Don't worry about whether it is right/wrong, you need to find the best way to meditate *for yourself* rather than what other ppl tell u to do.

If u find the incense helps, use it.
If u find the water flowing helps, use it.
If they distract u then don't use them.

U can also get meditation CDs and tapes to help you, one of the ones I have [which I think is great!] is a zither meditation CD I bought through siddha yoga. It is a full CD with just the constant sound of the instrument quietly strumming and it seems to numb the senses so that you dont get distracted.

You may find that if you are able to go along to a few chanting & meditation sessions held by someone like siddha yoda that you will develop your own method which suits you best.
They have ashrams and meditation groups all over the world, so check it out if you are interested.