Anitya Bhavana- Reflection Technique

Anitya Bhavana- Reflection Technique

We grow only when we learn to observe without the interference of emotions and perceptions.

Human personality cannot be devoid of emotions until it achieves complete control over the mind. So, a few concepts and techniques e.g. Parikramas, Pratipaksha Bhavana and Anitya Bhavana are recommended to purify the Chitta.

Concept– Anitya Bhavana:

“What was in the morning is not at midday; what was at mid-day is not at night, for all things are transitory (Anitya). 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 particle 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?” The pondering over the transitoriness (Anityata) of all things is called Anitya Bhavana.


Initially, reflection is practised to cultivate mental detachment and to train the mind to become an observer of its own thinking. Reflection technique is a simplified form of a deeper and more advanced practice of self-study, called Anitya Bhavana. Its objective is to discriminate between what is permanent and what is not.

Starting position:

Sit in Sukhasana/ Vajrasana or any other meditative posture and close the eyes. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest.

The sequence of steps:

  1. Mentally, passively review the events of the previous day in detail and in chronological order.
  2. Do not judge or analyse any thought/event.
  3. When we go deeper into the technique beyond a mere chronological listing of events; we have to analyse our state of mind, our feelings and even thoughts while living that particular moment.

Recommended practice: Practice daily, preferably before bedtime.

Limitations /Contraindications: No limitations–everyone can practice it.


  1. The end result is gaining the quality of “mindfulness”, an important aspect of our personality. It is a quality which enables us to be aware of our own self and of the surrounding.
  2. A powerful memory training technique.

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