The Heart of the Matter
September 17, 2013
The Students of Prem Rawat Speak

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Yesterday, I posted the following question on Facebook: "If you are a student of Prem Rawat, what would you say is the one thing you've heard him say, over the years, that has had the most impact on you?" What follows is a sampling of the responses I received:

"Let me show you what is keeping you alive." - Daniel Light

"Everyone knows the drop is in the ocean, but very few know that the ocean dwells in the drop." - Jan Buchalter

"Peace is the perfume of God." - Stuart Hoffman

"Water the root." - Jennifer Boire

"Be true to your own heart." - Julia Howe

"Everything you need for complete fulfillment is inside of you. The thirst is within and the quenching is within. We are each complete!" - Alla Rogers

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"Peace is already inside of you, and I can help you get in touch with that." - Paul Pilcher

"Peace on Earth begins within you." - Sharon Blatt

"Be true to this breath." - Tim Hain

"The angel you are looking for is you!" - Sally Richman

"Peace is as close as your breath." - Linda D. Miller

"Be a true human being, the one who is filled with kindness, who's filled with love, who's filled with peace, who's filled with joy. And to know this, you need the knowledge of the self." - Cintra Hardy

"I can help." - Michael Taylor

"Belief is like an unlit candle. When you light it, it transforms into knowing." - David Klamph

"Wherever one spark of this Knowledge goes, it hits and makes it perfect. Perfect." - Jane Bennett

"Love the love like it's never been loved before." - Larry Lustbader

"Trying to describe this experience, this self-knowledge, is like trying to describe a mango. The only way to know a mango is to taste it." - Joyce Gerber

"Let me introduce you to you." - Gabriele Regan Gfeller

"Life is a one-seater car." - Jule Kowarsky

"Enjoy your life." - Fran King

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"It is not the words. Peace is a feeling." - Jan Scoular

"Many ask me are you a guru or a guide or a friend. The way I like to see it is I just hold up a mirror, keep it nice and shiny so you can see just how beautiful you truly are!" - Jeff Schreiber

"This is not a path of suffering." - Marcia Loft

"Everything you are really looking for is already inside of you." - Claudio Pollero

"Give me your love and I will give you peace." - Otto Vlach

"There is an ocean of joy and there is an ocean of sadness." - Stella Neary Sharpe

"An ocean of love is inside of you." - Rita Rubin Long

"Don't be a victim of circumstance. Be a human being." - Maggie Flannagan

"You get good at what you practice. Practice peace and you get good at that!" - Sigrid Eleonora Ariana

"Let your heart embrace you." - Cindy Lategan

"Live, live, live until there is no more." - Josephine Leslie Jackson

"Go in peace. Stay in peace. And come back in peace." - Kathy Sisler Soffer

"Longing is a beautiful experience." - Celia Jennings

"You are going to die." - Sharon Jeffers

"When you die, they will ask you two questions: 'Did you find peace?' and 'Did you help others find peace?'" - Bill Slater

"What you are looking for is within you." - Lucinda Brown

"Come closer." - Bhatta Sagar

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"And I want you to be among the very few who know." - Maryvonne Louise Segalen

"You are not a human doing. You are a human being." - Maggie Flanagan

"Knowledge. Understanding. These are the only things that can remove uncertainty from this life so that I can begin to welcome what tomorrow is." - Denise Cartwright

"Find the friend within. This is a friendship that can last forever." - Kim E. Scott

"You wear peace well." - Annie Tresidder

"If you don't like the altitude you're flying and it's too bumpy, change it. If you don't know how to change it, I can help you with that." - Sylvia Flyer

"Just do it." (way before Nike said it). - Alan Roderick-Jones

"It is what it is." - Buffy Black

"Remain in holy company." - Mimsy Bouret

"Meditate. This Knowledge will give you peace." - Geraldine Larson

"Be still, be very, very still, and let peace find you." - Paula Rosenblum

"Can you do this? Of course. Of course." - Helen M. Waters

"Know the infinite that resides in you." - Monika Winslow

"Thirst is everything." - Christy Hodgson

"Be free of concepts." - Mary Foxen

"You cannot bring in the light by scooping out the darkness." - Evee Danneburg

"Just stay on the boat." - Rainer Poulet

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"We get good at what we practice. So when we practice anger, we get good at that, but if we practice peace, then we get good at that." - Glenna Dumay

