Nyogen Senzaki

‘Nowadays good speakers are everywhere; there are almost too many. But when you stop to think, you will notice how scarce good listeners are. You all know the story of Nanin’s cup of tea. Nanin, a Zen master during the Meiji era, once received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nanin served the tea himself. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself. He cried, “It is full now! No more can go in!” “Like this cup,” Nanin said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” This story is all right so far as it goes. Butplease do not use this story merely to convince others to listen to you!

This story has a copyright by the House of Egolessness, which functions throughout the study of meditation until the dawn of realization for all sentient beings.’ (Eloquent Silence)

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