What is meditation, and what are the benefits? There are many traditional, cultural and faith based meditation practices that one can follow, but here in the West, a more secular and inclusive meditation movement has developed, wherein meditation techniques are employed to calm the mind, balance the emotions, address stress and anxiety, or simply to relax and bring balance and focus to our lives. The calming, relaxing, focusing and grounding aromas of certain essential oils can be remarkable tools to facilitate this kind of simple and beneficial meditation practice.
Any meditation practice or method usually involves focusing on, and altering consciousness and breathing. Our sense of smell has a profound influence on both. Observe how deeply and drawn out a breath you take when smelling a flower versus the shallow, quick sniff you take when confronted with something malodorous. The olfactory apparatus is directly connected to the brain and the respiratory system, so taking in a fragrance and processing it along with the breath turns the aroma into a kind of olfactory mantra for the senses as well as the physical body to benefit from. Pleasant aromas influence the body, mind and spirit, all aspects of ourselves that we try to affect with meditation, so adding aromatic essential oils to meditation makes perfect sense. One of the best ways to add essential oils to meditation practice is through the use of diffusers, which will impart the meditation space with subtle, ambient scent. Start the diffusion 5 or 10 minutes before initiating practice.