The Heart of the Matter
February 17, 2019
The Glass of Water

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I first heard the following story many years ago from Prem Rawat. I loved it then and I love it now, as it brings me back to a simple place of appreciation for life

What follows is my retelling of this tale. If I have messed it up in any way, please forgive me. It won't be the first time. If you enjoy it and would like to know more about my teacher and his message, click here or here or here. If you don't feel like clicking, no problem -- just savor whatever this story evokes in you.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a young disciple of a great Master who found himself wrestling with a very difficult question -- one that would not go away no matter how much he contemplated it. Though he had asked all the senior monks in the monastery that had been his home for the past 20 years, no one had an answer that rang true to him. And so, one fine Spring day, gathering up all of his courage, he decided to approach the Master himself.

Continue reading "The Glass of Water"

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February 14, 2019
With Love, on Valentine's Day

Don't know what to get your loved one for Valentine's Day? Looking for something a little different? How about the above slide show video -- 26 inspiring quotes on love set to some beautiful music?

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February 13, 2019
What Is Wisdom? Who Is Wise?

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All people, at sometime in their lives, aspire to be wise. But what is wisdom, really? I don't know. But here's what some sages, throughout the years, have said about it. Food for thought and beyond thought for you to contemplate.

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle

"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling." - Carl Jung

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought." - Basho

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." - Shakespeare

"All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience." - Goethe

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." - Isaac Asimov

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand." - Albert Einstein

"The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them." - Paulho Coelho

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom." - Lao Tzu

"The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms." - Socrates

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." - Jimi Hendrix

"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise." - Maya Angelou

"Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Gandhi

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." - Socrates

"This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond." - Rumi

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." - Albert Einstein

"A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise." - Buddha

"There is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart." - Charles Dickens

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." - Marcel Proust

"Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two, my life moves." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children." - Kahlil Gibran

"Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only the sayings of the wise will remain." - Kabir

"I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have." - Plato

"Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeates all things." - Heraclitus

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody." - Benjamin Franklin

"To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once Upon a Timelessness

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February 12, 2019
When I Grow Up...

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TimelessToday
Illustration: gapingvoid

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February 10, 2019
The Old Yogi in the Forest

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Once upon a timelessness there lived a great yogi, alone, deep in the forest of a faraway land. How long he had lived there, no one knew, not even him, living in the moment as he was.

The forest was his home, his sanctuary, his favorite place in all the world. Following nothing and no one, only his breath, he was free -- totally free. Like the birds overhead. Like the moss underfoot. Like the trees.

One day, after an especially long meditation, the Yogi opened his eyes and saw what seemed to be three people sitting before him.

"Oh Master," the eldest spoke, "we've been searching for you for many years and now we have found you. Praise God! Won't you teach us what you know?

Continue reading "The Old Yogi in the Forest"

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February 09, 2019
Even in Your Darkest Hour

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February 07, 2019
The Students of Prem Rawat Speak

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Six years ago, I posted the following question on Facebook: "If you are a student of Prem Rawat, what would you say is the one thing you've heard him say, over the years, that has had the most impact on you?" What follows is a sampling of the responses I received:

Continue reading "The Students of Prem Rawat Speak"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:37 PM | Comments (2)

On Maintaining a Positive, Healthy Mindset

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Yesterday, I posted the above graphic on my Facebook page and asked people to share one way they stay in a positive, healthy mindset. Here are the replies:

Claudia Neuman Watts: "Practice having fun."

Mary Mcmanus: "No matter what happens, know that unless it's life threatening, ALL IS WELL."

Susan Armstrong: "Spend time paying attention to my inner resources."

Ranjini Rusch: "Clean up the mess."

Melissa Ward: "Laugh."

Paddy Noble: "Walk in the woods."

Linda Azato: "Listen to your heart. It's waiting for you."

Sarah Grace Powers: "Notice everything that is working in your life."

Janis Wilson: "See with the eyes of beauty the incredible gift it is to be alive on earth feeling peace."

Mary Foxen: "Keep the company of the Good in me."

Jos van Laar: Before you do ANYTHING, first tune your instrument PERFECTLY."

Sheila Lindsay: "Just be."

Jennifer Boire: "Get a good night's sleep. What a difference it makes."

Sandeep Agarwel: "Trust and have confidence in yourself."

Patty Lancaster: "Laugh."

Muriel Stockdale: "Express gratitude."

Robyn Botelho: "Focus on the good and positive, and water it, and it will grow more than the bad."

Lin D. Miller:
"Value each moment."

Sharon Jeffers: "BE in LOVE."

Joyce Gerber: "Turn my attention within inside myself. Center myself by going to my inner tuning fork."

Heike Schmeling: "Have a good laugh."

Priscilla Kelly: "Remain grateful."

James Hickey: "Remember the breath."

Venu Gopal: "Read Sri Nisargaddata's spiritual classic: I Am That."

