Priceless Wisdom: Empty Your Cup – Don’t Be Arrogant


Nan-in, a Japanese master, 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?”


Explanation Of The Wisdom


Emptying our cup means opening up our minds and realizing that we actually don’t know.

We actually don’t know how to be happy.

To be happy, we pursue success. We start a business. We get into a nice career.

To be happy, we pursue friendships and romantic relationships. We get married and have children.

To be happy, we watch various TV shows, go to party and play Uncharted on PS4.

How is that working for you by the way? The rat race, I mean.

Are you fulfilled yet?

Are you permanently happy?

Or are you still looking into material gains, entertainment industry, relationships and career success for happiness?

Because I have a bitter pill to swallow for you.


Can you see how little you know about happiness? You haven’t even experienced true happiness in your life. You just had some pleasure from changes in life circumstances.

So I suggest you change this strategy of looking outwards for happiness. Open up your mind. Realize how you have no idea how permanent happiness work.

Empty your cup. Because if you don’t, you can’t have open mindedness necessary to start a daily meditation practice and investigation towards enlightenment.

Why ?

Because, you already think you know everything. You think you know how happiness work. But if these strategies worked, it would have worked in 20, 30, 50 years. Stop deluding yourself. Deep down, you know how shallow this stuff is.

To realize this, you must meditate and self enquire.  In essence, you must start living from the present moment. This requires concentration, awareness and mindfulness skills.

Theory, debates, reading, listening, talking, arguing and knowledge will only get you so far. 

You must “walk the talk”.

If in doubt, remember the priceless wisdom.

“Meditate on the breath (mindfulness meditation to build concentration and awareness skills) and then self-enquire (the teachings of Ramana Maharshi) until you are free of all psychological sufferings and ego. (aka enlightenment)

Do this everyday and trust in the process that eventually your mind will be healed.


Because all good things require training and patience.

Know that as long as you do the work, the results will eventually follow.”

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