The Zen Daddy elaborates on his original Empty Your Cup essay and tells us how to deal with that stale, funky tea. If you did a web search on “elaborate Victorian tea cups” this was probably not what you were looking for, but is exactly what you need.

Greetings and salutations to all! The Zen Daddy is back to share a little more

An elaborate Victorian teacup that doesn't belong to Zen Daddy

about tea. Last time we talked about how to keep the tea in your teacup clear; today, let’s talk about how to empty the cup.

We’re not talking about your average “left out overnight on the countertop” tea. We’re talking about “left out for three weeks until it starts to move.” We’re talking serious funk. We’re talking the kind of emotions that cause you to want to crawl under a rock when that person or situation comes to mind. Or throw one.

So what are we to do with this deep, stuck to your sides kind of emotion? The exact details are up to you, but here are a few steps that you can take to navigate this path. First, we have to remember that Pain is part of this existence. Or if you prefer another term, you can call it Discomfort, or maybe Dis-Ease. Basically, we all deal with papercuts, and stubbed toes, and heartache. It’s all part of this thing called “Life”, as Prince would say. Some of the details may differ, but even the people who we might feel cause our discomfort have pain of their own. Welcome to the human experience. Although we can’t get out of experiencing pain, the thing we do have control over is suffering.

Suffering is the difference between experiencing pain and wallowing in it. If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we know where the line is. The good news is that we can stop suffering anytime we want. The act of ending suffering begins with making a decision to accept this situation exactly as it is. If you break your leg and are in a cast, what should you do? Be the best version of you that you can be in a cast. If your significant other breaks up with you, what should you do? Be the best Just-Broken-Up-With version of you that you can be. This doesn’t mean we instantly stop feeling the pain – we keep feeling the pain, but we also keep on living. We feel, we learn, we grow. If we deal with our pain up front, there’s less chance there’ll be anything left behind to become a science experiment.

Of course, the Zen Daddy would not be the Zen Daddy if he neglected to state that there is another way to empty the cup: to realize that there is no cup and no one to empty it. But that’s a lesson for another time…

ben’s TEN has vowed, even under pain of 30 gorillas playing the Mexican national anthem on flaming banjos, never to reveal Zen Daddy’s true identity.



About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

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