The word incense comes from Latin for incendere meaning "to burn".
Burning incense for meditation decreases stress, and some people believe that different types of incense have the power to cleanse negative energy, ease tension, and elevate your meditative state.
Incense for meditation and prayer is an ancient tradition.
Incense is a wonderful way to change the atmosphere of a room in seconds without having to go through the trouble of painting or moving furniture around. It is also an incredibly useful tool for meditation practice.
Perhaps the most common use of incense in the past was to create a space for ritual and ceremonial work. From the Buddhist temples of Japan, China and Tibet to the churches of the Catholic and Greek Orthodox church, one will still almost always find some form of incense being burned in order to create a powerful and purified ritual space.
The smoke of the incense rising up to heaven is a universal symbol of prayer and offering rising up to the deities. There is nothing quite as powerful as walking in to a holy space and being hit by the smell of incense, which immediately transports you in to a more reverent frame of mind!
Incense can actually be a very practical and useful tool in keeping a pleasant and relaxing home. If you are trying to mask unpleasant scents, such as cigarette smoke from an inconsiderate neighbour or litter from the beloved family cat, incense can take a poorly scented room and make it feel pleasant, relaxing and lovely again!