The Heart of the Matter
May 25, 2024
The Umbrella

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PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
April 14, 2024
How Has the Practice of Knowledge Changed My Life for the Better?

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"Self-Knowledge is a route to personal peace... Practicing it enables me to stay centered and grounded... With Knowledge, there's no need to be anywhere else or think anything else. No need for an awareness of anything other than the sweet delight of being." - Prem Rawat

Recently, we asked people who have practiced the techniques of self-Knowledge that Prem Rawat teaches how it has changed their life for the better. Below is a sampling of their responses -- the first in a series of posts on this topic.

"Getting to know my real self via the practice of Knowledge has been the most interesting, the most powerful, and the most pleasurable experience of my life." - Jean Paul Peretz, Mexico

"I feel peace after practicing Knowledge. All positive traits like love, kindness, clarity, and serenity become automatic in me. Once again, I begin to live in the present." - Nim Lal Bhandari, Nepal

"Practicing Knowledge is like having an inner tuning fork." - Joyce Gerber, USA

"The gift of Knowledge has been a constant source of joy in an ever-changing world and has enriched my experience of life in a very positive way. To know that within me is an ocean of peace that I can feel each day is wonderful." - David O'Neil, UK

"When I practice Knowledge, I am so filled with love, peace, and calm that all my sorrows disappear." - Milagros Olarte Roman, Spain

"Practicing Knowledge, I realize that I have been shown a point of reference in me that is constant, unchanging, solid and secure. In a constantly changing world, it feels very good to know this." - William Sheppard, Canada

"My headspace is often full of complexity, confusion and unanswered questions. Knowledge shows me my heartscape, where simplicity, clarity and answers abound. It has restored the balance in my life. For that, I'm extremely grateful!" - Rosalind Nunn, UK

"Practicing Knowledge allows me to set the bar for fulfillment in my life. It shows me that my true nature is peace and that I always have a choice in every circumstance. It shows me that I possess all the tools I need to live in harmony with my deepest humanity." - Alla Rogers, USA

"The gift of Knowledge teaches me how to receive every day as a gift full of surprises that leaves me in awe." - Sylvie Armand, France

"Practicing Knowledge offers me a constant source of love and inspiration which, in turn, strengthens me with personal courage, resilience, passion and compassion. It brings me personal fulfillment." - Rosemary Herd, Australia

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)
March 30, 2024
The Glass of Water

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I first heard the following story many years ago from Prem Rawat. I loved it then and I love it now, as it brings me back to a simple place of appreciation for life

What follows is my retelling of this tale. If I have messed it up in any way, please forgive me. It won't be the first time. If you enjoy it and would like to know more about my teacher and his message, click here or here or here. If you don't feel like clicking, no problem -- just savor whatever this story evokes in you.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a young disciple of a great Master who found himself wrestling with a very difficult question -- one that would not go away no matter how much he contemplated it. Though he had asked all the senior monks in the monastery that had been his home for the past 20 years, no one had an answer that rang true to him. And so, one fine Spring day, gathering up all of his courage, he decided to approach the Master himself.

Continue reading "The Glass of Water"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:36 AM | Comments (3)
March 24, 2024
Michelangelo's Reply

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When asked how he created his iconic statue, DAVID, Michelangelo, as the story goes, said the following:

"I simply took away everything that wasn't."

The statue, you see, was ALWAYS in the stone. All it took was the sure hand of a master sculptor to remove whatever was not the masterpiece. Simple? Yes. But not necessarily easy.

In my brief time here on planet Earth, I have never met anyone quite as masterful as Prem Rawat in the fine art of removing the unnecessary. Listening to him speak his truth in ways that are utterly enchanting, the inconsequential falls away and what remains is the Masterpiece -- who we truly are behind the stone surface of our lives.

And as if THAT wasn't enough, he provides a simple way for people to stay connected to this experience wherever they happen to be at the time.

