Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Scent of Balsam Fir

I'm particularly fond of balsam fir Christmas trees because they smell good. I walk into the house, and the fragrance permeates my nostrils. I breathe deeply, but within just a few breaths the lovely aroma disappears as the sense of smell becomes accustomed to that particular scent.

The smell arises. Ahhh! Pleasant. Very pleasant indeed.
The smell fades and ceases. Neutral.

Arising and ceasing. This is the practice that the Buddha recommended most frequently to householders. 2,500 years later, it's still a great practice for this holiday season of so many sights and sounds and smells.

Particularly while shopping, note "pleasant," "pleasant," "pleasant." How long does one pleasant last before it ceases? How long does the attention remain on "pleasant" before it starts to wander?

Look closely at this phenomenon during the next holiday party you attend or the next Christmas card you open.
Pleasant. Pleasant.
And then?

1 comment:

  1. And then... perhaps another pleasant, or a different one. Or perhaps an unpleasant! Nice observation...