The Heart of the Matter
January 30, 2024
Celebrating Maureen

Here is a very moving tribute from Larry Lefkowitz to his wife, Maureen, on the third anniversary of her passing. How beautiful it is for us to celebrate our loved ones and keep the memory of them alive and well within our hearts.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2024
Find the Miracle

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2024
Tidal, Volcanic and Uncontainable

There is something within every human being that is timeless, universal, and divine. This something has been called by many names since language first began, but it does not need a name in order to exist. Indeed, it existed long before words, a naturally occurring primal force. Like gravity. Or wind. Or the way rivers run to the sea.

This pre-existing force -- tidal, volcanic, and uncontainable -- is the raw energy inside a human being that activates the ancient quest to experience what life is really all about.

And because the full expression of this unquenchable energy can be profoundly uncomfortable and crazy-making, most of us find a thousand ways to mask or distract it.

Bottom line, we end up looking for love in all the wrong places and wonder why the experience our heart aches for all-too-rarely reveals itself.

For want of a better word, let's call this state of questing "thirst" -- a state of being so compelling that no words are needed, no rituals, or proof. When you're thirsty all you want is water. That's it. Memories of past water-drinking experiences will not suffice. Nor will beautiful photographs of water or impeccable explanations of its molecular structure. Only water itself will do.

In the so-called "outer world," it is not difficult for a person to quench their thirst. A turn of a faucet will usually suffice... or proximity to a water fountain... or the town well.

But the thirst I'm talking about is not that easily quenched. The faucet may exist, but not the handle. The well may exist, but the bucket is nowhere in sight. Something deep within us, deeper than the shale of our self-invented life, seeks something beyond time and space -- why wolves howl at the moon, birds sing for no reason, and lovers do not want the morning to come.
Unspoken Word
Heart of the Matter

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2024
Still Feeling Cranky?

Based on my observations over the past six decades, there seems to be a big fat concept that is very common among peace-seeking individuals -- well-meaning, heart-centered people engaged in some kind of "consciousness practice".

When push comes to shove (or namaste comes to the mall) it doesn't seem to matter all that much what path these peace-seeking people walk. The same big fat concept seems to show up everywhere.

And here it is: peace-seeking people should somehow, always be in a state of bliss, oneness, equanimity, and gratitude.

Nice concept, wrong universe.

Yes, of course, all of us are capable of the above -- a most worthy aspiration. But to assume we should always be there (and that there is something wrong with us if we're not) is just a bunch of BS. Even the Dalai Lama gets angry.

Big-time enlightened beings have bad moods and bad days. Shit happens. We are all human beings. And all human beings, no matter how committed they are to experiencing the highest states of consciousness have a tendency to get into their heads from time to time.

This is not a problem. This is life. The problem happens when we think it's a problem and then affect some kind of smiley face, bobblehead doll "beyond it all" persona.

The following story from my own life speaks to this phenomenon.

Two years ago I was invited to be part of a team of people to facilitate online Zoom break out sessions as part of a training program that Prem Rawat was putting together. Our role was a simple one -- to provide a safe haven for participants to express themselves and process what they'd been experiencing after listening to Prem.

The standard protocol for kicking off our weekly meetings was for the coordinator of the project to facilitate a "personal check-in" process -- one that gave each of us a chance, in 30 seconds or less, to let the rest of our teammates know how we were doing.

If you've ever been on a Zoom call, the visual for this should be well-known to you by now -- a few screens of "video thumbnails", along with each person's name, in small type, beneath their image.

At this particular session, I noticed that at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen was Prem Rawat's thumbnail -- a placeholder photo of him and his name. I thought this was a very nice touch and a simple way for everyone on the team to remember who our client really was.

In a way, Prem's photo at the bottom right hand corner of the screen felt like setting a place for Elijah at the Passover table. No one actually expects Elijah to show up, but it is a respectful thing to do and an effective way for everyone to maintain a bigger perspective.

One by one, the project coordinator asked each of us to check in and let the rest of the team know how we were doing. The answers were fairly predictable -- usually something like, "I'm very happy to be here today" or "I'm feeling really grateful" or "I'm so thrilled to be part of this wonderful project."

When it was my turn to respond, my answer surprised me and everyone else.

"I'm feeling cranky," I said -- which was absolutely true, even though I realized it was not the kind of response likely to make my teammates feel all warm and fuzzy.

For some reason, at that specific moment in time, that's exactly how I was feeling. I wasn't feeling blissed out, grateful, happy, appreciative, or peaceful. I was feeling cranky. So that's what I said.

There was a bit of silence after that and then I noticed that the photo thumbnail of Prem at the bottom right hand corner of the Zoom screen was morphing into his actual face. Like the rest of us, he was on the call and, apparently, had been listening to the proceedings for a while.

Noticing this, the facilitator graciously welcomed Prem and gave him the floor.

"Still feeling cranky, Mitch?" was the first thing he said.

"Not at this particular moment," I replied with a laugh.

That moment was a memorable one for me. It confirmed something I had always known in my bones, but didn't always live full out -- that all I needed to do was be myself, that I wasn't here to perform, pretend or be anything I'm not. On the contrary, I'm here to be as real as I am, even if that includes admitting, publicly, my own less-than-ideal state of mind.

Here's the reality: Sometimes I'm blissed out and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I'm grateful and sometimes I complain. Sometimes I'm savoring each breath and sometimes I'm just blowing my nose.

One of the wonderful things I've learned from my relationship to Prem Rawat over the years is "I am that I am." I don't need to pretend, perform or promote. I don't need to be a model of anything. Too much pressure. Not real.

All I need to do is be myself.

With the practice of Self-Knowledge as my bottom line, I always, eventually, return to my true nature. I may have ups and downs along the way, but I always return to core of my being.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:58 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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