The Four Elements


March 13, 2011. 63-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France.

In Buddhism we speak of Four Elements: water, earth, fire, and air. With water we can practice purification. With air we breathe. Breathe out the toxic gases in the body. Fire is also a method purification. With heat we can heal. The earth can purify as well. In Plum Village we have a practice called Touching the Earth. The earth is our Mother. We are children of the earth. we can return to the earth to renew ourself. Intimate conversations with the earth. We hear of Ksitigarbha (Earth Store), a great bodhisattva.

With these elements we can nourish and cultivate love, understanding, compassion, and reduce our suffering.

We briefly review the steps of mindful breathing to bring joy and calm to our minds and bodies.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. I am new to this website and I just want to express my deep gratitude for sharing these Dharma Talks with us.
    We are so blessed to have Thich Nhat Hanh among us !
    Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

  2. In every one of Thay’s talks, I find something to ponder to help me be a better person. This is a great gift.

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