Spring has sprung and nature is treating us to beautiful vivid colours and fragrances, which we have all longed to see and smell after Winter. Spring demonstrates a freshness which no other time of the year offers ,the frost now begins to leave the earth and the sun gets higher which encourages all the Spring blossoms and bulbs to show its beauty. The balsam scent of the trees is fresh in the air and new sweet grass begins sprout the wonderful essence of blossom is in abundance, clearly to be seen is the remnants of the fallen leaves of the previous season. What better time to plant your positive intentions with both the remnants of the old and new vigor of Spring clearly in sight.
There are many ways to make positive intentions, you can make your own dream boards by putting images on a board of what they would like in your future(i.e if you want more money put an image of money on your board or if you would like a new house put an image on your board of where you would like to live). Another way of making positive intention is to imagine what you would like in your future and picture yourself living the experience . I personally like to write a list of aspirations for the year and note down the positive effects these aspirations will have on me and the people around me. Anyway there are many ways to make positive intentions and there is plenty of information on the web on how to do so. When making positive intention it is useful to keep it fun , develop a clear picture of what you want and think what action you can take to make your goals a reality.
At this time of year I take the time to visualizes what goals I would like to see grow and explore with my imagination what action would help me.
I infuse my goals with fragrance by burning incense as it is a great way of communicating with my unconscious and developing future plans for my memory. Our sense of smell is strongly linked with our memories, so what better ways is there to use our sense of smell to grow new positive intentions for our memories to store. I can also burn the incense every time I want to revisit my goals and give them more detail or help me to stay focused.
My Favorite incense to use is Baieido’s Kokonoe, which is a Japanese incense. Kokone is inspired by the Imperial Palace in the Spring time. When burnt it unleashes a bouquet of Spring aromas and reminds me of Cherry blossoms ,daffodils, violets, hyacinths and the sweet-smelling balsam of the trees. In short this incense is Spring in a stick,which is uplifting and energizing .The fragrance has a definite floral and sweet woody quality to it . What better incense to use to grow and focus on your positive intentions?
Great post for anyone wanting to know more about Baieido incense
If you consider both affordability and quality in your incense purchasing, there may be no better series in the US market than Baieido’s Kobunboku line. From top to bottom it’s a virtual triumph of incense crafting, particularly when you consider that none of these use any overt perfumes or oils in them. The Kobunboku line has perhaps one of the longest incense learning curves available, which to some extent makes reviewing them problematic. If you come back and ask me in a year what I think of them, I’d probably be even more positive as with every stick I notice more and more subtleties and unique qualities. These are not incenses for stuffy noses and short attention spans, they reveal themselves more in introspective mode and as such are perfect fits for meditation, and are categorized both as incenses that are traditional and used for meditation.
Kobunboku means “plum blossom”…
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I love Japanese incense and in particular the incense that Baieido make.My first introduction to Baieido was with their Kobunboku short sticks. I bought it as it had great reviews and it didn’t cost to much which suited . When I burnt it ,it delivered more than I was expecting. I was captivated with it’s sweet spicy earthy scent.I never had experienced an incense like this . This first experience with Baieido incense has lead me to be a great fan of their incense ranges.
The considered process of making Baieido incense means it delivers an incense that is both beautiful,elegant and manages to be both complex and subtle at the same time.
http://olfactoryrescueservice.wordpress.com/ is possibly one the best informative incense blogs there is. They say about Baieidos’ Kobunboku range, ‘These are not incenses for stuffy noses and short attention spans, they reveal themselves more in introspective mode and as such are perfect fits for meditation, and are categorized both as incenses that are traditional and used for meditation.’
Baieido have a 12 stage process to making their incense ,which is:
1. An inspection of natural perfume takes place, to ensure the quality
2. The aloes and sandalwoods are milled and crushed together into a powder form.
3. The ingredients are now all blended together and made to tradition recipes.
4. The mixed materials are put through a sieve to remove any impurities.
5. The materials are kneaded to form a clay-like substance, called tama.
6. The tama is pressed to form stick shapes and are then laid on a tray and cut to a set length.
7. The incense sticks are dried out and any that aren’t straight are removed.
8. The sticks of incense are cut into different lengths.
9. The sticks are dried for several days in summer and ten days in winter.
10. The incense sticks are adjusted with a board, to help prevent them becoming bent.
11. Each individual incense stick is carefully inspected, then bound together with a fixed weight.
12. The sticks are checked again, before being packed up.
The Six grades of Jinko (Aloeswood, Agarwood)
In Japan Aloeswood is the most prized fragrant wood incense of all. The amazing quality of its incense is only just being discovered in the West.
In Japan, valuable kimonos were scented with smoke from burning Aloeswood. This is the traditional wood for the incense ceremony of Kodo, and in Japan it is purchased in six different qualities. The best wood, Kyara, is differentiated by colour and quality.
Aloeswood, along with santal and clove, is sacred to the Buddhist religion. The living and dead tree is attacked by a fungus, and over time, preferably centuries, nature provides an incense material worth more than its weight in gold.
Aloeswood is a psychoactive substance, and is used in oriental medicines for nervous disorders, colic and as a heart tonic.
The six grades of Jinko are as follows:-
Reminiscent of the warrior, the aroma of Rakoku is considered relatively pungent and bitter. This type originally hailed from Thailand.
Sasora (The Monk)
Of priestly demeanor, the aroma is considered delicate, cool and sour. Sasora may have originated from the western shores of India, around Goa.
Sumotara (The Servant disguised as a noble)
The aroma has the makings of Kyara, but with the lack of subtlety in-depth. It is an impersonator, hence the name. Described as a sour smell, Sumotara has a somewhat distasteful demeanor. Sumotara originally came from the island of Sumatra in the east Indian archipelago.
Manaka (The fickle one of changing moods)
Delicate and ever-changing, the tastes of sweet, sour bitter, hot and salty are not easily detectable, and if they are it is a fleeting impression. Manaka hailed from the strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaya.
Manaban ( The coarse peasant)
Sweet. unrefined and coarse, with a grittiness that distinguishes it from high quality material. Manaban came from the Malabar coast of southern India.
Mike & Nikki
Thank you to The library of Congress for the images
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The sweet fragrance of incense
touches my senses like gentle spring rain upon my skin
each note of scent offered triggers a child like delight
delight passes through to images and feelings of times
past which fade into the aether
and I am offered peace
the smoke twist and curls up to the heavens
and for a moment I am content
Thank you for the image by
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/natelawson/5520756153/”>nate_lawson</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>