The Water Element
We started with the grossest element, and in the remainder of the practice we progress to those that are increasingly subtle. So now we call to mind the Water element within the body — that which is liquid.
Starting with those manifestations that we can directly experience, we feel saliva in the mouth, mucus, the pulse of the blood, sweat, the feeling of moisture in the outbreath, the pressure of urine in the bladder.
Then we move on to those things we can only experience more imaginatively: lymph, fat, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and all the liquid that permeates and surrounds every cell in the body.
Then we contemplate the element outside of ourselves: calling to mind the oceans and rivers and streams, the water that permeates the soil, the rain and clouds, the water inside plants and animals. We see, hear, and feel these things as we recall our experience of them.
Then we recognize that all of the Water within the body, which we think of as “us,” and “ours,” as “ourselves,” is in reality simply borrowed for a while from the outside world, that it’s quite literally flowing through us, and that we don’t own it. There is only one Water element — there’s no “me” Water and there’s no “other” Water. And so we reflect: “This is not me. This is not mine. I am not this.”