7 Best Practices for Meditating with Incense

Incense has been used ritually for thousands of years. Many appreciate the scent of burning incense, which can help create an atmosphere of tranquillity. In addition, the aroma can be used to sharpen your focus during meditation sessions. 

Practicing meditation can help you reduce your stress levels. Likewise, it can help you develop greater resilience to any stressors you may experience in the future. Incense is a beneficial addition to your meditation practice. It can help you attain the focus needed to quiet your mind and relax your body. 

Use the following tips to ensure you are meditating with incense properly.

Choosing your incense scent

The aroma of the incense you choose to burn can profoundly affect your meditation. There are so many scents, so experiment with several to find the ones you enjoy the most.

To start, select an incense that is known for its relaxation-promoting properties. Jasmine, lavender, frankincense, or sandalwood are excellent choices for promoting a sense of calm. Cedar and vanilla are also great picks; they are known to be helpful with grounding and centreing.

Ensure your space is well-ventilated

Before you light your incense, it is essential to ensure the room you are burning it in is well-ventilated. Even though incense generally only produces a small amount of smoke, you want to avoid breathing it directly. 

Opening a window or taking your practice outdoors are both viable options. However, don’t put your incense beside the open window; a gust of wind could knock the burner over and become a fire hazard.

Use an incense burner

If you are just starting with incense, you might not have a burner yet, but you must invest in one. Not only will a burner prevent your incense from making a mess, but it is also a safety consideration. 

Ensure your incense burners are large enough to catch the ash as it falls. Place the incense burner safely so it will not be a fire risk. Always keep your incense away from pets and children.

Never leave burning incense unattended

You should never leave the room if you have lit your incense before extinguishing it. Even the tiniest ember can be a fire hazard if left unattended. 

If you need to leave, a simple way to put out your incense is to cut off the end with scissors and then make sure the ember goes out. Alternatively, dip the incense in water or run it under a tap.

Before meditation with incense

Sitting down to meditate, especially if you are just starting, might be one of the most challenging things you can do. But you can make it easier on yourself by knowing how to prepare. Many people find having a pre-meditation ritual to be very helpful and motivating. It will help you prepare your mind to shift into relaxation and focus. 

The first step is to remove distractions from your meditation space. After deciding what incense scent to meditate with, light the incense carefully and place it on the appropriate burner. You may want to dim the lights in the room and play calming music. Sit or even lie down in a comfortable position and get ready to begin.

During meditation with incense

Focus on the smoke curling up off the incense. Let your breathing happen naturally, don’t try to force it. As you breathe in and out, enjoy the gentle aroma and continue to watch the smoke as it drifts and floats in the air. 

If thoughts come into your mind, it is okay to acknowledge them, but then bring your focus back to the incense smoke and your breathing pattern. Meditation is all about holding your awareness in the present moment. Maintain this for as long as you can. With practice, your meditation sessions will get longer, and you will find you are better at directing your focus and quieting your mind.

Using incense as a timer

Figuring out how long a stick of incense burns down is an excellent alternative to an alarm or timer. Instead of a harsh buzzing or beeping to signal the end of your session, simply meditate until the incense stick has burnt away.

There are many ways to meditate, but they all aim to find inner peace in common. Many people use meditation to relieve stress and anxiety and to improve sleep and concentration. Using incense as part of your meditation ritual allows you to develop your focus and achieve greater relaxation. Whether you are just starting with meditation or are looking for a way to improve your sessions, incense is a fantastic tool for deepening your practice.

  • Gretchen is a free-spirited blogger focused on ways to improve her spiritual and emotional health. She uses the MANDALA HEALS blog to dispense advice, tutorials & guides on various topics.

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