The Heart of the Matter
August 31, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 5


Ron Brent was one of 355 guests who attended Maharaji's Woodstock event on 8/25. It was the first time Ron had seen Maharaji since 1971...

"I was very impressed by the seamlessness of the evening.

The staff appeared to be focused and relaxed (an ideal combo!), and that lead to all of us feeling very welcomed...

I have a good idea about what it takes to do these things right (as well as to do them 'not so right'), and it's not always as easy as it seems to the casual observer.

It's a little different presenting your Teacher than presenting an entertainment act. Whole different dynamic. I thought everybody was great!

The video was very powerful. The people in it came across as very real and authentic. And so easy to identify with.

What they shared addressed the fears that most of us harbor regarding our own mortality -- and the well-being of those we love.

Their ability to convey what these experiences are like when you have Grace in your life were delivered loud and clear!

After a while I get very suspicious of people giving testimonies that feel like sales pitches to convince me to follow their path. This video wasn't like that.


As for Maharaji, I really enjoyed being with him once again.

In 1971, I was able to spend a little time with him when he first came to this country. He was a 'mere boy' of 13 then, but I could see that he had something very special.

It was wonderful seeing him and hearing his beautiful and timeless words.

I loved that he sat in front of a microphone in a modest chair -- with no flowers, incense, photos, fancy rugs, or any other items that might distract us from hearing what he had to say.

He eliminated almost every item that we could possibly use to go off into our own worlds and not hear his message.

In his talk, I noticed references to quotations from some of the 'usual suspects' -- personalities and holy books -- but Maharaji delivered them from his own experience and with the confidence to take ownership of their truth.

His attire was elegant, professional and totally appropriate! No trappings! I'm very appreciative of his absorption of western culture and the simple 'no frills' approach to his presentation. You have to look very closely to see the roots of the ancient mystical tradition standing behind him.

Nothing compares to even a few minutes in the company of teachers like Maharaji. Nobody walks away without taking something of great value with them.

Maharaji reminded me once again what is really important in my life -- to tend the garden well, and see to it that only the best plants are allowed to grow there. And of course, to never lose sight of what's truly important within us.

I would say it was an evening very well spent!"


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2010
Maharaji in Montreal


Last night, Maharaji spoke to approximately 900 people at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal. What follows are selected excerpts of his talk -- my best approximation of what he said, scribed in the moment, not a word for word transcript. Enjoy!

"You should be fulfilled in such a manner that the fulfillment lasts you for the rest of your life."

"The only way your lamp can be lit is from another lamp that is lit."

"Heaven is here and Hell is here. You get to choose."

"There are the ones who know and the ones who don't know. And there are the ones like me, trying to convince the ones who don't know to know."

"Being at peace does not mean sacrificing your emotions. Being at peace means you're in a place where your heart is full."

"Why is light important? Does it change anything? No. The only thing light does is illuminate what is there so you can choose."

"Find your way in this life. Find your niche where you need to be. The good news? That place is inside you."

"What do I do? I put people in touch with that place. I have a way. Don't worry about it. I have a way. I call it 'Knowledge.'"

"You are concerned about the well. I am concerned about the rope and the bucket. Get the rope and the bucket, then go to the well which will quench your thirst. That's it. That's the whole game. That's the whole nine yards of wisdom."

"There are those in the world who are very good at making us believe things. Then there are those who are very good at making us know things. Your choice."

"Not knowing something doesn't make you inferior."

"This body is the vessel to go across the ocean -- the ocean of ignorance, pain, suffering, and doubt... What we need is a Master with strong arms who can row this vessel across."

"I'm telling you the truth that comes from my heart. I'm trying to light lamps."

"Listen to this because this can save your life. Know the Divine is inside of you and be thankful."

"I can't pull rabbits out of a hat -- I don't want to -- but one thing I can do, through the gift of Knowledge, is to put you in touch with what's inside you. I've done it for thousands and thousands of people. That's what I'm good at."


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

August 29, 2010
It Just Keeps Getting Better


I'm on my way to Montreal to see Maharaji. Yahoo!

Soon coming: Excerpts from Montreal, Boston, Baltimore, and maybe Toronto. Also, more guest responses from the fabulous Woodstock event.

In the meantime, here are some links from the archives. There are 522 postings on this blog -- so if you are new here or have only read a few things, there is still a lot to explore. Click and scroll...

Events and Maharaji
Personal stories

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 4


It's two days after Maharaji spoke to 355 people at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY and the stream of positive responses just keeps flowing. This one is from Deborah Cohen.

"I came to the event with the thought 'This probably isn't for me, but I love my friend, Joan, I love her space, and I am curious about what she would love about this'.

I knew my thoughts weren't a good test for reality, but nonetheless there they were! And yet, I was totally surprised and delighted by the event. The video moved me to tears. I thought, 'Yes, I want that!' That peace... it is what I have been seeking.

