Bhavana means cultivation


 Yoga Sutras II.33  

vitarka-bâdhane pratipakæa-bhâvanam


I first met the word bhavana in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, way before I could have imagined becoming a yoga teacher.  A client gave me Satchidananda’s translation when she moved away.  I was surprised when I got to Book II, verse 33, and Patanjali says “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of.  This is pratipaksha bhavana.”  Here, in a collection of teachings from 2000 years ago, is what amounts to ‘cognitive behavior therapy’. Where have we been all these years?  So I went to find out where we got lost.


 Glenn Wallis, author of a translation and compilation of sutras called Basic Teachings of the Buddha, emphasizes the word’s agrarian heritage.  "One of the Buddha’s favorite metaphors for the practice that we refer to as “meditation” is bhavana, “cultivation.”  He certainly had in mind the ubiquitous farms and fields of his native India when employing this image. Thus, unlike “meditation” or “contemplation,” the Buddha’s term is musty, rich, verdant.  It smells of the earth.  The commonness of his chosen term – it would have resonated with a farmer – suggested naturalness, everydayness, ordinariness.  The term also suggested hope: no matter how fallow it has become or damaged it may be, a field can always be cultivated – endlessly enhanced, enriched, developed – to produce a favorable and nourishing harvest."  Wallis (2007)  (Pg. 15

Events, Resources and Teachings


Our Latest Events

The Mindfulness Expo is just around the corner on  September 21st at Halyburton Park from 10 - 3.  Last year was an awesome success bringing a contrast of peace and harmony in the wake of the visit from Florence.

Please join us Friday evening for a "Mindfully Engaged" program about the plastics accumulating in our oceans.  

Join us  Thursday evenings from 4 - 6 PM beginning  September 26th for anther MBSR and More  course.   Sign up now to guarantee space.

Support the Community

The Bhavana Community, Inc. is a Nonprofit corporation exempt under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3).  

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Join our e-mail list