The Power of Love: A Transformed Heart Changes the World

Author: Fran Grace, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-1-7323185-0-2
Paperback edition.
776 pages, illustrated
Published February 14, 2019


The Power of Love is an inspiring chronicle written by Dr. Fran Grace, of her life-changing encounter with her teacher, Dr. David R. Hawkins, and the 14 other teachers that he verified for her in 2010.  This is a vision of love that goes beyond the ordinary definition.  Each chapter is a book unto itself.

Silver Winner, “Best Inspirational Books,” in the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards 2019.  

All profits from purchases at go to the charitable organizations of those who contributed to the book.

Summary: Unable to integrate a powerful experience of Light at 15, Fran Grace joined a fundamentalist sect as a teenager and served the church until age 33, when an unexpected love affair unraveled her life and she was forced to leave the church.  Though her outer life continued normally and she enjoyed success as a professor, she suffered an existential vacuum.  At 39, she encountered her spiritual teacher, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., who opened her heart and revealed the innate beauty of life.  A profound healing occurred.  She moved to be near him and worked with him closely on various projects until his death in 2012.  Heartbroken from his passing, she went on a journey to learn more about the power of love to transform and heal. She spent time with the renowned spiritual leaders, scientists, activists, and artists that her teacher directed her to visited.

Fran Grace’s narrative is pulsed by her encounters with these teachers, each of whom has a chapter that includes a brief biography, excerpts from their dialogue with the author, and her sense of how the encounter helped her to overcome an obstacle on her path.  They taught her how to see her struggles with health, grief, addiction, spiritual ego, sexuality, relationships, phobias, despair, a parent’s dementia, and even her ‘enemies’ through the eyes of compassion.

Book Features:  Includes photographs and unique contributions from:  – Father Pavlos of Sinai – Dr. David R. Hawkins and Susan Hawkins – Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and Anat Vaughan-Lee – Mona Polacca and The International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers – Betty J. Eadie  – Belvie Rooks & Dedan Gills – Dr. William and Jean Tiller – Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo – Dr. Huston Smith – Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – Dr. Viktor Frankl (with grandson Alexander Vesely and Frankl family representative Mary Cimiluca) – H. H. the 17th Karmapa– Swami Chidatmananda.

Front Matter

  • Foreword, by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction

Part One: Searching for Love

  • Chapter One: Light Upon Light
    The Journey Begins – The Aftermath – Steel Door – Reign of Panic
  • Chapter Two: Longing for Love
    Encounter with Llewellyn and Anat Vaughan-Lee
  • Chapter Three: “Cracks Are How the Light Gets In”
    College Years – Missionary Work in Florence, Italy – Beauty is a Path to God – Dante and the Secret Chamber of the Heart – Missionary of Dogma vs. the Missionaries of Charity
  • Chapter Four: The Miracle of Love
    Encounter with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity
  • Chapter Five: In the Wake of Aphrodite
    Psyche and Eros – Awakening to Romantic Love – Marriage and the Sacrifice of Venus/Aphrodite
  • Chapter Six: The Meaning of Love
    Encounter with Viktor Frankl (and Grandson Alexander Vesely and Frankl Family Agent Mary Cimiluca)
  • Chapter Seven: The Veil Thickens
    Seminary and Encounter with the Mystics – Doing “Good Works” vs. Being a Loving Person – Traveler in Two Worlds – Psychological Paralysis – Glimpsing the Shadow
  • Chapter Eight: Our Life’s Work as a Path of Love
    Encounter with Huston Smith

Part Two: Finding Love

  • Chapter Nine: Spiritual Direction
  • Chapter Ten: Living God’s Love in the Desert
    Encounter with Father Pavlos of Sinai, Egypt
  • Chapter Eleven: The Arms of Love
    “You Don’t Have to be Afraid Anymore” – Feminist Awakening – The Healing Effect of Love – Falling – The Unpaved Road – “From Wounds to Windows”
  • Chapter Twelve: Love as Kindness – “All My Relations”
    Encounter with Mona Polacca and the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
  • Chapter Thirteen: When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears
    “You Yourself Are What You’re Looking For” – Light to Light – Bowing Down to the Light
  • Chapter Fourteen: The Inner Cultivation of Love
    Encounter with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo


