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Empty Your Cup

There’s an old Zen story that goes like this:

A young man had read all the books he could find about Zen. He heard about

a great Zen master and requested and appointment with him to ask for teachings.

When they were seated, the young man proceeded to tell the master everything he

had understood from his reading, saying that Zen is about this and Zen is about that, on and on…

After some time, the master suggested that they have tea. He performed the traditional

tea ceremony while the student sat at attention, bowing when served, saying nothing. The master

began to pour tea into the student’s cup. He poured until it was full, and kept pouring.

The tea ran over the edge of the cup and onto the table. The master kept pouring as the

tea ran off the table and onto the floor.

Finally, the student couldn’t contain himself any longer. He shouted, “Stop! Stop pouring!

The cup is full — no more will go in!” The master stopped pouring and said,

“Just like this cup, your mind is full of your own opinions and preconceptions. How can you

learn anything unless you first empty your cup?”

And so it is with you now — if you’re going to benefit from this book and all of the knowledge

I reveal within the pages ahead, you must first empty your mind so that you can actually

learn something.

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