The Heart of the Matter
September 30, 2010
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.

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

September 26, 2010


We were all born to praise,
exalt the air we breathe,
arise in the
updraft of love,
like lunatics
as we finally realize
there is
nothing left to understand.

That's why
blueberries taste so good.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

Lighten Up!



Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2010
The Phoenix of Love


A few weeks ago, my wife and I had a big fight. A doozy. If you're married -- or ever were -- I'm sure you've had at least one of these. Probably more.

You think you're right. They think they're right. You attack, they deflect. They attack, you deflect. You get hopeless. They get hopeless. And both of you -- self-appointed judges in a court of your own creation -- feel diminished, abused, blamed, hurt, and misunderstood.

The love? Out the window. The window? Stuck in a half-closed position.

Whenever I'm embroiled in this weirdness and manage to come out the other side, I get humbled -- all concepts of myself as a conscious, loving human being now completely blown to smithereens.

And yet... no matter how painful the experience, something good always comes out of it. A phoenix rises from the ashes.

Like the list below, for example -- my wishes for Evelyne and, by extension... for you, me, and the other 6.5 billion people on planet Earth.

THE PHOENIX OF LOVE: My Wishes for You

1. Gratitude every day

2. Deep inner peace, especially during tough times

3. Kindness


4. Patience

5. Forgiveness

6. The courage to be yourself

7. Rest and renewal

8. The vision to see God in everyone

9. Letting go of self-righteousness

10. Simplicity and ease

11. The willingess to let go of worry and doubt

12. Allowing yourself to be nurtured

13. More fun

14. Plenty of time to do nothing

15. Spaciousness

16. Heartfelt self-expression

17. Health and vitality

18. Moving through the tasks of your life as if you were a dancer

19. Relating to each person you talk to as if they were the only person on earth at that moment


20. Laughter from your core

21. Appreciation of your family

22. A "live and let live" mindset

23. Waking up each day with gladness

24. Humility

25. The experience of community

26. Full responsibility for your own projections

27. Trust

28. Honoring all of the teachers in your life, past and present

29. Slowing down, going deeper

30. The ability to order a very rich dessert in your favorite restaurant without enrolling someone to share it with you

31. A wi-fi connection whenever you want

32. The end of lower back pain

33. Living the St. Francis Prayer without making a big deal of it

34. Knowing you are loved

35. Good sushi within a five-mile radius

36. Appreciation of other people's "spiritual path" -- with absolutely no judgment

37. Foot massages

38. Fresh air

39. Understanding what Krishna meant when he said: "The world is an illusion, but you have to act as if it's real."

40. Random acts of kindness

41. Nights on the town

42. The ability to be alone, but not lonely


43. Accepting the aging process with dignity and delight

44. Fabulous dinners with friends

45. Nights in front of the fire

46. Having no regrets

47. Cranking up the music

48. Not judging your kids for texting or being on Facebook

49. Seeing the blessing in every challenge that comes your way

50. Loving yourself when you look in the mirror

51. Not having to look in the mirror to love yourself

52. New adventures

53. Endless learning

54. Giving up complaint

55. A dependable plumber

56. Snow angels!

57. Working smarter, not harder

58. Looking up at the stars

59. Never going to bed angry

60. Being happy for other people's successes

61. Realizing you are everything and nothing both at the same time

62. Unconditional love


63. Reframing aging as "becoming an elder" instead of "getting old"

64. Weekends in exotic places

65. Someone else to wash the dishes

66. Enjoying the poetry of Rumi, Kabir, and Hafiz

67. Did I mention foot massages?

68. The commitment to immerse in the projects that most fascinate you

69. Deep listening

70. Longer vacations

71. Reaching out to those less fortunate than you

72. Holding hands with someone you love

73. Taking on an impossible project -- and making it happen

74. Really good chocolate

75. Unforgettable celebrations

76. Going beyond your limiting assumptions

77. The discipline that comes from love, not duty

78. Spontaneous generosity

79. One remote for all your electronics

80. A hot bath on a cold night

81. Wonderful surprises


82. The laughter of children

83. Realizing you have enough

84. Timelessness

85. Understanding this quote: "When you're on the path it's a mile wide, when you're off it, it's razor thin."

86. Giving flowers to absolute strangers

87. A wardrobe you love

88. Resilience

88. Making a clear distinction between longing and desire

89. No fear of death

90. Dancing around the living room for no particular reason

91. Howling at the moon

92. Knowing how to say "no" without being negative

93. Completing what you came here to do

94. Experiencing life as a beautiful play

95. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

96. Forgiving everyone who has ever wronged you

97. Passion

98. Compassion

99. The peace that passes all understanding

100. Sweet watermelon on a summer day



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

September 17, 2010
Sayings of the Jewish Buddha


"Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?"

"Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story."

"Drink tea and nourish life; with the first sip, joy; with the second sip, satisfaction; with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish."

"Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health, or a life without problems. What would you talk about?"

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Oy Vey."

"There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?"

"Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis."

"The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish."

"Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems."

"Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as a wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders."

"Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist."

"Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness."

"The Torah says, Love your neighbor as yourself. The Buddha says, There is no self. So, maybe we're off the hook."

Thanks to Gary Ockenden for these fun quotes. Next up? Sayings of the Unitarian Buddha.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:19 AM | Comments (2)

September 14, 2010


Here's a
nice little surprise
for you --
a recent
article of mine,
Maharaji's visit
to Woodstock,
now posted on
Words of Peace Global.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:51 PM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2010
The Value of Nothing


"The foolish man
is always doing,
yet much remains
to be done.

