When we burn incense, naturally there would be ashes left behind. Or when we offer flowers and it has become wilted (although one should not allow the flowers to wilt on the altar), what do we do with them?
Flowers that were offered to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, or incense that were offered are considered items that has become holier than their ordinary counterpart because they were offered to supreme holy beings.
It is customary in Zen Buddhist temples that these items are not thrown out directly. So how do we dispose of them?
Incense should be collected then scattered over plants or the garden. Flowers should be taken out before they wilt. Once they are fully wilted, it is suggested to bury them so that become fertilizers, or at the very least put them in a clean red papers bags before throwing them out.
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