Fragrances have been used in religious ceremonies for as long as there has been religion. The connection between fragrances and their ability to affect the mood of those smelling them was made a very long time ago. The sense of smell is a strong stimulant to brain activity and as a result essential oils have naturally become used as an alternative to incense for sacred fragrances.
As you become more familiar with the particular blends that work best for you, you will be able to tune and optimise your meditation experience.
Try including juniper to aid your breathing, vanilla to encourage your concentration and increase the power of your mind and myrrh or sandalwood to boost your creative mentality if you are seeking to perform a visualisation exercise.
Relaxing oils, such as lavender, are also always a useful addition to a blend for meditation.
Why they work together
Essential oils can help you unlock your senses, triggering memories and emotions stored in your unconscious, in the limbic area of the brain. Meditation helps relax body and mind, reducing muscular tension in the body and clearing clutter from your conscious mind.
By combining the two methods you stimulate the mind to access, deal with and integrate old emotions and memories. In the case of positive memories and emotions this will promote a feeling of wellbeing. In the case of negative ones it will help produce resolution and allow the negative feelings to be released to help you in your progress through life. The key factor when using oils to aid meditation is subtlety
You should use a small amount of the oil on a burner and never wear the oil as a perfume, as this can be distracting.
Visualisation meditation can help you by calming your mind to promote wellbeing and through sharpening your mental faculties and helping you strengthen your intent to achieve your goals.
Visualisation meditation is usually on a specific symbol like a pentagram, cross of ankh, or a visual image, such as a mandala.
Find an image which has a positive healing association for you. By developing the ability to hold the mental image, you are training your mental 'muscles' to work more efficiently, giving them a work-out in the same way as you do your body when you go to a gym.
Aromatherapy oils help you maintain your concentration and mental clarity when performing visualisation meditation, enhancing your mental workout and helping you develop your mind.
Put two drops each of cedarwood, sandalwood and juniper oils into the water on your oil burner for a blend that will promote spiritual awareness and mental clarity, helping you to focus your mind on your visualisation and opening you up to the messages of your unconscious and the universe. Cedarwood and juniper have been used in various blends to help calm the emotions, which is a desirable state to maintain as you practise your meditative visualisation.
Mantra meditation is the repetition of a single word or phrase for a period of time. By doing this you clear your mind and shut off the internal dialogue in your head.
This brings a feeling of peace and calm, and heightened awareness. Adding aromatherapy to this can enhance the effects of mantra meditation, as your senses are at their most receptive, and you will get the maximum benefit from the stimulatory and relaxing effects of the oil you use.
Put two drops each of frankincense, ylang ylang and geranium oils into the water of your burner. This particular blend will enhance your mantra meditation, bring mental clarity and stimulate your awareness.
Breath meditations are a very good way to calm your body and mind, and help you stay relaxed and aware. By controlling your breathing, you can stimulate your energy levels, by taking in more oxygen and helping your body release its unwanted toxins much more quickly.
To really get the most from breath meditation you should not eat or drink for at least half an hour beforehand and put the oils on the burner at least five minutes before you start, so the room is already starting to be fragranced when you begin to meditate.
Put two drops each of lavender, lemon and bergamot oils into the water on your oil burner for a blend that will stimulate your breathing meditation and help you keep focus when breathing deeply.