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Well... they say "necessity is the mother of invention" (who are "they", anyway?)

I would like to occasionally do a short offering at the altar, mostly before going out in the morning, or even in the evening. But the tea light candles I use burn for about 3 1/2 hours, and the incense agarbathi sticks burn for about 1/2 hour. I don't like leaving things burning, nor extinguishing them. Even though my partner is home, I don't feel right about lighting candles and incense then leaving; it just feels creepy. It's like inviting someone to dinner, throwing the food on the table and saying "by the way, I have to go out". :-/

Soooo... I realized I had small cone incense and birthday candles. I put one of each into the brass bowl that contains the decorative sand I stand the agarbathi in to catch the ashes. I lit the candle (I think maybe I should use three?) and the incense cone in the sand, sounded the bell, poured water into the small offering bowls (I found some adorable Chinese tea cup-type bowls in JCPenney for 2.99 ea. :) ), said the refuge prayers, bodhisattva and bodhicitta prayers, some recitations of Namo Amitabha Buddha, dedication prayers, spent a few minutes and then went about my routine. By the time I was ready to leave the house, the candle and incense burned down. I felt like I started the day on the right note. :)


  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Thanks, I enjoyed that little read.

    I've always liked that saying and it makes me think of what makes natural selection select.

    Usually, "they" are just bunches of us.
  • It's great to be part of that nebulous "they", isn't it? :lol:
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    I like the birthday candle idea!..... Never thought of that! :)
    There are several places I'll be using that now...Thanks!
  • Glad to be of help @Vastmind. I have my moments. :D

    Oh, but don't use the little plastic holders. Since birthday candles are usually blown out before they burn down, they never reach the holder... which melts.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    I keep a snuffer in the shrine room to put ot my tealights when I finish practice. I never "blow" them out - that's a no-no. If the incense hasn't finished burning, I turn the stick around and bury the burning end in the sand I've filled the incense bowl with.
  • Yes, breath is considered impure. I have snuffers too for regular house ambience candles. I have an ocpd thing about not finishing candles or incense. Again, to me it's like offering something to someone then taking it away. Of course, we know I have "issues". :lol: When I used oil lamps I put only enough oil to burn for a few hours in the evening while I was around. I don't care what the Hindus say, oil lamps are messy.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    oil lamps are messy.


    That's why I use tea lights. BTW, I think IKEA has the best tea lights.

  • I use oil lamps because the scent can be as powerful as you like it. I like strong scents and I cannot buy candles strong enough. Another solution would be incense which is also quite strong, but my mom doesn't want smoke in the house.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    ever try "smokeless" incense?

    BTW, an offering of incense need not be lighted.
  • I have something like these, but with more rounded sides. They also make nice little water offering cups:

    I didn't know oil could be scented. I use canola oil when I do use an oil lamp:


    I'm clumsy at times, and afraid I'll knock them over because they are so small.

    I didn't know about the unlit incense either.
  • Paraffin based lamp oil is very clean burning and can be scented.
  • D'oh! Of course, I've seen that. :D
  • Face whatever you're facing wherever you're facing as your altar.
    My $.02
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