Nature is the ultimately source of energy and the state of our own energy depends on how we interpret the energy of nature. If we adhere to pure forces, then our minds will ascend into a greater peace and contentment. If we chose to fall into the trap of darkness and shadow, we will collapse into a state of ignorance, confusion and attachment. Our overall mental state is a consequence to how we interact with the environment. Ayurveda guides us on how to balance the energy of the environment to attain a pure and uplifting state.
Nature’s energy is translated into a human life thereby energizing our existence from birth to death. Even more fundamental than the doshas, the gunas or primal qualities of the cosmic intelligence describe how nature’s different energies can impact our lives. Below is a description of the three gunas and their qualities.
– Balancing Virtue through clarity and purity
– CREATES harmony with the pure universal energy
– AWAKENS the soul leading to realization and expansion
– Unbalancing Virtue through excessive energy
– CREATES changes and instability
– STIMULATES the soul for short-term pleasures and rewards
– Stagnating Virtue through excessive inertia and stagnation
– CREATES heaviness, apathy and illusions
– BINDS the soul to worldly grief, dullness and materiality
Unlike the doshas, it is always ideal to maximize sattva and eliminate the influence of the other two gunas. A sattvic life with give you constant happiness, upliftment and spiritual clarity. Literally, sattva is consciousness. Without having a purely sattvic mind, the universe cannot be perceived clearly and one will quickly descend into depression, illusion, ignorance and anxiety.
What can you do? Do you often feel like your emotions are fleeting, irrational and insensible? Are you consistently anxious or worried? Is your energy low despite doing everything ‘right’? If yes, then it is likely that your mental energies need some work and thankfully there are a few easy practices which you can incorporate into your everyday to maximize your mental purity.
1) EAT SATTVIC
Tamasic foods include all the processed, refined and packaged foods. Anything that is prepared without love and consciousness will ultimately lower your sattvic energy levels. Try to eat only home-cooked foods which were prepared in a good mental state (without rushing, ill-thoughts or stress). Even milk procured from an ill-cared for cow is considered sinful. In addition, it is good to avoid the following foods which can increase tamas.
Fruits: avocado, watermelon, plums, apricots. Grains: wheat, brown rice. Vegetables: mushrooms, garlic, onion, pumpkin. Lentils: urad dhal, black beans, pinto beans. Dairy: Cheese. Meat: Generally all.
It is best to replace these foods with sattvic foods such as the following:
Fruits: mango, pomegranate, coconut, figs, peaches, pears. Grains: rice, tapioca. Vegetables: sweet potato, lettuce, parsley, sprouts, squash. Beans: mung, yellow lentils, kidney beans, lima beans. Dairy: organic fresh milk, ghee, yogurt. Meat: none.
These foods are easily digested and increase your body’s energy without instilling you with low energy or apathy. Remember that nature is often associated with sattva hence any destruction of the environment, especially the easting of meat, is sure to reduce your sattvic energy. Finally
2) PRACTICE SATTVIC ACTIVITIES
Sattva does not only come from your diet, but the way you interpret the entire world. A sattvic person will partake in the following on a daily basis:
– Conscientious, hardworking and honest
– Moderate eating, values chastity and is humble
– Never angry, nor fights, not speaks ill
– Does not even feel desirous, lustful or gluttonous
– Practices calming exercises like yoga and meditation
– Spends time worshipping the divine, connected with the spiritual realm
Being sattvic is being in line with the universal energy. As abstract as this sounds, leading such a life will increase your energy levels and allow you to evade many illnesses from mental depression to the raw physicality of cancer.