Category Archives: Pursuit of Happiness

In the NoThingness

What I Found in the NoThingness

As I tried to change my Facebook cover this morning, something went – well – seemingly, wrong. I was trying to post something profound and comforting in response to the 911 anniversary, and my Cover went completely black. An error message came up, and both my previous photo and the ones I was trying to add were gone. I was using my phone to access my page, and nothing seemed to work. My FB cover would show Nothing until I was able to get to my computer and an internet connection. 

However, it was in this apparent mishap that something profound was actually revealed to me. While my FB Cover was showing Nothing, I realized that it is in the NoThingness that we find the SomeThingness that makes all the difference. The Truth is, there is no statement, no picture, no words to convey that make sense of what happened here in the US on 911. But in the NoThingness, we find the SomeThingness, the All-ness that makes sense of EveryThing. We find our connection with our Source, the Essence of Life that breathes us into existence.

Life, in its wholeness and in its Source is eternal; growing, multiplying, and being continuously fruitful. In our humanness, wholeness is not always what we see, or feel, or express. Attached to the things of life more than that which breathes life into existence, many experiences seem fruitless, pointless, and even downright evil. But in the NoThingness, the Breath of Life appears, and suddenly, there is no separation between you, and me, and all that is. In the NoThingness, we find the SomeThingness that makes sense of EveryThing.

Once this Truth was revealed to me, I was able to post the quote I had planned for my FB Cover this morning.

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.” 

~ Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Although the words do not make sense of the nonsensical, nor do they replace the sense of security that was lost that day, they do tell us the consciousness we need to hold to make our world a place that more fully expresses the All-ness that gives us life. This is the consciousness that will help us co-create a world that works for and honors the SomeThingness in All.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

Awakening the Dream

non-violence-1158317_1920I watched the movie Selma Monday night.  It was Martin Luther King Day and I was looking for inspiration for my Wednesday night Meditation and Mindful Musings Service in his honor.  The movie left me with the tears I knew would flow the moment I tuned in. As the final epitaphs flashed upon the screen next to the faces of the major players I felt the emotion building.  And then Martin’s face was on the screen. The letters appeared one at a time. I knew what they would say. I had seen the spoiler in 1968. I braced myself. And then I cried.

Such a beautiful soul with a vision so much greater than himself. I cried because he was gone. And I cried because of what he had shown me.  I cried because he was so young. He was just 39 years old. He’d only just begun. Yet he had accomplished precisely what he came here to do and be; to be the Light of God expressing, to awaken sleeping souls and to raise awareness and consciousness in a much too slowly evolving country. This he did. He had a big dream and he stirred that dream within the hearts of many.  Yet still there were so many who could not yet see.

In a recent discussion on racism, the term “white guilt” was mentioned.  It was suggested that all white people carry guilt over slavery and the long, lingering energies of racism and inequality.  I thought deeply about that as “guilt” did not feel right to me. It was not the right word. Not for me anyway.  Shared responsibility perhaps, but guilt was not it. I thought perhaps that it was compassion that was somehow being mistaken for guilt because certainly I felt that. But that wasn’t quite right either. Shame. That was more like it. I feel shame. Not personal shame but shame for humankind still capable of such atrocious acts. I feel confusion and anger. I am baffled at how any intelligent being can justify such cruelty to another being for something as arbitrary as skin color. I am angry that beautiful, intelligent, loving people had their lives cut short because of inexplicable hatred. I am angry that it continues.

And then I take a breath.  I know that shame is a non-productive emotion.  Although it serves to show us what we don’t want to do, it cannot take us where we want to be. And so it must be released like molting skin or extra eyelids that cloud the vision.  Likewise, anger wallowed in serves no purpose. But used instead as a catalyst for growth and transformation it can direct us toward a greater end. That requires Love. It requires Faith. Anger, requires a greater Vision, a greater dream to direct its powerful energy toward a higher goal.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. He had what Jesus called “eyes to see,” and I “thank God Almighty,” that his dream is awake and alive in me. I honor him today by tuning in to that dream, by living it as the Truth I know. I honor him by sharing and cultivating that dream and never allowing it to fade. I honor him by allowing my heart to feel the pain of those who have been harmed and treated less than the beautiful souls they are, and then, to feel the Truth that right now unfolds itself in millions of hearts working together to let freedom ring and liberty finally made real.

