Stepping into the Fire Element Practice!

And I am so grateful happy and pleased to report that we had a wonderful event at Haleakala Yoga Studio, Utsunomiya, Japan!

During this lovely time together (and you can join us at home in your own practice!) we: 1) took a deep dive into experiencing each of the botanical oils that make up the Water and Fire Element Blends in Nature’s Narrative: Well-Being in Body, Speech & Mind, 2) engaged in two 10 minute guided (seated) meditations as found in Water and Fire Element Practice, and 3) got out our yoga mats to incorporate element yoga into our (Water & Fire) Six Element Practice.

This whole journey began when I embarked upon ascetic practices on Mt. Koya in 2016. I brought along a few botanical oils that a friend of mine had shared with me. Never could I have imagined how deeply intertwined these botanicals would become in my daily well-being practice.

When I finished my practices on Mt. Koya in 2018 I felt immediately called to spend time at Dragons Nest Sanctuary in Thailand (2018-2019). It was there that I began to envision the ways in which human beings can work with the natural world (Six Element Practice) to realise happiness, peace and joy – not only for themselves, but for their communities and for the planet.

The conviction that underlies Nature’s Narrative is that well-being is experienced with our whole being (emotional, spiritual and physical) and that well-being is born of our natural self – a self that is readily available to each and every one of us when we turn to nature for support, guidance and self-knowledge.

For this month – June – we stepped into Fire Element Practice!

Fire is (in part) about being on display, about being seen. Tell me this is not the month for a workshop! Fire is spectacular. The key points we cover in the Fire Element chapter (through meditation and movement, working with oils and journaling practice) are tolerance (fire gets hot) understanding multiple points of view (working to spread the warmth of understanding) and curiosity (helping us to enter more deeply into this understanding of self and other).

So let’s inaugurate this entry into Fire Element Practice by randomly choosing a sentence from the first half of the Fire Chapter (pages 70 -92);

“Following your breath, directing your attention to your upper lip, sensing and appreciating a sense of warmth there provided by each outbreath” (79).

This is an excerpt from the (seated) Fire Element Meditation practice. Directing our awareness to the warmth we feel on our upper lip during our outbreath is a technique found in Vipassana meditation. This technique provides us with an embodied, felt sense of breath (warmth) so that our awareness can enable us to step out of our thinking mind.

Fire energy not only enables warmth but also keeps us alive. Without that ball of fire in the sky (see above) we could not exist. Without the flames of passion and desire our lives are dispirited and impoverished..

With curiosity we can begin to examine these fires (passions, desires) so that our lives can be rendered radiant and fulfilling. Understanding the multitude of ways in which passion and desire manifest in ourselves and others can help us to be curious about ourselves (as well as others) and to facilitate a sense of wonder at this magnificent world we inhabit.

Nature – both ours and the planet – knows all about fire element. Fire is the will to live, the desire to get out of bed in the morning, as well as the ability to grow and evolve. Growth and evolution are natural – they are our birthright. Growth and evolution are the foundations of this cosmos we inhabit.

You may not be with us in person, but knowing you are here in this community enlivens us all.

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