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The Overflowing Cup
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 cup 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
To learn, it is necessary to be willing to learn.
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