Introducing Mari Perron, the Center for A Course of Love’s Board Members, and ACOL Community Resources.
Being the first receiver of A Course of Love has been a humbling experience. Something happens as we receive A Course of Love. At first, whatever it is that happens can be very confusing. All I knew was that I’d been profoundly changed. This is why, when I began to meet others who were as affected by this Course as I had been, it became such a bonding experience. It was rather like groping in the dark – but at least we were doing it together. Something was different, something was new, something that felt like the answer to an essential yearning had occurred, and yet, since it defied classification or mental understanding, it felt very odd. That this was what was meant to happen eventually became clear, and that was relieving, but not an ending point.
New doors are always opening. There is no end point called “accomplishment” because living wholeheartedly and newly and truly is the continual accomplishment that we begin to share and cherish.
Alongside the many companions who have accompanied me, I noticed how life was slowly righting itself, as if it had been off-kilter for a long while in a way that had gone unnoticed and yet could be felt. Slowly, we observed that various aspects of living that had been divided from each other were being brought together. There was a unification going on and it was resting under the canopy of a new way of knowing. Life was beginning to take on a less divided and a more seamless nature. All was being held together within the embrace of love . . . us too. “I am” was becoming “we are.”
This is why this Center is devoted to “us.” What we can’t be alone we can be together.
Board Members: Mari Perron
In the years since I completed the receiving of A Course of Love, I’ve continuously sought for ways to express the inexpressible. What I’ve found most consistently is that what is truly felt needs expression to, as my friend and ACOL reader Michael Mark says, “meet itself in the world.” This expression includes the full range of what is felt, from the pain of separation, to the joy of union, to all the in between states that are experienced as we become who we truly are. I am most moved to share and encourage feeling states of being, creativity, and passionate engagements with all that joins our humanity and divinity in a united voice for love.
The “new way of knowing” that is suggested in A Course of Love, combined with its call to be who we are, is what I find most radical and compelling. The two are intricately tied together, making the sharing of experiences a crucial element in the way we come to know what we know, come to be who we are now, and come to partake in the mystery that is creation of the new. As pioneers of the new I understand that a dismantling of “life as it is” often happens. I have experienced this firsthand and desire to support a feeling of connection through the acceptance of all the stages of unlearning, healing, and movement to new life.
What most excites me is the application of ACOL in everyday life. This is my passion. You might say this is my expression of ACOL. Living it myself, and demonstrating with/for others how they too can live ACOL right now. For me it’s not about the shimmering, peaceful moments—the high points with the truths of ACOL. It’s about bringing the beauty and purity and truth of ACOL into the dirt of everyday life. Going right to the rough and tumble of where people are, and where ACOL is most needed. Where ACOL can bring hope and transform most powerfully in real time. How to invite and include this expression, these experiences, is the challenge I’m hanging out with.
ACOL has proven to be the foundational cornerstone needed to distill, synthesize, and make sense of over forty years as a software engineer, systems thinker, and consultant; living in four vastly different countries. ACOL unifies all of my life experiences, and carries me forward, eagerly anticipating our co-creation of the new!
I understood since the onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome nearly 25 years ago, that my “identity” as I had previously “known” and experienced myself, was about to be changed forever. Feeling lost and without a guide, A Course of Love (ACOL) came to me at just the right time. ACOL cannot be read; it must be absorbed, in a similar way that oven cleaner “works” inside your stove when left overnight. Slowly, the alchemy melts away all that is of fear and leaves only what is essential; the memory and experience of Love. ACOL is for anyone experiencing an “identity crisis” and seeking guidance and certainty in these times.
Christie Lord is a Spiritual Director and Myers Briggs consultant, and was a member of the first Course of Love group.
Mary and Mari
I am moved by the simplest aspects of life which I consider to be the most profound. This embodies how we communicate, even with words unspoken. This is how the human condition moves within me.
I have seen time and time again, how all connection is really a form of communication. I am forever altered by this realization. My life experience with the loss of a child illuminated this kind of beauty.
Mary Love writes (see her contribution to The Grace Trilogy https://acourseoflove.org/maris-other-books/) and has done video for the past 20 years focusing on healing, connection and the beauty of remembrance in life. Mary has a keen interest in communication after death.
Or by writing to:
The Center for A Course of Love
P.O. Box 18744
St. Paul, MN 55118-0744
Part of the mission of this Board is to create a receptive atmosphere for A Course of Love and for the many invaluable expressions of the ACOL community. Two of the premier places for this expression are the ACOL website at www.acourseoflove.org and the ACOL Facebook Group.
A Course of Love’s Website
For those new to A Course of Love, the ACOL website is a fantastic resource, full of both practical information on how to buy (or freely sample) the book, a weekly post from Mari, a steadily updated map of groups that are gathering, events, links to videos and blogs from those sharing ACOL, as well as articles, reviews, and information on Take Heart Publications.
