Raw from the Road, June 21, 2016
Scholar Tokusan, who was full full of knowledge and opinions about the dharma, came to Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point Ryutan re-filled his guest’s teacup, but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. “Stop! The cup is full!” said Tokusan.
“Exactly,” said Master Ryutan. “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”
Isn’t it funny the image that comes to mind when we see the words, “Waste Removal?”
And yet, it is such a crucial part of my journey…to remove the waste, the distraction, the old habitual thinking that trips me up sometimes.
I wish a truck could show up at my door, once a week, and run a hose from my brain to the bin.
It could empty out all the self-sabotaging little pests in my head, as well as the doubts and critics running around in there, and suck them all out at once.
Then I’d know that at least once a week, I’d be operating with a clear head.
What’s that you exclaim? Robbie, there are other ways to clear your head!
Well thank goodness for that. And I am learning those ways as I walk down this path of new adventure.
One way to clear my head is meditation.
When I meditate in the morning it really helps me clear away yesterday’s or even the morning’s funky thoughts or notions that might creep in.
Sometimes, I multi-task…walk and meditate and I’ll even do some talking with my higher power. But ultimately, it is in the stillness that I get grounded to be in my day.
Full disclosure; some days I meditate and all I can think of is what I need to do for work.
There are other times when the most amazing ideas come in to my head so if I remember, I’ll keep a pad nearby to jot it down before I forget and then continue meditating.
We’ve all heard how walking is great for the soul and I agree.
When I go for a walk or a hike in nature, I always come back rejuvenated and it feels good to get my body moving, which gets my mind moving in a more clear productive way.
When I stand in front of a blank canvas, and although you know I am big on metaphors I mean this literally; it is also important for me to remove as many thoughts about what I am going to create before I begin.
Even now, as I write this, I try to not overthink what I am writing.
As in all expression, I believe, it comes from the heart, the soul, not the mind so much. And for me the emptier my mind, the better…at least in this instance.
Unplugging is the ultimate in emptying my mind.
I haven’t done it for a very very long time but hopefully, as you read this pre-scheduled email, I am completely unplugged!
I am on vacation… Vacating my mind of wasteful thoughts that clog up the hose from me to the abundant flowing universe.
I will check in at a few designated times, but other than that I’m counting on succeeding in a beautiful mind (and body and soul too!) cleanse.
A couple of mentors of mine had to help me course-correct. I told them I was packing several self-help, motivational books to take with me.
Uh, and the answer is a resounding NO!
NO?! Yikes! You mean, go away, and REALLY not think about work or the process?
Of course, that is impossible, but it is possible to let it be ok to not be consumed by thoughts of work or any thoughts for that matter.
Obviously it’s not necessary to go away to do such waste management, but I am grateful for the time and can’t wait to come back and share the rejuvenation with you.
What are some of the ways you empty your mind?
I am really excited (and nervous!) to begin the process of opening the curtain to show you what I have been working on.
I hope you take some time too, to empty what is full, and fill what is empty. (Buddhist proverb).
Be gentle with yourself…
Be Brave, Be Strong, Be YOU!
PS: If you are interested in trying a guided meditation series try davidji fill what is empty. Loved it when I first began to meditate. Great content and his voice is amazing!
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—–Be back in real time next week!