S o u r c e s
Here’s a text by Thich Nhat Hanh on interbeing (285 words), which I’m offering as a my contribution to this week’s potlatch … salad bar … mandala … castle … cove … collection, gathering our initial responses to this week’s prompt. As you’ll see — the source text itself is meant to be printed out. You’re free to respond to it, and/or to my commentary (390 words) below, if the spirit moves – after you’ve posted your own initial response to this week’s prompt, presenting to the course a personal source text or image or file (wellsprings; paradigm; inspiration; touchstone; vehicle; compass; influence), and how it fits in to your life and work, and perhaps ours
When I was six or seven, shazam ! a vision came to me. Three or four years later, I bought a pocketbook called The Way of Zen. I soon discovered an explanation there for what I’d experienced, Moreover, I so admired the correlation of what I was reading throughout the book with everything I knew about myself, and how it mapped how I resonate with the universe, I’ve identified as a child of the Buddha ever since. (I’m Jewish, on my parents’ side.)
So, primary, initial source: a transpersonal experience; direct knowing. A few more interlinked sources come into play, to this cluster, all leading up to my own primary text for the week.
After putting my young feet on the Path, I looked around for guidance. Well, in those days, there were more Buddhas sitting behind glass cases in museums, than living Buddhas sitting on cushions, available to teach. So I continued absorbing material from books, primarily what I could practice.
Along the way, I’ve been blessed to have encountered a number of gifted masters as teachers. Eventually, I saw a clipping in the newspaper that led me to a talk by a visiting Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. From his presence and that of his community of practice, I knew I’d found my living teacher.
The cluster goes full circle ( or spirals ) from there: like many true masters, Thich Nhat Hanh points to our true guide within each of us. And the trail leads back to books: a prolific author, his works combine the specificity of topics with an emphasis on direct experience of Source.
So, this clusters sources: a vision, a book, a living teacher, a community of practice, and my inner awakening wisdom — into a chain of lineage
My post ends, full circle, with a word my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh coined for the essence of my vision: interbeing. This neologism may well be a better term than pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit : प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद ; Pali : पटिच्चसमुप्पाद paṭiccasamuppāda). English translators had tried dependent origination or dependent arising, dependent co-arising, interdependent co–arising, conditioned arising, but – it’s interbeing, for me.