The Spirituality of Incense
Incense has played a strong role within the celebration and practice of many religions throughout the centuries.
It is used within natural alternative therapies to cleanse and purify the mind,and to also uplift and relax, enhancing many moods depending on your needs.
Used within mediation practice,it enhances both body and mind, adding a beautifully ritualistic aspect to meditation and aiding with this ancient practice
Incense Within Eastern Culture
In the temples of the East, incense is used within religious rituals throughout Korea, Japan and Vietnam and in ancient Asian Buddhist ceremonies.
Incense is used in these ceremonies to purify the surrounding areas and to summons the Buddhist gods during prayer and worship.
Inside Chinese Buddhist temples, incense is spread in the inner spaces with thick sandalwood coiled incense, and small and large bundles are lit and waved above the head whilst bowing in prayer to the statue or shrine.
Worshipers hold or place individual sticks of incense in front of the shrines to pray and to offer thanks to Buddha.
This is how incense has been used by the ancient Chinese and Buddhist of today to pay homage to their Lord Buddha.
No ashes are lighter than those of incense and few things burn out sooner.
Incense Within Western Culture
In the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches of the west a thurible is used to spread incense throughout the church whist the service takes place.
Inside the bowl of the thurible are red-hot charcoal coals which are sprinkled and spooned with the peddle grains or powder of the incense.
The incense is blessed with a prayer whilst the grains are spooned onto the coals.
The thurible is closed and taken by the chains and slowly swung back and forth to release the incense by the priest or deacon,down the main isle of the church.
The main incense used in these ceremonies are frankincense,myth and co pal.
Holy must be the man who treads - the incense shrine within: and holy is a man alone - whose soul is free from sin.
Incense and Meditation.
It is thought that incense most likely originated from the smoke of burning different woods.Each having different fragrances which later were mixed with oils to make the incense we know of today.
Incense is use as a meditation technique or tool, as it helps to quiet the mind,increase concentration and induces relaxation.
Some people enjoy the smell of incense whilst others feel that it helps with their concentration whilst meditating.
Frankincense, Sage, Cinnamon and Jasmine are just some fragrant incense that are used in mediation. Find the scent that is enjoyable to you and brings about positive feelings-when you smell it and meditate with it.
A simple mediation with incense is to light the incense, closing the eyes, begin meditation breathing and focus on the aroma of the incense and how it makes you feel.
Try out different fragrances and scents to see how you react to each one and find that one or two that suit you best for this practise.
The ancient art of meditation along with ancient incense as a tool to inner peace.
Inflamed by greed,incensed by hate,confused by delusion,over come by them,obsessed by mind,a man chooses for his own afflictions,for others' afflictions,for afflictions of both experiences,pain and grief.
Do you burn incense?