Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trying to Find Sattvic Strength

Things have been a little challenging at work lately. There has been some issues raised on how a certain co-worker has been negligent on the job. It doesn't help that the co-worker is my housemate, so there is no way to walk away from the unpleasant emotions stirred up along the way. It has been an emotionally draining week. Enough to make me want to just quit this job and go home.

Still, I have at least 6 months on my contract before I decide to extend or to leave. I have to weather this storm. Which was why I am re-reading Sally Kempton's essay for the Yoga Journal - on strength to weather life's difficulties.

In the article, Kempton talks about the gunas (rajas, tamas, and sattva). She explains: "Rajas is the energy of passion, aggression, willpower, determination, and drive. Tamas is the energy of inertia, dullness, passivity, and sleep. Sattva is the quality of peacefulness, clarity, and happiness."

I can see the forces of rajas and tamas at work in the situation with my housemate. I am now at the tamastic stage. The problem feels so difficult I am ready to resign. I am looking for sattva, the wisdom to resolve this .

The word sattva comes from the root sat, which means "being" or "truth." It's literally the power of beingness, the inner integrity that let the Buddha sit under the bodhi tree until he became enlightened, the power that supported Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., the power that you feel in cathedrals and redwood forests and in people who quietly offer help to those who need it. Sattvic strength is one part discipline and three parts trust—trust that the invisible is stronger than what you can see or touch, and that what you are speaks louder than what you say.

Sattva is born in stillness. True sattvic strength arises out of a willingness to wait, to allow actions to unfold out of the quiet of your center. The forceful agent of sattvic strength is the force of clear intention—a subtle, yet unbending clarity about what it is that your heart and soul truly want.

Intention—the formulation of what you want to happen—is created in silence, through contemplation. It's refreshed each time you return to it. Then, often without your knowing how it happens, the subtle power of intention will guide your actions and words, and gradually, almost invisibly, create change. The key is to keep acting from that stillness out of which the intention was formed.

Why must human relationship be so challenging?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, "It will pass", hang in there and do what's best for you. I know it can be challenging. sometimes you don't have to do anything if you are not sure. pause for awhile while thinking of alternative.

hope you'll find your strength to carry on while sorting out your next step (to stay or extend).find something you like about the job and focus on it. focus on the good things.

sometimes it is their issue which they need to deal with.

everything will be alright. soothe your mind ; ) quietletters

Ah Leng said...

Because humans are complicated and calculative and manipulative and evil (there is a bit in all of us)...it makes human relationships very complicated. Sometimes i hate human beings, i hate the way people change their minds, shove the blame, and i hate me for being able to read people's intentions and faces rather well. Maybe if i was obtuse to facial inflections, i may find myself more sociable. But because i am not obtuse in that way, i find myself becoming less and less sociable and less hospitable. You know, sometimes when i am in a social situation with other women (e.g. the wives of my hubby's friends), all i can think of is "Oh man, the only thing i have in common with these people is the fact that we have cunts". That's about it. I go cruise again this weekend :p

Stefanie said...

Sorry for the work challenges of late. Everything will get resolved eventually in one way or another. In the meantime, I hope you manage to find some balance.

Qaro said...

Hi, I just found your blog this morning. Very neat! Great article!I have only known you for a minute and I can already tell that you can make it through any storm fine.

Ovidia said...

Hi--only just read this & it was so timely.

I've been living in Tamas zone for a long time, only little surface activities to convince myself I was still alive--
Then abruptly the Rajas energy took over.
But yes, I'm looking for a move into Sattvic energy.
Thanks for the reminder.