Tag Archives: Blessings

Planting Me

plant.dreamstimefree_194667At times, Mother Nature seems to play tricks on us.  Just when we think its planting time she throws a fresh blanket of snow on the emerging crocuses and sends us running for our winter coats.  And such is life when we find ourselves ready to plant a new habit, or newfound spiritual idea in our lives.  We’ve just attended the most amazing workshop or read an outstanding book, or visited with a great spiritual teacher.  We’ve kicked some old habit or limiting belief.  We greet each day with a newfound sense of balance and harmony and authenticity.  Then wham! A fresh blanket of snow falls.  Some unexpected circumstance has us seeking the old worn out coat, the old habit, the limiting belief, and we can barely believe the words being uttered from our mouths.

Despite the erratic climate, it’s time to think about planting; whether it’s crops, or flowers, or a more authentic version of ourselves.  ‘Planting Me,’ is showing up as the most authentic version of self; becoming embedded in that; and living, growing and thriving from that consciousness.  ‘Planting Me,’ is planting my highest self in the garden of consciousness.

The earliest spiritual writings utilize the metaphor of gardens, seeds and trees to illustrate the infinite, eternal nature of life and the role of humankind in it.  The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contribute to our yearning to explain the beginning of the finite world with the story of the Garden of Eden, filled with lush plant life and various trees.  Two of the trees are named; The Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tree of Life, God suggests, humankind should use for nourishment and sustenance.  It is the tree that represents life, wholeness and harmony.  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil however, is the most well known in the Judeo-Christian culture, and the one that humankind chooses to taste.  It is the perception of Good and Evil that leads us out of the experience of wholeness to one of  judgment, division, separation and conflict.

As the story goes, the gates of Eden are then closed to humankind and guarded by angels.  However, if we see recognize angels as divine ideas or messengers of God, we find that the return to wholeness is just a divine thought away.  Like a seed that falls from a tree, we contain all of the characteristics of our Source.  To plant an authentic version of ourselves in the garden of consciousness is to return our thoughts to the image and likeness of God imprinted upon our very being, and to embed that in every thought, every word, and every action.

By turning our thoughts to the wholeness of God, our own minds and hearts are opened.  Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are within us.  The choice from which to eat or be nourished is ours in any given moment.

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

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

A Miracle A Day

MIRACLES.dreamstime_xs_54350453Every day is filled with miracles. Some are profound like near-death experiences or the miracles of scripture.  Others are simple like the smile of an infant or a tiny flower pushing its way through volcanic ash. Miracles are all around us but often, we fail to see them.

What we call miracles are occurrences that seem to manipulate the laws of physics; making the impossible, possible.  But in Truth, they are the working out Spiritual Law revealing what was already there but not visible to our human eyes.

In my work as a graphic designer for automotive dealer announcement shows, I witnessed a great number of on-stage car reveals.  Although the cars seemed to miraculously appear, they were already there, just beneath the stage, or just beyond the smoke and mirrors.

Such are the miracles of life.  The smiling infant reminds us that there is joy, love and comfort just beneath the surface.  The budding flower in the unlikely setting of volcanic ash reminds us of the grand circle of life continuously renewing itself.  Witnessing miracles in everyday life fills us with a sense of wonder, connection and oneness.  Seeing what appears as miraculous expands our awareness of Spirit at work, perpetually making the invisible, visible.

Albert Einstein said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  Choosing the latter, we are reminded that miracles are everywhere and that even death is a miracle when we behold it as such.

Anita Moorjani, the author of “Dying to Be Me,” chose to return to earthly life following a near-death experience.  She now views the cancer that nearly killed her as a miracle that actually saved her life.  During her out-of-body experience, her vision expanded in every direction and she found she could be anywhere simply by thinking about it.  She thought about her brother and she was instantly beside him as he boarded a plane anticipating her death.  Wherever she focused her attention, there she was.

Wherever we focus our attention, there we are.  Choosing to live as if everything is a miracle requires that we focus our attention on the miracles all around us.  The apostle Paul said “…whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…think on these things.” As we point our attention to miracles all around us, we experience the miraculous.  As we think upon these things we shift our own consciousness and that of the world aound us.  Commit yourself to living as though everything is a miracle.  Commit to looking for a miracle every day.  Focus your thoughts on what is is pure, what is lovely, what is miraculous, and there you are.  Think about a miracle today.

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen Patra is the senior minister at Unity of Livonia.    To join Rev. Eileen in witnessing A Miracle A Day, please follow her Facebook page.

