MINDFULNESS OF BREATHING AND SMELLING
Traditional and modern meditations are full of breathing awareness exercises. However, i have never heard of the sense of smell being used or even mentioned, in any breathing awareness meditation or pranayama yoga exercise. If i'm not aware of the smell, then it is only a limited awareness of the breathing.
Hedgehogs and dogs would probably consider breathing without smelling, to be a complete waste of time. Smelling is the active ingredient of breathing.
None of our external senses are as intimate as the sense of smell. We take smells inside our bodies, in a way we don't feel with sounds and sights. We may sometimes feel sounds pass through us, but this is not comparable with the smells which fill us.
Tasting and smelling are intrinsically connected, and they are a far stranger and deeper world than seeing and listening.
Smellingand Tasting - First Exercises
With tasting, i'm referring to the taste of our own body, we are so familiar with it that we don't notice it anymore. Start to discover it by noticing the contrasts, all the different taste areas on the lips, under the tongue and above it, behind the teeth, the roof of mouth and throat.
With smelling, over the next few days and weeks, whenever you notice a good smell, take a moment to let it fill you.
It's important to develop the sense of smell, by noticing the difference and contrast between the 'in-smell' and the 'out-smell'. This is important for a very practical reason: If you only concentrate on the 'in-smell' you will soon get dizzy, noticing the contrasting 'out-smell', regulates the speed of breathing.
To start noticing the contrast between the 'in-breath' and the 'out-breath', it's a good idea to open the lips very slightly. Breathe out through your mouth, and 'taste' your out-breath.
Then, leaving the lips just touching, and as you smell-in through your nose – something will close off like a valve at the back of your mouth, and this will send the incoming scent through your nasal canals.
This separates the in and out smell. 'Smell-in' through your nose and 'taste-out' through your mouth
Let the residue of the in-smell and the out-taste build up - in the nostrils, nasal canals, head, etc., and the mouth, throat, etc., - over a period of ten breaths - and start to savour those taste and smell residues.
Please continue with First Exercises Summary