In the philosophy of Chinese Medicine, there are five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These five elements are not simply the materials associated with each of the names, but rather they are metaphors for describing how things interact and relate to each other. Each of the Five Elements represents an aspect of a dynamic process and phases of change.
Today I shall speak to you about first element – The Water.
Water is the element of winter; therefore this is a good month to discuss it. Water is one of the most powerful elements. In nature, we have seen water’s dangerous wrath, remember the tsunami in Southeast Asia? Yet water is also patient and slow. We see how water can slowly smooth the surface of a rock by years of continual gentle persistence. From these examples, we understand that Water represents fluidity, or the ability to “go with the flow.” I really appreciate this aspect – water is quiet, still, and patient, yet unyielding, determined, and unstoppable. Water has the ability to adapt, to go with the flow when necessary, to exercise determination when needed and to be a source of growth and nourishment.
The Tao symbol is often compared to water: clear, colorless, and able to form itself as both a wave and a little trickle. All beings depend on water for life and even the hardest stone cannot stand in its way forever. I love the symbolism of water because water represents the epitome of adaptability and strength all at once.
Tao Te Ching, better known as The Tao is a book written by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. Literally translated, The Tao means “the way”. It is the source of great wisdom and some famous Chinese sayings such as, “Even a 1,000 mile journey starts with a single step”.