Super Soul Sunday: Marianne Williamson on “A Return to Love”

It was 20 years ago that best-selling author Marianne Williamson appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with her book “A Return to Love,” based on the principles in “A Course in Miracles.” Since then, it has sold more than a million and a half copies, been published in 23 languages, and spent 39 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

And today, the book remains “as timely now as ever,” said Oprah on a recent Super Soul Sunday discussion with the author.

“In a Course in Miracles it says the thought system of the human race is dominated by fear, and it has been for ages and so enlightenment is an unlearning of the thought system based on fear, and instead the acceptance of a thought system based on love,” Williamson explained. “Love is about letting go of the fears that stand in front of our hearts and letting in the love, and then acting from that.”

Reading from book Oprah said: “The reason so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is because we are not yet starring in our own lives. The cosmic spotlight isn’t pointed at you, it radiates from within you,” which sparked a discussion about the law of attraction and obtaining what we want in life. Williamson had an answer for her.

“A lot of this talk of ‘if you think it you can get it’ … the difference between magic and miracles is that magic is when you use your mind to tell the universe what you want. Miracles are when you ask the universe what it wants and how you can serve it,” she said, explaining every one of us has an individualized curriculum for their lives, and we are constantly learning – even when we are waiting for the next thing that we believe will make us happy.

“A lot of times people think, ‘I want another relationship or another experience or another job,’ in order for ‘it’ to be happening, but ‘it’ is our being the people that we are capable of being, and the perfect lesson for us to practice being who we are capable of being is whatever is happening now … people think some day my path will start, but whatever is happening in this moment is the path,” she told Oprah.

The Course says a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love, but when our hearts are closed off, we are “deflecting the miracle which would otherwise be happening,” said Williamson.

A practice she shared with Oprah is for us to open our hearts is to ask, “Who do I need to forgive? Where am I holding a grudge? Where am I not giving? Because only what I’m not giving can be lacking in any situation. Where am I showing up with attitude? Where am I showing up with unkindness?”

In her workshops, she often sends people home with the homework of praying for whomever they consider an enemy or someone who betrayed them or hurt them. She asks they do this for 30 days, every morning for at least 5 minutes if they can.

“The course says your greatest power to change the world is your power to change your mind about the world,” she explained. “Our minds are joined. There really is no place where you stop and I start, so if I pray for you, if I pray for your happiness, either you will behave differently or I won’t care.”

She also explained what she called “Divine Compensation,” (she has a new book based on this coming out in November) where if anyone does something to harm us, the universe jumps right on it because it is “self-organizing and self-correcting.” This means the universe will make sure that if something is taken from us from another person in the material world, it will be given back us. But if our hearts remained closed, we won’t be open to receive it.

“Just like the embryo turns into a baby and the bud blossoms, your life is already programmed in the mind of God to its highest creative possibility,” she said. “Everything fabulous that could happen is already programmed in the ethers of the universe. The blueprint is already there.”

Oprah asked, “So does it matter then what I do?” and Williamson said it matters that your heart is open and that you are coming from a place of love and not fear.

“It’s like a file in a computer. If my heart’s not open, I don’t download the possibility on earth as it is in heaven. It’s a file – an undeletable file – but if I don’t bring it down to the screen, if I stay in bitterness, what I’ll get on the screen is bitter. That doesn’t mean it’s not on the computer. And the title of this file is “God’s will.”

It’s not the circumstances in life that make us unhappy, it’s that we are looking at them through the filter of fear, Williamson told Oprah. The prayer she uses from the Course is “Dear God, I am willing to see this differently.”

Another practice she recommended is to “blast them with love.” This means, before we go into a meeting, on a job interview, or anything else in life, we send love in our minds to the people and the situation. We can say, “the only thing going on here is, I am going to bless that person, they are going to bless me. I don’t know if I’m supposed to get that job. My only agenda is that God’s will be done – the downloading of the file,” she said.

For more on Marianne Williamson, see our coverage of her live workshop in Los Angeles called “Enchanted Love,” looking at “A Course in Miracles” view of intimate relationships, which is the cover story of our June 2012 issue.

Marianne Williamson: How the Universe Views Intimate Relationships

Love can be the most exhilarating human emotion one can experience. It can change life in an instant and take us places we never dreamed possible. But love can also shatter our heart, trigger old wounds and cause indescribable pain.

