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Clouds In Each Paper

--by Thich Nhat Hanh (Mar 25, 2002)

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.

"Interbeing" is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix "inter" with the verb "to be", we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger's father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

-- Thich Nhat Hanh


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3 Previous Reflections:

 
On Oct 8, 2012 Sharmishtha wrote:
 Love this story and Love the comment from Christine :)

On Apr 11, 2012 Johanna wrote:
And so, since all beings need sunshine to grow, we can see the sunshine in every being. 

On Apr 11, 2012 Christine wrote:
 My number 1 strength is "connectedness"...and so I totally get this.  I have a fascination with what I call the "B" words....(and I don't mean bitch)There is a Be-fore and then we  came to Be.  While we are Be-ingwe Be-come the person for which we were created.  Our purpose is to discover our Be-loved-ness and then to Be-stow our gifts upon the world.....Be-fore we return to the Be-yond!  (and that is the BEGINNING of my musings!)