Part Three: Transformed by Love

  • Chapter Fifteen: “Changing the World One Heart at a Time”
    Start with Your Own – Sunlight – Pouring Out the ‘Spirits’
  • Chapter Sixteen: Growing a Global Heart – Love and the Healing of Societal Wounds
    Encounter with Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills
  • Chapter Seventeen: Moon Cabin
    Owning the Shadow – “Seeing the Log in Your Own Eye”
  • Chapter Eighteen: Yoga and the Path of Self-Realization
    Encounter with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
  • Chapter Nineteen: Return to the World
    Putting the “Higher” Back into Higher Education – Compassion Course
  • Chapter Twenty: Compassion
    Encounter with H.H. the 17th Karmapa
  • Chapter Twenty-One: Living the Link—Inner and Outer Transformation
    Case Study: Nelson Mandela – Exploring the Science of Love – Classroom Experiments
  • Chapter Twenty-Two: The Power of Intention
    Encounter with Dr. William A. and Jean Tiller

Part Four: Surrendering to Love

  • Chapter Twenty-Three: Moving Closer to the Fire
    Teacher and Student – Testing the Teacher
  • Chapter Twenty-Four: Love in Everyday Life – “Live Your Life Like a Prayer”
    Encounter with Dr. David R. and Susan Hawkins
  • Chapter Twenty-Five: Devotional Life
    Devotion to Love, Not Belief Systems – Putting Shame into the Fire
  • Chapter Twenty-Six: Devotional Love
    Encounter with Swami Chidatmananda
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven: Surrendering to the Light
    At the Feet of the Teacher – “Love is a Closed Circle”
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight: Love is Forever
    Encounter with Betty J. Eadie

End Matter

  • Epilogue
  • Endnotes
  • Bibliography
  • Biographical Profiles
  • Resources
  • Index
  • About the Author

“This is the most precious offering we can make to life, to live this story, just as Fran has lived hers.”     —from the Foreword by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, The Golden Sufi Center, author of over twenty books, including Love is a Fire and Spiritual Ecology.

“What matters is here! Lots of wisdom and goodness under one cover. Savor the rich messages.”      —Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Founding Director, Center for Action and Contemplation

“More than eighty years after Paul Brunton’s famed Search in Secret India, we are blessed to have before us just such a book for our times, Fran Grace’s splendid and moving The Power of Love. It is so full of gifts for the reader: visits with some of the most memorable spiritual figures of the past 50 years; Grace’s own story of the journey of her own soul, as scholar, practitioner, and graced human being; and for all of us, a narrative of love’s deep running and overflowing currents in today’s thirsting world. This is a book for a wide audience, of seekers, travelers, and scholars. It promises to feed the heart and soul, even as it awakens the mind again and again.”      —Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

“This book is a masterpiece. Fran Grace takes us on an intimate journey revealing Love in all its facets, from the most sublime peaks of humankind’s aspirations, to Love’s omnipresence in the most wretched circumstances. I couldn’t put this book down. In Fran’s journey, I see my own quest. Like an onion, layers of my own limited beliefs were peeled back as she invited me, again and again, to drop into my heart and release fear. This book is a rare gift of Love.”      —Nisha Manek, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Physicians

“This book really pulls one in. It’s a fascinating look at the all-important subject of ‘Love,’ written from both a personal and an objective point of view—this is a rare combination!”         Margaret Johnson, Ph.D., senior Diplomate Jungian analyst; co-Chief Editor of Psychological Perspectives; Board of Directors, C. G. Jung Study Center of Southern California

“This spiritual autobiography assures spiritual seekers that there is a hidden Presence that accompanies and supports all of us, even in times of ‘aridity.’ It is very timely for a fractured world that needs to be reminded of the One in whom we all—regardless of religious affiliation—live and move and have our being. Love, truly, is the underlying path for all of us.”     —Wilkie Au, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, editorial board of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, author of award-winning books such as Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration

