Japanese Culture

Empty your cup before filling it

One of my objectives for this year is to simplify my life at all levels. I want to run away from any added complexity even though sometimes it is very difficult to resist my impulses and social pressure.

Today I found this Koan that reminds me how important it is to empty yourself before filling again.

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?”

This is my year of working less, travel less, have less personal projects, read less, buy less, go to less events, watch less movies/series, take less pictures, write less… 2016 being year that I’m focusing on emptying my cup. What about your cup, is it full or empty?