Reflections on the Elements Retreat

When I first read Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s Healing with Form, Energy and Light several years ago, I was intrigued to learn that my fledgling connection to earth, water, fire and air could be made on much deeper emotional and energetic levels than I had yet explored on my own. I felt that I had uncovered a great treasure in this book and pored over it in awe and excitement. It had never occurred to me that the fifth element, the mother of the elements, is space. Of course! I felt like I had arrived home in Bon, though I knew an intellectual grasp of these ancient ideas wouldn’t be enough, and I looked forward to the day I would be able to receive the teachings and learn the elemental practices from Rinpoche himself.


Last October, that day finally came. With Rinpoche’s gentle, lucid guidance, I was able to experience the true sweetness and transformative power of this practice. To have sat with this kind and generous teacher and other practitioners with the wind in our hair, the song of water in our ears, the Indian summer sun on our skin, the mountains cradling the valley cradling us—and all cradled by open space—was an experience that I will continue to draw upon to deepen my practice. How profoundly simple it is to breathe in the elemental qualities that are always supporting and informing us. How grateful I am to Rinpoche for reminding me, for helping me experience this, for teaching me yet another way to realize my true nature. May all beings benefit!

-- Rachel Kellum