Draw a Breath, Not a Line
Throughout history and even last Thursday, inner-directed people on the so-called "spiritual path", have had a tendency to perceive the world as "maya" -- the fancy sanskrit name for "illusion."
I used to feel this way a lot.
Back in the early days of my adolescent quest for meaning, I had a curious habit of drawing lines in the sand. On one side of the line was the "inner life" -- the place where God lived (or if not lived, at least vacationed). On the other side of the line was "the world." You know -- the laughable detritus of life on planet Earth: relationships, shopping malls, money, politics, ego, organized religion, high school geometry, taxes, Frosted Flakes, and anything I didn't understand, agree with, or like.
Somehow, it made me feel good to draw these lines -- not unlike the way Democrat and Republican spin doctors strut their stuff on CNN after each political debate.
Well... I would like to take this late night blogospheric moment to humbly apologize to all of those whose lives I somehow judged by my habitual line-drawing behavior.
I see things differently now -- kind of like that old Zen story...
Two young monks, one fine day, found themselves existentially arguing over whether it was the wind or the flag that was moving. Unable to agree, they sought the counsel of their teacher.
"Master, oh Master" they asked, "is it the wind or the flag that is moving?"
"Neither," the Master replied. "It's your mind that is moving."
And so, dear friend, if you find yourself judging anyone these days, including yourself, chill. It's a total waste of time -- especially when you could be enjoying the very thing you were born for.
Draw a breath, not a line.
Sweeping the Path
As a middle class American male with a healthy dose of resistance to household chores, the broom has never been one of my favorite tools.
While I've certainly appreciated its timeless design and universal appeal, the act of sweeping has always felt like somebody else's job.
This belief radically changed for me one fine Spring day in 1980. That was the day I got word that my teacher, Prem Rawat, was coming to visit the house I was living in -- a funky old dwelling on Detroit Street in mile high Denver, Colorado.
Clearly, my housemates and I weren't ready. The kitchen was dirty. The bathrooms were a wreck. The lawn needed mowing. Mucho stuff needed to be done.
My task? To sweep.
Grabbing a broom like some kind of over-caffeinated Clint Eastwood on steroids, I pushed open the front door, surveyed the scene, and got busy.
The porch was a piece of cake. A few flicks of the wrist, a few energetic downward strokes in both directions and I was done -- leaves, twigs, and dust sailing over the edge onto the waiting lawn below.
Now it was time for the front walkway.
A sweep to the left. A sweep to the right. A sweep to the left again -- me a human metronome in tune with something beyond time. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
I paused to view my handiwork. "Not bad, not bad at all," I thought to myself.
But though the porch and walk were much cleaner than before, my increasingly perceptive sweeper's vision was seeing things it hadn't noticed just ten minutes ago: a pebble stuck between cracks, a rusty bottlecap, a flattened piece of wax.
Whoosh to the left. Whoosh to the right. Whoosh to the left again.
It felt good getting ready, good preparing the way for the man who, nine years ago, had shown me -- in a heartbeat -- what life was really all about.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.
Ta da! The porch was clean! The path was clear! All was right with the world! But wait! The sidewalk, in front of the house, was a complete mess. Bits of paper were everywhere. Plastic spoons. Shards of glass. And dirt, dirt, dirt.
Obviously, I had more work to do.
Whoosh to the left. Whoosh to the right. Whoosh to the left again.
I closed my eyes. I took a breath. I opened my eyes again. But wait! The road in front of the house was a wreck -- the very same road the person I loved the most in the world would need to cross if he parked his car on the north side of the street. Cigarette butts, oil spots, and leaves were everywhere. My hands began to twitch. My mind began to race. Wherever I looked, nothing was ready to receive him. Nothing was good enough. The world, it seemed to me, was one gigantic mess.
I wondered how far onto Detroit Street I needed to sweep -- how far I needed to go to prepare the way. At this rate, I might never come back.
And then, like one of those moments I used to read about in Zen Buddhism books, it hit me.
It wasn't the front porch that needed sweeping. It wasn't the path... the sidewalk... or the street. It was me. I was the one that needed to be swept -- swept of my clutter, swept of my assumptions, swept of whatever junk stood in the way of being able to receive my teacher in a way that was clean.
