Palo Santo (translates as Holy Wood) has to die naturally in order for its aroma to emerge. Palo Santo then has to mature for at least three years before it can be harvested. It is in this process that this Holy Wood continues to give generously even in death.
I believe this aromatic wood offers a perspective of what true generosity and continuous giving is all about as well as helps tap into our infinite well. Palo Santo can support us through challenging times—when we feel tired, when we feel exhausted and when we feel limited in how much we can continue to do for ourselves and others.
Not only is the aroma cleansing to the mind and spirit, but Palo Santo also clears away low frequency and negative vibrations. The aroma invites us to tap into our capacities of unconditional love in our giving and receiving, just as the tree did and does through its cycle. It supports a clear mind for meditation and supports a healthy immune system.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, Palo Santo Oil will alleviate problems caused by the Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Phlegm) doshas. It also has beneficial uses to alleviate the Pitta (Fire) dosha in certain circumstances.
By balancing ‘wind,’ Palo Santo will assist in slowing down the overly active mind and will support tranquility and peacefulness.
By balancing ‘phlegm,’ palo santo helps to lighten tendencies of sluggishness, complacency and melancholy. It’s mood uplifting and supports heightened energy (prana) in the body.
When ‘fire’ infiltrates the joints and muscles, causing pain and tension, Palo Santo can be a healing gem.
Perhaps most importantly, Palo Santo is primarily sattvic. Therefore, when used regularly, it purifies the channels of the mind and elevates the spirit.
How To Use A Palo Santo Mala
A mala is a string of beads used for prayer. Malas are constructed on the principle of the sacred number 108; so they will have either 108 beads or a divisible of that number–54 or 27 beads.
The amazing thing about meditating with a mala is that it combines Naad yoga (the recitation of sacred sounds), acupressure, gemstone therapy and a deep meditative practice.
Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West explained the use of the mala as follows:
“There is a nerve at the side of the first digit of each finger which relates to a meridian that goes up the arm to the brain.
The index finger is for Knowledge.
The middle finger is for Patience, Work and Wisdom.
The ring finger is for the Sun. It brings you Energy.
The pinkie is for Communication.
The thumb is the Ego, reaching up to each of these.”
He then gave a simple meditation that can be practiced while sitting formally, walking, at the movies, in front of the TV or at any time.
Roll the bead over the meridian point as you go over the Green Sandalwood Mala. Stimulate that point. Push hard! Don’t change fingers during one session. Pick a finger and stick to it.
If you want to stimulate the habit of one of the finger’s attributes, practice on the same finger for 31 minutes a day for at least 40 days.
Segmented Breath Meditation
Sit comfortably, with your spine straight.
Inhale deeply through your nose in an eight-breath segment (sniff in 8 times)
Exhale in an eight-breath segment (exhale 8 times)
Continue in this way for 3-11 minutes
It will get easier the longer you breath this way.
With your right hand hold your mala. Touch each bead with the thumb and index finger with slight pressure. Move through all the beads in a rhythmic fashion and continue the segmented breath.
This meditation will deeply relax you, and support you to be present with yourself in your heart.