Living Deeply

Day 14: A Man for all the Seasons

Written by Ekras Gorakh

Strawberries are in season during the peak of summer in California. You can drive down to a farm and pick them yourself. Fresh, sweet and delicious in May, and all picked by June. Through the rest of the year, you can always buy them at the stores, but they won’t be fresh, and they would definitely not be tasty. Just a red fleshy fruit from the cold storage. Predictably boring.

Everything has a season.

We don’t think much about our own seasons and expect to be the same every day. When we go to work, we are expected to perform the same kind of work with the same efficiency. We can’t have good days and bad days. We just have cold-storage days, like those strawberries that are red and fleshy, but lack in taste.

I’m writing about #LivingDeeply this month, and today is Day 14.

***Man for all the Seasons***

The yoga system knows three gunas, or states of existence. We should learn to pay attention, because there’s no point acting against our internal season…the fruits will be weaker and the work will be harder. At any time, one of these states dominates over the other two, and the state can change in a few minutes, hours, or even days.

The three states are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva is when you feel joyous and satisfied. Rajas is when your attention is outbound in all directions. Tamas is when you want to just turn everything out and sleep in your cave.

My recommendation is to keep a diary of your own states and learn to identify which one is in season at any given time. It might help to think of yourself as three independently living personalities inside one body, and only one is driving the car at any given time. Once you know who is driving, you can decide where to take the car.

Here’s a checklist.
I’m happy, and feel luminous.
I understand things clearly, and when I talk, people can understand me.
I am calm and quiet, satisfied with myself.

I feel anxious or worried
I feel a sense of responsibility, even sleepless
I want to go out there and make a name for myself
I want to work, not feeling much peace

I’ll check back in with the world tomorrow
I am tired, fatigued and just sleepy
I’m forgetful, clumsy and confused today
I can’t find the right words, so I might just ramble on

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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