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THE POWER OF...// "ANITYA BHAVANA"// by Kelly Mason




"Reflections is the initial practice one should take up to begin to train the mind to become that of the observer."






There are three grouped and complimentary techniques Pioneered by The Yoga Institute that can help in Purifying the Mind. It is said that the mind will remain disturbed it if allows itself to be taken over by emotional fluctuations. By using these techniques one can find that the mind, over time, becomes quietened and the emotions stabilised.

These practices are that of Parikramas, Pratipaksha Bhavana & Anitya Bhavana. In this article we will go into "The Power of" the latter.

Before we go into details I would like to highlight that the Technique of Anitya Bhavana has a pre-requisite which is that of a slightly simpler practice called "Reflections"

One should find themselves practising that of Reflections before they take their practice deeper.

The main difference between that of Reflection and the practice of Anitya Bhavana is how deep you go and where you direct your attention and how far into yourself you direct it - Make sense?

Let me try to be a little clearer ...

Reflections is the initial practice one should take up to begin to train the mind to become that of the Observer.

The practice of Reflections is exactly that.

Reflection of the happenings with minimal analysis - It’s like watching your day as a movie reel. The visuals are pleasing no matter the intent. You remain a Watcher, Unaffected and not fazed by the happenings around.

When it comes to the practice of Antiya Bhavana, ("Anitya meaning "Transitory"), this is a self-study technique.

Self-study can be tricky, at times a little fussy to handle.

When one begins to self-study but is still very much emotionally involved (usually the case for those who haven't embarked on the practice of Reflections before stepping into the technique of Anitya Bhavana) the individual can become instantly disturbed and too involved by one’s self before being ready for this kind of self-discovery, i.e. that of feeling tremendous, unmanageable guilt or overwhelming anxiety of not for-filling ones Duty or Dharma.

Hence why it is emphasised for one to carry out a daily routine of Reflections and once you feel comfortable and established within this practice then gently cradling oneself into the more in-depth practice of AB.

With the practice of Reflections first it saves the practitioner from becoming too involved, effected and judging of ones thought patterns, behaviours and actions, subsequently having the reverse effects of the practices intention.

REFLECTIONS

THE DISCRIMINATION OF WHAT IS PERMANENT AND WHAT IS NOT IS THE PRACTICE OF REFLECTIONS

Sitting in a comfortable position, insuring that the knees are lower than the hips and the spine is straight

Gently close the eyes, keep the facial muscles relaxed

Beginning from the moment that you woke in the morning watch you day. Without becoming attached to any event or action. Any thought or outlook that you might find naturally attach itself to the event in focus - this is a passive review of the day’s events

(At first you may find that you don't remember all the events in the correct order - part of the training when you first begin is getting all the events in chronological order, with a steady and natural progress as if the events were unfolding over again. resulting in a continuous flow of your day with no grey areas or Jaggered glitches or jumps - know that with practice this will come quickly, it just takes a little dedication, consistency and presence)

Without any rush once reflections have been completed, take a few breaths and remain with the eyes closed

When you are ready and without rush, open the eyes.

ANITYA BHAVANA

THE PONDERING OF ALL THINGS TRANSITORINESS OF ALL THINGS IS ANITYA BHAVANA

"What was in the morning is not at mid-day; What was at mid-day is not at night; for all things are transitory. Our body which is the cause of all kinds of Human effort is as transitory as the scattering clouds.

All our objects of pleasure are changing. Wealth is as transitory as a wave, Youth like a cotton parcel blown off in a whirlwind; and opportunities like the fleeting dreams.

Why should I be attached to anything when nothing is permanent, and everything is changing?"

Sitting in a comfortable position, insuring that the knees are lower than the hips and the spine is straight

Gently close the eyes, keep the facial muscles relaxed

Passively review the day’s events in chronological order

When this becomes comfortable now taking it one step further by beginning to analyse your state of mind, your feelings or maybe even the thought process you had while reflecting on each moment

Additional practice (Optional) - A Reflection of your Reflections....

It’s always nice to not move directly onto another task after such a practice. Both with that of Reflections and Anitya Bhavana it is nice to reflect on how you recollected the evens, how you reacted to the reflections and analyse, gently, what area of the practice require improvement.

Maybe even closing the session with yourself with placing the palms together and saying "Namaste" to yourself for acknowledging and taking time for self-reflection

Without any rush once reflections have been completed, take a few breaths and remain with the eyes closed

When you are ready and without rush, open the eyes.

The best time to conduct this practice is just before bed. Then a full analysis of the day can take place. Not missing a detail.

Moments are all that we have an everyone is significant. If we were to do this practice in the middle of the day we would only be training the mind half-heartedly - Missing and skipping out half of your life.

These practices can help an individual in the obtainment of Mindfulness within actions, leading to Mindfulness in all action - this is a huge aspect of our personality and needs acknowledgement and there is always room for improvement of the individual if this quality of them is heightened.

Mindfulness can make us aware as to why we react the way we do, to improve and for fill each action fully as we progress through life makes the quality of living enhanced and a more for filling experience overall in itself.

In addition, it is a powerful memory technique.

And lastly this practice can help cultivate the feeling of gratefulness and enhanced awareness of one’s productivity and how one, and in what state of mind, one spends time and where the energy is spent and how it is being applied and to what quality throughout the day.

The practice of Reflection I do with my students at the end of each day of training.

There is so much information that the students need to take in during the training's - To reflect while the events are still fresh can help aid in leaving a deeper impression on the mind, in addition you can realise and relive some of the details that may have been lost throughout the course of the day - Something that at the time might not of seemed so important but then suddenly becomes relevant and complimentary upon reflection.

On a further level the practice of reflections can help the student to understand that much has been covered and they can be lenient that they are not able to know everything straight away. This avoids the sense of defeat during the training as to how much is being given and how much can be absorbed, remembered & ingrained.

As the course of the week goes by the students quickly grow to love the practice as they have chance to see the day and be grateful for all the little details throughout.

I practice Anitya Bhavana, but my practice stated also with the technique of Reflections.

I have noticed many shifts within my life with the direct benefits from this practice, but I have also noticed some indirect benefits that have flooded in with this consistent act...

My memory is improving, I’m holding myself more accountable for my actions and the way I deal with situations and surroundings; I am learning to think before I speak; Responding more instead of reacting and overall allowing a slower pace of life to set in - so I don't miss the details of these ever-changing moments.

The challenge here is that you will come face to face with yourself, how you react, how you think, how you act and many of us don't spend enough time on this kind of self-study or analysis.

So please, when taking up this practice please be gentle, take a slow pace and be patient and show compassion to yourself.

Know that taking time out for these kinds of acts is for your growth, for the tweaking of yourself to act more in accordance with your Nature - And that within itself, no matter what you come to discover in the process, is a very powerful and beautiful thing.

If only we had a little more time each day to reflect, what a different world we would find ourselves in.

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