Both sides of the coin are reasons to celebrate, according to best-selling author, Marianne Williamson, who explained this and more, from the perspective of “A Course in Miracles,” during “The Enchanted Love Workshop: Building the Inner Temple of the Sacred and the Romantic,” which took place in Los Angeles, as well as worldwide via live streaming on the Internet.

“’The Course in Miracles’ does not claim to have a monopoly on truth,” she told the audience on the first evening of the conference. “It is based on universal, spiritual themes found at the heart of all great religious teaching. It’s not doctrine. It’s not dogma. It’s principles.”

This particular weekend conference focused on love and relationships – an area most people struggle in, no matter what their spiritual practice. Over time, many of us can see clearly where we may be heading off course in our lives, but when it comes to intimate love, “it’s so easy to be insane and think you’re not,” she said. “We get involved with romantic drama, and all the spiritual stuff goes out the window.”

Having written a book called “Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships,” Williamson decided to run a workshop based on the Course’s view of intimate relationships, and the goal of transitioning them from ego-based to spirit-based.

“The Course says relationships are assignments made in order to increase the maximum soul growth of both people,” she explained. “It is as though a giant machine somewhere sees where you are wounded, and then picks out the person and situation in all of the universe in combination with whom you would most likely be healed.”

Looking at this from the ego’s perspective, we often believe there is one special person out there who will heal us and fill us with everything we are lacking in life. We also believe this person will never push our buttons or trigger our wounds – be it from childhood or past relationships – but instead will behave exactly as we need them to because we are so wounded, she said.

“The ego sees the assignment as someone who will give me what I think I need to compensate for the lack that exists in me. But the universe is invested in your soul growth, not in your imagined need. The universe knows you have no need other than to remember you already are and have everything,” Williamson said.

Unlike the ego, the universe’s idea of a perfect relationship is not someone who will stay away from our bruises or triggers, but actually someone who will bring our wounds to the surface in order to heal them. “To double the perfection, it will not only be a perfect assignment in which to address your wounds, but also the perfect assignment in which to address theirs,” she explained.

Intimate relationships exist to bring up all of our wounds, triggers and childhood issues. It brings shadows of the past – whether it’s our mother, father, brother, sister or ex-lover – into our current relationship, and instead of seeing the man or woman in front of us, subconsciously we are seeing the person who invalidated us, she said.

“We heal through a detox process. Sometimes you will think, ‘Wow, I haven’t had that issue in a while,’ when really it’s just that it hasn’t been triggered. It wasn’t healed, it just wasn’t brought up,” she said, explaining until we find healing, the issue will continue to show up for us. However, there are times we are meant to stay in the relationship to heal, and times where the healing needs to take place apart.

“Relationships are never over. The Course says all who meet will someday meet again until the relationship becomes holy. There are phases in a relationship where there is silence or you are not in physical proximity with one another anymore, and this can actually be very helpful,” she said. “Sometimes work is going on even more powerfully when two people are not talking. If you do the work, know that he or she is still feeling it.”

However, if we don’t do the work to heal the wounds, we will carry them into the next moment or next relationship, and will continue to attract the same circumstances until the work is done.

“It’s not that you attract a certain type of man – it’s that you are attracted to that certain type of man so you can heal,” Williamson noted.

For the full cover story, with more insight from the conference, including tips for the working woman, the most important connection to maintain in any relationship (and how to make it), how to hang on to the “falling in love” feeling from the beginning of the relationship, and more – check out our full cover story in the June 2012 issue.

Editor’s Advice: Cultivating a Clean Mind With Meditation

One of the biggest excuses most people use for skipping meditation is they can’t seem to find the time – especially in the morning when the race is on to get out the door.

I recently had an “aha moment” when listening to Marianne Williamson speak at an event on love relationships, and wanted to share it with our readers. She spoke about using the tools of prayer and meditation to help us build the spiritual muscles we need to tackle our days, including the intimate relationships we have in our life.

“The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is meditate because that is when the mind is most open to new impressions,” she said. “Just like you wash your body because you don’t want to carry yesterdays dirt with you into today, you meditate because you don’t want to carry yesterdays stress with you into today.”

