Storytelling at Work
September 27, 2022
I BURN FOR YOU: A Stellar New EP by Fuzzbee Morse

a0881363933_16.jpg

Good people of planet Earth, it is my great pleasure to inform you that the very magnificent, masterful, fun-loving, creative, multi-instrumentalist and man-about-town, Jonathan "Fuzzbee" Morse, has just released a wonderful new four-song EP, I Burn For You.

If you already know Fuzzbee's music, you are in for a treat. If you don't know Fuzzbee's music, here is your introduction to a man who, at 16, was jamming with Frank Zappa, and has gone on to play with such other musical greats as Bono, Sting, Lou Reed, Aaron Neville, Jaco Pastorius, Third World, Karla Bonoff, Richie Havens, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ric Ocasek, Axl Rose, Chambers Brothers, Greg Hawkes, Ben Orr, Pink, Dave Grohl, The Soul Survivors, Daniel Lanois, Donovan, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Derek Trucks, Julian Lennon, Rufus Wainwright, John Sebastian, David Sancious, Jesse Colin Young, Freebo, Natalie Cole, Lee Sklar, Nick Mason, and Russ Kunkel.

And that's just a sampling, folks.

What follows are excerpts from the liner notes of Fuzzbee's EP booklet. After that? Fuzzbee's answers to my questions.

PS: The best way to read the rest of this post is to listen to "I Burn for You" at the same time.

1. "I Burn for You"

a0473570711_16.jpg

I got to know Sting in 1986, when we were both on the Conspiracy of Hope tour and became a doubles team (undefeated!) on the tennis court. Whenever we've seen each other since then, there's always been a warm, mischievous vibe.

A little while back, Sting put out the word he wanted to hear some different takes on his songs. That intrigued me, and this song is one that I've always loved: I Burn For You.

Sting's band at the time I got to know him was the band that worked this up, including my friends, Janice Pendarvis, DoLette MacDonald, Darryl Jones, the great Kenny Kirkland, Omar Hakim (who went nuts on the original) and Branford Marsalis.

I cooked this up and got it to Sting in London on a Saturday night. By the time I woke up on Sunday, there was a message from him letting "mr. fuzzbee" know how he appreciated my Burn and that he now wanted to play it more again, himself.

So, here ya go. Alto flutes, bass, guitars, keyboards & things you hit. Enjoy!

2. "Warmth Of The Sun/Sleep Walk"

Double Rainbow 11-7.jpg

This is as close as I come to Christmas music! I've always adored both of these songs and thought there might be a way to musically tie them together with the guitar & harmonies. I could've added several other resonant songs to this mashup, but felt it better to contain it to these two gems and find the ways that they could cross.

Brian Wilson's chord changes always killed me, so consider this a little thank you and homage to Mr. Wilson. May 2022 - 2023 be far better for all of us!

3. "Anybody Like You"

Paul .jpeg

In my inexplicable & thoroughly wacky life, I've had many unexpected friends, mentors and colleagues, and Paul Allen was easily one of the most impactful.

As opaque and removed as he could be to many, we had a warm, funny and meaningful friendship for many years. We connected on a deep lifelong love of Jimi Hendrix and became jamming buddies and friends from our first meeting, playing 'til 4 in the morning on his birthday in January of 2006.

His Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship the next day, as I pointed to him on the TV and told Julie, "that's the guy I was jamming with last night!"

He was the ultimate wildcard. A truly brilliant man, whose head was immersed in finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems like climate change, ocean health, curing Alzheimer's and figuring out how to properly pull off Little Wing.

I'll consider him one of the greatest human beings I've ever encountered 'til I check out of this madhouse. And a treasured friend. We had so much fun together. From that first moment, on his birthday.

With great love and appreciation to Paul G. Allen.

4. "As Long as the Wind Blows"

Da Boyz - Version 3.jpg

Written with abiding love & respect for George Harrison, with embedded Beatles tributes by Tony Levin, who played with John & Ringo and Jerry Marotta, who played with Paul McCartney. The Beatles made me want to play, write & perform when I was a little kid. Oh yeah, and get chased by screaming girls.

George was so profoundly an essential part of the depth & timelessness of the Beatles, along with John, Paul & Ringo. His contribution is immeasurable. With much love to PR.


