Of all of the five senses which we humans are blessed with, the sense of smell is perhaps the most spontaneous. It is also the most strongly connected of the senses to the areas of the brain that process memory, meaning that even the smallest whiff of a smell that you had previously connected to a certain place can bring you back to that place in mere moments. The sense of smell is directly wired to your brain, unlike the other senses, meaning that the link between smells and brain response is very rapid and quite ancient and primordial in nature.
Incense, then, is a way to access certain parts of your mind quickly and with a great deal of precision. By selecting and using certain types of scents in your home you can rapidly adjust not only the atmosphere of the room but the atmosphere in your mind and spiritual body. This is perhaps why incense has been used so extensively by so many cultures since ancient times. From the joss sticks used in China, to the cedar and sage burned by indigenous tribes of the Americas, people all over the world have been burning plant essences in order to manipulate the sense of smell, and thus their brains, from time immemorial.
Incense is a wonderful way to change the atmosphere of a room in seconds without having to go through the trouble of painting or moving furniture around. It is also an incredibly useful tool for meditation practice. Scents such as Japanese cedar, sandalwood and camphor seem to instantly pull the mind into a calm, meditative state in which you will find it easier to bring greater depth to your practice.
Perhaps the most common use of incense in the past was to create a space for ritual and ceremonial work. From the Buddhist temples of Japan, China and Tibet to the churches of the Catholic and Greek Orthodox church, one will still almost always find some form of incense being burned in order to create a powerful and purified ritual space. The smoke of the incense rising up to heaven is a universal symbol of prayer and offering rising up to the deities. There is nothing quite as powerful as walking in to a holy space and being hit by the smell of incense, which immediately transports you in to a more reverent frame of mind!
Finally, incense can actually be a very practical and useful tool in keeping a pleasant and relaxing home. If you are trying to mask unpleasant scents, such as cigarette smoke from an inconsiderate neighbor or litter from the beloved family cat, incense can take a poorly scented room and make it feel pleasant, relaxing and lovely again!
No matter what purpose you use it for, incense has the power to completely alter your frame of mind in a matter of seconds. It is incredibly easy to use, and there are a huge variety of styles and scents to choose from, so you are sure to find the incense that fits your needs and lifestyle perfectly!
Check out our amazing selection of incense in our Incense Shop