More subtle than Air is Ether. Vast, infinite still and spacious ether. Ether is the space that holds all matter, it is the space that gives matter form. Mostly, we pay little attention to Ether, and more attention to what can be seen, heard, tasted and touched. But Ether, although subtle, is exceptionally powerful. Essentially – space is the substance through which all matter comes in to being. It’s like the womb that holds the entire universe. Ether is space and spaciousness, visible on a clear day is the clear bright blue endless sky. All that blocks the view of the vast, infinite possibility is weather, and weather is ever changing. We don’t always feel this way, but ultimately the sun is always shining.
The Buddha said, “Three things cannot be long hidden, The Sun, The Moon and The Truth”. This is the essence of Ether, weather is temporary, situations are temporary, all things come and go and ultimately pass, but the truth prevails, and The Sun is always shining…
The home of Ether is in the throat, and Ether strongly resonates with our voice. We speak our truth. Our voice becomes the worldly expression of our inner vibration, whether we sing or chant, teach or chat openly with friends – there is purification and relief found in the upward rising and expression of life as we experience it, through sound. We can scream our frustrations out, sob out of grief, sing our joy, and speak our truth. The resonance of our voices can let others know we understand. Our words can wound, and our words can heal, they carry all that is felt and intended on them.
Clear, Still and Spacious. The Ether mind has perspective on all things and remains still in the face of challenge (or weather). When the mind is busy and full of ruminating thoughts, the ‘should have said’ ‘should have done’ ‘need to do’ etc. then we have very little clarity on the bigger picture. Speaking our minds is important, however dark and heavy they feel. The support that comes through confessing, whether we confide in the close friend, or to a therapist or other professional, we can find a sense of space and relief. There is nothing that crosses our minds, which isn’t human, collectively we all experience a range of thoughts and emotions, and it’s only through expressing them, that we free ourselves from them, and from the isolating feeling that we alone are carrying them.
Affirmations can be a useful way to awaken the energetic qualities of Ether.
“I am spacious” or “I am working towards finding more space for myself every day”
“I am free to speak my truth”
“I am free to share my soul with my loved ones”
“I value my freedom of expression”
“I am free”
You can work with affirmations in various ways, what’s important is that the affirmation feels true and that can take time and work. It can take some negotiation and time to find the words that feel true. Start with something small if necessary, something that is already true for you and easily accessible, rather than expecting a universal affirmation to feel comfortable immediately. Try one of these exercises:
- Choose an affirmation and write it out 10 times in a diary or notebook.
- Look yourself in the eye, in the mirror and say the affirmation out loud 10 times
- Silently repeat the affirmation 10 times before you go to sleep, or 10 times as soon as you wake up.
Notice any objections that come up and address those separately. Address the objections with compassion, for example ‘I know you don’t always feel spacious, but could you be willing to give it a try?’ or ‘I know you feel trapped, but I’m now open to inviting a deeper sense of freedom into my life, will you come with me?’
Activities to connect us to the Ether Element:
- Meditation. Being still and present for all that arises is a practice in balancing the Ether element.
- Find a spacious place in nature. Look out across the sea or out across open fields. Have a sense of how it feels, and embody that feeling. Remember it when you return home, or to work.
- Reach out to a trusted companion or friend, carve out time together to share what’s on your mind, however small and insignificant it seems, however big and foreboding. Talking about it can very often diminish its power, it can feel like a relief.
In Balance – Ether in balance allows us to speak our truth. We feel spacious and can hold the matter of our lives in balance. What arises within us we can embrace and express without shame or judgement.
Out of Balance – We might feel that we can’t express what’s on our mind, that it’d be a burden or is too shameful to admit. We might feel overwhelmed and as though we can’t get perspective on things.