EXCERPTS FROM MY INTERVIEW with FUZZBEE

1. What inspired you to produce/create/release this EP at this time?

I'd already decided to release my reinvention of a song of Sting's and, rather than just selling one song, it seemed natural to combine it with other unreleased pieces from the last couple of Years of the Plague.

2. Is there some kind of theme or thread that connects all four songs?

They were all triggered by different events & people, but the underlying theme may be irreplaceable people and appreciations of the richness of life.

Daya .jpeg

3. How did COVID 19 and the closing all all musical venues affect you? What did you learn from that experience?

All musical work stopped completely for a while. No studios open, no live music, very little income from my field. I ended up re-doing my studio and started to work remotely from my place, but it was a pretty brutal stretch. I learned how hungry people are, including me, for live music and live interaction.

4. Some people say that music is the universal language. Is it? And if so, what is it trying to say to all of us?

Yes, it's the closest thing to a universal language, with all of its varying flavors from different cultures, eras and styles. Great music can be enjoyed by anyone from any part of the world.

5. Who are your biggest musical influences?

Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Motown, Joni Mitchell, Philly Soul (especially Thom Bell's songs), Bernard Herrmann and all the great Bluesmen: Albert King, Robert Johnson, BB King, etc.

6. When did you know that music was what you were here to do?

Probably about eight or nine.

7. What are three (as yet) unfulfilled dreams of yours?

-- To have enough money not to waste time worrying about it.
-- To have a house in a healthy area with a full recording studio in it.
-- To play a piece at the Grammys that absolutely brings the house down. Or even one timeless solo.

8. Why would you like people to buy your EP?

To enjoy the music, further their own inspiration and help feed my chihuahua.

9. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Boiinnnngggg!

Mickey Fuzzjpeg.jpeg
10. What was it like to meet Mickey Mantle as a young boy?

Absolute nirvana.

11. Complete these sentences:

"The best thing about jamming with Frank Zappa at 16 was... the look on his face. (Playing the best I'd ever played in my life didn't hurt)."

"If I had $250,000 in the bank I would be... most grateful."

"My favorite line from a Bob Dylan song is... "he not busy being born is busy dying."

"In the next ten years I would like to... achieve having a comfortable life making my own music and spend lots of quality time with friends."

"Though money can't buy happiness, it can... keep the hellhounds at bay."

"If I met Buddha on the road, I would... ask him about his favorite restaurants."

"The most extraordinary musician i ever met was... Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa (tied)."

"One of the great things about playing music at Canter's Deli in LA is... that it's usually unplanned and great surprises occur. Having a weekly residency in a big city allows for plenty of experimentation and regular attendees."

"The thing baseball and music most have in common is.. breathing room and hits."

Fuzzbee's "I Burn for You" on Bandcamp
Fuzzbee's website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:44 PM | Comments (1)

September 12, 2022
ON THE WAY BACK FROM AMAROO: Knowledge in Action

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Here is the beginning of a real life "Knowledge in Action" story about my mythic journey back home from Amaroo -- beginning with the curious phenomenon of my first leg of the return flight from Brisbane to Sydney NOT EXISTING! There was no Qantas flight 503 and my phone didn't work and there were no Qantas employees on duty (it being 2:29 am) and there was no obvious way to get any assistance.

But that was just the Fellini appetizer.

The LA to Newark flight sat on the runway for two hours. Then we "deplaned" -- waiting for another, much older, plane to be cleaned and "catered." The caterers, apparently, onboarded enough peanuts, but they forgot the air!

Continue reading "ON THE WAY BACK FROM AMAROO: Knowledge in Action"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2022
The Release of "Love Today"

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Six years ago, I had a rare opportunity to meet with Prem Rawat for an hour each day over the course of four days to talk about his photography. The goal? To learn about his fascination and approach to the art so I could write about his photography for his website, RawatCreations.com.

What was my experience during those four days? Like nothing I had ever experienced before.

After the second day of meeting with him, his secretary called to tell me that tomorrow would be a day off -- which I was very glad to have, needing as I was, some time to process everything we had talked about the previous two days and to more deeply get in touch with the feeling that was bubbling up inside of me.

Continue reading "The Release of "Love Today""

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2022
The Miraculous Border Crossing

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What follows is a chapter of a memoir-in-process by Joan Apter about her four-year overland-to-India adventure: 1967 to 1971 -- one that led her to the home of Prem Rawat (known as "Maharaji" at that time) when he was only 12 years old.

