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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 emperor, who was a devout Buddhist, invited a great Zen master to the Palace in order to ask him questions about Buddhism. “What is the highest truth of the holy Buddhist doctrine?” the emperor inquired.
“Vast emptiness… and not a trace of holiness,” the master replied.
“If there is no holiness,” the emperor said, “then who or what are you?”.
“I do not know,” the master replied.
A father was engrossed in his work while his little daughter constantly distracted him in an attempt for him to make him play with her. To keep her busy, the man tore a page of printed map of the world from a magazine into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again. The daughter was very young and he was pretty sure that she would take hours to get it done.
The father was surprised when he saw his little one coming out of the room with a smile and the perfect map within a few minutes. The stunned man asked his daughter how she could solve the puzzle so quickly.
“ Daddy, there is a woman’s face on the other side of the paper, When I made the face perfect, I got the map right.” , replied the young girl.