“This book is wonderful. It gives me hope. It’s such a good look at what people from all walks of life go through on a spiritual path. ‘Doc’ is still teaching…”     —Susan J. Hawkins, President, The Institute for Spiritual Research founded by Dr. David R. “Doc” Hawkins (author of bestsellers Power vs. Force and Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)

“In her beautifully written and embracing book, The Power of LoveFran Grace gifts her readers the opportunity to ‘listen in’ on her direct, personal interviews of spiritual leaders from around the world and many spiritual traditions.  Grace’s sharing of her own life experiences of love alongside the lessons she learned from these spiritual masters invites her readers to reflect on the power of love in their own lives. The world needs this book now!”        Karen Derris, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies at University of Redlands, co-editor of The Heart is Noble and Interconnected by Ogyen Trinley Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

“What a beautiful gift Fran has given to us, sharing her journey both towards and through love.  She reminds us that this is the only journey worth making!  Fran’s honest, vulnerable sharing of her own experiences on this sacred journey along with her intimate and varied dialogues with others who’ve gained wisdom and heartfelt experience provide us with guidance, encouragement, inspiration and companionship on love’s pilgrimage.  I’m personally grateful for this book as it couldn’t be more timely. Now is surely a time when our world needs the transformation that can only come through each of us doing the inner work of opening to and cultivating love in order then to share it!”     —Lorne Ladner, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, author of The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology

“In this deeply honest and moving book, Fran Grace provides a kaleidoscope of images, experiences, and signs – all invitations into the greatest power in the universe.  Readers from all walks of life will find what they need in these pages if they are looking for love.”       —Hilary Hart, author of The Unknown She: Eight Faces of an Emerging Consciousness and Body of Wisdom: Women’s Spiritual Power and How It Serves. 

The Power of Love is not just another monograph written by some expert, detached from the real world; it’s a look at the universal emotion of love as seen through the minds and hearts of people from all over the world and all walks of life, interwoven with the author’s own learning on the journey of love.  Each person she encounters has their own unique, insightful perspective on love; the thread that runs through all of their teachings is that love trumps and transcends everything.  Each of the 28 chapters is a book unto itself, with thoughtful and engaging content about different facets of love, while the totality of the book weaves a deep and comprehensive story of love.  A decade ago when Fran Grace began her research, almost no one could have predicted the polemic times we are currently experiencing, and thus the timing of the book is perfect, even as The Power of Love will surely be timeless in its influence.       —David Taggart, creator of the global platform, Republic of Humanity (

“The insight and wisdom from Fran’s journey and shared conversations are a generous contribution to the project of human flourishing.”    Andrew O. Fort, Ph.D., Professor of Religion Emeritus, Texas Christian University

“This book gives us an opportunity to think about who we are, where we come from, our identity, and how we have a connection to all of our relatives, our ancestry and the teachings on love and peace that the elders passed onto us…. I was taught that it’s really good to be able to come together with others who have different ways of thinking, and I believe that’s the way this book is written, to share teachings about the relationship that we have with one another and with people of different religions and different nations, and to grow from it. This book, through its teachings, gives us the gift of experience, and by experience is how we learn.  The people who contributed all have a very special kind of relationship not only with humankind but also with all of our relatives, other life forms, so it makes us think about, How do I relate to animal life—the four-legged, the winged, the water life? How are we going to love one another? We have our children and our grandchildren coming up behind us and we have to develop some understanding about how to relate to others, and how to care for one another. This book carries those teachings forward to our own time and beyond.”     Mona Polacca, Havasupai-Hopi-Tewa charter member of The International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, speaking at the 125th Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2018.

RECOMMENDED in U.S. Review of Books, reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott:

Grace writes with a confidence and acuity that demonstrate her immersion in her subject…. With its far-reaching examination of the qualities that comprise love at its highest levels, her book may offer inspiration and guidance to a wide audience of spiritual seekers.