INTRODUCTION to ZEN Stories:
Zen is a form of Buddhism that places emphasis on
attaining awakening or the “path of enlightenment.” It’s
used as a method of trying to discover the true meaning of
life. Zen teaches its followers to strip away their “layers” –
their expectations, opinions and even beliefs – so that they
can see the truth of who they really are and what they really
want in their lives. Zen encourages its practitioners to
meditate to find their “Buddha-nature.” It teaches that
Buddha-nature is a natural state of wisdom and virtue that
everyone has inside of them. Zen stories, or “koans”, are
told with the express purpose of trying to get the listener to
open their mind to the possibilities that life offers whether it
involves dating or money, exploring possibilities that they
themselves have never considered.
Now, A Story…
A CUP of TEA!
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 was the first Zen story I ever read. (It is the most Famous Zen story too tho).
Well, A friend told me about Zen, She then googled it and gave me the story I just shared with you to read. I was ‘Wowed’ by the story.
It made so much sense, at that very moment I realised that:
Most times,we do not keep our opinions and beliefs aside when we come across something new. As a result, we tend to be biased (unconciously tho!), and judge that new thingy based on what we already know about something similar or what someone else has said about it. That way, we end up not getting the ‘Full Gist’ and learn everything we are supposed to from and about it.
I think that’s why people always say “if you want to learn something, come as a child (like stupid and totally humble) that knows absolutely nothing about anything” only then Can you fully grasp what you should.
Wait! Even the bible says it in Mark10:15 “Truly I tell you, anyone who will
not receive the kingdom of God LIKE A LITTLE CHILD will never enter it.””
Really, if we don’t empty our cups, if we don’t keep our opinions and beliefs aside, We won’t ever really learn anything.