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Thread: A Good Incense?

  1. #1

    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

  2. #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"

  3. #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
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

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

  5. #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 ...

    http://health.usnews.com/health-news...es-cancer-risk

    ... 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

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yuba City, California, USA
    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)

  7. #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.
    stitch by stitch....

  8. #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

  9. #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 at 04:21 PM.

  10. #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.

  11. #11
    Joyo
    Guest
    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

  12. #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:

    http://www.japaneseincenses.com/

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

    Gassho
    Andy

  13. #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.
    May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind
    quickly be freed from their illnesses.
    May those frightened cease to be afraid
    and may those bound be free.
    May the powerless find power
    and may people think of befriending one another.

  14. #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 at 01:21 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    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

  16. #16
    Member bayamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
    Thank you Seimyo for that blog link, i enjoyed it!
    Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
    Carl Carlson

  17. #17
    mmmmmm garbage truck! My son's favorite!
    If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    mmmmmm garbage truck! My son's favorite!
    HA! Now if I could only find WetDog and HorseDung I'd be in 7th heaven!

    Fugu

  19. #19
    WOW....so many good pointers. Think I'll make a list and buy one of everything. Wonder how much that would cost?

    Years ago I had a very nice Tibetan incense that I really liked, but have no idea what the name was. Does anybody know if there is a 'standard' Tibetan used by the majority of people? Or are they as varied as the Japanese?

    Once again, thank you everybody. I'll think of you all fondly when I light them.



    Fugu

  20. #20
    Member bayamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
    I recently found this in Brazil, called "Ananda". It smells amazing close to what they use at Mass.
    #sattoday

    Sent from my SM-G610M using Tapatalk
    Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
    Carl Carlson

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by bayamo View Post
    I recently found this in Brazil, called "Ananda". It smells amazing close to what they use at Mass.
    #sattoday

    Sent from my SM-G610M using Tapatalk
    This incense thread has been burning a long time ... since 2013!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Member bayamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This incense thread has been burning a long time ... since 2013!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I haven't quite "learned" Tapatalk, and usually I just see "subscribed" threads that I answered to at some point. The website is much easier to navigate than the Tapatalk app.
    #sattoday

    Sent from my SM-G610M using Tapatalk
    Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
    Carl Carlson

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This incense thread has been burning a long time ... since 2013!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Yes and it was started by Fugu �� Always nice to see her visit us.

    I use “Aqua” reduced smoke incense by Nippon Kodo. Everything else I try I end up giving to my daughter, lol. The Aqua scent is very fresh and gentle for smoke-sensitive folks like myself.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  24. #24
    I burn incense mostly on occasions and try not to use it very often.
    This is the only one I have which was a gift from the local sangha
    on my birthday that fell on one of the days during summer sesshin.

    20190522_173628.jpg

    I can't tell the name because it's all written in Japanese, but it has
    a delicate scent of the Sandalwood mixed with Lime.

    Yes and it was started by Fugu �� Always nice to see her visit us.


    Gassho,
    Washin
    sat-lah
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  25. #25
    Hi Bayamo and everyone,
    I use Shinshuko brand. It's the only smokeless brand I found here in Brazil. The smell is very subtle compared to traditional incense with smoke.
    I don't know if the absence of smoke prevents the bad effects of daily use of incense in our health.
    But I like it and my wife really loves the smell, as I usually use it in my little home altar in our closet.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  26. #26

    A Good Incense?

    To Jundo’s suggestion of having a hint of fragrance in the air - I use Frankincense incense matches. It’s a regular matchbook with scented matches inside. You light, shake them out, then they burn for about five minutes like an incense stick. It’s long enough for me to repeat the Robe Verse and bodhisattva vows and sit down and get settled. Available on Amazon.
    IMG_2373.jpg

    Shinshou (Dan)
    Sat today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  27. #27
    I'm personally a big fan of anything from Shoyeido. It all smells nice, and it's not overpoweringly strong for a small space. My favorite is actually one of their cheaper ones, Daigen-koh aka Great Origin. They also carry an excellent line of smokeless incense. Their premium incense is nice too; it comes in a lovely little reusable wooden box and I use it for "special" occasions, such as jukai, Vesak, rohatsu, etc. Of course every moment is special, but I don't have the budget for that.

    Gassho
    Kyōshin
    Satlah

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  28. #28
    As my wife has difficulties with incense, I had to bend my brain a little and came up with something simple:
    I use an aroma lamp or diffuser, but I do not place any water and essential oils in it - I just heat 1-2 cloves (from the spice rack) in it. By mildly roasting the cloves, just a little of the aroma gets diffused ... it is a noticeable scent but not as intense as when you use spices in cooking.


    Gero (sat / lah)

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Gero View Post
    As my wife has difficulties with incense, I had to bend my brain a little and came up with something simple:
    I use an aroma lamp or diffuser, but I do not place any water and essential oils in it - I just heat 1-2 cloves (from the spice rack) in it. By mildly roasting the cloves, just a little of the aroma gets diffused ... it is a noticeable scent but not as intense as when you use spices in cooking.


    Gero (sat / lah)
    That is lovely!

    And, these days in the West because of allergies, second hand smoke and such, some people just light the incense for a moment, then place the burning end into the sand. Or, do not light the incense at all, and just sense its burning in the heart. That is fine.

    Incense or no incense is not the key to Zen. Zen is beyond incense or no incense, sweet smells and nasty.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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