Japanese charcaol is perfect for burning loose incense and resins. They are clean burning and do not contain saltpeter which allows the sense of the natural incense materials to really come through.
To light, hold with tongs over a flame until the edges are lit (they will turn white). Then place the charcoal piece on a safe incense burner, a small bowl of ash or sand. Using tongs or a spoon, place your incense materials on top.