Meditation and Mindfulness practices have been around for a long time and have recently gained huge popularity as people start to realise the importance of good mental health fitness. These practices reduce tension, ease stress, regulate cortisol levels and help clear the mental clutter in our minds. It can even help us unlock some suppressed emotions according to McLeod (2021). For many essential oil enthusiasts, adding essential oils to the meditation process helps them gain more benefits. But what are the benefits to adding oils to your meditation practice? How can you add oils to the process? In this article, we will explore all things meditation, mindfulness, and essential oils.
Battaglia (2021) notes that “there has been very little research examining the relationship between scent and mindfulness practices” but we do know that many essential oils can help regulate our emotions and deepen our breathing, which leads us to conclude that whilst we don’t need to use essential oils to practice meditation successfully, they can support the practice.
When we meditate, we want to be in a quiet space, free from distractions. Scent can be distracting as it calls us to recognise the aroma we are smelling and think about it rather than the meditation practice itself. Battaglia (2021) suggest we avoid using an essential oil that can be a distraction, especially if evokes a strong memory recall pleasant or unpleasant. However, there are some good reasons to add essential oils to meditation. Davis (1991) suggests that you can use them to purify and prepare the place where you intend to meditate, it can assist in deepening and slowing our breath, and it can help increase our awareness of the breath and thus helping us to focus on breathing.
Battaglia (2021) notes that we can diffuse them in the meditating space, make a spritzer and spray the area before meditating, you can make an anointing perfume or body oil to apply to different parts of your body – such as your wrist pulse points, or your third eye. He also suggests that you can place a drop of oil on your hands, then rub them together, cup your hands over your mouth and nose and inhale the aromas. Or you may place a drop on your hands, rub them together and then pass your hands over your body, energetically passing the oils through your aura. If you are in a shared space, be mindful of using your oils and disrupting the space of others. In this case, you might want to add your oil or blend to aromatherapy jewellery or place a drop on a tissue and pop it down your top so you can smell it, but others can’t.
So, you’ve decided to add essential oils to your practice, but are unsure which ones are best. Well, truth be told, you can pretty much choose any essential oil to add to your practice. It is entirely up to you and your preferences. That said, you might want to consider where the oils are derived from, and their subtle energy meaning.
Oils that are derived from the Resin are said to be healing and nurturing, so consider if that’s what you want to achieve through your meditation, choose Frankincense, Myrrh, Elemi or Benzoin. Wood oils are said to promote self-awareness, centredness and balance. Consider adding Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Buddhawood or Hinoki Wood to your practice.
Oils that are derived from the leaves promote focus, symbolise growth and they are energising. Add oils like Eucalyptus, Basil, or Peppermint to your practice. Fruit oils are known to be revitalising, are a symbol of abundance, promote harmony and positivity. Add oils such as Bergamot, Sweet Orange, or Grapefruit.
Oils that are obtained from the seeds are said to promote creativity, energy, and courage. Options include Black Pepper, Cardamon, and Coriander. Floral oils are said to be emotionally calming, balancing, and open our spiritual awareness. Oils such as Rose, Neroli and Lavender are perfect choices. Oils derived from the root and rhizomes are very grounding and nurturing. Oils to consider include Vetiver and Ginger. These are obviously not all the oils derived from these plant parts, just a guide to get your mind thinking and start the ball rolling.
Thankfully for us, many essential oil companies have created some wonderful meditation and mindfulness blends for us to consider adding to our mediation practice. Try the following blends: In Essence Meditation blend, Perfect Potion Chakra blend and Perfect Potion Mindfulness blend.
Where to begin your meditation journey
There are so many places to learn the art and practice of meditation. Take your time to find the right one for you. The “Calm” or ‘Insight Timer’ apps are quite popular, as are programs such as Soul Alive on Instagram. They make it simple to meditate any time, any place. You can listen to guided meditations on Spotify and find the right teacher for you. Look at your local community centre, they are sure to have a meditation or mindfulness class available to guide you on this path.
In summary, there are different meditation and mindfulness styles and practices. For some of us, finding the right one is a case of trial and error. When you find one that works for you, stick with it and reap the benefits.
Adding essential oils into the mix can help deepen the practice for you in immeasurable ways. Choose an essential oil or blend that isn’t too distracting or evokes strong emotions. Remember that whatever oil or blend you choose is entirely up to you and your personal preferences.
Meditation is an act of kindness and love for yourself, and your own health and wellbeing.
By Natalie Miller, Clinical Aromatherapist
McLeod believes that meditation is a portal to peace, awareness, and community. His Soul Alive program on Instagram is perfect for the busy person who wants to add meditation to their lives but is unsure of where to start. Luke has kindly offered the Oil in Kind community a special offer. Sign up to Soul Alive, use the KIND50 code, and you’ll 50% off the first month of membership. https://www.soulalive.com.au/
Battaglia, S (2021). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Volume III – Psyche and Subtle, Third Edition; Black Pepper Creative, Zillmere QLD.
Davis, P (1991). Subtle Aromatherapy; CW Daniel Company, London UK.
McLeod, L (2021).Mindfulness and Meditations can help you live a fulfilling and grateful life. https://www.prosperipress.com/luke-mcleod-of-soul-alive-how-mindfulness-and-meditation-can-help-you-live-a-fulfilling-and-grateful-life/ (Access date 1 Nov 2021)