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Making Offerings to Air, Earth, And Water Spirits

Making Offerings to Air, Earth, And Water Spirits

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Published by Michael Erlewine
A short article and practice for making offerings to the nature spirits, the lords of the air, earth, and water.
A short article and practice for making offerings to the nature spirits, the lords of the air, earth, and water.

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Published by: Michael Erlewine on Oct 05, 2012
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05/13/2014

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MAKING OFFERINGS TO AIR, EARTH, ANDWATER SPIRITSBy Michael Erlewine (Michael@Erlewine.net)I wrote a blog recently about the Tibetan concept ofthe Earth Lords, the protectors of the land and theenvironment. There is no question that some naturalspots have power and a life of their own. I knowAmericans love nature, but we don’t tend to personifynatural beauty with beings other than we humans.The Tibetans Buddhists do. In Tibet, places haveenergy-beings, protectors of the power and beautythat holds them together, that makes them what theyare. I know, some will say that beauty is just in theeye of the beholder, but here I am talking aboutbeholding beauty a little deeper than what our eyetakes in. I am talking about a shock and awe factor alittle larger than just ourselves.As we become more aware, we can begin to feel thevitality of places. There are creeks and streams andthen there are Creeks and Streams, water where liferuns through it. Some of us are sensitive to the natureof these power spots, or can learn to be.Perhaps you live in an area that has natural beauty,or is somehow auspicious as a power spot and youmight like to make a stronger connection with theenergy there, to make friends with it.What follows here is a little practice you can do tohonour natural places with your good wishes and toestablish a bond with them and whatever energiesreside there. This is something that Tibetans do a lot,make an offering with a pure heart.The idea here is that you are going to offer somethingeither at the natural site (spring, mountain, etc.) itself,
 
or on your personal home shrine. It could be assimple as a flower or cookie, cracker, or no food at all,but some few mantras, such as “OM Mani PadmeHum,” and so on. Remember it is not the offering-itemthat is the offering, but rather the intention. The actand ceremony of offering is the actual offering, not theitem that is offered. And it is simple.Before making the offering you are going to addressand gather together all the nature or energy spirits inthe area, and get their attention. The process is asreal as you are in making the offering. These earthlords are not enlightened beings like Buddha or someof the Tibetan deities, etc., but rather nature spirits,spirits of the earth, wind, and water that have beentamed long ago and bound to oath by great beingslike Guru Rinpoche. These nature spirits are bynature not necessarily kind or friendly, especially tothose who violate their areas, such as pollute thewater and air, or disturb the earth in destructive ways.They are not your friends, but can be friendly andprotective if you are protecting the same things theyprotect, such as the air, land, and water. Of course,you had best not be violating their domains and yourintent should be only to help them protect theenvironment.Since they are ‘bound’ spirits or energies, in thispractice you remind them not to be malicious or jealous, but to support in kind those who share theirintentions, like yourselves. You ask all other harmfulbeings to go elsewhere, and remind those who mightnot pay attention and wish to cause harm that theywill be destroyed by the ten wrathful wisdom deities ifthey do not cooperate.
 
Once this is said, you then make your offering, eitherof food, flower, etc., or mantra. Even if you offer foodon your shrine or at the site, some prayers or mantrasshould also be recited.And last, this kind of offering should only be donewhen you feel gratitude for the earth, water, and airthat is being protected, and not just because you feelobligated to make an offering or think it is cool to doso. The success of the offering will always be aperfect reflection of your intention, so it is best not tomake an offering out of a sense of obligation or to getsomething for yourself. Wait until you can offer with joy and a good heart just for the beauty of it, and youwill strengthen the bond between these spirits andyour own actions. And don’t forget to dedicate themerit from your offering, which will be explainedbelow. Here is the short practice:THE OFFERING PRACTICEImagine that this offering,Within a precious jeweled container,Instantly becomes amrita [pure nectar or ambrosia]and recite:OM AH HUNGThen assemble the spirits:Local lords,Spirits of the air, land, and water,Including harmful spirits,Gather here and partake of this offering,So that I may accomplish,the Secret Mantra in this place.Do not act maliciously or be jealous.

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