I recently listened to an excellent tele-seminar with David Crow, a master Ayurvedic herbalist, aromatherapist and well-known author. It was extremely illuminating and very much worthwhile. Thankfully, the whole thing was recorded.
David and his company, Floracopeia, have made it available for any of my readers to listen to and download free of charge for a limited time period. It's called The Dharma of Essential Oils and the Flowering of Spiritual Culture. It is a profound synthesis of medicine, ecology and spirituality and I highly encourage you to check it out.
You can listen online, download it to your computer and/or burn to a cd or put on your ipod. Click here to check it out.
A few months ago I also attended an evening lecture with David about meditating with and on essential oils. We sat with a dip stick of lavender oil, (then tulsi, then jasmine) and felt impressions of the plant. Then we observed the effect of each scent on the quality of our meditative state. It was fascinating. I learned so much about the plants themselves, as well as the benefits each plant offers to our meditation practice. David's oils are extremely high quality, and he oversees the cultivation of many of the plants he uses.
You can read all about his work here.
Since attending David's lecture, I've had a new appreciation for the power of plants as medicine and also as allies on the spiritual journey. Their fragrance is an offering to the whole of nature that deserves the utmost respect and conservation efforts.