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Empty Your Cup: Part Two

Empty paper cup with coffee on marble table
What about now? Now I feel awesome, do I still need an empty cup?

Access Part One Here

After a while down the line, your empty cup will have greatly served you. Perhaps you will have overcome some chronic health issue, perhaps a mental health issue, perhaps you’ll just feel stronger and better. If you’re anything like me, you might start to get frustrated that the rest of the world doesn’t pay attention as well as you do, or is as considerate as you. Heck, you’re amazeballs! If you’re not careful, you might start to think that you’re better than everybody else, or at least somewhat superior. It’s funny how the fuller that cup gets, the more anger and resentment starts to creep in.

What then? You’re advanced! You should know better! Or maybe you’re human too. Maybe it’s time to take that cup and dump it out again. Your training is a journey, not a destination. You will make incredible leaps and bounds forward, followed by periods of stillness, then more forward movement. Another apt analogy, and my students will tell you that I love a good analogy, is that your training is like an onion. Peel away the roughest outer layers and you’ll still get to deeper layer still to peel away. This is the beauty of our Shaolin Arts, with every great leap forward, you are preparing yourself for an even greater leap forward. Actually, there is an ultimate destination, which is Enlightenment, or undifferentiated reality, or seeing God, whatever you’d like to call it.

So, what’s the point that I’ve taken two blog posts to get to? Empty your cup, whether it’s your first day in class or you’ve been training for 20 years. Empty your cup and enter the training hall always with a beginner’s mindset, open and ready to learn. Let’s enter into this new decade with empty cups together and journey to the best versions of ourselves we can be.

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