At the time of the development of the Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, the ancients believed that their world was composed of Five Elements; water, earth, air, fire, and space (energy). According to Traditional Tibetan medicine, health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements.
The traditional colors of Tibetan prayer flags represent the elements and are always arranged in the same color sequence: blue for sky (space), white for air, red for fire, green for water, and yellow for earth. Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom.
In psychology, the Five Elements are used to personify different human traits, such as the personality types categories by Carl Jung (feeling, sensing, intuiting, and thinking) and those associated with the astrological signs of the zodiac. I experimented with the concept of assigning an element to each of the Rites and found the results to be amazing.
In each case, the physical movement of the Rite was a metaphor for what we were trying to achieve mentally - awareness in a different aspect of life. For example, the Spin takes the element energy, and the vortex that the movements create allows you to replenish your body from the larger energy all around us. The Tabletop takes the element earth, and its movements focus on stability, foundation, and balance, giving us a solid base from which to form new ideas.
In holistic exercise, it can sometimes be hard to marry the physical state with the mental state, and having a metaphor helps people enormously to align the two, and to present a clear picture of what they are working towards.
Having assigned an element and a modern name to each Rite, I then experimented with creating an affirmation that expressed the 'energy' of each movement. The result is a method of reinforcing and focusing upon the positive benefits of each Rite physically, mentally, and spiritually. This has a ripple effect on every area of your life.
- Rite # 1 (Energy) - The Spin -- "I am full of energy."
- Rite # 2 (Air) - The Leg Raise -- "My mind is clear and calm."
- Rite # 3 (Water) - The Kneeling Backbend -- "I am flexible and receptive."
- Rite # 4 (Earth) - The Tabletop -- "I am strong and balanced."
- Rite # 5 (Fire) - The Pendulum -- "I am positive and motivated."
Try using them when you practice next time - they really work! You can download a Free Poster with these affirmations and place them next to where you you do your Five Tibetan Rites daily practice.
In T5T emphasis is also placed on the mind/body connection. The physical movement of each Rite is a metaphor for the desired mental state.
Click links to Download
© This work is the intellectual property of its author and is fully copyrighted. It may not be copied or republished in any medium (including but not limited to electronic and print media) without the express permission of the author. All rights are reserved.