“It’s what I’m feeling right now.”
That short, snarky interchange between mother and daughter prompted by the sunrise meditation theatrics of their new roommate in Neil Simon’s movie, “The Goodbye Girl,” succinctly conveys the dislike many people have for the practice of burning incense.
Cloying fragrances, wafting smoke, and the decidedly unharmonic convergence of odd aromas are reasons cited frequently even by those seeking tranquility who have made the conscious choice to exclude incense from their meditation. Face it; a bout of sneezing certainly can blow one’s blissful buzz.
However, incense may not need to be banished forever from our toolkits for spiritual support. With the diverse array of incense so readily available today via the Internet, it is easier and less expensive than ever to try out brands of incense, resins, and oils from Tibet, India, Japan, and the U.S. Happily, this enables those of us who are meditating to reduce pain or achieve enlightenment to now do so more effectively – and without driving those we love to distraction.
The Bay Area Spirituality Examiner came across one such resource several years ago – the original web site of Tom’s Incense. Since that time, the husband and wife proprietors of Tom’s have begun partnering with amazon.com to create an online superstore, which offers a wide range of incense, resins, smudge kits, scented and perfume oils, and soap bars:
Tom’s also sells an array of accessories including: Tibetan meditation bells and singing bowls, incense burners and holders, oil burners, aromatherapy lamps and diffusers, altar tables, candles, statues and figurines of Ganesha and other deities, offering bowls, Egyptian-themed burners and bells, eco-friendly diaries, copper bracelets, and even home decorative items, such as a Hindu brass OM wall hanger and wooden storage boxes inlaid with various symbols of spirituality.
According to their web site, Tom and his wife state that no incense or anything else is burned near their inventory to ensure that all products remain stored in a smoke-free environment prior to shipping.
Another great point in the store’s favor? The shipping is reasonably priced and fast. The proprietors promise to send out 99 percent of items requested the same day that orders are received.
Their return policy is friendly, yet sensible. Many items may be returned (although oils and incense products may not once they’ve been opened since their potency could be damaged too much for resale to another customer). Oils and incense products that have not been opened are, of course, returnable.
With more than 11,000 reviews from Amazon customers, Tom’s Incense holds an impressive 4.9 star rating (out of 5). The Bay Area Spirituality Examiner’s own experiences support this rating. Tom’s wide-ranging product inventory has been easily accessible thanks to the online store’s handy search feature, enabling this Examiner to quickly order a number of items over a period of several months. Each time, the items arrived ahead of schedule and in excellent condition. For these reasons, the Bay Area Spirituality Examiner gives Tom’s Incense a 5-star rating.