Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Watcher and the Observer

 The Watcher and the Observer

“The Creator seems elusive amid the changes of life.
At times, He seems to have forsaken His creations.
In reality, He is simply observing the comings and goings of their follies.

Likewise, we watch the comings and goings
of our likes and dislikes, of our desires and fears.
But we do not identify with them.
With no judgment and no preference,
we see the mysteries of creation.”
Lao Tzu

We are living in a world of war and violence.

How could the Creator permit such evil to persist? Has the Creator forsaken those who are just and righteous?

If you choose to ask the Creator the above questions, maybe you should also ask yourself the same questions.

The bottom line: never ever judgeinjustice in the physical world is one of the mysteries to be resolved by the Creator, and not by you, because you are in the world and not of the world. Like the Creator, just watch and observe, and let things happen the way they are supposed to—that is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, more than 2,600 years ago. We all want things our way, and that is why there is conflict in the first place.

As aging continues, you will begin to understand that you cannot have anything and everything your way or no way.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Anti-Depression Love Recipes

 Love Recipes

“Love” is a big word in all human civilizations. For all religious disparities, love still plays an essential role in all the world’s religions. Love plays an important role in human lives, especially living in a world of conflicts and aggression.

What is the real meaning of “love”? Love involves our emotions and feelings. We all love some things and some people. Love, ironically enough, gives us both happiness and unhappiness. When the love is fulfilled, we feel happy; when the love is rejected or unrequited, we then feel pain, which becomes the unhappiness. This, unfortunately, is the reality of love.

Loving others is not that easy, and loving yourself is sometimes even more difficulty. This is also the reality of life.
The truth of the matter is that to truly love someone is very difficult, if not impossible, unless you love yourself first.

Self-acceptance

In a general sense, self-esteem is the positive or negative evaluative perception of self.  It is a rating of self based on a partial assessment of current and/or past traits. Many mental health professionals claim that achieving higher self-esteem is the keystone of good mental health, in particular, in avoiding depression; such claims, however, are dubious at best.

Low self-esteem is self-doubt, often expressed in not asserting oneself in public or workplace, and not pushing past one’s comfort zones.

To love yourself is self-acceptance, which is accepting who and what you really are—and not who and what you wish you were (that is, your ego-self). It should also be pointed out that “loving yourself” and “loving your ego-self” are not quite the same. The former is loving yourself for who you really are despite all your imperfections; the latter involves loving or craving to be the person you wish you were. “Loving yourself” means you can love others as well because they are not very different from you in that they, too, are as imperfect as you are. On the other hand, “loving your ego-self” means it is very difficult to love others because you want to distinguish and separate yourself from others; accordingly, others must somehow satisfy your ego first before you can love them. That explains why if you have a big ego-self, you cannot easily and readily love others.

The bottom line: if you can accept yourself as who and what you are, then it may become much easier for you to accept and love others as who and what they are.

Oneness of all life

Accepting and loving others implies having mindfulness of the inter-connection between people; that is to say, no man is an island, according to the poet John Donne. This mindfulness leads to love, and then to the awareness of the presence of God or that of a Higher Being. Love is the first step towards spirituality.

The oneness of all life is one of the basic laws of Nature: that is, we are all inter-connected with one another. This universal moral principle holds the key to true and lasting freedom in living. Without that freedom, we are forever living in human bondage that inhibits further development of the wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. Without this wellness alignment, there is no wellness wisdom.

An illustration

A pastor from Hong Kong was invited to give a sermon in China. A woman from the congregation asked the pastor if it was right to give money to get her son into an elite school. The pastor replied by saying: “Your son getting into that elite school would also imply depriving another child of that same opportunity you are seeking for your child.”

A year later, the pastor met the same woman, who told him that her son had got into that elite school but without using her kwanxi or connection. The pastor then said to her: “See, God is in control; if you would just let Him.”

Thinking question

If you were the woman with the money and the kwanxi, would you have done differently?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, December 21, 2020

Living in Balance and Harmony

 The TAO of Living in Balance and Harmony

The mind needs balance and harmony both to control the body and to seek guidance from the soul, which supervises the mind.

Balance and harmony in the soul is alignment and connection for self-healing of the body.

