The following article is from the Spring, 2002 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.



Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche shares these examples of simple meditation practices in shamanism, tantra and dzogchen, adapted from his forthcoming book on the five elements.

In shamanism, working with the raw natural elements involves connecting with the external element and internalizing its qualities at deeper and deeper levels, until one ultimately connects with the very essence of the element.

A shamanic practice for the five element: When you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the fire of the sim, take it in to the deepest parts of yourself. Use your imagination. Feel the warmth stream through the channels of your body and into the region of your heart. Let it in even deeper, into your depths. Immerse yourself in that, feeling the warmth of your body, your channels and chakras, your central channel, your heart, your core. When you reach this level of experience, the essence of the fire element is healing you, nourishing you on all levels.

In tantra, the imagination is used to connect with the energy of the body and to transform one's internal process and experience. As one clears energy centers and channels in one's mind and energetic body, one can experience the pure elemental essence.

A tantric practice for the space element: Visualize within the space in your heart a luminous, white letter A (either the English or Tibetan letter). Maintaining attention there, experience and stabilize the qualities of love and openness within the heart. Imagine that your heart is opening, permitting vital energies to move smoothly throughout the body. Allow any negative emotion to arise and fade away. Maintain awareness in the spacethe awareness is the openingand continue to develop positive qualities of love and openness.

In dzogchen, the primary practice is being present. More accurately, it is being nondual presence itself. Dzogchen dissolves all energies and qualities of the elements into the pure space of awareness.

A dzogchen practice for the air element: Visualize a small sphere of green light in the space within your heart center. See and feel green light, the air element, radiating from the sphere. It flows out, pervades everything, everywhere. Stay connected to space and allow the flow of experience. Feel the green light, be the green light. Merge with the air element. You are not one point, you are everywhere. You are flexible, cannot be stuck, nothing can hold you. Feel the inner green light, be presence merged with the quality of air.

For information on Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, his teaching schedule, please contact Ligmincha Institute, PO Box 1892, Charlottesville, VA 22903,434-977-6161,

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