"Come to me and I will give you peace." - Joseph Rosenblatt

"You are the Angel that can solve your problems." - Laura Perez Velasco

"The only thing you have not done is accept, accept what is." - Janet Bloom

"You are greater than the sum of all your successes and failures." - Liz Westbyrd

"I can show you." - Howard Luckman

"Stay in the boat. Sit back and relax. That's all I ask. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride." - Joy Winnel

"It is all within." - Alaya Love

"Knowledge is your best friend. It's the sword that cuts clean the ambiguity." - Anna Luthi

"Come home." - Candice Wilmore

"Alan." (It's just my name, but of all the profoundly inspiring and helpful things I've heard him say, that one word meant the most to me. No one has said it with more love and respect). - Alan Roettinger

"Don't leave. If you can't express yourself here, where are you going to be able to do it?" - James Eartheart

"I will love you if you meditate or if you don't meditate." - Tara Lee Planett

"You are looking for peace, and peace is looking for you. Be still and let the peace find you." - Larry Mergentime

"The infinite resides in the finite." - Nikolaj Krarup

"You become good at what you practice." - Johan Drejare

"Feel the gratitude." - Melissa June Burnand

"A day without practice is a day wasted." - Asandra Lamb

"Even in your darkest hour I will not abandon you." - Teresa Wooldridge

"25,500 days." - Craig Klawuhn

"To get what you want without wanting is surrender."- Jan Herbert

"One second of being clear can save you a lifetime of being miserable." - Frieda Hill

"Practice." - Chris Cantrell

"Peace is within inside." - Kathy Lorenz

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink (but you can put salt in its food)." - Chris Hamerton

"You are capable, valuable, and loved." - Louise Amm

"Be grateful you are alive." - Joyce Czarny

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About Prem Rawat
Book of Prem Rawat talks
Videos of Prem Rawat
Photos courtesy of Words of Peace Global
About Words of Peace Global
PeaceBeats WorldWide Webcast on 9/21
TPRF
News of Prem Rawat's travels
Volunteer opportunities

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:37 PM | Comments (2)

August 30, 2013
The Stillness After Prem Rawat Speaks

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After great performers come to the end of a performance, it is not uncommon for grateful audiences to give them a standing ovation. They clap, they cheer, they focus all their attention on the one who has just opened the door to magnificence. Think Pavarotti. Think Martin Luther King. Think anyone you've ever stood your ground for and loved.

What I find amazing is this is how Prem Rawat's presentations begin.

Before he utters a single word, audiences are on their feet, applauding. And when he's done? Pin drop silence.

Somehow, through his own unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight, he finds a way to bring everyone to a place of perfect stillness, back to the very beginning, where there is nothing left to do, but be.

When Prem Rawat is done speaking, I find myself barely able to move. I am stunned, pinned to the back of my chair by the invisible arrow of love. All dramas in my life disappear and there is no "me" left to applaud the end of the show.

What remains is a feeling.

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Sitting in the afterglow of this man's communication of truth is a complete and total joy. Oh yes, I know I must move from my seat eventually. Oh yes, I know I will soon be walking and talking and asking someone to pass me the grated parmesan in that great little Italian restaurant just down the road, but now -- here in this sacred moment after he speaks -- nothing else matters.

I close my eyes and breathe. Then I open my eyes again.

I see people sitting. I see people standing. I see people wanting to linger just a little bit longer in this extraordinary state of arrival.

Some walk in silence toward the exits, eyes down, not wanting anyone or anything to distract them from the deepest of feelings welling up within them far beyond time.

More

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:35 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2013
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

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I am in the process of creating a slide show version of my new book of poetry, soon for sale on the WOPG eStore, and I am looking for copyright-free images to use.

If you are a photographer, artist, or illustrator and want to submit some of your work for publication, contact me via email (mitch@ideachampions.com). Thanks.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2012
The Beautiful Sadness of Longing

A big thank you to Fernando Garcia for using one of my poems, and Stuart Hoffman's music, along with a variety of beautiful images, to create a moving slide show about a topic not often talked about.

The poem
Words of Peace Global

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:53 AM | Comments (3)

April 11, 2012
Great Eversound Concert on April 14th

Catch Daya Rawat, John Adorney, and a host of other awesome musicians at Eversound's 15th anniversary concert celebration at the Luke Theater in Santa Barbara, CA on April 14th.

