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There is a story about an arrogant professor who goes to a Zen master to learn about Zen. As he sits down, he proceeds to tell the master what he already knows and exactly what he thinks about the subject. The Zen master listens intently and offers tea to the man. He begins to pour the tea into the professor's cup and continues even as the tea overflows onto the table. The professor shouts, "Stop! My cup is already full!" The Master of Zen says, "Yes it is, and until you empty it, nothing else will go in."
We have all been on both sides of that table. Either, we aren't listening because we already think we know, or we have our own strong opinions and beliefs that prevent us from accepting another person's point of view. If we are on the other side of the table, as the Zen master realized, trying to communicate with a person whose cup is full can be a complete waste of breath.
Setting aside preconceived notions, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and judgements can be extremely difficult. Especially when the information that you are receiving is criticism. Being aware of your reactions to advice, criticism, or information from another will help you to see whether your cup is full or empty. Opening your mind to the idea that every interaction with another person has something to teach you, will allow you to really hear what another has to say instead of filtering their words through what you "already know".
Even the harshest criticism from another has something to teach you. Listening with an open mind or a cup that is empty might allow you to take the criticism in a more constructive way.
When you empty your cup, you can begin to feel freedom from your own ideas and opinions. This freedom will leave you open and ready to learn something new at every moment.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras