Category Archives: Transcendence

The Wonder of You!

As the celebration of Christmas grows near, so too do the signs of the Wonder of Christmas; lights, nativity scenes, shopping and wrapping of special gifts, trimming of trees, and the look of wonder in the eyes of children. It is, as the song suggests, “the most wonderful time of the year.” Until it isn’t.

A day meant to fill our hearts with joy, and hope often gets lost in the stress of meeting expectations, our own and those of the world around us. For some, the day itself may be associated with painful memories or the loss of loved ones. “Where is the wonder?” Your heart may ask.

The Wonder can still be found. It lies in a deeper and richer understanding of the nativity story itself, one that goes beyond the words transcribed on the page. Historians and Bible scholars debate the facts and authenticity of the story. Dates and times do not align with the scarce bits of recorded history from the time. The story seems to be purposeful in connecting Jesus to the lineage of the House of David, which causes some to speculate its intention. But the Wonder is not to be found in aligning historical facts or scriptural prophecies. It is found in the deeper meaning of a story rich with symbolism.

Jesus taught through parables, stories that symbolized elements of the human experience, its challenges, endeavors, and divine potential. His followers would have done the same. They would have incorporated this compelling, symbolic story-telling into their work and embedded it in the most magnificent parable of all, the birth, life, and death of their Master and Way-shower, Jesus.

What then, are the characters and elements of the nativity story trying to tell us? Could each of them be an aspect of our own consciousness giving birth to an expression of God? Could they represent a recognition of ourselves as both fully human and fully divine? Could they describe the seeking of something greater, of hope and faith and joy, found not in a stable but in a humble place within the human heart?

Most of this spectacular story is found in the Gospel of Luke. But an additional, wonder-filled story is relayed in the second chapter of Matthew, where we find wise ones from the east following a star to an unknown place in the west. A songwriter calls it the Star of Wonder. And no doubt it was a wonder.

Imagine what kind of star or sign would cause you to embark on a lengthy and dangerous journey wrought with spitting camels, narrow mountain passages, desert storms, thieves, and a dubious, deceitful king. It would have to be a great sign, a wonder on par with perhaps the Seven Wonders of the World. Bigger than life. Awe-inspiring. Overwhelming. Beautiful. Perhaps an inkling of something wonderful being born, leading you to a place of perfect peace, hope, and wholeness.

This awe-inspiring light, one that would encourage you to traverse all obstacles to discover its source lies within you. The star represents a glimmer of light, an inspiring thought that stimulates the wise ones, the Power of Wisdom within you that sometimes lies dormant. The Star of Wonder is the great light of Spiritual Understanding, offering clarity and guidance.

Where there is light, we can see what we could not see in the darkness. Our way is made clear. This Light of Understanding within you continually guides the wisdom in you through the challenges and difficulties of human life to a place where you can lay down the worldly gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh in exchange for the spiritualized gifts of Infinite Abundance, Divine Love, and a recognition of the eternal nature of the Essence of Life in you and all around you.

The gifts of the wise ones represent capacities that are always within you but are spiritualized or spiritually empowered when brought under the direction of the Christ or Higher-self. These wonders within you are most accessible when you make the journey from your head to your heart, where the Christ of you is continuously born anew and awaits your return in consciousness.

The Wonder of Christmas is not lost. The Wonder is you. You, as an expression of the eternal, all-pervading Essence of Life. Now that is a Wonder that can never be lost, only hidden. Breathe in the glow of the inner star and be guided in all that you do to the peaceful place of absolute wholeness with you.

Have a Wonder-filled Christmas, and enjoy a spectacular new You.

© 2019. Rev. Eileen Patra.

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity Minister and the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings. She is currently serving as co-minister at the Spiritual Life Center in Troy, Michigan and guest speaking at a variety of Unity churches. She is currently working on her second book, Living as the Ark. Learn more about The Mystical Ark at themysticalark.com

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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

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

I was a typical, rebellious, and always-in-need-of-more-sleep, teenager. My mother had a heck of a time getting me out of bed in the morning – or even the afternoon on weekends. Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps you can hear that voice that called you repeatedly, “Wake up. You’ll be late for school.” Or, as I would often hear, “Wake up. The early bird catches the worm.” Like I had any intention of eating worms!

