The Buddha was walking with his sangha. He pointed to the ground and said, ‘This is where the temple should be built’. The God Indra took a stalk of grass and replanted it in the ground, saying, ‘There, the temple is built.’
It is clear from the story that the stalk of grass is the practitioner, but what is the ground, and why is it not a person but a divinity who places the stalk of grass there?
We re-enact this story when we place a stalk of incense in the incense bowl: the burning stick is each of us in this Dharma position. This incense stick, held by the ash so it will not fall.
Isn’t the ash all beings? Isn’t the ground all beings?