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!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Becoming A Better Person

Have you ever wondered: there has to be much more to life than this—the life you are living right now?

If you have, then maybe you should also ask yourself three most important questions in life: Am I happy? Am I wise? Am I good?

Life is a journey of self-discovery, a continuous process of asking self-probing questions and seeking self-enlightening answers from them. The answer to every thinking question you ask may naturally change over time, because life is forever changing. But change is good and transformative: it enhances your life-adaptive skills. The more questions you ask, the wiser you become because you are more ready to receive the enlightenment from the answers derived. Asking questions holds the key to attaining true human wisdom—the wisdom needed to be a better and happier you.

In life, you choose the way you feel. You are seldom, if ever, a victim of your circumstances. If you feel depressed, it is more often your choice, rather than due to your physical problems or mental conditions. As a matter of fact, it has much to do with your thinking about how you feel about what you have and what you want in your life. More specifically, it has to do with your happiness, or how you look at your happiness.

If happiness is to be found in things that are outside, instead of inside, yourself, you may have easily become unhappy. For example, you may have set a certain standard of living, a certain set of criteria for relationships, and a certain number of material possessions you desire; you may then naturally become depressed and unhappy when your external realities are not realized. In a way, you may have imprisoned yourself with these pre-conditioned external realities. In other words, you have the ability and capability to make yourself unhappy. In a way, you may have become the proverbial bird so used to the self-imposed cage that it will not fly away even when the cage door is wide open. That explains why your unhappiness is your own making because your mind is ingrained in what it has set to get out of life, instead of looking elsewhere, such as inside yourself, to seek the happiness that has been eluding and evading you.

Human happiness has to do with the thinking mind: how you perceive what you feel, and how you interpret your perceptions; which is human wisdom. If you become wise, you may be happy, and you may also become a better person.

Be A Better and Happier You With TAO Wisdom

This book contains the whole script of the 81 short chapters of Lao Tzu’s immortal classic TAO TE CHING, which underlies his wisdom (known as TAO wisdom). Understanding his profound wisdom helps you attain true human wisdom  through asking self-intuitive questions, creating an empty mindset with reverse thinking to let go of the ego-self in order to become a better and happier you. Being better and happier is essential to living a life as if everything is a miracle. In order to do just that, you need human wisdom, in particular, the wisdom of the ancient sage from China thousands of years ago.

Without any punctuation mark and in exactly 5,000 words, the language of the original text of Tao Te Ching is deliberately intriguing and even perplexing—one of the reasons why the book has become one of the most translated works in world literature.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Myths and Truths of Aging

We all age because aging is as inevitable as death. The reality is that the aging process seems to accelerate more noticeably in advanced years. Accordingly, many elderly have negative perceptions of aging. To change any negative subjective perception of aging, you must remove all negative stereotypes associated with aging or the elderly. Aging is not a disease, neither is it only despair and disability. You should not view aging as a personality homogenizer, that is, at some point in time, like everybody else, you will lose your own individuality and fall into a common category known as the elderly, or the senile and the decrepit.

Myths and truths

The myth: you inevitably feel much older as you advance in years.

The truth: quite the contrary, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey, many seniors feel that they are 10 to19 years younger, not older, than their chronological age.

The myth: dementia is inevitable in life.

The truth: dementia is only one of the many symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t have the disease, you may only have some senior moments, which are just momentary memory lapses. Use it or lose it. If you regularly use and exercise your brain, you will have fewer senior moments. Of course, if you do have the Alzheimer’s disease, then it is something else.

The myth: you can no longer exercise your body and mind in your 50s, 60s, and beyond. 

The truth: you can always exercise, despite your aches and pains. As a matter of fact, immobility aggravates muscle weakness and inflexibility, and thus creating a vicious circle of inactivity and pain.

The myth: you are too old to give up your nicotine.

The truth: research studies have indicated that most seniors are able to give up their lifelong habit of smoking. If you are a smoker, you can still give up your addiction, if you choose to.

The myth: you can never teach an old dog new tricks.

The truth: scientists have found that the cognitive reserve in the human brain enables learning new things in the latter half of life. Whether you wish to continue to empower yourself with new knowledge in your senior years is your personal choice, and it has little to do with your mind power or your age.

The myth: elderly women are more likely to develop depression than men.

The truth: according to National Women’s Health Resources, elderly women often become more adventurous and more ready to look for new opportunities in life than men do.

The myth: depression is a disease that will impair an aging body and mind.

The truth: depression is a treatable medical condition. Just don’t stigmatize yourself!

If you just don’t die— "How should you live the rest of your life to overcome your daily problems and life challenges?"

The objective of this book is neither to convince you to crave longevity, nor to show you how to live to one hundred and beyond. It simply presents you with the consciousness of living the rest of your years as if everything is a miracle—if you just don’t die!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 20, 2017

If You Just Don't Die!

