From Peace is Every Step

by Thich Nhat Hanh 


“Defiled or immaculate. Dirty or pure. These are concepts we form in our mind. A beautiful rose we have just cut and placed in a vase is pure. It smells so good, so fresh. A garbage can is the opposite. It smells horrible, and it is filled with rotten things.

But that is only when we look on the surface. If we look more deeply we will see that in just five or six days, the rose will become part of the garbage. . .  And if we look into the garbage can, we can see that in a few months its contents can be transformed into lovely vegetables, and even a rose. Roses and garbage inter-are. . .

Let us look at wealth and poverty. The affluent society and the deprived society inter-are. The wealth of one society is made of the poverty of the other. . .  Wealth is made up of non-wealth elements, and poverty is made by non-poverty elements. . . The truth is that everything contains everything else. We cannot just be, we can only inter-be. We are responsible for everything that happens around us.”


Christmas Star Card Signed 2014 by Dr. Anne Davies

Art card source – Dr. Anne Davies & Fr. Charles Brandt

9 thoughts on “INTER-BEING

    • Hi Tanya – all the best of Christmastide. I am amazed how Thich Nhat Hanh can take diverse topics like peace, anger, or power and with one book bring out wisdom within each. Peace is Every Steps was one of his earlier books I read. I often include a few pages before prayer time, times of relaxation or even if I feel upset. He is a true sage and an inspiration for our times. I’m not sure if you know Tanya, by Thay recently suffered a stroke. Here’s an update from Dec. 13 –

      • Thanks for the update. I really hope he recovers.

        By the way, how would you describe your spirituality? Do you consider yourself part of any religion? I personally admire Buddhism (although I think Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion) and have incorporated some of it’s teachings into my life. I don’t practice all of it’s teachings, however, so I can’t say I am completely a Buddhist- some teachings are so hard to practice! I ask about your spirituality because I admire your way of seeing the world.

  1. So true: we are responsible for everything that happens around us…with the constant bombarding from media that tells us that we “deserve” this and that and that we are “special” and “unique” we tend to forget that our “entitlement” is plain robbery from the cake that is planet Earth: when we take more than our fair share, somebody or something else is being deprived as it is a finite cake…
    I read that piece from Thay a few weeks ago, before falling in this kind of “awaking agony” I’m right now. Thank you for remind me that apart from the garbage I see there is a potential rose everywhere.

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