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Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense?

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  • namgyal monastery
    Huh? ... From: Angelhugs To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 11:57 AM Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense? Peacock
    Message 1 of 16 , May 13, 2003
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      Huh?
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Angelhugs
      Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 11:57 AM
      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense?

      Peacock feathers and holy water?
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 8:53 AM
      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense?

      Hi Karen,
       
      In Tibetan Buddhism, the peacock feather is used in certian rituals to represent purification.
       
      The incense is an offering to the merits accumulated, to future merits (good karma accumulated) and also to clean the house, to purify it, to smell good. Tibetan incense is different from Indian incense which is very strong, such as nag chama, and made from other ingredients. Tibetan incense is made from healing herbs, minerals, spices.
       
      The incense does not represent air, its a symbolic offering to overcome stinginess, etc. It is not an offering to "Gods," but to the things I just mentioned as well as our buddha nature and all those who developed their own buddha nature before us and in the future.
       
      A feather can be a type of offering, but not to replace incense in the Tibetan tradition.
       
      Many Regards,
      T. Gephel, Buddhist monk, Namgyal
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Karen
      Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2003 9:08 AM
      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense?

      I am not very familiar with Buddhist ritual.  What is the purpose of the incense?  Is it for the smell?  Is it to induce a meditative state?  Is it an offering to God(s)?  Is it representative of air? 
       
      Personally, I would use a feather if it is just a representation and even as an offering.  This works in shamanic ritual, but would it be appropriate to Buddhist?
       
      Namaste'
      Karen


      "Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it."  Osho


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    • HeartwingsPapillons
      Must the incense necessarily be lit to be considered an offering? When I am staying at hotels I always opt for a non-smoking room and I do not burn incense in
      Message 2 of 16 , May 13, 2003
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        Must the incense necessarily be lit to be considered an offering? 
         
        When I am staying at hotels I always opt for a non-smoking room and I do not burn incense in the room since the hotel could think I had smoked in the room or the next person to stay there may be someone with a severe smoke allergy.  I take along a small Buddha and just lay the incense in front of it.  I am also reluctant (for safety reasons) to leave incense burning at home if I know I won't be able to remain until it has burned out and I will place it in the holder, but not light it or extinguish it before leaving at such times. 
         
        I can certainly understand where some individuals do have such a severe allergy to smoke that they cannot tolerate any lit incense or it is not prudent to light it in certain situations, such as where oxygen is in use for example.  Incense does have beneficial properties for some, but not for those allergic to smoke just as penicillin will not cure the illness of someone allergic to it.  Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that the intention in the person's heart is what is most important and not the actual physical things like the incense and it would not really matter if it could not be burned.  There are times when I do not have any money to leave in the basket after class or a ceremony, but I will always leave something, even if it is just a few candies, sticks of incense or some flowers because I have the intention in my heart to give for what I have received.
         
        Another thought that occurred to me is the possibility that the incense could be placed outside and lit and the individual(s) could go inside to perform their devotional practice, would that be acceptable?
         
        Susan in Maryland
      • namgyal monastery
        Sure, you can light it outside. I have an incense burner with a lid, it is fireproof, I bought it at a Tibetan shop in NYC and when I leave I have no fear of
        Message 3 of 16 , May 13, 2003
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          Sure, you can light it outside.
           
          I have an incense burner with a lid, it is fireproof, I bought it at a Tibetan shop in NYC and when I leave I have no fear of fire. I recommend it. I burn incense when I stay at hotels and I do not think very much about it, but if I did I would probably leave it and just stick to burning incense when I'm at home.
           
          I find Tibetan incense to be very nice for allergies, colds, and all sorts of ailments.
           
          -Wylie, administrator, Namgyal Monastery
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 2:12 PM
          Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] substitute for incense?

          Must the incense necessarily be lit to be considered an offering? 
           
          When I am staying at hotels I always opt for a non-smoking room and I do not burn incense in the room since the hotel could think I had smoked in the room or the next person to stay there may be someone with a severe smoke allergy.  I take along a small Buddha and just lay the incense in front of it.  I am also reluctant (for safety reasons) to leave incense burning at home if I know I won't be able to remain until it has burned out and I will place it in the holder, but not light it or extinguish it before leaving at such times. 
           
          I can certainly understand where some individuals do have such a severe allergy to smoke that they cannot tolerate any lit incense or it is not prudent to light it in certain situations, such as where oxygen is in use for example.  Incense does have beneficial properties for some, but not for those allergic to smoke just as penicillin will not cure the illness of someone allergic to it.  Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that the intention in the person's heart is what is most important and not the actual physical things like the incense and it would not really matter if it could not be burned.  There are times when I do not have any money to leave in the basket after class or a ceremony, but I will always leave something, even if it is just a few candies, sticks of incense or some flowers because I have the intention in my heart to give for what I have received.
           
          Another thought that occurred to me is the possibility that the incense could be placed outside and lit and the individual(s) could go inside to perform their devotional practice, would that be acceptable?
           
          Susan in Maryland


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        • Karen
          Hi T. Gephel, Thank you for your kind answers to my questions. I like the idea of an offering to merits accumulated and future merits. This is not something
          Message 4 of 16 , May 13, 2003
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            Hi T. Gephel,
             
            Thank you for your kind answers to my questions.  I like the idea of an offering to merits accumulated and future merits.  This is not something I would ever have thought to do.  It seems lovely to make an offering to that part of ourselves that is beyond our finite human selves, the part that has already realized enlightenment although our conscious selves exist in the ego.  Is there also a purification of the unmeritous in this as well? 
             
            Again, thank you.
             
            Namaste'
            Karen


            "Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it."  Osho


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