PHOTO: TimelessToday
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)
March 16, 2024
"What Ever Happens, Don't Stop Being Thankful for Being Here"

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)
February 13, 2024
Colours of the Wind

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)
February 10, 2024
The Epitaph

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Now 76 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!"

Continue reading "The Epitaph"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)
February 06, 2024
New Release by Stuart Hoffman

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If you are a lover of music, life, possibility, aspiration, soulfulness, hope, peace or joy, Stuart Hoffman's new song, "Us All" is most definitely worth a listen.

The vocalist on the song is the very soulful Lisa Frazier -- a powerhouse who has performed or recorded with the following notables: Boz Scaggs, Ziggy Marley, Bobby Womack, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, Rick James, Ray Charles, Eddie Murphy, and George Duke.

The song came to Stuart on October 7 -- Day 1 of the Israeli war -- after reading a despairing online post from a dear friend of his.

THE LYRICS

We're lost off course
Need a correction
Too much loss
Of all that's precious
Such a cost.
We're here for a moment
And then we're gone
Can't afford to get our signals crossed.

Continue reading "New Release by Stuart Hoffman"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)
January 30, 2024
Celebrating Maureen

Here is a very moving tribute from Larry Lefkowitz to his wife, Maureen, on the third anniversary of her passing. How beautiful it is for us to celebrate our loved ones and keep the memory of them alive and well within our hearts.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)
January 20, 2024
Find the Miracle

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)
January 10, 2024
Tidal, Volcanic and Uncontainable

There is something within every human being that is timeless, universal, and divine. This something has been called by many names since language first began, but it does not need a name in order to exist. Indeed, it existed long before words, a naturally occurring primal force. Like gravity. Or wind. Or the way rivers run to the sea.

This pre-existing force -- tidal, volcanic, and uncontainable -- is the raw energy inside a human being that activates the ancient quest to experience what life is really all about.

And because the full expression of this unquenchable energy can be profoundly uncomfortable and crazy-making, most of us find a thousand ways to mask or distract it.

Bottom line, we end up looking for love in all the wrong places and wonder why the experience our heart aches for all-too-rarely reveals itself.

For want of a better word, let's call this state of questing "thirst" -- a state of being so compelling that no words are needed, no rituals, or proof. When you're thirsty all you want is water. That's it. Memories of past water-drinking experiences will not suffice. Nor will beautiful photographs of water or impeccable explanations of its molecular structure. Only water itself will do.

In the so-called "outer world," it is not difficult for a person to quench their thirst. A turn of a faucet will usually suffice... or proximity to a water fountain... or the town well.

But the thirst I'm talking about is not that easily quenched. The faucet may exist, but not the handle. The well may exist, but the bucket is nowhere in sight. Something deep within us, deeper than the shale of our self-invented life, seeks something beyond time and space -- why wolves howl at the moon, birds sing for no reason, and lovers do not want the morning to come.

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Unspoken Word
Heart of the Matter

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)
January 04, 2024
Still Feeling Cranky?

Based on my observations over the past six decades, there seems to be a big fat concept that is very common among peace-seeking individuals -- well-meaning, heart-centered people engaged in some kind of "consciousness practice".

When push comes to shove (or namaste comes to the mall) it doesn't seem to matter all that much what path these peace-seeking people walk. The same big fat concept seems to show up everywhere.

And here it is: peace-seeking people should somehow, always be in a state of bliss, oneness, equanimity, and gratitude.

Nice concept, wrong universe.

Yes, of course, all of us are capable of the above -- a most worthy aspiration. But to assume we should always be there (and that there is something wrong with us if we're not) is just a bunch of BS. Even the Dalai Lama gets angry.

Big-time enlightened beings have bad moods and bad days. Shit happens. We are all human beings. And all human beings, no matter how committed they are to experiencing the highest states of consciousness have a tendency to get into their heads from time to time.

This is not a problem. This is life. The problem happens when we think it's a problem and then affect some kind of smiley face, bobblehead doll "beyond it all" persona.

The following story from my own life speaks to this phenomenon.

