My most honest invitation yet

Murmurations – a transformational community to realize your deepest intentions, isn’t just a path into your heart’s longing…My most honest expression and offering, it’s also one to mine. 

Lifetimes of hiding behind vice and virtue alike, the game is up. Years of reckoning with the fear of being seen and not seen, in my gifts and my wounds has me standing here now.

A 10 year crawl out of “my spiritual closet” feels pretty damn complete!

From here is my invitation to you- I am asking you to join me. It’s time.

If you feel a resonance, apply to the course soon. Enrollment closes Monday!

MURMURATIONS IS DIFFERENT.

It’s the weaving of Heart and Mind, Love and Power, Earth and Sky, Masculine and Feminine, Seen and Unseen, Sacred and Mundane- through the thread of your truest longing. 

Awakening and healing in conscious community, come dance the dream with us!

Together we will be Scientists and Mystics.
We will test everything in our experience.
We will be Individual and One.
We will look in the mirror of relationship.
We’ll keep what’s useful and discard the rest. 

An astrologer will illuminate your path and place in the order of the Everything. 
An herbalist with help you ground it into Earth through the wisdom of Plant Medicine. 
cacao ceremonialist will open and connect our hearts to the heart of the Mystery.
I will hold a mirror to both your light and your shadow.
We will learn to walk in love together towards our deepest yearnings.
You will cultivate self-trust through your direct experience. 

It’s my most vulnerable and wholesome offering yet. 

Years of silence taught me to speak. Years of kneeling taught me to stand. The little girl who longed to be Krishna, the “Why Girl” kicked out of Physics class, the idealist who rebelled against reality, now stands a woman embracing it. 

In celebration of her wholeness and brokenness, a lifelong love affair with life and the Divine has planted her firmly on very Human feet. A wounded healer, a mystic, a teacher and sometimes, a magician. She is first and always, Human.

I trust what I feel when I tune into the silence. I ask of the Mystery and receive with grace. Always, it is precisely enough.

I know the whole thing has nothing to do with me and it’s all for me! Eyes open or closed, wherever I look I see me in you in me in All That Is. Dimensions melt into dimensions. Time warp equations of college Physics have never made more sense.

I’ve come full circle, again.
Love is.  

Crossing cultures, continents and paradigms, I take my place in the Everything as I invite you to take yours, alongside a masterful guide, and the manual of your experience.

If you can see yourself in this circle with us, know that a place is being held for you. Anchored by a crystal, blessed by fire and honored with loving attention. 

You just have to claim it.

We start next week. Join us! 

from my heart to yours,
Ishita

Listening for Collective Healing

We know listening is key to healing conflict, yet we seldom know where or how to begin.

In this experiential live online session I led for the global Truth and Reconciliation Weekend, we explored listening through questions like:

How can listening catalyze healing between and within us?
How can we listen to those we disagree with?
How can we connect beyond our ideas of eachother, beyond right and wrong, good and bad, us Vs. them thinking?

This is a recording of a session facilitated by Ishita where we will experiment with a way of being in relation to each other and ourselves that deepens presence, authentic connection and heals division.

Bring your curiosity and the willingness to see and be seen to each exercise.

As you follow the recording, turn the questions being explored onto yourself and notice what you discover.

If you are moved by the session and wish to continue diving deeper, I hope you’ll join me and a group of peers committed to bettering the world.

The world is begging us to show up fully for ourselves and each other from a place of love.

with hope and love,
Ishita

Winter Solstice and Murmurations

This Winter Solstice closes out a big year, beginning an especially potent one, dissolving old forms and creating newness fueled by the fire 2020 lit in our hearts. It’s extra special to me because, this year, my intention includes helping you birth yours!

Happy Winter Solstice you!

Just as the Solstice Sun sets tonight, Saturn and Jupiter will form the mythical Star of Bethlehem, last seen in 1623, as they cross paths in the early sunset sky, followed by a meteor shower at night. Worth getting out in the cold to witness!

On each Solstice I make space to be with myself in nature and set intentions for the next half of my revolution around the Sun. It matters, read on to hear why.

This Winter Solstice closes out a big year, beginning an especially potent one, dissolving old forms and creating newness fueled by the fire 2020 lit in our hearts. It’s extra special to me because, this year, my intention includes helping you birth yours!

The keyword for this time is daring, and I am opening my most daring offering yet- a transformative community to heal and awaken together.

Murmurations- the next Transformational Group Intensive begins on January 28th.

In this 6 month journey, we will fly together to pave the path to your deepest intentions in a loving, conscious community.

