The Love Koan

Nan-in, a Japanese master, received a university student who came to inquire about love. They chatted a while.
Nan-in then served tea.
He poured his visitor’s cup full, then kept pouring.
The student watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself.
“It is over full. No more will go in,” he exclaimed!

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own judgments, betrayals, fears, pain, and sorrow.How can I show you love until you empty your first cup?”

I read this story about 14 years ago…the professor was actually teaching Zen, and I just replaced the word “Zen” with “love”.

To help remind me of my cups ‘being full’, I actually have empty tea cups in my office and around my home in different areas. When I have moments of fear, hurt, sorrow, there is usually a cup in view and I mentally try to empty the feeling and emotions I’m carrying at the moment. Sometimes it helps, other times I just break the cup ; )

We all have many years of disappointments and hurt behind us, perhaps we are feeling all that at this very moment…so, what if we were to imagine our lives as empty cups, and then one day, being filled with the ultimate aromatic elixir: love that is shared freely and passionately, bonds that are not broken, only strengthened, with each passing day…just start by emptying your cup…

Madame X