And the light bulb went off! Wow, that just makes so much sense! We all find the time to shower each day because who wants to walk around dirty, but what about cleaning our minds? Why is O.K. to walk around with yesterday’s stress and dirt in our heads when we don’t do that to our body?

Whether it’s a matter of waking up 10 minutes earlier, or skipping that stop for a latte in the morning, if we can change our perception about morning meditation, and make it as big of a priority as cleaning our body (and getting that coffee!), we will be much more likely to sit and be still before starting our day.

It’s time to start giving the same time and attention to our mind as we do our body. It’s the only way to center and balance our spirit.

Blessings and love to you all!

Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine


VIDEO: “The Reality of Truth” Documentary Examines Perception and Reality

“The Reality of Truth,” is a new documentary set for release this summer, created by Mike “Zappy” Zapolin and Deepak Chopra. The film identifies the perception problem plaguing society today, and analyzes specific techniques to break through to a new reality—one that is more peaceful, tolerant and, when looked at properly, amusing, according to the creators.

“Transcendence is the key to taking off the filters that separate and blind us, so that we can see things as they actually exist,” said Zapolin. “There are many techniques people use to transcend—meditation, prayer, dance, music, even psychedelics—and for this film we set out to explore the effectiveness of these different techniques.”

Highly controversial in nature, “The Reality of Truth” introduces audiences to the modalities people have used throughout history to transcend into an alternate reality, and suggests these techniques may be the breakthrough humankind needs to move into the future.

Conversations include a panel discussion with Dr. John Hagelin, PhD and Fred Travis, faculty members of the Maharishi University of Management, and Dr. Norman Rosenthal, author of New York Times Bestseller “Transcendence.” The panel was held in Fairfield, Iowa, where thousands of people in the transcendental meditation community meditate together each day. The team also traveled to Maui to speak with legendary spiritual leader Ram Dass, who was with Timothy Leary during his infamous Harvard experiments.

“The Judeo-Christian religions, Vedic traditions, and Shamanistic rituals all incorporate techniques for transcending,” said Zapolin. “In the history of mankind, we have tenaciously sought out gateways to spirituality and found them in meditation, prayer and the consumption of natural substances.”

Some of the plants that have documented transcending capabilities, according to the film, are: ayahuasca, a giant vine native to South America, noted for its psychotropic properties; ibogaine, a hallucinogenic compound derived from the roots of a West African shrub, sometimes used as a treatment for heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine addiction; the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin found in certain mushrooms, especially liberty caps (aka magic mushrooms); and marijuana.

“One of the more provocative scenes of the film documents me with actress Michelle Rodriguez and MacMillan Publishing’s Dan MacMillan participating in a life-changing ayahuasca ceremony with a shaman. It was a mind-blowing experience that I think audiences will truly appreciate,” said Zapolin.

“The Reality of Truth” is being produced by Kurt Engfehr, who co-produced “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 911.” The film includes interviews with Marianne Williamson; Ram Dass; John Hagelin, PhD; Bruce H Lipton, PhD; Foster Gamble (who recently released the documentary “Thrive”); Charles Grob, MD; Peter Coyote; Lior Suchard; and Ravi Zacharai. Executive producer is Wall Street icon and just capitalist Peter Janssen.

For more information about The Reality of Truth, visit, and view the trailer in the video below.

VIDEO: Marianne Williamson to Hold “The Enchanted Love” Workshop in L.A. and Live Streaming

Best-selling author, Marianne Williamson, will present “The Enchanted Love Workshop: Building the Inner Temple of the Sacred and the Romantic,” on February 17 to 19 in Los Angeles. Not in the area? You can still participate via live streaming.

Participants will learn the spiritual tools of fostering powerful, joyous and intimate relationships. Valuable for both women and men seeking to either to attract a partner or deepen an existing relationship, the weekend will provide guests with valuable spiritual, psychological and emotional insight into the nature and practice of true love.

During the “Enchanted Love Workshop,” spiritual inquiry will include:

  • How do we inwardly prepare ourselves for love?
  • What deeper forces foster a powerful romantic relationship?
  • What part does the masculine/feminine dynamic play in navigating romantic relationships?
  • What is true intimacy, from a spiritual perspective, and how is it achieved?
  • How can a romantic relationship become a portal to spiritual growth? And how can spiritual growth become a portal to more powerful romance?

