The element of earth is demonstrated in our day to day routine and presents itself first most in the cycles of our lives. It is constituted by our diet, exercise, work, and life-structure. The decisions we make consciously and unconsciously. It is the solid element. The element of rigidity, and it does not give way to change easily. However; just like the canyons of the world were carved, and the beaches have receded, it is consistency and persistence that shift this element. “Rome wasn’t build in a day” and the Grand Canyon wasn’t carved in a decade, but they were built and carved.
The Four Nutriments identified by the Buddha are Food, Sense Impression, Volition, and Consciousness. I found this immediately interesting from an elemental perspective as they lend themselves well to elemental classification. Food as earth, Sense Impressions as air, Volition as water, and Consciousness, as always, fire.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide on Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz presented an ancient Toltec perspective on our lives and how the hidden “agreements” we make with ourselves and others have a huge impact on the world and reality we see around us. I strongly encourage everyone to read it as it is only 140 Pages and very well written. Without giving too much of the book away, I wanted to discuss each of The Four agreements in relation to our elemental philosophy.
The practice of meditation strengthens and balances our air element by focusing on our mental well-being and strengthening our connection to the intellectual aspect of ourselves. On top of this, meditation can also be used in connection with other emotional or spiritual aspects of our life and health, and because of this is incredible for our general mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Even just 10 minutes a day, will see a measurable change in your life.
My focus on the elements in holistic health showed me that a healthy diet demonstrates a large portion of the influence of elemental earth. Our diet is our routine, it is the foundation for our bodies, our lives, and our health. Holistic and vitalistic ideas on health always support a major focus on diet because it is believed, in most of those traditions, that our physical health is a direct result of what we put into our physical body. The interconnection of elements became even more evident to me as I removed things from my diet that were hurting my spirit and emotions though I didn’t realize how much until after. Even my mental space was clouded and distracted by what I had been “taught” to eat by society, compared to what my subconscious knew I should be eating.