The Heart of the Matter
February 18, 2022
A Word to the Wise

"I can help you know yourself like you have never known yourself before." - Prem Rawat

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2022
On Gratitude


Today, during Prem Rawat's Gather for Peace live stream, he asked a very powerful question: "Are we becoming better human beings?" Soon after, he went on to mention that "a better person was a person who is full of gratitude."

Definitely worth contemplating.

In the world today, there are more inner practices than ever before, more self-help books, podcasts, pundits, and paths. But if a human being doesn't end up in a state of gratitude, what's it all for?

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." Meister Eckhart

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues." - Cicero

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present
and not giving it." -- William Arthur Ward

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." - Willie Nelson

"The best way to show gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy." - Mother Teresa

"When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself." - Tecumseh

"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all." - William Faulkner

"Gratitude is the most admirable of traits and qualities in that it is usually not enough to simply decide to be grateful -- we must actively practice it to cement its place in our lives." - Molly Ackerman

"Be grateful for your life, every detail of it, and your face will come to shine like a sun, and everyone who sees it will be made glad and peaceful. Persist in gratitude, and you will slowly become one with the Sun of love, and Love will shine through you its all-healing joy. The path of gratitude is not for children; it is the path of tender heroes, of the heroes of tenderness who, whatever happens, keep burning on the altar of their hearts the flame of adoration." - Rumi

"Be thankful for what you have. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G. K. Chesterton

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha

What are YOU grateful for?
Photo: Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash

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

A Valentines Day Gift for You

If you are looking for a Valentines Day gift to send your loved ones (or even your liked ones), here it is. Includes beautiful quotes on love, vocals by Daya Rawat, lyrics by Jennifer Edwards, and music by Stuart Hoffman. Pass it on. (What if 7 billion people had a chance to see this show?)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2022
The Gift That Keeps on Giving


This just in from Carmen Queitsch, a woman who was given a copy of Hear Yourself, a few weeks ago by her friend, Kirk Laidlaw, when she lived on Salt Springs Island -- one of the Gulf Islands in the Salish Sea between mainland British Columbia, Canada and Vancouver Island.

Prem Rawat has changed me for the better. I noticed my behavior shift in a healthy direction after reading his book, "Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World". Each time I read even just a page or two paragraphs, I felt joy from his words. I felt energized and motivated.

Reading Prem's words, to me, was like having a slice of cheese cake. One bite fills your mouth with a sweet richness that's so cool and smooth you just want to put down the fork and roll your tongue around your mouth.

So, too, are his words.

I began to pick up Prem's book whenever my life was feeling hectic. I would go to my couch, red-faced with frustration, and open it. I would make my self read a paragraph or so just to see if I could calm down. And it worked. I was going through a time in my life when I knew I had to make some big life changes and reading Prem's words gave me the support I needed.

I took Prem with me to the airport recently. The airport was chaos and my travel companion was stressed. Prem's words had the same effect as they did at home. In fact, I had a moment of clarity then and there at the airport and I quickly became moved to tears. I pulled out a pen and a scrap of paper to write down what I had read.

"The journey to peace begins with the appreciation of the simplest, but most important thing we have -- our existence."


That trip was an emotional roller coaster for me and having Prem's book in my purse gave me comfort -- a sense of security. Now I keep my notes in my purse and my book at home (smaller purse).

I am forever grateful.

My favorite Prem words are "from gratitude to peace, from peace to gratitude", describing the connection with self. But I have so many juicy Prem nuggets to reflect on. They are written on different scraps of paper spread among my things. And whenever I come across one, I make myself pause long enough to read it and it resets my perspective.

Prem's words are so impactful for me that even a whiff, just a sniff of them, can bring me peace -- much like the smell of sweater of a loved one can bring you comfort and familiarity.


I am so very lucky that one brave and generous man decided to graciously and spontaneously give me Prem's book. Because it truly means everything to me. So thank you, Kirk. You have given me this amazing gift that keeps on giving and it changed my life. It certainly supported me while I changed my life. Thank you friend!

More about "Hear Yourself"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:52 PM | Comments (0)

The Hall of Regret?


This just in from Alla Rogers:

In Egyptian mythology, there is a moment when a soul passes from this world into the next. In the Hall of Final Judgment, the soul stands before the God Osiris, the ruler of the Netherworld, who was also god of vegetation and the annual Nile flood and was closely associated with death, resurrection and fertility.

The soul stands before a tribunal of 42 judges and asked about good and bad deeds. The Book of the Dead offers spells and suggestions on how to pass the test. As the soul stands before the God Osiris, the final test, it is asked to lay its heart on a scale to be weighed before the god.

