Expressions with Paula Payne Hardin and Joanna Jaya


I am overjoyed to offer the two reflections on the heart that are shared here: one through poetry and one through art. Joanna Jaya is the artist. Paula Payne Hardin is the poet. Their joining together expands my heart! ~ Mari



A few years ago, I felt the urge to write poems honoring some of what I have experienced during this human/Divine journey.  I am in my 83rd year and have been living with A Course Of Love since October 2014. This Course has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.

Paula Payne Hardin

Paula Payne Hardin



This painting was inspired by a walk along the beach at sunrise on New Year’s day. Everything was so so still, even the waves were quiet as the sun rose above the mist. It was one of those numinous moments where the veils between worlds seems to part for a moment.

And now we begin to see with the eyes of our heart. 

We are no longer looking out but looking in. All landscapes and horizons form within the embrace. C:20.8

Is not the embrace itself holy? Is not the sunrise and the
sunset? Is not the least of the birds of the air as holy as
the mighty eagle? The blade of grass, the fleck of sand, the
the wind and air, the ocean and her surf, all live by the
universal heartbeat and exist within the embrace. C:20.21

Joanna Jaya

Joanna Jaya


The following verses are chosen around the theme of Love (to partner with Jaya’s compelling heart painting) and excerpted from longer poems.


August 14, 2013

There were times I felt as though some great
Angel took tongs
And stretched my rib cage to the cracking
point to make room for—
The necessary enlargement of my heart.




March 9, 2014

I muse while writing this poem and am reassured
Immature though they often were
My attempts to love over the years are not lost
And my worried heart is consoled
Love can never be erased.

September 22, 2o14

Learning to love well is my soul’s deep desire
Inflated fear doesn’t serve that desire
But constricts my heart until
Fight or flight takes over.

It isn’t easy to turn our lives into a celebration
Gathering the wisdom hiding in our fears
But the harvest is a heart
Freed up to love.

June 7, 2013

I want all creation to know it is marvelous
Saturated in every cell and molecule
With imprisoned Splendor
I want every creature and tree and cloud to feel valued
Then and only then
When my name is called and death is near
Could my heart bear to leave this bizarre and spectacular planet.

June 12, 2013

So I offer my heart and hold out my hands
Because bottom line
Love is all there is
And the rest of the time I play
And blow kisses.

August 24, 2013

And I did it, I kept on keeping on
That is the one piece of advice I’d pass along to anyone seeking
Keep on keeping on.

And something miraculous
Which you slowly recognize, keeps you company
You don’t need to understand
No one needs to explain it more than this
But everything, everything, everything is sacred

Now we can recognize love, be love, and give love
And when grace helps us see some pollution in our loving
Love propels us to become more aware
And liberating clarity emerges.

What a journey
What a magnificent journey
I join with Nobel Prize winner Dag Hammarskjold
“To all that has been, thank you.
To all that will be, yes.”

This last poem “appeared” on my computer screen one morning in 2000. I do not remember writing it. Mystery. Gift. I had life threatening cancer at the time and the message I kept receiving was: “All there is is love.” Today I appreciate the message and the poem more than I could then.

…And beyond to the stars
And outer galaxies
The smallest grasshopper
Was not left out
Nor were my own flaws and failures.

Redemption rolled over all
Like some cosmic ocean
And everything sang love’s song
There was no you nor me
There was only the greatest WE

About our contributors


Paula authored the book “What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life? Choices in Midlife” (1992). This opened the door for her to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her next book was: “Love After Love: Stages of Loving” (1996). She mentored many children in her blended and extended family and has traveled extensively, hiking and trekking around the world. These commitments, she says, prodded her heart to expand— a necessary expansion.

JOANNA JAYA introduces herself

A Course of Love came to me when I desperately needed it. Its kindly voice and sweet message of heartsealove soothed my grieving heart and troubled mind.  My beloved husband had recently died and I was in a state of deep grief and did not know where to turn for solace. I had been revisiting A Course in Miracles via the internet when I stumbled upon a link to A Course of Love.  At once I was blown away by the direct and beautiful message of love speaking directly to my heart.  Mari Perron on YouTube talked about how she came to receive the words of Christ and I felt an instant connection to her beautiful presence and voice.

