Monday, June 25, 2007 2:54:16 PM
A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality
Let’s say one of you posted a reply to this post that had some thoughts you wished to share in it, these thoughts might well help someone too look inside themselves and see their inner/true self better..... Let us also say that in my attachment to my own ideas even though I say I wish to learn my head is too full of my own ideas and thoughts to allow any space for yours to fit in for contemplation.
so just as my tea mug is good for holding things in it, if it has empty space (space that is always filling then emptying then filling again)so to my head needs to be able to empty itself of certain blockages to allow the thoughts and information of others to enter to allow self contemplation, Dao contemplation all requires a certain amount of emptiness of the mind.
I have found this also allows for a certain equanimity if faced with differences of opinions even seemingly violent ones, there is after all much to learn from any situation if our minds are formless and ever changing enough to allow.
peace to you