Meditation on the 4 Material Elements of the Body

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Meditation on the 4 Material Elements of the Body (Dhātu)

Our human existence not only includes our psychological totality but also our material one, to which many people cling, identify with, are influenced by it and suffer emotionally. Many narcissistic tendencies or disorders derive from the attachment and the identification with the material form.

The Buddha taught in several of his discourses how the material world is made up of the four primary elements — earth, water, fire and wind — and how, through meditation, one can practice mindfulness and develop the right wisdom to see how things really are.

Through meditation, people come to realise that “these elements are not theirs, these are not them, these are not themselves”. When material elements are seen in this light, the practitioner is gradually freed from illusions and thus his/her mind is liberated so that pleasant and unpleasant stimuli do not invade it to remain.

​Building upon this teaching of the Buddha, Bhante Nynadassana explains in detail:

  • ​How we are internally, with our material body, and externally, with material objects, encircled and immersed in matter, which consists of the four primary elements, as above.
  • How our attachment and identification with material elements, which are by default transient, result in psychological burden and imbalance.
  • How by meditating on the material elements one can acquire the liberating knowledge that leads to detachment and equanimity.

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