In the last cohort I led, two people stopped smoking without actively pushing to do so! Such is the power of an intentional and loving group to heal.

And this course is all about that- coming together with intention and love, as one, tapping into intelligence bigger than each of us, amplifying the gifts we each bring, while healing our shadows.

In the last intensive, each of us asked ourselves: What is my deepest longing? What stands in my way? What stops me from unconditionally loving myself? What stops me from unconditionally loving others?

As we dropped our masks, allowing ourselves to see and be seen, as we invited our longings and resistances to be known, embraced and loved, magic happened. As we dared to name our deepest calling, and commit to our heart’s call, we embodied the intentions we had set in just 6 short weeks.

The next round goes for 6 months to anchor us through the passing trials of the pandemic and exploit the potency of this transformational time between the Winter and Summer Solstices.

If you’re longing to create change in your life, this may be just the time and place to heed that call.

The Solstice may seem like just another day for you, and beyond the cool physics of it, I too didn’t pay much attention to it for most of my life, until something in me shifted.

Let me tell you what makes the Solstice is so important to me now.

In my late 20’s, I noticed I craved time with the Sun and the Moon like people crave chocolate! As I began to honor my need for more time in nature, I noticed that my whole nervous system responded to the rhythms of the Sun and Moon.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice too.

I couldn’t deny what was happening outside me was reflected in my own neurophysiology!

A true skeptic, I started paying attention. I found clear patterns in my way of being- how I slept, how much, how much I ate, how talkative I felt, what I wanted to do with my day, actually were clearly reflected in the phases of the Moon. Then, I started seeing the bigger patterns through the year…how the Equinoxes and Solstices and the phases they ushered shifted my leanings.

At one point, I could tell the phase of the moon by sensing into my body and my energy when I woke up in the morning. In it I saw again a reflection of the Sanskrit mahavakyaAham Bhramasmi.” I am the Universe, or, my identity is cosmic.

It is. And so is yours.

It was in those days that I realized the Solstice was significant. I could feel my energy build up as it approached, shift as it left. Every cell in my body knew something was about to change, and I could use it to my advantage to release, re-set and re-align.

Later I learned that the Solstice is a day that Yogis – those who aspire towards and embody the ultimate union, between the individual and the universal – recognize as a time of transition into enhanced receptivity of Grace for every body. All of creation comes together to enhance the light within us- and enlightenment becomes a heightened possibility.

All thresholds embody possibility, and the Winter Solstice marks the expansion of light on Earth. Where the Summer Solstice is the beginning of Dakshinayana, a time of purification and cultivation, the Winter Solstice is the beginning of Uttarayana, a time of heightened receptivity.

And because, as Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “both astronomy and anatomy describe you,” if your inner landscape is releasing, re-setting and wanting new direction, know it’s because you are part of life’s great rhythm. 

Because you and I are the Earth, the changes out there are reflected within us- so the light expands inside us, just like it does outside.

That’s why it’s a good day to set intentions, and the keyword here is daring. And that’s why Murmurations is intentionally aligned between the Solstices- to mine the potential of this time.

Dare!

To declare how you want to be.
To channel your innermost fire.
To articulate your deepest desires.
To include all of creation in its fruition!

The time is now. The time is ripe.

If you forgot you can negotiate with the universe, let me remind you you can! And now is a good time to do begin.

Our intentions do exactly that.

So now my Solstice celebration includes going out at sunset to greet the Sun and the Moon, making a fire and reflecting on the year past. I thank the experiences I lived through for their teachings and release parts I don’t need on the journey ahead. Then, I open inner daring and set intentions for what I want to nurture in the year ahead, clearly, so all the forces that be, conscious and unconscious, know and align to my intent.

Knowing that the whole universe is listening, I invite it to participate in realizing my heart’s intention.

I hope you’ll pause and find your way of marking the moment and daring to dream big, because you know in your bones that holding back your heart isn’t why you’re here now or how you want to live.

Maybe you too can ask what are your deepest intentions? Even if you don’t know how you’ll get there, what do you long to create in your life?

If you are committed to your intentions and clearing the blocks that hinder your way, life will find a way to orchestrate their fruition. Having a mirror to reflect your truth, your beauty, your power, your shadow facilitates the journey, and getting there is more fun when we go together!

If you’re still reading, I hope you’ll join me and eleven courageous inner explorers in the six month sojourn through this sacred time, in Murmurations.

There are two cohorts forming and there is space for you…I am really excited about this one!

If it calls to you, let’s connect and see if it’s right for us to walk the path together. 

