by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is one of the most beautiful teachings ever.

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 we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. . . 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 to. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper,the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here… time, space, the earth,the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it…


The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra

Thich Nhat Hanh

Parallax Press  $8.95

ISBN: 978-1-88837592-3, Paperback, 54 pages.