A Good Incense?

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  • Fugu
    Member
    • May 2013
    • 101

    A Good Incense?

    Dumb question number 2: what is/are some good incense? I'm in the woods, so no stores around but I do have The Monastery Store catalogue, and of course good ole amazon. I can't remember what I used to use, but that's what happens when you fall off a building and land on your head. (No, I really did.)



    Fugu
  • Entai
    Member
    • Jan 2013
    • 451

    #2
    I don't use incense all the time, but when I do, it's Morning Star sandlewood. I stockpiled it a long time ago. I'm pretty sure it's available on Amazon. It's very good. I don't burn it often because my wife has asthma. Usually once a week for zazenkai.

    泰 Entai (Bill)
    "this is not a dress rehearsal"

    Comment

    • Mp

      #3
      Hey Fugu,

      I don't burn incense to much as there can be some health issues with it, but when I do I burn Shoyeido Incense. http://www.amazon.com/Kyoto-Autumn-L.../dp/B002H0S9AO

      They are nice as I can break just a little piece off when I do burn them. =)

      Gassho
      Shingen

      Comment

      • Nengyo
        Member
        • May 2012
        • 668

        #4
        Nokiba moss garden is my favorite. Smells like zen... mossy zen.
        If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39477

          #5
          Hi,

          Incense is lovely, as the scent brings our olfactory senses into the sacred ... and the wafting smoke and falling ash teaches how our lives merge into the air, as all is impermanent. I enjoy incense.

          Nonetheless, I had to cut way back ... especially in small, poorly ventilated rooms ... due to allergies and pneumonia. Like second hand smoke has even been shown to be mildly carcinogenic ... so please use in a well ventilated room. On the other hand, most of those scientific studies on incense and cancer seem to be from Chinese altars ...



          ... and the way they use incense there is quite something ...



          Cough cough.

          Incense can be lovely, so follow your nose on incense and enjoy. There are other options too:

          How about the invisible incense, seen clearly with only the mind's eye?

          Or how about the unlit incense stick, which burns brightly in the heart?

          Or how about lighting the stick briefly, then putting the lit end down into the sand ... thereby letting just a touch of smoke fill the room?

          I do all of the above from time to time.

          Gassho, Jundo
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Seimyo
            Member
            • Jan 2012
            • 861

            #6
            Here are a few I enjoy regularly. Like Jundo said, in small spaces a little goes a long way.

            Kunmeido - Reiryo Koh (Sandalwood base, spicy) (Trivia: Reiryo Koh is the house incense at Eiheiji)
            Kunmeido - Reiyo Koh Medium (Sandalwood/Aloeswood base, mellow spice)
            Kunmeido - Reiyo Koh Aloeswood (Completely different from the other two, almost smells like a wet forest)
            Baieido - Byakudan (Sandalwood) I burn more of this than anything.
            Fu-in - Sandalwood (Smells like wet sandalwood, very nice)
            Shoyeido - Haku-un (smells like soft)
            Shoyeido - Evening Zen (like a spicy Sandalwood with a touch of floral)

            If you want to read a little more about the world of incense, you might have a look at the this blog: http://olfactoryrescueservice.wordpress.com/
            There are some great reviews on there that might help you select a scent that "does it" for you.

            Gassho
            Seimyo

            明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

            Comment

            • MyoHo
              Member
              • Feb 2013
              • 632

              #7
              Hey Fugu,

              Not a dumb question at all! I use incense as a timer for my sitting instead of the old alarm clock. After some testing and experimenting, I found a kind that burns for exactly 4O minutes. So maybe this is also something to consider when making a choice? Hard to say what the brand is since its all Chinese to me. I'll see if I can find out if you want?

              Gassho

              E.
              Mu

              Comment

              • Kokuu
                Treeleaf Priest
                • Nov 2012
                • 6792

                #8
                Hi Fugu

                My favourites are from Garuda Trading in the UK and like Jundo I am mindful only to burn small amounts in a well ventilated room. The traditional Japanese varieties smell more natural than the Indian ones like Nag Champa for example, though.

                Middle Path
                Golden Pavillion

                They also stock some £70-£80 incenses that I imagine are quite lovely but well out of my price range (and better the money go to a good cause).

                Gassho
                Andy

                Comment

                • Genshin
                  Member
                  • Jan 2013
                  • 467

                  #9
                  Hi Fugu,

                  I tend to use Nippon Kodo Mainichi-Koh incense. The sandalwood incense is lovely and not very smokey.

                  Gassho
                  Matt
                  Last edited by Genshin; 12-24-2013, 04:21 PM.

                  Comment

                  • Shinzan
                    Member
                    • Nov 2013
                    • 338

                    #10
                    An easy alternative to avoid the smoke and particulates is just to pinch a bit of lavender to nose and altar as an offering.

                    Comment

                    • Joyo

                      #11
                      I am very sensitive to the smell of incense, so I rarely burn it. As an alternative, I have a lotus-shaped candle holder and I burn beeswax candles. However, I find those candles burn for a very short time and then they are done. So, as Jundo suggested, I have an unlit candle, and an unlit incense stick on my alter almost all the time

                      Gassho,
                      Treena

                      Comment

                      • Kokuu
                        Treeleaf Priest
                        • Nov 2012
                        • 6792

                        #12
                        Hello all

                        Great reading all the suggestions of good incense and I just found this site which might well be useful for those of us in the UK and Europe:



                        At the moment I am enjoying the scent coming from the Norway Spruce tree in the living room!

                        Gassho
                        Andy

                        Comment

                        • Emmet
                          Member
                          • Nov 2011
                          • 296

                          #13
                          I burn Nag Champa; readily available locally and inexpensive. Having burned it ceremonially for 35 years or so, my sense organs associate it readily with sacred space (and my mate likes it; an important point). It burns for about 45 minutes, more-or-less.
                          I also have a large box of lovely Japanese incense a Dharma sister brought me from Japan; delicate and subtle, with virtually no smoke. As I can't read Japanese, I've no idea what it is, other than a thoughtful gift. They burn 30 minutes, and I rarely burn them but for special occasions and the Repentance Gatha.
                          Emmet

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                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39477

                            #14
                            Here is also some recommended incense, smells of Buddha ...







                            But just a little hard to recognize Buddha for the untrained nose.

                            Gassho, J
                            Last edited by Jundo; 12-27-2013, 01:21 AM.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Joyo

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jundo
                              Here is also some recommended incense, smells of Buddha ...







                              But just a little hard to recognize Buddha for the untrained nose.

                              Gassho, J
                              Excellent reminder, Jundo!!

                              Gassho,
                              Treena

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