“If I think that you’re the source of my happiness, I am tempted, at least subconsciously, to try to manipulate and control you,” Williamson said.  “And that won’t attract you; it will repel you. Once I make it my spiritual work to realize my own completion, then I approach you not with a need to steal your energy, but with a desire to play and create with you. Obviously, the latter is far more attractive.”

Williamson teaches that from a spiritual perspective, relationships are assignments: couples are brought together by a Divine Intelligence for as long a period of time as serves the mutual soul growth of both partners. When physical proximity no longer serves that growth and the relationship ends, this doesn’t necessarily denote failure. Relationships are of the spirit and not of the body, and therefore last forever on the level of mind.

“We are brought together for the purpose of healing. All of us have rough edges to be smoothed out, and one of the ways that happens is when our rough edges rub up against someone else’s,” said Williamson. “To the ego, that kind of rough experience is a reason to leave the relationship. To the Spirit, the opportunity here is to choose the mercy and compassion that smoothes out all things.”

Williamson gives the examples of a woman whose father emotionally abandoned her, meeting up with a man whose mother emotionally smothered him. Because of their childhood experiences, she might tend to be needy, while he might tend to be commitment phobic.

“The rough path is where she subconsciously tries to control him, and he subconsciously seeks to keep her at a distance,” Williamson said. “The transcendent path is where she takes responsibility for her wound, refuses to project her father’s behavior in the past onto the man standing in front of her, and prays to Spirit to heal her by helping her forgive her father and enter into the present moment not carrying her past with her. As she develops the emotional skill set to show deep appreciation for the man standing in front of her, the light of that moment casts out the neurotic thought forms carried over from the past. His work takes different form, but is essentially the same.”

According to Williamson, an authentic spiritual bond can’t be based on personality or physicality alone, because on the material level none of us are perfect. It’s when we develop the skill to see beyond the physical to the spiritual truth of who we are — and most importantly, the ability to stay with that truth even when appearances show us something different — that we transcend the ego forces which would otherwise tear us apart.

This workshop addresses the fear of love that we all feel, as well as the spiritual keys to unlocking the authenticity and true skill that allows us to connect with a beloved. “It takes conscious work to create the psychological and emotional freedom to disclose our deepest feelings to each other. The risk, the vulnerability …  such things can be emotionally perilous outside a spiritual context.” Williamson focuses on the deep practice of forgiveness, prayer and meditation as steps to the cultivation of sacred space within and between us.

“We might be tempted to think that spirituality and intimacy are very different categories. In fact, spirituality is key to our success at everything because it’s the key to our capacity to love.”

To sign up for the in-person or live streaming, visit

Listen to Marianne explain the seminar in the below video:

Top Authors Offer Free Online Teleseminar: The Art of Love

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, join 21 leading relationship experts for “The Art of Love: Discover the Keys to Deep Connection, Soulful Passion and Lasting Love.” Whether you are in a new relationship, have been married for years, or are still searching for the right partner, this seminar series will offer techniques and strategies on how to get the love you want.

Just for signing up you get instant access to bonus videos feature Dr. Gay Hendricks and Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, Alison Armstrong and Dr. John Gray. But starting on Nov. 1, you will hear from a variety of well-known experts, including Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly-Hunt; Marianne Williamson; Deepak Chopra; David Bach; and Arielle Ford.

Additionally, couples will share their marriage-tested strategies for keeping love, passion and intimacy alive. Couples such as Colette Baron-Reid and Mark Lindeman; Arielle Ford and Brian Hilliard; John and Maria Assaraf and more!

According to the Web site,, the following topic will be covered:

-The simple secret that keeps attraction alive, delightful and magnetic – for both of you!
-The surprising delicacies that can reawaken your sex life … plus the hidden culprit that is stealing your libido.
-Four MUST-DO steps for healthy communication and why ‘common wisdom’ fails modern relationships.
-The cure for feeling unseen or unheard around your partner.
-An easy and immediate technique for releasing negative emotion.
-6 money mistakes couples make and how to avoid them … plus how to transcend financial challenges that come your way.
-How to keep it sizzling and sexy when you’re a parent.
-How to step into your full power as a successful woman without losing polarity, acceptance and delicious playfulness in your relationship.
-Surviving the ache of betrayal and how to re-build trust.

Sign up now – its FREE!