Zen Story – A Cup of Tea

One of the things I remember about starting my own journey around well-being and work/life balance was that I needed to let-go or complete some projects as I was so busy and really couldn’t add anything else to my life. It reminds me about the Zen Story – A Cup of Tea.

This story can be found in the book entitled Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings.

“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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