A Cup That Is Already Full Has No Room To Receive

A Cup That Is Already Full Has No Room To Receive

You have probably heard the story of the Buddhist scholar who went to visit an old and respected Zen monk to discuss Buddhism. The monk invited the scholar in for tea and they sat down. While the monk quietly prepared tea the scholar immediately began to expound upon all he had learned about Buddhism at the University. On and on he went while the old monk continued to prepare the tea.


The scholar never paused even as the monk reverently poured the tea. The scholar finally stopped speaking and jumped up starting yelling when he realized that tea was pouring down off the table and onto his leg. The old monk had filled the scholar’s cup and was continuing to pour tea into his already full cup.


“You old fool. What are you thinking?”


The old monk calmly replied, “A cup that is already full has no room to receive.”


This story expresses the importance of having an open mind and a willingness to listen for and receive new information.


For true abundance to flow into our life the cup of our mind must be kept empty and open to new ideas and possibilities. Our mind is a great tool. But when it is “full,” with no room to receive, abundance cannot find a way into our life. With a full mind, we cannot access new insights and ideas. We cannot hear the guidance that comes from inner wisdom and from the Universe. And most of all, we have no room to receive all of the blessings that life continuously offers us.


What about you? Do you leave room for the new and the unknown? How do you let go of what no longer serves you?…




By |2018-06-15T13:21:25-04:00April 8th, 2013|Clarity, Inspiring Stories, Silence|2 Comments


  1. Antoinette Tidjani Alou April 10, 2013 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Dear Beatrice,

    This is such a wonderful reminder, coming at a perfect moment. In Niamey, these days, the temperature is 109 degrees, but this morning is fresh and cool, and our watered garden has managed to stay lovely if a bit scorched on the edges. I feel blessed, like a thing reborn. I read a Martin Carter poem and rediscover, no, discover its beauty. I bless his soul, the gift of art, the wonder of life. My husband brings me tea. God is alive is this moment of beginning, before a very full day. I am born again.With your help, too.

    • Beatrice1 April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      To your rebirth Antoinette! Yes, these nurturing moments are precious to start each day… so happy for you! Love, B.

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