Empty-Cup Mind

Posted on July 15, 2015 by JoAnne

Empty-Cup MindA wise old monk once lived in an ancient temple in Japan.  One day the monk heard an impatient pounding on the temple door.  He opened it and greeted a young student, who said, “I have studied with great and wise masters.   I consider myself quite accomplished in Zen philosophy.  However, just in case there is anything more I need to know, I have come to see if you can add to my knowledge.”

“Very well,” said the wise old master.  “Come and have tea with me, and we will discuss your studies.”“  The two seated themselves opposite each other, and the old monk prepared tea.  When it was ready, the old monk began to pour the tea carefully into the visitor’s cup.  When the cup was full, the old man continued pouring until the tea spilled over the side of the cup and onto the young man’s lap.  The startled visitor jumped back and indignantly shouted, “Some wise master you are!  You are a fool who does not even know when a cup is full!”

The old man calmly replied, “Just like this cup, your mind is so full of ideas that there is no room for any more.  Come to me with an empty-cup mind, and then you will learn something.”


WillingnessCultivate a WILLING response to each situation. (over) WillfulnessReplace WILLFULNESS with WILLINGNESS.
-Willingness is DOING JUST WHAT IS NEEDED in each situation, in an unpretentious way.   It is focusing on effectiveness.-Willingness is listening very carefully to your WISE MIND, acting from your inner self.-Willingness is ALLOWING into awareness your connection to the universe-to the earth, to the floor you are standing on, to the chair you are sitting on, to the person you are talking to. -Willfulness is SITTING ON YOUR HANDS when action is needed, refusing to make changes that are needed.-Willfulness is GIVING UP.-Willfulness is the OPPOSITE OF “DOING WHAT WORKS,” being effective.-Willfulness is trying to FIX every situation.

-Willfulness is REFUSING TO TOLERATE the moment.

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