Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dealing with Life Challenges

Life is full of challenges. But some of us may not remember how challenging life was even when we were young. Many of us struggled simply because we would like to conform to society, to fit in with the norm, or to become what was expected of us. To illustrate, being too fat or too skinny might be challenging. On the one hand, we were curious of the world around us; on the other hand, we wanted to "belong" to some group, or something that we would like to be able to identify ourselves with. 

After we became adults, the challenges have continued in the form of academic education, relationships, career pursuits, and starting a family, among others. The accumulative challenges never seem to let up.

Then, as we continue to age, the challenges may have become not only overwhelming but also insurmountable when we are confronted with infirmities, frailties, illnesses, and the impending imminence of death and dying. 

Is there a solution, or a way out other than death? How do we deal with life challenges?

Yes, dealing with life challenges requires wisdom in living. Throughout life, we might have acquired much knowledge necessary for survival, for living the life we would like to pursue, for reaching the goals we have set for ourselves; but we might have neglected cultivating and intuiting wisdom. Knowledge is accumulation of facts and information; wisdom is deep understanding and internalization of knowledge and its application to everyday living. A knowledgeable person is not necessarily wise, by the same token, a wise person may not be knowledgeable.  

Wisdom in dealing with life challenges necessitates looking at the wider picture of life, which means looking at not just ourselves, but also others around us. As T.S. Elliot, famous the poet, once said "No man is an island." That is, we are all connected with one another one way or the other. Accordingly, we may begin to see everything in perspective, and life may become less challenging. Therefore, focusing on self -- or, according to the ancient Chinese wisdom of Lao Tzu, on the ego-self -- may make us see only our immediate needs and not the teaching moment or another door of opportunity being opened to us. In Lao Tzu's wisdom, living in the present moment holds the key to attaining awareness, which enables us to see the natural cycle of life; understanding the natural order of things eliminates the focus on the ego-self, which is the obstacle to dealing with life challenges. In place of the ego-self is spontaneity, and life no longer has its challenges. 

The Book of Life and Living shows you how to enhance human wisdom..

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Is There Another Way to Live Your Life?

The mind controls everything: how you  think, how your experience what happens to you, how you perceive your past and present experiences, how you anticipate your future expectations, how you make  decisions and take actions that affect your future experiences. In short, your thoughts become the raw materials with which you weave the fabric of your life.

Unfortunately, we were never taught how to think. Albert Einstein rightly said: “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.”

You are who you are and what you have  now become because of how you think; that is, your thoughts have become you.  Given that life is complex, and living is never simple,  it is important that you know how to control your mind, and hence your  thoughts to enable you to make the best and the most out of your life.

When you were young in the early phase  of growth and development, you were exposed to the world around through your five senses; then your mind began to process what you perceived in your  experiences, generalizing and interpreting it according toy our mental input, and applying it whenever and wherever you thought appropriate and applicable. Over the years, these perceptions and experiences have made you think this is  who you are. You seldom challenge your thoughts.
 
If you have not been living a life of your dream, most probably it is because your mind has been pre-conditioned by your thoughts. Remember, where you are right now is only temporary -- conditioned by your mindset. If you can change your thoughts, you can change your life; it's just that simple!

We are all living in a belief-generated world, and our beliefs are generated by the media, the people around us, and, most notably, by ourselves in our subconscious minds. Our beliefs create our own reality in life. If we believe we can change for the better, we can. On the other hand, for instance, if we believe we are victimized by our fate, then our victim mentality will keep us in that state indefinitely until we change that negative mindset. To make any significant change in how we think, we must separate ourselves from our thoughts, and this requires mental awareness. To develop and enhance this mental awareness, we must, first of all, have the intent to change, that is, our total responsibility for what is happening to us or what we have become.

Now, you can see how powerful your mind is. Yes, there is always another way to live your life; nothing is set in stone. If you don't like the life you are living now, don't just sit there, whining and complaining about this and that. Do something about it! Your mind is the most powerful life tool. Make good use of it.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau
 
 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zen Living in Contemporary Life

Contemporary life is like a pressure cooker into which are dumped obsessive thoughts and worries about career, money, children, relationships, health, and social responsibilities. As a result, contemporary living is hectic and stressful. The human mind often becomes a victim of undue tension and distress.

Stress is a complex problem involving the body's response to increased mental tension, which is a byproduct of contemporary living. 

Learn to live by Zen. 

What is Zen, or the way of Zen?

Zen is a way of living, which is crucial to contemporary living. Zen is a philosophy of living to deal with stress. Make no mistake, Zen is not a religious belief. Despite having its origin from Buddha, Zen is not the foundation of Buddhism. Zen is only a philosophical approach to human happiness through intellectual cultivation.

The word “Zen” is Japanese, but it derives from the Chinese, meaning “meditation.” It is an Oriental mental practice for self-enlightenment. More specifically, Zen is a transcendental mental state that affects the overall physical and mental well-being of an individual. 

Zen cultivates intuitive knowing, which is naturally knowing the ultimate truth of living. According to the ancient philosopher Plato, life is a process of “forgetting” with episodes of experiences and happenings that can make you “forget” how to live. The way of Zen is to help you re-discover that innate wisdom of knowing the eternal truth of living. That re-discovery is “self-awakening,” which cannot be taught but can only be intuited through stillness of the mind attained in meditation. Through "self-enlightenment," you will be liberated from the shackles of memories of the past and worries of the future. 

The way of Zen is simple: live in the present. Unfortunately, most of us don't live in the present: we live in the past, rummaging through memories of both pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and then projecting them into the future, striving to repeat the pleasant ones and to avoid the unpleasant ones. That is how many of us live in the past and the future, but not in the present. In the process of picking and choosing, we create not only stress for ourselves but also problems that did not exist in the first place. Zen living is living in the present, embracing whatever that may come along in life, without picking and choosing, and learning from both the pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Essentially, Zen living is learning how to relax by acquiring the wisdom of neither avoiding problems in life, nor seeking solutions to problems that might not even have existed in the first place.

Contemporary way of life is often an unhealthy lifestyle: it is much like living in a pressure cooker. The endless challenges, demands, and goals continue to churn out stress in every form. 

Zen living focuses on the present moment—not the past, and surely not the future

Zen living teaches us to relax through meditation that may give us the "self-enlightenment" to truly understand the essentials of life and living. 

The essence of Zen living may be summarized in the following Zen poem: 

"The perfect Way is without difficulty.
Save that it avoids picking and choosing.
Only when you stop liking and disliking
Will all be clearly understood.
A split hair's difference
And heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want to get the plain truth,
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind."
from an old Zen poem

Start Zen: Learn the healing art of Zen meditation. Free yourself from the thoughts and emotions that are holding you back in your life. Dramatically improve the quality of your life by enhancing the quality of your mind.

Living By Zen: Learn to live a life of inner peace without stress from Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, the famous psychologist and best-selling author. .

Read my books: The Book of Life and Living -- a blueprint for living a stress-free life through an integration of the ancient wisdom of Tao, the contemporary wisdom, and Biblical wisdom; Your Golden Years and Santa Claus -- a book on the wisdom in living your best in your senior years. .

Visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau