How to Incorporate the 4 Elements into Sensory Mindfulness Practice at Home
The biggest challenge in meditation is staying present, not getting lost in memories of the past, dreams of the future or the running commentary that your mind creates about whatever you’re experiencing; having an anchor, a place that you can return to when your mind wanders off is an incredibly useful tool for all meditators, regardless of how long you have been practicing for. The most commonly used anchor is the breath, as you are always breathing, and the sensation of your breath is easy to access. Based on this knowledge, we developed a new form of practice together with a meditation package.
The practice uses sensory stimuli such as nature related smells, sounds and videos. Nature is filled with opportunities for finding sounds that can be used as anchors, such as the wind blowing in the trees or birdsong. When using a sound, it is best to find something that is reasonably constant, so that it will be there when you return to it. Nature can also provide anchors through vision such as sunset, ocean waves, waterfall. The aim of this practice is how we can bring these sensory experiences together and keep it in focus.
- Air , is movable, changeable, light, dry, mobile, and dynamic. It represents the capacity for motion and gives flight to ideas or goals. Externally, it is seen as wind; internally, it is the movement of breath, circulation, and nerve impulses.
- Fire , is hot, light, intense, powerful, and transformative. Externally, we see it as the sun or fire; internally, it drives digestion and cognitive processes.
- Water , is smooth, flowing, cool, and movable, and can be solid. It transports, connects, and provides protection and nourishment. Both your body and the planet are roughly 70 percent water.
- Earth, is heavy, solid, stable, constant, and rigid. It represents all solid matter and the structure of the universe. Earth gives form to the human body and to all of creation.
Take a moment to observe and you will begin to notice these qualities all around you. The more you shift your attention and explore the elements, the more you will be able to understand and relate to the entire universe. The best way to start connecting with the four elements is to meditate on their natures.
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