Monday, October 15, 2012

From Nothing, Something

Good morning, gentle readers.

Welcome to another fabulous Monday on the blog.

I’d like to say that I’ve got something profound to write about today, but the fact of the matter is that I’m drawing a complete blank. I even got so desperate for a topic that I went to one of those random blog topic generators you can find online and tried to use it for inspiration.

Unfortunately, the topic it kept suggesting was ‘Tom Cruise’s marriage.’

Yes, like I’m going to write about that train wreck.

So, here I sit, writing about not being able to write about anything. Which, as topics go, feels very Zen.

I was into Zen for a little while. Its ambivalence appealed to me.

My favorite Zen story is the one about a young man who wants to study with a Zen Master. He arranges an interview and the two meet over tea. While the Master serves the tea, the young man goes on and on about why he wants to study Zen. The Master listens politely, pouring tea into the young man’s cup. He fills the cup to the brim and continues to pour until the tea is overflowing the cup. The young man cries out for the Master to stop filling the cup. The Master complies, then says, "Your mind is like the tea cup. Already so full of ideas and opinions that there is no room for anything else. Come back when your cup is empty."

I think that’s a great story.

It makes me envision everyone walking around, balancing cups full of hot tea atop their heads.

I think, writers and non-writers alike, tend to walk around with tea cups full to the brim. We are full of our own knowledge, ambition, experience, self-importance. Essentially, we are full of ourselves.

Sometimes, it’s good to empty that metaphysical tea cup. To open ourselves to new experiences, to new sensations. This doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Take a trip to a museum you’ve never been to before, listen to music you wouldn’t ordinarily listen to, read a book by a new author.

Get outside your comfort zone.

Spill some tea.

See what happens next.

You might be surprised.

Like I’m surprised that a blog about nothing at all turned into a blog about Zen and expanding one’s experience.

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