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About the book and author


River of a Thousand Tales
Encounters with Spirit, Reflections from Science

by Rao Kolluru

Paraview Press, 2001
ISBN 1-931044-07-4
Spirituality & Science, 200 pp
Trade Paperback: $13.95

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Emptying the Mind 


A RESPECTED PROFESSOR of science set out to unveil the mysteries of the Spirit. He journeyed to the foothills of Himarest, to a monastery by the sacred river Ganges. A senior monk there welcomed the professor, who seemed anxious to plunge into a discourse forthwith. Instead, the monk assigned him some manual tasks to perform in the monastery garden. And said that this day, "Day Zero" as he called it, would be devoted to emptying the mind. The monk advised the professor to observe total quiescence for the rest of the day. With these words, he withdrew to his quarters. 

Next morning, the monk greeted the professor and invited him to a cup of tea before starting the discussions. He picked up the cup and the saucer, the cup resting upside down on the saucer, and started pouring tea from the tea pot. The tea flowed over and around the cup and spilled over the saucer. 

Looking at the bewildered professor the monk said with a quizzical smile: "It is the emptiness of the cup that makes it useful. Just as a full cup or a closed cup does not accept any more tea, one cannot learn with a full mind, or with a preconceived mind. A beginner has infinite possibilities, an expert only a few." 


It is the empty valley that receives. It is the silent mind that listens. 

The "empty" mind is the beginner's mind. It is pure, spontaneous, and boundless-the womb of infinite possibilities. This pristine mind is our natural heritage. 

When the mind is filled with preconceptions, it becomes a divided mind, limited by its thoughts. Family, school, society-all foster knowledge that is bound by convention, custom, and prejudice. Attachment to such knowledge creates boundaries, "two minds" that limit the mind's potential. 

The empty mind is not a blank mind. On the contrary, it is pure consciousness, in a state of infinite potentiality. Somewhat like the embryonic stem cells at conception, which have the potential to become any organ in the body-from brains to bones. 

To catch a glimpse of the nature of the original mind, let us journey back in time to the cosmic womb that spawned the skies and the stars. To the moment when all this wondrous pageantry sprang forth from a single source, from virtual emptiness. 

Let your mind's eye travel back further and further toward emptiness, to Time Zero. Get back in touch with the origins, the Source. Deep within us is a memory of that Source, like the lingering cosmic waves from the birth of the universe. 

What is this Source? Reflect on it for a few silent moments…before pouring your tea. 

Copyright 2000-2002 Rao Kolluru 


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