Enjoy the celestial celebration ahead!

with love and care,
Ishita

In the deep

This poem came through tears…as a teacher of mine asked I accept my place in the world. It’s time, I know it’s time.

In the Deep
5/25/20

Deep
in the deep of the deep
something profound is stirring.

Even as I cloak myself -
Parvati to Kali,
hiding between the play
of Sun and Moon

something quiet is moving.

Listen:

From heart to heart,
the heart of God.

This is a beautiful incarnation.
There is a majesty here!
A profundity-

Joy!

I walk where spirit and matter kiss...
and
withinbecomeswithoutandallaround

A magnificent incarnation!
It is a Truth.
I stand at the top of the mountain.
It is a Truth.

And from here it is seen so clearly-

all the while the only thing stirring
was Vishnu's play-
His Sudharshan chakra
swirling through this world
quietly
creating another.

My fiercest hope for humanity lies in YOU!


That’s my fiercest hope – is that we come back to the natural intelligence that flows through us, instead of constantly negating it. It’s surrendering to the impulse that is the driving force of life. That’s the impulse of creation coming through you!

What could be more natural?
What else could bring fulfillment?

Click on the image for the full podcast episode!

Dear one,

I had a colorful conversation on my soulful colleague Andy Cahill’s podcast, the Wonder Dome last August. He asked me what my fiercest hope for humanity is- a beautiful question he poses to each of his guests.

I realized my fiercest hope for humanity lives in you. It breathes in the way you and I show up in the world, and in these catalytic times, our way of being is more important than ever.

In this intimate conversation we talked about being human and whole, and the juicy possibility that emerges when we come together as one- in service of a world that consciously and lovingly includes and transcends all its parts.

If you’ve been in one of my group courses you know this place of possibility, and if you haven’t, I hope you’ll join me. The world is begging us to show up fully for ourselves and eachother.

You can meet me in all my colors if you listen in! 

with hope and love,
Ishita

SHOW NOTES:

Come to Center
Call to Coherence Intensive
Un Becoming Podcast
Sanskrit
Bhagavad Gita
Francis Briers
Stoicism
Dharma

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Design-in-self

What I sought to create, I found inside myself.

11 years ago (feels like lightyears), for my architectural thesis I designed CeSRON- the Center for Self Reflection, Otherness and Narcissism. A building designed to be a mirror for our inner space.

Little did I know I would create Come to Center, a live mirror that does just that, or that I would end up becoming that mirror myself for others, down the line. 

This surreal project was a celebration of, in a very tongue n cheek way- the obsolescence of self-awareness- before I had heard of transformation, awakening, healing, or any of the work I do now- ALL of which is about self-awareness.

I was fascinated by the race riots in Detroit- and in studying, and considering what led to the violence and deep separation between people, I saw very clearly, how the inner division leads to outer conflict. I was just so curious about the moment at which a child looks in the mirror and says- “me”. 

I spent final year of architecture school studying Lacan and Jung and Heiddeger and falling in love with Gordon Matta Clark…. I had a hay day questioning everything in a way that ultimately led to transcending my discipline of design and architecture altogether, when staring at the face of human suffering. 

What supported this inquiry was a reflection from my professor- I had finally found one person who saw my hunger for the edges of knowledge, and encouraged me to go all out-wherever you are Rupinder Singh I am so deeply grateful for our time together spent in joyous explorations of the depths of art, architecture, meaning, connection and dissection of life itself! For hiding my keys to get me out of hiding in the bottomless pit that was opening up as I got closer to facing existential truths. You weren’t just a teacher, you were a healer to me.

I didn’t know it then, but the questions alive in all these drawings are: What is the root of separation?

How did we become people? What got made into a self? Who am I? What is this? I even labeled the diagrams things like (my favorite) “Labyrinthine search for self”, never suspecting any of this had to with Spirituality.

And the thing is, I knew then, that all this, is really the search for our center. I just hadn’t seen I was literally searching for my self and that the answers lay within me, and that I could trust all that which I knew, but couldn’t understand. 

That took time. It took living in inquiry and eventually turning inwards.

It took facing the pain of my own inner separation, seeing through the trap of needing to understand things that lay beyond the confines of the mind.

As they say, hindsight is 20-20! Of course it adds up. Having looked in the mirror long and hard, coming to face myself over the years, now I have become the mirror I once set out to design.

Everyday, I hold a mirror to reflect back the truth, power and wisdom that lies within my clients, their shadows, their light and everything in between. In deep inquiry, I appeal to something that lies beyond my clients’ intellects to allow them to step outside the confines of their minds- diving into their conditioning, their traumas to find freedom within.