Alignment and realignment

The body, the mind, and the soul work together as a system of life energy for healing. The free flow or stagnation of this life-giving energy is dependent on the balance and harmony of the body, the mind, and the soul at each and every moment. It is this moment-to-moment alignment in the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as their alignment with one another, that creates your unique state of self-healing and self-help, which is a miracle in itself.

What is your current state of self-healing and self-help?

If you are living your life as if nothing is a miracle, most probably your body, mind, and soul are in misalignment with one another. You might feel your body is not healing, your mind is strangled with sadness and doomed to despair, and you life has little or no meaning, without a goal or purpose. On the other hand, if your current state of being is one of joy, hope, and purpose, you are living as if everything is a miracle because your body, mind, and soul are not only inter-connected, but also in perfect balance and harmony with one another.

Alignment or realignment is inter-connection of the body, the mind, and the soul to achieve balance and harmony for self-healing and self-help.

The miracle of self-healing is manifested in the spiritual wisdom of the soul that guides and inspires the mind, which controls the body living in the physical world.

Connection and reconnection

According to entropy, one of the laws of physics, anything left to itself will ultimately disintegrate, and fall apart.

According to John Donne, the famous English poet, “no man is an island, and every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Essentially, everything in the universe is somehow and somewhat connected, just as man is connected with one another in a subtle way. The miracle of this connection is to provide balance and harmony to guarantee their existence and co-existence, that is, their alignment with one another.

Focusing on others rather than just on yourself illuminates your soul to see its necessity to express your empathy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness to others. But the challenge not to do that is as great as your innate desire to seek spirituality. Therefore, simplicity in living may enhance your spirituality and increase your strength to overcome the challenge to seek spiritual wisdom.

With spiritual wisdom, you may believe in the miracle of self-healing. You will then see that all happenings in your life are somehow “connected” for an unfathomable and unimaginable purpose, and that you can turn any bad situation into an opportunity for self-healing and self-help. Believe in the miracle that you are connected with everyone you meet in your life, and that everyone can be either your teacher or your student. In other words, there is much for you to learn from any circumstance, as well as from one another. This is the miracle of alignment and connection.

The TAO

According to the TAO, not living in balance and harmony is not living for life:

“When there is abundance, there is lacking.
When there is craving, there is discontentment.
Striving for power to control and influence
every aspect of our lives
is the source of our suffering.

Obsessed with getting and keeping,
many of us never really live before we die.

Following the Way,
we must learn to let go.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 75)

Letting go is adapting and adjusting any imbalance and disharmony in your everyday life and living:

“Following the Way is like bending a bow:
one end is pulled up;
the other end is pulled down.
Excess and deficiency are balanced.

According to wisdom of the Way:
we reduce when there is excess;
we increase when there is deficiency.
Balance is thus created.

According to common wisdom:
we increase excess and deplete deficiency.
Imbalance is thus created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 77)

But, given that there are too many attachments in life, letting go is not easy and it requires profound human wisdom:

“Stilling our thoughts,
our needs become few.
Following our thoughts,
our distractions become more,
and thus living in chaos.

Enlightenment is our true nature.
Meditation helps us find the origin,
and thus ending our suffering.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 52)

Attachments to the world are only distractions that lead to detours, causing imbalance and disharmony along the journey:

“The Way is easy,
yet people prefer distracting detours.
Beware when things are out of balance.
Remain centered within the Creator.
                
Distractions are many,
in the form of riches and luxuries.
They allure us from the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 53)

No-stress living is the way to attaining balance and harmony:

“So, we no longer argue with those who are cynical.
We stop looking for their approval.
We cease taking offense at their unbelief.
We just sow the seeds along the Way,
letting the Creator reap the harvest.

To be loved or rejected,
to gain or to lose,
to be approved or disapproved,
no longer matters to us,
when we know who we are
and who the Creator is.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 56)

According to the TAO, living in balance and harmony is all about “spontaneity" which is the understanding of the nature of all things.  

According to the TAO, spontaneity is “doing without over-doing”—which essentially means “doing without consciously anticipating the outcome.”

In the universe, there is an all-controlling force that monitors everything. You breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. You eat and you eliminate. You grow, mature, and die. Spontaneity is the natural built-in mechanism in each living organism. Spontaneity creates balance and harmony, expressed in the Yin and the Yang (the female and the male). Spontaneity is the ultimate understanding of the natural cycle of all things that are beyond human control: what goes up must also come down; success is followed by failure; life forever begets death:

“The Creator creates one.
One creates two.
Two creates three.
Three creates a myriad of things.

