Charm in Loss

Every time I read the cab ride post on zen moments website, tears would fill my eyes. Recently I viewed the video and then the Four Chambers film on compassion (the cab ride), courage, vision and wonder.However the four stories of loss better illustrate Chuang Tzu’s teachings on dying and death, disability and useless.

The cab ride was about a cab driver taking an elderly lady from her home to the nursing home for hospice. The ride was her last chance to see the outside world.

“Nature gives us form, belabors us with living, eases us with old age and lets us rest with death. Therefore if life is good, death is good as well. ” Chuang Tzu.

We all go through the seasons of life whether our life is long or short, dying young in sickness is not much different from aging. We may go on the ride ourselves, as companions to family and friends or strangers like the cab driver. If we can feel and understand the journey, we can ride with charm and compassion to ourselves or others.

Austin without limbs

The second story was about a little boy who lost his limbs at three. I had read “Life without Limits” by Nick Vujicic  and another book by a Korean with no limbs many years ago. But how little Austin showed his schoolmates that he could do what they thought he could not was a real inspiration. The way Austin’s mother described how she felt about the entire experience of loss opened my eyes, mind and heart. It’s more than courage, it is being enlightened by loss and discrimination.Instead of mourning over what cannot be done, think what can be done at the moment.

“Think one and not what’s lost.” Chuang Tzu.

The third story about how abandoned race horses were used to help withdrawn children who may be considered useless by many is not just vision to me, it is appreciating everyone and everything around us; then we can see the potential to do good to someone or something and put it to good use.

“Use of No Use is Great Use.” Chuang Tzu.

The final chamber is not wonder to me but untapped potential we tend to overlook in children and unexamined helplessness on challenging health conditions.

Epilepsy for Kids

The English girl published her book on epilepsy at the age of seven because her mother suffered from epilepsy and thought maybe other children can learn from her experience. Adults think children would be useless in understanding and helping in complicated health handicaps, but children surprise us if we let them.

And finally Ben Carson shared how he spent time on useless knowledge like classical music that ended up getting him in medical school. Nothing is “Useless Knowledge”.

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Love and Loss, Signature of Life

The charm of the lady flooded the lines in a touching article “Four Weddings and One Funeral”written by violinist Jimmy Lin Cho-Liang in a Taiwanese magazine “Wealth”.

Cho Liang Lin

She married in her forties and had three weddings in three cities all in two weeks  just for significant family members who could not travel. (Sydney where she lived for years, Munich where her mother-in-law was and then Taiwan where her dear uncles were.) It must have been exhausting. She became a mother five months later and her relatives heard about her lymphoma before their baby gifts even arrived in her hands. Her chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant all failed. His brother held a simple wedding in the hospital so her sister could attend. A few days later, she passed away. The baby was not even one-year-old. Her funeral was like a carnival, nobody wore black according to her request. She was a bright meteorite that swept through the sky. The most important events in life she went through fast forward in a year or so.

“Everything has a reason for being so. Everything has a reason for existence to be possible. ” Chuang Tzu

In contrast below a very slow film “Amour” that won numerous awards but the Guardian called it an ad for euthanasia. The film stripped aside all the glamour of long careers of the octogenarian actor and actress. Beauty faded , they glow from within, accepting stark reality of age, failure and ego disintegration.

“Nature gives us form, belabors us with living, eases us with old age and lets us rest with death. Therefore if life is good, death is good as well.  ” Chuang Tzu

Finally for any love and loss. Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto Second Movement played by  Lang Lang
The melancholy music filled with feelings of ineffable blessings, a beautiful signature of life. For any musician, loss of hearing would render him or her useless , a disability discriminated and doomed in any music career. Blessed with the profound sound of silence, Beethoven’s true nature emerged.

“Use of No Use is Great Use” Chuang Tzu.