Sunday, July 15, 2007

Zen meditation candles.

I don't think it is in the Hindu culture to use candles while meditating. But in Zen culture, it seems, they use the candles.

In Japan, meditation candles are widely used as is evidenced by this website "The Japanese Connection"

However I was obliging an online contact and researching on Zen meditation methods and products they use during meditation. The material below is fascinating.

The Japanese connection says, "Warosoku, providing warm candlelight, comprise one of the three elements of simple Buddhist ceremonies of meditation and reverence. The other two elements include incense and flowers. Such ceremonies of light, flower and scent, date back to the sixth century in Japan. The wax of warosoku is formed from hazenoki, the sumac or wax tree. The wick, rather than string, is actually made of washi--Japanese hand-made paper."

Mr. Takazawa makes two basic types of warosoku for meditation, the ikari (wide at the top and narrow at the base) and the bou (even thickness throughout) forms. Meditation candles in these two forms have been around since about 1650. Mr. Takazawa's family business, begun in 1888, is itself over a hundred years old.

Each handmade candle is approximately 3.5 inches long, .4 inches in diameter at the bottom, and .7 inches in diameter at the top. Burn time is about 55 minutes per candle.
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