Monday, June 21, 2010

Stillness... My New Ishta

Due to the influence of my father, and then reading Autobiography of A Yogi, which set off all kinds of flames of devotion in me and started me off on my spiritual path, I got very close to Ma Kali. She was my first ishta (an ishta is our "object of highest devotion"). Our Ishta is often embodied in the form of a god or goddess, who each symbolizes different aspects of divinity and divine awareness, though our ishta can also be any quality we wish to attain (i.e. "unconditional love", etc.), or anyone or anything we can genuinely surrender to. After having Ma Kali as my ishta for a while, I was introduced to a few other ishta's: Ramakrishna, Nithyananda then back to Ramakrishna, then back to Ma Kali. However, throughout my spirituasl path, I always had an ishta that I could surrender to.

Then came the experience of aloneness that I have talked about here. The thing that I missed the most during that time, was not having a connection with my ishta any longer. I tried really hard to reconnect with my ishta, but I just could not do it.

Recently, though, I have come to realize that I have been surrendering everything in stillness. If ever there is a feeling of constriction, I gently make myself aware of this, and let it go into stillness. Open... open... open... and let the constriction dissolve.

The other day I realized, that the stillness, the silence, the nothingness that I have been surrendering to is now my ishta. I don't need a form to surrender to. The forms of my ishta arose from this stillness, and when I surrendered to the forms, Ma Kali, Ramakrishna, Nithyananda, I was surrendering to the stillness through them. But now I have access to the formless  stillness directly, and hence the forms are not required.

My mind at times still wishes it could get dramatic and pray and adore and surrender to someone/something it deems higher than itself. Someone who will take care of it. But there is nothing higher or lower than stillness. It all arises and dissolves in stillness, and when we have access to this stillness, it's just a matter of getting the mind used to the idea; having the form of an ishta is not required.

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