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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When I was in still elementary and going to a Christian school, my Christian teacher told us that when Buddhist (collectively referring to Taoist and Buddhist) pray they light an incense because the incense smoke brings the prayer the wishes to heaven. Of course, given that she is our teacher, a lot of us believe this. and later on I found out that this is a very common beliefs amongst non – Taoist or non – Buddhist, but more than that this is also a common belief amongst Taoist and Buddhist as well.
There is no truth to that belief. When we chant – a – mantra, or recite – a – sutra, or even pray, we don’t need to light incense for the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas to hear our prayer. In fact, the sutra says even before we say our heart’s wishes or desires, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas already know them. We only light incense as an offering to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Taoist Gods.
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Any Feng Shui enthusiasts and Feng Shui students would have known by now that the month of November (starting on November 7, 2016 – December 6, 2016) a lot of us will have to be very careful and be ready for double negative energies brought about by the combination of the Annual Flying Stars and Monthly Flying Stars.
First, the most dreadful star (#5 Flying Star / Wu Wang / Five Yellow Star / 5 – Yellow Star) is doubled in the Northeast this month, which means people born under the year of the Ox and Tiger, Middle Sons (regardless of age, regardless whether they are married or single and whether they still live with their parents or not), and people staying in the Northeast (bedroom, office or even if your house is in the Northeast of the village or subdivision) and people whose house or office door faces the Northeast are all affected by the Double Wu Wang. This is the most dreadful star in the Flying Star formula, and all Feng Shui experts or Feng Shui consultants caution us about this, and having it doubles this year in the Northeast brings tremendous stress to those who have to deal with it. Those who have to deal with it are the people I mentioned above.
But at the same time, the #2 Flying Star, which is known as the Illness Star, a star that causes not only grave illness but also serious accidents that may lead to long term illness or death is also doubled this month. We are all susceptible to this, but people who are affected by the Wu Wang, as mentioned above, are doubly affected. As a precaution, it is highly advisable for you to wear the Illness Suppression Amulet if you have it.
For those who are affected by the Double Wu Wang in the Northeast can wear the Vajrapani Ruel and a gold 5 – Element Pagoda (Five Element Pagoda) pendant, and a gold Kalachakra pendant. Carrying or surrounding yourself with Traditional Sutra Amulets like THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA or THE SUTRA ON THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA or THE DIAMOND SUTRA will also greatly help and offer much protection.
In my earlier post about the same topic, I also said that this is the time for one to rely and have faith on prayers. For Catholics you can do your novenas or pray your rosary. For Christians and Muslims you can pray to your God and have faith in Him. For Taoist, you can ask special protection Fu from your Taoist priest. For Buddhist and those who would be willing to practice how Buddhist protect themselves now can do the following suggestions found below.
Go to the temple and light incense everyday.
Go to the temple and bow to the images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas everyday.
Donate to the poor or who are in need with utmost sincerity.
Chant the following mantras (minimum) 108x a day everyday:
Mantra of Amitabha Buddha: OM AMI DEWA HRIH
Mantra of Medicine Buddha: TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA
Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion Guan Yin: OM MANI PADME HUM
Mantra of Bodhisattva Vajrapani: OM VAJRAPANI HUM
Mantra of Bodhisattva Cundi Avalokitesvara (Chundi Avalokitesvara): NAMO SAPTANAM SAMYAKSAM BUDDHA KOTINAM TADYATHA OM CALE CULE CUNDI SOHA
Mantra of the Protective Deity Kalachakra: OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHAMALA VARAYA HUM PHAT
You can also Recite the following Sutras as often as you can: