There is an old Zen story about a sage who came to a Zen master seeking enlightenment.
As is their tradition, the Zen guy wants to drink lots of tea first. He makes the tea in the classic teapot and pours tea into his sage’s cup. But when it is full, he keeps pouring, presumably making a nasty hot stain on his guest’s lap.
“What are you doing?” shouts the sage. “The cup is full! No more can go in!”
“As is your mind,” says the tea-obsessed monk. “To become enlightened you must first empty your mind, for full as it is of ideas and thoughts, no more can go in.”
We may revere knowledge, seek after truth — as if there was only one — and covet uncovering the secrets to the meaning of all existence, but there are times when knowing won’t suffice. There are times when we can’t know. And there are times when we simply don’t know.
Sometimes it’s hard to say “I don’t know.” But if it’s the truth, then humbly admit it.
And you’ll be at peace.
Just for today, take a few moments to stop searching for answers, and mentally itemize all the things you’ve put energy into but still you are not certain of, or don’t know. Then ask yourself, does it matter? Does it TRULY matter? Or would I rather be at peace?
You see, sometimes we get caught in the rush of day to day life, without even considering if we are dedicating too much time to things that won’t truly make a difference.
Remember that you can always go back to your itemized list and decide if you should or if you want to inquire about something you don’t yet know or if you have to learn something you must know… the list is there for you to access at anytime. What is not, is the time you dedicate to a few moments of peace, right now… in your only moment of power. And the time you are at peace is priceless in so many ways! Do it often and enjoy your moment of Zen.