Make a List

  1. Make a list of specific people you tend to attack with your thoughts or with your words. Name as many specific people as you can – including yourself if that is applicable.

  2. Make a list of groups of people you tend to attack with your thoughts or with your words. Name as many groups as you can. 

        For example: list people of a certain race, or a certain religion, or a certain sexual orientation,

        or a political party, or a certain age, or a certain gender

  3. Make a list of random things you attack. 

        For example: I used to attack stupidity. I would get very angry over things/situations/decisions

        I saw as stupid; in fact, that little devil still pops up for me now and then!

Be Vigilant

For one week, make a note each day of the things you find yourself attacking and add them to the lists you have already made.

Examine Your Perceptions and Beliefs

  1. Pick one person you tend to attack, and carefully, honestly, deeply examine the perceptions and beliefs you have about that person. Write down what you find.

    Example: Let’s say you have a brother or a sister that you tend to attack. Examine your perceptions and beliefs. Maybe your perception is that the family caters to that sibling. Maybe you believe that sibling doesn’t deserve all of that attention. Look at those perceptions and beliefs honestly and thoroughly. Write them down.

    You do not need to change those perceptions and beliefs right now since you do not currently have a different set of perceptions and beliefs to take the place of your current perceptions and beliefs.

    The goal is merely to examine and identify all of the perceptions and beliefs that you have about that person right now in your life.

  2. Pick one group of people you tend to attack and apply all of the steps described above, including writing down your insights.

  3. Pick one item from your third list and apply all of the steps described above, including writing down your insights.

Be Kind to Yourself!

Do NOT attack yourself for attacking others. Attack is a powerful concept learned at an early age and reinforced throughout our lives; however, if we want genuine, lasting peace and joy in our lives, identifying our attack thoughts, words, and actions is the place to begin until we are able to replace those thoughts with a new set of perceptions and beliefs.

Optional Activity

You may want to review the exercises you did for STEP 2 after doing the exercises above.  Reviewing those activities helps give balance to your week and helps remind you of the love you have in your life and in your heart.

However, to get to the goal of lasting peace and joy, it is attack thoughts that must ultimately be eliminate, and to do that, they must first be identified and examined.


In STEP 4  we will examine the choices we get to make; using the formula P+B=E=A, so we can begin to brew a different kind of tea for our tea cup. Go there when you are ready to concentrate on the content of STEP 4.


Pathwy to Love and Peace and Joy Logo

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?"

Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen And Pre-Zen Writings (Kindle Locations 302-307). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.

A Cup of Tea: A Zen Parable

Emptying Your Cup

It is important to take note, after reading the Zen parable above, that in the parable A Cup of Tea, Nan-in did not suggest the cup be thrown away; he merely said to emptyit. The message of the parable is not that we are to become mindless; the message is that we are to become open-minded.

If the way in which we have been thinking about life and ourselves has not brought us the love and peace and joy to which we are entitled, then it is time to pour out those thoughts, try out some new thoughts, and see where they take us.

Remember, if the taste of the "new tea" does not provide the satisfaction we are looking for, we can always go back to the "tea" we were drinking before.

How to decide what to empty from our cup:



Time for change...


Ask Jeanne


Empty Your Cup

  1. Everyone has an inner voice that tells us what we need to know in order to experience lasting peace and joy. 

  2. When I was 14, because I was struggling with contradictory spiritual information, I asked that voice“How do I tell the difference between spiritual truth and falsehood.”

  3. The answer that came to me was both very simple and yet extremely profound:
    “All spiritual truth comes from love and promotes unity/oneness; all falsehood comes from fear and promotes separation.”

  4. So, I began seeking ways to “empty my cup” - so to speak - of the thoughts of attack, prejudice, and separation, and I began seeking ways of choosing love, oneness, and unity.

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The purpose of this website is to help create positive, life-changing experiences. The best way to experience something is to do it.

After each of the Seven Steps, a “CALL TO ACTION” is provided which recommends an activity, or activities, to perform in order to experience the concept presented in the step.

The recommended activity for STEP 3 is:

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