Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912) received a university professor who came to inquire aboutZEN FLESH, ZEN BONES
Nan-in saved 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? ‘
The origin of this post
Recently an event happened in some part of india, where a pregnant elephant was killed in a ruthless manner by giving an explosive-laden fruit. In reaction to that, the social media was full of statements like, “Humans are worst”, “Humans don’t deserve to live”. To make it even worse, people were sharing these kinds of things thoughtlessly.
Of course, what happened was very bad, but I was surprised at how soon people formed opinions which are not relevant at all.
If you look at it objectively, it was just one negative event took place because of a few evil-minded people. There are thousands of acts of kindness and love happening all across the world, but people on social media choose to pay attention only to this one negative act and form such ridiculous opinions.
If you observe, this happens with every new negative event that comes up. This pattern is everywhere in social media. People react intensely and form not only ‘useless’ but also harmful opinions. When the mass of people start reacting negatively, more and more people will undoubtedly perceive the world as negative and cruel.
People form new opinions as soon as they see new information. They fill their cup without giving any objective thought.
Reasons for giving up all opinions
This post is about emptying your cup. It is about destroying the palace of opinions in which we live so comfortably and ignore the world of reality that is beyond. Here are four reasons why you should give up all opinions about everything.
1.) Opinions make you a frog in a well
You may be aware of the frog who lives in a well and considers that there is no world outside of this well. It is the only world and he is the king of the world.
Your opinions are the walls of this well and they don’t let you see beyond it. Even the simplest of opinions block your view in many ways and keep you from exploring many possibilities.
2.) Opinions strengthen your ego
Every new opinion you form is creating a new set of beliefs which strengthen your ego. Your sense of “I believe…” is becoming more powerful with each new opinion.
If you want to expand your view, you must destroy your ego wall by wall. Each opinion you question is a wall destroyed. When you have broken down a few walls you will truly start feeling a sense of freedom.
3.) Opinions stop you from listening
People say I talk very less. But I really don’t know what to talk. So I listen. Talking doesn’t gain anything. You are simply repeating something you already know. On the other hand, listening to others gives you a lot of insight about who they are.
I like to listen and observe. When two people are talking, I can learn more about them by simply listening to them than having a direct conversation. I get new ideas by observing the world and I use writing to express what I want to say.
4.) Opinions have no practical use
We keep something if it is helpful to us in some way. Think about it. Opinions have no practical use in our life. They don’t help you get things done or gain new knowledge. On the contrary they are obstacles for our progress. You simply don’t need any opinion to go through life.
A world beyond opinions
Dropping all opinions is about stop saying “I believe…” and start saying “I don’t know.” Acknowledging that we don’t know opens up a way for knowledge. When you give up the world of opinions and beliefs, there are a few unexplored worlds to be in…
World of ideas
Get into the world of ideas. Inspiring ideas can be found everywhere as long as we have an open mind.
When you criticise someone’s work, you destroy all possibilities of gaining a new idea. Instead you can look at that work, take the ideas that are useful to you and leave the rest. You don’t need to judge anything or anyone. You can pick up useful qualities even from the person you dislike the most in this world.
The world of ideas is a creative world free from judgement. It is a world where randomly composed garbage becomes architecture and annoying sounds of traffic becomes music!
World of Observation and wonder
The desire to know makes you observe things. Observing beautiful phenomenon gives a sense of wonder. From movement of tiny and insignificant creatures to the light of sun,moon and stars, everything creates wonder.
A state of wonder is appreciation of the highest creativity that the world is made of. Wonder is a wonderful place to be in!
World of question and answers
Instead of an opinion, form a question. One good question is enough motivation for life. It creates curiosity and the restless hunger for an answer. People have lived their entire lives trying to answer one important question. So,
- What is the question that is most important to you? What is that question to which you must find the answer?
The world today needs to get into a more productive and creative state of mind. It means breaking the walls and expanding the view. Here are some questions to help you move,
- What are your opinions which are holding you back from progressing? How did you form them and how can you break them?
- What is the one new idea that you have gained from reading this post?
- Who is the person you dislike the most, and what can you learn from them?
- What was the last strong opinion you made, and how is it limiting you?