A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

Although it would be fair for anyone to say that I no nothing of Zen buddhism, I feel I do know something of it and I know what I know through kayaking. After years of kayaking white water I have had moments of clarity, pure focus and joy all coming to me without the feeling of really trying to reach that point, it just happens and often when I least expect it.

So many kayakers seem to kayak to boost their own sense of self, to prove themselves, either to themselves or to other kayakers, or to have that spectacular photo on the wall at home. Many only paddle class 4 and 5 considering less difficult water no fun and/or no challenge or perhaps no way to feed there own ego, so many appear to me to be somewhat disconnected to what they are actually doing.

Its not about what you have run but about how well you have run it, not because running something well looked cool to your friends, but because running something well is a better connection to what you are doing. How many can truly use the forces available to them with out effort, without losing focus?

By Andy Round

Empty Your Cup|Andy Round

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