The Heart of the Matter
February 21, 2020
Three Yogis in a Cave

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So there are these three yogis meditating in a cave. They've been there for ten years -- in total silence the entire time. Absolutely still. Absolutely focused. Living on air alone. Then one day, in the tenth year of their retreat, an albino mountain lion makes his way to the mouth of the cave and lets out a tremendous roar.

Ten years pass.

The first yogi twitches slightly, opens his mouth and says "WOW!"

Another ten years pass. Then the second yogi blinks, "Yeah, I know what you mean, brother."

Another ten years pass.

"HEY!" the third yogi bellows, "If you guys don't shut up, I'm moving to another cave."

TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:34 PM | Comments (3)

February 04, 2020
Think About It, But Not Too Long

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The
world
is
an
illusion,
but
you
have
to
act
as
if
it's
real."

- Krishna

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2020
FOCUS!

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:48 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2020
The Birthday Gift

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Twenty four hours before Prem Rawat's birthday this year, I made my way to the nearest San Miguel FedEx store, first thing in the morning -- the place where I had shipped my birthday gift to him just two days before.

Since my present had not yet reached it's destination, I was very concerned. Actually, "concerned" was not really the right word to describe my sorry state of mind. I was actually somewhere between "extremely disappointed," "impatient," and "pissed off." For months I had been working on Prem's birthday gift and had made every effort imaginable to make sure it arrived at his residence on the day before his birthday.

But it didn't.

So here I was at the Mexican FedEx office trying to figure out what happened and when I could expect the package to arrive, especially since I had paid an ungodly amount of money to get it there on time.

While the delightful woman behind the counter did not speak English, she was able to secure the help of one of her bi-lingual co-workers who proceeded to explain that she had no idea where the package was and why it hadn't arrived and when it would arrive -- if, indeed, it was ever going to arrive.

Pointing to the third line on the nearest FedEX form, she mumbled something about "customs" and mentioned a few other things that didn't make sense or make me feel especially confident that my birthday present was going to arrive at Prem's residence any time soon.

I could feel the "irate customer" within me rising to the surface and, at the same time, could also feel the humor of the whole situation, followed by a gradual, somewhat curmudgeonly, letting go into "what will be will be" mode. Besides, this was Prem Rawat's birthday I was wanting to celebrate. It just didn't feel right to get uptight about the whole thing. Right occasion, wrong feeling.

So I diligently wrote down the US customer service number and my very long FedEx tracking number, thanked the two mujeres behind the counter and made my way to Zentenos, my favorite cafe in all of San Miguel, just a 3-minute walk away.

Ordering a cappuccino grande, I took a seat and got ready to call FedEx customer service. At the exact same moment, Fernando, the cappuccino maker, waiter, and all around good guy, walked over to my table, and placed, with great cuidado, my cappuccino before me.

Continue reading "The Birthday Gift"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2020
Real Forgiveness

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"Forgiveness," it has been said, "is the fragrance flowers give off when they have been trampled on" -- an ennobling sentiment, for sure, though, of course, much easier said than done. Who of us hasn't been hurt, wounded, or betrayed by another in this life? Who of us doesn't have someone we need to forgive? And who of us, no matter how loving we think we are, couldn't use a little nudge to help us on our way?

Allow me to be more specific.

Continue reading "Real Forgiveness"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2020
The Question of the Day

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PremRawat.com
TimelessToday.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2020
IPHONE, THEREFORE I AM?

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One of the curious things about the so-called 'spiritual life" is the palpable gap between theory and practice. On one hand, practitioners, in their effort to keep themselves in a positive state of mind, usually maintain an image of themselves as devoted, conscious, centered, and peaceful people. On the other hand (the one with the hangnail), those same people realize that, above and beyond their well crafted personas, they are much closer to being a fool than a sage. Or maybe it's only me I'm talking about.

Here's what I mean:

At one of Prem Rawat's five-day retreats, in Australia, a few years ago, I was having a leisurely lunch with a friend, neither of us with a care in the world. If this was Monopoly, we had both just landed on Free Parking.