The journey of personal healing paves the path for our collective transformation. 

I often say, everything is everything- all forms reflect the One. What appears to be separate, is a facet of difference, not separation.

From the outside it may seem like I am doing transformational work, business consulting, designing a building, painting a painting, writing a poem or telling a story… 

From the inside, it’s always been about one thing- falling ever more deeply into loving exploration of myself, and life itself!

What drives me, what drives you?

Ever wonder what it is that drives you? What you yearn to bring forth?

It turns out, purpose is always about something bigger than ourselves that we are asked to stretch into.

What is your yes to in life? That’s the elemental question of purpose.

I get asked this often, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what drove me to end a decade long career as an architect and start Come to Center — a holistic transformational consultancy, that constantly has me walking the edge of discomfort, asking me to face my demons every step of the way.

And the answer is L O V E!
Big love.

A love of life itself, a love of something bigger than me, love of those in search of light, of truth, of something bigger than themselves.

So often in our world we go looking for fulfillment outside of us- marketing is great at perpetuating a paradigm of lack- get the new outfit, the perfect job, the perfect partner and then you’ll be happy! And we believe them, until we actually ‘get it all.’

We can have the perfect job, the perfect house, a helluva lot of money and still feel empty, disconnected and meaningless. We can have three PhDs and a lineup of accolades and still know nothing about our own nature- who we are, why we came to be, how to live a joyful life!

We can go through a whole lifetime in unconsciousness, driven by compulsive consumption- without ever honoring our deepest yearning, without ever knowing the exquisite privilege it is to be alive!

Seven years ago I saw through the illusion I’d been living in a way I could no longer deny. I had always suspected there was more to reality than met the eye.

And this seeing shattered everything I thought I was, I wasn’t, everything I thought I knew and my whole worldview itself.

It gave me absolute response ability. It silenced the yearning in all my questions. It plunged me into a bottomless hole that grew so big, it swallowed everything up and left a Wholeness that has never since left me, even in the darkest of times, even as I’m still falling through the hole! It’s the wildest, most fun ride I’ve ever been on!

So fun that it had to be shared- you know, like when you find the most incredible secret, so simple and profound, you want to TELL EVERYONE? Like that! So I listened to my heart and let my spirit drive.

I now live and share a simpler, more authentic and fulfilling way of life. I know what I am, I know why I’m here:

I’m here to know myself ever more deeply in relationship- with life, with all of creation, with you.

To be unapologetically me.

To heal inner division.

And I’m here to embody and teach a new way of being- one that lets us love ourselves fully and deeply.

To provide an alternative to existing in stress and turmoil.

To empower conscious evolution.

To bridge the wisdom of the East with the gifts of the West.

And holy shit, is it scary!

It turns out, purpose is always about something bigger than ourselves that we are asked to stretch into.

You will be tested along your hero’s journey. Every day I face some flavor of my shadow- my shyness, my reticence to really be vulnerable, shame in asking for my needs, to allow myself to be seen in my power, to let you know I know what I’m talking about and a hundred other defense strategies I’ve perfected over lifetimes…

But beneath all of that, there’s the love. It permeates everything. It shines from behind the fear and guides me through and to the light. There is much to learn and be and do and share!

So, what are you driven by in your life?

What is your yes to? Can you let your deepest love be your guide?

Come to Center is an invitation to join me on the ride. To turn suffering into growth. To return home to yourself. To live from the center of your being- to align with your truth, your beauty and your power- and bring it through in how you meet life, in this moment. And this one. And this one…

Come with me. Collective transformation starts with us!

in a nutshell

I feel called to serve beauty, wisdom and wholeness. I was recently asked what my ‘message’ is- and here is what I said:

I am interested in existential, fundamental truth. The mechanics of being. In my explorations here’s what I have found to be true:

Absolute Truth can only be approached as Shiv-a – That which is Not.

The reflection of this Absolute is knowable in form as the organizing intelligence of the universe. It manifests within each of us as our own internal harmonic.

Every being is moved by a unique internal harmonic sometimes called God and exteriorized in culture, but of course, the source of creation, of preservation, of destruction- all aspects of manifestation are alive and beating from within us.

The degree of our alignment with the harmonic determines our degree of coherence with the rhythm of the whole, and the fluidity and joy we experience in life.

The illusion of a separate self to be protected, guarded and perpetuated creates distortion in our alignment with the harmonic (never in the harmonic itself). Self betrayal- saying no to our life force- the harmonic- leaves us disconnected from the song our instrument wants to sing.

