Drop What You Know
Drop What You Know --- and make room for something amazing.
Our knowledge-- the things we "know" to be true-- often limits our ability to grow. This sounds contradictory at first. We spend our whole childhood and lives as early adults in school to obtain knowledge. But what if that really is the very thing holding us back?
Can I tell you a story?
Long ago, there was a wise Zen master. People of diverse backgrounds traveled from far away to seek his counsel.We would patiently teach them and show them the path to enlightenment.
One day, a famous scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen so that I may master it,” the scholar said.
It quickly became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories, and failed to listen to what the master was saying.
True to his patient reputation, the master did not react, but calmly invited the scholar to tea in his private residence. The scholar was thrilled as this was a great honor bestowed on few people.
When the time came, the scholar arrived at the home of the master. They sat at the master's table, and the master poured his guest a cup. When the cup was filled, the master kept pouring, until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see that?”
“Exactly,” the Zen master calmly replied. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas and knowledge that nothing more will fit in. There is no room for anything new. Go. Come back to me with an empty cup.”
The Toltecs believe that knowledge is a tool of our domestication. While our domestication was in so many ways necessary, it is also the thing that limits us. Our fixed tadasanas, or positions and beliefs about ourselves, have corrupted us.
We come from a place of "I know" instead of a place of curiosity. We operate from "it is" versus "it seems like." If I think that a person "is" a certain way, I do not create space for them to be anything else. If my co-worker is a bitch-- how do I get to experience her as anything else? If I am stupid, how will I succeed? If life is unfair-- what is the point?
But if I operate from it "seems like," I get to experience people, events and situations from a different place. A place of curiosity. When I open up my drishti, I create the possibility for a new experience and a new pathway. When I empty my cup, I create space for something new and magical.
So what fixed beliefs are you holding on to? Where can shift your vision? Where can you empty your cup so that you can create and learn something new?
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