Ma Shantam Ishta left her body on 11th August 2012
Ishta was born as Shieko Tanaka in Niigata, in the north of Japan, where she moved back two years ago when she had been diagnosed with cancer.
Ishta took sannyas in 1985 and some Japanese friends might remember her as a translator of many workshops at the Multiversity (1987-1990). She later completed the psychic massage training and the advanced counselling skill training there. Ishta lived almost 10 years in London where she graduated in holistic massage with ITEC and aroma therapy with IFA. During one of her stays in Pune she became a Mystic Rose trainer and led this meditative therapy for the Multiversity.
In 2001 she moved to Okinawa, an island in the south of Japan, where she introduced Osho’s meditations to many people and, after she met Veeresh who had come for a visit, she became an AUM meditation facilitator and also offered the AUM meditation.
The Death Celebration was held in Meguro, Tokyo, on Saturday 8th September and was organized by a good friend of Ishta, Ma Antar Ushma (the one playing the violin in the videos below).
Info and photos submitted by Niket. Many thanks!
Living each day
as though it her last
one day it was
and she said
I was so shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of my beloved Ishta. I had not heard from her for over a year since exchanging Facebook messages after the Tsunami, when she responded in her usual positive manner that the tragedy was bringing people together in compassion. She had told me back in 2008 that she had survived a cancer scare. I had no idea it had recurred.
We met in the winter of 1991/92 in Pune and I invited her back to London. Take a risk, I said, and she took it. We married in December of 92 and had three lovely years living together in Muswell Hill. We travelled to Japan toward the end of 93 where her parents put on a big celebration for us so glad that their errant child had at last consented to be married. We had a lovely journey together travelling around Honshu and then to Pune for time in the Ashram that Winter.
By Spring of 1995, though our time together had always been sweet and loving, I had dropped sannyas and I felt my life was taking a new direction. She had just returned from a couple of months in Pune, and I asked her if our marriage, which had in some respects been one of convenience – we loved one another and just wanted to be together – was to become a real marriage. Were we going to commit, buy some property, have children? Did she feel her life was with me or was Pune really her home and our life together secondary to that. She replied with her usual sage like consideration. Pune was her home and her primary relationship was with Osho. She felt she had spent so many lifetimes as a mother and a carer giving to others, lifetimes of service and in some ways bondage. This life was for herself, she said, and she could not give me what I felt I needed for my life at the time.
We agreed to separate and though we remained friends and lovers while she stayed in London for another six months when she went to Pune that winter our relationship was effectively over.
Ishta was the gentlest and most loving person, there was not a mean or spiteful bone in her body. She bore no resentment to anybody and nobody ever said a bad word about her. She responded to whatever life threw at her with calm consideration and bravery. She was a well of compassion. I remember especially when my sister died suddenly and Ishta held me through the night as I cried in her arms.
I didn’t see her again until Christmas of 2004 when after some travelling in China and Vietnam I flew to Okinawa for a reunion. We were no longer lovers but had a beautiful few days with each other and were visited by our friends from London days Akiko and her son Stephen (Genki) who was now a grown up teenager. She seemed content and settled in her life enjoying her independence, working and making money and organising and supporting healing workshops.
She emailed me a couple of years ago when her father died and she moved back to Nigata to spend time with her mother to help her through the transition. She said “I feel I need to be here for a while to finish my unfinished things with my family. I see the deep conditioning of being a woman in my mother and in me.”
I now have the life that I sought with my lovely wife and two beautiful children, but there was always a place in my heart for Ishta. In 2008 she wrote to me: “Yes we spent some time together and now we are walking on different paths. I am happy because you have created your family because it was your dream at that time. I am still on the way to make my dream come true yet. I am happy to have you in my life… My life here and now is a great gift from existence and we come to this life to celebrate all the happening in life.”
My beloved Ishta, you were the wisest and kindest of people. My only regret is not having been able to say goodbye to you. I say goodbye now, but you will live always in my heart.
Peter McCaig (formerly Veetgyan)
Beloved Ishta: an angel, a deeply compassionate woman. I learned to make sushi with you at our house in Muswell Hill. I am glad of the moments we spent together; you gave me the best massages I ever had in my life. I always remembered you, and today I learned that you passed away, I have been in shock…. I am glad that you have been part of my life, beautiful and sensitive woman,