God is Talking -- Are You Listening? Part 2
The Full Cup
By W. Bradford Swift
some of the common mental blocks that can prevent us from receiving
God's wisdom that is often available through others.
The second mental
block is commonly called the Full Cup Syndrome and it's a condition
males are particularly prone to but which women are not immune. It's
best describe by the following story:
It appears a young
seeker of wisdom traveled to the remote reaches of the world to learn
enlightenment from the master. But before the master would even consider
teaching him, he invited the young man to participate in the tea ceremony.
So, they retired
to the tea garden where the master began the much venerated tea ceremony,
preparing the water mindfully, adding the tea leaves just so, etc.
The master began pouring the tea into the young seeker's cup, talking
politely as he did so. As the cup began to fill, the student-to-be
grew nervous, yet the master continued to pour. The cup filled to
the brim, then the tea began to pour over the rim.
master," cried the young man. "You are over filling my cup."
a smile, the Zen master stopped pouring the tea. "Yes, and you
are like the cup; so full there is no room for enlightenment."
Listening as though
you already know everything that is being said is the listening of an
already full cup, and boy, can it get in the way of the contribution
others have for us. While it may sound amazing, I've found this to be
true even in coaching relationships. Imagine paying someone to coach
you in your life, and then mentally coming to the coaching session so
full that you there's no room for any new insights. It happens. Whenever
we come to a relationship as a full cup, there's very little opportunity
of learning anything new or gaining new insights that will make a difference.
once again awareness goes a long way in eliminating this mental roadblock.
Once we notice that we're listening as though we already know everything,
we can catch it, and let go of it. We can then begin to relate to the
person who's trying to contribute to us in a different way.
W. Bradford Swift is director of Life On Purpose Institute
-- an organization dedicated to people clarifying their life purpose
and living true to it -- where he is a coach, writer and trainer for
other coaches. Hundreds of his articles have appeared in such diverse
publications as Modern Maturity, Hope, New Age Journal, Yoga Journal,
and many others. He may be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
by phone: 1-800-668-0183; or visit the Life On Purpose Institute website:
© 2001 W. Bradford Swift