The Heart of the Matter
September 28, 2021
Cliffhanger in Brighton

On October 9th, Prem Rawat will be speaking at an Author Event in Brighton, England, in honor of his new, best-selling book, Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World. I won't be there (boo hoo!) but I was able to attend a memorable event with him in Brighton in 1994. Little did I know at that time that Sylvester Stallone was going to be making a surprise appearance. Here's the story:

In 1994, I flew to Brighton, England, to attend a 2-day event with Prem Rawat. Having seen him many times before and knowing how life-changing time with him can be, I was seriously pumped to be going.

Waking up bright and early on Saturday morning, I made my way to the hall, got on line, and took my seat.

Prem, as usual, spoke with great eloquence, humor, and passion, cutting to the heart of the matter -- a great beginning to a series of talks he'd be giving over the next two days.

When he was done, the MC announced the lunch break and informed everyone that the evening program would begin at 5:00 pm.

Perfect! I was really hungry and wanted to find out if the food in England was as bad as people said it was. So I found a few friends and invited them to join me for the fish and chips in a quaint little pub only minutes away.

When I returned to the hall at 4:30, there was already a long line. I found my place on the end of it, chatted up a few locals, and began the slow and steady shuffling forward to the entrance.

Then the line stopped.

"The hall is full," an usher announced to no one in particular. "There are no more seats. Come back tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? Come back tomorrow? Dude, I just paid $650 for a round trip ticket to England! I just took three days off work! No one told me there was even the slightest chance of not getting in. This is insane! Who's in charge? Let me talk to someone with a walkie talkie! There must be a way to get in!"

My pitiful internal dialogue continued, in full stereo neurosis, for the next ten minutes, me alternately blaming the program organizers, the ushers, my pub waitress, "them," the entire country of England and, ultimately, myself for apparently having too leisurely a lunch.

And then... I remembered.

I remembered what Prem had been teaching me in oh so many ways since I first met him many years ago: how to let go... how to enjoy the moment... how to go beyond the chattering monkeys of my mind and enjoy the divine play that is only ever happening NOW.

"Hmmm," I thought to what was left of my self, "I actually have the entire afternoon off in jolly old England. No job. No bills. No responsibilities."

As I exited the scene of my mini-meltdown, I could see, just a few hundred yards away, rising up to the sky like some kind of cinematic mirage -- eight movie theaters.

I scanned the marquee. Four of them I'd seen before. Three didn't start until evening. But one... one was just about to start -- Cliffhanger, starring Sylvester Stallone.

Hey, why not? The joke was on me. And though I hadn't quite begun to laugh, I could definitely feel a smile coming on.

So I bought a ticket, some popcorn, and took my seat (believe me, there were plenty).

For the next hour and 53 minutes while Prem Rawat inspired, uplifted, entertained, cajoled, held forth, waxed poetic, and reminded 5,000 people what life was all about -- I sat in a darkened movie theater watching the former star of Rocky I, II, III, IV, V, and VI battle the bad guys, under impossible conditions, high in the Rocky Mountains, trying to save the day.

It was totally surreal.

There I was, 3,476 miles from home, sitting no more than a few hundred yards from the most amazing person I'd ever met (Prem Rawat, not Sylvester Stallone) and was totally enjoying a movie I wouldn't have chosen to see in a thousand years.

PS: I got to the hall very early on Sunday morning.


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September 26, 2021
Always Remembering You

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Musings on Love


From what I can tell, most people, in this life, somewhere along the line, have had a lover -- a person with whom their experience of life and themselves was both profoundly heightened and deepened. Somehow, in their lover's presence (and yes, in their absence, too), EVERYTHING seemed better, sweeter, and more alive. The present moment was amplified. The past and the future disappeared like smoke from a candle. Boundaries dissolved, walls fell down, worries faded away (at least in the beginning) and great waves of unstoppable love were felt from the core of their soul itself.

Millions of poems, since the beginning of time, have been written about this experience and when the experience ends, as it often does, thousands of blues songs have been written to fill the void (or at least try to). Ultimately, when it comes right down to it, human beings love love. We do. We love love. It moves us. It fuels us. It fills us with a feeling that almost always seems enough to live on. And when that someone special comes along, a person with whom the love we aspire to can be more deeply felt, savored, expressed, enjoyed, and amplified, that someone becomes extremely precious to us.

So much so, in fact, that there are times we cannot stop thinking about them. They occupy not only our hearts, but our minds, as well. Indeed, just the THOUGHT of them, like a perfumed handkerchief dropped at our feet, is enough to fan the flames of our soul's joy. We write them letters. We prepare for their arrival. We hold them in our embrace and our gaze for as long as we can -- and all to explore the depths of what the extraordinary experience of human love is all about.

Ahhh! What a blessing it is! What a gift! What a pleasure! And yes, some of the lovers we have known, become our life companions -- our husbands, wives, or life partners until our inevitable demise. And, yes, some of these partnerships last for a lifetime, long after the primal passions have ebbed and the body declines, wild nights replaced by a peck on the cheek and a hot cup of tea.

