Good morning dear friend. I recently read this wonderful Zen parable that went straight to my heart on how simple it is to allow goodness into our lives. It is from Shannon Lee’s beautiful book, Be Water, My Friend.
A learned man once went to a zen master to inquire about Zen. As the master taught, the learned man would frequently interrupt him with remarks like, “oh yes, we have that too,” and so forth. Finally, the Zen master stopped talking and began to serve tea to the learned man; however, he kept pouring, and the teacup overflowed. “Enough! No more water can go into the cup!” The learned man interrupted. “Indeed, I see,” answered the Zen master. “If you do not first empty your cup, how can you taste my cup of tea?”
We are a cup
We are an empty cup to be filled with experiences, with Life. But if we are full, how can we receive more, or what we truly desire? We can be full of ourselves, have no space for others, miss out on desires or new things to learn. Or, if we are full of worries, we have no space for the good that may be all around us, new opportunities, even solutions. We can be full of many things, and these may not even be of our preference.
If I don’t empty my cup, how can I take in the new tea Life is offering me? Life is in action all the time from here why the only constant is change. It is up to us to take it in or not, but Life, in its abundance, will keep pouring into us. Granted, sometimes it feels like an abundance of problems and other times of blessings. But for the most part, we get a good sampling of both.
Yet we desperately want to know that everything will be okay and are tense from all that grasping for security. But while we are full of worry, we can’t have what we most want — the natural ease of being our authentic selves. In our most natural way of being lies our real power.
This is what we want. To be free to be our powerful selves. How can we get that by being an empty cup? But first, how do we even empty our cup?
We empty ourselves by quieting ourselves.
Uncluttering the mind of useless thoughts, making one observation at a time, taking one thought at a time, one task at a time. You find yourself with more space (physical space and mental space) because there is more silence within you- emptiness. More breathing room. More air within you. Have you noticed how shallow our breathing becomes when we are worried or angry?
The quiet lets you settle into yourself. To be in peace within yourself. That quiet allows you to be you. Words come out less and fuller of intention and yet not heavy when they come out. How can that be? They are less and lighter but fuller.
The quiet lets you feel the living being you are. We are still within our quiet selves and feel the empty openness of infinity with the peace of a settled heart. From here, there is restful energy. A quiet hum of pulsating Life that has always been and always will be.
The quiet lets you be, and that is the point of being free. To let ourselves Be.
It feels like your soul is coming through at last. Within all this quiet emptiness, your pulsating Life comes through. You feel real, and you know that there is no lack in the endless pouring of Life if you allow it in. You’ll become excited over the possibilities of new experiences springing forth. You are empty and receptive to seeing, listening, more aware of opportunities. Those that spring forth from you and those in the environment. Your pulsating Life that has always been and always will be — is the assurance we all so much want, that everything will be well.
You are emptier and fuller.
We all can be an empty cup to infinitely refill with goodness.
I am excited about this and vow to be an empty cup with infinite refills! Feel free to let me know how you are emptying your cup and allowing it to fill with wonders that are completely powerfully you. I would love to hear from you!
Wishing you a lovely week.
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