Today, I wake up before the sun rises. It’s something that happens to some of us as we enter our golden years. Maybe they’re golden because we’ve started catching those worms. I don’t know, but I do know it’s time to wake up. Not because it’s time for school. Not because there are worms to catch. But because it’s time to be you.

“I am awake.” You say. How could I be anything other than me?” You ask. But are you truly awake to who you really are? Are you awake to all that you are intended to be? Are you awake and catching the unique and glorious role you play in the grander scheme of life?

You are an individualized expression of the Divine. You are an integral part of a greater whole. Everything you think, do and say is vital to the life and well being of the whole. It is impossible to be separate from this wholeness. But you can, and many of us often are, asleep to it.

We live in a world that functions on separation. What we see with our physical eyes and experience with our physical feelings tells us – no – convinces us that we are alone, completely independent from one another. But this is not the truth of you.

I watched a video yesterday of an aerial view of trees moving in the breeze. It was a fascinating image. The trees moved in such unison they appeared to be one organism, breathing in absolute harmony. In essence, they are exactly that; one organism breathing in harmony. Yet, from our everyday perspective, each one appears to be a separate tree.

So it is with our human expressions of life; one organism appearing as separate beings, having unique shapes, sizes, and personalities. Yet, from a higher perspective, all are one living, breathing expression of the Essence of Life.

When you are truly awake to your role in this magnificent whole, you can no longer feel alone. You lose the desire to judge, to fight, or to be better-than. Instead, you desire and exude harmony. Your harmonizing efforts may seem small at first, unimportant, unproductive. But every thought, every movement, every action stimulates a reaction in the whole. Like a tree responding to the wind, its movement creating an additional breeze influencing the movement of the one next to it, what you do stimulates a response from the person next to you.

Our world has been moving in a state of disharmony long enough. Nothing that you do in this life is as vital as recognizing the power of the Divine within you and living from this awakened state of being. When you reawaken every single day, every single moment and breathe this harmonized thought into expression, you make a difference in the world around you. As harmony is reflected back to you, your understanding and desire for unity increases and you move in even greater harmony. The feeling and awareness grow.

It’s time. It’s past time. Wake up and be you. The world needs you right now.

© 2019. Eileen Patra. All rights reserved.

Eileen Patra is an author, inspirational speaker, and retired Unity minister. She is the author of the life-changing metaphysical and visionary novel, The Mystical Ark, available from retailers and wholesalers everywhere including:

IndieBound        Amazon        Barnes & Noble         Ingram          Scribd    Kobo

From Dream to Reality

The Making of The Mystical Ark

Eileen with first copy of The Mystical Ark

I had an idea once. I thought there might be a deeper meaning to the scripture commonly known as The Ten Commandments. As a student at what is now known as Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, I learned to interpret the Bible metaphysically, meaning beyond the physical. I found this view of scripture fascinating as the words on the page opened up to reveal an underlying story that made so much sense it brought tears to my eyes.

I learned that the name Moses means “drawn from the water,” and that water represents a sea of consciousness, in this case, a consciousness of bondage and limitation. Suddenly, this story was not about a group of people that lived thousands of years ago. It was a story about you and me; a story about being drawn out of a sea of negative thought and freed from limiting beliefs.

It was from this expanded perspective that the first seed thoughts of The Mystical Ark were planted in my mind. The theme first emerged as a series Sunday school lessons titled, Seekers of the Lost Ark. The Indiana Jones movies were popular then, and the allusion to the Lost Ark film made the lessons more engaging for the kids. Years later, the idea took shape as a series of Sunday sermons, followed by a collection of essays that I was determined to make into a book.

Progress on the book was painfully slow, and the distractions were many. A half-written manuscript sat on my shelf for a year or two. But the idea would not go away. I would move on to something else, and then someone would ask when I was going to do the next talk in the series or when I would publish the book. Spirit seemed to be using people around me to encourage me to get busy with the book – and soon. So, I planned a writing binge; a weekend with the house to myself, no distractions, and forty-eight hours of nearly non-stop writing. Surely, I would complete this project before Monday rolled around. It was a great plan. I had lots of enthusiasm for it, but it didn’t happen quite that way. That weekend writing spree turned out to be just the beginning.