These days, as I look back on my life, and even more so, look WITHIN myself, I am fascinated by the possibility that I can greet each day as if it was my lover -- that, upon waking, I can feel the same excitement to greet the day as I did to greet the one who was the receiver of my devotion. I am excited by the possibility that the FEELING evoked in me upon being in the presence of a lover can be felt in the presence of myself -- not as some kind of heroic attempt to disentangle myself from the world as I know it, but the very human attempt to connect with the deepest source of love within me -- the core of my being where all love resides. Home base. The warm spot on the pillow. The not having to speak because whatever I was going to say has already been communicated with absolutely no effort at all. Whole unto myself. Embracing myself. Loving myself. And knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all love abides within me. All love and all light. All light and all passion for life. All life and the realization that what I have been looking for forever -- the embrace from beyond -- is not only IN me, but IS me.

A good book about love

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September 24, 2021
Good News Travels Fast


Order the book here

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September 15, 2021
The Perfect Burp


An hour before I received the gift of Knowledge from Prem Rawat in 1971, I found myself sitting in a large room with a bunch of other people also waiting to receive Knowledge.

Sitting on pillows, we had spent the last few hours listening to some very inspired people (who had recently received Knowledge) wax on about their experiences and whatever it was they understood about this extraordinary young Master from India.

For me -- a bearded, long-haired, 24-year old seeker of Truth -- it was all so very inspiring. Everything I was hearing, everything I was seeing, everything I was feeling felt completely right. Like I was finally coming home after many lifetimes of wandering. All of the beautiful rivers of my life, it seemed, all of my highest aspirations had brought me here -- the perfect place at the perfect time -- and I was ready, with overflowing gladness, for whatever it was that came next.

The longer I sat there and listened, however, a nagging doubt began to creep into my mind. There was a kind of seriousness in the room that I found uncomfortable, me being a person with strong leanings towards goofiness and irreverence. Yes, I loved everything I was hearing about Prem and the Knowledge of Self he revealed. And yes, I found my heart opening in ways that dwarfed anything I had ever experienced before. But I couldn't help but notice my concern about the possibility that this "thing", whatever it was, might be too somber for me -- somebody else's path, but not my own.

Less than a minute after this troubling thought crossed my mind, the door to the room opened. Turning around to see who it was, I noticed it was one of the residents of the ashram, a guy named Michael who I had met earlier that day. Broadly smiling, Michael took one step into the room, paused, looked around, and then let out a tremendous burp -- the kind my high school friends and I were famous for. Then, without a single word, he turned and left the room.

I received Knowledge an hour later.

PREM VIDEO: My Version of the Divine (5 min.)

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September 14, 2021

In support of the United Nations International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) produced this video to help grow awareness that peace is possible and it begins with each one of us. Please share it and use the hashtag #PeaceDay to join millions of people in supporting the cause of peace.

Learn more about TPRF and ways to make every day a peace day:

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September 09, 2021
Six Days to the Release of Prem Rawat's New Book

If you are a fan of Prem Rawat or are simply curious about his message of peace, I invite you to considering buying his new book: HEAR YOURSELF: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World. I've only read the introduction, so far, but found it quite extraordinary -- compelling, evocative, entertaining, and very inspiring. I am very much looking forward to reading the whole thing as soon as the books I ordered a few weeks ago arrive.

More about Prem Rawat

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September 08, 2021

Big Blue Sky.jpg

I just woke up, five minutes ago, from a dream in which some kind of celestial force, a conscious beingness, granted everyone on Earth immunity from pain, suffering, and ignorance -- a kind of universal amnesty. All bets were off. All debts were forgiven. All struggle was gone. In its place was nothing but peace.

This beyond-the-beyond, all-consuming graciousness was granted to absolutely everyone -- those who were seeking this state of grace and those who weren't. It was as if some kind of invisible tsunami of love washed over everyone at the exact same moment, everywhere. In a flash, without effort, every single person was free, unburdened, and in love.

And then, as I lay there in a field, completely stunned by this gift to humanity, I saw something "air-dropped" from the sky. It looked like a child's paper airplane -- the kind all of us made as kids to throw in the wind and watch it fly, hopefully, forever. As I watched, because of the perfection of this undeniable moment, I expected it to land right in the center of things, but it didn't. It kept on flying, even as it descended.

My dear friends, it is possible, this peace, that is. It is possible, against all odds, during these absolutely medieval times of craziness, density, and despair, that each and every one of us -- regardless of our past, our problems, and our pain, can be be free. It is possible. It is.
Always be open to this possibility.

In the dream from which I just awoke, this peace was granted -- a universal act of divine dispensation. It seemed undeserved. Every sentient being was on the receiving end. Everyone received this gift. And everyone was free, almost as if, in some alternate universe, all of the bad news upon us now was reversed and only the "good" remained.

This is my prayer, my dream, my highest aspiration -- that each and everyone one of us on this third rock from the sun will be on the receiving end of this blessing. It was not religious, this gift. It was not spiritual. It was not the result of great work, focus, concentration, or any strategies of realization. It was just given and given in such a way that it was impossible not to receive it. If this was rain, everyone got wet. If this was sunshine, everyone felt the warmth. If this was wind, everyone was refreshed. May it come to pass. May it come to pass.