When It was time for Mark to return to the Gift Store where he was helping out, I decided to linger a few minutes before trekking back to my tent, not wanting to rush things. Three minutes into my walk, I noticed I didn't have my iPhone, so I turned around and made my way back to the lunch table, expecting to see it just where I most likely left it. It wasn't there.

Continue reading "IPHONE, THEREFORE I AM?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Prem Rawat Talking About WAFA (Water Air Food Awards)

One of the things I love about Prem Rawat is how practical he is. His work is very grounded and he pays attention to not only the inner life, but the outer life, as well -- in this case the quality of wood, air, and food on planet Earth. One of the ways he accomplishes this noble commitment is via his support of WAFA, a Copenhagen-based non-profit whose mission it is to identify and celebrate the world's "silent heroes" -- people whose low-cost, high impact innovations are making a big difference in their villages, towns, and communities. If you don't know anything about WAFA and Prem's approach to helping WAFA have impact, check out the four-minute video above.

WAFA website
WAFA mission and vision
WAFA patrons
How to donate
One Lit Candle anthem and video

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2019
TPRF Accomplishments in 2019

TPRF
To make a donation to TPRF

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2019
A WORLD OF PEACE

TPRF Fundraising Drive

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2019
The Power of Music, Love, Collaboration, and Community

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Happy Holidays and a big thank you for being a reader of Heart of the Matter. I very much appreciate your open-mindedness, open-heartedness, and all around good vibes.

This blog, which began on a wing and a prayer in 2008, has now published 1,778 posts and has been viewed 1,648,125 times. Since I began this labor of love, only 15 posts have been "commercial" -- promotions for various fundraising efforts I felt moved to support: six Go Fund Me campaigns for friends with health challenges, five TPRF fundraising drives, and three of my own (ahem) book launches.

Guess what? Now's the time for fundraising drive #15 -- my heartfelt request for you to consider contributing to the just-launched, super interesting Anthems on the Rise GoFundMe campaign.

Continue reading "The Power of Music, Love, Collaboration, and Community"

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

December 17, 2019
The Impact of the Peace Education Program on Students in Colorado

To make a donation to PEP

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2019
If You Have Fundraising Experience and Want to Make a Difference

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The dedicated people who volunteer for WAFA (Water Air Food Awards) -- a non-profit NGO headquartered in Copenhagen, have a dream -- that all people on planet Earth will have access to clean water, clean air, and healthy food. If this is your dream, too, and you have 5+ years experience as a Fundraising Director or Manager, WAFA invites you to apply for its now vacant Fundraising Director's position.

Here's what Tina Lindgreen, WAFA's CEO & President, has to say about the work of her inspired non-profit organization:

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"At WAFA Awards, we know that the effort to successfully resolve the world's many social and environmental challenges is a daunting one. That being said, we also know it's a challenge that can be resolved if enough dedicated people work together, selflessly, to make a difference.

Based on WAFA's 11 years of experience in this field, we have realized that the solution begins by providing a platform to acknowledge the silent heroes around the world who have already developed proven, nature-based solutions.

Our approach is a simple one -- to identify and showcase what's already working to remediate the earth's environmental and social challenges and then do everything in our power to let all 7.6 billion people know about these low-cost, high impact, planet and people saving initiatives.

As WAFA continues to expand its reach, so does our need for savvy, committed volunteers. Below is a description of an essential executive role we are hoping to fill by January 15th. If you know anyone with the skills, experience, and time to become WAFA's new Fundraising Director, please forward this post to them. The role is a juicy one and the right person will make a huge difference in the impact WAFA can have worldwide."

FUNDRAISING DIRECTOR'S RESPONSIBILITIES

- Create and coordinate a long-term fundraising strategy
- Oversee crowdfunding efforts
- Develop partnerships with philanthropists and corporations
- Develop and maintain a base of private donors
- Identify and pursue public and private funding opportunities
- Apply for grants
- Network with foundations, institutions, and corporations
- Write proposals and sponsorship packages for potential partners
- Build a team of committed volunteer fundraisers
- Collaborate with other members of WAFA's executive team

JOB REQUIREMENTS

- 5+ years experience as a Fundraising Manager
- Passion for environmentally-friendly solutions to earth's challenges
- Intrinsically motivated. Energetic. Easy to work with.
- Committed to teamwork and consensus-decision making
- Comfortable working in a volunteer organization
- Excellent communication skills (English a requirement)
- At ease working with a virtual team
- Computer skills (MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint)
- Available a minimum of 6-8 hours per week
- Able to begin by January 15th

NOTE: You will be working remotely and will require access to a computer with a fast internet connection. Regular Skype meetings with the WAFA team are required.

