I have always loved the quote that worrying is praying for what you don’t want to have happen, and have found that worrying is not a productive use of time. However prayer, connection, positive thinking and meditation all go hand in hand. Although I am not religious, I admire the act of praying, of reaching out and trying to connect with something bigger than yourself, I think detaching from the outcome and at times surrendering is beautiful. And as my meditation practice has developed, I recognize that there are many similarities between my daily meditation practice and other peoples daily prayers. So for the purpose of this post, I will use the term meditation, but I think as you read through you will see that many of the qualities that are attained by these oils are excellent for any type of mental or spiritual work. I do however use the term meditation here, because that is the term that I use with my practice.
So If you’re reading this post, you more than likely fall into 1 of 2 categories.
- You are meditating but are looking for ways to enhance your meditation practice, or
- You are new to meditation and want to try it.
Either way it is a great thing, studies show that regular meditation helps us to reduce our stress, and improve our health. Some studies suggest that meditation can improve a number of things including
- Blood Pressure
- Irritable Bowel syndrome
While there are many types of meditation most of them have 4 common elements including:
- Few Distractions
- Comfortable Posture
- A focus of Attention
- An Open Attitude
While I agree with all of these I have found that a 5th component is extremely beneficial to my meditation practice— Essential oils.
Just as meditation allows you access to the part of your brain that controls memory and emotions along with all your automatic systems like breathing and heart beat, Oils allow you access to the emotional part of your brain, so using oils for meditation is like the double whammy!
There are a few oils that I use over and over again, and I even came up with a wonderful smelling diffuser blend, and anointing blend that I use during my meditative practice, but you have to read to the end to get it.
- The first oil that I use is…. yep… you probably already guessed it… Frankincense. It is the father of all essential oils and you know what they say, “When in doubt, bust the Frankincense out”… In fact did you know that there are stories of every major religion using frankincense in religious ceremonies including christian, muslim, buddhist and hindu. It really is the bomb. So besides using it in meditation because every major religion has, I use Frankincense because it is considered the oil of truth, and the one thing that you really want in your meditation practice is honesty. Honesty with the deepest parts of yourself, honesty between you and your maker or you and source energy, or you and whoever it is that guides you. It is also a very grounding oil, and helps to calm your energy.
- The second oils that I use is Arborvitae. Arborvitae oil is from a giant variety of cedar tree who’s name literally translates into tree of life. Arborvitae trees can live for over a thousand years and when they do die, they don’t rot because the wood is so full of oil that insects don’t eat it and water doesn’t penetrate it. So this oil is what gives this tree life. There’s a lot of wisdom to be had in 1000 years of life, and that is what I want in my meditation. Because Arborvitae is a tree it is also a very grounding oil, and I always imagine as I am smelling it that I can really let my mind be free because I have roots that are grounding me to the earth. The second reason that I use Arborvitae is because I read a book called The Hidden Life of Trees and in a scientific way the author Peter Wohlleben illustrates that trees do in fact communicate and feel. So Arborvitae oil is sourced in the Pacific Northwest near the only temperate rain forest in north america and they don’t cut down the trees to get the oil, they actually get the saw dust from local lumber yards that are making roof shingles and other wood products from the arborvitae, they distill the oil from the sawdust. It gets even better because then they send the pulp that is left over to a paper mill so that absolutely every part to the tree is used. I’m all about that. You can watch this video for more information about how it ties to Native American culture in the PNW.
- The Third oil that I use is Sandalwood. One because it smells delightful! I actually had fans made of sandalwood at my outdoor wedding in august so that if people were hot they could fan themselves and the whole place smelled heavenly. But I use it in my meditation practice because it is known as the oil of sacred devotion it is known to heal emotional and spiritual wounds and because it is a very mild sedative it prepares you to allow your mind to connect with your source, creator or god. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for attaining enlightenment and awakening your love for your self. I also love that indian sandalwood, which is what I use is 100percent controlled by the Indian government who ensure that they are harvested in a sustainable way.
- The fourth oil I use is Patchouli. It’s not just for hippies anymore, although I think I am a weird gangsta/hippie hybrid. Long before hippies in the 60s used the scent of patchouli as a signal for free love, it had a history as a signal of authentic goods on the trade routes. Patchouli is also from India and became popular in the west because the leaves were packed between the beautiful pashmina scarves that became very fashionable. The scarves were so popular that much like today people started making fakes, but the Brits could always tell the real thing because they had the delightful aroma of patchouli. I have always sort of not liked patchouli because of it’s association with stinky hippies, but after incorporating it into my skin care products, and now into my meditation I love it. It is a very grounding and centering oil that promotes peaceful feelings, which makes sense since it is known as the oil of peace. But the most important reason that I use it in meditation is because it is great for bringing together your thoughts and helping to clarify problems.
- The fifth oil that I use is Spikenard. Spikenard has been used for thousands of years, both Cleopatra and King Tut’s tomb were anointed with spikenard. There is also a story in the bible where Mary Magdalene anointed baby jesus with spikenard then washed his feet with her hair as a symbol of her devotion. Now I’m not looking to wash anyones feet with anything, I do want a certain level of commitment to my meditation practice. Meditation keeps me sane, makes me healthier and for that reason I am happy to use a sacred oil of devotion that makes me feel thankful for my life, my circumstances and every thing else.
- The 6th oil that I use is clary sage. Indian sages said it gave illumination while the romans credited it to attaining good health. I choose it for a few reasons. The first is because it has a warming and slightly assuring effect. It is a sedative for the nervous system but gives you a euphoric feeling which I find really helps my mind feel light and allows my it to be present yet float off, it is a nice balance to the grounding oils I use. This one should be avoided while pregnant though.
So now you know the oils, but here’s how I use them.
- Like many of the people throughout history I will anoint myself with them putting a drop on my finger then rubbing it behind my ears, on my temples, in the center of my forehead and on my wrists.
- There is always diffusion. Use a diffuser with 2 drops of each in it and it will get the scent into the room. This is effective, but I only use this method when I meditate using gong cds. because I don’t love the sound of the diffuser when I’m meditating. When the cd’s are playing though, this is a great way to continue to have the oils around you.
- The third method is another one of my favorites especially if you have a specific meditation place. This is a room spritz. Put the oils in a glass spray bottle with water and then you can shake it up and spritz your meditation space which can be a room if you live in a mansion, or it can just be your pillow or chair. I love this method because I have a little yoga/meditation room (it’s like the size of a closet, and I don’t live in a mansion) but every time I spray the room I feel like I am clearing the space of negative energy and My brain has come to recognize the spritzing as a sign that I’m going to meditate and it actually prepares my brain and body for the meditation.
Meditation Anointing Roller Ball Blend
In a 10ml roller bottle, add
- 1 Drop Arborvitae
- 1 Drop Patchouli
- 2 Drops Sandalwood
- 1 Drops Bergamot
Top off with Fractionated coconut oil and use prior to and during meditation. Because there is a small amount of bergamot in this, be careful when going out into the sun as bergamot and most citrus oils are photosensitizes and can cause irritation to people with extremely sensitive skin when exposed to the sun.
Meditation Room Spritz
In a small spritzer bottle add 5 drops each
- Clary Sage
Top with water and shake well before using
Meditation Diffuser Blend
- 2 Drops Frankincense
- 2 Drops Sandalwood
- 2 Drops Lavender
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy your next meditation session, or prayer session with essential oils, let me know how it goes!
Also if you have oils you love to use for meditation or spiritual work, let me know what those are. I love recipe swapping.
If you haven’t gotten into Essential Oils Yet, I would be happy to help you get going on your essential oils journey.