Charm in Loss

“Think One, Not What’s Lost”
(Chuang Tzu)

Little Austin who showed his schoolmates that he could do what they thought he could not was a real inspiration. 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.

“Use of No Use is Great Use.
(Chuang Tzu)

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.
The melancholy music in Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto Second Movement filled our eyes with tears and feelings of ineffable blessings, a beautiful signature of life.
A nonprofit organization uses abandoned race horses to help withdrawn children who may be considered useless by many, it is not just a vision but a noble mission to promote appreciation for everyone and everything around us; then we can see the potential to do good to someone or put something to good use.

French Father and Center for the Mentally Challenged

Father Yves Moal came to Taiwan at 25 as a young Catholic father from Marseilles, France. He has been caring for the mentally and physically challenged for more than five decades providing training and livelihood on making baguettes, buns, brooms, mops, bags, woodwork at the Anders Center as well as recycling books, clothes and other items to sell in a second hand bookstore in E.Taiwan. See photos showing his church, library and senior center, recycling center and bookstore, Anders center (new and old site) , baking kitchen and Father Moal with his kids at the center.Direct donation to Anders is available through Taiwan’s Post Office (in Chinese only) or contact Father (English or French) at his Facebook.(Apologize for not providing all materials in English. Will  convert them into English when technical competence acquired).

Father Moal at church service  Yuli Catholic Church library and senior center at the church Father's Second Hand Bookstore by the street Father at his recyling center    Anders Center Anders Center (old site) Anders residents making baguettes  Father and his kids

View Father’s Anders Home plan in the recent news clip reporting him winning the President’s Humanitarian Award, the building plan and land of the nursing home project (start at 0.35′) . Close to 0.5 hectare (1500 pings) of land and around 25% of target fund of about USD2.5 million (NTD 80 million) is already raised. Father Moal hopes to move the residents in at the end of next year.

As of 2015年10月28日 04:10 reported by China Times, a company has agreed to donate NTD80 million to the nursing home project. And Father Moal also won the Loving Heart Award of NTD 1 million from another NGO. (updated by City Hermit )

Also a a TV documentary shot a few years ago about his works and life in East Taiwan.

How City Hermit plan to help in Anders Home project:

  • Donations through sales of ebooks “Free Easy Mind” and “Millennium Charm” (minus costs, bank fees and tax) to help operate a nursing home for the aging handicapped.
  • Find Fortune Cookies manufacturers or retailers to launch multilingual peace cookies (peace messages from various cultures and religions in fortune cookies). It is hoped that those who participate would donate 5-10% of their profits direct to Anders Home project (the nursing home for the aging handicapped).
    Visit City Hermit Peace Character Page on Facebook featuring Freeasy Peace Pictograms and Freeasy Peace Characters (people past and present) and Freeasy Peace Think (starting with Zen Tao quotes on free easy mind in conflicts) on Twitter.
  • Work out related Chinese calligraphy or cultural products to sell at Amazon. (City Hermit is conducting a free calligraphy contest till Dec.31,2015 as a first step to test the potential of calligraphy by the aging mentally challenged as supplementary income for operating the nursing home)

Why Anders Home?

Father Moal is a living example of no opposition in opposing religions and cultures or use of no use.Some of the potential residents he has been fathering since they were infants and many are from indigenous tribal families, don’t we all want to help fulfill his wish to go through the seasons of life with his precious kids?

Even though there are so many causes we want to support, like our hearts cry for the migrants in Europe, the solution is political and beyond our capacity. But you and I can make a difference by chipping in our modest capacity to help make Anders Home a reality soon.

Please help to support Father Moal’s work.Thank you.


Deformed the Useless is Blessed

There was a man called Deformed the Useless, his chin hid in his navels, shoulders hunched above his head; pigtail in a bun pointing towards the sky, all five organs piled on the back and two thighs pressed the ribs.

He managed to feed himself with sewing and doing laundry for others, he winnowed rice and sifted chaff as well; the income could support ten people.

When the government needed warriors, he walked freely without worries of being drafted; when they needed hard laborers, he was exempted due to his chronic conditions. He got three big measures and ten bundles of wood when they handed out grains to the sick and handicapped.

If those defect in form can feed themselves and live out their years, what more should those defect in integrity do?

