Heart poems and passages


1: Right atrium: Rumi: The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.


A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.


The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.


Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.



2: Right Ventricle: Psalm 142

With my voice I cry to the Lord;

   with my voice I make supplication to the Lord.

I pour out my complaint before him;

   I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit is faint,

   you know my way.


In the path where I walk

   they have hidden a trap for me.

Look on my right hand and see—

   there is no one who takes notice of me;

no refuge remains to me;

   no one cares for me.


I cry to you, O Lord;

   I say, ‘You are my refuge,

   my portion in the land of the living.’

Give heed to my cry,

   for I am brought very low.


Save me from my persecutors,

   for they are too strong for me.

Bring me out of prison,

   so that I may give thanks to your name.

The righteous will surround me,

   for you will deal bountifully with me.


3: Lungs: Charles de Foucault: Prayer of Abandonment

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.

I wish no more than this, O Lord.


Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord,

and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands,

without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you are my Father.


4: Left Atrium: Vivaldi: Spring


5: Left ventricle: John O’Donohue: For a New Beginning


In out-of-the-way places of the heart,

Where your thoughts never think to wander,

This beginning has been quietly forming,

Waiting until you were ready to emerge.


For a long time it has watched your desire,

Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,

Noticing how you willed yourself on,

Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.


It watched you play with the seduction of safety

And the gray promises that sameness whispered,

Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,

Wondered would you always live like this.


Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.


Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life’s desire.


Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.


Prayer of the heart (Chris Bemrose)

During our brief pilgrimage here on earth

help us to be mindful of both the joys and sorrows of this world.

Enable us to deepen our understanding and response to what surrounds us with gratitude, humility and courage.


We ask to be open to the spark of the divine presence

through grace, mystery and wonder.

Renew and refresh in us a spirit of loving kindness

that we may each continue to go forth again

into our own worlds with new life and compassion.