Looking for the best spiritual gear and incense? We’ve done your research for you!
For many years, Jaya Kula has used and sold Japanese incense. It’s simply the best. But because of the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan, we looked for alternatives. Here are our results.
Bosen: China, ingredients sourced from Indonesia and Vietnam
Bosen offers dozens of varieties of incense. Everything we tested was good to excellent quality. We especially liked the Herbal Meditation, Dakini and High Grade Hoi-An Aloeswood. If you are ready for a splurge, try Chin-Zhou Aloeswood. It’s pretty great. Bosen also makes its own versions of Tibetan incense without using animal musk. Another bonus is that you can buy many of their varieties without sticks. Who wants to smell burning sticks?Bosen only sells internationally on Amazon.com.
Scented Mountain Agarwood Incense
Our friend Po, the teahouse wallah in Portland, Oregon, turned us on to this amazing agarwood/aloeswood incense. The agarwood comes from cultivated trees in South Vietnam, and the entire process from seed to altar is totally sustainable and does not cause environmental degradation. The results are magnificent. There are three grades, and the highest grade is simply the best of class bar none.
India and Nepal
Most of it is awful. Here are some that won’t make you wince.
Ganesha Incense – a relatively new incense maker using all natural ingredients. Their Nag Champa is the best we’ve ever tried. Light, dry and sweet without being overpowering.
Shanthimalai Nag Champa – All natural and made by hand by a women’s village collective at the foot of Shiva’s sacred Arunachala mountain.
Auromere Sambrani – a resin incense that has traditionally been used in Devi worship. Mysterious and spiritually suggestive. A long-time Shambhavi favorite.
We have a thing for dings. Dings, or censers, are traditional tripod, ceramic or bronze incense burners. The Chinese and Japanese originals are collectors’ items.
We’d spend a fortune on them, if we had it to spend. But in the meantime, here are some lovely, U.S.-made dings and other styles of burners. Just fill your burner with fresh, raw white rice, light up your incense and stick it in the rice. Voila!
ASTROLOGICAL GEMS AND JEWELRY
We have only two words for you: Nala Saraswati. Nala is a San Francisco-based Jyotishi who makes the highest quality and most beautifully designed astrological correction rings and other creations. He’ll look at your chart and give you gem recommendations, too.
MEDITATION GEAR, MALAS, PUJA SUPPLIES
Sun and Moon Originals – Cushions, bolsters, etc. Handmade, good materials, reasonably priced. Good wholesale prices. If you were wondering where Jaya Kula gets its cushions, this is it.
Samadhi Cushions – Zafu, Zabuton and meditation supplies from an online store run by students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Karmashya – High quality japa malas and other stuff from a woman-owned business in Haridwar.
Rudra Centre – Rudraksha beads and malas, other malas, yantras, puja gear.
Vedic Vaani – Very large selection of puja gear and other supplies. Some of it is high quality.
Japa Mala Bead – Decent, traditional Indian knotted malas.
Ganesh Mall – Statues and other gear
Essential oils aid in purifying a space, calming or clearing the mind and working with health imbalances.
Floracopeia – Produces the purest essential oils and knowledge-based blends, all sourced sustainably. Owner David Crow is master herbalist trained in both Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. The company maintains a huge selection of educational material on its website and regularly hosts online courses. Check out their line of flower essences, too.
White Lotus – Sells top shelf, sustainably produced essential oils wholesale to the public. The prices are generally cheaper than Floracopeia. Minimum order is $100.
Fab India – Kurtas and all things Fab from India
House of Biba – On the wild side
Girl Skirt Mission – One of Shambhavi’s personal faves
Zenike – For the actual Zen priest in you. They have great gongs and meditation cushions in muted colors, too.
SawanAsia – hand-dyed, sustainable, zen-inflected, linen haute couture
Zuzabart – Lagenlook in fine linen knits for the California dreamer.
Buykud – Less expensive robe-y, drape-y goodness from China