If you ever studied a martial art like I have then you are likely familiar with this story:
In more recent times, we hear the legendary Bruce Lee speak of this very concept in an interview he did on the Pierre Berton Show in 1971.
Scholar Tokusan, who was full of knowledge and opinions about dharma, came to Ryutan and asked about Zen.
At one point Ryutan refilled his guest’s teacup but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. “Stop! The cup is full!” said Tokusan.
“Exactly,” said Master Ryutan. “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”
“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” ~Bruce Lee
What Does This Mean?
By the time we reach adulthood, we are so full of stuff that we don’t even notice it’s there. We might consider ourselves open-minded, but in fact, everything we learn is filtered through many assumptions and then classified to fit into the knowledge we already possess.
If we want to progress in life and constantly learn new things – whether it be taking up a new martial art class, learning a new musical instrument, taking a new course, learning a new language, or learning new information or technology – we have to always remember to empty our cups.
In 2017 I poured a lot of knowledge into my teacup
- January 2017-TPI Fitness Level 2 (completed)
- May 2017-Z-Health (The Essentials of Elite Performance)
- November 2017-TPI Fitness Level 3 (completed)
- December 2017-Michael Boyle’s Complete Core Training (completed)
As we begin 2018 I must empty my cup to make room for new knowledge…..
Here’s What Is Scheduled For 2018 (so far…..)
- January 2018 -BODITRAK Golf~Ground Mechanics Course
- January 19-21, 2018-Z-Health~The Essentials of Human Performance (AUDIT)
- May 7-9, 2018-TPI Level 1 Course (AUDIT)
- July 26-27, 2018-TPI Level 1 Course (AUDIT)
- October 2018-TPI Level 1 Course (AUDIT)
- October 2018-TPI WORLD GOLF FITNESS SUMMIT
But why would I be taking the same classes again and again and again??
In a world that is constantly changing, it is important that we keep equipping ourselves with new knowledge. When learning new things, we have to remind ourselves that we have preconceived and fixed ideas. We have to try to keep our minds open, also try to empty our cups, try to accept different voices, and try to understand different opinions. Only then can we be filled with new knowledge?
If we refuse to empty our cups, we will let our preconceived and fixed ideas blind us to new knowledge. Don’t be like the professor that goes to the Zen master to learn new things but keeps talking about what he already knows and misses the opportunity to learn great new things from the Zen master.
So empty your cup, my friend.
To your success,
Brett The Golf Guy