The Heart of the Matter
September 28, 2022
The Making of Hear Yourself

Here is the six-minute back story of Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World -- Prem Rawat's wonderful new book.

Buy it here

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2022

M hands up13.jpg

Ever since I received the gift of Self-Knowledge from Prem Rawat in 1971, I have been trying, in various ways, to communicate something about the experience he reveals, how the practice of what he teaches benefits a person's life, and what his ongoing role is in the grand adventure of "knowing thyself."

As a poet and writer, I have a high regard for the power of language to convey and evoke that which is difficult to translate. But beyond that, I know deep down inside myself that, ultimately, it is not really possible -- not unlike the way my Zen friends describe the phenomenon of trying to speak truth into existence.

"It's like a finger pointing at the moon."

Prem Rawat has spoken of this phenomenon, as well.

"It's like trying to describe the taste of a mango to someone who's never experienced it."

Bottom line, words are finite, no matter how they are strung together or how impassioned the writer or speaker may be at any given moment in time. The menu is not the food. The finger is not the moon.

When it comes right down to it, I take my cue from the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu who once said: "Those who know don't speak. Those who speak don't know.

Hmm... a most provocative quote, indeed. And yet... drum roll please... Lao Tzu SPOKE this unspeakable truth. So... we can either conclude that the illustrious Mr. Tzu didn't know anything about the truth (because he spoke) OR he spoke, anyway, because there was something deep inside of him that needed to be said, no matter how paradoxical or imperfect his expression was.

Inspired by his choice and the undeniable fact that a finger pointing to the moon is better than no finger at all, I am going to take one more whack at this impossible task.

In other words, I am going to take a few leaps, using words as springboards, catalysts, and approximations.

What does enjoying the gift of Self-Knowledge that Prem Rawat reveals feel like?

Like coming home... like being on home base in a game of tag... like landing on Free Parking in Monopoly... like the bridge over troubled waters... like the trail of rice Hansel and Gretel left behind to find their way out of the forest... like Christmas morning... like an unexpected snow day... like finally finding love after looking for it in all the wrong places... like a sanctuary city for all of the refugees inside you... like realizing the promised land is (and has always been) beneath your feet... like being happy for no reason... like falling in love with life itself.

Catch my drift? I hope so.

Of course, each of the above figures of speech are imperfect. Every one of them is flawed.

For the moment, look at it this way: there is no perfect perfume or cologne in the world, but a really evocative scent will move you across the room to connect with the person who is wearing it -- or, at least, LOOK their way.

If any of the preceding has piqued your interest, I invite you to follow the scent wherever it may lead you. Towards that end, I have included links, below, to some Prem-related websites.

Sniff around if you'd like.

Hear Yourself: Prem's New York Times bestselling book
Prem's Official YouTube Channel

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2022
A Request for Your Brilliance


I am happy to announce that I will be publishing my fourth book of poetry in early 2023. The title? "Unspoken Word: Poetry of Love, Longing and Letting Go."

Yes, I am psyched about getting these poems out into the world, but more than that I am looking forward to doing this in a way that I've never done before.

In the past, the promotion of my books has been borderline lame -- kind of like throwing a frisbee into a supermarket on a snow day. While some people did manage to look up from the dairy case, my outreach efforts were not very effective.

Hopefully, that's just about to change.

What I'm in the process of putting together is a robust marketing plan -- a mix of common sense and out of the box strategies to get my soon-to-be-published book out into the world.

Towards that end I'm asking YOU for your cool ideas about how I can get the word out to as many people as possible.

Knowing how precious your time is, I've decided to give my book away to the ten people who send me the most (potentially) impactful ideas. If you happen to be one of these people and live in the US, I will mail you a hard copy of the book when it's published. If you live outside of the US, I will send you a link to the Kindle version.

As you might imagine, I already have some ideas I'm considering. So... rather than run the risk of you sending me ideas already under consideration, I've noted the ones I'm noodling on below. What I'm looking for are ideas BEYOND these -- either common sense ideas I haven't yet thought of or really out-of-the-box ideas that might be worth trying.

