bravely taming the tiger called mind

May 6, 2017

 

 

We see the many hundreds of people who are clearly suffering from mental health problems in our workplaces, living rough on our streets, even in our own homes, we ourselves are inundated with media reports of violence, we witness the rize in addiction to legal and illegal drugs,

we literally eat and sleep the brutality every day -

and we blame

we blame government -

we blame corruption -

we blame the internet -

we blame we blame companies

we blame

we say there isn't enough this, enough that ..... enough control enough policing........

 

but what is truly to blame is us

and our the collective mind... a mind that promotes destructive values:

 

and who do we blame for this 'mind' ? well we say "God of course" or "religion"

we even ask the Divine why as if this suffering is outside of us, so numb - we have become...

 

but... what is actually to blame is nothing but US, and the way we are living in our little everyday lives

 

- each one of us in this collective soup

and yet each one of us, deep down inside, KNOW there IS a way to solve all the worlds problems, to end the suffering and that yes EACH one of us can and should make a difference -

its called right living, SIMPLE, not a new idea, not a new fad - no -

thousands of years tried and tested -

wake with the sun, clean your body, mind and heart internally and externally, eat when the sun is hottest not when its the darkest,rest when all living things rest -

live in harmony with those around you, with Mother Earth & with the seasons -

and
know that what you eat IS who you will be 3 days from now...

 

what you take in, every respect, through all of your senses - IS your mind,

Is our collective mind...


Too much rajas (excessive stimulation/heat)  or tamas (inertia, lethargy) distort the natural harmony of the mind and have a negative impact on our lives.

 

Unfortunately, Westerns not only eat tremendous amounts of rajasic and tamasic foods

and very little fresh unprocessed sattvic foods, We also are addicted o sensory over-load. We like our perfumes to announce our arrival from meters away, we multi-skill pushing our internal processors to their limits, we expose our selves to violent imagery & extreme imagery, "lapping up" the constant "feed" from as many screens as possible... we want our food flavours to be magnified character-cures of the original taste or.........   we want to 'veg' on a couch in a burnt-out stupor.  

 

 

From a Yogic perspective, there is a connection between how we are eating and how we are acting, what we consume and what we experience - our levels of violence, anger, crime, addiction and depression.

Food not only nourishes the body, it affects the mind and consciousness as well. As our physical constitution is characterized by different proportions of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, we also have a mental constitution determined by the sattva, rajas, and tamas. These three qualities are universal and equally necessary to maintain our psychological & physiological harmony.

 

Unlike our physical constitution, which is hard to change, our mental attitude greatly depends on what we experience in a day,what we ingest,

the food we eat on a daily basis - is the prescription we are choosing, what we self- medicate with!  

 

 

SO it is possible for us to choose between EASE, being in harmony, awake and conscious or agitation, rage, heaviness even inertia....

 

By BEING AWARE, we are able to listen to our inner voice, observe our bodies, choose the 'right' food, for us, in the moment. In our tradition we cal this Sattvic food (true or pure)

we are less likely to automatically eat with minds..... or even our emotions, less likely to eat in a one size fits all kinda way -

some foods, situations, emotions, visuals, even people -  can be 'too heavy' for some of us - constitutionally :) like high Vata people,

life can leave a too sour taste in the mouths of some high Pitta's,

or just too 'sickly sweet' for mucous prone Kapha.

 

Sattvic foods support sattva; our true natural state

they help us and especially our conscious mind become clear ...... sharper, intune

and help us stay focused.#

we can't always control the company we keep, the work we do, life's ups and downs but we do have a say in what we take into our selves - especially how we nourish our body

Sattvic  qualities imply essence, reality, consciousness, purity, creativity, and clarity of perception. People in whom sattva predominate are loving, compassionate, and pure – minded. They tend to have positive behavior, and love for all beings. They do not become upset or angry easily. They look fresh, alert, aware, and full of luster and are recognized for their wisdom, happiness, and joy. Satvic individuals do not get mental fatigue, although they work hard mentally, so they need only four to five hours of sleep.

 

Rajas leads to the life of sensual enjoyment, pleasure and pain, effort and restlessness. People in whom rajasic qualities predominate tend to be egoistic, ambitious, aggressive, proud, and competitive and have a tendency to control others. They work hard and like power, prestige, and position and are perfectionists. They suffer from a fear of failure, tend to be angry and jealous and to have few moments of joy. Rajasic individuals are quickly drained of mental energy; they require 8 hours of sleep.

 

Tamas is darkness, inertia, heaviness, and tendency toward materialism. Individuals dominated by tamas tend toward depression, laziness, excessive sleep, eating, drinking, and sex. They may be greedy, possessive, attached, irritable, and uncaring toward others. A little mental work tires them easily; they sleep more than 8 hours a night (Kids leave in Kapha period of life no matter what their inborn constitution is, that’s why they sleep longer).

