Crazy Wisdom Practice: things to do on an elevator

February 8, 2011

Image Credit: Gizmodo

1. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask, ‘Got enough air in there?”

2. Meow occasionally.

3. Wear a puppet on one of your hands and use it to talk to the other passengers.

4. Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope.

5. Say “ding” at each floor.

6. Make noises like an explosion every time someone presses a button.

7. Stare, grinning at a friendly looking passenger, and then announce, “I have on new socks.”

8. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask, “Is that your beeper?”

Image Credit: Elevator World Unplugged

9. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask each of them to call you “Admiral.”

10. Hand out lollipops or sticks of gum to your fellow passengers.

11. Cut the cheese.

Image Credit: Corbis-Bettman, Explore PA History

Of course, I realise that none of us are going to follow these elevator instructions.  [I dunno, I have a stethoscope]. But for just a few minutes, think about doing any one of them, and imagine what it would mean to be free of your inhibitions about appearing different or foolish. Visualize yourself as somebody who isn’t afraid of being laughed at. What freedom it must be to be able to stop worrying about what people think! [What people think of me is none of my beeswax].

The purpose of crazy wisdom is to help burst the bubble of our fixed opinions and expectations. As we go through the day, isn’t it often the unexpected thing that happens that perks us up and gives us something different to enthuse about when we get home? We can live on the brink of the mystery of being by bringing a bit more whimsy and playfulness to our serious deliberations.

~ Extract from Awakening the Buddhist Fart Heart – Lama Surya Das


Image Credit: Elevator-World Unplugged

Further Reading:

Things You Don’t Know about Modern Elevators



  1. How freeing is it for other elevator passengers to fear for their safety and wonder if this crazy person could have a knife or gun? That’s what would be going through my head, not “ooooo, how whimsical!”

  2. Aaah…..and therein lies the heart of the issue…so much fear. Do you perceive yourself to be safe in the external world or at risk? Does danger lurk around every corner……the legacy of 9/11.

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