top of page

Emptying Your Cup

Updated: May 31, 2020

The Advanced Spiritual Institute Mug

You may have heard the expression “Empty your cup”, but do you know what it means?

The expression dates back to Ancient China, where a famous zen master had a conversation with his student. The student who was full of opinions and thoughts came to the zen master seeking his knowledge. The zen master noticed that his student’s teacup was empty and began pouring more tea into the cup, filling it past its capacity and spilling it all over the floor. The student cried asking him to stop, and the zen master replied saying “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can't put anything in. Before I can teach you, you'll have to empty your cup."

When are cups are full, we might feel we know everything there is to know. We exist in the same mundane routine, the same chores, the same tasks, and etc. We think we know everything there is to life and most of what we have learned is filtered in our mind through judgment, assumptions, and opinions.

Do you remember when you were a child and learning something new? Or maybe it was the first time you saw the sunset? How did it make you feel? This was when your cup was empty… Our world is full of many different experiences and interesting ideas and people. But if our cup is full then we marginalize every experience.

This zen proverb but is still relative to this day. As adults have you noticed that your cup is full? Are you ready to empty your cup and navigate through life with excitement?

Often times we forget that we are physical beings having a spiritual experience. At The Modern Mystery School, we honor the spiritual and physical sides and grant you the tools to empty your cup and live with excitement and joy.

O'Brien, Barbara. "The Saying "Empty Your Cup"." Learn Religions, Apr. 17, 2019,

52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page