A Course of Love’s Facebook Group
Very few of us participating in this group have before seen such groups as having the ability to share the depth that this group does. It is not a place where people toss quotes about but one where experiences, feelings, and insights are freely shared and where loving response is given. True feelings of companionship in union and relationship have arisen. You are lovingly invited to join ACOL Facebook Group.
The Essence of the ACOL USA FaceBook Group, by Christina Strutt
This brief piece is a distillation of my experience being present – both as a participant and as a moderator – in loving relationship with all the members of the ACOL USA FaceBook Group. The group is now over 400 in number, hailing from all over the world. Each member is participating in their own unique way, whether posting or not posting, visible or invisible, sharing a few words or many paragraphs. And each member is very much present, in relationship with all others, sharing and joining in love, all of the time. As ACOL describes so beautifully –
“All relationship is relationship with God Who Is Love. We, all of us together, are the heartbeat of the world (C30.10,13). Because we are one heart, one mind, one Self, we can only know our selves through sharing in unity and relationship. (D:Day 11.12).
Join with others who are experiencing the expanding awareness of the time of Christ, and you will begin to see the evidence that things are different now. Join with others who are coming to know through the state of unity, and the evidence to the contrary will be overwhelming. You will begin to truly understand that you are not alone and separate, and that even the coming to know of the state of unity is a shared coming to know, a coming to know in relationship.” (D:13.8)
ACOL USA chronicles a daily unfolding of lives receiving and living the message of ACOL.
Everyone present – posting or not – and everything that is happening here, is perfect.
All are here with loving intention, joining heart-to-heart. We are one Whole Heart.
ACOL USA is a web of relationships, strengthened by wholehearted sharing.
Mari sits like a fat juicy spider at the center of this web, welcoming all.
ACOL USA Group members gather in dialogue, strengthening union and relationship with all.
Resting in true dialogue, we practice listening deeply and appreciating wholeheartedly.
We suspend our judgments, our assumptions, and knowing the right answer beyond our own.
Our dialogue welcomes all posts sharing personal experiences living ACOL.
Experiences shared as they are unfolding in our lives – the more current and present the better.
Experiences of non-ACOL words and how they evoke and echo ACOL’s message to us.
Questions, wonderings, challenges, sorrows, joys and triumphs as we live deeply into ACOL.
The ACOL USA dialogue builds understanding, appreciation, and deeply shared meaning.
We are weaving the threads of our unique and varied experiences into a meaningful whole.
The ACOL USA dialogue is inviting members to turn inwards, to listen first, then respond.
There is no teaching in the dialogue, there is nothing to correct, nothing to fear.
There is no conflict. Only distinct experiences. Uniquely expressed. And uniquely received.
Disagreements are an invitation to remain open, spacious and inclusive.
Building meaning, relationship and joining – inviting members back into this embrace.
Members participate as and when they feel prompted. There are no requirements.
Everything that happens on ACOL USA is in loving service of our collective heart.
Moderators are members of the ACOL USA web. There is no hierarchy.
Moderators, living deeply into ACOL, are in service to all members.
All members of ACOL USA are moderators in truth, as all are in service to each other.
Moderators demonstrate loving dialogue and responsiveness by example.
Moderating is rarely needed in a ‘policing’ sense of removing posts, blocking, reprimanding.
Response to a complaint is an invitation to first look inwards, then respond from the heart.
Response to a non-ACOL related post is an invitation to share the relationship the member feels.
And so we keep on keeping on, being with each other and sharing ourselves wholeheartedly –
“Allow yourself, now, to experience your arrival, your return to your true home, your return to your Self. Laugh. Cry. Shout or wail. Dance and sing. Spin a new web. The web of freedom. In other words express your Self. You who do not feel confident in your feelings, who do not feel confident in your ability to respond, who do not as yet feel the freedom of the new, allow yourself now, to do so. Allow freedom to reign, for it is your allowance, your choice, your permission, that will make it so. The only one who can stop you now is yourself. The only permission you ever needed was your own. We will practice here to build your confidence, a confidence sorely lacking. What confidence is it of which we speak? The confidence to be yourself.” – D:Day9.2-5
Ever wondered where you read that one amazing quote you can’t get out of your head but can’t find?
Plus a referencing guide for the earlier (blue book) editions
Early users have been particularly captivated by the Search Facility which allows the finding of phrases as well as single words. If you want to find the “the well of spirit” you can now find each of the seven instances in which this phrase is used, see the context in which the words rest, and even click to read the paragraph and those before and after it.
Your heart is the well of spirit from which true answers are drawn. Your heart is a full well, a wellspring from which you can continually draw with no danger of every drawing an empty bucket. You need never thirst again when you have accepted this. D:11.10
The broad purpose of this Center (a 501(c) 3 nonprofit) is to increase awareness of the transforming message of A Course of Love and to support, encourage, and reflect what it means to live this message deeply in each moment of everyday life.