Scents are a powerful tool for emotions, balance, mood, and overall well-being. The part of our brain responsible for emotions and emotional regulation, receives information through the senses. Using scent can be a great way to prepare and support your meditation practice. Scents have been used throughout history to support spiritual practices. Below are my top scents for enhancing my meditation practice:
- Frankincense: Frankincense has been used in spiritual practices throughout history. It was supposedly an incense described in the Hebrew bible and used by the Greeks, Jews, and Romans for spiritual ceremonies or offerings. It has been a scent and substance of healing in African and Asian cultures, used in Ayurvedic medicine for balancing hormones, healing wounds, and cleansing the air.
- Myrrh: Myrrh has been typically paired with frankincense in traditional religious ceremonies. It is said to have cleansing properties, and used historically as perfume, incense, health aides, religious ceremonies, as well as to promote emotional balance, and overall well-being.
- Sandalwood: Sandalwood has such an earthy smell which is said to support one in feeling grounded and calm. Sandalwood beads are oftenincorporated into malas because the scent is said to support meditation. Sandalwood has also been used as a grounding essence in Christianity and Hindu practices.
- Lavender: Although lavender isn't traditionally used for meditation, I find the scent to be incredibly clean, bright, and calming. Lavender promotes relaxation, and has been used to heal anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Sage: Sage automatically conjures up images of hippies for me, but sage has been used throughout history for cleansing energy. Smudging (the art of burning sage) was used in traditional shaman ceremonies, and as a means of cleansing spaces from negative energies or spirits. Smudging is a great ritual when moving into a new office or home.
- Palo Santo: My personal favorite of the meditation scents. I first discovered this at last year's Wanderlust Festival. Palo Santo is from a tree that grows on the south coast of South America and is related to Frankincense and Myrr. Palo Santo literally means "Holy Wood" in Spanish and has been traditionally used to banish bad energy by Incas and Shamans. Palo Santo supposedly calms the immune system and promotes grounded/calm energy.
Sage and Palo Santo are traditionally burned like incense, while sandalwood, lavender, frankincense, and myrrh are better used by diffusing their essential oil into the air. Let me know what your favorite meditation scent is in the comments below!!