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Buddhadharma : Fall 2012
FALL 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 31 The Fullness of Emptiness Emptiness is not something to be afraid of, says Thich Nhat Hanh. The Heart Sutra teaches us that form may be empty of self but it’s full of everything else. If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. With� out 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. We can say that the cloud and the paper inter�are. “Inter� being” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter�” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “inter�be.” 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 forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. So we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sun� shine 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. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. PHOTO MARCO DE KLOET