Author Topic: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation  (Read 131 times)

JAB2202

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    • Vipassana
Hello,

Goenka said there are 4 different elements of sensations one could experience during meditation. Fire, water, earth and air.
I've got fire and earth pretty clear but I am not sure about the characteristics/differences of air and water.

Could anyone, please shed some light on this? Maybe with some examples for each?
e.g. Fire is releated to heat, which has to do with anger and hatred...

Thank you very much!

With Metta,
Jackie
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

Goofaholix

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Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 06:13:43 PM »
Air is movement or energy, most easily experienced as vibration or buoyancy.

Water is cohesiveness, experienced as the interrelatedness of between individual parts or sensations in the body

JAB2202

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    • Vipassana
Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 10:34:33 AM »
Hello Goofaholix,

thank you for your explanation. I am sorry, but I still don't understand it very well.
Could you please give me another example of air and water?

Thank you!

With Metta,
Jackie
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
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Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 10:53:27 AM »
The four elements are a traditional part of Buddhist practice, but there are also five or six or seven, according to which aspects you are looking at. They are useful as objects of focus while meditating, but you can't experience them as physical forces unless you want to relate them to your senses. I didn't really find them useful myself as they relate to pre-scientific explanations of the world around us.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Middleway

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    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 11:08:39 AM »
Hello Goofaholix,

thank you for your explanation. I am sorry, but I still don't understand it very well.
Could you please give me another example of air and water?

Thank you!

With Metta,
Jackie

Here is the example for water.

https://youtu.be/cJMwBwFj5nQ

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Middleway

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    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2020, 11:39:11 AM »
Okay, this time a more serious reply. When you touch / tap a hard surface, with your finger nail, what is the sensation you feel? That is earth. It’s hard and the resistance to your finger nail tapping is immediate. What is the sensation when you touch a softer object or when you touch a harder surface with softer side of your finger? That sensation is water.

Air is the sensation when you breath in. Observe the expanding chest and abdomen to while breathing in and contraction when breathing out. Fire you already explained it.

This is how I understood these sensations. Hope this helps.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 11:41:19 AM by Middleway »
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Matthew

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Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 10:46:27 PM »
Jackie,

It's important to understand that these are abstract divisions: they are made in the human mind, not part of ultimate reality.

As such they may be beneficial vehicles to help aid in understanding, yet if they prove not to be so, then it is perhaps better to look for other "maps" to navigate with rather than fighting the tide.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

JAB2202

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    • Vipassana
Re: Question about the 4 elements regarding sensations during meditation
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2020, 10:10:42 AM »
Hello Stillpointdancer, Middleway and Matthew,

thank you for your explanations.

@Middleway -thank you for the Buce Lee video and your comments. Funny and helpful.  :) I get the idea of the concepts now. They are more abstract like infinty - hard to conceive with the little monky mind. I can accept that.

With Metta,
Jackie
If you can't do it with the mind, do it with the body.

 

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