I didn't need to sweep the porch. I didn't need to sweep the street. I didn't need to shine my shoes... or cut the grass... or buy a suit... or lose five pounds... or iron my shirt... or paint the house... or wash the car... or buy a dozen roses. I could, of course, if I wanted to. I could if these things really needed to be done. But something else -- much more central to my life -- was going on.November 30, 2013
Dancing on the Inside
There's something inside of everyone that is fully alive, joyful, and dancing. Find it in yourself!January 27, 2013
It's About Awakening
October 16, 2012
YO, I Say Unto You...
August 19, 2012
A Word to the Wise
July 14, 2012
Texas Prisoners Find Inner Peace
Here's an extraordinary fact: There are more people living in US jails than live in the entire state of New Mexico.
Based on the latest data, the combined inmate population of correctional facilities in the United States is currently about 2.35 million.
The cost to the US Government? $74 billion dollars. That's $30,600 per prisoner. Those are staggering numbers. But even more staggering are the recidivism rates. 60% of all prisoners released from jail eventually return.
Clearly, the prison system is broken -- not just in this country, but in the world. Attempts at rehabilitation -- and there have been many -- have simply not worked. Until recently.
The Prem Rawat Foundation's (TPRF) Peace Education Program, now being piloted in Texas' Dominguez State Prison, is getting extraordinary results. Here is the story (be sure to watch the video).
January 25, 2012
Spread This Knowledge January 24, 2012
Prem Rawat in Long Beach, 1/29
Long Beach, California, located 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, is the 36th largest city in the US and the 7th largest in California -- with a population of 465,000.
On Sunday, January 29th, its population will increase by another 2,000 or so -- at least for the evening -- as people from far and wide will be flocking to the Long Beach Convention Center, at 6:00 pm, for an inspired presentation by Prem Rawat, widely known as "Maharaji". Admission is free, but if you want to attend, please click here to request an invitation. The event is open to everyone.January 20, 2012
Longing for Long Beach on 1/29!
Turn up the volume! Go full screen! Here is a fun way that Stuart Hoffman, Jennifer Edwards, and Hannah Blake are getting the word out about Prem Rawat's upcoming Long Beach event on 1/29. Forward it to family and friends! Dance! Sing! Breathe! Do whatever it takes to get there on 1/29. And if you can't, watch it two weeks later here.January 17, 2012
Introducing the Premium Channel!
Premium Channel broadcasts will be high quality, full length, and available every Friday night (give or take a few). This new feature is a departure from previous WOPG "Lifestreams", insofar as the Premium Channel will be pay-per-view. WOPG.org will continue offering lots of videos, online, for free.January 16, 2012
The Unchain Letter
Unless you've been in a coma for the past 20 years, chances are good you've received more than your share of "chain letters" -- those quirky communications that start off singing the praises of something or other, but end up warning you that if you don't forward the letter to ten people in the next 24 hours your nose will fall off.
This is not one of those letters.
It is not a chain letter. It's an unchain letter -- a communication about something with the power to free you from whatever is holding you down... or back... or upside down.
This letter is an experiment, my curious way of finding out whether my intention to let people know about Prem Rawat's upcoming events in Miami Beach and Long Beach, CA is strong enough to find its way to one million people by next Saturday.
I don't know if it's possible.
But what I DO know is that if YOU and the other 10 people I forwarded it to are willing to forward it to another 10 who, in turn, forward it to another 10 (with no one ever fearing their nose will fall off), good things will happen.
Bottom line, I want to let everyone know that Prem Rawat (aka Maharaji) will be speaking at public events on 1/22 and 1/29.
What's he going to talk about? What really matters.
Here's what some of my friends who saw Maharaji in Woodstock for the first time had to say about their experience of seeing him.
OK? Want to play? All you need to do is forward this link to 10 people.
Hey, in these days of meltdown, heartbreak, and war, we all need something with the power to inspire, uplift, and liberate.December 31, 2011
Don't Go Without, Go Within!
December 06, 2011
Just in Case You're Interested
For those of you are intrigued by Prem Rawat's message, I'd like to direct your attention to some resources that will give you more of a sense of what it's all about. In a time when too many people are down, deflated, and depressed, this man is showing a simple way to access what's real, joyful, and timeless within the human heart.