All have their original unity
in the duality of the Yin and the Yang,
the opposite life forces that harmonize.
We experience this harmonious process
in the rising and falling of our breaths.

People naturally avoid loss and seek gain.
But with all things along the Way,
there is no need to pick and choose.
There is no gain without loss.
There is no abundance without lack.
We do not know how and when
one gives way to the other.

So, we just remain in the center of things,
trusting the Creator, instead of ourselves.
This is the essence of the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42)

With spontaneity, we become babies again, living in perfect balance and harmony with everyone and everything:

“If we are in harmony with the Creator,
we are like newborn babies,
in natural harmony with all.
Our bones are soft, and our muscles are weak,
but our grip is strong and powerful.
Not knowing about sex,
we manifest sexual arousal.
Crying all day long,
we lose not our voice.
With constancy and harmony,
we accomplish all daily tasks
without growing tired.
                        
In natural harmony with the Creator,
we let all things come and go,
exerting no effort, showing no desire,
and expecting no result.
Natural harmony is experienced
only in the present moment,
when we see the natural laws of the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 55)

According to the TAO, living in the present moment is living in balance and harmony:

“We act without over-action.
We manage without interference.
We enjoy without attachment.

Effrontery is just
an opportunity for loving-kindness.
Great accomplishments are only
a combination of small steps.
Difficult tasks are no more than
a series of easy steps.

Therefore, we focus on the present moment,
doing what needs to be done,
without straining and stressing.

To end our suffering,
we focus on the present moment,
instead of our expected result.
So, we follow the natural laws of things.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 63)

Most importantly, spontaneity shows us the wisdom of the impermanence of all things—that is, nothing lasts despite all human efforts to make them continue:

“Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 23)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Accelerated Aging Syndrome

 Accelerated Aging Syndrome

The fundamental causes of aging are time, doing, and non-doing.

Humans, like all living things, are created to be mortal, which means they all have genes that guarantee their mortality. Aging is no more than a duration of time that ultimately leads to mortality.

Living is all about doing and non-doing. Humans are given the free-will, which is the freedom to choose to do or not to do certain things in life. This has everything to do with the thinking mind, which perceives and interprets all life experiences through the five senses (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting). So, your aging has everything to do with your own life experiences. In other words, your aging is uniquely yours. It is all about your doing or non-doing that either accelerates or delays your aging process. Your doing is doing some of the wrong things, and your non-doing is not doing some of the right things throughout your lifespan.

But it must be pointed out that, irrespective of the doing or the non-doing, time is essentially the major cause of aging that results in the death of an individual. 

The bottom line: You cannot die merely of old age. Your ultimate demise is caused by your advancing age, by the diseases and the degenerative conditions that accompany it, as well as by your doing some of the wrong things and by your non-doing some of the right things throughout your lifespan. 

The truth of the matter is that you age, just like everyone else. So, the point to consider here is: How you can delay your aging process, making you younger and healthier for longer—or, at least, not making you age more quickly than you are supposed to.

Unfortunately, many people have fallen victims to the so-called Accelerated Aging Syndrome.

Potentials for Accelerated Aging

According to Steven Masley, M.D., the former Director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may have the potentials for accelerated aging, if you have just any three of the following:

 

A fast blood sugar level of more than 100 mg/dl.

A blood pressure higher than 130/85.

A waist larger than 35 inches for women, and 40 inches for men.

Good cholesterol level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl for men, and 50 mg/dl for women.

Triglyceride (a certain type of fat in your blood) levels greater than 150 mg/dl

Accelerated Aging Factor

There are several factors that may increase your predisposition to accelerated aging:


Your diet: you are what you eat, and you become what you eat.

Your lifestyle: life on the fast lane often leads to faster aging.

Your physical inactivity: lack of exercise or immobility always brings about stagnation and degeneration.

Your stress level: stress kills your brain cells, leading to accelerated brain aging.


Aging and Revelation


Stephen Lau

        Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Solving Money Problems

  Solving Money Problems Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost everything in life. Given the importance of money, you ...