This is a line you must have heard quite often. “Empty your cup!” it does not have much meaning if you look at it from the way it is said and written. When you look deeper into the line “Empty your cup!” you will see what it means. I will tell you a story here. A very learned man in Japan went to a Buddhist monk and wanted to know about Spiritual life and God.
The Monk asked this man what he knows about God. As he was a very learned man he said a lot of things about God. He went on and on about what he knew and believed in. The monk finally decided that he had to teach a lesson to this man. So he got some tea and started to pour into the cup of the learned man. The cup was full and then it started to overflow.
The man got very upset and shouted. The monk said you are like this cup that is too full. If I teach you anything it will overflow and there will be nothing that you will learn. So what are you waiting for you have to learn the art of unlearning. Your cup must be empty so that I can put something in it.
As we grow up we learn. We learn good and bad things both. As a child our mind is clear and anything can be written on it. Have you ever wondered why a child can learn things much faster than an adult? Well this is because the adults have a complicated mind. There is so much in it already that no new ideas can get in easily. The first step for an adult to learn is to unlearn.
When you can unlearn what you know already only then your spiritual progress is possible. For example if your parents have told you that women should stay away from men and not trust them you will not be able to trust any man ever. This is exactly why you have to learn to forget what you were told to believe in. Only when you forget this can you move ahead in life and progress further. This is what we are trying to say when we say “Empty your cup!”
Now that you know a little about the concept of empty your cup! We will move on to some other aspects of the same. The most important point is how you ensure that your cup is empty. Is it so simple to actually forget all that you know and believe in? Well it is difficult no doubt but it is definitely not impossible. The concept comes more from Buddhism. Some steps that you can follow are:
- First of all make a determination that you will learn what you are planning to. You must have your goal set.
- The second step is you must tell yourself that as you are learning something new it may be difficult but you will not give up and will have faith in yourself.
- Think like a child. A child just goes with the flow. For example if you put a child in water it learns swimming in days. This is because the child is not scared. He or she does not have any pre conceived ideas about the thing they are learning. The most important of all is that they are not learning to prove anything to anyone. They are just enjoying the process and learning it. This is exactly why a child can learn much faster and better than a grown up man. As an adult we are thinking so many things that we forget the main reason for why we are there in a pool. So make your mind like that of a child and keep it free to experience and most importantly to fail.
- A child does not carry the burdens of previous experiences. They fight now and in some hours they are best of buddies. This helps them to keep the cup empty as they do not carry anything that is negative. If you have too many negative things in your cup the cup will always be full and there will be no space for a positive and a new or good idea to come in. This is a big learning to all adults. We know it is very easy to say but it is equally difficult to achieve this state of mind and body. Just think about it. If you are a child and you were scolded for a mistake you will cry for a while and then just forget about it and go to play in the evening. A man will think about the episode for few days and keep building the grudges. A woman can store these grudges for years. You must learn to move on and keep your cup empty. This will make you positive and also give you a good way to unlearn and learn. Just try it once and twice. You will see how nice it makes you feel and slowly you will make it a habit to forget and empty your cup.
- When we say that your cup is full we are not saying that throw away all that is there. We are just saying that do away with all the unnecessary information. When you do so you will be able to have enough space to store good things. Positive energy will be more in you. This will make you feel happy and also give you an opportunity to learn. You will feel like a child again.
- When you are learning. Learn the teachings do not be judgemental about it. For example a child is taught that 2+2 is 4. Does he or she ever doubt the knowledge of the teacher? Will you ever find a child who will argue with the teacher and ask how 2+2 is not 5? A child will not but as this same child grows older and is taught something they will have ten questions. We are not saying that you should not ask questions but do not ask them with a doubt in mind or to test the knowledge of the teacher. Ask this question with an open mind and with a desire to learn. Trust the teacher and have complete faith and devotion. Only then will you be able to attain the knowledge and use it for a better learning.
- As you follow the above steps you will see that the knowledge you were seeking is growing and it is not flowing out. You will realise that the change in approach to the teaching will change the way you ever learnt.
We hope that this article on Empty your cup! Will help you to understand the concepts of learning and get a better knowledge. It will fill you with a deep peace and keep you moving on in the path of spiritual success.