It was late in 1969. I was 21-years old and my bus from Pakistan to India was approaching the border.

I had left America in 1967 without a plan, feeling that it was time for me to bail from the chaos and darkness of the Vietnam war, the violent race riots and the assassination of my generation's heroes. Many of my friends were already fleeing to Canada.

Simply put, I was looking for a place to settle that made more sense, having already "turned on, tuned in and dropped out," quitting college after my second year.

So, with the little bit of money I had earned at my summer job, I said goodbye to my family, promised to be back soon, and boarded my Air Icelandic flight to Luxembourg. Thus began what was to become my four-year sojourn overland to India.

Continue reading "The Miraculous Border Crossing"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2022
Getting Ready to Cross Over

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This is my friend, Warren Bernhardt. I saw him early this evening in his room, on his death bed. Warren is getting ready to move on after 83 years on planet Earth. As usual, I brought him a chocolate milkshake, even though a few days ago he decided not to drink anything anymore, just as he had decided not to eat anything anymore. But the last time I visited him, he asked if i would bring him a milkshake and so I did.

Before I visited today, I spoke with his beautiful daughter, Nicole, and we talked about whether or not I should actually give him the milkshake, wanting to honor his new commitment not to drink anything anymore. Nicole suggested I put it in the refrigerator and just visit him, but if he asked for the milkshake (choice, always choice!), then I would bring it to him. Four seconds after walking into his room, Warren asked me if I had brought the milkshake, so I fetched it from the kitchen, held it for him and bent the straw in his direction, so he could sip. But try as he might, he could not get anything from the straw. So, I pulled the straw out and sucked the bottom of it, clogged as it was, with a chunk of vanilla ice cream. It tasted very good.

Warren laughed. And then it was his turn. He took four sips and then asked me to put it back in the refrigerator, which I did.

Continue reading "Getting Ready to Cross Over"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:47 AM | Comments (1)

July 31, 2022
I BURN FOR YOU: A Stellar New EP by Fuzzbee Morse

a0881363933_16.jpg

Good people of planet Earth, it is my great pleasure to inform you that the very magnificent, masterful, fun-loving, creative, multi-instrumentalist and man-about-town, Jonathan "Fuzzbee" Morse, has just released a wonderful new four-song EP, I Burn For You.

If you already know Fuzzbee's music, you are in for a treat. If you don't know Fuzzbee's music, here is your introduction to a man who, at 16, was jamming with Frank Zappa, and has gone on to play with such other musical greats as Bono, Lou Reed, Aaron Neville, Jaco Pastorius, Third World, Karla Bonoff, Richie Havens, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ric Ocasek, Axl Rose, Chambers Brothers, Greg Hawkes, Ben Orr, Pink, Dave Grohl, The Soul Survivors, Daniel Lanois, Donovan, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Derek Trucks, Julian Lennon, Rufus Wainwright, John Sebastian, David Sancious, Jesse Colin Young, Freebo, Natalie Cole, Lee Sklar, Nick Mason, and Russ Kunkel.

And that's just a sampling, folks.

What follows are excerpts from the liner notes of Fuzzbee's EP booklet. After that? Fuzzbee's answers to my questions.

PS: The best way to read the rest of this post is to listen to "I Burn for You" at the same time.

1. "I Burn for You"

a0473570711_16.jpg

I got to know Sting in 1986, when we were both on the Conspiracy of Hope tour and became a doubles team (undefeated!) on the tennis court. Whenever we've seen each other since then, there's always been a warm, mischievous vibe.

A little while back, Sting put out the word he wanted to hear some different takes on his songs. That intrigued me, and this song is one that I've always loved: I Burn For You.

Sting's band at the time I got to know him was the band that worked this up, including my friends, Janice Pendarvis, DoLette MacDonald, Darryl Jones, the great Kenny Kirkland, Omar Hakim (who went nuts on the original) and Branford Marsalis.

I cooked this up and got it to Sting in London on a Saturday night. By the time I woke up on Sunday, there was a message from him letting "mr. fuzzbee" know how he appreciated my Burn and that he now wanted to play it more again, himself.

So, here ya go. Alto flutes, bass, guitars, keyboards & things you hit. Enjoy!

