Zen and the Art of Celebrating Life

Don’t grieve anything. Celebrate everything. Success. Failure. Defeat. Crisis. Tragedy. Joy. Sorrow. Everything!

Celebrating when we are successful or happy, we all know how to do it and do it very well. But celebrating failure and defeat? Well, you first overcome the initial sense of shock and surprise from each setback in your Life and replace it with celebration. How can we celebrate a loss __ of something, someone __ you may well wonder. Here’s the nub – you don’t (have to) celebrate the loss itself. But you can always celebrate the times you had with that something, that someone. You can celebrate the learning that you are now being subjected to through experiencing this loss. You can celebrate the opportunity called this moment.

Harnish Patel, 35, was among the victims of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. A British-Indian, he was on a backpacking trip to India and was at the Leopold Cafe that evening when the terrorists struck. At least three bullets passed through his legs and chest, skimming past his bones and major organs. 7 years ago Harnish was lying in the ICU of Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital with tubes sticking through his legs and chest, not knowing if he would ever walk again. But with determination and grit, Patel, who narrowly escaped death, has not just overcome his injuries but also astounded doctors, family and friends by running in a marathon and joining the British Royal Navy. Just four years after the gruesome attack that left him debilitated, he was the flag-bearer for England in the team-welcome and victory ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics! Simple learning: do you think Patel would have even gotten out of his hospital bed had he stayed grieving?

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore (1861~1914), has said, “If you cry that the sun has gone out of your Life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.” To grieve is to see Life through a myopic perspective. To celebrate Life is to see it on a 70mm or an IMAX canvas! When you zoom out and see your Life from a higher plane, you see each event as a blessing!