The morning I was to begin my writing marathon, I was awakened by a lucid dream. In this dream, a small group of explorers sat in a circle around the Ark of the Covenant. They were dirty. Their clothing was torn and spattered with blood. They tried to open the box, but it repelled them. They were all unable to touch it – except for one member of the team. When she approached the relic, her hand slipped right through the invisible force-field that had deterred the others. Then, the box opened, revealing a passageway to another realm of being. The entire team was pulled through the opening into a mystical experience that would forever change their lives.

The dream clung to me in vivid detail. I tried inserting the scene as a fictional forward to my exegeses of the Ark. But that didn’t work. The fictional scene was engaging – but the shift to the essays was abrupt and disorienting. It was as if two different books had been glued together rather than one leading gently into the other.

It seemed this book was destined to be a work of fiction; a story with relatable characters that would draw the reader into the experience. Writing a fictional novel was something I had never considered. I wasn’t even sure where to begin. What characters would I need to create? There was the small group of explorers in the opening scene, but I didn’t know who there were or what they would represent. What I did know was that I had to write this book. It would not leave me alone. It permeated my every thought. The Mystical Ark wanted to be born and was asking me to be its midwife.

But how does an author of spiritual essays and inspirational articles successfully birth a fictional novel? I was about to find out. The next two years would be spent putting the principles of visioning and positive thinking into action, developing a disciplined writing routine, reading every book on writing I could get my hands on, researching everything from geography and anthropology to the genetics of hair color – and oh – writing!

What began as an idea and a dream planted in my mind and heart blossomed into reality. The book is now published, and available from retailers around the world. The characters I created and lived with for the past two years are now engaging and entertaining an expanding group of readers. It is a deeply satisfying experience, and I look forward to sharing more about the steps I took to turn that dream into reality in blog posts to come.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

Eileen Patra is the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings and an ordained Unity minister. She is currently guest speaking at a variety of Unity churches and working on her next book, Living as the Ark. Learn more about The Mystical Ark at themysticalark.com

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Is There Room in Your Closet?

Does your closet sometimes get so full that you have trouble locating what you would like to wear? This happens to me more often than I care to admit. An overflowing closet might be exciting if everything in it were something I actually wanted to wear. But no, many of the items just take up space making it difficult to find what I am looking for.

A closet is not unlike the human mind. Like a mind, it stores necessary things as well as those that are no longer useful. Even when not conscious of the items held there, they sit, waiting, taking up space. And like a closet, the mind is unlikely to relinquish the things it holds unless there is a conscious the choice to let them go. We often hold thoughts and ideas about ourselves, about others, and about the world that are no longer useful, that in fact, cause so much crowding in our consciousness that little space remains for the creative thoughts that would cause us to thrive.

Think about that old tattered shirt in your closet. It’s there every time you open the door. You know the one; the one you push out of the way over and over again trying to find something more appealing. You know you would rather wash an entire load of clothes than wear it, yet there it hangs, taking up space, mocking your inability to surrender it to the giveaway bag. What thought, idea, or belief is lingering in your consciousness taking up space like that tattered old shirt? What belief about yourself is filling your consciousness day and night leaving little room for the peace and joy you seek?

If you are seeking joy, but holding thoughts of anger, fear, guilt, remorse, or regret, there is little room for joy to seep in. There is of course nothing wrong with having these thoughts or feelings. They are a part of our human experience and often helpful in defining ourselves. But holding onto them until they become a tattered memory squeezing out the joy we seek is counterproductive to a life that thrives. You are intended to thrive. You are intended to experience joy. You were meant to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Whatever that thought is, you really don’t need it anymore. You know you don’t. Take it out of there right now. Take a good look at it and realize it does not define you. It is not who and what you are. It is just some fleeting idea that crossed your mind one day and decided to settle there. Let it go. Drop it in the giveaway bin or set it on the porch and call the universe to come and pick it up. You haven’t needed it in years.

And now quickly, before it wanders back in there, replace it with something else – perhaps its absolute opposite. It might feel strange at first, but over time the new thought will become a comfortable part of your attire.

© 2019. Eileen Patra

Beyond The Tomb

The angels in Jesus’ tomb asked Mary Magdalene, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Why indeed do we seek new life, a new way of being, while continuing to do what we have always done?  Why do we seek freedom among the thoughts, words and actions that have held us captive?

