In my forthcoming book Secrets of the Sacred, I introduce time-tested methods for connecting with the God in you, quickly and effortlessly. In India, this is called sattva, a state of unbidden joy, purity and light. Sat means being, and sattva is being-ness: abiding in your essential, unsullied nature. There are methods for cultivating sattva, and below are 11 of the best. If you can do just 7 of these 11 things each day, you are guaranteed to get in touch with the God and Goodness in you!
“If you can do just 7 of these 11 things each day, you are guaranteed to get in touch with the God and Goodness in you!”
- Get up with the sun… Getting up at or before sunrise exposes you to the most sattvic part of the day. No matter what you do, just being up at this time primes your hormones and bodily systems for joy and lightness which carry you all day long. By contrast, waking up in the late morning hours makes you heavy and dull, a sensation hard to shake no matter how many coffee lattes you have. This is called tamas, the opposite of sattva.
- Hang out with wise teachers… or infants… Hanging out with sattvic people helps some of that energy rub off on you. If you can, spend a little bit of every day around people smarter and wiser than you. Can’t find any? Then find a friend or relative’s baby to hold a little while. Babies are full of pure, sattvic energy (when they’re not pooping or throwing up on you…well, even then), because they are still redolent of the breath of the Divine. Whether babas or babies, find time to imbibe some of their goodness
- Breathe for life… spend 5-15 minutes practicing deep, diaphragmatic breathing like in this video. Deep breathing puts your mind in a meditative state and helps to harmonize brain chemistry. For more info, see the full video.
- Eat Sattvic food… This includes non-violent foods such as fruits and nuts (which fall off trees on their own). Pure, organic, grass-raised, small-batch, non-homogenized milk (or ‘milk’ as it was known 100 years ago) as well as most vegetables and basmati rice are also sattvic. Avoid tāmasic foods like meat, fish, canned, frozen, fermented or preserved food.
- Keep your home uncluttered… especially the center of your home. In your bedroom, that is the bed- so make it! As the bed (and your home) so your mind. Keep it free and uncluttered and you create sattva; clutter invites the opposite.
- Get some sun… Exposure to sun and vitamin D is essential for optimal hormonal function and staving off depression. If you can’t get enough sun, try supplementing with natural Vitamin D
- Meditate… this is a no-brainer. No, actually, it is a no-brainer, in that the brain gets out of the way, allowing pure sattva to pervade your body, mind and soul
- Exercise… intelligently moving your body creates harmony between the trillions of cells and the prāṇa- life force- holding them together. “Intelligent” is the key word- practice non-violent and empowering exercises, rather than those that are destructive and exhausting. Don’t overdo it.
- Spend time in nature… even if it’s a walk through Central Park or splashing around in the ocean. This one speaks for itself. If it doesn’t check out this hilarious “commercial.”
- Take Triphala…when all else fails, an easy sattvic hack is to take triphala every day. Triphala cleans out your gut which keeps your body, mind and spirit aligned.
- Fast… take time between meals to fast- honoring the sacred space in you. Jesus fasted, Moses fasted, Buddha fasted, Mohammad fasted. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you! Simple ways to do this are described in other blogs on my site.