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.

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.

Open Meditation Meetup

New online meetup to demystify meditation and build conscious community.

Looking at collective social, economic, political and cultural suffering I have always asked why? And, what can I do?
For years, I looked to architecture, design, writing op-eds for the answer. Every line I drew as an Architect, every space I envisioned, was aimed to mitigate disconnection, depression, anxiety, overconsumption, isolation…but it didn’t seem quite enough, when people were suffering the nature of their own thoughts and emotions.
Design aligned the exterior, but if our interior itself was misaligned all beauty, wonder and joy would be missed. And it is. Everyday, we suffer our own constructs, individually and collectively.
A good friend once said to me, “In America you have to be rich, white, thin and beautiful to be happy. Ishita you are not the richest, whitest, thinnest or most beautiful person, but you’re probably the happiest!”
And in that spirit, as I grappled with the divisive and fear based political upheaval, I realized more and more that I can only ever do one thing- be whole in myself and keep clearing out my own core wounds so I can serve the highest and best for all, through the highest and best in me.
What can I do? Facilitate conscious connection to fullness and wholeness already within you which is our birthright. When we feel safe, full and connected, we act out of love not fear.
That was the birth of Come to Center. The only “work” that feels both worthy and true for me.
Meditation aligns our interior. Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, say and do are the same.” And that is my “secret.” Conscious alignment.
I dream of a conscious and present world, where every being acts from stillness, fullness, from love, for the highest good of all, which is the highest good for each.
Wherever you are, I hope you will join me for Open Meditation. It’s what we really need in the world now.

the ease of being!

erik-on-the-water-copy
the ease of being

no action 

           rooted
 in      lack

could ever

bring

forth fulfillment for fulfilment

is

here    now     whole ness
               !          (the nature)


of being 

               free and full and delight full !

action
            may
                     (or may not)
arise and 

you 

will know from the 

very 

ease of being

 

in prose:

No action rooted in lack could ever bring forth fulfillment.

Fulfillment is here and now. Wholeness is the nature of being- free, full and delightful! Action may or may not arise- you will know, from the very ease of being.

and more:

To examine inner grasping with curiosity and amusement, rooting into being, is to invite its own dissolution.

Photo above
My husband floating on backwaters in rural Thailand, March 2016 (from STUDIO-ish)

a story of my becoming

I used to think I was Ishita. Then I was sure I was nothing. Now I know I am everything.

As Ishita I have spent my life asking big questions and dissecting the edges of knowledge, unconsciously engaged in what I now recognize as a search for core Truth.

Growing up close to rivers and mountains in a Himalayan valley, I could be found admiring forests full of Koel songs or tracing lines of ants for hours at end, moving through the day with eyes closed, trying to see without seeing…

Driven by hungry existential curiosity, I looked for Truth in my homeland and awaylands, in forests and mountains, deserts and oceans. An explorer and creator, a wonderer and a wanderer I did, made, felt and thought about much…

Searching for answers through my work, I evolved into a multidisciplinary designer and thinker. Trained as an architect and a writer, I grappled with steel and concrete on one end, and our very humanity on another. Refusing to limit my explorations to a single label, I have worked as an architect, designer, painter, photographer, potter, editor, journalist and yogi…

I kept searching for Truth in the hearts and minds of others, in up-down-out-and-arounds, until my incessant questioning began pointing me towards my self and I got quiet, clear, still and full.

I separated knowing and understanding. I dropped the lie.

I admitted that the answers to my own questions lay inside me and had always been there. I realized time was a modification of my mind.
I accepted and surrendered to that which I knew but didn’t understand.
I began to align my outer self with my inner knowing.

Then, walking past a bookstore window I read the words “I Am That” popping out at me. To my own surprise, I heard myself say, “Why, yes, I am!” I walked into the bookstore, picked up the book, opened it up to be brought home by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s teachings. It became the only book I read for 4 years!

Over the next couple months, re-cognizing my own inner truth I had never had the words to articulate, I wept with joy and laughed with gratitude. Here at last, home at last! And then, the depths of my I-ness dissolved. All boundaries between me and not me melted so completely that there was no I left…no time, no space…nothing but the non conceptual one-ness, that which had no second. That which cannot be put into words, for it is the thing that makes words. And all else.

Eyes opened, the dream was over.

If you’re curious, yeah, I kept going to work, apparently losing your I doesn’t prevent architecture to be made through “you!” A glorious time of learning and assimilation followed. I discovered that the biggest questions have small and simple answers, that there is no core Truth. And that is magnificent!

I don’t believe there is The Truth, but I have found a Truth, in which I am finally home. And I want to help you find yours.

In 2015, I left work & home to make space and figure out how to engage consciously with the world and integrate my inside and outside. In that space emerged pointers that have brought me to exactly where I need to be now.

Now, whether I am leading a meditation, designing a product or a process, a painting or a poem or a photoshoot, I do it just for the pleasure of doing it. I don’t expect or need it to fill a hunger or a void in me. And the work is both better, and more pleasurable than ever.

Life is light, joyful, wholesome.

Fully at home in the foreground of spaciousness, I play in the world centered in peace within. And this fuels a joyous curiosity and a wondrous exploration, rather than limiting them.

I am ever more intrigued by the manifest world and want to know its very fundamentals as I explore life in its fullness! I am finally, free.