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Excerpt from "The Heart of Understanding" by Thich Nhat Hanh

\heart_of_understanding Thich Nhat Hanh
In "The Heart of Understanding", world-renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh takes listeners throug the Prajñāpāramitā -- or Heart -- Sutra.  The following transcribed excerpt from this program shows how readily accessible these teachings are when presented by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to ask you to participate in this meditation. Here is a piece of paper. Usually we don’t pay very much attention to this piece of paper because when we take out one piece of paper, we think of other things than the piece of paper itself. If we look at this sheet of paper carefully enough, we can see that there is a cloud floating in it even if we are not a poet.

And this is very real because if the cloud is not there, the paper is not there. If there is no cloud there is no rain, and the forest cannot grow, and there is no paper because we need the trees in order to make paper. Every time you pick up the New York Times or the San Francisco Chronicle, you have to see the cloud in the newspaper. We have to see the forest in order to bring the Sunday edition of the New York Times. We need something like a forest because the New York Times is very heavy, two kilograms I think the Sunday edition. And we don’t look at the newspaper in that way so we should learn to look at the newspaper like that.

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