Friday, 11 July 2008


i went to see 'the unwinking gaze' the other night, a film following the dalai lama over the past few years during his negotiations with china over tibet. then reading a connected text today, i found this:

"'s impossible to find any object not related to all the others. In his book The Heart of Understanding, contemporary Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh uses a simple sheet of paper as an example to illustrate this idea of interbeing. Everything has some connection with this sheet of paper. If we follow all the constituent elements to their source ... we find that in reality the sheet of paper is empty. It has no separate self. It is made up entirely of non-paper elements, and is empty of an independent identity. Empty in this sense ... means that the paper is full of all things, full of the entire cosmos.

Needless to say, what holds true for a sheet of paper also holds true for an individual. We are each made up of non-individual elements. Thich Nhat Hanh also tells us that when we meditate, we are in no way cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world. The suffering that the meditating individual transports into his or her heart is society itself. When we meditate we do it for all beings. We do it even for things that are incapable of meditating. To echo an ancient saying, we are now at the very heart of ecology itself."

The Power of Buddhism,
(1996) HH The Dalai Lama & Jean-Claude Carriere (pg 26-27)

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