Inter-being

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Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that all things existing in our world inter- are. It is as simple as looking at a sheet of paper. Look at the right edge of the paper as it faces you, then the left. Can the right exist without the left? The left exist without the right? The left and right side of the paper inter- are.
He teaches that this theory of inter-being is a constant in nature. A flower is made up of non flower elements. The air, water, the minerals in the soil, all of these inter- are with the flower.
He goes on to teach that the feeling of well being cannot exist without the existence of physical pain. These two elements also inter- are.
Think about it. If you never felt pain, how would you identify the feeling of non pain?
If it were possible to raise a child never exposing them to suffering, how would they ever sense the state of well being? These two slices of life inter- are.
As hard as my memories of my father’s life were to dredge up, as difficult as it was to remember his rural town, Hepzibah and the mines, as hard as it was to recall what the war did to him, without these memories, I could never have realized how much I loved him.
My mind tells me this, if you have resentment and are not able to forgive, observe the circumstances which generated those negative feeling and then try to perceive the other side of the piece of paper. Once you understand the circumstances which generated the negative relationship, you may find a way to forgive and love.

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One thought on “Inter-being

  1. Bob,
    Thank you for sharing this reflection on your spiritual journey. We are blessed by exploring the adventures of the Holy Spirit; as it appears in all the world’s religions. I participate in an Interfaith Clergy Group which gathers every month at a different “church” to learn about each other’s beliefs and practices. We have met at our church, Immanuel. As the Spirit would have it, our gathering in November will be at – The Zen Center in Cumberland! That Holy Spirit girl, she is always up to *something.*
    Blessings for the journey we all share +,
    Pastor Sandra D’Amico
    Immanuel Lutheran, Attleboro MA

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