[quote="gavesako"]Yes, indeed it is hard to find a good translation for this Pali word "dhatu".
There are many things called "dhatu" in the Pali texts, see:
[quote] (THE ELEMENTS)
Dear Bhikkhu Gavesako,
Tep asked me to post this for you:
I wish to thank Bhikkhu Gavesako for his comment on dhatu("elements") with a quote from MN 115 that provides other ways "in which a monk can be called skilled in the elements". The "reduction technique" used by the Buddha, which reduces the number of dhatu from eighteen to six and finally to two, also helps reduce my confusion. I no longer worry about the 18 dhatu because of the Buddha's assurance that knowing and seeing the conditioned and the unconditioned is enough to be skillful in the elements.