I suppose nothing is really relevant to you unless your mind is open enough to accept those relevant things. I believe that under many circumstances people haven’t entirely emptied their cups in order to see relevant things, important things. Let me explain this cup analogy. Essentially, after taking Dr. Fischlers class (Cultural Diversity) this past fall, I learned that there are not only an infinite supply of Buddhist Proverbs out there, but that they also apply very significantly to your life.. that is if you let them. The empty your cup proverb is easier said than done.
For it goes like this “ The zen master poured his visitor’s teacup full, and then kept pouring. The visitor watched until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!”. “Like this cup” the zen master said, “you are full of your own opinions and assumptions. How can you learn truth unless first emptying your cup”
So, the back story to this is that a well known and high esteemed scholar, went to this famous Zen Master for insight and because the Zen master obviously is wiser than the scholar, he introduced him to this situation. I found this proverb extremely profound because I’m 20 and all my friends are around the same age and we think we know it all. But actually, if you think about it, most people think they know it all at every age. When in reality I know nothing, or maybe I know parts of something but definitely not all of anything.
I find that our culture in America is so focused around thinking that we know more than the next person that we lose sight of the important lessons we COULD be learning along the way. To stop yourself and think, “I’m going into this conversation with the assumption that I have everything to learn, everything to gain”, you may find there is not only truth in that statement but the gain is FAR more rewarding. My father and grandfather are so convinced that they know it all that things people say to them, they kind of hear but don’t listen to. I feel as though if you are hearing me, your body is responding, your eyes may be focusing on my lips moving, but your mind is like that tea cup that was just mentioned. Too full to accept and listen to anything alternative to what they have believed their whole lives. Now, although this is a frustrating situation, we also must understand the importance of NOT stressing over things we cannot control. Yes, contrary to popular belief now a days, you cannot change someones mind if their tea cup is too full. Fighting with people who are so unknowing of what they don’t even know, is a ROYAL waste of time. Save your energy, speak to those who will LISTEN not just merely hear what you have to say.
The last time I posted on wordpress was 9 days before I almost took my own life in a car accident where I was driving when I should definitely have not been. After basically breaking my whole body and soul, I hit what’s known as “rock bottom”. God or whoever emptied my cup for the first time; I learned the hard way that I most definitely do not know it all. This, although very painful both physically and spiritually, was the revelation I so desperately needed in order to be who I’m on track to becoming today.
The phoenix was only something I heard about in books, or shows about mythical creatures, but yet what happened after my accident was the manifestation of all traits a Phoenix would embody. I rose from my ashes ten fold, I stopped drinking entirely, was able to look at things without any bias for the first time in my life and holy Jesus, what a time it was for me to learn. I don’t know exactly why my guardian angel saved me in that car accident, in which anyone else would’ve surely perished, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume it was for a pretty substantial reason.
So here I am today, after the best come back year of my life. I lost 20 pounds, I have a 4.0, I left my negative home town in the rear view mirror, I’m living on an island working for the summer and come September I will be embarking on my first trip over seas by myself to Spain for a semester and shortly after that traveling to Scotland for the spring. Yes, if you are wondering, I am fucking terrified. But what I am more scared of is missing out on these once in a lifetime opportunities. I am so scared to look back at my life one day and murmur under my breath “jeez, wish I had done that”. I don’t know what Europe will entail regarding little Taryn from Massachusetts but I’m sure it’s going to be more constructive than anything I would run into in America. I don’t know if this is a good decision to send it to Europe by myself for a whole school year, but I know it is the right decision. Throughout the last couple months I have really become very comfortable with the thought of faith keeping me safe and on the right track, I know there will be days that will contain thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornados. Days that I won’t know exactly what, or how to even continue on, but thankfully, I’ve already hit rock bottom. 😉 The darkest part of the night is always right prior to the dawn, and if you just believe a little bit that everything will unfold EXACTLY the way it was meant to, it will.
So, we’re back to understanding the relevance of all these things. If you stub your toe, you will learn to not walk in that direction again, if you ask someone’s business and they tell you to mind your own, you will learn to maybe mind your own next time, and if you realize that you’ve found yourself in a place you aren’t all too fond of, you will learn to never return. Everything is a lesson, and once you can start to recognize and appreciate that literally every encounter with ANYthing is a learning experience, your life will drastically improve. This also really helps with the diminishing of anxiety, and anger, just letting things flow without trying to alter their impending outcome. Yeah, I do think I’m a sensei now basically, BUT I also acknowledge I’m not even slightly done learning. I’ve just bitten off the essential part to beginning to learn. I want to heal and help so many people because they’re truly lost. But, I’ve actually come to the saddening realization that: I just can’t help them all. Those who will accept what I tell them, they are the ones who have just decided to say “the hell with it, I’ll empty my damn cup”. I love those people, they listen to me, they acknowledge me, they can recognize that I have substantial things to tell them with compassion in my voice. Some people, on the other hand, think I have lost it completely. My old childhood best friends, my male wrestler roommates from this past year, most guys who I talk to and even some girls, their cup’s are just a bit too full for the person I am now, and I have to leave them behind. They discredit what I say because their assumptions about what I’m telling them are too concrete, not moveable, singular. They find me a little wacky, “sketchy” and even rude at times. To this I respond usually with nothing, and have faith that one day they will realize what I was telling them was in their best interest as well. I’m a very internally emotional person, I feel everything others are feeling inside, and I can see that they are lost in the mess of society we are dealt with today. I am more than available to help show them how to alter their perceptions and apprehensions, but it’s a process they must embark on themselves, and that’s scary for a lot of people.
Listen, the process to self actualization and realization is not a smooth and seamless road filled with daffodils and little baby bunnies. But, don’t be lazy, invest in yourself for yourself, take the time to realize and record. If you are intuitive with knowing that the bumps and potholes are essential for moving toward the light, you are more than half way there. I just wish I could jump into people’s minds and give their conscience/subconcious a hug. Like, “Hey buddy, it’s okay to be flawed, it’s okay that you’re not your father, it’s okay to take a deep breath, it’s okay that you don’t know it all”. I feel that the pressure put on ourselves by each other is so immense. It is okay if my best friend knows more about something than me, because I would love to learn what she has to say. It’s fine if my work colleague is more experienced than me, because I would love to learn what they have learnt. It is acceptable to not be better than everyone else, because everyone can have things to teach you too, even subliminally.
I could write forever about the benefits of emptying one’s mental cup of tea but I have all the time in the world to add to this blog and I’m happy I decided to revisit this page to adequately record my thoughts. I’m working all summer at a photo gallery where I’m essentially paid to sit on a beautiful Mac desktop and listen to pandora so these posts will hopefully be frequent with varied topics. The tea cup proverb happens to be my favorite so I thought I would begin with this. If you read this whole damn thing, bless your soul and thank you from the bottom of mine.
Much love, T
P.S. Next post is about this ted talk, and everyones personal creative genius and constructive selfishness. If you wanted to take a look before hand to know what the hell I’ll be talking about next time, here ya go.—–> Elizabeth Gilbert Ted Talk