Smoke Dreamings: A Meditation on Incense

in #steempress2 years ago (edited)

The smoke coils, slides between the cool curtains of air like a thief stealing into the king's harem. Sparks fly - shooting stars, the light of sunset reflecting off tin.

I slide into a mystical space that is both physical and spiritual. The incense stick is earthbound - like me, it will burn for a finite time. Yet the gossamer spirit it releases is untethered by time or space.

It doesn't bring me completely into an inner realm, this smoky meditation. It involves my senses as I follow whirls and curlicues of smoke upward and outward into the room, and take it inward into me, filling my lungs as I breathe.


It starts with the tsk tsk of a lighter, burnt fingers as the slightly damp stick refuses to light, then the glowing ember begins defiantly. Slid into the crack of a table for want of a more purpose built receptacle, it is one of many sticks slid into wanting cracks, releasing blue smoke that rises in an ethereal belly dance.

Ashes collapse in silky grey sheets, purified by fire.

Thoughts release, burning up in the darkness and hitting cold air, releasing like snowflakes with scented silver plume. They are light now, air. The weight of more negative thoughts become light like air, the atmosphere altered, thoughts transcending the earth heaviness. My altered sense now guides more inspired thoughts, drifting through diaphonous curtains to new rooms in this house of the soul.

I am the stick - my inner fire sparks magic into the waiting world. The part of me that emanates outward, expanding to mingle with the breath of those around me. I can see into the swirling smoke of my life's path, not a straight and certain thing but a meandering spin that moves up and around and on and on. Little parts of me are left behind, bouncing off the various landscapes I inhabit and move through, but one day all of me will be smoke - a slight scent left behind maybe, fading, but the rest softening into a oneness with all that is.

There is beauty and wonder as I burn, spirit and matter, heaven and earth.

Posted from my blog with SteemPress :


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When I lived on Maui I used to do a community event called Sacred Incense Ceremony. We would crush the elements for the 5 skandhas, use a koh press to make an indentation in ash in a bowl, then light the mixture and sit there watching it burn together for about 45 minutes. The meditation on watching the incense and witnessing the literal transmutation of the elements of physical being back into emptiness was incredibly powerful. The added layer of smell just made it that much more experiential.

Incense has been a part of many world traditions for ages because it is so powerful.

AH gosh this is why I love Steemit. I would never had known about this ceremony otherwise! Thanks for adding to my post with this memory. It's how I experienced this incense meditation.. so powerful! And that was just on my own... a group sit is even more powerful.

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Why not gather some folks to share the experience with you some time?

Yes. I suppose. Not sure who! In other news, just got accepted off the wait list for Vipassana over new years... they asked if I could tent as it is full and I asked if I could stay in my van and they said yes, so pretty happy.. much cosier than a dorm room for 10 days!

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Wow, that's awesome! That's going to be an amazing experience. Good for you.

Thrilled. Been wanting to do another one for a while now. Ten days without Steemit.. can I do it? Will y'all forget me .. haha! Or will I simply.. detach?

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Somehow I suspect you'll return with some incredible insights to share with us all. That, or you'll decide you'd really rather not ever turn your computer back on LOL

this is very beautiful, I know I keep saying it but I love when you write like this, your ability to transport me is amazing, how great when you become one with the stick and able to travel where all that smoke goes, touching this world and the next and whatever lies inbetween, much love to you xx

gosh I just floated into your words, I could smell incense as I read this. Beautiful. Really and truly beautiful. Thank you. I think I'll go light a stick.

Thanks so much!! I'm glad my words worked!

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Love this @riverflows you have a way with words :)

Aw thanks @digitaldan.. means so much.

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Wow you are so skilled and sensual with the word play @riverflows.. she flows and we are swept up in the vision.. blessings indeed. Thank you for sharing 💗

Hello @riverflows, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thank you that is very kind xx I am glad that writing qualifies.

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Hi @riverflows!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 4.358 which ranks you at #2341 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 325 contributions, your post is ranked at #45.

Evaluation of your UA score:
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