Meditating on the Five Elements
(11/2013) The ancient Chinese observed a cyclical pattern of expression in nature that was used to describe the "Oneness" of the universe (see previous articles on Yin-Yang and the Five Elements). They called these elements found in nature the Five Elements. These Elements or energies are felt to be the prime energetic building blocks from
which everything in the material world is composed. So, every living thing and every person is a unique embodiment and combination of these Five elements. The Five Elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. Also, each element is related to a season.
Fall is a time when nature’s energy is moving downward and inward. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the season of Fall is associated with the Metal Element, one of the Five Elements found in nature. The gifts of Fall include letting go and pruning; crisp, dry air that allows us to breathe deeply; acknowledging of nature’s awe; and
acknowledging the intrinsic value of everything of creation. How many of the gifts of Fall do you identify with?
Winter (related to the Water Element in TCM), is around the corner waiting to bring you the gifts of the strength of reserves (storage) and endurance (just remember about the hibernating animals), wisdom, stillness, deep listening (the "quietness" of winter allows us to listen), reflection, and reassurance (Spring will come again!). Many
people do not like Winter. Our "adrenaline running" culture tends not to value stillness, quietness, and taking time to rest and reflect. Can you see how the energy of Winter is needed in your life? Can you see yourself needing any of the gifts of Winter?
In fact, there are gifts from each season (and its corresponding Element in TCM) that can be cherished and enjoyed. Fall and Winter are perfect times of the year to sit and reflect/meditate on the life issues and gifts related to each of the Five Elements. The following meditation is a Five Element Meditation to support you as nature’s
energy is moving inward into this time of reflection. You may want to record your own voice reading this meditation, and then use the recording to guide you through the meditation.
Five Element Meditation:
Sit with your eyes closed, feet flat on the floor, hands on your lap, and your spine straight. Imagine that there are roots growing deep into the earth from the bottom of your feet. Also, imagine roots traveling down from the base of your tailbone deep into the earth. The roots from your feet and tailbone are giving you great stability.
Now draw your attention to the top of your head. Imagine that someone is above you and pulling upward on a string that is attached to your head. Feel your head floating on top of your neck.
Breathe regularly. Focus on your breathing. As you begin to breathe deeply, imagine that you are going down an escalator. You are going down deep inside of yourself.
Now draw your attention to the region above your belly button. Place your hands over this region. Here are the Gallbladder and Liver of the WOOD Element. As you breathe, breathe in the color green into this region. The life issue of the WOOD Element is managing obstacles to growth with graceful and benevolent planning and decision-making.
- What guidance does the WOOD Element have for you today?
- Invite the WOOD Element to offer you guidance in creating the vision of your inner world and carrying this vision out into the world.
- You are blessed with the gifts of vision, creativity, courage, hope, and determination from your WOOD Element.
Now draw your attention to the region of your chest. Place you hands on your chest. Here are the Heart and Pericardium of the FIRE Element. As you breathe, breathe in the color red into this region. The life issue of the FIRE Element is being able to maintain joy and express joy appropriately.
- What guidance does the FIRE Element have for you today?
- Invite the FIRE Element to empower you to recognize your pure, true self.
- Also invite the FIRE Element to open your up to your inner-self and to others from a position of strength so that you can communicate appropriately.
- You are blessed with the gifts of joy, compassion, partnership, and warmth from the FIRE Element.
Now draw your attention back to the region above your belly button. Place your hands over this region. Here are the Stomach and Spleen of the EARTH Element. As you breathe, breathe in the color yellow into this region. The life issue of the EARTH Element is gathering and distributing nourishment without having to work too hard.
- What guidance does the EARTH Element have for you today?
- Invite the EARTH Element to give you nourishment, personal integrity, and stability during your life.
- You are blessed with the gifts of nourishment, thoughtfulness, empathy, service, and grounding from your EARTH Element.
Now draw your attention to the chest and the region below your belly button. Place one hand on your chest and one hand under your belly button. Here are the Lung and Large Intestine of the METAL Element. As you breathe, breathe in the color white into these regions. The life issue of the METAL Element is the balance of gain and loss in our
- What guidance does the METAL Element have for you today?
- Invite the METAL Element to receive all that is pure from the heavens.
- Let go of all the impurities and mundane items of life while still retaining the essence of life.
- You are blessed with the gifts of acknowledgement, respect, and inspiration from your METAL Element.
Now draw your attention to the region below your belly button. Place your hands over this region. Here are the Bladder and Kidney of the WATER Element. As you breathe, breathe in the color blue into this region. The life issue of the WATER Element is cultivating and using your resources wisely to bring your innermost potential into the
- What guidance does the WATER Element have for you today?
- Invite the WATER Element to store and utilize your energy wisely.
- Let the WATER Element empower you to fulfill your destiny in this world.
- You are blessed with the gifts of wisdom, listening, potential, and reassurance from your WATER Element.
Place your hands on your lap. Let us again make contact with the earth through the feet and tailbone. Feel yourself being grounded. Ask your FIVE ELEMENTS to come together into ONENESS. Now slowly open your eyes.
Hold the ONENESS as your move forward throughout your day.
Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist, physical therapist, and Reiki Master with over 20 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg, PA. She can be reached at 717-752-5728.