Smell

Hit the position of choice. Empty your mind. Close your eyes and keep them closed. Pay attention to the tip cf your nose, the rim cf your nostrils. Breathe in gently and focus on the quality of the air. What do you feel and what do the feelings tell you? Lift your arms and take a whiff. Drop them and see if you can still pick up your aroma. What does it tell you, aside from your deodorant brand? Sift through your own body odors and breathe in deeply. What else can you smell in the room? Who else is with you? How far away are they and in what direction? Does their presence affect the air temperature as it passes your nostrils? Can you separate them out by sex? Is there a difference between cologne and perfume? Keeping your eyes shut, crawl around until you find a partner or one finds you. Do not speak. Do not touch. Sniff them out. See if you can remember who this is by their scent. Take a peek. Right or wrong? Wander around and try again. Analyze your progress.

Human beings don't depend too much on the sense of smell for information, as that particular nerve bundle is about the size of a needle. A dog's is about as big around as my finger and so discriminating canines can identify one drop of urine in a thousand gallons of water. When I was younger and hadn't hardened my nostrils by smoking for twenty years I could always tell if a lady was in heat and at quite a distance. Takamatsu is said to have joked about knowing the washerwomen were on his mountain when they were miles away. Since I was a preacher's kid and didn't know beans about sex, when I first noticed this I thought something was wrong with the women, and as they seemed to take their changing odor in stride then it was probably something wrong with me. I do recall I had the sense not to ask about it. It wasn't until I was out of the army that I realized the value of smell information. Because I was achievement-oriented, smoking kept away one very potent distraction. It's hard to get through school when you can fall in lust by simply following your nose. The nerves for the nose and the genitals grow from and connect with the same area cf the brain. The nose knows. In experiments with women coeds, researchers found they could entrain a dorm of girls to go into menstruation at the same time using scent triggers. (It is discussed in most introductory psychology courses and certainly physical anthropology.)

You may want to experiment with various types of incense when you meditate. Some are supposed to be triggers to higher states of awareness, but most strike me as a way to cover the smell cf a dirty room or a corpse putrefying. Smoke from a cooking fire carries for miles, and a cigarette can be smelled for hundreds of yards in three-tiered jungle. Wool smells different from cotton or synthetic textiles. Different locations have distinctive odors which are intensified if you're blindfolded. Scents get attached to memories at a very deep level and you should be aware of their associations. There is more going on with smell than meets the eye.

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