balance / healthy mind / healthy spirit

a koan and 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?”  ~From Zen Koans

I like to think I like koans, the stories and riddles used by Zen teachers to show their pupils the inadequacy of logical reasoning.  I happen to really like the one posted here called, A Cup of Tea,  because (I think) I understand it and therefore can learn from it.  Other koans like the famous, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”, lead my mind down twisted paths that soon make me tired.  Of course, that is the point, to show us that logical reasoning cannot answer all our questions — sometimes only our intuition can provide an answer.

Enjoy your Thursday.  Let your mind ponder and wander a bit today and listen with your heart as well as your head.

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9 thoughts on “a koan and a cup of tea…

  1. I think that this post is great, Darla is great at making us slow down, think, and relax. I will not be doing much slowing down today, but I am relaxed. I had the last 2 days off from exercise, and my body is ready to go. Today we did sit-ups, and a 3.6 mile run/walk, and I have many other things that I will be doing today.

  2. I don’t know how I feel about this tea cup thing. You really made me think Darla. I guess I will try to let other ideas and situations enter the cup before always thinking I am always right. (although I usually am ) ha Did that make sense?

    Been really busy today. Did the walk thing again and came home to mow and trim the lawns. At least I have a power mower Jimmy! But I still tired now. Love you post Karma. M.

    • You know – you are just the best 🙂 I am glad you gave it some thought. I certainly need to. I wish you would bring your power mower to our house and trim the lawns too. ~Karma

  3. We got our run/walk into today. It felt very good. Sit ups. Then off to work. I realized yesterday that when I find time to workout, I eat healthier all day long. Since I didn’t workout yesterday, I decided to do myself a favor and just finish the remaining vanilla mini tootsie rolls so they wouldn’t be there to tempt me any longer. Not sure if that was a good or bad thing. ~Karma

  4. Wow, really “thinking” post! Thank you!

    Cardio, legs, back, abs/core.. good workout & ready for a rest day! 🙂

    PS: I love that towel on my post today.. too cool!

    • Glad you liked the post — I needed some thinking 🙂 I love the Haba towel too. I hope you saw my post about workout mantras. I think I read your posts for the next day about four hours before you get up and start working out (I read about midnight and I think you are up at the crack of dawn!).

  5. Nice to stop and think. Gym yesterday nothing today..just tired. Perhaps I will empty my cup and start again tomorrow.

  6. Wow, that was really an “aha!” moment. I think I read it 3 times.
    My mind has certainly wandered today.

    No workout today. Resting and recovering from the heat.

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