The sense orifice of smell can have strong effects on the aspect of Spirit known in Chinese medicine as Shen. Burning clean, resinous incense can open the Heart-Spirit, and in part, enhances our remembering of what is important. Incense prepared with quality medicinal substances has the ability, as thought in shamanic and alchemical traditions, to sedate the illusory, fleeting, there-then-it’s-gone-again nature of wind. Resinous materials can help to seal ‘holes’ or chinks in our protective Wei aspect of QI, while profoundly stabilizing our inner world and anchoring the Spirit.
Meditative practice is useful to guide awareness toward releasing the longings, set-backs, temptations, ideas, belongings and so forth, that cause the Shen to be stirred. The transformative properties of burning medicinal herbs and materials in the form of incense is a harmonizing backdrop. With understanding from a settledness of Spirit we may more wholly embrace worldly existence.
Important Note: Resin is an immunological secretion used by trees to help protect the tree from potential pests and pathogens, often secreted after the outer surface of the tree has been breached. Harvesters, please respect the importance of resin for a tree and refrain from *ever* ripping off chunks that may endanger it! Resin, differentiated from sap, is found deeper inside the tree and transports water, nutrients, hormones and other vital fluids through the tree.