Emptying your cup

Open Mindset

Many of you may have already heard this story, but this story has changed my perception of life and myself so I thought I would share my version of it.

At the tender age of 33 I thought I knew all that I needed to know about life , but I also knew that I had an empty feeling inside of me.

When I enrolled at college I felt a conflict of emotions but all at the same time.. some days they were , ‘Surely they can’t teach an old dog new tricks?’ and other days it went something along the lines of ‘I can’t know all I need to know , otherwise why am I at collage?’

What they say when the student is ready the teacher appears and I came across this story.

It goes like this…..

There was once a well-known and wise Zen master. He was a well talked about person, respected and loved, so many people travelled far and wide to seek his help and wisdom.

The Zen master loved to teach people the true way of enlightenment and to show people the wisdom of life so they could live a happy and fulfilled life.

One day a scholar sought out the Zen master and came to him to seek his wisdom and advice. The scholar asked the Zen master to teach him about the mastery of Zen.

As the Zen master started to talk and teach the scholar his methods, the scholar kept interrupting the Zen master with his own thoughts, insights and opinions. After a few more failed attempts by the Zen master he soon realised that the scholar was very full of his own opinions it would be futile to continue the conversation, so suggested they have a cup tea together.

The Zen master started to pour the scholar a cup of tea, as the cup began to fill the scholar looked in anticipation at the cup, but as the cup filled to the brim the Zen master calmly kept pouring in more tea until the cup overflowed onto the scholar’s lap. The scholar was astounded and yelled out ‘STOP! CAN YOU NOT SEE? THE CUP IS FULL ALREADY!’.

Smiling at the Scholar the Zen master said calmly ‘Empty Your Cup’

He advised the scholar that if your cup of knowledge is already full of insights and opinions then you cannot add to that , so when you seek knowledge from someone else or someplace else , emptying your own cup is a must and that is the only way you can learn new things.

The Zen master advised the scholar to come back to him once he had emptied his own cup and only seek knowledge when he can learn from it.

From this story I understood we know all what we know but we can always learn new things if we are open and willing and waiting with our empty cup.

Yours Truly Naz.




A woman on a journey, looking for the answers in life. 'Seek and you shall find'

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Naz Arshad

Naz Arshad

A woman on a journey, looking for the answers in life. 'Seek and you shall find'

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