We had rain for our March Children’s Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, so we kept dry inside working with clay and a story.
In, The Two Teacher’s and Tea, a university professor comes to see the Zen teacher, Nan-in. While waiting for tea to be served, the professor starts into one of his lectures. He talks on and on… and on… and on.
When the tea finally arrives, Nan-in pours… and pours… and pours. The professor’s cup overflows right into his lap. “Just like this cup, sir, you are also too full… please first empty your own cup, then we can learn something together.”
How easy it is to be like the professor — so full of our own ideas that nothing new gets in… so quick to press forward that we may not actually see what is before us. As Nan-in tells us, it is better to cultivate a beginner’s mind — an attitude of openness and curiosity.
After the story, we enjoyed modeling, “empty cups” with terra-cotta clay. As always, we shared apple juice and freshly baked muffins from the Green Gulch kitchen.