How to live your life, if you just don’t die? This is a question you might want to ask yourself, if you are in your senior years.

Life might not have been fair to you with happenings that might have been beyond your control. No matter what, life is not meant to be a punishment for you. If you just don’t die, you will have the wisdom to live it through.

“Life begets death; one is inseparable from the other.
One is form; the other is formless.
Each gives way to the other.
One third of people focus on life, ignoring death.
One third of people focus on death, ignoring life.
One third of people think of neither, just drifting along.
They all suffer in the end.

Trusting the Creator, we have no illusion about life and death.
Holding nothing back from life, we are ready for death,
just as a man ready for sleep after a good day’s work.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 50)

“Abiding in the Creator, we do not fear death.
Following the conditioned mind, we fear everything.
Fear is a futile attempt to control things and people.

Death is a natural destination of the Way.
Unnatural fear of death does more harm than good.
It is like trying to use intricate tools of a master craftsman:
we end up hurting ourselves.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 74)

If you just don’t die, the wisdom in living the rest of your life is no more than . . . , just like eating a meal!

Yes, living the rest of your life is just like eating a meal:

Before your start your meal, say your grace. Just like being grateful and thankful that you just don’t die, and that you can still have this meal. Always begin the day with gratitude and thankfulness.

Before you pick up your food, take a minute or two to still your mind. There is no need to hurry; you’ve all the time in the world to finish this meal. Just like being conscious of living in the now. Be mindful of what is happening around you.

There is no right or wrong about eating the food in front of you—eating is just a process, a way of living and surviving, just like breathing in and out. Just like knowing that now you don't need to eat to socialize, to relieve stress, to satisfy your food cravings, or to make yourself feel better—you eat simply because you just don’t die. Don’t life too seriously; jus enjoy the day.

Look at the food in front of you. Notice the color, the smell, and the texture of the food. Just like being conscious of the people and the happenings around you.

Now, begin eating. No matter how small the bite of food you have, take at least two bites. Take your first bite. Chew it very slowly but thoroughly, noticing and enjoying your actual sensory experience of chewing and tasting. Chew every morsel of food to explore the differences in taste, texture, and smell. Just like enjoying whatever that is still available to you that you still find enjoyable.

Continue to eat in silence without any distraction. Just like you continue to live without being distracted by what might happen tomorrow.

 Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dealing With Emotional Pain

Human life is never pain or sorrow free—that is life, whether you like it or not.

Human pain is intensified by the human mind, which seeks to deny and to avoid it. To alleviate the pain, focus the mind on the present moment. Accept it, and cope with it, instead of fighting against it.

Suffering, pain, and misery are necessary for the co-existence of contentment, pleasure, and happiness, just as sickness and health are at the far ends of that same phenomenological spectrum. According to TAO wisdom (the ancient wisdom from China), these extremes in human experience are not only temporary but also unnatural; they are just the cycles of nature in which the pendulum swings back and forth from one end to the other. Therefore, it is human folly to attempt to avoid or to resist experiencing these swings; by doing so, man throws himself out of balance with nature, and thus not only intensifies but also unduly prolongs his suffering. According to TAO, acceptance holds the key:

“Accept misfortune as the human condition. . .
What do you mean by
‘Accept misfortune as the human condition’?
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13)

The TAO solution to human pain and suffering is non-judgment through focusing on the present moment.

Emotional pain often leaves behind a residue of pain that continues to live on in you. Combined with the accumulated pain in the past, the new emotional pain begins to merge with that in the past, giving it a newer dimension with greater intensity.

To illustrate, we often find ourselves burst into uncontrollable anger when triggered by an unpleasant incident, and begin lashing at the aggressor with outbursts of past grudges and grievances that have nothing to do with the present incident. Our emotional pain can only feed on past pain, and thus creating more pain—a vicious circle of misery and suffering.

Staying in the present moment may enable you to confront uour subconscious identification with the past thoughts deeply embedded in your subconscious mind. Maybe you are not the person you think you are, and you are simply afraid to face the pain that lives in you. As long as the fear is not overcome, you will continue to think you are the person you think you are, and you will continue to experience the past pain for the rest of your life.

Remember, emotional pain is caused by emotional thoughts, which generate negative energy that causes body-and-mind pain.

For example, through the subconscious mind, angry thoughts on what someone did to you become “you” because you identify them with you. The emotional pain then becomes “you” because where there is anger there is also pain.

The wisdom of TAO is to use the present moment to dis-identify yourself from your mind; by shattering the deceptive mind identification, you begin to see the light and the ultimate truth. It is like the Biblical wisdom expressed by Apostle Paul when he said: “Everything is being shown up by being exposed to the light, and whatever is exposed to the light itself becomes light.” (Ephesians 5:13)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 13, 2017

How to Cure Hair Loss

Hair loss has to do with age and gender. Men tend to lose their hair more and sooner than women do. The average adult loses as many as 100 strands of hair per day. This is true whether you are a man or a woman.

