Meditation, like essential oils, has been used by various cultures for centuries. The practice of stillness – of simply breathing and paying attention to your senses – can make a huge difference in your day to day life. It helps in clearing your mind, calming your body, and lifting your spirits. Meditation is a tried and true practice that has been around for so long because it works!
By using essential oils, you can enhance the effects of your meditation practice at home. In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to combine aromatherapy and meditation – and which essential oils are best for meditation.
“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key.” – Gautama Buddha
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What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a beautiful practice that can benefit just about anyone. It is now a mainstream practice in America, with more than 30 million people practicing it on a regular basis. Meditation isn’t concentration – it is a particular form of doing nothing that can help you accomplish a lot.
Meditation requires you to be fully present in the present time, bringing your focus to the sensations in your physical body and immediate surroundings, to help you ground and center yourself in your present being.
Meditation is not physically demanding, anyone can do it and reap its benefits. It may involve sitting still for longer periods than what you’re used to, so the back muscles might get a bit of a workout at the beginning. It should not cause mental fatigue; rather it will give your mind the organizational ability to sort your emotions based on the situation.
Meditation aids in stress reduction, eases stress and anxiety, and adds to an overall increased sense of calm and joy in your daily life.
Why Use Essential Oils For Meditation?
Essential oils have been used in various religious and holistic practices for centuries. We know essential oils help support emotional well-being. When used during meditation, essential oils can help improve your meditation session by reducing distractions and pinpointing specific areas of your wellness that need more support.
The use of essential oils can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, increase feelings of love, or improve focus and calm. Some essential oil blends are designed to tap into specific areas within our bodies to support healing and shift unhelpful thoughts or feelings into helpful self-awareness, and self-love.
The reasons why essential oils enhance your meditation practice lies in the individual capacity of each essential oil. Each essential oil is different and can warm your soul, cool your senses, calm your mind, increase your energy, or uplift your emotions. Essential oils can remove emotional blocks, trigger memories, and through this, help lead to healing and better clarity of who we are as individuals and within our community.
Which Essential Oil is Best for Meditation?
The essential oils you use during meditation will create the ambiance for you to be in. The oils will also provide particular aromatherapy benefits as part of a boost to your overall well-being.
While there are many oils available for you to choose from, let’s learn about the top 5 essential oils for meditation and how they work. Also, you’ll notice I’m featuring Rocky Mountain Oils as the essential oils brand of choice here. It is one of my favorite essential oil companies and you can find a fully detailed Rocky Mountain Oils Company Review here.
1. Frankincense Essential Oil
Also known by its botanical name, Boswellia serrata, Frankincense has been used as an essential oil to enhance meditation for centuries. It is known to bring about grounding, balancing and openness.
The Frankincense smell is a balance of sweet, spicy, warm and cool, with pine-like qualities. Known as one of the most powerful healing essential oils, Frankincense essential oil can not only support your meditation practice, it can target depression and anxiety and relieve associated symptoms.
Frankincense essential oil is sacred for spirituality and linked to different spiritual rituals that bring healing, cleansing and enlightenment¹.
2. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Burned in temples around the world, Sandalwood essential oil is used in meditation to increase mental clarity and memory. It also promotes relaxation and calm while increasing attention and cognitive clarity.
Sandalwood essential oil has a woodsy, sweet smell and boasts extensive therapeutic and spiritual benefits. Traditionally, sandalwood oil has been a part of religious traditions in India and other Eastern countries. The sandalwood tree itself is considered holy and used for various religious ceremonies, including decorating for weddings or for the birth of a baby ².
3. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood essential oil is one of my favorites as it has beautifully calming effects. It is soothing to the senses and helps clear the mind. Cedarwood brings about a strong sense of well being and warmth when diffused in the air during meditation, or when worn on the skin.
Cedarwood essential oil can help illuminate your meditation practice and return you to your spiritual path when obstacles have made it difficult³.
4. Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli Essential Oil is known as an extremely spiritually transformative essential oil4. It is often used in meditation, prayer and other spiritual rituals and can help promote self-love and acceptance, reduce fears, and inspire creativity.
In the body, Neroli reduces pain and inflammation, decreases blood pressure and cortisol levels, and is an anticonvulsant. The centering spiritual and physical effects of Neroli have a profound impact on meditation and can help you achieve mindfulness, clarity, and inner peace.
5. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Derived from the Cananga Odorata plant, Ylang Ylang essential oil is a floral essence grown in Indonesia and throughout the South Pacific.
Known to increase positive feelings and happiness, Ylang Ylang essential oil enhances meditation by uplifting your spirits. It has a positive effect on your heart and mind, giving you feelings of calm and euphoria.
Applied topically, Ylang Ylang essential oil also promotes healthy skin and hair.
How to Use Essential Oils during Meditation
There are three basic ways to use essential oils during your meditation practice:
- By diffusing them into the air with your favorite diffuser;
- by wearing the oil on you skin; and/or
- by using diffuser jewelry that you wear close to yourself.
Which essential oils you choose to enhance your meditation practice is up to you and your personal preference. The ones I’ve listed is a guide to get you started, but I recommend exploring your practice with scents you feel most attracted to; ones that lift your spirits.
The benefits of meditation take many forms in its subtlety and extend into many areas of your life.
Experts agree on the following benefits to meditation and we will get to how essential oils can enhance these benefits below:
- Stress reduction: the benefits of meditation because it reduces stress are huge. I would go as far to say, this is the primary benefit as it reaches into all areas of life. Due to meditating we find more hours in the day to get the things we want to get done, done. Meditation helps us notice and appreciate the small things, like a butterfly fluttering by, the colours in the trees in fall, or a subtle smile; these stress reducing benefits adds quality to our lives as harmful stress falls away and we find ourselves better equipped to get moving when healthy stress kicks in. There are many essential oils that help with stress reduction as well.
- Reduces anxiety and depression: through meditating we learn how to read our emotions and notice the thoughts in our minds. The attention we give to what’s going on inside helps reduce the inflammation of it and helps us connect with ourselves and others, which gives us an awareness of how to improve our quality of life by understanding what we might need for self-care, boundaries and/ or change.
- Improves day to day sense of calm and joy: when we are children we breathe better, laugh louder and longer, connect easier and the days last longer. Meditation helps us remember how to breathe like a kid, therefore improving our ability to enjoy our daily lives. The days last longer because we notice each moment in joy and appreciation.
Other benefits include: improved brain function and memory, normalized blood pressure, improves concentration, reduces aging. There’s an essential oil for all these things as well.
Meditation – A Personal Practice. Essential Oils – A Personal Preference
Meditation is not complex at all. It creates a shift in mindset, in a way that is pointless to describe because you really have to experience it for yourself in order to truly grasp it. The good thing is, it’s a practice that anyone can do. Meditation permits you to take a step back and simply see thoughts and feelings as they are – without acting upon them.
Meditation is a tool which you use to reconnect to yourself. Meditation is known to be good for the soul, well-being and overall health. Using the tool of meditation when you need it most proves its strength. One communication expert says the “power of the pause” can alter the outcome of an argument in reducing escalation and finding solutions. This extends to our day to day lives. Taking the time to practice meditating means we can draw upon the skills we acquire during our practice when we need it the most; focusing within, breathing, and staying calm in stressful moments, or to naturally enjoy our day to day lives, which happens with the practice of meditating.
¹ According to a group of Shamans who share information on www.casadekarma.com.au.
² According to an article found on www.draxe.com, titled, “Sandalwood Essential Oil Benefits and Uses,” written by Ethan Boldt.
³ According to an article titled ‘8 Essential Oils for Meditation’ found on www.organicauthority.com.
4According to an article by Chad Pegura, titled, ‘Using Essential Oils during Meditation’ found on www.organicaromas.com.