A Lesson from the Heart

I embroidered for my Teacher
a gift that he received
weeks before he died.
It appears to be an ordinary apple tree,
like one he described from his childhood,
but it is a representation
of the coronary arteries.
Your heart is an upside down tree
drawing nourishment from the earth
and rooted in the divine.
Even your broken heart
can be port of entry
for one who grieves.

After a therapy session, I hand my client a post-it note that highlights what we have accomplished. These mysterious hypnotic mantras find their way to a wallet, a palm pilot, or a fridge door. They help the person reenter a replenishing meditation or mini-trance and sometimes they become part of the premises for the client to flourish. I have taken comfort in the mind-bending lines of the Tao Te Ching, Rabbi Nachman's Empty Chair and Eduardo Galean's The Book of Embraces. My own healers and mentors and favorite poets have helped me revision my course with the entrancing spin of a phrase, smooth as a well-worn stone.

The confluence of these streams of wisdom worldly and spiritual are the heart of this work. Please carry this little book with you for those moments when suddenly you do not know where to turn. You may read these verses in the order presented: There are ten verses in each of ten thematic sections; or you may open to a random page to see what the book has to offer you in this moment. I hope you will find the counsel I wish for you and I know you will discover something more than I can know.

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Michele Ritterman
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All Material © Michele Ritterman, PhD