Here's what I've got so far:

-- Email my book's Amazon link to all my friends
-- Post book promotions on my blogs and Facebook page
-- Get endorsements from well-known influencers
-- Send my book to a poetry contest
-- Create a two-minute video of me talking about the book
-- Create an audio-book version
-- Hire a publicist

Willing to share your ideas with me? If so, simply forward them to And please be sure to include your snail mail address in case you are one of the ten people who win a free book.

If you want to be informed when the book comes out, let me know and I'll put you on the mailing list.

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." -- Albert Einstein

Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2022
ON MY WAY BACK FROM AMAROO: Knowledge in Action


Here is the beginning of a real life "Knowledge in Action" story about my mythic journey back home from Amaroo -- beginning with the curious phenomenon of my first leg of the return flight from Brisbane to Sydney NOT EXISTING! There was no Qantas flight 503 and my phone didn't work and there were no Qantas employees on duty (it being 2:29 am) and there was no obvious way to get any assistance.

But that was just the Fellini appetizer.

The LA to Newark flight sat on the runway for two hours. Then we "deplaned" -- waiting for another, much older, plane to be cleaned and "catered." The caterers, apparently, onboarded enough peanuts, but they forgot the air!

There was no air conditioning! There was no circulating air on the plane!

It got so bad on the second plane, still on the runway after one more hour, that the too-cheerful flight attendant advised us all to find the laminated safety card in our seat back pocket and FAN ourselves with it.

I shit you not.

The uncirculated air kept getting hotter and hotter and we again deplaned while the ground crew (a caffeinated guy named "Clarence" trying to get the air flowing) did his/their best to fill the plane with something to breathe while a few hundred of us -- some having "traveled" 30 hours from Australia -- sat at Gate 72A and waited for the next chapter of United Airline's Mahabharata to unfold.

The good news?

I got a chance to practice Prem Rawat's gift of Knowledge, post-Amaroo -- a chance to walk the talk -- a chance to stay in my heart, be in the moment and adapt as needed, staying connected to gratitude, not just theoretically, via bumper sticker memes, but real-time, breath by breath.

One of the things I love about what Prem Rawat teaches is that it's very practical. It's a lifeline to the moment and the kind of perspective that enables a person to BE wherever they are.

THIS JUST IN! The "missing part" that United was searching for to get the air going has apparently arrived! Soon the plane will be boarding (for the third time today) and if all goes well and no one hi-jacks the plane to Cuba, I should be back home by 3:30 am.

Oh, one more thing: I will be writing a very loooooong letter to the CEO of United Airlines, requesting a free round trip to anywhere in the world.

Power to the People and a big shout out to whatever YOU do to keep you present and maintaining your perspective about what's really important -- no matter what's going on in this great play of life.

PS: I just reboarded the plane. The air is just as hot as it was before we deplaned. But there were BLANKETS on each seat.

PEAK: Prem's free online course

Photo: Tim Gouw, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2022
Register Now for The Global Peace Education Day Conference

On September 20th, more than 40 leading lights in the growing field of Peace Education will be sharing their insights, perspectives, and approaches to establishing a worldwide culture of peace. Prem Rawat, the founder of the very successful Peace Education Program, will be a featured speaker.

Admission is free though donations to the independent Peace Education Nework is greatly appreciated.

Global Peace Education Partners
Conference Topics and Schedule
Peace Education Program

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2022
Fill Your Bucket Now and Drink


Everything on the outside changes -- our lives a kind of time lapse photography from the moment we are born to the moment we exit, stage left.

A seed is planted. It sprouts. It flowers. Bees come. Night comes. The flower closes and eventually its petals fall to earth, nourishment for whatever comes next.

But while we're here (and we are here!), let your flower bloom. Let it open to the sun. Be as beautiful as you are. Enjoy the sky overhead and the ground below. Indeed, enjoying this moment is what it's all about -- not what happened before or what you think will happen next. This is the moment we were born for -- to enjoy it in full glory, to sprout, to bloom, to let go.

