THE VALUE OF INCENSE AND CANDLES DURING MEDITATION

Candles & Plants

The Value of Incense and Candles

During Meditation

 

[META: The practice of using incense and candles during meditation is ancient. Nowadays, the tradition is alive and well, but what are the benefits?]

For thousands of years now, people have been using incense and candles to enhance their meditation practices. Certain aromas produced when burning incense are said to have healing and spiritual properties; others help to calm the mind and induce a state of relaxation and well-being. Candles likewise are a mainstay in many meditative traditions. Gazing at the flickering flame of a candle can help you relax, focus, and clear your mind, which is the goal of meditation. 

But where did this practice originate? How can you use incense and candles in your own meditation sessions? And most importantly, what are the benefits of doing so? In this article, we will answer all of these questions so that you can enhance your meditation and increase your overall well-being. 

WHERE DID THIS PRACTICE ORIGINATED?

The practice of using incense and candles during meditation is ancient. Nobody knows for sure exactly when it began, but what we do know is that people have been using incense for more than 6000 years in the east, and Native Americans have been using incense in the west since time immemorial. 

WHAT ARE INCENSE AND CANDLES USED FOR?

     Incense are generally used for four main reasons: to aid in spiritual practices, for medicinal/healing purposes, to mask odors, and for the beneficial effects of aromatherapy. On the other hand, Candles have traditionally been used for a number of reasons as well. Specifically, candles are most often used to set a soft, romantic mood, lighting, and spiritual/religious reasons. There are various forms and kinds of incense, candles, holders, burners, etc., that can add a pleasant décor to your space as well aromatic tranquility like this Ceramic SpaceKeeper Incense Burner, which displays a beautiful waterfall while delivering natural aromatic scents such as lavender, Sandlewood, rosemary, etc.

Incense

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING INCENSE AND CANDLES?

Burning incense can benefit you in many ways. Not only can using incense for aromatherapy help improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety, and treat headaches and migraines, but the pleasant aromas produced when burning incense can also improve digestion and boost your immune system. 

On the other hand, Candles are great for setting a warm, cozy mood, creating a peaceful ambiance, and of course, providing light. The light given off by candles is much softer than the artificial light produced by electricity; as such, many people prefer candlelight to other forms of lighting. 

HOW CAN I USE INCENSE AND CANDLES?

Using incense and candles is very easy. To burn incense, all you need to do is light one end of the incense stick, rod, or cone. As the incense burns, it will produce smoke that will fill the environment with your chosen scent. Candles are equally as simple to use. To use a candle, all you have to do is light the wick. 

 

When using incense, candles, or both, it's important that you don't leave them unattended because both have the potential to cause a fire due to the fact that they produce heat. Generally speaking, both incense and candles are very safe to use, but keep an eye on them just to be safe

WHAT KINDS OF MEDITATION INCENSE AND MEDITATION CANDLES ARE THERE?

There are various types of incense used specifically for meditation. In particular, resin-based incense such as frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood are said to be among the best incense for meditation. That said, any scent that helps you connect with your higher self or otherwise calms your mind will work well. There are also candles that are intended for use during meditation. 

Typically, candles made with sage, lotus, essential oils, and pure beeswax work great as scented candles for meditation due to their aromatic and slow-burning properties. That said, remember to always pay attention when using mindfulness candles. It's best to use candles that have an enclosed flame rather than pillar candles that can create a fire much more quickly if knocked over.

WHAT KINDS OF MEDITATION PRACTICES USE INCENSE AND CANDLES?

Any meditation can be enhanced by using incense. However, there is a specific type of mediation that uses candles as the primary tool of the meditation: candle meditation. If you want to try doing a candle meditation session, it’s really quite easy. Here’s how it’s done: 

    1. Light a candle. (Any candle will work, but make sure it’s secure and won’t fall   

        over)

    2. Dim or shut off the lights. (So that the light given off by the candle flame will

         stand out)

 

    3. Sit in front of the candle (Ideally, it should be about 50cm in front of you)

 

    4. Breathe in slowly and deeply, paying attention to your breath

 

    5. Relax any tension in your body so that you are calm and at ease

 

    6. Now, pay attention to the flame (Notice how it flickers and moves about)

 

    7. Try to keep your gaze on the flame and let every other thought fade away

 

    8. If you notice any thoughts coming up, just release them and return your attention

         to the flame

 

When done correctly, this type of candle light meditation should calm your mind, narrow your focus, and help you achieve a blissful, trance-like state of mind. Start with five minutes; if you feel comfortable meditating with the candle for longer, then feel free to meditate for as long as you like. When you are finished, extinguish the candle so that you can use it again during your next meditation session. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING INCENSE AND CANDLES WHEN MEDITATING?

In addition to the benefits associated with aromatherapy that you'll enjoy when using incense in your meditation and the calming, relaxed feeling you'll experience when lighting your space with candles, there are a few other benefits that come with incorporating incense and candles into your meditative practice, including: 

 

  • Increased relaxation

  • Decreased stress and anxiety

  • Deeper concentration

  • Heightened creativity

  • Better sleep quality

  • Enhanced sexual desire

  • Feelings of happiness or euphoria

  • An overall sense of well-being

Church Candles

SHOULD YOU USE INCENSE AND CANDLES WHEN MEDITATING?

Yes, absolutely! There is a reason for why people have been meditating with candles and incense for more than 6000 years because it works. Not only can candles and incense improve your health, but they can also aid your meditative practice dramatically. Because they help you relax, unwind, calm your mind, narrow your focus, and promoting feelings of happiness and well-being, incense and candles are among the very best meditation aids known to exist. Just be mindful not to fall asleep when burning candles or incense, and you should find that these tools help improve the quality not only of your meditation but of your health and your life in general.