Greetings from the mountains of Vermont, from the 500 acres of snowy land, from the meditation center I've frequently called home away from home. I found vintage contemplative treasures in the library. From Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
"1. A Cup of Tea
NAN-IN, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?" "
When we write, our cup is overflowing, and writing is the act by which we empty the cup. The words spill over in our heads and we write to give them release.
From The Book of Tea:
"Teasim is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life."
Here, too, we can see the parallel to writing. If writing isn't a worship of the Imperfect, I don't know what is.
How will you empty your cup, begin fresh, and celebrate the Imperfect? Your word this week is: