Incense

Here is your task for the week.

If you are not in possession of one already, acquire an incense stick. Select whichever fragrance you please. I tend to prefer the flower based ones as they invoke a more natural response to the senses. If you are too overwhelmed by choice just go for the always-good Nag Champa.

Now, sit upon your bed or on a cushion with your legs crossed. Be comfortable. Realise that there is nowhere to be nor anything to do. You are simply sitting here under the dim light of your abode, aware not of your thoughts but rather all that is around you. Consider the feel of the clothes upon your skin. Consider the colour of the walls and the trinkets floating about. Consider then, the incense stick you hold in your fingers.

Take your lighter and strike a flame. Wait for a few moments, observe the wavering red and orange colours. Place a finger cautiously near the flame to sense its heat. It is warm, alluring and alive.

A second later bring the incense stick inside the flame’s envelope. Watch it catch fire.

Remove it from the flame and let the extinguished lighter rest safely by your side. The end is now on fire. You see that the fire has not died rather it has simply been moved from one vessel to another. Lightly shake the stick, not to save it from the flame rather to allow it all to fall to its natural ember glow.

Notice the change of state of matter. The heat transforms the blackness into ashes. As it begins to soften a fragrance is realised. Notice how matter is not created nor destroyed. Instead it is simply changed from one form to another.

With your easy eyes, watch the smoke released from the end. See it rise up into the air and into the light as it takes on ethereal patterns before you. Play with it. Conjure up spirals and clouds. Let it fill the air about you, this grey effervescence that is neither alive nor dead.

Take your time, and before the ashes begin to crumble leave it to be in its holder. Place it nearby so that the scent and sight accompany you for a time.

Sit there. Just sit there for a time, until you are ready to move on.

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