If you want to join us to help make our dream a reality, please email your CV/Resume to Tina Lindgreen, WAFA's President and CEO. (tili@wafaward.org)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2019
Are Your Looking for a Cool Way to Make a Difference in the World?

The dedicated people who volunteer for WAFA (Water Air Food Awards), a non-profit NGO headquartered in Copenhagen, have a dream -- that all people on planet Earth will have access to clean water, clean air, and healthy food. If this is your dream, too, and you have 5+ years experience as an HR Director, WAFA invites you to apply for their now vacant HR Director's position.

wafa-logo-2016-1@3x.png

Here's what Tina Lindgreen, WAFA's CEO & President, has to say about the work of her inspired non-profit organization:

"At WAFA Awards, we know that the effort to successfully resolve the world's many social and environmental challenges is a daunting one. That being said, we also know it's a challenge that can be resolved if enough dedicated people work together, selflessly, to make a difference.

Based on WAFA's 11 years of experience in this field, we have realized that the solution begins by providing a platform to acknowledge the silent heroes around the world who have already developed proven, nature-based solutions.

Our approach is a simple one -- to identify and showcase what's already working to remediate the earth's environmental and social challenges and then do everything in our power to let all 7.6 billion people know about these low-cost, high impact, planet and people saving initiatives.

As WAFA continues to expand its reach, so does our need for savvy, committed volunteers. Below is a description of an essential executive role that we are hoping to fill within the next 30 days. If you know anyone with the skills, experience, and time to become WAFA's new Human Resources Director, please forward this post to them. The role is a juicy one and the right person will make a huge difference in the impact WAFA can have worldwide.

THE WAFA HR DIRECTOR'S ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

- Collaborate with WAFA Managers to help them define their HR needs
- Recruit, select, and onboard new WAFA volunteers
- Provide support and training services to all WAFA volunteers
- Develop a long-term HR strategy and operational protocols
- Evaluate volunteer performance and provide timely feedback
- Help establish the best possible work environment
- Report to WAFA's Chief Operations Officer
- Work closely with other members of WAFA's executive team

JOB REQUIREMENTS

- 5+ years experience as an HR Director/Manager
- Passion for environmentally-friendly solutions to earth's challenges
- Commitment to teamwork and consensus-decision making
- Comfortable working in a volunteer organization
- Creative, energetic, and intrinsically motivated
- Available a minimum of 6-8 hours per week -- more, if possible
- Excellent communication skills (English)
- Access to a computer with a stable internet connection
- Able to use Skype and WhatsApp
- Comfort working with a virtual team
- Able to begin by January 15th

If YOU want to join us to help make our dream a reality, we invite you to forward your CV/Resume to Tina Lindgreen, WAFA's President and CEO. (tili@wafaward.org)

More about WAFA's Silent Heroes

WAFA's new Youth Climate Award
WAFA successes
ONE LIT CANDLE -- WAFA's new Youth Climate Award anthem

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2019
COURAGE IN PEACE

Choosing Peace is the name of this year's fall appeal for The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF). TPRF receives hundreds of expressions from people whose lives have changed by discovering that they have the ability to choose peace. It just takes understanding that this strength is there within themselves.

The video above is a remarkable narrative from people whose lives have been torn apart by years of civil war in Sri Lanka. Listen to them express what making that discovery and making that choice has meant to them.

One woman, who lost her hands in childhood, speaks of the impact of the Peace Education Program on her experience of being alive. Others, whose lives and families have been uprooted and filled with suffering because of the war, express their gratitude for discovering that peace for them was not dependent on governments or warring groups.