Living From An L-Evated Consciousness

Everyday objects viewed through a microscope reveal what could not be previously seen.  What seemed quite ordinary appears extraordinary.  Absorbed by the details however, we may miss the greater view.  A kernel of corn for instance resembles human blood cells under a microscope. It is an interesting image but the likeness of a kernel of corn is completely lost.  Looking at that same kernel from an expanded view we may see the corn stalk, the cornfield or even a crop circle.  From an aerial view the corn is no longer visible but we see an array of other details that surround it, houses, roads, trees, distant lakes.  From a space station view, even the roads and trees disappear and we see the earth in all its glory. The kernel of corn is still there. It is still an integral part of the whole. But there is so much more to see.

Seeing our lives and experiences as more than the minute details requires a shift in viewpoint. Like the microscope, telescope and space station cameras, we can adjust our view. We have the ability to see beyond the micro view and envision ourselves as an integral part of a much greater whole. Seeing our self, our experiences and our relationships with one another from a higher perspective requires moving to a higher frame of reference, perhaps an L-evated consciousness.  In an “L”evated consciousness we Look, Listen, Let Go, Learn and Love.

To see, one must LOOK. Looking within and without we see ourselves more clearly. Examining our inner state and our outer condition expands our view. LOOKing for a greater good reveals what might be invisible from the micro view.

To hear, one must LISTEN.  When we truly listen to others we gain perspective on their experience and their view of the world.  To listen and truly hear, we must stop talking.  We must quiet the inner chatter.  Remaining quiet we open access our intuitive nature and a deeper knowing is revealed.

To change our view, one must LET GO.  You cannot see the cornfield while still focused on the microscopic view of the kernel. Letting go of a limited or judgmental perspective expands the view and allows previously invisible possibilities to be revealed.

To make change permanent, one must LEARN. LEARNing requires practice.  Learning to adjust our view and responses takes time.  Like physical training, muscle is built up over time. As we practice listening, expanding and acting from a higher perspective we build new neural pathways that over time will become a new way of being.

To truly expand in consciousness, one must LOVE.  LOVE is the harmonizing and multiplying energy of the universe. LOVE looks for the common thread and weaves together a fabric of peace and harmony. LOVE is patient and kind, allowing time for true change to unfold. Love does not judge.

Open your eyes and see a higher vision. Listen to what Spirit is telling you.  Let go of the micro view and learn to respond from an expanded view. Live from an “L-evated” realm where love guides you in new and greater ways of being. Change your view and you change your self and you change the world.

© 2016. Rev. Eileen Patra

Rev. Eileen is the Senior Minister at Unity of Livonia in Livonia, Michigan

Seekers of the Lost Ark, Part 3 – The Blessing of Truth

heart-arkIn our series Seekers of the Lost Ark we have discovered a mystical meaning to the list of covenants held within the innermost part of the Ark of the Covenant.  In addition to sound rules for living they are also the profound spiritual blessing of the Mother-Father Everything God that Jesus called Father.

The words “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor” are more than a command to not lie when explored through a metaphysical lens. Although honesty is certainly a virtue and this is a great rule to live by, the nature of an indwelling God urges us to look deeper and ask the questions, “What does it mean to bear something?”; “What is false?” and “Who is thy neighbor?”

To bear something is to carry something. And of course what is false is not true. Your neighbor is every living being including yourself. And if the only absolute Truth is that God is the One Power, One Presence, One Activity in our lives, then anything that is not God is false.

Think about that. Your neighbor, every living thing is an expression of the One Power, One Presence, One Activity, God the Good. Carrying anything about your neighbor that is not grounded in this Truth is a great weight to bear. It is a burden. It is a false judgment. It is witnessing or seeing something other than Truth in another.

The blessing is you will not carry anything that is false about your or your neighbor. You will see only Truth. And to experience this Truth we must rest on the previous blessings. There is only One God and we will not have any false gods in our life. Nothing false will have power over us. We will remember the Sabbath, the quiet place within where we are one with God and we can see the Truth in all things.

And when we find ourselves carrying a heavy burden we might ask ourselves, “Is it True?” Is the burden I carry the Truth of me? Is it the Truth of the other person or situation? If it is a burden, it is not Truth.

One of the tools we can use to turn our thoughts from what is false to what is Truth is “The Work” as described by Byron Katie in her book “Loving What Is.”  When a thought, feeling or experience is causing us to feel less burdened we can ask these questions proposed by Katie;

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I be absolutely certain it is true?
  3. How do I feel when I think the thought?
  4. How would I be without the thought?

If a thought or feeling is a burden, it is not true. Or at least it is not the absolute Truth. Most often the second question will reveal a glimpse of a greater truth waiting to be explored. Without the thought we would of course be more peaceful, more centered, more aware of our wholeness.

To truly really release a troubling thought we must fill the space with a thought that IS true, something we can affirm that brings us to a new level of thinking. Here Katie tells us to turn the thought around, to try it on in different forms. Perhaps the opposite is true. Perhaps there is something in us that is being mirrored to provide a greater understanding of Truth. Turning the thought around may be a revelation that transforms our lives. The new thought may allow us to let go of judgments of ourselves and others forever.