2. "Warmth Of The Sun/Sleep Walk"

Double Rainbow 11-7.jpg

This is as close as I come to Christmas music! I've always adored both of these songs and thought there might be a way to musically tie them together with the guitar & harmonies. I could've added several other resonant songs to this mashup, but felt it better to contain it to these two gems and find the ways that they could cross.

Brian Wilson's chord changes always killed me, so consider this a little thank you and homage to Mr. Wilson. May 2022 - 2023 be far better for all of us!

3. "Anybody Like You"

Paul .jpeg

In my inexplicable & thoroughly wacky life, I've had many unexpected friends, mentors and colleagues, and Paul Allen was easily one of the most impactful.

As opaque and removed as he could be to many, we had a warm, funny and meaningful friendship for many years. We connected on a deep lifelong love of Jimi Hendrix and became jamming buddies and friends from our first meeting, playing 'til 4 in the morning on his birthday in January of 2006.

His Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship the next day, as I pointed to him on the TV and told Julie, "that's the guy I was jamming with last night!"

He was the ultimate wildcard. A truly brilliant man, whose head was immersed in finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems like climate change, ocean health, curing Alzheimer's and figuring out how to properly pull off Little Wing.

I'll consider him one of the greatest human beings I've ever encountered 'til I check out of this madhouse. And a treasured friend. We had so much fun together. From that first moment, on his birthday.

With great love and appreciation to Paul G. Allen.

4. "As Long as the Wind Blows"

Da Boyz - Version 3.jpg

Written with abiding love & respect for George Harrison, with embedded Beatles tributes by Tony Levin, who played with John & Ringo and Jerry Marotta, who played with Paul McCartney. The Beatles made me want to play, write & perform when I was a little kid. Oh yeah, and get chased by screaming girls.

George was so profoundly an essential part of the depth & timelessness of the Beatles, along with John, Paul & Ringo. His contribution is immeasurable. With much love to PR.


EXCERPTS FROM MY INTERVIEW with FUZZBEE

1. What inspired you to produce/create/release this EP at this time?

I'd already decided to release my reinvention of a song of Sting's and, rather than just selling one song, it seemed natural to combine it with other unreleased pieces from the last couple of Years of the Plague.

2. Is there some kind of theme or thread that connects all four songs?

They were all triggered by different events & people, but the underlying theme may be irreplaceable people and appreciations of the richness of life.

3. How did COVID 19 and the closing all all musical venues affect you? What did you learn from that experience?

All musical work stopped completely for a while. No studios open, no live music, very little income from my field. I ended up re-doing my studio and started to work remotely from my place, but it was a pretty brutal stretch. I learned how hungry people are, including me, for live music and live interaction.

4. Some people say that music is the universal language. Is it? And if so, what is it trying to say to all of us?

Yes, it's the closest thing to a universal language, with all of its varying flavors from different cultures, eras and styles. Great music can be enjoyed by anyone from any part of the world.

5. Who are your biggest musical influences?

Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Motown, Joni Mitchell, Philly Soul (especially Thom Bell's songs), Bernard Herrmann and all the great Bluesmen: Albert King, Robert Johnson, BB King, etc.

6. When did you know that music was what you were here to do?

Probably about eight or nine.

7. In what ways has Prem Rawat affected your relationship to music and who you are as a human being?

Daya .jpeg

Prem has taught me, carefully and over time, how to extract the most from as many moments as possible. In playing music for him over decades, you learn to balance the satisfying with the unexpected, the appropriate with the wild, the internal with the visceral.

Above all, you learn to serve the moment. Musically, your aim is to get the best out of that piece, at that moment, in that situation, for that audience.


8. What are three (as yet) unfulfilled dreams of yours?

-- To have enough money not to waste time worrying about it.
-- To have a house in a healthy area with a full recording studio in it.
-- To play a piece at the Grammys that absolutely brings the house down. Or even one timeless solo.

9. Why would you like people to buy your EP?

To enjoy the music, further their own inspiration and help feed my chihuahua.

10. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Boiinnnngggg!

Mickey Fuzzjpeg.jpeg
11. What was it like to meet Mickey Mantle as a young boy?

Absolute nirvana.

12. Complete these sentences:

"The best thing about jamming with Frank Zappa at 16 was... the look on his face. (Playing the best I'd ever played in my life didn't hurt)."

"If I had $250,000 in the bank I would be... most grateful."

"My favorite line from a Bob Dylan song is... "he not busy being born is busy dying."