It is your support that makes possible not just the Peace Education Program, which grew by 26% last year, but it also supports TPRF's Food for People program, as well as eye clinics in India, sponsorship of some of Prem Rawat's international events, and the provision of aid for people suffering from disasters, such as the recent hurricane in the Bahamas.

How to donate to TPRF

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2019
Home Is Where the Heart Is

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When I was a small boy, I used to look up at the sky a lot, sigh, and think one basic thought: "I want to go home."

Though my parents tried their best to love me (allowance! grilled cheese! dog!), I was sure I came from someplace else. I felt like an orphan. It wasn't that I was unhappy. I wasn't. I just felt displaced -- certain that my real home was very faraway.

As I grew up and translated my boyish sky-prayers into a more classical spiritual quest, I began to notice a pattern in the books I was reading. Beyond the jargon and the all too common habit of implying that their way was the only way, a central theme was emerging -- the home I was looking for was within me.

My seemingly unquenchable thirst to have the experience of arriving was not going to be a matter of traveling to exotic places worthy of my pilgrimage. It was going to be a matter of turning within. But how? How does a person turn within?

Well, that's what Prem Rawat's work is all about. In a very simple way, he has a knack for helping people enjoy what they already have -- the experience of their true home. Yes, home is where the heart is, but where is the heart?

Photo: Courtesy of Timeless Today

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2019
WAFA: Water Air Food Awards

If you haven't heard of WAFA yet (Water Air Food Awards), here's your introduction. Based in Denmark, WAFA is a global volunteer organization that recognizes our world's silent heroes -- people making a difference in their communities with low cost, high impact, environmentally friendly innovations and initiatives. Prem Rawat is one of WAFA's four patrons.

WAFA's vision and mission
WAFA's patrons
A sampling of WAFA success stories
How to volunteer
WAFA's new 2020 Youth Climate Award

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2019
ANTHEMS ON THE RISE TAKES OFF

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Dominos delivers pizzas (547 million per year). FedEX delivers packages (3 billion per year). And Anthems on the Rise delivers custom songs (one, so far, this year).

One? Just one? Yes. But what a one it is -- One Lit Candle (Song for Greta) -- now featured on WAFA's (Water, Food, Air Awards) website in the Youth Climate Awards category.

Hoffman and Edwards' compelling anthem (with gorgeous vocals by Stephen Rivera) has found, in WAFA, the perfect partner to get its message out to the world. Indeed, both WAFA and Anthems on the Rise are kindred spirits, committed, as they are, to shining a bright light on the very best of what it means to be a conscious, caring, creative human being.

WAFA makes it possible for the environment's silent heroes to have a voice and Anthems on the Rise helps make that voice come alive.

If you are inclined to help WAFA accomplish its ambitious planet-saving goals, click here. If your organization would benefit from having its own inspired anthem, click here.

And if you don't feel like clicking on either of the above links, click here for some memorable quotes on possibility -- something which WAFA and Anthems on the Rise, thank God, are both wide open to.

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Illustration: gapingvoid.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2019
The Greatest Truth of All

Excerpts from one of Prem Rawat's books from 2013. Music: Stuart Hoffman.

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2019
It's Not That Difficult a Question

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Prem Rawat has been speaking to people, all over the world, about peace, for the past 53 years or so. He is always in great demand and his audiences, in India, have sometimes been as large as 300,000. So, when I found out, in 2010, that he was coming to my little town of Woodstock, NY, I was quite surprised -- especially since the biggest venue in town, the Bearsville Theater, had a capacity of only 350. No matter. His is not a numbers game. He goes where the love is and there was a lot of love in Woodstock drawing him there.

A few days before he arrived, I received a phone call from a woman whose role it was to select the MC and the backstage security person for the event. Since I had MC'd some of his events before, she thought it might be a good idea if I was available to MC the Woodstock event, but she told me she was also going to ask another person, Joan Apter, to be available, and then, on the day of the event, she would make her decision. The person, she explained, who was not chosen to MC would do back stage security. Our responsibility, she went on to say, was simply to show up at the hall an hour early and then, at that time, she would tell us who was going to MC and who would do back stage security.

But I already knew the answer.

Continue reading "It's Not That Difficult a Question"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

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