The "Empty Bowl" became my metaphor for all student learning in my classes when I taught in the community college as a full time instructor. It's significance is rooted in the expression of the VOID as described in Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching.
Its utility is evident in the "Less is More" philosophy of the Great Teachers process. I internalized this concept during my first NC Great Teachers experience in 1997.
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
Another Chapter 11 Translation...
Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality