Copal: Sacred Incense
A lemony cloud of smoke rises from hot zapote-wood coals nestled in the cup of an incense burner. You breathe in. The scent is clean and fragrant. You breathe out. The resin from the copal tree is still fresh and sticky and golden yellow. Sprinkled on the hot coals, it creates a misty vapor that rises like the tendrils of otherworldly dragon’s tails. Floating. Drifting. Swirling about you. You lift your arms and allow it to surround you. Can you feel its cleansing power? It seems alive, dancing in the soft breeze, creating a veil between you and the world around you.
Your arms are raised up from your sides to allow the smoke to encircle your whole body. Holding them out is effortless. They seem to float, held up by some supernatural force. You feel all tension leave. You close your eyes and relax allowing the moment to have its way.
You breathe in again and this time the lemony scent is stronger, insisting that you pay attention to it. It is warm and smoky, a bit pungent, and slightly sweet. As you inhale, it seems to enter more than just your body. It seems to enter your mind and penetrate your consciousness, awakening your third eye. You breathe out again and open your eyes. The air is thick with copal incense now. You feel a bit disconnected from your surroundings. The material world has grown hazy behind the billowing cloud. Something magical is happening and you are moving with it, giving in to it. All trouble fades away. All your cares dwindle in the serene essence that surrounds you. Cleansing has done its work. The unnecessary is gone. The insignificant can no longer be found. You are at peace.