A FEW SIMPLE WAYS TO FIND OUT MORENovember 25, 2011
When I was a young boy, I loved to swim in the ocean in a place called Jones Beach. Happy to be out of the suburbs for the day, I'd run into the water, make my way out to the biggest waves, and body surf as far as possible into shore. Again and again and again. I wasn't a great body surfer, but good enough to have a lot of fun.
Of course, there were always those moments, standing out there in the shifting sands beneath my feet, when a monster wave would appear, gathering force like some kind of outtake from a 1950's Japanese disaster movie.
It didn't take a whole lot of smarts to realize that those waves were way too big for me to ride -- forces of nature not only over my head, but entirely out of my league.
I had only one choice: duck.
So duck I did, holding my breath and feeling torrents of water swarming over my head.
When I think about the Knowledge that Maharaji reveals, I think about my boyhood ocean adventures.
The world, with all it's gathering force, often feels like a wave -- the rising stuff of life sometimes just too intense to ride, even for the most athletic and trusting among us.
Sometimes you just gotta duck and find the place inside you that is free of the pulls, free of all the tidal ups and downs.
Please don't get me wrong. I am not talking about avoidance, retraction, or refusing to engage in the dance of life. Far from it.
I'm talking about having the option and the know how to slip beneath the rising tide of madness often swirling all around you. On the streets. On the job. And ultimately, in your own oceanic mind.November 07, 2011
November 06, 2011
The Debate Goes On
by Glen Whittaker.
Takes three minutes to read.
"Inside, I Am a Good Man"
July 02, 2011
Join the Participation Party!
If you are enjoying the gift of Knowledge and want to help out in any way, there are tons of opportunities to do so. No matter what your schedule, skills, or location, there is something for everyone. Join in the fun. Turn theory into practice. Be part of the inspired effort to help Maharaji spread his message of peace.
"The most important thing is that the feeling of participation has to come from your heart. It cannot be a mandatory thing. It has to come from your heart." - MaharajiJune 02, 2011
Stone Walls Do Not a Prison Make
Inmates in correctional facilities around the world are listening to Prem Rawat's message of peace... and responding in extraordinary ways. Like this, for example, from a prisoner in Texas:
"Thank you for providing a perspective that has given my life significance, meaning, and most of all, peace applied directly to the wounds of my life that personally, privately, and powerfully give me the direction I longed for."March 06, 2011
The Axle of Creation's Wheel
a really nice blog posting
on Words of Peace Global
by Alan Roettinger
really real --
when everything else
slip sliding away.
A very good reminder...
Illustration: Sara Shaffer
Strokes of a Hammer
Here is a
very rich posting,
newly published on the
Words of Peace Global blog
by one of my favorite people
on the planet --
If you haven't seen
the wopg blog yet,
now's your chance --
a selection of juicy
first person expressions
by a cross-section of
people who love Maharaji
and practice his techniques
for tapping into
the wellspring of peace within.
Illustration: Sara Shaffer
It's Like Water
One thing I love about Maharaji's message is this: it's for everyone -- these women from India, truck drivers from Ghana, doctors from Australia, housewives from America, waiters from Germany. And everyone in between. The experience he reveals is like water, he once said. It doesn't matter if you're a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian. Both kinds of people need water. And that's what he's offering.February 10, 2011
Take Me Home
Last night, exhausted from a long day's work, 150 miles from home, I found myself sitting in my car in a darkened New Jersey parking lot, dreading the ride home.
Yes, my wonderful wife and kids were waiting for me at the end of the journey. And yes, I had a chocolate covered protein bar, water, and 5 CD player. But I also had a sinking feeling that, out here in the boonies, many miles from the interstate, the chances of me getting home without getting lost were slim to none.
I glanced at the directions written on a 3x5 card by my trusty assistant. They read like some kind of Hammurabi's code. "Go 0.73 miles and turn right at the fourth light after the second hardware store."
My eyes glazed over.
Here, in the boonies, I knew every wrong turn meant more time away from home and the endless turning into gas stations asking baffled attendants how to get back on the highway.
Then I remembered my GPS stashed in the glove compartment.
I plugged it in. I powered up. I waited. Take Me Home flashed on the screen. Take Me Home! Like the little kid in ET, I pointed and pushed.
And then? The reassuring voice of the GPS lady filled my car with comfort, letting me know I needed to turn right... then, in 100 feet... turn left at Buckley Boulevard."
And all I had to do was drive.
This, metaphorically speaking, is the situation we're all in -- trying to find our way home with the least amount of wasted effort.