Whatever helps you appreciate this moment, embrace it all the way. Whatever doesn't, let it go.

One of the extraordinary services that Prem Rawat provides, as far as I can tell, is ushering people into this moment.

"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen. Step right up! Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth -- YOU!"

No matter where you're from or what your plans might be for tomorrow, this is the moment -- the field beyond right-doing and wrong-doing that Rumi wrote about. The peace that passes all understanding. Or, as a very bald Zen Master once said, "What is there at this moment that you lack?"

HINT: Nothing.

There is nothing that you lack -- especially not the stuff on your bucket list. It's fine, of course, to have a bucket list, but it's also fine for that bucket to be full right now.

It's raining! It's pouring! Fill your bucket now and drink!
The Prem Rawat Foundation

Photo: Lubomirkin on Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2022
The Epitaph


Now 75 and increasingly approaching the expected lifespan of an American male, I wonder from time to time what inscription I would want on my tombstone -- something not quite as goofy as WC Fields' ("I'd rather be in Philadelphia"), but very much to the point. And I think I have it. Just two words -- eight and a half times shorter than a haiku, but hopefully as memorable -- at least for the gravedigger who I doubt I'll ever meet. Ready?

"Thank you!"

That's it. Short and sweet. No wasted words. "Thank you!"

The list of who I'd be thanking with those two words would be a long one, indeed: my parents, my sister, Evelyne (my former wife of 29 years), my two astounding kids (Jesse and Mimi), my amazing friends, my coaches, mentors, and teachers, Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, Rilke, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Pavarotti, Duke Snider, George Carlin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Hanuman, Muhammed Ali, Martin Luther King and so many more.

But the person I'd thank first would be Prem Rawat, my soul's friend, my heart's song, my glorious guide on the path of life.


I met him 51 years ago when I was 24 and he was just 13, but I feel like I've known him forever. Indeed, a single glance from him, a word, or smile has taught me more about life than any book I've ever read.

Why would I thank him first? Because he has shown me (and continues to show me) what comes first, that which is, was, and will be -- the nameless, formless, spacious essence of life -- the place from where gratitude (and everything else) originates.

If I had a mirror in my attic covered with the dust, he'd be the one to blow the dust away so I could see my reflection or, better yet, he'd remind me I had the power to blow the dust away myself.

I thank him for his wisdom and his relentless commitment to do everything in his power to be of service to humanity. I thank him for his stories and the way he tells them. I thank him for his extraordinary ability to shine a light on that which is truly worthy of my attention, care, and love. I thank him for his overflowing kindness. I thank him for his humor. I thank him for showing me what it really means to be alive -- not just exist -- eyes open, mind open, heart open. Indeed, I attribute, to him, the lion's share of my ability to be grateful and to express that gratitude.

His words have comforted me, soothed me, inspired me and brought me back to square one on the chess board of my life. I thank him for his patience, love, listening, resilience, tenacity, presence, and divine irreverence.

There are so many scriptures that have been written, so many poems, and songs of praise that expand on this theme, but what it all comes down to can be summed up in two words: "Thank you!"

So thank you, Prem. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do, making it so much easier this time around for me to be who I am and do what I do.

And now... drum roll, please.... it's on to Day Four of Amaroo! Whoo hoo!

Prem Rawat photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2022
Checking in from Amaroo: Day Two


Okie dokie. It is some time in the very early morning here, but I cannot tell you what time, specifically, because I never changed the time zone on my iPhone, nor do I want to turn my iphone on.

Let's just say it's the time when the birds begin singing and the first light of day is upon us. It's my second day here with Prem Rawat and 2,800 people who have traveled from who knows where to unplug from just about everything else except what really matters: being in the moment... feeling deeply... and letting go of whatever it may be for any one of us that obstructs and obscures the very best of who we are.