Two years ago I was invited to be part of a team of people to facilitate online Zoom break out sessions as part of a training program that Prem Rawat was putting together. Our role was a simple one -- to provide a safe haven for participants to express themselves and process what they'd been experiencing after listening to Prem.

The standard protocol for kicking off our weekly meetings was for the coordinator of the project to facilitate a "personal check-in" process -- one that gave each of us a chance, in 30 seconds or less, to let the rest of our teammates know how we were doing.

If you've ever been on a Zoom call, the visual for this should be well-known to you by now -- a few screens of "video thumbnails", along with each person's name, in small type, beneath their image.

At this particular session, I noticed that at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen was Prem Rawat's thumbnail -- a placeholder photo of him and his name. I thought this was a very nice touch and a simple way for everyone on the team to remember who our client really was.

In a way, Prem's photo at the bottom right hand corner of the screen felt like setting a place for Elijah at the Passover table. No one actually expects Elijah to show up, but it is a respectful thing to do and an effective way for everyone to maintain a bigger perspective.

One by one, the project coordinator asked each of us to check in and let the rest of the team know how we were doing. The answers were fairly predictable -- usually something like, "I'm very happy to be here today" or "I'm feeling really grateful" or "I'm so thrilled to be part of this wonderful project."

When it was my turn to respond, my answer surprised me and everyone else.

"I'm feeling cranky," I said -- which was absolutely true, even though I realized it was not the kind of response likely to make my teammates feel all warm and fuzzy.

For some reason, at that specific moment in time, that's exactly how I was feeling. I wasn't feeling blissed out, grateful, happy, appreciative, or peaceful. I was feeling cranky. So that's what I said.

There was a bit of silence after that and then I noticed that the photo thumbnail of Prem at the bottom right hand corner of the Zoom screen was morphing into his actual face. Like the rest of us, he was on the call and, apparently, had been listening to the proceedings for a while.

Noticing this, the facilitator graciously welcomed Prem and gave him the floor.

"Still feeling cranky, Mitch?" was the first thing he said.

"Not at this particular moment," I replied with a laugh.

That moment was a memorable one for me. It confirmed something I had always known in my bones, but didn't always live full out -- that all I needed to do was be myself, that I wasn't here to perform, pretend or be anything I'm not. On the contrary, I'm here to be as real as I am, even if that includes admitting, publicly, my own less-than-ideal state of mind.

Here's the reality: Sometimes I'm blissed out and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I'm grateful and sometimes I complain. Sometimes I'm savoring each breath and sometimes I'm just blowing my nose.

One of the wonderful things I've learned from my relationship to Prem Rawat over the years is "I am that I am." I don't need to pretend, perform or promote. I don't need to be a model of anything. Too much pressure. Not real.

All I need to do is be myself.

With the practice of Self-Knowledge as my bottom line, I always, eventually, return to my true nature. I may have ups and downs along the way, but I always return to core of my being.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)
December 20, 2023
Love Must Find a Way

One more inspiring song from Kim Margolis. Turn up the volume! Enjoy!

Kim's website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)
December 17, 2023
Nothing Lasts Forever

Gorgeous song by Kim Margolis from his new album. On steady rotation in my home and car. Thanks, Kim! Keep putting it out there! Love your music and the feeling behind it.

Kim's website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)
December 13, 2023
Home Is Where the Heart Is

When I was a small boy, I used to lay in the grass outside my bedroom, look up at the sky, and think one thought, "I want to go home."

Though my parents tried their best to love me (allowance! grilled cheese! dog!), I was certain I came from someplace else very far away. I felt like an orphan.

It wasn't that I was unhappy. I wasn't. I just felt displaced.

As I grew up and translated my boyish sky-prayers into a more classical spiritual quest, I began to notice a pattern in the books I read. Beyond the jargon and the all-too-common habit of implying that their way was the only way, a central theme was emerging -- the home I was looking for was within me.

My unquenchable thirst to have the experience of arriving was not going to be a matter of traveling to exotic places. It was going to be a matter of finding home inside myself.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)
All I'm Doing Right Now

All I am doing right now is writing these words to you,
small helium-filled balloons
I offer for all those birthdays I missed.