The wise man
does nothing,
yet nothing remains

- Lao Tzu

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2010
Where I Live


Many times over the past 16 years, well-meaning people have asked me where I lived.

Depending on my mood and how much I thought they really wanted to know, I would tell them any of the following:

"Two hours north of Manhattan" ... "Ulster County" ... "65 miles south of Albany" ... or the "oh so famous Woodstock, New York."

Now, many years after receiving Knowledge and having relocated to my breath, I simply say:

The State of Gratitude.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:36 AM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 7

Ev and Mitch.JPG

This is the seventh in a series of comments from friends of mine who attended Maharaji's Woodstock event on August 25th. Most of my friends had never seen him before. The following comments are from Evelyne Pouget, not just a friend of mine -- but my fabulous wife since 1991. (Be sure to click on the headline, to make sure you are reading the entire article. MD)

"In 1979, I met my Master, Baba Muktananda, and have been on the spiritual path ever since. Years later, I married a man who happened to have a different Master, Maharaji.

Maharaji has been very present in our household. I have enjoyed his talks whenever I've had the opportunity to hear him, in person, and he has always been an inspiration to me. But he was Mitch's teacher and I had my own."

"This dynamic was reinforced by Maharaji, himself, some years ago, when I asked him if I could receive Knowledge. He encouraged me to stay with my path. So, I gave up the idea of receiving Knowledge.

For the last few years, my husband and other students of Maharaji who live in the Woodstock area have been in a state of effervescence, making plans for his visit.

As the date of Maharaji's visit to our town neared, it became clear that some out-of-town guests would need a place to stay, so we invited Charananand -- one of Maharaji's long-time students -- to stay in our guest house.

Charanand and kids.JPG

On August 25th, the day of Maharaji's event, everyone was busy except for Charananand (the story teller supreme!) and me. So, I got to spend some time with him.

I had a marvelous and revealing three hour talk with him, reduced to a puddle of tears for most of it, as he opened my mind, again, to the possibility of viewing the Keys and receiving Knowledge.

He explained how the process has been refined and was more inclusive than in the past.

He helped me let go of the misunderstanding that Knowledge was a gift only for my husband and others, but not me.

The more I listened, the more I realized that receiving Knowledge was not going to make me a "traitor" to my own path.

I felt the possibility.

Gratitude for my connection to Charananand, his all-inspiring devotion, and the space that was now opening in my heart overwhelmed me.

As I drove to get my tickets to see Maharaji, I prayed to my Guru for a sign.

A few minutes later, a baby deer crossed the road in front of me and I stopped. It felt like an instant response to my request.

"Look right in front of you! Take in the moment! Receive the gift!"

In that frame of mind, I continued on to the program, found my seat, closed my eyes, and nurtured the space in my heart.

When Maharaji came out on stage, I felt wide open. His message went right through me. It was so simple! So generous! So inclusive! His presentation, so seamless.


I wasn't listening to my husband's Master any longer. I was listening to Maharaji for the first time.

Whenever I saw him looking in my direction, it felt like he was speaking directly to me. Sorry everyone else! He was!

It is now one week later and I've just started studying the Keys with three of my friends, who like me, have decided to receive this gift.

Please, Maharaji, come back soon, I have so many more friends!"


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:32 PM | Comments (4)

September 03, 2010
Ahhh... Watermelon!


Somewhere along the line you've probably heard of this thing called a "Zen Koan"-- a question or statement that cannot be "gotten" by the rational mind.

For centuries, Zen Masters have used them as a way to confound their students' habit of thinking too much -- with the intention of shocking the mind into a state of true awareness.

Appropriate responses to a koan may vary according to circumstances. Different teachers may demand different responses to a given koan on a given day. A fixed answer cannot be correct in every circumstance.

Sound familiar?

The Master -- Zen or otherwise -- is not looking for an answer in a specific form, but for evidence that the student has grasped something beyond duality, beyond mind, beyond all the strategizing and mental static that separates the seeker from the finder.

And now for the moment of truth...

"Where do you get the seeds to grow seedless watermelons?"

If you think you know the answer (or better yet, don't think, but know the answer anyway), lay it on me. I'll be giving away a copy of my poetry book, Thirst Quench Thirst to the three people who submit the best answer in any of the following categories:

1. Funniest
2. Most Zen-like
3. Most accurate

All responses will be posted HERE within the next two weeks. Stay tuned.

And now... go eat some watermelon!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:58 AM | Comments (8)

September 02, 2010
Maharaji in Woodstock, Part 6


On August 25th, Maharaji spoke to 355 people in Woodstock, NY. What follows are the comments of Ilfra Halley, a long-time Woodstock resident, seeing Maharaji for the first time that night.

"I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend Maharaji's presentation at the Bearsville Theater. It was an important and memorable experience that touched me deeply.

It began from the moment I entered the building where I was kindly and warmly welcomed by the staff. From that point onward, every single person I encountered was caring and helpful.

I was struck also by the sweetness and comradeship among Maharaji's students, many of whom had traveled distances to attend the evening. Clearly Maharaji's teachings have touched his students' core and resonate through their lives.

The most special gift of the evening was to sit in the presence of Maharaji who embodied gentleness, generosity and boundless love. His radiant heart filled the room.


Indeed, Maharaji himself was the teaching.

There was no rhetoric, only the experience of his Being which was his invitation to us to be authentic, to manifest our true human inheritance of unconditional love and luminosity.

I know that I will carry this experience with me always with a deep smile of gratitude for this sublime inspiration."

-- Ilfra Halley


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:14 AM | 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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