Ann’s first book, The Awakened Heart, co-written with John Robbins, explores balance, harmony and peace in the busyness of life. Her next book, In Love with the Mystery, couples poetic meditations on the human journey with the stunning nature photographs of Courtney Milne.
IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY
Ann begins each day at sunrise and uses the quiet hours of early morning to meditate and reflect on life. Several years ago she began writing her start-of-the-day thoughts in a small book that her husband Paul had given her. Each day for one year Ann entered a short passage, and from them IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY emerged.
A Canadian best-seller, the book is exquisitely illustrated with photographs by Courtney Milne. Oprah Winfrey keeps this book by her bedside, and we hope that you, too, will find inspiration and a renewed sense of spirit within its pages. IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY is available from Amazon and other booksellers world-wide.
Ann’s book features the luxuriant photography of Courtney Milne, who passed away shortly before IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY was published. Courtney had a distinguished academic career before devoting himself fully to fine art photography, and his heritage collection of 486,000 images is now housed at the University of Saskatchewan University Library. Courtney’s work was a perfect fit for IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY, because of its focus on our planet’s sacred places, indigenous sites, and natural environment. The photos of his that appear in the book were thoughtfully and generously provided by his life partner, Sherrill Miller.
Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey have created a downloadable 21-Day Meditation Experience called Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit. The program includes helpful meditation tools and tips, along with health and wellness articles and videos. It has inspired hundreds of thousands of participants around the world to meditate daily, activating a global wave of transformation, profound peace, and deep fulfillment. Ann Mortifee’s book, IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY, is featured in one of the episodes.
IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY was officially launched with events in Canada and the USA, followed by special readings in Vancouver, Honolulu, and Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Each event featured Ann’s husband, renowned jazz musician Paul Horn, accompanying her on flute while she read selected passages. Paul, who studied meditation in India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, (at the same time as the Beatles), loved Ann’s early morning journal musings and meditations. He joined Ann’s sister-in-law, Nancy Fischer Mortifee, in encouraging Ann to create the IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY.
IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY has been re-printed several times, and is now enjoyed by readers on several continents. The first edition contained a CD, featuring Ann reading selected passages from the book and Paul Horn, Edward Henderson and Miles Black improvising melodious, jazz-infused music in the background. People who purchase newer editions of the book can download the music/spoken word accompaniment.
” I’ve always thought of myself as a seeker. And by that I mean my heart is open to seeing-in all forms-the diving order and exquisite perfection with which the universe operates.
I am beguiled by the mystery of life. As a matter of fact, on my nightstand I keep a book called In Love with the Mystery, written by Ann Mortifee. It’s full of tranquil photographs and bite-size reminders of the preciousness of the wondrous journey we’re all on. Here is one of my favorite passages:
“Let the power come. Let ecstasy erupt. Allow your heart to expand and overflow with adoration for this magnificent creation and for the love, wisdom, and power that birthed it all. Rapture is needed now—rapture, reverence, and grace.”
I find solace and inspiration in those words. Too often we block the power that is ever-present and available to us, because we’re so wrapped up in doing that we lose sight of being. . .
Our main job in life is to align with the energy that is the Source of all energies, and to keep our frequency tuned to the energy of love. This I know for sure.
When that is your life’s work, mystery solved—or at least, the mystery no longer mystifies you. It only heightens the rapture, reverence and grace.”
Oprah Winfrey, excerpt from What I Know column, O Magazine, November 2013
This is an elegant, beautifully written and illustrated book. The paragraphs are sorted into different topics and each paragraph gives you pause to think about what it means for you. The paragraphs are universal comments on the human condition—not in any judgmental way but in a seeking to understand way. This book needs to read slowly and mindfully taking time to absorb and think about what the words mean. I am really enjoying it as it is grounding for me. – Ann Wallin
Recently I was pleasantly surprised to be given a copy of Ann Mortifee’s book, In Love with the Mystery. As I wrote in the email subject line, happily sent to the friend who gifted me with it, even after I’d thanked and hugged her for it in person, I am IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK! It is an amazingly beautiful and very wise book that I won’t begin to review but rather will state that I am cherishing every page . . . every paragraph . . . every word. Today I opened it randomly to the passage above. It resonated with me deeply. Gina, Professions for Peace
Ann Mortifee is an amazing human being . . . this is a must-own book for anyone who is soul searching. I am going to share a few lines with you and you will understand:
-Allow life to unfold as the adventure it is meant to be.
-Our life can become the dream we were born to dream.
-Allow contemplation to visit you often, and wisdom will become your companion. Enter the Silence daily and the silence will enter you.
