Cleansing of the Spirit - The Path of Incense
During the millennia of historical development in Chinese culture, countless traditional cultures deeply related and integrated with the life of mankind. From ceremonies revering deities, cleansing defilement and pests, to nurturing one’s nature and enlightening life — the culture of Xiang (literal translation as ‘incense’) was correspondingly born. From the dawn of ancient times to the establishment of the period of Qin Han, the fruition of Sui Tang (a period of time in history) and the height of the Period of North Song finally arrived at the decline of latter Qing (Dynasty) and the Republic of China — the culture of incense has experienced twists and turns of hardships. Similar to Buddhist doctrines, during the Dynasty of Sui and Tang, the Path of Incense and Tea along with others, were transmitted to Japan and had extensive development on foreign soil. To date, when speaking of the path of incense, people commonly associated it with Fuso culture but it is in fact the tradition of China. Initiated by the General Manager of Villa Howden an Chairman of the Australian Travel and Culture Group Mr. William Wei, he especially invited the training instructor and Invited Chen Xiang Appraiser - Xiang Master Cui Jiayi of Beijing Incense Culture to the heart shaped island at the southern-most tip of the world - Tasmania, to share and demonstrate the peace, tranquility and spiritual joy of the Path of Incense to an interested audience of twenty people. On the afternoon of Qing Ming - the 20th day of the second month of Wu Xu year, Qing Liang Di of the Ci Bei Temple of Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy of Australia was filled with the light haze of curling wisps of incense. Master Cui spoke about the history and development of the incense culture, along with lighting very valuable agarwood, allowing the audience to appreciate the aromatic incense, entering into a free and unfettered realm of the inner heart. Master Wang also especially brought out from his collection, a Nine Dragon Vessel, as well as the Incense Urn which has a jade encased in a Gold Dragon head, to use as a washing basin and incense burner respectively. As Master Wang said at the end of the event, the culture of incense is a type of commemoration spiritual culture. Especially since it is the Qing Ming period of the year, it is precisely an opportunity of supreme conditions to offer to the multiple devas, commemorate ancestors and dedicate to sentient beings.