This is a very appropriate story for all of us when learning new skills and or ideas. I often find guitar players who have been playing for a while come to me full of there own ideas and it is very difficult to get them to open to new ways of doing things. They know something isn’t working but they hold on way to tight to there old thinking.
The story comes from the book “Zen and the Martial Arts” by Joe Hyams, told by Bruce Lee it is about a Japanese Zen master who receives a university professor inquiring about Zen.
“It was obvious to the master from the start of the conversation that the professor was not so much interested in learning about Zen as he was in impressing the master with his own opinions and knowledge. The master listened patiently and finally suggested they have tea. The master poured his visitors cup full and then kept pouring.
The professor watched the cup overflowing until he could no longer restrain himself. “The cup is overfull, no more will go in.”
“Like this cup,” the master said, “you are full of you own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
Cheers, Ross (11/07/2011)