Live concert on 4/14
More John Adorney
Eversound

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

A Cellular Feeling

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Does this ever happen to you? You have some extra time... in a cab... at the airport... or in between appointments. You pull out your cell phone, click on your contact list, and scroll.

You are looking for someone to call.

You know all the names on the list quite well. Some are your friends. Some are your clients. Some are your family. But you don't see the name of anyone you want to call at that moment.

You really want to call someone, but their name is not on the list. You scroll up. You scroll down.

You wonder who it is you really want to call.

Painting

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

April 09, 2012
The One For Whom It All Makes Sense

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I have written a thousand poems for you
that have never left my room.
They fill the pages of notebooks
stacked high on a shelf
no one can reach.
Orphans they are, beggars
afraid they are not
noble enough for the King,
would never make it
past the guards.
I make a vain attempt
to dress them up,
disguise their ridiculous origins,
but still they smell bad.
Even so, there are times, late at night,
when the world has shut down and they think I'm asleep,
I can almost hear them talking to each other,
conjuring ways to make it to your court.

Oh, the arguments they have!
The brawls!
The lunatic moments of staking their ground.
Some of them actually believe
that all they need is a shower and a shave.
Others, unsure of who they are
or might have been,
insist on practicing, all night long,
their perfect way of greeting you.

Of course, there is much to be said
for these backroom bards,
these arm wrestling vagrants from another world.
Indeed, if I was dead,
my slightly deaf biographer, after paying his respects
to my dear, sweet wife,
would borrow them just long enough
to search for pearls,
find the perfect turn of phrase,
the sudden storm of brilliance
even my harshest critics would have to praise.
He'd think of clever little titles for the tome,
describing, in his mournfully halting way,
the "man who left his muse too soon"
or some such thing
that might make you wonder
why I never gave these poems to you --
the one for whom it all makes sense
even when it doesn't.

More

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2012
This Longing, This Ache

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This longing, this ache,
this pulsing
of the deepest
part of who you are
is the reason why you're here.
Do not confuse it with desire.
Desire is wanting
what you don't have.
Longing is wanting
what you do.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:19 AM | Comments (2)

March 12, 2012
Rumi and Kabir Bowling

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Last year, as I understand it, Rumi was the best selling poet in the United States -- 800+ years after he was alive. Kabir, too, is still being widely read -- as is Hafiz, Gibran, and a host of other ecstatic poets from times gone by. Many people assume these guys must have been praying, meditating, and going on pilgrimages 24/7. I don't think so.

This next piece is an homage to Rumi and Kabir -- my fantasy of how the two of them might have spent an evening, in a bowling alley, knocking back some brewskis, if they were alive today.

By the way, if you are willing, this piece is best read aloud.


RUMI AND KABIR BOWLING

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I have been to the place where Rumi and Kabir are bowling all... night... long. They are rolling perfectly round balls down a perfectly polished alley, laughing at the sound of the pins falling down again and again and again.

Every time they bowl a strike even when they miss which is often, their aim wandering in fabulously random ways around this grand interior space.

Rumi orders a shot of Red Eye,Kabir, a Bud Lite, their clinking of glasses some kind of esoteric temple bell ritual neither of them understand.

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They keep drinking and laughing and drinking again, knocking back the elixir of their late night bowling life and muttering under their barely moving breath about the strangers outside returning home from yet another night shift.

Rumi opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out -- Kabir, long beard flecked with foam, orders a second round and then a third as if the world was on fire.

Suddenly Rumi glances over his left shoulder. More pins fall, this time leaving a perfect 7-10 split, Kabir, knowing he never has to write another poem to prove himself whole, leaps from his chair and hurls himself down the perfectly polished alley, arms outstretched, moving at the speed of lite beer.

Bang!

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Both pins fall,like... cedars in Lebanon,like...Adam from Grace, like... trees in a forest with no one close enough to hear whether anything has actually happened or not. No one except Red Eye Rumi swiveling in his chair and pointing to the door.

A small man, in a starched white uniform, enters, many keys hanging from his belt.

"Hey, you two! What are you doing here? This place is closed!"

Rumi smiles, tilts his head back and talks into his empty glass now megaphone for the moment.

