Empty Your Cup

A Japanese Zen master received a university professor who came to enquire about Zen. It was obvious from the start of the conversation that the professor was not so much interested in learning about Zen as he was in impressing the master with his own opinions and knowledge.

The master listened patiently and finally suggested they have tea. The master poured his visitor’s cup full and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the cup overflowing until he could no longer contain himself. ‘The cup is overfull, no more will go in.’

‘Like this cup,’ the master said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?’

Bruce Lee Taken From: Zen in the Martial Arts By Joe Hyams, 1979, pp. 18-19.