My spiritual journey has been a long and rocky road to travel at times. As a child I was always the outcast and found solace in my books and imaginary worlds.  As a teen during the late 60’s I started my search for answers through the drugs that offered the possibility of easy enlightenment.  This led on to discovering yoga and TM meditation and reading books like Be Here Now.  In my search for an alternative way of being I joined the Hare Krishna movement attracted by their philosophy of simple living in community with others and the promise of a direct connection with God through the Yoga of devotion.  I raised my two daughters in the community and dedicated my life to serving God.

After immersing myself in that life for over 10 years I realised that it was not working for me and that God felt far away from me still.

Many know me by the name Jaya; it is a name for the divine feminine and means victory. It is the name I was given during my Krishna days; I mostly go by the name Joanna nowadays.

In the following years I tried to make sense of everything and to find a way to life outside the spiritual bubble of community. My children left home, my first marriage ended and I had two bouts with cancer.  I moved away to Cornwall on the rugged Atlantic coast to try to heal my soul and find my true spiritual home. After a couple of years I moved across the country to be closer to my daughters and went to college to study art and design.  This was a good time, but I was still restless and searching for deep spiritual connection. I went to live in Glastonbury, a place that calls many spiritual seekers.  There I met a dear man who was a true soulmate who had shared some of my past experiences. We  quickly became a couple and we shared many happy loving times together until his time came to leave his body behind three years ago.

Now I live alone in a pleasant house close to the sea in a small town in Suffolk England.  I spend my days quietly, sometimes meeting my daughters and helping out with my grandchildren.  I love to tend the garden, to paint and sew and play with clay.  My great solace is my daily reading of ACOL. I am now on my sixth reading and each time is freshly new and wonderful.  I feel a close connection and a deeply loving connection to everyone in our Facebook group and love to join with them often.  I continue to be inspired by the beautiful imagery and poetic words in ACOL and am willing and hopeful that I will be able to express that through painting.  I am looking forward to joining with Paula and sharing our art and poetry.


Expressions with Ben Andriessen: Being the Bridge


Ben Andriessen

I am so pleased to welcome Ben Andriessen to the Expressions page. Ben first contacted me nearly four years ago. He told me the story he shares with you (below) of “finding” A Course of Love, and also shared this response to his first reading: “I have not been able to stop reading/studying it ever since. Some of it is rather challenging, almost goading my ego, while other sections are as clear as light and profoundlyMari Publicity5V helpful, revelatory almost. Thank you Jesus!” We have been communicating ever since and have witnessed the depth of our understanding growing as we’ve shared. This witnessing of our changed state is one of the many ways in which we support each other in discovering all of who we are. Ben’s poetic visage of ACOL is an enriching example of a new way of seeing, and one of the many reasons for this page dedicated to the sharing of our unique expressions of A Course of Love.  Welcome~

Mari Perron     


One of my favourite holiday activities is browsing in second-hand bookshops in search of surprises. It was in June 2012 when I found myself visiting the largest second-hand bookstore in Wigtown, Galloway, also known as Scotland’s book town. Prosaically called “The Bookshop,” it boasts having over one mile of shelving, supporting over 65,000 books. I made my way to the “spirituality” section which, disappointingly, was comprised of less than fifty volumes, one of which immediately caught my attention.

“A Course of Love” it said on its spine. What … !?

Having been a teacher/student of A Course in Miracles for 30 years, my instant reaction was: “How dare they!… a new Course?”  As I read the Table of Contents and leafed through the book, I got an immediate flavour of the power and authority of the words, very similar to my first encounter with A Course in Miracles, way back in 1983. Puzzled and curious, I bought it, having stayed only 5 minutes in that bookshop.

I wondered how a book, channeled from Jesus, became part of a second-hand bookshop’s inventory. Who would possibly discard it or sell it and why? Ah, the ways of Providence are mysterious indeed: A Course of Love (ACOL) became available in the UK in 2002 and took ten years to find me during a chance visit to a small town in Scotland. What a blessing it turned out to be!

One of the statements that grabbed me was that, with the ego gone, the time for learning was over, meaning I had graduated from ACIM and was now ready for a Post-Graduate Course, ACOL, that required no study or following lessons. Says C32.4: “Think not. This Course requires no thought and no effort.” This becomes possible when mind and heart join in relationship and are experienced as part of the Identity of Divine Self.

