The Three Gunas

The Three Gunas and Me

The Three GunasAlmost to the end of practice. Breathing. Setting up for my nonexistent meditation practice. Then rest which I love and hate. Baddha padmasana to Yoga mudra. Sometimes the ones Manju showed me to padmasana. Hand forms chin mudra. Chin mudra, connecting myself with the true-self. Control over the three gunas: sattva, rajas, and tamas —

What are the three gunas?

A brief description of the gunas if you’re not quite sure of them. I’ll start with just translating guna. In English it’s merit, quality, virtue. Our habits. It’s the thread keeping our personal mala together. They’re the aspects of us that in varying degrees create our personality. Each of us containing all three gunas no matter how much we tell ourselves we’re missing one or don’t need one. We attach ourselves or define our lives around the ones we seek. The ones we have aversion to tell us deep secrets if we can just break past our own blindness. Then it gets deeper.

Sattva, rajas, and tamas

Sattva, सव, goblin. Ha! I’m not kidding, but that’s not the sattva I’ll be talking about here. I do love though that it can mean goblin, demon, and monster. Sattva is the guna of balance, harmony, goodness. Sure, sounds good. That’s all I need, right? Peacefulness, creativity, positivity. I can get attached to that. Come to me balance. Set your roots here. Rajas the guna of hot. Moving towards action and having passion behind it. Something to get that ego behind. The drive that keeps us an individual. That since the world centers around us and that’s how it should be. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. Sometimes neither. Cold? Don’t want to move today? Tamas, the guna of down. Darkness rolls in. Chaos disillusions and we fall into inactivity. The imbalances show through the widening cracks and I can’t decide if the laziness, anger, or anxiety make me dull. These are our three gunas. Our hot, cold, and just right. Then we rest just a bit too long and the family of bears devourer us in that comfy bed.

Three gunas in practice and life

I sit in padmasana, hands in chin mudra, and the brain works. My gunas I’m attached to are sattva and tamas. I strive for harmony. Strive so much I don’t think about how I am trying to achieve it. Usually ends up thinking of others far over myself. If I do what I think they want peace will stay. I have to listen though. What I assume is helpful is sometimes just me not listening correctly. Not really listening for what would really help. I cower behind false positivity because I think that’s what others want to see. Not showing feeling and locking it deep inside. So deep I can’t see it. Forgetting that I feel. That my feelings matter and won’t get in the way of peace. This is not balance. Not harmony. I am imbalanced. It slides me into inactivity because I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know myself. Anxiety rolls over the darkness inside me that hides all I need to pay attention. I want nothing. I do nothing.

Then the past that shapes us. I grew up in South Florida. Heat and humidity abound. My father’s hot temper. So passionate that his passions blinded him to the happenings around him. Maybe he used them as an escape from the things around him. Self-absorbed to occupy the mind from trouble. I built a tolerance to rajas. Heat don’t bother me. Passions leads towards bad habits. Yet my ego stays strong blinding me to the true needs of others that I thought I was providing for.

I have no control. I don’t know myself let alone a true-self. Seeing this is a start. I guess I’m figuring out who I am. Reaching total loss of control means the only change from there is a bit of the opposite. Control of the gunas. They make up who we are. We view ourselves truthfully and don’t hide from what’s inside. Life is scary, I know, but it can continue and get better.