Why Make Paper?
Poem from The Heart of Understanding
by Thich Nhat Hanh

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...


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 tree 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...

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.
Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper...
As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.

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