This practice is known as smudging. It helps to purify our living space.
I don’t think it was taught by Buddha. It is something that I practice and was modified from an Asian practice by adding Buddhist elements to it.
I only use plant based product. The urn was a gift from my friend. You can use any heat resisting bowl or urn. It is filled with ashes from previous smudging.
Importantly, please open the windows.
To start with, I place a heap of natural/organic incense powder in the urn. ( I bought it from one of the Tibetan monastery in Singapore)
Then I use 3 sticks of natural herb incense stick (bought from one of those Buddhist peripheral store in Singapore) I broke it into 9 segments and light them. After that I place this short incense stick onto the heap of incense powder. The sticks of burning incense will ignite the heap of incense powder to smoke too.
(incense made from natural herbs and spices are so wonderful. It does not have that kind of chemical toxicity) IF you do not have incense powder, you can also hold a bunch of incense stick together. (always use odd numbers)
To aid the incense powder to smoke up, I have a paper folding fan (which I inscribed with my favourite mantras) to fan the incense gently
Holding the bowl in my hand, I say the refuge prayer to the Triple Gems. (This is always the 1st step) If you have a buddhist altar, you can do this step at your altar.
Then holding the bowl in my left hand and the paper fan on my right, I start to fan the smoke while walking around my house in slow mindful steps. Visiting every room
Maintaining a compassionate mind and reciting your favourite mantra. Buddhist mantra are usually peaceful. For normal smudging at home, it is good to use peaceful mantra. For example om mani padme hum etc.
MINDFULNESS is really important because you are reciting mantra, fanning the smoke, balancing the bowl in hand, keeping compassion in mind, walking and climbing stairs. Any carelessness can result in accidents/ fall.
For beginners, you can break this process up. For example, you may chant and fan the smoke only when you are not walking or climbing. Do whatever makes sense to you. Buddhism encourage common sense.
After I have smudged every rooms and corners, I bring the smoking incense out of the house and wish that “May all beings benefits from these incense smoke, may all be purified, may all be well and happy”
Leave the smoke bellowing outside your house or apartment.
Since I live in an apartment, I left it on my balcony.
Enjoy your session.
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