"In the next ten years I would like to... achieve having a comfortable life making my own music and spend lots of quality time with friends."

"My most memorable moment with Prem Rawat was... too many to list just one, but many include a golden, beaming look directed at me or a shared belly laugh."

"Though money can't buy happiness, it can... keep the hellhounds at bay."

"If I met Buddha on the road, I would... ask him about his favorite restaurants."

"The most extraordinary musician i ever met was... Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa (tied)."

"One of the great things about playing music at Canter's Deli in LA is... that it's usually unplanned and great surprises occur. Having a weekly residency in a big city allows for plenty of experimentation and regular attendees."

"The thing baseball and music most have in common is.. breathing room and hits."

Fuzzbee's "I Burn for You" on Bandcamp
Fuzzbee's website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2022
The Chocolate Milk Shake

I have a friend who is in the process of dying. He is on his death bed and won't be leaving it until the men in black suits take him away. In terms of eternity, Warren is going just a few seconds before the rest of us. But it is his time now and one more wake up call for me -- someone who has been bedside to a dying father and a dying sister, knowing that one day it will be my turn.

Warren has chosen not to eat, but he is still drinking liquids. So last week I asked him what he wanted to drink and he told me in the beat of a heart -- a thick chocolate milk shake from Stuarts. Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Each time I visit Warren I bring him a milkshake, hold it for him, bend the straw in his direction and watch him drink. There is something about the moment of a dying man drinking a chocolate milk shake that floors me. Each sip Warren takes is a little bit of heaven, a return to childhood, a mainline moment into the here and now. I hold the straw and feel the coolness of the milkshake passing by my fingers as Warren feels the sweetness on his tongue.

I want to live my life in this milkshake moment. I want to savor each sip as I let the world go, feeling in my bones what is beyond it all, no matter what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future.

We are here for such a short while, a blink of the eye. Now you see it, now you don't. But while we do, we get a chance to enjoy each sip, the sweetness on our tongue and the love in our heart.

Keep savoring my friends. Enjoy it all while you can.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2022
The Awareness That This Will Become a Memory

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:56 PM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2022
Ending Violence with Chopsticks

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Once upon a time there was old man sitting at sushi bar in Japan, his back turned to the front door. Halfway through his meal, in walks three young thugs, with only one thing in mind -- to attack the old man from behind and steal his money. Quickly looking around the room, they knew this would be an easy day's pay for them, since the old man was the only person in restaurant. What they didn't know, however, was that the old man was actually a great Master of the martial arts -- a legend in self-defense who had been trained from an early age to sense danger from behind.

Continue reading "Ending Violence with Chopsticks"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2022
POLL RESULTS: What Kind of Stories People Want to Tell

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Social scientists tell us that 65% of all our conversations take the shape of stories. That got me thinking about what kind of stories human beings like to tell. So I posted an online poll to see what I could learn, asking people to rate the following storytelling themes on a scale of 1 - 5 for how interested they would be to tell a story, from their own life, about that topic. 49 respondents, so far. Here are the results:

4.30 -- A small moment that taught me something big
4.14 -- A transformational moment with a Teacher, Mentor, or Master
4.10 -- Discovering my true self
4.06 -- The power of love
4.04 -- Amazing synchronicity
3.97 -- Standing at the crossroads
3.95 -- Tapping into my inner strength
3.93 -- The most remarkable moment of my life
3.93 -- Accepting what is
3.86 -- Letting go
3.84 -- The sudden appearance of unexpected help
3.82 -- The power of trust
3.82 -- The power of forgiveness
3.78 -- What I learned from my biggest mistake
3.71 -- The power of intention
3.69 -- A childhood experience I will never forget
3.68 -- Going beyond fear
3.68 -- Taking a leap
3.65 -- Divine timing
3.63 -- Expressing myself fully
3.63 -- What I learned from someone very different than me
3.60 -- Removing the mask
3.56 -- Choosing
3.56 -- Ask and ye shall receive
3.53 -- A mysterious connection with a stranger
3.51 -- What I learned from a child
3.48 -- Perseverance furthers
3.47 -- An unforgettable moment with my father
3.45 -- Being guided by unseen forces
3.44 -- Against all odds
3.40 -- A single, word, glance, or gesture that changed my life
3.39 -- The best gift I ever received
3.37 -- Everything happens for the best
3.36 -- Asking for help
3.34 -- True tenderness
3.32 -- Starting all over again
3.28 -- An unforgettable moment with my mother
3.28 -- Being called. Following my muse.
3.28 -- The biggest surprise of my life
3.27 -- When time stopped
3.27 -- A remarkable premonition
3.22 -- A missed opportunity. A chance not taken.
3.22 -- Being alone
3.20 -- It's all a matter of perspective
3.18 -- My biggest victory
3.15 -- An unusual collaboration
3.14 -- A story I've never told anyone
3.08 -- There is always a resolution
3.06 -- My earliest memory
3.02 -- Putting down my heavy load
3.00 -- Facing my opponent
2.95 -- Being saved
2.93 -- The most incredible dream I ever had
2.93 -- A near death experience
2.82 -- The power of immersion
2.73 -- My most embarrassing moment
2.71 -- Making my mark
2.69 -- An angelic visitation
2.63 -- Contact with the other side
2.53 -- Honoring my incarnation
2.39 -- The agony of betrayal
2.36 -- A past life memory
2.28 -- A family secret
1.93 -- My first kiss

