I wasn’t sure what was on my mind when seeing this in the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong.
Smoke from the incense sticks coming up to the air.
At the same time, light from the roof above was glancing down as the sun was setting.
I had a state of mind which I have never experienced.
The main theme of my photography at Man Mo Temple was smoke and light ; and I thoroughly the experience.
On looking closer, the smoke from some joss sticks did float up in streaks, streaks which gave the place a particular atmosphere.
The ascending smoke just threw me into a trance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have been showing two posts – one with burning conical incense and the other one with joss sticks and the swirl of smoke.
I was, in fact, putting the carriage before the horse.
What I should have done was first introduce how the temple looks like before showing the details of the interior.
Man Mo Temple is a temple for the worship of the civil or literature god Man Tai (文帝) / Man Cheong （文昌） and the martial god Mo Tai (武帝) / Kwan Tai (關帝). The two gods were popularly patronized by scholars and students seeking progress in their study or ranking in the civil examinations in the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are several Man Mo Temples in Hong Kong, the best known of which is the temple in Sheung Wan, the one shown in my photos.
You will see that the conical incense are hung up high, with circular pans to collect any falling ashes from the incense. In between the pans, the sunlight comes through at an angle, creating a surreal scene.
On the floor are two big bronze bowls, full of sand and ashes, inserted through here are the joss sticks, some small ones and some really large ones.
In the coming posts, I will post more pictures showing details of the incense and clouds of smoke!
This is the type of photo I took recently in the Man Mo Temple.
Without any tripod, I took a deep breadth, hold my breath and clicked.. . . . . . . .
While the joystick incense remained stationery, the smoke from the burning incense drifted into the air, illuminated by natural light coming through the roof.
I am not a follower of the Buddhist, although I sincerely believe many of the teachings are applicable to daily life.
According to a report issued by the John Hopkins University:
“Many religious traditions have contended that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too. An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.”
Hope it will have the same effect on you on seeing this image 🙂