How to learn Positive Thinking

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I happen to be away from my computer with the Vietnamese writing program. The computer I am using is my friend’s. I am at his home trying to do some work for DCN. So here we are, I have to write in English, and you will have to read English. Sorry for the inconvenience. 🙂

This message is for the brothers and sisters who are either new to DCN or new to positive thinking or new to both.

If you are new to a subject or a place, and you would like to learn something about the subject or the place, you may want to empty your cup of tea first, before you can learn anything.

There is a Zen story about learning, called “The cup of tea”. The story goes like this:

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?”

So, for you to learn any subject in life. the first thing you must do is to empty your mind of all the knowledge, opinions, assumptions, speculations about that subject.

Go into the lesson with an empty mind, with the wish to learn something new.

More often than not, we have someone come to DCN, read something, and share some comments with everyone, obviously with the willingness to teach, not to learn.

Teaching is fine. If you have something to teach everyone, that is wonderful. We love it.

But, make up your mind. Are you here to be a teacher or a student?

A teacher is great. I love to see a teacher share his knowledge here with everyone. Unfortunately, usually I don’t see a teacher, just a new student trying to act like a teacher.

So make up your mind. If you want to teach, make sure you know your subject very well before attempting to teach.

If you want to learn, then have an empty mind, a desire to learn, and a humble attitude.

Otherwise, if your cup is still full, you are wasting your time trying to learn. You’d better use that time to do something else more constructive. 🙂

Have a great day!


© copyright 2011
Trần Đình Hoành
Permitted for non-commercial use

Một suy nghĩ 6 thoughts on “How to learn Positive Thinking”

  1. Bài này của anh làm em giật mình quá! 😀

    Even though you opened the article with “This message is for the brothers and sisters who are either new to DCN or new to positive thinking or new to both.” and I do not classify myself as a newcomer, I believe that this message is always meaningful to me, at least until I become … an empty cup. A humble attitude, I will keep in my mind. Thank you, brother Hoanh.


  2. Thanks you Brother Hoanh. In this lesson, you have written in English, from my point of view, i think it is useful for me because i have opportunity for seeing structures I learnt. I tend to remember those structures in sort of your lessons. We not only learn your useful lessons but also understand so much from you use. I like it. brothe Hoanh.


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