In a dark time,
the eye begins to see.
–Theodore Roethke (U.S. poet, 1908-1963).
Just as incense clears the stagnant air in a home or repels illness or bad vibrations, it can clear the air following a disagreement or an argument and help bring forth healing thoughts and prayers.
Sandalwood may be the most common element in the serene incense sticks of Japan. The peaceful atmosphere of many Japanese homes and temples is witness to this. Learn here why, and about other scents for comfort and healing.
Incense has been used for more than 4,000 years to calm the mind, enhance mental clarity, and open the gateway to the spiritual (or, as it is known in ancient Eastern philosophy, the Third Eye, or brow chakra).
Sandalwood is believed to help relieve insomnia, abate depression, and ease anxiety and grief. Its sweet, woodsy scent is effective in calming even the most agitated feelings.
Sandalwood is likely the most predominant incense scent in the world.
Other scents for comfort and healing are those in the traditional Tibetan healing sticks, such as frankincense, myrrh, cedar, pine, and pinion.
Why do monks smile?
The combination of aloeswood, sandalwood, and clove in incense is quite commonly found in Buddhist monasteries. This triad offers a faintly sweet scent that has an almost immediate effect of peacefulness and relaxation. Perhaps this is a part of the reason why monks sitting during meditation seem to be smiling.
Adapted from The Essence of Incense: Bringing Fragrance into the Home, by Diana Rosen (Storey Books 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Diana Rosen. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from The Essence of Incense: Bringing Fragrance into the Home, by Diana Rosen (Storey Books 2001).