I loved Maharaji. He is delightful, charming, and penetrates to the essence. Six billion reasons for peace. That is my life.

The Keys he talks about seem to be compatible with any system, belief, or culture, I love that it is given freely.

I loved the warmth and love that was present. I loved that there is a simple system to follow at your own speed. I am already taking the steps to start the Keys process. Thank you!"


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:16 AM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 3


This just in from Mary Anne and Richard Erickson, long time Woodstock residents and owners of the fabulous Blue Mountain Bistro Catering Company right outside of town.

"What a treat to finally meet Maharaji after hearing about him for years!

We were moved by the joy and love that permeated the room even before he stepped on stage. So much love in our small community and eager faces, beings, waiting to hear his words -- experience his presence.

The introductory video was profoundly moving, sharing stories of those who have faced tremendous challenges and with his gift of 'Knowledge' were able to access the love inside -- and still shine.

Maharaji was a delight!

His simple presentation struck me as very direct and to the point: everything you seek 'out there' lives inside you now.

He spoke of the same things I've heard from other spiritual teachers, but in the manner of someone of our culture. No bells and whistles. No hocus pocus. No special wardrobe needed. No money involved. 'This is free", he said! 'Really?' I thought. 'That's impressive!' You mean no one is going to try to register me into a class to learn this?


So yes, now I am curious -- to know more.

Thanks to those who worked diligently to bring Maharaji to Woodstock. May his visit bless the town and bring us more peace within and amongst ourselves."

Mary Anne and Richard Erickson


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)

August 26, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 2


This just in from Mary Jane Fahey, a long-time friend and founder of FaheyDesign. Mary Jane saw Maharaji for the first time, last night, at the Woodstock event:

"I loved how simple and straightforward his message was.

I loved how joyful he was and how simply he delivered his message.

I wanted to have dinner with him. I suspect everyone in the room did.

I loved how of the moment he was. I responded to his NOWness -- the fact that he is very much a man of this century, of this moment, of this culture.

In fact, he is many cultures -- all wrapped up in 'modern man'".


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:13 PM | Comments (1)

Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 1


Maharaji gave his first public talk in Woodstock last night. It was, shall we say, "beyond words."

For those of you who have asked me to describe the event, I've decided to let my guests do the talking.

What follows is the first in a series of postings from friends of mine who attended the event -- all of whom were seeing Maharaji for the first time.

Here's one from Barbara Schacker, a long-time Woodstock resident and the co-founder of Stroke Family.

"I woke up on the day of Maharaji's event not feeling so great and a bit worried about giving my virus to other people. But I decided to just put on my shoes and head out to get my ticket.

It was about 4:50 when I got there and saw so many people I knew that I started feeling more comfortable. Because I was alone and there were single seats inside the theater, I was given a ticket to be in the main room.

What can I say? He's got it. I love him! I could listen to him forever!


I felt quite healed when I left. Thank you so much for leading me to him.

He is the lighted candle that can light others. It was perfect for me. I wish Melissa, my daughter, could have been there.

I want to pursue his teaching more. He is the best teacher I have ever encountered."

"OK. So it is a couple of hours later and I still have no cold symptoms. Zero. Zip! I guess it is just a little tap on my shoulder to let me know that something profound really did just happen with Maharaji. It goes beyond just being there and having him teach.

He reminds me of the little smiling Buddha statue -- with a touch of attitude.

I am laughing to myself about this real magic and feeling really good! I have to keep realizing this doesn't have to go away -- that this is real.

"I am not a joiner. I am not even much of a 'follower'. I don't care for religion -- even good ones. And having almost lost a family member to a cult years ago, I am wary of 'teachers'.

But this man really has a gift for communicating and connecting on a spiritual level, with absolutely no pretense, no ego, no hidden agenda, no mysterious 'secret', no formula, no 'joining' anything, no contributions needed.

It's a free ticket back to ourselves, back to here and now, back to Heaven.

I recall a picture of me when I was about 3 years old.

I am standing on a picnic table in my backyard wearing nothing but ruffled panties and my dad's old cowboy boots. My curly blond locks are uncombed and tumbled. I have my hands on my hips and my feet set apart in a very strong and natural stance -- my smile, my eyes, my face -- a radiant light.

This was before all the things that happened to me.

Before the educational system and the church. Before almost dying five times. Before my father's stroke. Before my lost loves, my lost friends. Before my husband's brain trauma and all the challenges I face now.

Maharaji inspired me last night and brought me back to feeling like that child again.

It was a realization that all of the stuff that happened to me is just "zero" and that I am still "1" -- that what's happened to me is past and passing, but I am still here -- whole -- always.

Why should the world continue to struggle in the dark? I will keep my candle lit so I can see my way.