For me, the Knowledge Maharaji reveals is a wonderful GPS. When I'm plugged into it and paying attention, it guides me home in the simplest of ways. No driving in circles. No missed exits. No wondering if I'm on the right road.
My wish for you today, dear friends, is a simple one: that you find your GPS. If it's stashed in the glove compartment, I hope you take it out. If it's installed in your dashboard, I hope you turn it on. And if you don't have one, I hope you get one soon.
I can't tell you what kind of GPS works best because I haven't tried them all, but I can tell you that you don't need to waste your time squinting at directions. Getting back home is simpler than you think.
Bon voyage!January 23, 2011
Words of Peace Global Website
As most of you know, I am a big fan of Prem Rawat and have been his student since 1971. He is, quite simply, the most amazing person I have ever met -- a man with an extraordinary gift of love to give the world.
What you may not know is that his website is a great way to learn more about his work and what the essence of his message is...
Introductory cards (download and print)
PS: If you know people who may be interested in Maharaji's message, please feel free to forward them this link.December 28, 2010
Growing up in New York, there were three things I found utterly amazing: the accents of people from other places, baseball, and snow days.
If you're from California, Mexico, or Hawaii, you probably know what the first two are all about. But the third? Allow me to explain.
A snow day, for those of you who have never experienced winter, is an unexpected day off from school granted by a benevolent universe. You go to bed at night, dreading your history test the next day, and wake up with three feet of snow outside your window -- your mother telling you (having just heard it on the radio) that school is closed.
It's a snow day!
Somehow, while you slept, the whole world shut down. Everything came to a halt. The only thing you can see out your window is a solitary bird looking for food and the kid next door, arms outstretched, making snow angels.
You jump for joy! Yahoo! Hallelujah!
Gone is the need to rush through breakfast. Gone is the need to catch the bus. Gone is the need to perform.
All bets are off. Your time is your own. You are free!
You look out the window and everything is white. The jagged edges of the world have been softened, curved, and relaxed. Everything is still, as if the God you've heard so much about in Sunday school has just hit the pause button.
You have time to slow down, time to do nothing at all -- and feel really good about it. After all, this isn't a sick day, it's a snow day -- a complete and utter gift... an unexpected bit of grace... an inheritance you didn't realize was on its way.
For me, the gift my Teacher gives is a bit like that.
And the ultimate beauty of the whole thing? You don't have to wait for an "Act of God," while you sleep, to enjoy its benefits. It's with you every second of the day, every breath.December 13, 2010
I Want to Tell You About My Master
A few nights ago, I was sitting in my kitchen with my wife, Evelyne, and our good friend Hudson.
Hudson had recently been diagnosed with cancer and the sobering reality of life's fragility was upon us. As we sat there, we started talking about how our lives would change if we knew we only had another year to live. We each took turns reflecting on what we would do differently -- what we'd stop doing, what we'd start doing, and what would guide our choices. For me, a few things became clear: 1) I'd take the practice of Knowledge more seriously; 2) I'd stop worrying about all the crap that now occupies my mind; 3) I'd dive a lot deeper into writing about the beauty of having a living Master in my life.
Towards that end, here's a little something I wrote a few years ago. I want to share it with you now, while I'm still alive. Enjoy!
I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY MASTER
I want to tell you about my Master,
the one who teaches from within,
that like a heartbeat longing to be heard
becomes the twin I never knew I had.
Him! That one!
He is calling me,
not with music, that would be too easy,
but with silence --
that's his choir!
I cannot describe him,
my words only exclude.
Better simply to say, "The one I love,"
answer to a prayer much too subtle
for anyone else to hear,
keeper of the flame,
who I am, was, and will be
when there's no one around to remember my name,
why you like candlelight,
want a child, dream,
the one with no other master plan but love.
I have met this man,
or should I say observed,
struck dumb by his simplicity
and the unspeakable glory of seeing
what these eyes first opened for.
for the second
in a series
of weekly blog postings
- this one by Joel Metzger -
Words of Peace Global,
the always evolving website
all about the message
of Prem Rawat (aka Maharaji).
Take a look.
Joel deftly describes
the phenomenon of
how what we're looking for
is right in front of us.
Illustration: Sara Shaffer
(Can you find the parrot)
The One Minute Seeker
In days gone by, classic seekers had to endure a ton of trials and tribulations to find what they were looking for.