Respond to the poll here
What stories will you tell today?

A culture of storytelling
A simple way to identify the seeds of your own stories
Photo: Ali Arif Soydas, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2022
LISTEN UP: The Storytelling for the Revolution Podcast

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If you would like to learn more about my 2018 book, "Storytelling for the Revolution", and how storytelling can be a huge catalyst for innovation and the sharing of wisdom, you may want to listen to a guest podcast I did on Will Sherwin's Innovation Engine.

25 minutes worth.

"The world isn't made of atoms. The world is made of stories." -- Muriel Rukeyser

The book's website
Available on Amazon

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2022
The Wordless Sermon

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As the story goes, 2,500 years ago, Buddha gave a wordless sermon to his disciples. All he did was hold up a single white flower -- a lotus. That's it. No words. Just a flower. All his disciples were mystified, except, that is, Mahakasyapa, a young monk who immediately smiled, signifying the direct transmission of wisdom from Master to student -- a moment referred to in Buddhist literature as "tathagata", the ineffable nature of suchness.

Something within Mahakasyapa instantly understood the non-verbal essence of what Buddha was communicating. He got it in a flash. No thought was necessary, no analysis, no intellectualization. It was, as if, a veil had lifted and he got to experience something profound that was previously inaccessible to him.

Continue reading "The Wordless Sermon"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2022
When Your Last Story Is Told

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Let's assume for the moment that you are intrigued by the notion of telling your stories. So you begin thinking about your memorable moments of truth and begin writing them down -- at least the titles, that is. The more titles you write, the more stories you remember -- stories from your childhood, travels, work, relationships, quest for meaning, accidents, disappointments, visions, victories, breakthroughs, synchronicities, near death experiences, strange lights in the sky, and so on.

Let's say you top out at 85 titles. But let's take it one step further. Let's say you actually write your stories. But not only write them -- you tell them, too, until every story of yours has been told.

You could, of course, choose to tell your stories again to other people in other ways. You could choose to turn them into screenplays, novels, blog posts, songs, sitcoms, workbooks, iPhone apps, or webinars. But you don't. You feel complete, every story in you having been told.

So there you are with no more need tell a single story (not even the story of why you are no longer telling stories).

Like small puddles evaporating after a storm, your need to tell your stories has completely disappeared. Now there is only solid ground beneath your feet and a cloud floating by.

Your friends and fans, accustomed to your delightful story telling, are keenly disappointed, but you say nothing. You say nothing because you have nothing to say. You have no point to make. The words you would normally use to populate your tales have gone south for the winter. They are vacationing somewhere on a remote island, cocktail party chit chat for the night.

Your last story has been told.

Though you are fully awake and can see many things happening, you have no need to connect the dots, no need for a plot, characters, conflict, or resolution. Everything is what it is. You are what you are, breathing slowly, wanting nothing, enjoying the time before the first story was told.

You think of telling that story, but don't. You let it go. Like the milkweed floating by.

Or the leaf.

Excerpted from Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2022
Evelyne Pouget's Next Series of San Miguel Mosaic Workshops

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Hello and thank you for your interest in my upcoming glass mosaic workshops.

