The Heart of the Matter
July 29, 2010
Mehmet the Rug Merchant


Today, Evelyne and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Hafiz of rug merchants.

If I could write as well as he could sell, people would still be reading my poetry 800 years from now.

Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)

How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?


1. He effortlessly established rapport

2. He gave us all the space we needed

3. He shared his knowledge with great feeling

4. He had beautiful rugs and knew them better than most people know themselves

5. He loved what he did

6. He had a wonderful sense of humor

7. He had kind eyes and a big heart

8. He conducted the transaction in the spirit of service

9. He asked us how much we thought the rug was worth and then sold it to us for less.

10. He knew what he was doing and he did it with the perfect blend of flair and humility.

Here's to Mehmet and the new rug we are thrilled to own -- a beautiful remembrance of Istanbul and the Hafiz of the rug realm.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:03 PM | Comments (4)

July 28, 2010
Who's a Turkey?


OK. Here I am in Istanbul.

Wow. Fabulous. Inspiring -- even if it seems like every Turkish word was created by someone who threw all the letters of the alphabet into a silk bag, shook, smoked, then randomly pulled out a few too many and gave them a definition.

Before I got here, Yoram Weiss suggested I check out the music of Omar Faruk Tekbilek -- a legendary Turkish master musician -- but as fate would have it, Omar is part of the Creative Music Studio (the group that invited me) and I will get to meet him in a few days. Talk about synchronicity!

While walking through Istanbul, levitating on two Turkish beers and thinking about nothing, the following made its way to me or vice versa.


Yes, you are the ocean --
there is no doubt about that.
Great waves within you, born before words,
are rising and falling.

But remember this:
you are also the undertow.

Something at the core of your being
is taking you far out to sea,
far beyond the sight of even those
who lovingly wait for your return.

Do not concern yourself with this, my friend.
Do not worry.
You are not drowning
when the water is over your head.
You are only immersed.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:43 PM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2010
The Heart of the Matter Is Now Available on Kindle


Guess what? The Heart of the Matter is now available on Kindle. Cool. Very.

If you find this blog inspiring or useful in any way and want to help me spread the word, please take a few minutes to write a review for Kindle readers.

Your review may be just the thing to attract someone who would find The Heart of the Matter no other way.

And you don't have to be a Kindle owner to write a review. Just a human being.

Here's my other blog on Kindle.

Oh, and here's what Wikipedia says about artistic inspiration, just in case you decide NOT to write a review. "So it shouldn't be a total loss," as my mother would have said.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:44 AM | Comments (2)

July 24, 2010
Here's What You Did

Here's what you did:
You flew me on your
magic carpet
high above my life,
I felt all the breezes of love
there ever were
blowing through my hair.
That's when the carpet
fell away,
or perhaps,
you dismissed it,
me needing nothing more than breath
to take me home.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2010
The World Is My Day Job


The world is my day job,
but it's the night
that is my calling,
when everyone is gone
and Adam's done
with falling,
when there's nowhere
left to go
and nothing else to do,
just staring at the moon
and thinking about you.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:13 AM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2010
The Word is CELEBRATE!


A young monk arrives in a monastery where he is put to work as a copyist.

After a few days, he notices that the monks making copies of the scriptures are all working from copies -- not the original. This alarms the young monk because he thinks of how easy it would be for mistakes to be repeated. And so he goes to the Head Monk and expresses his concerns.

"Yes, brother," replies the Head Monk, "you have a valid point. But this is the way we've always done it. Still, I better check to make sure there are no errors."

So off he goes to the cellar where he spends the entire night carefully consulting the original scriptures. In the morning all of the brothers go down to the cellar and find the Head Monk crying.

"What's the matter?" they ask.

Between the loudest of sobs, he groans: "The word is celebrate!"

Thanks to Prem Rawat for the story.

Photo: Luo Shaoyang

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:24 AM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2010
Two Ways to Live Your Life


"There are
two ways
your life.
One is
as though
is a
The other
as though
a miracle."

- Albert Einstein

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2010
TPRF Launches New Website


If you are interested in the work of Prem Rawat (aka Maharaji), you would be well served to check out the Grand Opening of his foundation's new website. includes the latest news about Prem Rawat's travels, as well as links to inspiring webcasts, publications, and updates on the Foundation's humanitarian aid projects.

Just posted is a news flash about Prem Rawat's three recent European events, including a conference on peace that took place in Brussels, Belgium, at the European Parliament.

There's also a compelling video called "Flame of Hope" which chronicles the first four year's of TPRF's very successful Food for People program in Nepal and India.

More about Prem Rawat

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2010
Food for No Thought


"The pure-hearted man
fulfills the supreme purpose of life
through the
instructions of his Guru,
even though they be
casually imparted.

The worldly-minded man
studies and inquires
throughout his life,
yet remains

-- Ashtavakra


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:02 PM | Comments (2)

July 01, 2010
Life Is Like a Pinball Game, Isn't It?


Life is like a pinball game.

Well, maybe not. But for the sake of the next few minutes, let's stay with the pinball metaphor. OK?

I mean, the whole playing field is tilted, right? And no matter how talented you are with the flippers, or how many bells you ring or lights you flash, that shiny, silvery ball eventually finds its way down that little black hole.


For some of us, this inevitable moment is like death -- the ultimate bummer. All those cool sounds and lights? Gone. The high score you spent so much time racking up? Gone. In their place?

"Player #1" standing there, moaning about the Game Maker and their own lame attempts to manipulate the flippers.

Well... I think there's another way to look at this -- a second option -- the kind of option where the real game begins when that silvery ball disappears down the hole.

And what kind of game is that?

A game that requires no flippers, no beeps, no bells, no lights, and no score. This game is tilted, too, but it's tilted in your favor.

YOU WIN! And the only thing you have to do is be.

OK, so maybe this metaphor doesn't completely hold up. But so what?

No word, no painting, no poem will ever be enough to describe the game that is waiting to be enjoyed when we let go, turn within, and stop trying so hard to rack up a high score.

Hey, we've already won!

Curious? Click here.

Or here. Or here. Or here.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:06 PM | Comments (1)

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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