The Heart of the Matter
March 21, 2021
HEAR YOURSELF: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World

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Good news! Prem Rawat's new book, Hear Yourself, is now available, on Amazon for pre-order. Kindle, Audible, and hard cover editions are available. Release date: September 14th. Treat yourself to some good news. Prem has a unique way of helping people cut through the noise and tumult of modern life and find their way to the quiet center of it all.

Excerpted from his website: "For more than fifty years, Prem has shared his enduring message with people of any age, race, gender, nationality, religion, personal lifestyle or life condition, that peace within is possible and it is your birthright. He has reached hundreds of millions of people in over 100 countries through his powerful storytelling and profound message.

As a best-selling author and public speaker, he has adapted age-old stories for a modern audience, adding his unique perspective on the "business of life." These stories continue to resonate and transform millions of people's lives. His most recent book, Escuchate (Hear Yourself), quickly reached Amazon Spain's top non-fiction best seller's list, and precedes the soon-to-be released English version. Other publications by Prem include: Peace is Possible (published by Penguin) previously titled Splitting the Arrow: Understanding the Business of Life, as well as the illustrated books, The Pot With The Hole, and The Stonecutter.

Prem has personally developed an innovative well-being series called the Peace Education Program (PEP) that helps anyone interested to discover their inner strength and reflect on their own humanity.

Around the globe, Prem has also shared his practical approach to knowing yourself through a video-based course, Peace Education and Knowledge (PEAK), available free of charge on his media platform, TimelessToday. In these challenging times, Prem's message, his inspiration and the experience he points to, are more relevant than ever.

The Prem Rawat Foundation, established in 2001, supports charitable activities throughout the world, including Prem's Peace Education Program, which is now taught in places as diverse as prisons, countries ravaged by war, schools, universities, police academies, veteran centers and in hospitals in over 80 countries across 6 continents. From Cape Town, South Africa to California, from East Timor to Colombia, the Peace Education Program has reached people across wide spectrums of societies and inspires them to discover their innate personal peace.

To further advance his ability to reach people interested in his message, Prem became a pilot, logging more than 14,000 hours of flying time worldwide. He is also a composer, musician, photographer, husband, father of four children and grandfather of four.

PremRawat.com
TimelessToday.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2021
The Art of Self-Reflection

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"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

"In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone." - Rollo May

"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful." - Margaret Wheatley

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

"I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better." - Frida Kahlo

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." - Albert Einstein

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"Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave." - G.I. Gurdjieff

"I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone." - Lord Byron

"The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone." - James Baldwin

"Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know myself, to know it completely." - Kahlil Gibran

"Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?" - Charles Bukowski

"We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see." - Zen proverb

"We have so committed ourselves in different ways that we have hardly any time for self-reflection, to observe, to study." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"There is one art of which people should be masters -- the art of reflection." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life." - Iyanla Vanzant

"The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." - Caroline Myss

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." - Hafiz

Year of Living Creatively

Illustration: T.Gainey

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:43 PM | Comments (2)

March 04, 2021
THE LETTER

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When asked to explain his highly abstract Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein made it comprehensible in just two sentences. "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute," he said, "and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

I can relate. And though I like to think of myself as someone who understands Einstein's perspective, I realized, 14 years ago, that I haven't got a clue.

The year was 2005 and I was in India where I was living for three weeks at the ashram of my long-time teacher and favorite-person-in-the-whole-world, Prem Rawat. My mission? To learn how to coach people from North America who were in the process of being trained to facilitate Prem's Knowledge sessions.

Two weeks into the project, one of the program coordinators mentioned, during one of our evening debriefs, that Prem was less-than-pleased by the quality of teamwork being demonstrated by his various teams around the world -- a comment that immediately got my attention, as I had, within the past few months, created a deck of cards to help teams become as high functioning as possible.

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"What perfect timing!" I thought to myself. "Prem wants to upgrade the quality of teamwork among his volunteers and I just happen to be 95% done with a deck of cards devoted to that very topic."

Badaboom. Badabing.

