A Portal to Wholehearted Living
By Elliott Robertson
A few years ago I began a practice of communicating with my heart. I open my notebook to a fresh page and ask my heart an open-ended question, inviting my heart to give counsel. I may write something like, “My dear heart, what do you have to share with me today? What would you have me know?”
Then I listen and write down whatever my heart shares with me.
(Ah, I left out one step. Before beginning the conversation with a question, I take half a minute to prepare the way by settling my mind. To do this, I write a sentence or two about any thoughts or distractions that may be present. “What a wonderful dinner party at my friend’s house last night,” or “I wish my brother wouldn’t worry about me so much.”)
My heart sometimes surprises me with wisdom I might not have thought of “on my own.” And I suspect it always gives me the insights for which I’m ripe.
I hold as sacred my heart’s letters to me, so I will not share any of them here. I can, however, share a poem inspired by the words of my heart.
What took me by surprise
when I listened to my heart
was the simple fact that only Truth is true.
Scripts, make up, costumes, props:
these things deluded me
until I heard my heart say,
“You are gold – not rags, not dust,
not thorns contorted by the wind.”
What took me by surprise
was the reign of Truth within my heart –
unstoppable – beyond all names and measures.
Once I felt my heart embrace the valleys,
hills, flowers, and trees,
the water, deserts, day and night,
I saw the deepest hidden Self,
dancing, gladly dancing –
celebrating holy peace and light.
I share this practice with you, my fellow Embrace Newsletter readers, because it is synergistic with dialoguing with Jesus and the cosmos. We are reminded in the Course that “. . . the thoughts that arise from unity are not the same as the thoughts that arise from the thought system of the separated self.” D:12.9
This practice – asking the heart to share something in an open-ended way and then listening and recording the heart’s voice – opens the door from “thinking” to “thoughts,” to use a distinction made in the same chapter.
The video Laurel Elstrom created for the Helpful Resources page of the ACOL website, https://acourseoflove.org/helpful-resources/, reminds us of the opportunity we are given each day to move beyond the mental world and to embody the principles from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. You are invited to add this practice to your repertoire, or to try it on for size if you wish.
Elliott Robertson lives in Philadelphia, PA. His most recent book of poems, Taken By Surprise, is available from the Kindle Store at Amazon. Searching the Kindle Store under the author’s name works best.
Watch Mari Perron’s Interview on
Buddha at the Gas Pump – Batgap.com
NEW! A Course of Love:
By Celia Hales – 48 pages, $3.95
The First Translation of ACOL:
Un Cours d’Amour
Yes, ACOL is now available in FRENCH! It is the first of many translations. Contact Le Dauphin Blanc for more information.
Now—24 FREE Chapters
You and your friends can now download and read 24 chapters of ACOL—a selection from the entire book, designed to give a good taste of what it offers.
Thank You Very Much
By Michael Mark
The simplest awareness is like this: an ocean.
Rhythm, or Wind.
Light, translucence, and the empty sky.
You and I, arising.
This is all that has ever been.
Hidden from view, a moon is cracked open—
its yolk plopped into the ferment.
of the sensation
that something Happened,
and it stuck,
and now we need to find out what It was.
It is the locally embodied
that a real ocean
is based on reasons.
Might I suggest you give up thinking
you might just be
the kind of person who knows one?
Only ghosts traffic in supposition and conjectures.
The simplest awareness is like this:
a cup of tea.
we breathe one another in and out
like every breed of sky,
each the other’s psychedelic—
and it is so blankety-blank blankin’ Good
we’ll be doing this forever
thank you very much
with your reasons.
Michael Mark writes in his blog, Embracing Forever: Explorations in Authenticity.
It was a pleasure to have spent the weekend with Elliott and the other members of A Course of Love in the Chestnut Hill section of Phiuladelphia. I hope to make another connection sooner rather than later.
Michael J, Chestnut Hill reader
I very much enjoyed this newsletter. Thank you! I have shared it with others as well.
Almost simultaneously with the this newsletter I also received this message about thoughts as well as feelings, and how to go handle them:
“You can only change yourselves, but when you do the whole world changes!”
In case it would be helpful, I recommend reading what John of the Cross -author of among other books Dark Night of the Soul- wrote about the distinction between one’s own thoughts, having thoughts that are not one’s own, and hearing inner and even outer voices which are not one’s own either. He dedicates chapters 18 to 32 to this issue in Book II of Ascent of Mount Carmel. Although all within the frame of what is and what is not helpful for union with God.