"After supper the following night, Thay held an empty rice bowl and said, 'Jim, think of all the threads that are passing through this bowl. Think of the people who made it. Think of those who taught them their craft. Think of the people who played a part in learning to make a bowl that could last through many meals. Think of the people who dug the clay. Think of the fire that making this dish required. Think of the wood cutters. Think of all the meals that have been served in it. Think of the people who made the meals and of those who taught them their skills. Think of the farmers who grew the food we eat from this bowl. Think of all the light that has brightened this bowl. Think of the water that has washed this bowl, water that has fallen as rain and disappeared into rivers and oceans and risen into the air as clouds and then fallen again as rain. In such thinking you are only beginning to see this bowl. The whole universe is present in this bowl.'
"On another day Thay laid his finger on the journal page on which I was inscribing a few lines. 'If you are a writer, you will see clearly that in every sheet of paper there is a cloud, for without a cloud, there is no rain. Without rain the trees will die – and without trees we have no paper. So we can say that the cloud and the paper exist in a state of interbeing.' "