The Zen Series: The Crystal Cup

Parsi Times presents our readers ‘The Zen Series’ by PT Columnist, Kashmira Shaw Raj – a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher, as also a sought-after clinical psychologist and healer. These Zen stories will resonate with you and help you connect within, at a deeper, inner level to encourage and empower you to reflect. These make for good reading across people of all ages and speak to the reader at several levels. If you’re looking to bring about a positive change in yourself, ‘The Zen Series’ will inspire, motivate and facilitate you in realizing truths about yourself and life, to ultimately set you on the path of growth, wisdom and happiness.

In this eleventh part of ‘The Zen Series’, the short story about the Crystal Cup provides you a good gulp of wisdom!

A Zen master was given a beautifully crafted crystal cup. It was a gift from a former student. He was very grateful. Every day, he enjoyed drinking out of his cup. He would show it to visitors and tell them about the kindness of his student. But every morning, he held the cup in his hand for a few seconds and reminded himself – “This glass is already broken.”

[Courtesy: Zen Stories for a Calm, Clear Mind]

 How often are we taken up by something that dazzles? It suddenly becomes all- important to us and consumes us. We fail to see beyond it or from any other perspective. At that time, perhaps we are not in a position to actually see it for what it really is.

It is great to have your needs fulfilled, provided you do not get carried away by the process or the object itself. We need to recognize the true worth. Things may appear beautifully crafted but beyond a point they are simply things. The Master realizes this.

One needs to be constantly grounded and remind one’s self that all those shiny and pretty objects may not last or remain in our possession forever. If you are able to enjoy the luxury of beautiful items and also be able to enjoy the time when you do not have them, you have truly mastered the ability to rise above the materialistic.

The kind Master values the student’s sentiments and talks about his gift to all. He knows it matters so much to the student. The cup is a gift gracefully accepted because of the student. However, the Master constantly reminds himself that what he holds in his hands is something that is artificial and bound to break one day. He consciously makes an effort to keep himself detached from the cup so that tomorrow if it breaks or is not there with him anymore, he will not miss it. He believes in enjoying things till they last but not lamenting over them after.

Taking a page from the Master’s book of wisdom, it would do us so much good were we to check with ourselves:

  1. Are we prepared to move on in life after crossing those rocky roads?
  2. Can we enjoy life and the things it offers always in the now without thinking about the future?
  3. Do we accept and agree that times change like seasons?
  4. Does it unnerve us to think of certain painful truths such as an impending loss that needs to be addressed and do we avoid doing so?
  5. Are we able to remain detached and enjoy everything around us?

The true sense of enjoyment lies in enjoying things till they last. If it does, great and if it does not, great. Accepting what comes to you is a positive way of living. It does not mean that you don’t plan. Always visualize the best for you and your loved ones. Mental strength gets you through all walks of life. Try to be as original as possible from within and go with the flow.

What comes, will, one day, go! Choose to stop your life with the loss, or go with the flow and thrive! The choice is yours!


Kashmira Shaw Raj is a professional Taichi and Qigong practitioner and teacher. Also, a successful clinical psychologist, psychic and healer, Kashmira runs ‘The Tai-Qi Touch’ with her husband, Dr. Brijesh Raj, a healer and a Vet. Taichi practitioners for over fourteen years now, they are instructors in Sifu Carlton Hill’s Tao Taichi Qi Gong organization, and Shibashi Instructors under Sifu Wing Cheung from the Feng Shui and Taichi Institute, Hongkong & Canada. 

The Tai-Qi Touch offers classes for adults and children at ‘Infinite Studio’ (Opp. Starbucks Café, Chowpatty, Mumbai). To contact Kashmira, M: 9323874418 or Email:

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