As an aromatherapist deeply immersed in the world of smells and their profound effects on the mind and body, I find that my journey is continually enriched by the wisdom of various spiritual teachings. One such concept that has resonated with me is "Equanimity" or "Hishtavut" in Hebrew, a term I first encountered while listening to the insightful words of Jack Kornfield while studying mindfulness meditation.
The sound of the word "Equanimity" struck a chord within me. It was through exploration that its meaning unfolded, revealing a treasure within Jewish teachings. equanimity stems from recognizing the transient nature of the material world contrasted against the enduring presence of the Divine. This understanding instills that both joy and sorrow are fleeting, and that a higher power orchestrates all for a greater purpose. Herein lies the call to cultivate a balance and peace that transcends the mundane fluctuations of life.
In my aromatherapy practice, I’ve discovered how this profound concept can be mirrored through the use of aromas as a catalyst for psychological and emotional transformation. The subtle yet powerful influence of an essential oil can facilitate a shift in perspective, leading one into a state of equanimity.
Australian Sandalwood, (Santalum spicatum), is one essential oil that embodies this principle. With a warm, aromatic wood note complemented by the sparkle of its volatile components, Australian Sandalwood is more than a scent—it is a medium for grounding and centering the spirit. The high santalol content within this oil contributes to its ability to stabilize and balance, making it a cherished ally in meditation and spiritual practices.
This oil's calming effect on the mind fosters serenity, paving the way for humility to flourish—a trait highly esteemed in Judaism and exemplified by Moses, one of our greatest forefathers. His leadership, immersed with humility, serves as a paradigm within Jewish thought, emphasizing the strength inherent in knowing one's place within the grand scheme of creation.
When we inhale the rich, earthy notes of Australian Sandalwood, we are reminded of our connection to the world around us and to the divine. We are encouraged to let go of the ego, to embrace tranquility, and to act with the humility. This is the essence of equanimity—finding our strength through inner peace and balance. As I integrate these principles into my aromatherapy practice, I am reminded of the power of smell not only transforms our immediate environment but also to inspire a deeper journey within that can lead to many paths.
- Norman Lamm “The Religious Thought of Hasidism Sept. 1999 pg. 442” Ktav Pub & Distributors Inc
- Tehillim 6:11