Once during tea time all the disciples were given cups of tea which were merely half full. This was unusual as mostly full cups were provided and the students had option to take more if they wanted.
There was a strange buzz in the seating area next to the kitchen where this evening tea ceremony took place. All of a sudden Master entered the room. Full of surprise as this was again highly unusual for Master never came a-visiting the student area, everyone stood up placing their cups down.
Master smiled and motioned them to sit. He then addressed the gathered disciples.
“You are surprised today at your cups being just half full however there is a life lesson in there. That lesson revolves around your expectations. See you expected your cups to be full however when they were half, it felt that you were deprived of something. Most people live like this, focused on what they feel short of or they think they lack because their expectations are high. However their cups are still half full and if they did not expect full cups, they would have been celebrating instead of being glum.“
“So Master how can we manage these high expectations.”
“There are couple of steps involved in this management process.
Firstly be aware that the full cup is an ego trick. You get fooled by ego narrative that full cup is a happiness recipe; though the truth remains that actual state of your cup has nothing to do this with this story having a happy ending. So instead of fictionalizing your happiness it is better to be focused on small realistic joys.
Now the more focused you get on the micro-joys instead of some macro imaginary state of happiness, more joys start to surface in your daily life. Life’s abundance finds you when you make space for it in your routine.
Secondly by being regularly grateful for your blessings and whatever you have been given, you start to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t. This shift in perspective is a big deal and brings up what I call the cup paradox. Your half cup starts to feel like a full cup now.
So as long you longed for the full cup, you got half and as soon as you moved on to accepting half, it started to feel like the full cup.
So wisdom is to stop worrying about the quantity in the cup, give thanks for what you have and start sipping.” Master paused sipping deliberately from the cup that was handed to him by one of the new monks.
“Master as I understand, you are saying that life itself is complete and we block its flow by being focused on our perceived lacks. So as we bring less of us, more of life comes to our lives.”
“That’s totally correct” Master nodded appreciatively. “Also you can create even more space for life by calling out another of ego’s tricks. Apart from perceived lacks, ego also traps you in perceived wrongs. You set up negative vibrational states by focusing on how others are unjust to you. So lets say you think the boy serving tea is unfair and he has given you cup with lesser quantity and more tea has been served to your neighbor. This focus will shut you down and limit life’s access to you.
Being kind is the only known antidote to open that space back again. As you are kind in words and actions, thoughts and judgements, the ego doors which came crashing down will open back to admit the big life back in. “
“Master what if someone actually harms you”
“Forgiveness is the highest form of kindness. It is relatively easy to be kind when stakes are low however it takes a person truly committed to emptying his egos bag of tricks to forgive, when he or she has been wronged. So remember, in your limited time here, more space you occupy with your mental constructs lesser you leave for life to populate it with its joys.” The master concluded.