Ishaisms, Meditation, Reflections, Soul

In’sense’ Stick

They say the most commonplace of things can teach you life lessons, if you’re only aware. They say that truths are hidden everywhere, traveling through soulful silences, if you only listen.

Are you aware? Are you listening?

Have you ever seen and observed the life of a burning incense stick, dear reader? Yes, you heard me right – an incense stick– the fragrance of rituals, and meditations and prayers… the most ordinary yet extraordinary fragment of the process, possessing nothing of grandeur or obvious remark, yet when lit, having the power to change the aura, the aroma, the entire aesthetic of the place- have you ever seen and observed?

I was in the temple the other morning, the winter sunshine pouring in through the glass panes, glazing golden upon the walls – having nothing in particular to do there, nothing to offer to the heavens in words, no communication to relate to the energies, or spirits or the Universe or Gods – whatever one may believe in – when the recluse of an incense stick, away from all its other companions, kept atop a book of hymns, caught my eye. Maybe it was its destiny to burn that day, I thought, laughing inwardly, and lit it.

Smouldering wisps of silver smoke rushed out, circling and curling into spirals, carving its way all over the temple, as if set free from confinement, to create varied shapes, and rise up to its splendour. It was magnificent! In a matter of minutes, a meditative calm was cast upon the temple, the sunshine still pouring in, the wisps still curling upwards. I waved a hand across the rising smoke, which, immediately disturbed, changed its course, and momentarily lost its tranquil trance.

Yet once left to be by itself again- it continued creating magic.

And isn’t that how life is?

It has its own destiny, a course, a path to follow, to meander into the roads it knows so well, to drive to its destination undisturbed by any outside forces… for it knows the way, and it will take you to it.

All you need to do is keep the flame burning within, the fire, the passion and the love. That’s all you’ll ever need to set yourself free.

I think that morning in the temple was one of the most magical and meditative moments I’ve ever experienced, although my eyes were wide open and there was no music, or candles or chanting or whatever there’s supposed to be.

Maybe that’s what true meditation is, the little lessons one learns in life, from such luminous moments that happen and leave, but never really.

Until next time,

Β© Isha Garg

Doodles by Isha Garg


64 thoughts on “In’sense’ Stick”

  1. This is such an impeccable piece of writing. I didn’t just read it, I was immersed ….and in the temple with you. Thank you for bringing me such a serene moment Isha. ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is what you have inspired in me:

    FICTION IS the only reality,
    Which may not have found a soul yet to implant wonders for the future or wisdom of the past.
    The stories must be told to a questing mind, not of this time and place, but of eternity.
    The Universal spirit of belief, faith, inner knowing, precognition; destined to forever last
    In the visions and dreams of consciousness … for infinity.
    One day you will see self in another face, reflected in a looking glass
    And grasp that FICTION is but another dimension, an extension
    Of all the incarnations that simply must be.
    You will scrutinize, then recognize, and only then will you finally, truly SEE!

    by Deborah A. Bowman (copyrighted 2018, permission to share with author’s credit)


  3. Oh my, Deborah! I am blown away by what you’ve written… How articulately you’ve put this idea into words… There is nothing in there that I don’t agree with! “Fiction is but another dimension”.. Oh wow, thank you so so much for sharing this here… You’ve honoured and graced my blog with your powerful verse! πŸ“πŸŒΉβ€πŸ™


  4. I agree with precious commenters that this is a beautiful piece of writing, it so totally makes sense and in such a nice way. Thank you for this piece, I shall certainly share it with others to enjoy and benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The way you relate an incense stick to life is magnificent, Isha. πŸ™‚
    The fragrance, the fire, and the willful meandering are so valid.
    But unlike the stick we mustn’t burn out before our destined time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovey as always. The incense serves much like fresh baked bread to the blind, in serving as conduit that reaches us deeply within, to tantalize our innate hunger, to serve as a promise to remember, but mostly to confirm, we’re invoked by even the slightest … of stirs.

    Liked by 1 person

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