I will share the light until all is illuminated -- until we all "know".

It's another day in Heaven."

-- Barbara Schacker


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:34 PM | Comments (5)

August 24, 2010
Maharaji in Baltimore, Part 1


"I am here to distract you from your distractions." - Maharaji


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

August 20, 2010
Free Floating Contentment


Lots of people talk about a phenomenon known as "free floating anxiety" -- a known medical disorder characterized by worry and doubt that seem to come from nowhere. Well, there is also another phenomenon -- which you won't find in the medical literature -- which I call "free floating contentment" -- the feeling of being happy for no apparent reason. And yes, it's possible to experience.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2010
And Now For Something Completely Different

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OK. I'm taking a bit of a risk here -- including a posting that will make some Heart of the Matter readers scratch their heads and unsubscribe. So be it. If this happens to be the last story you'll be reading on my blog, I hope you get a chuckle or two out of it.)

But first, some back story...

A few months ago, my awesomely cool, smart, and creative daughter, Mimi, turned 13 and invited 12 of her girlfriends to our house for a celebrational sleepover.

The first 30 minutes were great as each girl, gift in hand, was dropped off by a parent, who, upon surveying the room, offered my wife and I a glance of great compassion as if to say "Better you than me."

The girls? Don't ask...

They talked. They texted. They talked. They texted. Ate chocolate. Brushed hair. Played music. Painted fingernails. Laughed. Texted. Called friends. Finished not a single sentence, rolling their eyes every time a parent entered the room.

Mindful of my daughter's need for space and my own weird tendency to be a little too present when her friends were around, I retreated to my bedroom like some kind of mid-western chicken farmer looking for a storm shelter.

I tried reading. I tried napping. I tried meditating.

Nothing worked.

My attention was completely subsumed -- taken over by an invisible vortex of swirling social networking energy being channeled by a roomful of partying 13-year old girls -- the next generation of, like, whatever.

Mimi sepia.jpg

And then, with absolutely no warning, everything became suddenly clear. In a flash, I understood exactly how to end terrorism once and for all.


For starters, the government flies a squadron of 13 year-old girls to Guantanamo -- or wherever high profile terrorists are being interrogated these days.

The girls, impeccably guarded by the highest qualified soldiers available, are walked into a prison waiting room where the shackled terrorists are already sitting.

Immediately, the girls begin texting, eating chocolate, talking, painting fingernails, and exponentially interrupting each other with a steady stream of "OMG's" and other, esoteric internet acronyms none of their parents have a clue about.

The prisoners, at first, find the whole thing amusing -- a delightful break from their dreadful prison routine. They smile. They wink. They remember their youth.

But the girls, wired to the max (sugar and wi-fi), radically pick up the pace of their texting and talking like some kind of futuristic teenage particle accelerator.

After five minutes, the prisoners stop smiling. After ten, they become silent. After twenty, they start twitching. A lot.

They try covering their ears with their shackled hands, but the chains are too short. They start looking madly around the room, hoping to catch the eyes of their jailers -- but their jailers sit motionless, miming the movements of the twelve texting teenagers.

A few of the terrorists start crying. A few go catatonic. And then, the roughest looking of the bunch -- a tall man with a long, jagged scar on his left cheek -- calls out in his native language.



The guards nod and switch on the nearest tape recorder. But it's totally unnecessary.

The girls, totally tuned into the terrorists' confessions as if watching the finals of American Idol, are texting everything they hear to a roomful of Pentagon heavyweights in an undisclosed location.

The information proves vital to our national defense.

Within three days, a record number of terrorist cells are taken down. Word gets out to the global terrorist community and, in only a matter of weeks, it becomes impossible for the Jihadist movement to recruit.

Yes, of course, the ACLU raises a stink about this "new strain of American torture," but a thorough investigation by a bi-partisan task force of international peacekeepers proves to be inconclusive. No long-term damage to the prisoners can be detected.

On a roll, my daughter and her rock-the-world friends create a Facebook Group that teaches other 13-year old girls how to help the cause. A movement is born.

Soon, hundreds of teenage girl "patriots" are dispatched to war zones around the world -- radically decreasing the incidence of terrorism on all seven continents.

Subsequent interviews with former Jihadists reveal that merely the threat of being in a room with 12 texting 13-year old girls was enough to get them to lay down their homemade bombs and return to farming.

Peace comes to the Middle East. Pakistan and India make up. (Make up, girls!) The Golden Age begins.

As you might guess, HBO and Hollywood come calling.

Big time producers want to do a reality show and a major motion picture, but the girls -- newly inspired by the impact they've had on the world -- refuse to become a commodity as they prepare (OMG!) for summer camp and 8th grade and the September launch of that next, cool cell phone with the incredible keyboard.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:54 AM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2010
Question of the Day

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quenches --


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:15 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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