Liberation, fulfilment, efficacy, joy, and fullness of expression- all lie in aligning with the harmonic. Learning to listen, trust and be guided by it- moving in harmony with all that is, asymptotically towards coherence of the particular with the Whole.

The harmonic isn’t missing in anyone of us. Even those of us who have conditioned and distanced themselves from it consciously or unconsciously, intellectually or somatically…the harmonic vibrates within us all.

To listen, we need silence. To trust, we need direct experience of our own Truth. And the only way to aligned, fulfilled, joyful living, is in.

All that is ever needed, is to go within.

In every moment, consciously allowing the directness of experience to be seen, felt, known, allowed, invited and finally loved…

Hence, Open Meditation.

no-thing

Let me preface this by saying once again that words are never true and all forms of communication are inherently subjective, and this one is no exception.
That said, living from non-dual experience, it is pretty clear there is only One. Because ‘things’ are just processes disguised, it feels more correct to say there is only One process than One thing.
However, as I noticed at some point in life, not everyone is experiencing existence without separation. It’s kinda curious isn’t it? In the dual experience multiplicity is mistaken for separation, fueled perhaps by the perceived evolutionary need for self preservation- which appears to necessitate differentiation between self and other, the formation and attachment to that identity. And the One/Self/Whole nature becomes forgotten.
Even the different stages of awakened consciousness models are inherently embedded in a dualistic model at a level. As I pointed out my discomfort with this to a teacher (Steve Ulicny) in a discussion, he noted there aren’t different states of consciousness, but different experiences of Totality.
But of course!
The Whole/One/Formless is unchanging. There is only One Process. The experience of it as such however, changes with the neurophysiological state of the ‘experiencer.’ So, there aren’t different stages of consciousness, but simply different degrees of experience of Oneness. In the fully integrated functional neurophysiological state (enlightenment, the culmination of spiritual awakening), the experience of Oness/Totality is total.
No remnants of a separate self remain, and as the ultimate alignment within solidifies, deep trust emerges, leading to surrender of individuality. The piece of the whole (the small wholeness) begins to function in coherence with the Whole, of which ‘it’ is a perfect and complete reflection, ultimately totally.
So, from this perspective, it’s obvious that everyone everywhere is capable and wired for the experience of re-cognizing/re-membering/coming home to Self/One/Wholeness, often termed Awakening, and the delusion of the separate self falls away.
And while there is only One Process, there are as many ways of experiencing it, as there are its reflections. 7.2 billion people on this planet = 7.2 experiences of Wholeness. Here to be/experience just that!
It’s why formlessness keeps coalescing into form in the first place.
Which is why a role I play in the world is to serve as a constant reminder to look inwards, within, without attachment to method, process or external models to compare experience to- which leads to distortion of isness. But instead, to look within and see what is true for you now! What has the One Process incarnated into you to experience fully, in this moment? Allowing it to be seen, held, known, loved, celebrated! That’s the premise behind Open Meditation.
Reminds me of a poem Shunyata (voidness) I wrote a while ago…
“existence smiles, experiencing itself
as you in me in me in you and I”

on advaita

Advait Vedant (अद्वैत वेदान्त) is the collected body of existential knowing transmitted through eons in India, reflecting the nature of being and the organization of formless into form that points to source.

A = not/without. Dvait – two/second.

So the word Advaita, points carefully to ‘that without a second.’ For it wouldn’t suffice to say One- it must be noted that there is no possibility herein for a second- for divisiveness within the whole. The focus is on the indivisible whole that knows nothing outside of itself- pointing to intrinsic, inherent existential connectedness, oneness, wholeness of which all form is a reflection. Multiplicity without separateness. And there is no possible way for a separate self to exist, even though sometimes we are deluded into believing in this separation…In Vedanta, each “piece” of the whole is known and celebrated to be a “small wholeness.”

Lacan wrote “The I cannot exist except in the field of the other.” Conditioned to believe in the separation between self and other, driven by the evolutionary need for self preservation, somewhere along the line the knowingness of the connection of the piece to the whole is lost and an identity emerges, wrapping its cocoon around a piece of the small, a small wholeness, that forgets its own nature.

And 13.8 billion years of evolution later, one small wholeness begins to question itself. To yearn to know itself. A seeker is born. Consciously or unconsciously, engaged in a journey that inevitably begins to point back to the seeker itself. Constructs and identity unravel into a homecoming. Wholeness begins to be experienced by its smaller reflection, and self dissolves into Self.

Advaita. That without a second.