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Pang sifu,

I just finish reading this long post.

It remind me that Zen Story : A Cup of Tea

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

The above story is the first in the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones.

Of course, I learned this story from reading Bruce Lee’s book first.

The empty tea cup

“A learned man once went to visit a Zen teacher to inquire about Zen. As the Zen teacher talked, the learned man frequently interrupted to express his own opinion about this or that. Finally the Zen teacher stopped talking and began to serve tea to the learned man. He poured the cup full, then kept pouring until the cup overflowed.

” ‘Stop,’ said the learned man. ‘ The cup is full, no more can be poured in.’

” ‘Like this cup you are full of your own opinions,’ replied the Zen teacher. ‘ If you do not first empty your tea cup, how can you taste my cup of tea?’ ”

from the  Introduction to Striking Thoughts, a compilation of writings by Bruce Lee, Edited by John Little, Published by Tuttle Publishing, 2000

I admire your willingness to offer your knowledge. I was attracted to your Fa Jin concept since I have been trying to apply Jin by myself and I need someone to validate what I learn from trial and error. You did not start by teaching Tai Chi. You just simply talking about how to Fa Jin which is exactly what I need. It’s good since the technique can be applied to different kind of martial arts but not just Tai Chi, even though, yours are come from Tai Chi study. You did not confine this technique to one art or one way only. This knowledge will definitely benefit to more people.

Your knowledge certainly has helped me just by receiving the validation of my own learning and knowing the correct way to Fa Jin. With the uncertainty disappearing, I only need to try to apply it correctly. It saves me a lot of time.

Pang sifu, even I cannot do your form smoothly, I have been trying to apply Jin in my Ving Tsun practice.

Knowing I can ask you question whenever I puzzle, it’s a huge benefit to me.

Thank you for your patience.