When I graduated from my yoga teacher training years ago, I was given a small, round, green tea cup.
This little cup was in reference to a Zen parable we read on the first day of training. The parable tells of an eager student seeking knowledge from a Zen master. The student is unwilling to hear anything on the subjects he has already studied, so in the end the master tells him to "come back when your cup is empty."
The challenge of remaining an “empty cup” is one of the greatest I have been given. The little cup's message is simple: always be open to new ideas. You never know what you can learn by emptying your cup, only to have it filled anew.
When I began training the Mind Body Dancer teachers, I decided that I would also begin with this Zen parable and end with the gift of a teacup. Not only did I wish to honor my lineage, but the lesson of the empty cup had been fundamental in my ongoing development as a scholar and artist. I wanted my students-turned-teachers to have the same chance to embrace this wisdom for years to come.
With the launch of our new blog, Mind Body Brew, the Mind Body Dancer community invites all of you to enjoy in the principles of empty cup living along with us!
Empty cup living is exciting. Every day can be an adventure. Our world demands that we be constantly filling up with new information at every moment. At times, our minds can feel as if they are overflowing. It goes without saying that empty cup living is a matter of quality, not quantity.
Perhaps after reading Mind Body Brew you will be inspired to take a break from your computer to read a book, exercise, take a class, or have a good old-fashioned coffee and conversation with a friend. You might have a desire to sit outside, take a walk, or do any activity that allows you to cultivate awareness. We hope that Mind Body Brew can become a resource for you to find new ways to get out there and practice empty cup living.
I, along with the other Mind Body Brew contributors, intend to pour you healthy cups of joy, knowledge, fun, wonderings, and wanderings. Yoga, culture, art, design, food, wellness, dance, performance... these are just some of the flavors to expect!
Pull up a chair around our table, and don't forget to BYOC.
Photo by Sophie Kuller