Inhaling smoke induces a certain type of breathing, similar to that of some yoga exercises outlined by Pranayama, the art of breathing.  

I’m not crazy, I know that it is somewhat paradoxical and that there is certainly no need to smoke in order to practice this kind of breathing, but it is a well known fact that those who smoke do so, among other reasons, to calm their nerves. In reality, a deep intake of breath encourages the diaphragm to move in such a way that it consequently induces a state of relaxation. But this is just an interesting fact; I don’t want to talk about the smoke, but rather the process of constructing a pipe and its similarity to the practice of meditation.

Meditation is an ancient ritual that induces a state of identification between the meditator and the object of meditation. It is a technique that allows us to deeply fathom things and ourselves, creating a conscious relationship within us and between us and the universe. You do not need to believe in it, or have tried it or even know it. Meditation is not an act of faith, it is something that everyone is able to experience if he so wishes.

So what do pipes have to do with it? Ask any pipe maker. Even if they don’t know of meditation, they will tell you that when they are working on the roots to make them into pipes, they enter into a state of indescribable bliss. The feeling of euphoria derived from the creation of a pipe is accompanied by a sense of peace, self-understanding and intense concentration on the object, so much so that they begin to identify with it.

With regards to this, one day I found myself discussing the peculiarities of the pipe maker world with Karin. His opinion is that a pipe expresses the personality of he who makes it, sometimes even reproducing his physical features. Thus, tall and slender pipe markers tend to create agile and elusive forms; on the contrary, portly or egotistical pipe makers favour round and very large forms. We may call this “the Karin law” and I am certain that, if we could study this scientifically, it would turn out to be true.

Therefore, he who creates a pipe meditates, whether he is aware of it or not. Perhaps this is what makes pipe makers more sensitive and aware.

But rest assured, I wouldn’t dare introduce another law in this respect, as man is unpredictable, and neither sensitivity nor awareness is enough to make a man a good man. That is to say, behind a patient master craftsman an odious little man may hide, as sensitive and aware as you like, but still odious…