HEAR YOURSELF: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World

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September 06, 2021
Be a Human Being


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September 05, 2021


Some years ago, I heard Prem Rawat say something that I will never forget. It's at least 20 years later now and I still very much remember what he said and the message being conveyed beyond the words, speaking, as he was, to the all-too-common phenomenon of unnecessary hustle and bustle which I could definitely relate to, trying just a bit-too-hard at the time to "succeed."

Here's what he said (and I am paraphrasing):

"You're a passenger on a plane going 650 MPH and you're running up and down the aisles trying to get there faster."

Badaboom! Badabing! Got me! Nailed! That single sentence painted a picture that completely tuned me in to what was going on in my life at the time. So much effort I was making! So much sound and fury! So much frantic effort attempting to get results, when really all I had to do was relax and allow the journey to unfold. I was on the plane! It was moving in the right direction! There was a very capable pilot at the wheel! All I had to do was sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. This is not to say that NO effort was required. SOME effort was definitely required. But that effort was a simple one: GET ON THE PLANE! Running up and down the aisles (marketing! sales calls! proposals! emails!) was mostly nervous energy and the fear that, somehow, nothing of value would manifest in my life. The older I get, the more I realize that my task has always been to BOARD THE PLANE, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Running up and down the aisles is not only unnecessary, it diminishes the joy of the journey.


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September 04, 2021
The Grassroots Effort to Promote Prem Rawat's New Book


If you are excited about the September 14th launch of Prem Rawat's new book, Hear Yourself, please tell your friends, neighbors, and any strangers you might meet. Click on the links below to see what support materials are available. Then choose the links that work for you and follow, like, and share them on your favorite social media platforms. Emailing the links to friends who might find the book helpful is also an option. That's it. I had the good fortune to read the opening chapter yesterday and it was very moving. And informative. And fascinating. And very well-written. This book is a ground breaker -- a powerful way for millions of people all over the world to learn about Prem's message and how they can benefit from it. The ball's in your court, ladies and gentleman. Go for it! It takes a village!

Hear Yourself website

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Peace Education at Elbert School

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September 03, 2021
Listen to Life's Essentials Podcasts


Every week, Prem Rawat does a Life's Essential podcast. Very inspiring, timely, and entertaining, too. Click here for access to all 67 episodes.

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September 02, 2021
Peace Education in South Africa

More about the Peace Education Program

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This is Alex Romero. He shines shoes at the Denver Airport. I met him 30 minutes ago as I was making my way to Gate 54 and realizing what bad shape my shoes were in. That's when I asked him how much he charged and he told me "whatever you want to pay", which I found quite intriguing. So I took my seat, waiting for him to finish up with his other customer, and soon the shine began.

Rolling up my pant legs to my ankles, Alex asked me what it was that brought me Denver. I explained that I had flown in from Albany to attend an Intelligent Existence training, facilitated by Prem Rawat, on the subject of "noise" -- the all-too-common static in our heads -- and how we each have the ability to go beyond the noise to the place inside of us where real peace abides. Alex nodded. Then he went on to tell me that the noise in his head used to show up for him as worry, but now it has morphed into doubt.

As Alex continued shining my shoes, it seemed to me that he was some kind of shoe shine samurai. So focused he was! So dedicated! So present -- putting all of his attention into each and every stroke, each application of polish and cream, each change of cloth for each phase of the process.


"Have you ever heard of Jack Kornfeld?" he asks me. I nod. "I listen to his YouTube videos and practice the meditations he teaches. Once I experienced myself as the eye of a hawk, but got a little nervous and so I stopped."

We both laugh. Then he tells me he also gets a lot of value from the online teachings of Abraham-Hicks. I show him an Abraham-Hicks app on my IPhone. Then I ask him if his job at the airport had been affected by Covid.

"For sure," he explains. "A while back the only store open here was McDonalds. No one was flying anywhere. So I got a job as an Uber Eats driver for three months, but it was too much wear and tear on my car, so I came back to the airport."

Two days a week, Alex explains, he sets up shop in Terminal A, three days a week in Terminal B.

Then he asks me, again, to tell him the name of the man whose training I had attended a few days ago.

"Prem Rawat," I explain. "He's a really cool guy. Very accessible. Very wise and with a great sense of humor. I've been his student for 50 years."

Alex nods again, continuing to work his magic on my shoes (which, curiously, I had bought in an airport about a year ago). I look down. Wow! I have never seen them look so good. It's almost as if I can see my face in them. Astounded, I ask Alex if I he's OK with me taking his photo so I can post it on my Facebook page -- a way that friends of mine might learn about the service he provides, just in case they ever find themselves in the Denver Airport. He agrees.

As I move into position to take his photo, I notice, to my left, a small sign Alex had posted between the two chairs where his customers sit.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take," the sign says, "but by the moments that take our breath away."

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September 01, 2021

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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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