Interbeing & a Bread Recipe

The following text is quoted from Thich Nhat Hanh / Awakening of the Heart: and it is quite simple and profound. When I pray The Lord’s Prayer now, reciting “Give us this day our daily bread” I think of this teaching.

” If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper.

sheet of paper for interbeing post

Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper.

more amazing clouds

If we look into this sheet of paper more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow.


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 paper.

homemade oatmeal bread collage

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.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also, so we can say that everything is in here in this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here–time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything coexists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. To be is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Without non-paper elements, like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything of the universe in it.”

The oatmeal bread recipe from my photo collage above : 

Oatmeal Bread

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup dry rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp yeast ( or two packets..I had packets and measured to be certain )
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses ( I used MILD )
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups white flour ( I used bread flour )
  • Pour boiling water over dry oats. Let stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
  • To first mixture add the salt, honey, egg, vinegar, molasses, and yeast mixture. Gradually add enough flour so the dough can be kneaded. Dough should be slightly sticky. Knead 5-10 minutes.
  • * I only had to knead this dough for about 5 minutes….the dough was easy to work with ! 
  • Let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down, then divide into 2 or 3 loaves. Let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

This is a recipe from the book “Cooking and Memories” by Phyllis Pellman Good.

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Sharing at : Savvy Southern Style / Art and Sand / Cozy Little House

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13 Responses to Interbeing & a Bread Recipe

  1. Lorrie says:

    Beautiful thoughts. We are all interwoven and cannot exist alone.
    The bread recipe sounds delicious.

  2. Karen says:

    love oatmeal bread, I do not bake a lot in the summer time but sometimes I just do even if it means the A/C will be working harder because the oven is on

  3. Margie Miller says:

    We are all a part of one another. Too bad most people, especially the violent ones, cannot see that. If they did, there would be peace on earth.

  4. Eileen says:

    Hello, I always enjoy watching the clouds and sky. Pretty captures. I have never made homemade bread. Just recently I bought the yeast to try my first pizza dough. Your bread looks delicious. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and week ahead!

  5. Bernie says:

    This is so lovely. Thank you Deb.

  6. Jane says:

    Very insightful, Deb…it’s something to think about. I really appreciate the bread recipe~~~it’s great for the many rainy days we are having!


  7. Your oatmeal bread looks delicious, and I may never look at a simple piece of paper the same way again. :-)

  8. Deb says:

    That looks so yummy! I wonder how it would be without the wheat flour? I might have to find out. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the insightful thoughts.

  9. Susan says:

    Sounds like yummy bread. The philosophy is a good lesson, too. =)

  10. What a beautifully thoughtful and well composed post — complete with a bread recipe. Thank you!

  11. Joyce says:

    Simply beautiful – written from the intuitive heart of a poet. It is so true – we all depend upon one another because of what we have and to fulfill our obligation to expand on and increase it for those who come after us.

  12. As Christians, we are all part of the body of Christ. When one hurts, all suffer. When one is honored, all rejoice together. God is loving and generous and gave us all things…to enjoy life, be good stewards of his creation, and glorify him. We are certainly meant to be interconnected in order to accomplish this, not living in isolation.

    Very interesting post. I’d love to be kneading bread today, and although it’s a bit warmish, it’s perfect for raising that dough ball!!

    Have a super Friday.

  13. Grandma Kc says:

    Very deep and something to make you really stop and think. And the bread pictures made me want toast!

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