The Gunas—My New TV Guide - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

The Gunas—My New TV Guide

By on October 8, 2015

So much of the time when you read about optimizing the Gunas—sattva, rajas, and tamaspeople focus on food. But I find these qualities really helpful to guide my choices in environment and entertainment as well.

Sattva is the highest vibration. It imbues balance, peace, & clarity.

Rajas is all about movement and transformation. Rajas can drive agitation and imbalance in excess.

Tamas is a deeply solid heavy quality. Tamas can manifest as stuckness or stagnation.

Individual choices magnify these qualities in your nature day to day.

Oh no, drawn into some dark TV—bored and flipping back and forth between Super Soul “Sattvic” Sunday and the Walking Dead. These two shows demonstrate the breadth of “entertainment” on the air from light to dark.

Why turn to the agitation of the dark, hopeless characters fleeing human flesh eating zombies when more sattvic opportunities (light, laughter and learning) abound? I could go for a walk, or read or get together with friends, but once in a while I park myself in front of the tube.

I don’t get why I do this!

Ah…but I do. Fear trips reaction in me. Fear is so immobilizing, tamasic, so maybe it is like looking for like.

When I am afraid to proceed, I dip into darkness to distract myself from what I don’t want to feel. I block emotions until they sink away from the surface of my mind. Usually they end up in the muck at the bottom of my awareness. They add up until the littlest thing causes a rajasic explosion of negative energy.

Here are my top 2 dark dips—a true confession:

  1. The Walking Dead is an extremely popular sci-fi, post-society breakdown, violent flesh-eating zombie drama. It is so popular they have spun off a prequel called “Fear the Walking Dead.” (Really rajasic.)
  2. “My 600-pound Life” is a reality TV show about trying to regain a normal weight from over 500 pounds. Participants have a gastric bypass for the morbidly obese, and the show chronicles their journey. (Totally tamasic.)

These programs are troubling to watch and share a view of fear, darkness, despair and bad eating habits.

What are the tamasic blocks?

Block 1: I get sucked in and watch something like The Walking Dead.

Block 2: I have a productivity dip from all the negative energy. It hits a couple of days later.  (Stuck in tamas.)

Block 3: I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the ghastly image of a 600-pound version of my life.

Block 4: I have a fear or anger reaction out of proportion that separates me from myself and people I love.

Bad TV choices can totally suck you under and weigh down your vibration for days.

Most of the programming on television tugs at our fears and insecurity by design. It sets us up to engage with the commercials that present solutions to our problems throughout the show.

Switch the channel when a dark or violent program comes on, or get up and move. Look at community, laughter, learning and light for entertainment.

False, fuzzy fear is indistinct, based on extremely remote possibilities. Much of TV plays on false, fuzzy fears. These fears crawl around in the subconscious as background noise. False, fuzzy fear drives unhealthy responses in our body. We live in a rajasic-tamasic, false, fuzzy fear-based world.

We all need to turn away from fear and actively cultivate a high energy environment in which to thrive.

Science has shown that our thoughts, feelings and actions influence our reality as well as the expression of our genes, our physicality. A state of ongoing fear just cannot be good. We have amazing power over our life experience.

With this understanding, moving away from tamasic and rajasic false, fuzzy fear entertainment is the way to go.

Light and learning in emotions, entertainment and thoughts elevate vibration.

We want sattvic food for our bodies. We also need sattvic input for our minds.

Move up the energetic ladder from tamas to sattva. Let the light disembowel the darkness.

The next time we are flipping between light and dark, let’s both choose the light.

What is your favorite learning show or comedy? How do you relax without TV?

Spread the sattva; share the light!

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

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About Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan is an Ayurvedic yoga specialist, avid student of the Ayurvedic Living Course, amateur herbalist, canner, fermenter and cook. She teaches classes on meditation, self-care, health and food. Read more from Mary at and on Facebook..

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