Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Emptying the cup

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master in Kyoto, in search of knowledge. While the monk served tea, the professor commented exercises, analyzed writings, interpreted stories and traditions, and deliberated on the ancient processes of meditation. He did everything to impress his host, in the hopes that he might be accepted as a disciple.

As he spoke, the monk continued to fill his cup, until it overflowed, and tea began to flow across the whole table.

– What are you doing? Can’t you see the cup is full, and that nothing more will fit in it?

– Your soul is like this cup – replied the master. – How can I teach you the true art of Zen Buddhism, if it is already filled with theories?

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