But the amount of hair lost per unit time can vary significantly in each individual due to diet, illness, stress, as well as other physiological and mental factors. That is to say, the food you eat, the stress you experience, and the emotional trauma you undergo may contribute to the severity of your hair loss.

The good news is that the hair replacement rate may even exceed the rate of hair loss. So, don't be over-concerned when you find strands of hair on your comb, or in the bathtub after your shampoo. You are not going bald anytime soon!

The bad news is that the replacement process declines as the aging process proceeds. In the aging process, hair loss does occur in both men and women. By age 50, hair loss affects more than half of men and one-quarter of women.

How does hair loss occur?

The aging process affects groups of cells within your hair follicles. These cells are responsible for the production of hair-shaft proteins that give your hair the color and the texture of normal human hair. Hair loss occurs when these protein-manufacturing cells are destroyed or deactivated.

The male-patterned baldness, however, is a totally different type of baldness: it is a genetic problem, which is not age-related. The genes simply tell the hair follicles to make delicate hair, instead of normal coarse hair. In other words, the hair has become so delicate that it is almost invisible to the human eye, and hence the perception of baldness. If you have this type genetic problem, going bald seems inevitable, and there is not much you can do about it, except hair transplant.

In women, hair loss causes the hair to thin all over the head.

The root of the hair loss problem is due to the male hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, which are present in both men and women. They simply cause hair growth to stop.

Other than the genetic male-patterned baldness, you can reduce the rate of hair loss due to aging through your diet. The typical Standard American Diet (SAD), loaded with high fat, high animal protein, and high salt, creates too much acidic blood, which is not conducive to hair growth. Watch what you eat, if you think you are going bald. An acid-alkaline diet is the optimum diet because it balances your body chemistry through a balanced acid and alkaline level.

Another cause of hair loss is your thyroid disorder, which may upset the balance of hormones in your body. A healthy thyroid diet may prevent thyroid disorder that often comes with age.
Interestingly, as you age, you may grow hair -- maybe in the wrong places. For example, men may have coarser and longer eyebrows, or in the inner surface of their outer ears; women, on the other hand, may develop facial hair, especially on their chins, due to hormonal changes that come with age.

For more information on how to stop hair loss, go to Hair Loss No More.

Stephen Lau

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen Lau

Friday, February 3, 2017

Emotional Freedom Technique to Quit Smoking

You must quit smoking if you wish to live longer and healthier. Longevity has no room for a cigarette smoker. Cigarette smoking is not a way of life for healthy living for longevity.

Cigarette smoking is the worst health hazard in America today. According to the Surgeon General of the United States, approximately one-quarter-million of Americans die each year as a result of cigarette smoking. If you wish to age healthily, quit smoking.

(1) Cigarette smoking is one of the three major factors—the other two factors are high blood pressure and bad cholesterol—contributing to heart attacks and strokes. A smoker is 10 times more at risk than a non-smoker.

(2) Cigarette smoking is bad for the lungs, resulting in emphysema, chronic lung disease, and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking is also implicated in cancers of the lungs, esophagus, stomach, kidneys, pancreas, and bladder.

Understandably, it may be extremely difficult to quit smoking. Many cigarette smokers have been led to believe that cigarette smoking is just a "habit," not an addiction; they have the illusion that it is just one of those "bad habits" in life. Unfortunately, due to its mood-altering effects, cigarette smoking promotes consistent and repetitive use, leading to tolerance, and subsequently the cigarette addiction.

According to research, approximately 75 to 85 percent of the 50 million smokers in the United States would want to quit smoking, but find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to give up smoking. That is because quitting always inevitably leads to many undesirable withdrawal symptoms, including weight gain. If you are among one of those struggling to fight the addiction, you should exert extra effort to quit smoking.

Do not erroneously believe that "filter cigarettes" are safer than regular ones. They are not! Research studies have shown that smoking lower-nicotine cigarettes may result in inhaling more deeply, taking longer puffs, and smoking longer to compensate for the lower level of nicotine. Filter cigarette is as deadly as non-filter cigarette.

But the main problem is "how" to quit smoking successfully?

Many doctors, psychologists, and professionals worldwide have begun to use Emotional Freedom Technique, known as EFT, a breakthrough tool to release the emotional links in the subconscious mind to help quitting smoking.

EFT is is also now being used by the military to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact it seems that the possibilities for using EFT are endless.

EFT can successfully release the bonds and links in our subconscious mind, allowing us to reprogram our emotional responses.  These are the same emotions that are connected with thousands of thoughts we all have each day. EFT can release the worry of withdrawal symptoms, and the stress and anxiety you may experience as you try to quit.  It is so powerful that you can release the fear of weight gain and the anxiety over your fear of failure.  For more information, click here.

So, if you are still a cigarette smoker, you must quit smoking today!

Stephen Lau 
Copyright © 2017 by Stephen Lau