1. Invest in a beautiful incense holder
Get one made of ceramic or brass and decorated with auspicious symbols. Those with dragons and phoenixes or other celestial guardians such as chi lins or pi yaos are particularly excellent as they invoke the energies of these protectors. You can also use incense holders decorated with a hundred cranes. The incense holder need not be too large as it is ideal if it can be placed on a coffee table, near the entrance of the home or on the altar as an offering. Once you start using the incense holder, keep it as a precious part of your home décor. Over time, the incense holder will have accumulated a great deal of protective chi. As such, old custodians of these rituals always advise to find an incense holder that can last. The brass ones are better in this respect as there is never any danger of them getting inadvertently broken.
2. Buy some sandalwood incense
You will need sandalwood powder as this is used to create a little mound on which one sandalwood stick is placed and heated.
3. Get some “old” ash
Get this preferably from a temple near you. The old ash is needed to get your incense offering started. For some reason, using any other material to create the base upon which your incense burns will not work well. This is because the method requires you to “bake” the incense so that the pure aroma of the sandalwood can be released. When you ask for some of the old ash from a temple, do offer a little donation. What you need is a plastic bag full of ash.
|THE METHOD: |
Please be careful if your incense container is made of brass, as this tends to get very hot. When choosing sandalwood sticks, it is best to select those that look darker, as these have more of the oil that gives out the aroma. And it is better to buy a solid piece of wood and chop it up into little pieces yourself. This ensures that the sandalwood aroma has not dissipated. The resulting aroma created is very subtle and very pure, never heavy and it will give your home a peaceful feeling.
You can do this ritual as often as you wish. I do it twice a day as I am very fond of sandalwood. I also love the lawado incense from the high mountains, so I have two containers, one for sandalwood incense and one for lawado incense. You must never mix incense as this tends to pollute the aromas.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (November/ December 2008)". To subscribe, please click here.