To live beyond what might seem like a tomb, we must be willing to bless what has passed and then look beyond it.  A tomb experience in life can be anything that draws us apart for a while and provides an opportunity for growth and realignment with Spirit.  A process of deep and lasting change is revealed when we explore four stages of transformation that take place in the tomb; renunciation, retreat, resurrection and realization. 

On the cross, Jesus renounced the world as his source and commended his Spirit to God.  He took the final step toward overcoming the greatest block to transformation; the belief that life is created and sustained by the world.  What is demonstrated for us through the crucifixion and resurrection is that   Life is independent of the world.  Life, the flow of Spirit within us, creates the world according to our ability and willingness to allow Truth to be expressed through us.

Jesus was laid in a tomb, retreating from the world for three days. Three is symbolic of completion in Spirit, soul and body.  Resurrection is instant, simultaneous in Spirit, but soul and body require a time of unfolding. When we pray, our prayers are answered the instant we release them to Spirit.  Yet, most often, a time of quiet reflection and letting go is required for our prayers to fully manifest in our minds, hearts and body.

Mary returns to the tomb with the intention of blessing what she believes is lost.  The willingness to bless what has passed away rolls away the stone and opens the way for divine inspiration. When we bless what has passed for the opportunities of growth and realignment provided, blockages are removed and our way is made clear.

Mary did not realize that the gardener was Jesus until he spoke to her.  When he did, she ran to inform the others.  When we realize something we incorporate the new information at all levels of being. Only then is deep and lasting change made possible.  The risen Christ sent his followers to convert the nations.  To convert is to change. To convert the nations is to change everything.  Realization happens in us when we recognize the Christ as the Life within each of us and then inform every level of our being to live this Truth.  When we live this Truth everything is made new and we live beyond the tomb.  

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

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On Loss and Healing

healing heartThere is no loss really as we are all one in Spirit. The essence of Life that animates us is eternal. We simply transform or transition from beings of form to being beyond form.  This is beautiful. It is reassuring. And it does not fill the hole created when someone we love dearly moves beyond form.  Our hearts become heavy and sometimes feel closed and compressed.  We may ache for the physical form which we have associated with the responsive, loving mind we cherish.  So, how then do we heal the hole? 

Allowing is the most vital aspect of any form of growth or healing.  If we plant a seed in the ground, it would not make sense to cover the ground so tightly that the emerging plant cannot break through.  Allowing ourselves to feel the sadness and pain are key to the ultimate healing.

We may dress a physical wound to protect it from unhealthy bacteria, but the dressing must be able to breathe, to let air in.  In our emotional healing we provide protection by loving ourselves enough to say no to what doesn’t serve us and yes to those things that bring us joy.  Healthy boundaries that honor our own healing process will promote the growth of a new sense of balance and wholeness.

The healing of a physical wound occurs because new cells grow and replace the injured ones. The process is not instant.  It is a process.  Cells grow a little at a time.  One day at a time as we heal from loss, new ways of being will unfold. We will be offered opportunities to reinvent ourselves.  New people may enter our lives – if we let them.  Old friends may take on a different role in our lives – if we let them.  And new ideas, activities, and opportunities will rise to the surface like new cells pushing their way toward the outer edges of our skin.  Pay attention to these. Listen for what calls to you, inspires you and feeds you.  Just as the one you love has taken on a new and invisible form, you too are taking on a new form and a new way of being.  One day at a time, love yourself. One day at a time be kind to yourself. One day at a time allow yourself to grow and be the next and beautiful expression of who you are and who you’ve come here to be. Namaste’

© 2017. Rev. Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Patra is an ordained, Unity minister currently serving as the spiritual leader of Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan

Rise and Shine

Alarmclock about to wake her upWhen I was a teenager my mother had a horrific time waking me up in the morning.  She would, call, cajole, yell, push, pull, and most effectively, threaten to run a bath for me and then go downstairs to the basement. This would mean that if the tub overflowed it would be my fault.  Somehow that one did it. I would reluctantly leave my warm cozy bed and head downstairs to turn off the water.  The threat of more work and the trouble I would be in was enough to release whatever dream was holding me captive.

What if we could apply this same principle to our daily lives?  There are some who would say that our earthly experience is a dream itself, that we have fallen asleep to our greater, spiritual selves.  Our dreams are often captivating because we can change the thread of the dream at will.  If it’s a really good one we can stay in it and perhaps even choose the next scene. If it’s frightening we can turn a corner and begin a different dream or simply wake up.