Later that night, back in my room, still bubbling with excitement, I wrote Prem a letter informing him of the existence of my card deck and suggesting that the two of us collaborate on its completion.

It felt good to write the letter, free as I was, in that moment, of the cloud of doubt that usually surfaced any time I thought of pitching him an idea. You know, the classic kind of mind static that long ago claimed squatter's rights in my head -- junk like "He's probably way too busy to read my letter" or "Who am I to pitch him such a half-baked idea?"

Free of this crapola, I signed the letter, put it in an envelope and, the next day, tracked down someone who promised they would put the letter on his desk within the next few hours. Whoo hoo!

Ten days later, back home in Woodstock, my time in India having ended, I overnighted Prem my deck of cards.

According to my new, improved, I've-just-returned-from-India-and-am-clearer-now-than-ever calculations, I figured I'd get a reply from him in a month or so. Two, at the most. After all, I reasoned, my letter, clearly written and succinct, was in direct response to a very real need he had expressed and I, having ALREADY created the deck, just happened to be at the right place at the right time. These things happen. They do. There was no denying that. Magic was afoot. I could feel it in my bones.

Eighteen months passed. That's 540 days -- about the time it takes for an elephant to give birth.

I got no response. Not a peep -- an outcome, I figured, that wasn't all that surprising, given Prem's insane travel schedule, non-stop events, and who knows how many other thousands of letters he'd received from people during that time, some of whom were probably dying or had much better ideas to pitch him than I did.

Oh well... this wasn't the first time I'd written to him and gotten no response. And it probably wasn't going to be the last. As they say in the old country, "obla di, bla da."

So there I am, in LA, after MC'ing one of Prem's events, when out of the corner of my eye, I see one of his main assistants approaching me at high velocity from across the room and beckoning me with one finger, as if to say, "Drop everything and follow me now!"

Falling into step behind him, the two of us weaved our way through several security checkpoints until we found ourselves parting a curtain and approaching Prem who was standing backstage, surrounded by four very smiling people.

It was totally still where he was standing. Absolutely quiet. The unblinking eye of a storm.

"Hi Mitch," he says, sharing a few pleasantries with me. "I got your letter."

I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. None.

"Letter," I think to myself. "Letter? What letter? Did I write a letter?"

Prem just keeps looking at me. I know it's my move, but I have no moves, just the beginning of a vague remembrance of a letter I wrote some time ago, I think, in India, but could not, for the life of me, remember what it was about. So... I... er... uh... um... just made something up on the spot and blurted it out.

"NO!" he said. "Not that. TEAMWORK!"

Now, here is where things took quite a turn for me. Not a left turn. Not a right turn. And not a U-Turn. None of those. I'm talking about the kind of turn leaves make when the seasons change. Primal stuff.

Eighteen months had passed from the moment I had mailed him my letter. He remembered. I did not. But as he spoke, it felt as if no time had passed. Somehow, we had entered the timeless realm.

It's at moments like this where the perspective of Indian cosmology comes in handy.

As I understand it, in the Indian tradition, the in-breath and out-breath God, known as "yugas," are each 20,000 years long. Let's see... that's 20,000 years for God to take a complete in-breath... and another 20,000 years for God to exhale.

Me? My life is marked by a very different kind of cycles. Like "tomorrow," for example, and "next Thursday" or if I'm really feeling long-term, "a year from now."

Eighteen months? Not only isn't it a drop in the bucket, it's not even a molecule in the drop.

Looking back, I guess you could say that my letter-writing-to-Prem experience represents only 14 years of the 20,000 required for God to take an in-breath which, I guess, leaves me just 19,986 years short of a complete inhalation.

Maybe by that time my deck of cards will be complete.

PS: All of us, these days, are waiting for thie Coronavirus thing to be over, right? We want our lives back. We want to hug people. We want to sip cappuccino at our favorite cafe. All... in... good.... time, my friends. It... will... happen... eventually. But, clearly, not on OUR timeline. Breathe. One breath in. One breath out.

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:12 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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