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Awareness Of The Four Elements
Awareness of the Four Elements is a unique script. By exploring our awareness of earth, air, water, and fire, we start to relate to the body in a new way. As a result, the mind becomes more curious, quieting any thoughts that wish to bind us.
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This practice provides a different lens through which you can examine the body.
Give yourself space to drop in and deeply investigate these elements in your body.
Try to bring an open mind, and see what you can learn about yourself.
Remember that mindfulness is about seeing clearly, and looking at things from a new
perspective can often bring that clarity.
Settle into a relaxed position.
Close the eyes, and bring your awareness to the places in the body where you experience contact, such as the feet on the floor, the hands in the lap, or the body sitting in the chair.
Begin with the element of earth or solid form.
Without thinking too hard about what this means, openly examine where and how you can feel solidity.
This might be the structure of your skeleton, the chair you’re sitting on, any places of tension in the body, or the weight of your muscles as they relax.
Don’t rush through these sensations or try to force them.
When you feel the earth element in the body, stay with it for a few deep breaths.
Continue this seeking, recognizing, and feeling for a few breaths.
After five minutes, switch to the element of air or wind.
An obvious place to start is in the form of the body breathing.
Where can you feel the air of the breath?
You may also look for places in the body where you can feel empty space—
the nostrils, the mouth, and the ears can offer insight into the air element.
When another five minutes have passed, shift your awareness to the water element.
Tune in to any sense of liquidity you can feel.
There may be moisture in the eyes, saliva in the mouth, or sweat on the body—
or you can feel the flexibility of your muscles, the flow of your breath in and out, or even the pulsing of your blood.
Next, bring your attention to heat or fire in the body.
This element is open to interpretation, so look for yourself to see what you notice.
Perhaps it’s the temperature of the air touching your skin, or certain spots on the body that are warmer or cooler than others.
Watch for any experience of temperature, either externally or internally.
To wrap up the practice, spend a few moments in awareness of the body as a whole.
As you breathe, feel the four elements working together to support and fuel your body.
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