Stuck in a lift


On the way to the Zen Center for morning service, I got stuck in the lift. I arrived at the Zen Center building at 5:25 am and the lift that was opened had a bag of rubbish in it. I hesitated initially whether to get in but as it was nearly sitting time, I went into the lift so I could arrived before sitting meditation begins. On the way up the lift stopped at 2/F.  I pressed all the different buttons and nothing happened. When I realized that the lift was stuck, I pressed the alarm.  The guard tried to get the lift going but it would not respond. As it turned out, I was stuck in the lift for 1 hour before the technician arrived to open the lift door to let me out.  I was quite annoyed initially because I woke up early to come to the Zen center for a session of inner peace but instead I got stuck in a lift with a bag of garbage. As I calm down, I begin to see the irony of the situation.  Stuck in the lift and going no where is a little similar to my koan practice - stuck on the same koan for months and not getting anywhere! Since there was nothing else to do in the lift, I decided to practice standing meditation and recite my mantra.  Then out of nowhere, a koan appeared in my mind - What is the difference between me and the bag of rubbish? Is it the same or different....


As Sifu says, everything in life is teaching us, even things we do not like or expect. After I got out of the lift, I went up to the Zen Center and joined the Chanting service.