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social media, Zen

Social Media Lesson from Zen #1: A Cup of Tea

I recently read the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones. I was put on to it by @mattshadetek in this blog post he wrote. As I was reading it I began seeing some parallels between the writings and the use of social media. Below is the first writing in the book and my interpretation of it for social media. Let me know what you think and if I should keep going with this series or not.

1. 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?”

– From Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Nyogen Senzaki, english translation by Paul Reps

Opinions and speculations are great for starting conversations but you need to be open to others in order to foster them. Don’t be so full of your own opinions that you can’t listen to others, especially if they are your customers.

Sometimes you have to be the student.



2 thoughts on “Social Media Lesson from Zen #1: A Cup of Tea

  1. Glad you were inspired!


    Posted by Matt Shadetek | May 1, 2011, 11:08 am


  1. Pingback: Social Zen: A Cup of Tea (via youngbloodcreative) | The Deliberate Observer - April 30, 2011

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