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
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
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
before pouring your tea.
Copyright © 2000-2002 Rao