(from Chapter 4, “Human World”, Book of Chuang Tzu)

Blessings and Curses

Is being deformed and useless a blessing or a curse? Christopher Reeve, known for his superman role in movies, would not be such a great man if he were not paralyzed to the extent of being completely useless in terms of caring for his own daily living, he became such a great inspiration for generations to come because he made great use of his physical defect and useless state promoting research and welfare for the paralyzed.

This is the law of opposites or polarity in Lao Tzus terms. If you dont expand your thinking at a higher level, being useless will remain a curse while Use of No Use is boundless when transcended beyond mans convention.

DeForm or deEmphasize physical form, concentrate on spiritual aspects that are truly important. Never will any defect make anyone useless, Nature has its way on taking care of all existence.

Eco Parables

Old Trees and rocks

Carpenter’s Dream

A carpenter went to the village and saw a great chestnut leaved oak that served as a shrine. It was huge enough to shade several thousand oxen and measured a hundred spans wide, towering above the hills. The lowest branches were eighty feet from ground and a dozen or so of them can be made into boats.
Sightseers gathered like in a fair. The carpenter did not even stop to look. His apprentice looked at it until he got tired of it, he caught up with his mentor to ask,
“Since I have followed you with my axe, I have never seen such beautiful wood. Why wouldn’t you stop and look?”
“Forget it, don’t mention it. It’s just trash, what can you do with it? A boat would sink, a coffin would rot, utensils would break, a door would seep with sap and a pillar would attract worms. It’s not a timber tree. Being useless, it can live out its life term.”
He went home and the tree appeared in his dream.
“You compared me to cultivated trees, the cherry apple, pear, orange and all the shrubs and trees that bear fruits? They are stripped, picked and abused when their fruits are ripe,. The big branches are broken off while small branches bleed with sap from the wounds. They bring on their own suffering in life. They die before living out their full term, hassled by the world. Aren’t all things alike?
I seek to be useless but I almost died. Now I’ve got my life, this is of great use to me. If I were of any use, would I have grown so big?
We are all things, why condemn others? You are a dying and worthless person, why do you have such poor understanding to call me worthless wood?” The carpenter woke up and interpreted the dream.
The apprentice asked, “If it wanted to be useless, why is it used as the shrine?”
The carpenter replied, “Hush! Not a word! It professes to be a shrine so those who do not understand would not criticize it. If it’s not a shrine, wouldn’t they cut it down? It presents itself in a different way, if we take conventional standards, we’ll be way off.”

(from Chapter 4, “Human World”, Book of Chuang Tzu)

Never judge others as Useless 

The useless trees rebuke in the carpenters dream is a wake up call for mans judgmental mind .We should not judge people with standards of our own. We dont really know what is useful or useless. Chuang Tzus teaching may be considered by many as useless but ingenious and profound by others. Van Gogh was probably considered pretty useless when he was alive in his time, so was Proust or many other great people.

Chuang Tzu

Chuang Tzu in a boat under trees

Genius Mind in Ancient China

“Chuang Tzu is the greatest and most brilliant poet among Chinese thinkers so far known.” Herman Hesse.
Most Westerners have heard of Lao Tzu and Tao, and Tao Te Ching is probably one of the most read Classics both in East and West. Whether Lao Tzu actually wrote Tao Te Ching himself is still a myth. There is no verifiable record on Lao Tzu, it is believed that he probably lived around 3rd to 6th century BCE. There are few historical details on Chuang Tzu’s life, but a brief biography is documented. Most would consider him a follower of Lao Tzu and he lived after Confucius (551-479 BCE). He is as important as Lao Tzu in terms of his influence on Chinese thoughts.

One of the most intriguing, humorous and enjoyable personalities in the entire history of Chinese philosophy and literature, Chuang Tzu presents in his writings philosophy for individuals and emphasizes the need for individual freedom and transcendence from worldly concerns. He advocates “Free from the World”, but man must first of all discard baggage of conventional values before he can be free.

Employing rhetoric to awaken readers to essential meaninglessness of conventional values, he uses short narratives that start out sounding rational and end up reducing language to gibberish like the Zen Koan to alert the mind into awareness of a truth outside ordinary logic or pseudo logical discussions.

He lived in fourth century BCE (369-286 BCE) during Warring States Period (403-221 BCE) when nations were split up into a number of autonomous states that were constantly at war with one another. In this golden age of Chinese philosophy a hundred schools of thoughts arose to envision a better social order. Continue reading