There’s a Zen Buddhist story that goes a little something like this…

A Japanese Zen master is visited by a professor interested in learning about Zen. The Zen master goes to pour his visitor tea but keeps on pouring after the cup is full. His visitor seeing the cup overflow can’t stop himself from exclaiming that it’s full, no more can go in.

The Zen master then turns to him and explains that the cup is him. He must first empty his cup if he is to learn Zen.

I am reminded of this as a friend contemplates building a new home on a plot of land that has an existing, deteriorating structure. The thing is, she can’t. You can’t build a new home where there is one already. You have to tear it down.

The same happens with our thoughts, beliefs and habits. Sometimes we have to empty our cups before we can fill them back up with healthier habits, positive beliefs or even a whole new life altogether.

So don’t be afraid to empty your cup, or even if your cup looks empty at the moment. Who knows what’s possible when you start new with an open mind.

The Giant Buddha of Kamakura is the second largest Buddha in Japan, weighing 93 tons and reaching a height of 13  meters.


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