Maybe I’m a bit of a pyromaniac…I love the smell of something burning. It’s warm. It relaxing to watch the flame. I’ve heard that many people even use a candle as a focal point for meditation. Candles give you flame, but they don’t always give you the rich, smokey scent. Then I discovered incense. It burns safely, and it smells like heaven. Each scent has its own emotional effect on you. Cinnamon to help you sleep, passion flower and vanilla are relaxing, they say Jasmine brings you good luck. My favorite are the spicy ones. They are warm and comforting, and smell like something you would find in some exotic, far away land.
Community is a huge part of a monastic lifestyle, and hospitality is a huge part of community. I love to burn incense for my own family, but I fill the house with it anytime we have company. I think it says to our friends, “you are welcome here. Settle in and get comfortable.”