Breath Meditation with Great Smells

Get small amounts of stuff you like to smell and to taste. Whatever you love - chocolate, wine, coffee beans, peppermint leaves, a peach, fresh bread. If you are taking this class from home, then select from what you have at hand, or go out and get something you have been wanting to taste and smell, and do the same exercises.

You can have separate things for smell and taste – a flower to smell, a fruit to taste.

If you want to do research before class:

Today, enrich your day by lingering for a few seconds here and there with delightful smells and tastes. Just stay there for a few seconds longer, and absorb that mystical something we get from interacting with nature through smell.

Tomorrow morning, start your day with a smell meditation. Have something good to smell at hand, and hold it fairly close to your nose and enjoy the smell. Do a breathing meditation with that smell as your focus – "feel" the smell coming in and registering in your nose, your throat, even down to your belly. The whole body responds, says, "Yes!!" when you enjoy breathing in what to you is a wonderful smell.

Optional: give yourself a set amount of time, say, 5 minutes. 6 minutes. Have a clock or watch you can easily see. Then sit and meditate with smell for that amount of time.

For example, say you have a piece of bread, with melted butter on it, that is your focus. You can have that on a plate you are holding in your lap. Lift it up and hold the bread under your nose and inhale until you start to feel drunk from the deliciousness. Let that wonderful sensation teach you things about the breath, about what it is to breathe. Feel all the places in you that open up and are grateful to be alive.

Now hold the bread a bit further away, six inches, more or less, and continue to enjoy the presence of the bread. It is still there, just not as intense. Now put the plate down and continue to breathe and be alert to the faint scent of the bread.

If obstacles arise, notice them. Does it feel taboo to shamelessly enjoy the smell of bread (or chocolate or whatever the smell is)? Do you feel like you will be caught? Do you get afraid?

If your mind wanders and will not stay focused on smell, be curious as to what is going on. You will read the newspaper for an hour, or a paperback book for hours, or watch other people on TV or in the movies enjoying their lives. What stops you from truly enjoying your own life? Simply notice.

Principle: People who smell and taste their food will be healthier, digest their food better, eat more wisely, have fewer complexes about food, and spontaneously be at a more optimal weight. Other things remaining the same.