A Quote from A Cup of Tea: Zen Stories

Lu Yu – Sage of Tea

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A monk poured tea to a cup. A western boy, who happened to be in the “Journey to the West”, saw that the monk poured too much tea until it was overflown.
(A wandering monk and the Seeker; a clip taken from The Forbidden Kingdom movie, 2008)

I watched this movie a while ago and remembered a similar idea about it. In fact, it’s likely derived from the story below and I found the true teaching of the scene is amazingly invaluable.

I believe some of you have read or heard this story of “A Cup of Tea.” Taken from “101 Zen Stories”, I would like to quote this beautiful Zen story.

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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?”

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This story is one of the most famous writings from the 101 stories. As a learner (of life), I found many times I was challenged to grasp meaning of a particular idea. It’s not an easy job, isn’t it? The story is right. Probably, I have to empty my cup first to enable receiving new knowledge to obtain understanding. I wonder this works the same with you. What about you, my friends?

©mhsantosa (2012)
I am happy to share this. Please feel free to reblog or share the link, all with my accreditation. Thank you.

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