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. 150

Events, Resources and Teachings


Ongoing Events

Living in Solitude is our version of connecting locally with the Bhavana Community.  I have been adding a few links to websites that you might want to consult if you are stuck at home.  We will be posting yoga classes on the yoga schedule and Bhavana community events on the Bhavana Community Calendar so you can click there for what's on ZOOM.  

The Monday Night Sutta Study class is alternating between another class from Bodhi College and study of the Dhammapada, one of the most beloved of Buddhist texts.  Memorized and Chanted for over two thousand years, the wisdom is timeless. See here for more information.  

Learn about the power of mindful awareness practices with video teachings from Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach on  Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00  at the Bhavana Community Center (120 Marshall Court, Unit 106).  Feel free to attend when you can.   Check the calendar for program details.  There are about six more weeks.  Join us to decide the next program we follow.

The Mindfulness Expo 2020 is scheduled for September 26, 2020 at Halyburton Park from 10 - 3.  Save the Date.  Check back for details as they develop.

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