Photo Courtesy of Dark Patator
Koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. “A Cup Of Tea” is a well known Koan from “101 Zen Stories” – a 1919 compilation of Zen koans including 19th and early 20th century anecdotes, and Collection of Stone and Sand, written in the 13th century by Japanese Zen master Muju.
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?”
Books On Koan: