Monday, January 12, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following is taken from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click)
and published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics'.


"If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet 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".

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."


  1. All so true, I once counted the number of times a piece of wood was handled before it went on the fire, seed, seedling, nipped off, transplanted, planted out, moved to a other nursery, then to the forest, limbed, pruned, trimmed, limbed again, felled, branches trimmed off, cut into rounds, split, heaved onto a pile to dry, moved to another holding area, put on a truck, delivered, put into a shed, carried to the fire, and FINALLY onto the fire, Not finished yet, there are the ashes to spread on the garden . 23 in total...So when I write a letter, I will think of the trees here, and the sunshine that has helped them grow. Love your ocean photos today .p.s. that was maybe a not so interesting piece of information, years ago I was called " Mrs Count" and you can now see why!!

    1. You got it, Jean!! It may not be interesting to those who don't really understand the significance of this seemingly simple truth.
      Have a great Tuesday, Mrs.Count!!

  2. Oh Jim this is so extraordinary, we all belong within a chain that keeps us alive and oh so wonderful, there can not be anything without one relating to the other, so simple, so magnificent and your photos are truly to live for, thank you Jim for all that you share, for the beauty we need, and how simple it is to be happy...thank you x

    1. Lorraine, I remember when this observation 'hit me directly between the eyes'! I was 19 years old and I blurted it out to my friends who were in the car with me......"Everything is connected!!"
      things haven't been the same a good way!

  3. Such a lovely way to start my day
    taking in the beauty of this wonderful post ...
    Thanks Jim , (your photos are magnificent!)

    1. It IS a good feeling, isn't it Margie, that we are all a part of something and everything.
      Blew my mind when this 'hit' me years ago.

  4. I have thought this way while looking at a tree, but I never thought it through to a paper. A beautiful post and photos to go with it.

    1. Inger, and up where you live this must be very obvious......everything is so dependent on something else for survival.

  5. I'll go along with Fundy Blue, I am not awake this morning.

    1. Good strategy Sharon! You can depend on Louise at Fundy Blue.

  6. A lovely lesson to ponder and gorgeous beach scenes.

    1. It really is, Pat. A little mind-boggling at first but eventually the 'light' shines through.


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