"I beg to differ, my good man, this place is not closed. It is open! If it were closed we would not be here. Open it is, I say! Wide open! Like the Red Sea, like a window on a summer night, like the eyes of a young man upon seeing the most beautiful woman in the world walk across the room, her body the perfect mix of spirit and flesh. Open, I say, like a book, like the sky, like the heart of one not yet disappointed in the ways of human love. Go about your business, friend, and leave us here, two happy hieroglyphs of love."

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"We have a perfect game on Lane 23," intones a disembodied voice over the PA system "A perfect game!"

Rumi and Kabir pull over another chair, pour another drink and beckon to the man in the starched white uniform, many keys dangling from his belt.

"Good friend, come closer, come drink with us. Come now! The night is still young."

Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:03 PM | Comments (3)

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.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

November 06, 2011
The Most Powerful Force on Earth

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Photo: Sarite Sanders

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2011
Any Questions?

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2011
Last Night I Googled Longing

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Here is a link
(not the missing link)
to something I wrote
about men and longing
that has just been
published on
Words of Peace Global,
a very
lovely website
about the message
of my fabuloso teacher,
Prem Rawat,
AKA Maharaji.
I
hope
you
enjoy
it.

Illustration: Sara Shaffer

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2010
Radiant Being of Light

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Radiant being of light,
vortex of love,
alchemist supreme,
magnifier of prayer,
the one I dream about
and the one who
wakes me from the dream,
why the dervish spins
and the earth,
teacher, teaching, and the taught,
first breath, last breath,
what lovers look for in each other,
but rarely find,
center around which everything revolves,
endless night of love
and the ecstatic aching
of a moon-howling heart
that does not want the morning to come.

Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:08 PM | Comments (3)

September 30, 2010
The One Minute Seeker

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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.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:01 AM | Comments (2)

August 02, 2010
Question of the Day

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What
is
this
thirst
that
quenches --
this
ache
that
heals?


More

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2010
Last Night I Googled Longing

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Last night I googled longing. What I found surprised me.

Ninety percent of the images were women: Women dreaming. Women staring out windows. Women brushing their golden hair beneath the full moon.

Oh... and lots of Goddesses, too.

Where were the men?

Hunting buffalo? Watching the Superbowl? Mowing the lawn?

OK. Maybe men don't stare out windows or wait by the door for their wives to return home from war, but surely they are feeling something. Surely, men want more out of life than just a cheeseburger, beer, and tattoo. No?

According to Google (the closest thing we have to tracking the collective unconscious), apparently not.

Are men incapable of longing? Not at all. It's just gotten a bit suppressed, gone underground to the place where even Google's algorithms cannot find it.

The reason?

I'm guessing it has something to do with the male concept of survival. After all... wars, hunting, and politics aren't all that conducive to inspired questings of the heart.

To put it bluntly, most men consider longing a girly thing. A sign of weakness. A minor holiday card invented by Hallmark. Something you express only because it's expected of you.

I suggest we put an end to this madness once and for all.

Longing is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.

And before I go on, let me make one thing abundantly clear: when I refer to "longing," I am not referring to a poetic kind of "desire" or a beatific "wanting." Not at all. I am referring to the innate human aspiration -- beyond gender -- for something timeless, pure, and unconditional.

Poets write about it, but it has nothing to do with words. Musicians compose about it, but it has nothing to do with notes.

Feeling. That's what it's all about. Deep feeling. The recognition that what we're looking for is also looking for us. What lovers feel after they must take their leave. The artist's pause, inspired by a sudden shift of light.

The ahhhh moment.

And so, dear readers of this blog, as the self-appointed, President (and Chief Hun) of the Longing Liberation Front for Muscle Bound Males, allow me to (Chest Bump! High Five! Shot of Red Eye!) refer you to someone who truly understands the game of life, a fine gentleman who knows that the ones who win are the ones who feel -- the ones who long for something more than what they see with their own two eyes.

May I introduce you to Coach Rawat?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:07 PM | Comments (5)

December 17, 2009
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder (But So Does Presence)

In my brief experience on planet Earth, I've noticed that one of the results of entering into the Master/Student relationship is the awakening of longing -- the sweet aching of the heart that moves a person towards the very best of what life has to offer.

Longing deepens us. It enlivens us. It engages, expands, and urges us to connect with love -- what the ecstatic poets, since the beginning of time, have referred to as the Divine Beloved.