Discover Ann Mortifee and her work . . . truly life-changing. – Andrea (Goodreads)
This book is beautiful. It speaks to the reader on so many levels. It is my daily inspiration. – An appreciative reader (Amazon)
I bought my first issue of this book after being introduced to it within a retreat. I couldn’t wait to buy my very own copy, so stopped at Chapters on the way home. This book is one I will treasure forever. I start each day with a reading of Ann’s inspirational, soul-felt words and getting lost in the stunning photos. The CD featuring her talented, musical husband, with Ann’s voice reading passages from the book, is meditative and transforming. I continue to purchase this book as a gift for all I know, which they all cherish too. How I would love to meet Ann Mortifee because, by reading this book every day, I feel I know her innermost thoughts . . . which touch my heart and soul. In Love with the Mystery has enhanced my life. Thank you, Ann. Jackie
In love with the mystery is a book you want to hang out with, a book you can open on your lap while you drink a cup of tea on a quiet sunday evening, and while you listen to the music that accompanies the book. in addition to ann’s powerful voice and paul horn’s flute, miles black and edward henderson’s beautiful guitar complete the synesthetic whole.
there is something melancholic about in love with the mystery – and it makes sense, given its history. in her talk, ann spoke often about the pain that deepens our understanding – shattered dreams and “the grit of disappointment.” these experiences inform the content of the book but there is more. the gentle images that form the background to ann’s writings were created by award-winning photographer courtney milne, who did not live to see the finished work of art. as well, the stunning design by diane jensen-feught was crafted in grief, as the designer mourned the death of her parents.
instead of an excerpt – you’ll just have to read for yourself – a few poignant lines from the talk:
“how does the mystery come?” asked ann, “just keep breathing.” – isabella mori, change therapy (sic)
Listen to the full In Love with the Mystery Companion Music
Vocals and Spoken Word by Ann Mortifee
Music by Paul Horn, Miles Black and Edward Henderson
The book is accompanied by exquisite music by accomplished musicians and improvisers. Just as the writing in IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY was spontaneous and inspired, so also was the creation of the accompanying music. This is not an audio version of the book, but instead is a creative musical expression of the ideas and meaning behind the words in the book. Selected for their evocative power, phrases and passages are spoken and sung within a rich musical environment; the musicians created a resonant sphere in which the meanings and images in the writing could find full expression, often in an active interplay beyond, around and above the words.
The listening experience is enhanced through refined professional recording and mastering using state of the art facilities and craftsmanship.
Length: 46 min, Instrumentation:Vocals, spoken word, flute, guitar, piano
Please note: the first edition of the companion recording was formerly delivered on CD, now it is available to all as a digital download.
Production management and coordination: Nancy Mortifee
Recording, sound design: Paul Baker, Baker Street Studios
Mastering: Graemme Brown, Zen Mastering
THE AWAKENED HEART
Ann’s first book, The Awakened Heart, co-written with John Robbins, was originally issued as In Search of Balance.
In search of Balance (previous title)
Both editions of the book that Ann co-wrote with John Robbins feature lovely cover imagery.
Ann co-wrote The Awakened Heart with her dear friend, the author and food activist, John Robbins
THE AWAKENED HEART addresses the human quest for inner peace and the urge to live life at its highest levels of meaning and purpose. It touches on the challenge of bringing our lives into harmony and discovering our true voice amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The book contains more than sixty inspiring meditations that will help nurture a sense of balance from which real solutions can flow. The Awakened Heart: Finding Harmony in a Changing World is a book to savor, read and reread. (Originally published as In Search of Balance: Discovering Harmony in a Changing World.)
Find it on Amazon
From “The Awakened Heart” by John Robbins and Ann Mortifee
Anger is an intense and primal expression of the life force, a burning flame that cannot be ignored. It is the psyche’s alarm system, demanding that attention be given to a limit or boundary of ours that is being invaded, to an injury or pain that is being denied, or to an area of our being that has become unhealthy. The function of anger is similar to the function of a fever. It helps to burn out unwanted, inharmonious elements. Its purpose is to restore balance and well-being.
If the symptoms of a fever are suppressed and ignored, then the illness will remain unchecked. So it is with anger. It is useful to listen for the message it brings and then to use it for growth and wellness.
We need to remember that the anger we feel toward someone else is not an accurate evaluation or judgment of who that person actually is. It is merely our own feelings communicating with us, telling us more about ourselves than about the other person. It is the beginning of greater clarity and discrimination, so that we can live our passion with integrity, develop our inner power, and become capable of acting assertively, rather than aggressively, on behalf of what we cherish.
There should really be two different words-one for ”anger-with-the heart-closed” and one for “anger with-the-heart-open.”
Most anger in our society is “anger-with-the heart-closed.” Many of us are in the habit of automatically using our anger vindictively to protect ourselves or to impose our will upon others. We may believe ourselves totally justified in demeaning others’ self-esteem. We may believe that we do this for “their own good.” We may even believe that the will we are trying to impose is God’s will. From such unconsciouslless have come generations of abuse. From such self-righteousness have come millennia of “holy” wars.
“Anger-with-the-heart-closed” is destructive. But there are times when our anger can be a gift to the other person, when it is not simply our own ego twisting in a knot, and trying to use the other person to undo the strain. Though we may feel great heat and urgency, there need be nothing mean in the way we express ourselves. For when there is no desire to wound or punish or blame, we become able to speak with great clarity and power. We may roar like a lion, but it is a healing roar. We may be challenging, but we are infinitely fair. We may be outraged, but we are respectful. This is “anger-with-the-heart-open” and it has a beauty, a passion, and a clarity that is unmistakable.
copyright by John Robbins and Ann Mortifee