© Rev. Eileen DeRosia Patra. January 17, 2018

Rev. Eileen is an ordained, Unity minister currently serving Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan. She leads a Sunday service at 10 am and a Wednesday night Meditation and Mindful Musing service on Wednesdays at 7 pm.

The Pursuit of Happiness?

pursuite of happinessThe pursuit of happiness is not fulfilled by the freedom to express hate. Hate is a derivative of fear. One hates what one deems an enemy, that which one fears will somehow hurt them or diminish them. Hate is an aspect of the “fight” response to fear.  Only when fear is acknowledged, soothed and brought into alignment with the assurance of Divine Love can there be an experience of true happiness.  All else is but a shield to assuage a perceived fear.

Fear, disguised as hate and anger is often triggered by a perceived loss. ‘Someone is taking something away from me.’ In Truth, there is no loss. All that we see, all that we experience are manifestations of Light and energy which is never lost. It simply moves and transforms.  When we finally recognize that we are inextricably connected to one another and therefor own everything, yet own nothing, will we know there is nothing to fear, nothing to lose.

When you say you are losing some piece of your culture or your history, what is it that you are losing? Are you losing the grace and beauty of the fertile grounds that fed your ancestors? Are you losing your history of charm and hospitality? Or are you losing the false illusion that those you saw as heroes are not really heroes at all.  Were they heroes because they stood for something they believed in and laid their lives on the line for it. In a sense, a very human sense, I suppose this is so. But when you expand your perspective to recognize that what they stood for was something deeply hurtful and harmful to the fabric of humanity can you see their actions as something other than heroic? Can you begin to see them as the leadership of a fear that saw masses of God’s children as less than human?  Can you see that as you hold them dearly in your clinging to a false image of grace and charm that you hold yourself in a false reality in which some of humanity is worthy of God’s love and some are not?  That some therefore are worthy of your love and some are not. Only when you let go of these false images of heroism can you begin to heal yourself.  You didn’t know you needed healing, did you?  But yes, you do. You see you too are a part of this fabric of Life.  And while you reject portions of it from your fear of what is not manifesting exactly the same way as you are, you pull at yourself, you separate the essence of your being from the whole. You cause yourself to be isolated from the outworking of God. You cause yourself to be outside of the wholeness of Divine Love. The happiness that you pursue will never bring you what you truly seek, which is to be one with that from which you come. While you reject any part of this you remain outside of it, alone, afraid, fighting and hurting. 

Could you, for just one moment, let go? Let go of your judgments. Let go of your need to cling to what is not even real. Let go of what you fear? Could you for just one moment allow Love to fill the fearful parts of yourself. Could you consider that it is fear that causes you to cling to what is not whole, what is not loving. Could you for just one moment look deeply into the eyes of those you see as different or less than, and see and feel the face of God?  Could you for one moment look deeply into those eyes and see the pain, the fear that is so much like your own? Could you look for one moment into that opening that draws you one to the other and see that you are one? Could you reach across the fence of fear and embrace the other as yourself?  For is this not what our brother and Wayshower, Jesus taught us? To love one another as ourselves?  Is this not the teaching of other faith traditions and spiritual philosophies as well? You do not have to be Christian to understand that it is Love that brings us together and Hatred and Fear that pull us apart.  For just one moment, open your eyes wider than they have ever been open before. Reach out and embrace the other whoever that might be for you.  You will open in you a flood of Divine Love that brings you a greater experience of happiness than you have ever imagined. And this, no one can ever take from you. Namaste’

© 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra