Beginner II

Overflowing Cup: ASL translation

The Zen parable "Overclowing Cup" was translated into ASL in 2009, not only for storytelling fans, but also for ASL learners. Language level: late beginners.

English translation

A university professor went to visit a Zen master. While the master served tea for the guest, the professor talked and talked about Zen. The master quietly listened and poured the cup to the brim, but he didn't stop. He kept pouring and the cup was overflowing.

The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "Hey, it's overfull."

The master was aware, "Your mind is like this cup. If I teach you Zen, you mind will overfill it. How can I show you Zen if you have not emptied your mind first?"


"One needs to deconstruct one's belief before relearning new a perspective."

Grammar tutorials

Here is a few tips on the pronouns, classifiers, and verb inflections.

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Related posts

Also see The Moving Mind: a Zen parable.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

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Expressing needs and wants

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Talking about activities

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Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.