Hi, I am Michael Mitchell, a Japanese teacher from New Jersey. Every year I share with my new Japanese 1 students the Zen story “Cup of Tea”. In this story, a university professor meets with a monk to inquire about Zen. As the monk pours tea into the cup, the professor watches as the tea begins to overflow. The monk continues to pour until at last the professor states, “Stop pouring! Can’t you see the cup is full”! The monk states, “Just like this cup, your mind is filled with its own opinions and speculations on life. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup”? It is a wonderful story that is truly ageless. I believe we all can benefit from the wisdom in this story by listening to one another, trying to understand and by “emptying the cup”.