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,
© Isha Garg
Doodles by Isha Garg