The paradox? We have everything we need RIGHT NOW and, at the same time, our hearts long for that which is beyond time and space.

Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but so does presence -- especially the presence of one who cares about the heart growing fonder, no matter what it takes.

Of course, it's hard to talk about all of this stuff without sounding like a complete nut job, but so what? The attempt to communicate this divine paradox is one of life's great pleasures.

Ultimately, the form this attempt takes matters far less than the blessing that comes from the effort to communicate it. Water is water whether it's liquid, ice, or gas. And longing is longing whether it's expressed in word, song, or silly putty.

So here's to more longing in 2010 -- not the longing of absence, but the longing of presence (like when you're watching a movie you totally love and while you're watching it are simultaneously looking forward to the next time you can watch it) -- and all of this without disconnecting, for one nanosecond, from the experience of watching it NOW.

photo

More

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2009
Watercolor

Today I wrote the most beautiful poem in the world,
something so pure I wouldn't mind dying --
the perfect song of praise
hewn from the dark forest of my secret heart.

Not a wasted word it was,
rhythmic, elegant, and holy,
poetry for the ages,
why sages dance,
timeless in its pauses,
with a long white beard and a thousand Santa Clauses
ringing their bells for love.

Yes, I wrote this poem today
or rather, it wrote me,
flooding through my body
onto a singular white page,
which I, amazed at having said it all
and having signed my name,
left, for a moment, on my favorite chair
beneath the willow tree,
then turned inside again and took my leave
to celebrate this unexpected visitation of my muse
by listening, with great respect,
to Mozart in the living room.

I did not hear the rain.
Not a single drop.

It was only later, after dinner, I discovered
the many ways ink drips down a white page
in a sudden, summer shower.
I could see, I think, small patches of blue,
a cloud, a flower, a silhouette,
perhaps a word or two,

my perfect poem now watercolor --
the many colors of my love for you.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2009
Prisoner of Love

I am a prisoner of love, completely captive, bird whose wings wish only to fan the face of his Beloved. What need have I to fly? Where in this world can I go? Bound with the invisible thread of devotion, I pace my inner courtyard, rave silently beneath a local moon and wait for his return. To call this a jail is a lie when all I want to do is crawl further in, dig my tunnel deeper to the one forever guarding me.

A prisoner of love, yes, that's what I am!

Howling at the half moon, screaming for the full, I turn my self in, keep turning myself in and in and in to the only one worth being in love and alone with. Why dream of other times and places when the one who has the key is knocking at your door?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:51 PM | Comments (3)

December 19, 2008
FABLE: The Four Prophets

This is a sweet, five-minute fable with a powerful message for all people, including kids.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

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

October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

Photo by Durango99

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

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 Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2008
Rumi and Kabir Bowling

Rumi.jpg

Last year, as I understand it, Rumi was the best selling poet in the United States -- 800+ years after he was alive. Amazing, eh? Clearly, there is something timeless and universal in his words. Kabir, too, is still being widely read -- as is Hafiz, Gibran, and a host of other ecstatic poets from times gone by.

Many people assume these guys must have been praying, meditating, and going on pilgrimages all the time. I don't think so. All you have to do is read their poetry to see how down to earth they were, how irreverant, and how funny.

Anyway... this next piece is an homage to Rumi and Kabir -- my little fantasy of how the two of them might have spent an evening -- in a bowling alley -- if they were still alive today.

Read it aloud, with some drama in your voice, for maximum value.

I have been to the place where Rumi and Kabir
are bowling all... night... long.
They are rolling perfectly round balls
down a perfectly polished alley,
laughing at the sound of the pins falling down
again and again and again.

Every time they bowl a strike even when they miss
which is often, their aim wandering in fabulously random ways
around this grand interior space.

Rumi orders a shot of Red Eye,
Kabir, a Bud Lite,
their clinking of glasses
some kind of esoteric temple bell ritual
neither of them understand.

They keep drinking and laughing and drinking again,
knocking back the elixir of their late night bowling life
and muttering under their barely moving breath
about the strangers outside returning home from yet another night shift.

Rumi opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out --
Kabir, long beard flecked with foam, orders a second round
and then a third as if the world was on fire.

Suddenly Rumi glances over his left shoulder.
More pins fall, this time leaving a perfect 7-10 split,
Kabir, knowing he never has to write another poem
to prove himself whole, leaps from his chair and hurls himself
down the perfectly polished alley, arms outstretched,
moving at the speed
of lite
beer.

