The Empty Cup
I write a weekly inspirational letter called Friday’s Child. The letter has a standard form. It starts off with a quote to compliment the content. I am forever looking for just the right words. The subject of judgment and “the now” came to mind. I wanted to write about it. The following story expresses this theme well.
A Japanese Zen Master, Nan-in, poured tea for a visiting novice. Once he filled the cup to the brim, he continued to pour the hot liquid until it spilled all over. The visitor held his tongue until he could not contain himself further. “Master the cup is overfull! Nothing more can go into it!” Nan-in replied; “Yes, and like this cup you too are full of your own speculations. How am I to show you Zen if you do not first empty your cup?”
Our pretty little heads are so full of what we think we know, aren’t they? How this or that should or shouldn’t be? How much is too much? She’s so smart. He’s so flaky. I would never.
How are we ever to take in a real moment when so many other moments come immediately to mind to define it? We finally land the job we have always wanted. The relationship we dreamed of. Will we frame it with the ghosts of all other gigs and exes in the picture? Or will we be able to let go of what is now the past? See clearly only what is before us. Crop out everything but what is and where we plan to go from there.
It won’t be easy if you aren’t used to living your life without a lot of “help” from your past. At first it will feel as though you have lost your mind altogether. You may be a little off your game for a minute but it is the better game to play. I volunteer on Sunday’s at the local SPCA and I always bring a book with me jic. This week I brought a book of quotes along. I found this great quote on just this very matter. I must say I had to empty my head a little when I saw who was responsible for the quote. But Zen Masters are everywhere.
Here is the quote. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” Wayne Gretzky said that. Who wudda ever thunk it? Out of the mouths of hockey players…
Have a sweet one!