As you smell the fragrance of the incense, have you ever thought of how it was made and how it reached you to entertain you with bits of aroma? As you touch one incense stick, have you ever felt its texture, temperature, humidity, shape, size, and length? If you do, you have touched the sky and the land and are being nourished supported by mother earth!
An incense stick comprises the whole universe!
The ingredients of incense stem from fragrant plants, such as agilawood, sanders, clove, frankincense, camphol, cypress, etc.. These plants require sunshine, earth, air, wind, rain, and even dewdrops. When all the conditions are right, the plants emerge. That is to say, each leaf, seed, or twig comprises the following five elements, including earth, water, fire, wind, emptiness. The growth of the plants relies on the support and nourishments of the above-mentioned five elements.
Therefore, as you touch any ingredient, you have touched the whole forest, eco-system, and universe. As you smell any ingredient, you have inhaled sunshine, air, earth, wind, and water.
The temperature of fire transforms the state of the incense. Ignited, incense can turn into smoke of fragrance and finally ashes. Everything seems to disappear. But, do they really disappear? In fact, the smell goes with the wind and the ashes return to the earth. The burned incense actually exists in another form.
Before the incense was made, it existed as sunshine, air, earth, wind, and water. After the incense is burned, it will turn into fragrance, smoke, and ashes. So, incense exists in the past, present, and future. As a matter of fact, the three tenses coexist in the incense stick you are holding.
Touch, smell, and ignite an incense stick, and then you can join the past, present, and future of the incense. Both you and the incense live at the moment!