One of the remarkable discoveries I made is that many of the sections (or “verses”) can be printed and read as poetry, in “open verse,” to allow the deeper meaning of the words to become apparent. I give you two examples, and encourage anyone to find their own “poems.”

As with the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz, one allows oneself to “enter” the poem to explore, from within, the Spacious Self that we are:

Your being here is not
futile or without purpose.
Your being here is itself
all purpose, all honor, all glory.
There is no being apart from being.
There is no being alive and being dead,
being human or being divine.

There is only being.

Being is.
Yet being,
like love,
is in relationship

Thus your purpose here,
rather than being one of finding meaning,
is coming to know through relationship.
It is in coming to know through relationship
that you come to know
your Self.

There is, of course, no space here to explore the many concepts presented in this self-contained “poem.” My favorite is one from the third volume of ACOL, Day 39 of The Dialogues, verse 46, called The Bridge. A fellow member of the ACOL Facebook Group, Anne Solveig Elmberg from Sweden, designed the marvelous background to this. Thank you so much, Anne.

Bridge revised


A few months ago I was listening to the Commons debate on Syria (2nd Dec ’15), and I was acutely aware of this line: “You will also be the bridge between war and peace.” Will the depth of that statement ever be grasped? I feel that it is not the yes/no of doing that matters, rather the awareness of . . . the bridge between.

May your journey with A Course of Love be blessed.

Ben Andriessen
Co. Durham
United Kingdom


Expressions Introduction with Elliott Robertson

Hi, I’m Mari Perron, and I’d like to personally welcome you to this page—the Expressions page, and theMari Publicity4 next, the Dialogue page—pages that have a lot to do with how I see A Course of Love  (ACOL) moving out into the world. As each reader experiencing this Course comes to the “end of learning” predicted within its pages, they begin to express themselves in new ways. This is so important. This Course will live on in us and as us. It is not meant to follow the same model as previous teachings. This is one of the many ways that you and I are called to be pioneers of the new. Willingly giving up our roles as teachers and learners, companionship and sharing become the new way, a way that fully recognizes the vital energy of our own unique gifts. Each offering from union and relationship, provides another piece of this puzzle that makes up creation of the new. You and I share, in part, so that we come to know what our new feelings and experiences are saying to us, and to see the part we play within the grand design. As each of us dare to share, we discover our Selves newly, and bring all that we are into our encounters. The catalyst that Jesus says this Course is, propels us into acceptance of our sisterhood and brotherhood, with equal acceptance of the forces that take us to that edge that creation is. To embrace these forces that can challenge us and make life confusing as well as joyous, is an act of creation in itself. This embrace is an act of love. And these pages will offer all kinds of various expressions of that love.

Today, I invite you to meet (and love!) Elliott Robertson.


The Center for A Course of Love welcomes guest poet Elliott Robertson.




“I’ll always remember my first encounter with A Course of Love.

I was at a Course in Miracles group; a lady in the group shared with me one or two pages from the text while we were waiting to begin.

I don’t recall the content nor anything my friend may have told me about A Course of Love. I only remember how delicious the words were to my soul. Never before had scripture resonated so profoundly for me.”






To the Center
By Elliott Robertson
O Spacious One,
you love to make
your home within my heart.
I am compelled to welcome you
with adoration.
You penetrate all hearts
with knowledge and with grace.
The heart must open
just as plants must greet the sun.

O Spacious One,
you have the power
to hold within you ponds and seas
and flowers. Everything that moves
is filled with spirit.
Bring me to my master’s house
so I might know the realm of plenty.
Bring me to the center
of your peace and love.


This page will continue to provide an offering of poetry, prose, art or video that reveals how Mari and other receiver/readers of A Course of Love, once deeply moved, express their heart-connection, their soul’s longing, or their journey to new life. “Expression” of our changed state is highly encouraged in ACOL, often described with the help of references to art:


Expressions you call art are desires to share the Self in a new way. These expressions you call art are expressions of a Self who observes and interacts in relationship. They are not expressions that remain contained to who you are or who you think yourself to be. They are not expressions of the self alone. They are not expressions of the self alone in terms you might consider autobiographical, and they are not expressions of the self alone that you would consider the self in separation. They are rather expressions of the Self in union—expressions of what the Self sees, feels, envisions, imagines in relationship.

A Treatise on the Personal Self T3:2.1

You can submit your expression to