Incense Seals, became one of the prevalent methods of using incense in ancient China, especially during the Song Dynasty. People would use molds to press incense powder into fixed characters or patterns. When ignited, the incense would burn sequentially, and in ancient Zen temples, incense seals were often burned to measure time.

There were also practitioners who used incense seals in their rituals. In the "Great Compassionate Wisdom Seal of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Benefiting Sentient Beings throughout the Dharma Realm," practitioners created seed characters with incense seals. They visualized the incense burner as the Dharma Realm, with the incense seal representing compassion alleviating suffering. As the incense seals burned sequentially, they revealed the truth. When completely burned, it symbolized the concept of all phenomena returning to emptiness. Those who practiced this method could attain unobstructed merits and blessings, akin to the admiration of a delicate lotus flower.

 Specific Steps for Creating Incense Seals

Specific Steps for Creating Incense Seals:

Step 1: Preparating Incense Powder:

Use an incense shovel to transfer incense powder into the incense seal burner. Ideally, the powder should fill two-thirds of the burner.

Use an incense stick or shovel to gently loosen the incense powder in a circular motion, ensuring an even distribution and facilitating air circulation.

preparating incense powder

Step 2: Pressing the powder:

Pressing the powder is crucial for a level surface without being too compact. Gently press the powder once, ensuring it is smooth but not overly dense, allowing oxygen to reach the incense powder during combustion.

After leveling the podwer, use an incense broom to sweep any excess powder into the incense burner slowly. This process may be slow but provides a moment of enjoyment, allowing the mind to become pure during powder cleaning.

pressing the incense powder

3. Placing the Incense Seal Mold:

Position the incense seal in the center of the incense burner, ensuring stability.

Common incense seal patterns include auspicious clouds, lotus flowers, the character for "heart," and symbols for happiness, wealth, and longevity. Choose a seal based on the theme of the day's gathering or personal preferences. Custom designs can also be ordered from the Hua Xiang Studio to express the theme of the incense gathering.

Placing the Incense Seal Mold

Step 4: Filling with Incense Powder:

Use an incense spoon to evenly fill the incense seal with an appropriate amount of incense powder.

Flatten the incense powder with an incense shovel, taking care not to move the incense seal. After the first pass, gently press with the shovel again, supplementing with additional incense powder. Finally, sweep any excess powder to the side and collect it in the incense powder box.

Filling with Incense Powder

Step 5: Lifting the Seal:

Tap the edges of the incense seal gently with the handle of the incense shovel to create looseness between the incense powder and the seal.

Lift the incense seal vertically and steadily. Place the incense seal in the incense powder dish for convenient powder recovery.

Lifting the Seal

Step 6: Igniting the Seal:

Use a lighter to ignite an incense stick and use it to light the incense seal. This prevents gases from damaging the imprinted seal.

Igniting the Seal

Step 7: Contemplation:

Observe the smoke and flames. As the incense seal ignites, the characters gradually transform, creating an intriguing visual experience.

Assist in quiet contemplation, allowing insights into the principles of prosperity and decline, peaks and valleys.

 incense seals


Store incense powder in a sealed bottle or container.

After using incense powder, seal it in an airtight bag to prevent moisture. If dampness is detected, ignite a piece of charcoal and bury it in the powder to dry it.

Choose incense seal patterns based on different activities, aligning with the theme of the gathering.

A larger incense burner is preferable for creating incense seals.



In the gentle glow of lit incense seals, we engage in a profound meditation, forging a connection with the subtle currents of time. Each fleeting moment becomes a sanctuary for the tranquility of our souls. As the flames of the incense seals gracefully dance and the characters gradually transform into ashes, it mirrors the ebb and flow of life's ever-changing landscapes. In this meditation moment, we focus on the wisps of fragrant smoke, contemplating the mysteries of existence and sensing the profound depths of being. Igniting incense seals becomes a ritual of self-dialogue, allowing the profound reflections within to unfold during meditation. In these moments of freedom, we not only experience the irreversibility of life but also discover a transcendent serenity beyond the constraints of time and space. May each drifting wisp of incense be a caress to the soul, guiding our thoughts towards the inner calm, resonating with the essence of freedom.


Related Articles:

1. "Unlocking Inner Serenity: A Guide to Meditation for Mind, Body, and Soul"

2. Learn How to Meditate For Beginners: 6 Essential Steps

3. How to Burn Incense Sticks for Beginners: A Guide to Enhancing Your Meditation Experience

4. Step by Step Guide to Exploring the Tranquil World of Backflow Incense

5. Meditation for Health and Wisdom: Exploring the Benefits of Mantra Recitation in the Knowing Life Series

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