If today, your awake dream is not what you choose to experience, change the scene.  You have the power to do that.  If today the awake dream of the world is frightening, let’s all wake up.  What appears to be immovable is movable through the powers of faith, divine love, wisdom and will.  These are innate powers within each of us. Aligned with the one power, one presence, one activity that animates all of life, we can move mountains, change scenes and see the Truth in one another.  But we must wake up. 

Whatever scene you choose to live today, let it be one that is guided by the harmonizing power of Divine Love. Let it be a day of wakefulness to the divine essence in all beings. Rise and Shine! The water is running and it’s up to you to direct the flow.

© 2017. Eileen DeRosia Patra

 

If I Were A Road

tunnel-1056859-640x480If I were a road I would plunge through the surface, into the depths of this life. I’d journey upward and outward, to the vast space beyond. I would travel the stars and the universe, and spiral with planets as far as can be. Along the way I would travel through time and wind myself back like a grandfather clock. I would cherish the memories unfolding before me. The earliest memories of humankind would flash by like the blur of a landscape moving swiftly past the side window of a traveling car.

Flying through time I would catch glimpses of people, vibrant and real making up pages of earth’s history. I would slow down and pause as I rambled where Jesus had walked. I’d hang up a stoplight where Gandhi had been. I’d rest for a while and encounter Mohamed. We would gaze at the stars and see God and Allah and Brahman in them.

If I were a road I would traverse the layers of existence and discover where time began. I would pause in my travels to catch the first Light as it expanded and vibrated and became the waters and dry land. I would curve and I’d spiral following along, with the unfolding nature of humankind Then I would find myself in my own childhood yard. I’d watch myself on my swing set, the dog nipping my butt as I flew through the air. I would travel around to the place called Virginia where my brother boarded a navy ship. I’d visit him in his youth, so vibrant, so excited as he sailed off to see the world. I’d stop in Onaway at my father’s childhood home. I’d catch glimpses of what it was like to grow up in that home, bursting with children the adults speaking French. I’d hear the laughter of little ones running about. I’d see the sweat on the older one’s brows as they worked outside in the fields.

If I were a road, I’d wander about, finding pieces and glimpses of how I began. I’d discover my birth was not here on this earth. I’d find that I’d started before I began. I’d pause at the moment the first thought was expressed. I’d let go of all else as I mapped out my path. I’d see what has been went just like I planned, the valleys and vistas all there in my hand. I’d discover my journey continues, yet never began. It spirals and curves and floats up and down. It moves without moving then settles again. I’d gaze with great wonder at its natural bends. I’d pause for a while then roam quietly forward again. If I were a road, I’d begin and then end at the place where all thought first began.

© 20107. Rev. Eileen Patra

Star of Wonder

bright red flashIn this wondrous time of year, we witness the wonders of the first snow fall, of holiday lights and decorations, the glitter, the activity of giving, the excitement of children as they anticipate visits from Santa and extra days off from school. We hear the sounds of familiar carols playing in stores and churches and on car radios. And perhaps we hear these familiar words, “Star of Wonder, Star of Night, … guide us to thy perfect Light.” It is a song describing the journey of the Magi following a great and mysterious Light to the birth of the Christ, a sacred and glorious event in the story of humankind.

The Star of Wonder is more however than the guiding light to one mystical event in the history of humankind. It is also a symbol of the continuing story of birthing the Christ in us. The Star of Wonder is the Light that rises in our consciousness, even in the midst of what appears to be darkness, guiding us to the birth of the Christ Mind in us.

The true Wonder of this sacred and mystical story is not the star at all. It is not the Wise Men. It is not even the gifts that they bring. The true wonder is the light in you that rises in your consciousness and leads you to the sacred space in you that awakens the Christ in you. It is the Light in you that awakens you to the gifts already in your treasure chest. It is the Light in you that guides you to placing your life and your spiritual gifts under the care and guidance of the Christ in you.

The Wonder of this story is made manifest when we make all of our inner resources, the gifts of God within us, open to the Christ Mind by asking, “What would the Christ in me do? What would the Christ in me have me be?” The true Wonder of this story has always been the “… Christ in you, your hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister currently serving at Unity of Livonia, in Livonia, Michigan