This practice is inspired by what I saw in Koyasan. The idea came to me out of the blue recently. I tried it and love it. So here is sharing with you.
It is a simple incense offering ritual meshed with generating of loving kindness and chanting.
For the practice, I use one stick of incense and powdered incense.
A ceremonial chime to mark the end of each mantra.
Rosary to count the mantra. 108 times.
Start by lighting incense and place it in the incense holder.
Say your refuge prayer.
Start chanting. Preferably a longish mantra like the great compassion mantra or a short sutra like the heart sutra or a short chapter of a long sutra.
As you recite, generate loving kindness to everyone, wishing them well and happy. Not forgetting your cyber friends on wordpress, facebook, instagram etc….
At the same time, this practice is also in honor of Buddha’s teachings. As mentioned, the best offering is to offer our time and practice dharma.
Imagine the smoke of the incense carrying all the positive energy of our practice and imbibing the entire space, benefitting everyone.naturally. turning all into positive beings. including ourselves, the mortal.folks.
I hold a pinch of powder in my hand while saying my mantra. Then feed the powder to the burning incense. This immediately creates momentary waft of smoke.
Sprinkle bits by bits to feed the smoke.try to keep the smoke going.
At the end of each mantra, sutra or chapter, ring the chime.
Continue thus until 108 repetition. Try to stay focus and not let the incense die off during the recitation.
Warning, don’t do this practice if you have medical condition that worsen when there are smoke allergen.
Towards the end of the ritual, when you have accumulated 108 times of recitation, allow the incense to die off.
At this point think, may the fire of craving cease, may the fire of hatred cease, may ignorance cease to burn in me. (Inspired by the fire sermon)
Dedicate the merits to all beings.
Hope you will enjoy this practice too.
May all be well and happy.