A Zen moment


During a recent trip to Hong Kong I went to Lantau Island to visit the Buddhist monastery (founded by three Zen masters in 1920) to see the giant Buddha. When I got there the cloud cover was so low that even after climbing up the 269 steps to the base of the statue I couldn’t actually see anything above Buddha’s knees.

Instead I walked along the Wisdom path (an ugly concrete track through the woods) to the Tea Garden Restaurant (a dilapidated concrete outbuilding), sat under a decrepit corrugated metal shack eating Shredded Chicken Stir Fried Rice (in which the Chicken was actually frankfurters) and drinking tea. The tea was delicious, as was the stir fried rice and the shabby restaurant in the middle of the woods was a strangely relaxing place to rest, as a brief but impressive thunderstorm unburdened itself upon the mountain top. I had a peaceful few moments sipping tea before wandering back along the wisdom path. Then, just as I reached the base of the stairs (leading up to the Buddha) an email pinged into my Blackberry from my Internet Service Provider (seems Buddha gets much better cell phone coverage than I do in the UK). The timing made me smile because my Internet Service Provider is called Zen Internet. I guess Buddha has a sense of humour. I have read his message and I am not sure how a standing order for my Internet access will lead to enlightenment. Maybe he just wants me to be connected so I can Google Buddhism.

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