I really don't know where these balloons will take you,
it all depends on YOU --
the way you hold the string
(or maybe there is more than just one string).

Well, of course there is more than one string --
we're talking about balloons,
multiple, not singular.
lighter-than-air-transportation devices.
They may seem to be words, but they are actually balloons.

Go for the ride!
Wherever you end up is the right place to be.
It is! And you are!

Always remember that
and the way butterflies move in a breeze,
and, please tell me, kind madam or sir,
how in the world did butterflies ever get created in the first place
and am I still expected to pay my taxes?

What if I forget my name and wherever I go
gardenias spring up all around me,
hoping as only gardenias can hope,
that one day the one they call the "Master"
will find his way there for no particular reason,
he being completely "of the moment" or perhaps I should say
(and please forgive me if I mess up the translation,
but it goes a little something like this:)

"You were made in the image of God.
You were, you are,
of that you need not have any doubt.
As you are you are."

How great is that!
How simple!

"As you are you are."

I may have to make a t-shirt with those words on it.
Nothing has to change with you!
You don't need to get better
or work smarter or be worthy of anything.

As far as I can tell, you are worthy of EVERYTHING,
though it's always useful to
remember George Carlin's perspective on it:

"If you had everything, where would you put it?"

And now, one last thing before I take my leave:
the best book I've read in quite a while is
Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World
by Prem Rawat.

So much love! Heaps. Tons. Buckets full.
What Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai, Kabir, and YOU,
on a good day, are plugged into full-tilt boogy,
walking the high road home to the essence of who you are.

Welcome to the fountain of laughter and tears, my friends,
welcome to remembering and forgetting
and then remembering again,
opening like a lotus
or a clenched fist
or a window.

And with that, dear brothers and sisters,
daughters and brothers, wizards, fools, home run hitters,
flash back Frankies, and little Joey from Brooklyn, I take my leave.

Yo, Joey, how did you find your way into this poem?

Wait, don't tell me. I know why. I really do.
This massive, bodacious love and presence is who and what you are.
How could you be anywhere else?
Welcome Frankie! You da man!

Praise the Lord! And praise the praisers, too!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 AM | Comments (0)
December 09, 2023
Once Upon a Time There Was No Time

TimeMirrors.jpgOnce upon a time there was no time. No time and no space. No heroes, no plot, no drama, no obstacles, no twists, no turns, no hero's journey, no redemption, nothing to learn, nowhere to go, and no one needing to be saved. The sky was blue. The trees were green. People danced for no reason, sang like the birds, and looked up at the sky and down at the ground with the same reverence. This was the time before story, before the need to understand, make meaning, convince, persuade, teach, transmit, entertain, distract, or make a single point.

The point? It was already made. And everyone already understood. Hmmm... I thought about writing THIS story, but then it dawned on me, how presumptuous that would be, how full of paradox, contradiction, Facebook Likes, Tweets, lists of things to do, copy edits, me, cash projections, reviews, complaint, business, and all the other assorted flora and fauna of life AFTER the story needed to be told. So I took out the garbage, washed the dishes, and walked the dog.

This is not available on Amazon, nor will it ever be. But hey, in the past month I cam across a really good book that gets at this feeling in a really beautiful way. Worth a read (even if there is no time).

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:49 PM | Comments (1)
November 30, 2023
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)
November 21, 2023
THE CHALLENGE OF COMMUNICATING THE INEFFABLE

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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.

Continue reading "THE CHALLENGE OF COMMUNICATING THE INEFFABLE"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)
November 17, 2023
Paint Outside the Boxes

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"Weve been given the opportunity to express ourselves -- to paint beautiful pictures with the strengths we have inside. Each new morning, we can choose to be the most fantastic version of ourselves. Ignore the numbers. Paint outside the boxes. Paint what's in your heart. Paint the most dazzling version of who you are." - Prem Rawat

Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)
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