That said, the elements are constantly changing. Every two hours the flow of energy becomes strongest in a particular organ and its associated functions, and weakest in the organ that is opposite to it on the clock. Additionally, our energy is affected by the weather, our environment, our emotional state, the moon, and so much more. While we may enjoy the pleasurable experiences of life, we often despair over the unpleasant and tragic. Life on the see-saw is up and down. Yet, there is a part of the see-saw--the fulcrum--that remains steady and unchanging, whether the beam is up or down. When we find our fulcrum, we become observers of our lives, bearing witness to everything that happens while maintaining equanimity.
Checking in with yourself before you eat, notice if you are feeling balanced. If not, stop for a moment and breathe. Just breathe through the nose and let go of any tension or concerns on the exhalation. Let it be easy. When you feel a shift, begin eating. If you are very tense, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth a few times until you feel relaxed. Strong breath in, long breath out. Another way to center yourself is by saying grace. Here is an example from the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh in Chanting from the Heart:
"This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.
May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.
May we recognize and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed.
May we take only foods that nourish us and keep us healthy.
We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, build our Sangha (Community),
and nourish our ideal of serving living beings."
The Goddess Annapurna is Mother Earth. She resides in every atom. Our lives depend on food, water, and air. Fire is the element associated with metabolism. Our health depends on harmonizing the elements within us. In this progam, I will be working backwards with the elements from Earth to Space. Each elemental blog post will include information on how to balance that particular elemental energy.
*TIP As you work with this program, you may want to create a sacred space where you can invoke the Goddess and honor the five elements. Earth can be represented by grain or corn; Water by water or fresh fruit; Fire by a candle; Air by incense or a bell; and Space by a flower.