Bhavana: A meditation of your dreams
Bhavana is a Pali/Sanskrit word (bhāvana) that means 'development' or 'cultivating' or 'producing'. This is one of the many Sanskrit words I’ve recently used as a topic for a yin class and a point of svadyaya or self-study in my personal practice. This year, cultivation, and manifestation are two verbs I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about. Although cultivating and manifesting are themselves verbs, it’s important to not just sit back and wait for the magic to happen, rather to take action and lay the energetic groundwork for what you want to achieve.
Clarity & Courage
The hardest part of getting what you want, is knowing exactly what you want. The old, “single pointed focus,” is an integral part of producing your desired result be it a job, a relationship, or a posture. Clarity arrives in the mind when it is felt in the heart and spoken on the lips. For me, part of getting clear is getting brave. Manifesting your intent or desire is not part of a secret society. It is about being brave enough to search your own soul, and to find courage enough to search outside of yourself as well. This intent or focus for your goals and dreams at best is synced to the substance of your passions. Your dream is not selfish and is what is of the highest good for you. Personally, I am working on traveling more AND cultivating home base. From 2014-2015 I moved 4 times! This can be extremely discombobulating and expensive. When you live in a place for more than a few months you have the opportunity to grow roots, such as plant a literal garden, accumulate stationary and spices. Instead of constantly moving from place to place in 2016, I put the intention forth to find a home and travel from there. These two aspirations support both my need to be grounded and my desire to learn and grow. While this might seem a bit to ask from the universe, the idea is not to let the ego portion of your brain talk you down or drown out your ability to connect. I would love to say that I do a better job with meditation than I do, which I firmly believe helps one manifest. Meditation in its traditional from is one way to connect inwardly. Other ways I work with are: journaling, discussing, and daydreaming my desires into my reality.
Expectations & Faith
Manifesting a dream or desire, takes practice, acceptance, and trust. Its best to focus on the feelings of what you desire, what it would be like to have it, and then let go. Detach from the outcome, but stay relaxed and positive. Letting go of expectations is letting go of control. Without expectations we can be open to the flow of receiving what is meant to come to us. Divine timing is the difficulty of letting go of control coupled with the grace of open hands and an open heart. If what you envision is wonderful and what manifests feels wonderful but looks different, keeping your eyes open will allow you to not miss the moment.
Specific & Positive
The more detailed you are when setting your bhavana the better. Map out the future with your senses. Are your desires aspects that would aid or compliment your highest good, or are they simply material or ego driven (Having a healthy relationship with your body vs having more shoes.) Starting with journaling for clarity can be a healthy choice. When you close your eyes and envision your path, perhaps ask yourself, “What makes me feel happy? What makes me feel free? What do I love?
A vision board is another way to tangibly establish your desires. Although it might seem like a middle school poster project, starting with a good friend, a bunch of magazines, markers, glue, tape, and perhaps a glass of tea, can be a therapeutic way to manifest a year of life and love. Perhaps then you can more accurately nurture those aspects in your life. Cultivating, living, and growing your intention ultimately starts with identification and ends in practice. I can tell you that as silly as I felt making my vision board, I already see almost each and every aspect of my desire moving closer to reality!