Last night Prem spoke to all of us in the outdoor amphitheater. So relaxed he was. At ease. Radiant without trying to be. The definition of chill. He spoke. We listened. He laughed. We laughed. He told stories. We went on the adventure with him. You know the expression, "the bottom line?" Well, for me, that was happening, big time. Home base. Returning home. Showing up. A come as you are party that he keeps throwing.

So much fun. So easy peasy.

This ain't about the mystical or esoteric. This is about life -- what exists at the heart of everything. No need for huffing and puffing. Water seeks its own level and so do we. Prem has a way of making this universal, non-denominational phenomenon way more accessible to everyone. Love is a natural law. Like gravity. You don't really have to do anything to experience gravity. And, where Prem is coming from, you don't have to do anything to experience love -- other than letting the knots that have been tied inside you come undone and focus on what it truly worthy of your attention.


If I was hitchhiking, I'd want him to pick me up. If I was bummed out at my local bar, I'd want him in the seat next to me. If I was playing poker with the boys, I'd want him at the table, me looking his way for tells. But when I look in his eyes, only one message is apparent. "Go all in!" Yes, indeedy! He wants me to put all my chips in the middle of the table, not so he can clean up, but so I can. He wants me to win the big pot. And I do. And yet his stack never goes down. I don't really understand how this works, but it does.

What he is talking about, coaxing people towards, reminding us of every minute of the day, is how to experience the absolute best out of life. And that absolute best, by the way, is already within us. It's not on mountaintop (unless, of course, you happen to be on a mountaintop). It's not in a church or temple (unless, of course, you happen to be in a church or temple). And it's not at the end of a pilgrimage to wherever it is you think you need to go.

And, by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going on a pilgrimage. Just like there's nothing wrong with yoga, finding your soul mate, buying the home of your dreams, or having all the money you want. It's just that the absence of these doesn't really matter.

None of those things can give you what you already have.

What Prem is saying has been said by many great teachers since the beginning of time. "What you are looking for is within you." It doesn't get much simpler than that. It has nothing to with how many degrees you have or what your astrological sign is or how many holy books are in your library. It has to do with if you know yourself. It has to do with a heart full of gratitude. It has to do with consciousness -- your consciousness.

Badaboom. Badabing.

Somehow, this man (who like the rest of us used to be 13), has the ability to help people get to this place -- to make the journey from head to heart -- to feel how lucky they are -- to trust, to enjoy and experience the great gift of life.

What do you call someone like that? Well, that's really up to you. And, in the end, it really doesn't matter.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", Shakespeare said.

Words are just words. Names are just names. The menu is not the meal. What Prem is here to do is help each and every one of us enjoy the meal that is our life. And though, we are all different, with our own sets of quirks, beliefs, strengths, and preferences, at the center of the center there is one beating heart.

If a double rainbow appears over your head, it doesn't matter if you are a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Jew. You look up. You marvel. Time stops, worry takes a back seat, and you experience pure wonder.

This is my experience of what Prem's work is all about. But instead of saying "look up" he's saying "look within". That's where our treasure is. That is the seat of our power. That is where all journeys begin and end.

And it's simple, folks. It's really simple. You don't have to leave your home, abandon your relationships, and become an ascetic. You don't need to do any hocus pocus, join a club, and complicate your life. Oh, I almost forgot. It's free. There is no charge for the service he provides. Zero. Nada. Zilch. As he has said on more than one occasion, "How can I charge for something you already have?"

Well, dear friends, that's it for now. If I can, I will log on again tonight and babble on a bit. There are four more days of Amaroo, Prem speaking twice a day for those four days. Whoo hoo! It's a bubble of love here, lots of kindness in the eyes of everyone I meet, laughter, ease, and gratitude. And it's a bubble of love where YOU are, too, by the way, no matter where you happen to be. Indeed, that's the whole kit and kaboodle -- the so-called "secret of life." Be where you are! Bloom where you're planted! Feel the gratitude! Embrace yourself and your life right now. It's all good.

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:39 PM | Comments (2)

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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