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Empty Your Cup First

Empty Your Cup First

Like this cup, you too are full. You are already full of your own judgments, speculations, ideas and opinions. How can you begin to learn until you empty your cup first?

Amrita Jaiswal
Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work.
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Nan-in, a Japanese Zen master, received a visit from a university professor who wanted to know about zen. They sat and visited and talked for a while.

Nan-in then took out tea cups and proceeded to pour tea for his guest. He filled his guest's cup and continued to pour as the tea spilled over the sides. The professor, unable to restrain himself, cried : "Stop. The cup is full, no more will go in." 

Nan-in replied: "Like this cup, you too are full. You are already full of your own judgments, speculations, ideas and opinions. How can you begin to learn until you empty your cup first?"

The lesson for us is that we cannot learn if we believe we already know everything. How often do you think you are open but in reality, your cup is already full? You must unlearn before you start to learn something new. Else it will obstruct your process of acquiring higher level of knowledge or skill.


Contributed By Amrita Jaiswal

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Madhur Kalra Corp Affairs - Tata Tele

Ego is the bigger most hindrance to learning. You cannot pour something in already filled vessel. And our minds (vessels) are generally filled with I-know-it-all syndrome.

I wish there was some pill available to cure it, for me and for some of my friends as well :)

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