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?”
- You end up only listening to yourself, and not the members of the band.
- The band never gets a chance to create the chemistry that makes jazz magical.
- You as the improviser, never really learn the true art of improvisation.
- And most tragically, you will always be an ego-centered player, and will never experience enlightenment through music.