Loving Kindness Meditation Through
Your Sense Of Smell

Monks Meditating

In Tibetan wisdom, a loving kindness meditation is practiced through your sense of smell.

Through this sense, you learn about silence, and how things are connected and interdependent.

But, before practicing this meditation, it is important to be able to forgive.

According to Tibetans, both forgiveness and the ability to love unconditionally are linked to our sense of smell.

Since every one of our senses is ruled by a color, smell is influenced by a warm and happy yellow light. Furthermore, our emotional aspect of consciousness is also awakened by this sense and color.

Loving Kindness Meditation To
Awaken Your Sense Of Smell

You can do this meditation anywhere, but it is more relaxing if you are in quiet surroundings.

  • Make sure you are sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply from your diaphragm and continue breathing deeply till you feel a sense of relaxation throughout your body. At this time, do a body scan to make sure that you release any stress or tension in your muscles. You can do this by tensing and relaxing each muscle group, and letting go of the stress as you breathe out slowly.
  • Once you feel a sense of relaxation, focus your attention inside your nose. Engage your sense of smell. Smell. Feel your nose smelling. Be conscious of all the various smells you are breathing.
loving-kindness-meditation-through-sense-of-smellSense of Smelling Incense
  • Let the smells gather at the roof of your mouth. Then let them flow to the center of your chest. As the smells flow through your nose and your body, visualize the smells transforming into a beautiful yellow light
  • Imagine the beautiful yellow light forming into a sphere in your chest, feel your body relaxing in the glow of the warm and beautiful yellow light.
  • If you have more time, you can extend this meditation by releasing this warm yellow light throughout your body, to your loved ones, to your friends, to family, to co-workers and to your community. As you breathe out this light, you extend unconditional love towards everyone around you.

Research Results of Loving Kindness Meditation

Psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan, found that a seven-week loving kindness meditation course also increased the participants' daily experience of joy, gratitude, and hope.

The more participants meditated, the better they felt. Participants also reported a greater sense of self-acceptance, social support, purpose in life, and life satisfaction, while experiencing fewer symptoms of illness and depression. Her study proves that loving kindness meditation can open us up to a far more meaningful connection to life.

Benefits of Meditation

Using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, Eileen Luders, a re-searcher in the Department of Neurology at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, showed how meditation changes the physical structure of the brain.

Luders said, "Today we know that everything we do, and every experience we have, actually changes the brain." Luders finds several differences between the brains of meditators and non meditators. In a study published in the journal Neuro Image in 2009, Luders and her colleagues compared the brains of 22 meditators and 22 age-matched non meditators and found that the meditators (who practiced a wide range of traditions and had between five and 46 years of meditation experience) had more gray matter in regions of the brain that are important for attention, emotion regulation, and mental flexibility.

Increased gray matter makes an area of the brain more efficient or powerful at processing information. Luders believes that the increased gray matter in the meditators' brains should make them better at:

  • controlling their attention,
  • managing their emotions, and
  • making mindful choices.

Another Loving kindness Meditation, by Kate Vogt

  • Sit comfortably in a place where you won't be disturbed. Take three to five quiet breaths. Gently close your eyes.
  • Imagine the horizon spanning through your chest with a radiant sun rising in your innermost center—your heart. As though being melted by the solar warmth, release tension in your shoulders and across your throat. Soften your forehead and rest your attention inward on the light deep within. Take 
seven to 10 smooth, even breaths.
  • As you inhale, invite the glow from your heart to expand toward the inner surface of the body. With each exhale, let the light recede. Take another seven to 10 peaceful breaths. Inhaling, invite the light to touch the parts of you that interact with the world—your eyes and ears, the voice center in your throat, the palms 
of your hands, the soles of your feet. Exhaling, feel your light shine more clearly.
  • As you continue to inhale and exhale, silently say: 

"I radiate friendliness for those who are happy, com-passion for those who are unhappy, equanimity toward all."

  • Continue until your attention wavers. Then, sit quietly for several minutes.

More Meditations for you to Practice:

Return to benefits of meditation from loving kindness meditation

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