They walked across deserts. They fasted. They hunted for the One in faraway places.
No more. Those days are over. The game has changed. Things have heated up, big time.
Now, that which you are looking for is looking for you. Your inner questing for something timeless, pure, and full of love has been responded to.
Really. Click here to find out more.May 19, 2010
Falling in Love?
There's a phrase in the English language that makes no sense to me even though I've used it hundreds of times: "Falling in love."
Certainly there must be a better way to describe one of the sweetest feelings a human being can have. Falling isn't exactly the word we associate with great experiences.
The stock market falls. The temperature falls. Civilizations fall. Adam fell from grace. Nobody in their right mind really wants to fall.
Falling is all about coming down, descending.
Love, on the other hand, is an elevation, a rising, a being uplifted.
Then again, if you stop to think about it, the phrase "falling in love" makes some sense -- because the act of falling ends in "hitting bottom."
The phenomenon is all too recognizable. You meet someone special. Your heart opens. You're flying, you're free, you're feeling no pain -- not unlike the feeling of weightlessness that comes from falling.
Eventually, however, the falling ends. You land. Hard. The object of your devotion, proves less than unconditional. Their attentions drift. Their flaws become apparent. And so begins the painful process of falling out of love.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
There IS a love that is unconditional. There is a love that only gets better with time -- a love that neither disappoints or disillusions.
Human beings have been searching for this love from the beginning of time.
That's what Maharaji talks about. And that's what he reveals to those who truly thirst to experience it.March 22, 2010
Find the Key
May 30, 2009
In Plain Sight
This 3D animation, by Joel Metzger, is quite lovely -- a simple story that communicates the basic need we all have to discover what often seems hidden from sight. Joel worked on this project for a year and "would love to see everyone expressing their best discoveries in their own medium." Well then, what IS your medium? And how can you use it more effectively to help make visible that which often seems hidden from sight?November 29, 2008
Diving In Deeper
If you are new to Heart of the Matter, chances are good you've only seen a small percentage of what's available to you here -- more than 200 postings of all kinds: videos, slide shows, excerpts and reports from Maharaji's events, stories, personal reflections, poetry, humor, a talking puppet, links to cool resources, and much more.
You can always access the most recent 30 postings by logging onto the site and scrolling down. For the rest of the content, you'll need to click on the archives (in the sidebar beneath "Recent Entries"). But since you're already here right now, all you need to do is click the link below for a hot-linked list of all past postings. (If you find something you like, please feel free to forward it to friends, acquaintances, family, or neighbors. That's how word about this blog is getting out.)
Heart of the Matter Monthly Archives
Photo by Durango99
EXPONENTIAL TIMES: The Avalanche
A few years ago, Maharaji spoke about something he called "The Avalanche" -- a phenomenon that would enable people all over the world to hear about his message and, with the availability of The Keys and a growing number of Knowledge Session facilitators, find it easier than ever to receive his gift. How will that happen? I don't know. But the video below, produced by Sony, may offer some clues. QUESTION: In what ways might you and your community use technology more effectively and creatively to communicate what's in your heart?
Thanks to Alan Roettinger for the link.September 30, 2008
Thirst Quench Thirst
Hello... You can hear nothing but the sound of my voice.
You are lovingly placing your cursor over the hotlinked phrase below, clicking once and buying at least one copy of my new book of poetry, Thirst Quench Thirst.
Do not concern yourself about whether or not you actually like poetry, read poetry, or have ever heard of me. Those concerns, while certainly understandable, are beside the point. Sometimes you just need to trust your instincts. Like now, for instance.
Some of the poems in this blog are excerpted from the book, so if you're still not sure, simply scroll around and read.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, the book is only $15.00. At 72 pages, that's only $20.8 cents a page (1/18th the cost of a Starbuck's Frappucino). Such a deal!
