In the following pages are four meditation sessions on the traditonal elements; Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Each meditation contains images and guided actions for your visualization. Repeating these actions draws us into beneficial states of consciousness. The images function as archetypal aids in our work of inner transformation. The Bodhisattva Kuan Yin issues a simple invitation: “Come. Be by my side and listen to the Heart of the Earth.”
From ancient India, to Tibet and China, to the lands of the West, the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin has captivated the imagination of millions. The literal translation of her name is “She who hears the cries of the world.” Her identity as the ultimate expression of compassion has inspired many generations to look within to nurture that same compassion.
In her own personal spiritual journey, hearing the cries of suffering in the world, she paused at the gate of Ultimate Liberation, vowing to wait until she was able to assist all who suffer to accompany her through that gate. She understood that her task would be accomplished only when she was able to assist in each individual’s unique struggle with suffering. The Lotus Sutra speaks of her thirty-three manifestations. Folk tales beyond number tell of her special association with multitudes of places and people, wonderful stories of the Kuan Yin of the moon and water, the playful Kuan Yin, and the Kuan Yin of the lotus leaf, to name a few. Statues often show her with a thousand arms, each one busy in response to some individual’s cry for help. In the modern world she is seen by many to be the external expression of our own inner development of compassion.
To be practiced before each meditation session
Focus on your incoming and outgoing breath. Mentally give the incoming breath a count of “one” and the outgoing breath a count of “two.” Continue this to a count of ten and return to one to repeat the count. Practice full, but relaxed, abdominal breaths to quiet your mind.
To be recited before each meditation session
“May my meditation turn the Wheel of the Dharma;
may my meditation be grounded in fearlessness;
may the Earth bear witness to my meditation;
may my meditation benefit all beings;
may my meditation be centered in the heart."
You are now ready to begin the Journey of the Heart with the Earth meditations. Repeat this same exercise each day for seven days before moving on to the element Air.
At first the images and imagined actions may seem unfamiliar or difficult. However, after two or three days of practice you should have no difficulty in easily recalling the basic journey and the actions associated with each of the meditations. Each meditation will become more familiar through repetition: you will begin to notice variations and surprises in your journey.
To be recited at the end of each meditation session
May the Whole Earth and all of its life forms grow in harmony and balance to achieve a bright and shining destiny. Particularly do I send forth loving thoughts to those in suffering and sorrow, to all those in doubt and ignorance, to all who are striving to attain truth; and to those whose feet are standing close to the great change we call death, I send forth oceans of Wisdom, Mercy and Love.
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