Cup and Water

A group of working adults got together to visit their
University lecturer. The lecturer was happy to see them. Conversation soon
turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

The Lecturer just
smiled and went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups – some porcelain,
some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather
expensive and exquisite.

The Lecturer offered his former students the
cups to get drinks for themselves.

When all the students had a cup in
hand with water, the Lecturer spoke:

"If you noticed, all the nice
looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.
While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the
source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup,
but we unconsciously went for the better cups."

"Just like in life, if
Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They
are just tools to hold/maintain Life, but the quality of Life doesn’t

"If we only concentrate on the cup, we won’t have time
to enjoy/taste the water in it."

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar


2 thoughts on “Cup and Water

  1. hi raj
    got to your blog via atanu’s. nice to meet an aol person in the blogosphere. your post reminded me about a wonderful zen koan about cups, which is only tangentially related, but i am going to leave it here nevertheless. cheers

    A Cup Of Tea

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

    Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

    The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

    “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

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