Still need proof it's worth the money? Click below and check out the reviews:
Thirst, Quench Thirst evokes a memory of the deepest longings of the soul. Reading Mitch's poetry reminds me of what I already know, but often forget." -- Joan Apter
"This poetry has touched the deepest recesses of my heart." -- Dermott Philpott
"Mitch's poetry touches a universal human longing; the ache for internal connection to the divine. He speaks in a personal, simple, accessible way about things that are ancient and deep." -- Erika Andersen
"Most great love poetry baffles the mind, but delights the heart. And great love poetry cannot be written without great love. Mitch Ditkoff's poems are intoxicating." -- John Adorney
"This is the kind of nourishment that penetrates to the core of Divine Love, and if deeply imbibed, its sweet nectar can be savored for a lifetime." -- Jamie Delay
"Mitch mixed the most profound -- almost indescribable -- with the kind of simplicity that somehow manages to capture a feeling. Lovely stuff!" -- Candice Wilmore
"This book of poetry, delightful and charming, takes me right to the heart of the matter gently, often with wonderful humor! I read and re-read these poems just to take the ride." -- Kim Greene
"Not bad, but buy this book anyway so I can get a higher allowance." -- Jesse Pouget DitkoffSeptember 25, 2008
If You Have the Thirst to Learn More About What Maharaji Offers...
If you have the thirst to learn more about what Maharaji offers and know you want to receive Knowledge, there's a simple, practical way to prepare -- The Keys.
The Keys are a set of DVDs to help people, in the privacy of their own home, learn more about his method for tuning in to a deep place of inner peace. If you've already been viewing introductory DVDs or listening to introductory CDs, you may want to take your next step and view THE KEYS.
If you have friends interested in learning more about Maharaji and Knowledge, but are not yet committed to viewing The Keys,
forward them this link.
Or click below. It will take you to a set of other links, mostly from this blog, any one of which may help your friends on their way...
2. Home Base
4. Snow Day
10. Keep It SimpleSeptember 24, 2008
The Temple of Your Heart
I just came across these inspiring words from Maharaji on innerlink.tv. A timeless message, indeed...
"Look in you. Look in your heart. And you will find the truest essence of your existence. Look within you and you will find the most beautiful waters. Look within you and you will find your solutions. Look within you and you will find your answers. Answers to which you don't even have questions to yet.
The holiest of all scriptures that ever will be, will be in the temple of your heart."August 01, 2008
NEWS: Maharaji's Broadcast to One Million People in India, Nepal, and Mauritius: 7/31/08
Thanks to Dagmar Zierer, Cath Carroll, Jan Buchalter, and others for forwarding their recollections and impressions of the Derby, UK broadcast.
On July 31, from The Assembly Room in Derby, England, a broadcast of an event with Maharaji went live to more than one million people in India, Nepal and Mauritius in 4,000 centers and countless other locations.
Having completed his recent European tour of Madrid, Ljubljana, Glasgow, Birmingham, Warsaw, Corleone, Palermo, Gothenberg, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Calpe, Bilbao, Torquay, Hinkley, Leicester and Tel Aviv, Maharaji was responding to an invitation for a broadcast event from people in India -- and beyond -- who hadn't yet seen him this year.
Before a local audience of about 1,200 people, mostly from Derby's Hindi speaking community, Maharaji spoke on a number of topics, including the role of the Master, recognition, and Knowledge.
The broadcast was recorded and will soon be available to Hindi speaking communities.
During his talk, Maharaji noted that when he goes to India later this year, events will be done in a different way -- something even more enjoyable than in the past:
"All I want is for you to experience the joy of Knowledge in your life," he said. "Events are not a social thing. Even if you lived on a desert island and experienced this, I would be happy. These are not just empty words. What I say, I back up. I can take you to a place within."
What follows are a selection of additional excerpts from the Derby broadcast. These excerpts are not verbatim, but are the paraphrased recollections of a few people who attended the event. Enjoy!
"That which can bring light in your darkened life is the Master --
the one who takes you out of unrest and brings you to peace."
"As soon as you get up in the morning, you remember that which preoccupies you -- be it your worries or your problems. If you worship your problems, they will increase. Instead, if you want to worry, worry about remembrance. 'May I have time today so I can practice'. But if you are really going to worship, this can only happen through the heart."
"The coming and going of my breath is my blessing."
"The true Master connects you with the inner feeling. If illusion is your Master, then the opposite happens. The consequences of devotion to the mind is a multitude of reasons which you end up using to justify any action."
"Whatever the Master says, the student should listen. Truth resides in the heart. If you want to be saved from the age of darkness, go within."
"The Master knows what you are looking for. The Master brings light into your darkened life. We have made the mind our made-up guru. Mind will have you look for God or peace everywhere -- except in the place where it is. Our nature is to get stuck in the mind, which promises joy, but never fulfills."