 

 

Here is an alphabetic list of Sattva promoting foods:

* – in moderation;

**- in excess.


Alfalfa sprouts, almonds, amaranth, anise, apple, apricot, artichoke, arugula*, asparagus, banana (ripe), barley, basmati rice, beans (azuki, black, broad, fava, green, lima*, mung, navy*, pinto, tepary), bean sprouts (all), bee pollen, berberies, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat, butter, buttermilk (fresh), cabbage (cooked), cantaloupe, cardamom, carob, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cheese (freshly made), cherry, coconut, collards, corn (fresh), cornmeal, cranberries, cream (sweet), cucumber, currant, dates (fresh), fennel, figs (fresh and dried),fruit juices (freshly made), ghee (clarified butter), grapefruit (sweet), grapes, honey (raw unheated), honeydew melon, kale, kohlrabi, lentils (black, tan), lettuce, licorice, mango (ripe), maple syrup, Mother’s milk, milk (fresh, raw, pure), millet, mung dahl, mustard greens, nectarines, nuts (Brazil, cashew, chestnuts, macadamia, peanuts, pine, pecans, walnuts), oats, oranges (sweet), okra, papaya, paneer (Indian cheese), parsley, parsnip, peaches, peas (black eye, green), persimmon, pineapple (sweet), plum, pomegranate, prunes, pumpkin, quinoa, raisins, raspberries, rice, rose hips, rutabaga, sesame seeds, saffron, sorghum, soy lecithin, spinach, strawberries, sugar cane (raw), summer squash, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, tangerines (sweet), turnip, watercress, watermelon, wheat, wild rice, winter squash, yams, yogurt (freshly made), zucchini.

 

 

Sattvic food can be turned into rajasic when eaten too hot, too cold, or too spicy.

 

 

Here is an alphabetic list of Rajasic foods:


Rajasic foods generate more fire, outward motion, creativity, aggression, and passion.Any canned, sweetened fruit, all fermented food, all bottled fruit juices are rajasic.

 

Avocado, beans (garbanzo, kidney), black pepper corn, brewer’s yeast, buttermilk (not freshly made), cabbage (raw), cacao, cheese (hard, cottage), chili, chocolate, coffee, dates (dried), eggplant, guava, grapefruit (sour), kefir ( not freshly made), lemon, lentils (red), lime, malt syrup, mango (unripe), molasses, olives, peanut oil, peanuts (salty), peppers, pickles, peas (green dried**), pine apple (sour), pistachios (salted), potatoes, radish, red beets, rhubarb, rice bran syrup, salt (all kinds), sour cream, sugar (white, brown, date, fructose, jaggery), sugar cane juice, tea (green and black), tomatoes, vinegar, yogurt (not freshly made).

 

 

Tamasic foods increase inner darkness and confusion. They slow us down, depress us and enhance inertia. Tamasic foods include all fast food, fried food, frozen food, microwaved food, processed food, left over night food, alcohol, all drugs, and chemicals. Even sattvic and rajasic food become tamasic if eaten not fresh.

 

 

Here is an alphabetic list of other Tamasic foods:

 

Alcohol, beef, chicken, ALL drugs, eggs (all parts), fish, fowl, garlic, goat, ice cream, lamb, lard, leeks, margarine, stale milk ( UHT, homogenized,powdered), mushrooms, onion  (raw, cooked, green), pop corn, pork, rabbit, black radish, shallots, shellfish, soy beans, turkey, venison. All frozen, tinned, fermented, stale, processed food

 

It's no co-incidence that those who live in poverty have very little access to FRESH FOOD! they are kept in dis EASE by having poor nourishment - in every respect.

 

The basic nature of the mind is creative or sattvic, with just enough rajas and tamas to bring desires to fruition. That means that the base of our diet should consist of fresh or freshly prepared grains, vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, milk, ghee and butter in moderation, cold pressed oils and natural sweeteners. We need just a small amount of rajasic foods to stimulate creativity and outward motion. Tamasic food can be helpful when an excess of rajas is present. If the mind is hyper and ungrounded – some tamasic food can be eaten to promote stability. Freshly made steamed mushrooms or onions although tamasic are a healthier choice than a frozen steak, which has been fried, re chilled and microwaved.

 

How we respond to events and circumstances depends on the specific balance of sattva, rajas and tamas in our mind. The basic nature of the mind is creative or sattvic, with just enough rajas and tamas to bring our purpose to fruition. It is vital for health and happiness to keep this harmony for our life to move in a progressive direction.

 

Sattvic minds lend themselves toward calm, clear, creative thinking that allows one to easily find effective solutions to life’s problems.

We all need more of those in this day and age!

 

Then we need the lesser qualities of rajas to implement these solutions and tamas to bring these activities to an end when the problem has actually been solved.

 

NB: Some food categories can be, and are often disputed :) Especially garlic, onion, eggs, and soy  are often discussed - they are also used in many cultures medicinally because of their powerful effects -

 

try for yourself.......... eat and observe in the 3 days that follow

we truly are what we ate

 

Om Tat Sat :)

 

 

brave is a registered non-profit that has supported over 2000 people through their Recovery from Serious Physical Trauma - on a donation basis. Using an integrated rehabilitative approach, we practice a daily brave Recovery Regime of Breath, Yoga Therapy, Ayurvedic nutrition, Inversion Therapy, Somatics, Homeopathy and Peer to peer support. United, we are committed to using the Physical Trauma Recovery Experience as an opportunity for building a new life filled with unlimited possibility.Based in the BoKaap, Cape Town, over the past 9 years, our community has grown across continents, injuries, abilities and disabilities, cultures and conditions toward one goal - well BEingThe information shared is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment by your doctors and/or health care professionals from all disciplines, Allopathic, Homeopathic, Ayurvedic. It is designed to compliment and enhance a Health Care Regime. If you are injured, have an illness and/or are pregnant, you must seek professional treatment and advice from registered, reputable health care provider before practising any of the techniques, practises or treatments recorded, published and depicted by brave and it's members.

Copyright ã Brave Foundation 2017

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