A Japanese Zen master during the Meiji era received a visitor who came to inquire about Zen. The Zen master served his guest tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, but then kept on pouring. His visitor watched the overflow with alarm until he could no longer control himself.

“The cup is overfull. No more can go in it!” he cried out.

“Like this cup,” the Zen master replied, “you are full of your own opinions, beliefs and assumptions. How can I teach you anything unless you first empty your cup?”