"The Master is the one who doesn't mind reminding you again and again. The Master reminds you to go towards your heart."
"The Master can only be recognized by one thing: not by his face, not by his physical appearance, but by what he gives: Knowledge.
This is a living Knowledge -- not bound by culture or anything at all."
"The Master sees a human being as a human being -- nothing else. The Master gives us Knowledge of the self."
PASSAGES: A Video Retrospective of Maharaji's Message
Billy Fairchild just sent me this link to a fabulous series of eight online videos (repackaged for the internet from the original PASSAGES video produced by Kate McGowan and John McNelly in 2001 to celebrate Maharaji's 30th anniversary in the West). These 9-10 minute videos capture the essence of Maharaji's message, his spiritual roots, and the evolution of the way in which he's communicated his message since arriving in the West in 1971.
Includes engaging interviews with some of the people who were on the scene in the very beginning: Ron Geaves, Joan Apter, Charananand, Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, Tim Gallwey, John Hampton, and others.
(And if you haven't had a chance to respond to the recent Heart of the Matter poll click here. Will take you three minutes.June 03, 2008
The Book I Wanted to Buy My Mother
For many years I wanted to buy a book for my mother -- a book that would explain everything... what I hadn't or couldn't explain since I had been old enough to notice my mother wasn't all that happy and, Lord knows, I wanted my mother to be happy and if not "happy" per se, then at least aware of what it was that made me, her son, happy -- the "thing" that for so many years she thought was a phase I was going through and, even worse, some kind of heartless rejection of her and her way of life.
Yes, I wanted to buy my mother a book that would explain it all -- the whole "New Age thing," the whole "Guru thing," the whole "it's OK that I don't eat your veal parmagiana any more because I'm a vegetarian thing." Somebody must have written it. Somebody must have noticed the market niche of "mothers over 60 who worry why their high performing sons have gone spiritual."
And so, I went looking for this book. Like some people look for God. And though I never found it, I did find some reasonable facsimiles -- cleverly titled books displayed by the check out counter, conceived by marketing geniuses who somehow knew my need -- the need a son has to make his mother smile and nod her head approvingly... the book that would keep my mother company during those long nights when her husband was working late and her children were asleep and there was nothing good on TV. The ultimate self-help book that would remove her worries, her doubts, and her exponentially growing fears of thinking her son had gone off the deep end for "receiving Knowledge" from that young boy from India.
I wanted my mother to know how beautiful life was and how simple it could be to experience that beauty. I wanted her to know there was something timeless within her, something beyond the stress of aging and the clipping of coupons.
Maybe it was selfish of me, but I wanted to buy my mother a book that, like the tooth fairy, would deliver some proof that love was the name of the game... and that (bite your tongue and spit three times) the act of "receiving Knowledge" from Maharaji was as natural and healthy as chicken soup.
Eight years ago my mother died from a four-year bout with emphysema. During my six-day stay with my father after the funeral, I discovered the books I had given her all these past years. Most of them had never been opened. Like some strange mix of Stonehenge rubble, they lay in piles all around... on her night table, on her desk, stuffed behind cookbooks, in the garage. Some, when you opened them, still had that new book crackling sound. All of them had this fortune cookie like quality -- like no matter what page you turned to, some kind of bite sized wisdom was waiting.
I don't think I was sad she didn't read them. Just disappointed. Or maybe it was more like resignation -- the kind teenagers feel when they realize their parents just don't get it.
Looking back, I realize now that no book would have been sufficient to have given my mother. No. I wanted her to have the experience the books were describing, not the description of the experience. As my teacher, Maharaji, has said many times, if you are thirsty, you need water to drink, not the description of water.
Ultimately, that's what Maharaji's offer is all about: helping people find the water -- the naturally occurring well of well-being inside us all. It's something my dear, sweet, canasta playing, veal parmagiana making mother would have definitely appreciated.
Photo by Weeping WillowMay 07, 2008
In the Time It Would Take You to Brush Your Teeth, Watch This... April 24, 2008
The Inner Game of Life
Tim Gallwey, author of the Inner Game of Tennis, the Inner Game of Work, and a number of other brilliant books on what abides at the core of a human being, speaks about his experience of meeting Maharaji and the value of Knowledge. Well worth viewing. Six minutes is all it takes.