The moments that fills life with gratitude and humility is such a precious blessing.
Meeting an 80-year-old Chinese man from Shanghai who fled to Taiwan in 1945 and arrived in Malaga, Spain 40 years ago with the promise of US$300 employed as a Chinese chef is indeed destiny.
Wang Ai Jin, an ex-KMT soldier who never finished school, a former cook to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, also meditates and a vegetarian for the past 18 years. There is a special glow and sincerity in his eyes. He is full of love with the agility of a 20-year-old.
We only spoke in Putonghua but we communicated through the heart. I arrived at the doorstep of his restaurant on a sunny afternoon. Mr. Wang’s is one of the two pure vegetarian restaurants in Malaga and within walking distance to where I was staying.
Although the door was open it was still early for business. I entered and spoke in broken Putonghua. We established our home towns and confirm it is a vegetarian restaurant. Then Mr. Wang said usually they are ready after 1:30pm. I told him I was very hungry but would return shortly not to inconvenience their routine. He insisted that I should sit and will cook immediately. I warmly smiled and thanked him for his hospitality but insisted to return shortly.
Mr. Wang cooked especially for me even though there was a buffet. He told me he made his own tofu and gave me Chinese vegetables usually homegrown because they are difficult to get in Malaga.
Mr. Wang was full of love and an old school immigrant, welcoming strangers from distance lands that shared a common heritage, sharing what they had and only comfortable when he felt his guest was totally satisfied. I returned for several meals more.
This evening meal I brought my friends. He told us he waited for me since the afternoon.
Mr. Wang spoke and shared a lot about his life. He has a family but it was the first time he shared his wisdom from meditation. It felt right he said.
We asked him after being through two wars, having killed, having been successful and seen decline in business, travelled and a family, what is the lesson?
He replied with eyes full of love and gratitude: “Life is all about Love. Without Love there is no Life. Meditation allows you to open up.”
It was at this moment where I realised we were destined to meet. His purpose to cook for me and to share his message. For me it was to listen and offer assurance. For my friends the message could not have come at a more appropriate moment both undergoing life changing circumstances.
It was a very beautiful moment. A precious moment of when destinies meet.