Bang!
Both pins fall,
like... cedars in Lebanon,
like... Adam from Grace,
like... trees in a forest with no one close enough to hear whether anything
has actually happened or not.
No one except Red Eye Rumi swiveling in his chair
and pointing to the door.

A small man, in a starched white uniform, enters,
many keys hanging from his belt.
"Hey, you two! What are you doing here? This place is closed!"
Rumi smiles, tilts his head back and talks into his empty glass
now megaphone for the moment.

"I beg to differ, my good man,
this place is not closed.
It is open!
If it were closed we would not be here.
Open it is, I say! Wide open!
Like the Red Sea,
like a window on a summer night,
like the eyes of a young man upon seeing
the most beautiful woman in the world walk across the room,
her body the perfect mix of spirit and flesh.
Open, I say, like a book, like the sky,
like the heart of one not yet disappointed
in the ways of human love.
Go about your business, friend, and leave us here,
two happy hieroglyphs of love."

"We have a perfect game on Lane 23,"
intones a disembodied voice over the PA system
"A perfect game!"

Rumi and Kabir pull over another chair, pour another drink
and beckon to the man in the starched white uniform,
many keys dangling from his belt.

"Good friend, come closer, come drink with us.
Come now!
The night is still young."

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2008
The Falcon and the Falconer

NOTE: This song of praise to Maharaji is best read aloud...

I am the falcon, you are the falconer. Always I am coming back to you, my soaring skyward just a strategy to gather speed for my ultimate return.

How you have trained me is a mystery -- the way you've tamed my restless heart. It is not with fear. I do not fear you. It is not with food. There is prey enough for me everywhere I fly. It is more the way you offer me your arm, a place to land, a second skin scented with the wild musk of one who waits for me, what I would be if I would be a man.

It is a wonderful game the two of us play -- this coming and going, this circular ballet. Each time you loose the loops around my legs and signal me to fly, I remember what it is to rise for the first time. It is here I find my rest, my home. Untethered, still I do not move, needing only to be close to you, my falconer.

It is this that beats my wings, releases me to sky, rides the unseen currents of the air, and though I notice other things: the tops of trees, a cloud, a nimble rabbit on the ground, all I see is you, holding out your arm to me, even as a thousand other falcons overhead, each within your view, circle closer, spiral down, descend.

Still I know that I am next and this is the perfect moment of my return.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2008
The Falcon and the Falconer

I am the falcon,
you are the falconer.
Always I am coming back to you,
my soaring skyward just a strategy
to gather speed for my ultimate return.
How you have trained me is a mystery --
the way you've tamed my restless heart.
It is not with fear. I do not fear you.
It is not with food.
There is prey enough for me
everywhere I fly.
It is more the way you offer me your arm,
a place to land, a second skin,
scented with the wild musk of one who waits for me,
what I would be if I would be a man.

It is a wonderful game the two of us play --
this coming and going,
this circular ballet.
Each time you loose the loops around my legs
and signal me to fly, I remember
what it is to rise for the first time.

It is here I find my rest, my home.
Untethered, still I do not move,
needing only to be close to you, my Falconer.
It is this that beats my wings, releases me to sky,
rides the unseen currents of the air
and though I notice other things:
the tops of trees, a cloud, a nimble rabbit on the ground,
all I see is you, holding out your arm to me,
even as a thousand other falcons overhead,
each within your view,
circle closer, spiral down, descend,
yet still I know that I am next
and this
is the perfect moment
of my return.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2008
Just This Crazy Laughter

Now that you have ruined what I thought was my life,
what do you want me to do?
Sing your praises?
No can do, I'm mute.
Shout something timeless from the rooftops?
Sorry, I cannot move.
Write poetry? Impossible,
my hands are shaking and so is the ground.

Oh Friend,
it's clear my life is very different now
than what I thought it would be when first we met.

An ocean of unexpected tears I have become,
a fool,
a lunatic walking on moonlight,
singing, singing, singing.

This is not at all what I thought it would be
the first time I saw you.
It's a billion times better than that.

Even if my story could be told no one would believe me.
I have no proof,
not a single shred of evidence,
just this crazy laughter
and the kind of late night sighing that comes
when there is nothing left to say.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:55 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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