Emptying Your Cup

Mat on the Floor in the Morning Sun

PALM BAY, FL–In an email conversation with a very knowledgeable spiritual seeker, I commented to him on how profound it was for me to “empty my cup.” This simple surrender led directly to my waking up. “Emptying your cup” is a phrase from a famous Zen story–a version of it can be found here.

I’ve included the key portion of the my email (edited slightly) below the break (huh?).

One of the hardest things I had to do in my search–and I suspect this will apply to you–is that after all the reading and researching on enlightenment that I had done over the course of my life, was that I had to “empty my cup.”

I had to stop trying to figure it out and go back to the basics (see my Frog Master).

This emptying combined with the serious contemplation of suicide (here & here) were, I think, the kickers in waking my sorry ass up. (The Dalai Lama once said that until a seeker has made peace with their own death, the spiritual path will be fruitless). Most people think about dying in a kind of vague way, but to really, really, really believe that you’ve only got a couple months to live is an eye-opener. 🙂

Hopefully this will help clarify why I am always telling people why they have to feel it, and why I am a bit hard on “pure nondualists” for their almost exclusive mental approach. It is important that our minds understand the relation of self/All/ONE, but it is our nature (our self-core) which has to come to identify with it.

This felt sense is why I like to use the term HER. At the level just below the Oneness/Unity (full immersion in the nondual), we split in two: Her–my Beloved–and me, this point of awareness: Lovers. Appreciative. Awestruck. Beauty. Bliss. Swirling, dancing, gleeful Happiness. Yes, I know that the level of “Her” isn’t the “top of the mountain” but it is the first level down from it that we can actually function in the world–and it is a beautiful level to function from.

The main point I’d like you to get out of this post is that, in order for you to really feel HER, to see HER, to experience HER, there has to be less of you–The less there is of you, the more there is of Her.

Emptying your cup means putting aside everything you believe to be true. Ie: “I am a person.” “God is separate from me.” “Meditation is the only way.” “The mind must be still to wake up.” All of those beliefs just get in the way of God realization. All of those beliefs create a solid “you” which blocks out the Light of Her–a Light which has always been in you, but which has been blocked by the contents of your “full cup.”

Empty your cup. See what remains of you. Pour that out and repeat. Very soon you’ll feel Her awaken within you. Then you’ll be ready to merge completely with Her. Then you’ll wake up from the dream of feeling separate from Her.

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6 thoughts on “Emptying Your Cup

  1. @Tim: Excellent question, and an area that I didn’t address at all above (my bad). Natural desires are part of having bodies. What we have to empty (to awaken) is our BELIEFS, not our natures. Beliefs block us from reality. The belief that we have to be good and pure and kind are just that, beliefs which form a large part of our Personal Self–a completely imaginary entity.

  2. Thanks Wayne for that reminder.

    But isnt that the crux and always has been is Highlighting or having the belief shown, especially the DEEP rooted one(s). I think most everyone knows ABOUT beliefs but its getting to them that no one has ever been able to address indepthly? Such is life it seems.

    Wayne do you ever use HDRI imaging in any of your photos or do you know what it is?

  3. @Tim: The crux of the problem? Sort of. The real crux of the problem could be summed up as DEDICATION. The willingness to really look at our beliefs/assumptions over and over again until we can drop them or move past them. It IS simple, but it ISN’T quick and easy.

    Yes, I use HDR quite often, though not in this photo. With this shot I focused and exposed for the bright area just above the rug’s upper right corner and underexposed by two stops (you can almost always pull in detail from shadows, but when you blow the highlights, you’re pretty much screwed). I then used Photoshop’s import settings (I shoot in Raw mode) to pull in the details of the shadows. Then I played with it in Nik Software’s Color Effects Pro (not sure of the spelling) which is a Photoshop plug in.

  4. “The real crux of the problem could be summed up as DEDICATION. ”

    ouch that one pinged me 😉 (and thats ok) Once again I bow in humility, thank you!

  5. It was only She presenting another opportunity for untethered (no-ego), selfless, emptying of your cup. Since you are “empty” there is no-thing (form) to ever be concerned about. You are given more cups full of love which you must then empty again. I love the many allegorical ways this is told by Jesus and many other sages.

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