Incense sets the mood. It’s your little helper, that little something special that gets your head where you want it to be for contemplation, meditation, and prayer. There’s nothing like sitting down to meditate surrounded by the scent of sandalwood, praying to the aroma of smoldering frankincense, or offering a stick of myrrh to the ancestors. It’s a wonderful thing.
The problem is, as we should all know by now, there are hazards associated with breathing in smoke, especially in enclosed spaces.
A few years ago I stumbled across Shoyeido incense. The sticks come in various lengths, but I prefer the 5″ ones in the Aesthetics series (the Honoka is particularly fine). The Honoka sticks burn for about 30 minutes each. The fragrance is great, smoke is low, and it’s made in Kyoto by a family of master craftspeople as it has been for twelve generations. All of that for just $7.95 for 40 sticks.
If you don’t burn incense you should give it a try. If you’ve tried it but you don’t like it, you might try again with Shoyeido. It’s so much better than the cheap stuff, there’s no comparison. Apples to oranges.