Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

What is the purpose of incense in meditation?

With thousands of years of use in humanity, spiritual incense is traditionally present in ceremonies of the most diverse religions and spiritual practices. The word incense means ‘to burn’. It is a symbol related to the connection with the spiritual world. Culturally, the smoke produced by incense is seen as a link between the two worlds. Thus, it is believed that good incense can purify the environment, scaring away evil spirits or creating a kind of communication portal.

The fire element is a symbol of transformation and the burning of incense is synonymous with the transformation of matter into spirit. The incense smoke represents the spiritual element, the spiritual plane that inhabits the air. It serves as an environment for energies.

Therapeutic properties of incense

Even if your beliefs do not contemplate this spiritualized view of incense, combining its use with the practice of meditation can have real effects on the results of your sessions. It happens because the incense releases aromatic biochemical molecules, which produce a certain aroma in the environment. This aroma is quickly perceived by our sense of smell and acts directly on our brain, stimulating it according to the properties of the ingredients. The properties of each stick act on our state of consciousness and our emotional state. Some can help us relax while others help with concentration or energizing, and so on.

Smells are powerful carriers of thoughts and memories

If we visit a sacred place and smell a specific aroma in the air, it is likely that the next time we encounter that aroma, that atmosphere of the first experience will return to our minds within a few seconds. If you usually meditate after lighting certain incense in the room, it is possible that your mind will get used to the aroma and start to associate it with the meditation practice, inducing you to a more favorable state for this practice.

Important precautions for using incense

To obtain good results, it is essential that the incense be of good quality. In this sense, always prefer natural, spiritual incense, free of synthetic aromas and toxic substances. More than just perfume, incense will act directly on your brain. Choose one that has ingredients with properties suited to what you are looking for in your meditation practice. Natural calming lavender incense will help you relax and reduce stress, bringing more tranquility to your practice. Myrrh incense brings good energies that calm the breath and thoughts. Natural ones contain only plants, aromatic woods or essential oils in the formulation. The handcrafted and industrialized ones may contain substances such as resins and charcoal.

Preparing the environment with an incense

If your idea is to create an environment more conducive to meditation practice, here are some suggestions. Take the incense in your hands, close your eyes and remain silent for a while. Say a few words or chant a mantra. Light the incense in a safe and well-ventilated place. Depending on the place, you can light the incense and walk a few minutes with it around the room. Start your meditation. Allow yourself to be surrounded by this atmosphere.