In May, June, and July, I will be teaching a series of 3-day workshops in San Miguel, focusing on small art pieces (i.e. mirrors, frames, small paintings, boxes or other objects).

We will meet around an enormous table on my shaded outdoor patio, with as much social distancing possible.

You will learn simple techniques to make very creative objects of art out of glass mosaic. No previous experience is necessary.

Continue reading "Evelyne Pouget's Next Series of San Miguel Mosaic Workshops"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2022
The Art and Soul of Scott Cronin

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CELL 1, 48x48, Sold

Scott Cronin began creating art at the age of 50. Self-taught and joyfully obsessed with communicating the intricate beauty of life that exists far beyond words, his work is mind-boggling, soulful, and deeply insightful -- almost as if he was looking through an electron microscope into another world. Scott doesn't only walk to the beat of a different drummer, the music that moves him seems to originate from another world -- one he is intimately familiar with and committed to decoding for the rest of us.

The 14 pieces featured below are just a small sampling of the 186 pieces Scott has created in the past 18 years. All of them are for sale, ranging in prices from $650 to $6,500. If you want to learn more about Scott's approach to art and how to buy his work, simply scroll to the bottom of this post for his responses to some of the questions he is most frequently asked.

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MILES AHEAD, 19x24, $650 print, $2,500 original

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LOOKING CLOSER, 19x24, $650 print, $2,500 original

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FACING THE MUSIC, 36x16, $2,400

Continue reading "The Art and Soul of Scott Cronin"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2022
The Art of Using Story as a Way to Communicate Big, Hairy Ideas

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A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar. The penguin orders a shot of Red Eye. The priest starts juggling three flaming chain saws. The newspaper reporter turns to the bartender, smiles and says: "I know there's a story here somewhere."

And yes, there is. There are stories everywhere. As the poet, Muriel Ruykeser once said, "The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories."

Almost everyone in business these days -- at least the people responsible for selling big, hairy ideas -- knows that the difference between success and failure often depends on what kind of story is told -- and how well. Content may be King. But it is Story that built the kingdom. Or as Steve Jobs once put it, "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller."

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2022
What I Learned From Listening to Ravel's Bolero for 14 Hours

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During the course of a lifetime a human being goes through many rites of passage. Birth, for example. First love. The death of a loved one and enduring a Republican primary debate. For me, one of the most memorable rites of passage happened in college during my "pledge weekend" -- the weekend I was initiated into a fraternity.

I realize, of course -- especially in these politically correct times -- that college fraternities are rarely associated with anything remotely smacking of insight, awareness, or transformation. But for me it most certainly was -- at least on the rite of passage night I was initiated into Pi Lambda Phi -- an experience now permanently etched into whatever remains of my mind.

The initiation? To sit blindfolded in a pitch black room, next to 21 of my sweating classmates, all of us holding 17 marbles in our left hands while listening to Ravel's Bolero for 14 hours.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2022
ANNOUNCING: Evelyne Pouget's San Miguel Mosaic Workshops

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Hello and thank you for your interest in my upcoming mosaic workshops.

I will be teaching a series of 3-day workshops in my garden, in April and May, focusing on different glass mosaic art pieces for each workshop. For the first workshop, we will be making framed mirrors.

We will meet around an enormous table on my shaded outdoor patio, with as much social distancing possible.

You will learn some simple techniques to make very creative and beautiful mirrors out of glass mosaic. No previous experience necessary.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2022
On Seeing Clearly

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Once there was a powerful, wise, and benevolent King who knew his time was coming to an end. Wanting to ensure that his Kingdom continued to thrive after his death, he called his three sons to his side.

"Blood of my blood," he began, "I know my loyal subjects are expecting me to pass my crown on to my first born -- and that is perfectly understandable, but I do not want my legacy ruled by assumptions and so I am inviting the three of you to enter into a contest to determine who the next King will be. I have designed the contest not to test your strength because I already know you are strong. Nor have I designed it to test your loyalty. I already know that, too. I have designed the contest to test your ability to see that which is not immediately apparent, since seeing clearly will be one of the most important skills you will need to rule wisely."

And with that he had his Grand Vizier escort the three boys down several long hallways and through a hidden doorway none of them had ever seen before.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2022
Harvest Moon

Songs are an incredibly powerful way to tell a story. Here is a great example from Neil Young. He says so much in just three minutes and it stays with you...

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

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ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
FAQ
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.
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