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Retreat Dharma Talks

The Elements: Cultivating an Embodied Experience of Emptiness and Fullness

A fundamental aspect of establishing embodied mindfulness centers around contemplations of the elements. In the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air represent the four basic qualities of matter—solidity, liquidity, temperature, and motion. The Buddha also gave instructions on space as a fifth element. These five elements are universal and when we contemplate them in relation to the body, they can bring a cooling of the grasping mind and a profound realization of emptiness and fullness.

During this retreat, we will practice with the descriptive nature of each of the elements, which can be known through the felt sense, energetic sense, and intuitive knowing. We will contemplate the relationship they have with each other, their importance to establishing mindfulness and concentration, and allow them to support non-conceptual knowing from which insight naturally arises. This retreat includes guided and silent meditations, mindful movement, and practice meetings with teachers.

This retreat is silent except for teacher-led Q&A, small groups, or other practice meetings.

2023-08-06 (7 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2023-08-07 Morning Instructions - Earth Element (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 63:57
Alex Haley, Tuere Sala
2023-08-08 Metta as Wind Element (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 51:47
Tuere Sala
2023-08-09 Morning sit with instruction (Retreat at Spirit Rock) - Water Element 41:23
Alex Haley
First 7 minutes are announcements by Dana DePalma.
2023-08-09 Practicing the Hindrances as Water Element (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 55:45
Tuere Sala
Question and Response Session with Tuere Sala
2023-08-10 Morning Instructions - Fire Element (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 60:33
Tuere Sala
First 8 minutes are announcements.
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