Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh-From one of my most favourite books ” Peace Is Every Step”

interbe 9

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating on 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. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it.


Without sunshine the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine. And so, we also know that the sunshine is also in this piece of paper. The sunshine and the paper 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 wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in the sheet of paper. The loggers 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. Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here. Time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerls in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heart. Everything Co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the world inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet f paper is possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up of one “non-paper” elements. And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without non-paperelemnts, like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.


INTERBE :  My latest illustration inspired by this wonderful passage from the inspirational book “Peace Is Every Step” –  Thich Nhat Hanh

Wishing you all a beautiful and enchanting week ahead, may it be blessed with love and peace and oodles of fun and laughter. I am off to dance barefoot amongst the dandelions, love and peace Marghanita x