Every day when I light a stick of incense to offer in my puja I see a human life. For each of us, as the hours and days and months and years of our lives pass, the subtle fire of life inside us is emitting smoke that is the form of our life and fragrance that is the feeling we hold within.
Our life is burning away, and like a stick of incense placed on the altar, each of us, every day, can offer our life into life. In releasing ourselves into life, we discover a deeper vibrancy, a vibrant silence whose essence is ultimate abundance and well-being. It’s not material abundance, but ultimate spiritual abundance–unconditional love. We can find that from within ourselves as we take up the water of our life and offer it into the river of Life itself. It’s going to happen anyway, so why not do it consciously? Why not participate in the pure awareness beyond thought and form that is the essence of that vibrant silence?
Sickness, old age and death are inevitable. If we practice long enough, we can come to a place where we are aware of our own ego clinging and stop struggling to hold ourselves together. Then we can accept our life as it is and reach into a deeper place within it, and, at the moment when we come to the end of this stick of incense that we are, we will release ourselves from this physical fire into the abundance of the ocean of life and be completely and totally at peace.