Joan Ferlazzo: "Feed the good wolf."

Lisa Hart: "It's great to start the day laughing."

Lynne Ciccone: "Gratitude, baby."

How about YOU? How do you stay in a positive, healthy mindset?

More about this
Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2019
Peace Comes to Two Street Gangs in Ecuador

Wow. All I can say is wow. COMING SOON: An interview with Paul Murtha, the out-of-the-box gent who played such a vital role in helping The Bloods and Latin Kings of Ibarra find common ground, go beyond violence, and become contributing members of their communities.

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PremRawat.com

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February 05, 2019
An Interview with Stuart Hoffman

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The following is an interview with singer/songwriter/composer/ Stuart Hoffman, a long time friend of Heart of the Matter and all-around awesome human being. It is the first in a series of interviews with Heart of the Matter readers with something of value to say.

Why is music especially important these days?

Music has been called the universal language. THAT is a powerful statement. These days, we, as a human race, maybe more than ever, need to be united, not divided. Music, the universal language, has the power to unite us.

What do you love the most about composing and performing music?

Giving my heart a voice. Bringing forth what was invisible and making it visible, what was inaudible and making it audible. Having the awesome feeling of being a channel for an expression that wants to be expressed, a message that wants to be shared. Being beyond the state of duality that enslaves the creative impulse. To put into words, without words, but with music. Channeling the love in my heart into the hearts of others. When I'm singing, I often close my eyes and feel as if I'm in a huge arena, the Hollywood Bowl, for example. The feeling is so massive, so all encompassing, so benevolent, so grand, and so life reinforcing.

Continue reading "An Interview with Stuart Hoffman"

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January 31, 2019
THIRST

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There is something within each and everyone of us that is timeless, universal, and divine -- a call from the great Beyond that is paradoxically fully present at the same time.

Continue reading "THIRST"

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January 28, 2019
Amadeus in the House

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January 22, 2019
Joan Apter Needs Our Support

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Our good friend and all around awesome human being, Joan Apter, is reaching out to her community for support as she enters into the process of addressing one more health challenge that is upon her. Click here to read the full story and to consider contributing to her just-launched GoFundMe campaign. Thank you! Every little bit helps.

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January 15, 2019
The Long Walk Up the Hill

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Excerpts from 9/7/15
Excerpts from 9/8/15
Excerpts from 9/9/15
Excerpts from 9/10/15
Excerpts from 9/11/15

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January 10, 2019
When the Rain Begins

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Stuart Hoffman, Jennifer Edwards, and Stephen Rivera have joined their considerable forces to create an extraordinary anthem to love, hope, and possibility. Wow! When the Rain Begins is already a classic. Turn up the volume, turn off the news, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

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

January 09, 2019
THE FINGER SNAP, part 2

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A 4:20 excerpt from my forthcoming audiobook about a life-changing encounter I had with Prem Rawat a few years ago.

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Excerpted from this book

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January 02, 2019
Sushila Wood's Lifelong Journey of Learning Continues to Unfold

9951755_300x300.jpg ED NOTE: This just in from aspiring Waldorf educator, mother of three, and long-time student of Prem Rawat, Sushila Wood...

Herein I commence the new year tradition of letter writing, carrying a small flame of what once was our primary method of communication. It's 5-6 minute read.

How did I get here?

At age 11, I uncovered a deep need for a relationship with my inner self. A story I had listened to several dozen times suddenly took on another dimension and understanding my inner resources became my focus. A few years later I ran away from home and school. I remember the crisp beach-side autumn air and the ridiculousness of riding my bike wearing my favorite white linen baggy pants that kept getting caught in the chain. The stains never came out, but I appreciated what they represented for years after. I did something.

Continue reading "Sushila Wood's Lifelong Journey of Learning Continues to Unfold"

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January 01, 2019
Kathleen Cook Needs Our Support

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Kathleen Cook is in need of our support.

Please click here to learn more about her current health/life challenge as described on her GoFundMe page just launched by Joan Apter. No donation is too small.

This is chance for Kathleen's extended community to come together in her time of need and contribute some support. Thank you for your consideration. And here's to a happy healthy 2019 for all of us. May this coming year bring you as much love, peace, health, happiness, compassion, commitment, and gratitude as possible.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2018
THE LETTER

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When asked to explain his highly abstract Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein made it comprehensible in just two sentences. "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute," he said, "and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

I can relate. And though I like to think of myself as someone who understands Einstein's perspective, I realized, 14 years ago, that I haven't got a clue.

The year was 2005 and I was in India where I was living for three weeks at the ashram of my long-time teacher and favorite-person-in-the-whole-world, Prem Rawat. My mission? To learn how to coach people from North America who were in the process of being trained to facilitate Prem's Knowledge sessions.

Continue reading "THE LETTER"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2018
Who Can I Share My Joy With?

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Photograph: unsplash-logoNathan Dumlao

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