© 2015 Rev. Eileen Patra, CSE, LUT

Commandments or Blessings?

Seekers of the Lost Ark, Part 2

In part one of Seekers of the Lost Ark we discovered a mystical dimension to the Law of Moses preserved in the Ark of the Covenant; the tabernacle built by the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land.

The ark was built that God “… might dwell among them.” The invisible source of all being wishes to dwell among the people. The physical ark, built of the finest materials and the most detailed design carries the tablets inscribed with the Word of God; the Ten Commandments. The mystical ark carries the Source of all Being and resides within the heart of humankind.
In this metaphysical interpretation the list of rules inscribed upon the tablets come alive in us. As we recognize the One Power, One Presence, One Activity, God the Good dwelling within us we find that nothing false can have power over us. And thus, the list becomes an assurance of blessings expanding from this great Truth.

“Honor thy Mother and thy Father,” is a relevant rule for living. We honor or give thanks for that from which we have come into the world. But Jesus tells us to “… call no man your father, you have only one Father…” So then, who is your Father? And who is your Mother? If there is only One Power, One Presence, One Activity, God the Good; then might both the Father and Mother be attributes of God? And further, if God dwells within you, might the Father and Mother be an attribute of God within you?

Metaphysically, the mother and father in you represent the thinking and feeling nature. Spiritually, they represent divine wisdom and unconditional love. Made in the image and likeness of Spirit we are blessed with the powers of Wisdom and Love.

How are we blessed then by honoring our father and mother? We remember that we are never alone. We remember that we carry the divine mother and father qualities of Spirit in our hearts and minds. The Mystical Ark is the point of power within us, the quiet place where we connect with Spirit. Here we awaken and honor the indwelling Mother, Father, Everything God and we are abundantly blessed.

© 2015 Rev. Eileen Patra

Seekers of the Lost Ark, Part 1

In the course of human evolution there comes an ever-expanding understanding of the One Power, One Presence, One Activity we call God, the Good, Omnipotence. Our understanding of God as a judgmental, superhuman ruler shaping the individual lives of humankind has expanded.  Many of us have grown to understand God as the absolute wholeness of Beingness; not All-Powerful, but ALL-POWER. Not loving, but the ESSENCE OF LOVE. NOT a patriarchal entity but a Mother, Father, Everything God in which (as the apostle Paul tells us), we Live, Move and Have Being.

As we grow to understand God as Spirit, as Jesus foretells in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, our understanding of the covenant between God and humankind must also expand. In this three part series, Seekers of the Lost Ark we will explore the mystical significance of the Ark and the Ten Commandments or “agreements” which it contains.

As we look to the deeper meaning of the words engraved upon the tablets we discover that they are more than a list of “shoulds” and “should nots”. Although still relevant today as rules for living together in harmony, an expanded understanding reveals another dimension to the words. They are in fact the “Blessings” of a Mother, Father, Everything God, the very source of our being. Much as a biblical father would bestow his blessing upon a son venturing beyond his father’s house, Spirit bestows upon us these spiritual blessings.

The blessings of Spirit begin with the words, “I AM the Lord YOUR God, you shall have no false gods before me.” I AM is a reference to God’s name, “I AM that I am”… unlimited, infinite possibility, the pure presence of beingness that cannot be limited to a single name. I AM the Lord YOUR God. I AM the essence of life and I am YOURS; personal, immanent, indwelling. Nothing false, nothing that lies before you or outside of you shall have power over YOUR God, the God that dwells within you. This is a blessing. This empowers us to live without fear knowing that there is One Power, One Presence, One Activity that permeates all of life and dwells within us.

This first blessing is then reinforced with the words, “you shall make no carved or engraved images of anything.” In other words, no image, no imagined thing that you engrave in the world shall have power over you. You cannot limit the power of Spirit by creating in your mind or in your life a limited image of what is infinite… try as you might. Another blessing.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord YOUR God in vain.” As a child I understood this to mean I should not swear or curse. And although there is great benefit in keeping our words pure and positive, this statement also blesses us. “You shall not,” means you will not, you cannot call on God in vain. God knows your needs and your desires before you know them yourself. When you call on God it is never in vain, for your prayer, no matter how stated, is heard and answered before you even ask.

You are blessed because God dwells within the mystical ark of your heart. Your work, is to know your oneness in Spirit and then be blessed once again by resting into the Sabbath of the pure presence of being; to Let Go and Let God be expressed through you and as you.

Intrigued? Be sure to read part 2 coming soon as we explore how more of the covenants between God and humankind are blessings upon us.

© 2015 Rev. Eileen Patra