The counter weight on the scale is a single feather. If the soul is light as a feather, it passes into the next world.

The allusion to the heart as the final arbiter of Truth is a very powerful statement. What is my heart's Truth?

Will my Hall of Judgment be a Hall of Regret as I make an accounting of my life, or will my heart be as light as a feather? At this moment I weigh my own heart.

As I recall distant memories as well as benchmark and breakthrough moments on my journey, there is one truth for me -- it all had purpose and meaning. My heart felt delight, wonder, awe, sadness, loss, despair, desire, yearning, longing, joy, kindness, exhilaration, gratitude, acceptance, peace, love, the sacred within me, and no regrets.

Light as feather!

Photo: Pedro Vit, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

The Power of Your Next Breath

You know what is really extraordinary about being alive? We are never more than a breath away from being totally in the zone -- and by "zone" I am referring to the state of being that is full of joy, gratitude, fulfillment, ease and peace.

Yes, we all have dramas in our lives -- ones that often take us for a ride and spark a weird stew of worry, doubt, fear, anger, and judgment. Humbling stuff, indeed. But no matter what ride our mind takes us on, we are never more than a breath away from returning to our true home within our own beautiful selves.

It doesn't require a pilgrimage, spiritual retreat, or change in diet -- just knowing how to let go and return to the safe haven of our own inner being.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2022
Success is Enjoying Life


Here is a remarkable piece by Sushila Wood, her recent update on her husband, Michael's GoFundMe page. Last year, Michael had a stroke. Since then, he and his family have been in the process of adapting, adjusting, and recovering. As you can imagine, it has not been easy, but a lot of progress is being made. If there is a way for you to contribute to Michael's campaign, please do. No contribution is too small. And now, Sushila's update...

"Do you think if you've done something that many times you're likely good at it? 15,131. That's almost how many days I've been alive. That many reliable sunrises and sunsets. How many breaths is that? Heartbeats?

When do you start feeling good at it, this day by day of this gorgeous life?

I think children are really good at living. Then, for some of us, we could spend the rest of our lives trying to get good at life. We might not succeed. It might feel like a carousel ride where we just don't seem to get anywhere.

Define success, you say?

Success is enjoying life.

I think this guy is succeeding, despite recently having to learn to walk again. Around 26,300 days so far, him breathing. He is approaching the threshold of exceeding his life expectancy of 27,776 days.



A car wash is known as a hairy monster around here and I don't need a castle to want servants. The day to day upkeep is both satisfying and boring. Lo and behold, I found a definition of boring that I love:

"Boredom is your imagination calling to you." - Sherry Turkle

Thank God. Because chores and keeping up with it all is very far from my idea of joy. There is joy in order, I can see it, but the order is an illusion, like a bird who collects blue objects for their nest just because. And once things are ordered, boom! Things start to unravel immediately. Yet boredom comes as a gift, awakening imagination. It's like waiting for good surf. Then waiting for the right wave. Boom. What a ride.

When I was a kid, I would occasionally empty the linen cupboard and re-fold everything because it brought me great satisfaction to have control over the all mess, in the confines of one or two cupboards. So yeah, I do still order things for some semblance of control.

Suddenly I did a lot more ordering when Michael was in rehab for his stroke. Grappling for control of a sustainable daily life, working and with three home-schooled kids. Now I'm ready for my own space again, beyond the 2-4 am typing with one finger or two thumbs. I'm ready to get better at my own joy again.

So the house might revert back to a state where I once again declare it off limits for visitors. Being visitor-ready was never my aspiration. It was just necessary with all the therapists coming to the house. Success is not having friends who visit, and this time of COVID has just given me poetic license to say that no visitors is normal (it's how I grew up, so it's normal to me).

Success is nothing to do with order, unless the order is finding joy in my heart.

To do lists be damned. The pile of books I want to read is calling me, as are the horses, the trails, the clarity. But I made a promise to myself to catch up on paperwork and all the things. Paperwork, the obstacle to buying a house and having a passport. Wanted things, not needed, wanted.

Printed, stamped, drawn, torn, shredded, burned, origamied. Paper is good for so many things. How do you look on paper? It's not a request for a self portrait. Ha! Financial stuff. Useful.

I loop around on that carousel. Back to the part where I pass the ocean at dusk, and struggle to find the words to capture phosphorescence..

It glows.

It's unpredictable.

Always look for it.

You never know where it will surprise you.

It is hope.

Michael's GoFundMe campaign
Video: 25,500 days
Michael's website

A sampling of Michael's photographs:

13. Indesctructible2.jpg

1 Golden.jpg


12 I am two2.jpg

Michael's GoFundMe campaign

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:02 AM | 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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