Bathing in the Bhav

The Sanskrit word, “Bhavantu” has a very special meaning. “Bhav” is a devotional attitude. We feel surrounded by divinity. Every being (people, plants, animals) is divine. The mountains, sky, desert, rivers are all “Bhav boosters” as Deva Premal, a wonderful devotional singer, would say. They inspire - fill us with prana and consciousness. This makes us very happy. We become conscious of our own divinity as it is reflected from creation around us. 

So what is bathing in the Bhav? It is truly getting in touch with what nourishes us. We connect with the child-like nature within us and discover being happy for no reason at all. As children, we had very simple thought formations. This was a good thing. I remember spending hours deeply looking or at least lying in red clover in front of my house as a child. (Little did I know I would be drinking a tea made from it to cleanse my blood years later). It was a special time just lying in the clover, smelling it, enjoying the beauty of it’s red flowers. Then, of course, I would look up and be lost in the clouds and see them transform from one shape to another. I realized, I was the cloud. It was in me and I was in it. Later, I heard Thich Nhat Hahn, the inspirational Vietnamese Buddhist master, speak about the cloud being in everything. Without the cloud there would be no water or food to eat. The “interbeing” ( a word he coined) of every formation is a awesome insight for us all and it helps us bathe in the “Bhav.”

Bathing in the Bhav or recognizing the divine in everything helps us to slow down a bit of the perpetual movement of every day life, especially when it gets going too fast. We can ask ourselves a few questions that can help us focus in on this. These were questions I was once asked by a friend and peer of mine, Amadea Morningstar, in a workshop she was presenting.   What supports my well-being and health? What helps to create a calmness and a grounded center inside me? What smells, tastes, sights, touch and sounds nourish me now? Do I need more or less of these at this time? What foods do I eat and are they easily digestible? Am I willing to investigate if they are promoting balance in my body and happiness? Am I willing to share the nourishment I receive with others? 

When we contemplate our own happiness first, we realize that all our thoughts, words and actions can then contribute in some ways to the happiness of all beings. We set the tone literally in our own bodies to resonate balance and this effects everything coming in contact with us. This vibration entrains each being we interact with and this raises the awareness whereby we are all bathing in the “Bhav.” A great mantra to recite for this is “Om Lokah Sukino Bhavantu.” It is often translated as “May all beings everywhere be happy.” It is this beautiful image that all beings stop and connect so deeply within that they are aware of bathing in this universal bath of the Divine with all creation.