out to the world. Indeed, both WAFA and Anthems on the Rise are kindred spirits, committed, as they are, to shining a bright light on the very best of what it means to be a conscious, caring, creative human being.

WAFA makes it possible for the environment's silent heroes to have a voice and Anthems on the Rise helps make that voice come alive.

If you are inclined to help WAFA accomplish its ambitious planet-saving goals, click here. If your organization would benefit from having its own inspired anthem, click here.

And if you don't feel like clicking on either of the above links, click here for some memorable quotes on possibility -- something which WAFA and Anthems on the Rise, thank God, are both wide open to.

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Illustration: gapingvoid.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2019
The Greatest Truth of All

Excerpts from one of Prem Rawat's books from 2013. Music: Stuart Hoffman.

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2019
It's Not That Difficult a Question

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Prem Rawat has been speaking to people, all over the world, about peace, for the past 53 years or so. He is always in great demand and his audiences, in India, have sometimes been as large as 300,000. So, when I found out, in 2010, that he was coming to my little town of Woodstock, NY, I was quite surprised -- especially since the biggest venue in town, the Bearsville Theater, had a capacity of only 350. No matter. His is not a numbers game. He goes where the love is and there was a lot of love in Woodstock drawing him there.

A few days before he arrived, I received a phone call from a woman whose role it was to select the MC and the backstage security person for the event. Since I had MC'd some of his events before, she thought it might be a good idea if I was available to MC the Woodstock event, but she told me she was also going to ask another person, Joan Apter, to be available, and then, on the day of the event, she would make her decision. The person, she explained, who was not chosen to MC would do back stage security. Our responsibility, she went on to say, was simply to show up at the hall an hour early and then, at that time, she would tell us who was going to MC and who would do back stage security.

But I already knew the answer.

Joan was going to MC the event and I was going to do back stage security -- because, I reasoned, if I was backstage, I'd have a better chance of having a moment or two with Prem as he waited for his cue to take the stage. And besides, I sort of had a cold (sniff, sniff) and Joan, glorious Joan, would absolutely nail it as the MC.

Getting to the hall a bit earlier than Joan, I explained to the MC-selector lady that, today, I would NOT be the best choice to MC, given my cold (sniff, sniff, achoo!).

She agreed and, I gleefully took my position back stage. My role, I soon learned, was a simple one. When Prem entered the building, all I had to do was press a large red button on the wall to alert the sound and lighting guys that he had arrived. That's it -- notice when Prem walked into the building and push a big red button. No experience needed.

While Joan did her mic checks on stage, I practiced pushing a big red button back stage, hoping in my heart of hearts that somehow, I would have a moment with Prem -- not wanting, of course, to crowd him or get in his way or be goofy or uptight or screw things up. After all, the back stage waiting area at the Bearsville Theater was small. The more I stood there, waiting for Prem's arrival, the more it dawned on me how just how small a space it was -- just big enough, for him and... um...er... me, the security guy with a cold, having just pressed the red button 20 times.

Get the picture?

As the hall filled up, so did every ounce of my being with a feeling I had become delightfully familiar with over the past 48 years -- the feeling of anticipating Prem's arrival -- the one person in the world who astounded me the most. Usually, I was sitting in the audience, back in row ZZ or up in the mezzanine, but today... this sunny day in Woodstock... in the iconic Bearsville Theater once owned by Bob Dylan's manager... I was going to be closer, much closer, to the main attraction.

Time passed. And some timelessness, too. Then, walking up the stairs from the Green Room, I see Prem approaching, radiant, buoyant, and smiling.

"Hi Mitch," he says.

"Hi!" I reply.

"So why do you live in Woodstock?" he asks.

"Um..." I say, not at all certain that I know why I live in Woodstock. "Because it's so beautiful."

"No," he responds. "I know why.... because it's so remote."

Then he wanders away and just stands there, eyes closed, in what I imagined to be his way of getting ready to go out on stage. But then, with no warning, he pivots and walks back in my direction.

"So what's up?" he says, looking me straight in the eye.

And that's when I kind of lost it. Stunned as I was to be talking to him so casually, I could not, for the life of me, process his question. Suddenly, his two words, "What's up?" took on a kind of cosmic Zen-Koan-like quality. A gigantic space opened up inside me. Time stopped. My mind, like some kind of drunken sailor, stumbled around, searching for something to say, but couldn't find the words. I mean, I could have talked about my work...or my family.. or my writing...or my whatever... but it all seemed so silly... so distant... so not what I wanted to say.

Somehow, I found myself floating, disappearing into his eyes. He just stood there, absolutely still, saying nothing. I kept drifting. The space that had opened up was very large and I had no access to language, me having entered a kind of Stevie Wonder-land of intoxication.

I'm not sure how much time passed. I'm guessing only a few seconds, but it seemed like forever. Then Prem smiled, leaned closed, and spoke six words I will never forget, "It's not that difficult a question."

Boom! I was back.

I said something that seemed to make sense. He said something that seemed to make sense. Then I said something. Then, he said something. Then the moment passed and he went out on stage and shared his message of peace with 350 locals, eager to listen to what he had to say.

I stood backstage, leaning up against a wall, feet on the ground, head in the clouds, and very, very glad to be alive.

Responses to Prem's talk from Woodstock locals

PremRawat.com
Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2019
What a Good Teacher Does

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"I don't know you. I don't know your name. But I do love you because you are a human being. That is sufficient for me to open up my heart and bring forth to you all that I know." -- Prem Rawat

When people ask me who Prem Rawat is, I usually describe him as a "teacher." Which makes me, I guess, his student -- though he has no school, no curriculum, and no exams. What he does have is an extraordinary knack for accelerating a person's education. About what? About life and how to get the most out of it.

A clue about Prem Rawat's approach comes from the word itself. "Education" comes from the Latin word "educare" -- meaning "to bring out." That's what a good teacher does -- brings out, from the student, the desire to learn, the thirst to know.

A good teacher does not stuff the student with facts, formulas, and information. A good teacher unstuffs. A good teacher helps remove the obstacles that get in the way of learning -- then finds a way to encourage, inspire, and guide his students to find out for themselves.
What Prem Rawat brings out of a human being is innate wisdom -- direct contact with the inner experience of knowing or what some people refer to as "knowledge of the self."

Here's the paradox: Even though Prem Rawat teaches and has a lot to say, he'll be the first to admit that what his message is about goes far beyond words -- words, amazingly, that have been translated into more than 70 languages and are considered daily by thousands of people worldwide who pay no tuition, only attention.

Because what he teaches is free. Which makes perfect sense when you stop to consider that what he's teaching is all about the fine art of becoming free.

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:06 AM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2019
KIM O' LEARY IN DA HOUSE: Closer

Kim's website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

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)

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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