Incense - Yes or No

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Incense - Yes or No

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:59 am

Greetings,

I was just wondering if people use incense and under what circumstances and for what purposes they would use it?

I don't use it often, mainly because I don't see the need and because my wife doesn't like it. I did however get a small packet of Japanese incense the other day and it's actually quite nice. Better than the stuff from the $2 shop.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:49 am

yes but only as a room fragrances! not for anything else
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby appicchato » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:22 am

It's an intregal part of the program where I am (in a wat in Thailand)...it is lit before every ceremony going, usually three sticks (a single stick at a funeral) , both communally and individualy...all the time...to represent (I believe) the Triple Gem....it's nice, as mentioned, for the fragrance, and also works well on the mosquitos... :lol:

Be well... ;)
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 pm

i use it as a meditation timer... a hold over from my zen days...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:28 am

Greetings venerable Appicchato,

Oh yes, I forgot to include that when I go for meditation at lunchtime at a nearby Mahayana temple I offer a stick of incense to the Buddha.

JC ~ Yes, I've used it for that purpose before too... I must have heard a Zen practitioner mention it and thought it sounded like a sensible idea.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Fede » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:03 am

In a household where life revolves around the studious activity of the Alpha male round here (! :D ) I rarely get the opportunity for quiet time, as I work full time (lately, for the past 2 months or so, it's been a six - occasionally 7 - day-week for me!) So any time I get for quiet reflection, introspection and meditation has been a bit like rocking horse droppings.

I find therefore, if I get a moment to light an incence stick, the fragrance helps to keep me focussed and centred, as I go about whatever daily task I'm doing. Usually a domestic necessity.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:34 am

Actually, I don't use incense other than as a room fragrance, and incense gets used in this household regularly for that purpose.
I've noted some friends who practice zazen also use incense as a meditation timer which I think is neat.
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Jason » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:48 am

Retro,

No, I don't really like the smell. I will use some when I visit temples, but even then, not very often.

Jason
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby KeithBC » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:58 pm

Smell is the sense most closely linked to memory. My experience is that, if one always has incense for meditation, then the smell of incense can trigger recollection of meditation. I find this useful when my mind wanders: one good whiff and I remember what I am there for!

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Placid-pool » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:14 pm

All the time - as a purification and a centraliser. I am an incense nut. :shock:
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:09 pm

Greetings Keith,

That's a good point... I have a similar response.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Incense - Yes or No

Postby GrahamR » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:26 pm

Hi

I read not so long ago that incense is just as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke, so we don't use it in the house any more, just outside!

Graham
With metta :bow:
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby thecap » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:32 pm

[x] room fragrance
[ ] ritualistic purpose

Sandalwood is nice...
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:30 pm

I like incense, but heard or read somewhere once that the smoke can be almost as bad as second-hand smoke from cigarettes. Anyone know about the science of that?

So since then, I only light incense when I am leading a group at my place or when the monks come over.
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby GrahamR » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:30 pm

I really wouldn't use them indoors!

'Burning joss sticks 'as deadly as traffic fumes or cigarette smoke'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/30/health

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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby thecap » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:39 pm

Fragrance oil might be a good alternative, because it's not burned but evaporated.
Last edited by thecap on Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Placid-pool » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:40 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: Doesn't bother me, I smoke. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:03 pm

Placid-pool wrote::lol: :lol: :lol: Doesn't bother me, I smoke. :lol: :lol:

:lol:

That's one way to "solve" the problem. Apparently there is no rule against smoking in the Vinaya or for lay people, but since it can be dangerous to one's health, I still try to avoid cigarette smoke. Maybe I need to add incense to the list. :cry:
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Placid-pool » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:25 pm

I do try to be careful around my Old Feller who doesn't smoke and I have stopped using my thurible - incense with charcoal tablet - because it really can fumigate the place.

but it can be really dangerous for other people's health when I don't smoke so I see it as a compassionate act to continue smoking ... at least I don't go around wishing to kill everyone :evil: :evil:
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Re: Incense - Yes or No

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:14 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I was just wondering if people use incense and under what circumstances and for what purposes they would use it?

I don't use it often, mainly because I don't see the need and because my wife doesn't like it. I did however get a small packet of Japanese incense the other day and it's actually quite nice. Better than the stuff from the $2 shop.

Metta,
Retro. :)

I use incense daily, as a part of an offering ritual (lighting a candle and incense for Gautama). For meditation, sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. It can be relaxing, but it can also be a distraction. I honestly don't know about its long-term health effects.
The best things in life aren't things.

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