Incense and the Buddha
Once upon a Zen time, there was a nun who went to a temple and said, “I want to burn some incense. I want to burn some incense for my Buddha. But I don’t want any of the other Buddhas to get any of the incense. I don’t want any of them to smell my incense offering. I only want it to go to my Buddha.” And so, day after day after day, she created this special cone that blocked off the incense so that it only went right to her Buddha and so that none of the other Buddhas could get a single sniff of the incense. And every day, after she would leave, people would come into the temple and they would laugh because all the Buddhas looked so beautiful, gilded in gold and smiling. All except for this one Buddha which had a blackened face and a blackened nose because all the incense smell, and soot had gone up to blackened this Buddha’s face.