FREEDOM with BONDAGE

<b>FREEDOM with BONDAGE</b>
Get your FREEDOM with BONDAGE to help you make your right choices to do the righteous things.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cancer Cure

 



This book is all about . . . .


This book is about what to do when one is diagnosed with cancer. The author is neither a doctor nor an oncologist. He is simply showing the power of the mind not only in coping with the traumatic experience of cancer but also in overcoming the disease itself. In addition, he presents detailed information on what an individual must do on the cancer journey of cure and recovery.

A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Rather, it is an opportunity for growth and development. Harness your mind power to conquer your cancer.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'VE GOT CANCER!

An Excerpt from the Book . . . .

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a multidimensional disease. The word “cancer” is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. It is a consequence of the failure of your repairing and defense mechanisms in your body. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of humanity.

This is a common scenario. You feel a lump or a swelling under your arm and see your doctor about it; or you may have some health issues, requiring some tests. The doctor tells you that you have a tumor, which is a swollen collection of cells. Is the tumor benign or malignant? For confirmation, a biopsy is usually performed.

A benign tumor means it is slow growing, it does not easily spread to other parts of the body, and therefore unlikely to be fatal. If the tumor is malignant, it is growing rapidly, and is likely to spread to other parts of the body, and therefore life-threatening. If the cancer shows good response to whatever treatment the patient chooses, it is said to be in a remission. The chance of the cancer returning is often greatest in the first two years. In the next three years, the chance is considerably reduced. After five years, the patient is said to be cancer free. Probably as old as life itself, cancer has been around humanity for ages, but only in the second half of the 20th century did the number of cancer cases begin to explode exponentially. The sudden surge of this devastating disease was probably due to:

The drastic changes of high-stress lifestyle

The overuse and misuse of drugs and pharmaceuticals

The inferior quality and the huge quantity of junk food available

The excessive use of chemicals and extensive exposure to environmental pollutants

All of the above were not around a hundred years ago, or at least not as rampant as they are now,

Contrary to popular belief, cancer is not a mysterious disease against which you are powerless. If you understand its causes and take positive actions, and if your body still has enough time to make the necessary adjustments, you can still win your battle against cancer and become a cancer survivor.

Cancer appears to be a mysterious disease because it is a disease caused by not one but many factors. Unfortunately, the conventional approach to the disease is to treat the malignancy of the tumor. Cancer is holistic dysfunction of the body, the mind, and the spirit; as such, there should be a holistic approach to the disease.

Although you may not be a doctor or an oncologist, learn everything you need to know about your cancer. You need neither a medical background nor medical expertise to know the basics of cancer. Your goal is not just to survive your cancer, but to thrive and turn your health around.

You have to understand that in many ways you are responsible for the disease. Get a handle on why you may have made yourself prone to that disease in the first place. In life, everything happens with a reason, though it may not be too apparent to you at first. Once you understand the reason, you may be able to control, if not get rid of, the disease completely.

Be A Cancer Survivor

Although cancer is a complex disease, it is critical that you empower your mind to know as much as you can in order to initiate the healing process.It is estimated that only approximately 15 to 20 percent with chronic or catastrophic illness, such as cancer, can be called cancer survivors.

The attributes of a cancer survivor

A cancer survivor is an individual who is willing to take the responsibility for his or her health conditions, who makes an effort to reshape his or her life, and who actively participates in his or her recovery process.

Do you wish to become a cancer survivor, or are you content to become one of the 50 to 60 percent of cancer patients who just sit back and let their health professionals take control of their prognosis?

Even worst, are you like one of the 20 percent cancer patients, who have a death
wish because they have found themselves in a death trap?

If you become more knowledgeable of cancer, you make better health decisions, and you have a greater chance of survival.

Be a cancer survivor. The choice is all yours.

The Importance of Emotional Well-Being

An important aspect of your cancer therapy and recovery is your emotion, which
is controlled by your mind.

One of the most essential aspects of the mind is self-acceptance. As a matter of fact, self-rejection is the root cause of all emotional problems, such as mental depression. In life, you are who you are, and you must accept yourself as who you are, not someone you wish you were or could be. Likewise, you must accept the hard reality that you have cancer, and you must deal with your disease accordingly. Many cancer patients harbor thoughts of denial, or, worse, self-guilt. Therefore, if you are unhappy, angry, blaming yourself, the world, or even God, you are self-generating and perpetuating your own misery, which is destructive both emotionally and physically.

A Trauma, Not A Trap

To be diagnosed with cancer is already a traumatic experience, to have to undergo various therapies and treatments only further aggravates that excruciating experience. Therefore, it is critically important that you do not let your traumatic experience overwhelm you and turn it into an emotional trap.

What is an emotional trap? How does it differ from an emotional trauma?


Click here to get your copy.

Friday, November 25, 2022

The Paradoxes of Life

The Paradoxes of Life

A paradox is a statement with two totally opposite meanings that may seem contradictory to each other and yet together they not only are true but also make sense.

Believing in God in itself has many paradoxes: the Creator becomes a creature; the Infinite becomes finite; the Eternal One enters into time; and death is the way to life. These are some of the paradoxes expressed in the Bible.

The presence of God is one of the many paradoxes of life. Indeed, sometimes we see God’s love, mercy, and justice, but there are also times we see only His indifference, condemnation, and even injustice. In fact, there are many times we are prone to asking the pivotal question: “Where is God?”

So, how do we explain this enigma and the paradox of God’s presence in human lives?

The reality is that God does not change. God is always and will forever be who He is: God is constant and present. It is only humans’ perceptions of God that constantly change under many different circumstances.
 
Believing in God is a tall order because we are living in a world not only of paradoxes but also of changes.

The paradox of two-in-one person

You are a two-in-one person. As a matter of fact, we all are, to a certain extent.

There are two persons living inside you: one is your ego-self; the other is your spirit. They co-exist: your ego-self is living in the physical or material world, while your spirit is living in a totally different environment with a different dimension. There is constant and continual contact and interaction between these two personalities.

Your ego-self is assertive, and even aggressive, always telling you that you are separate from everyone else. Your ego-self wants more of everything, not only to define who you are but also to separate you from others. Your ego-self is judgmental, not only self-evaluating but also assessing others through comparison and contrast with yourself. Your ego-self is constantly shifting and shuffling back and forth between the past and the future, instrumental in improving the ego-self in the past, as well as in enhancing the ego-self expected in the future. 

Your spirit is the other person living inside you. Your spirit, on the other hand, is gentle and submissive in nature, always nudging you to do what is right and to avoid doing what is wrong.

The paradox is that both your ego-self and your spirit co-exist, and that each strives to dominate and influence the other.

The classic illustration of the two-in-one person is Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the story, both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have a dark side within them, where evil is always lurking underneath to surface anytime. In the end, it turns out that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are actually one and the same person. 

Given that the ego-self and the spirit co-exist and that one can never totally get rid of the other, the reality is that the more control the ego-self has over the spirit, the more difficult it is to understand God’s presence, not to mention to attain His wisdom. To unravel the paradox of two-in-one person, let go of the ego-self, or at least diminish its control over the spirit, so as to feel more the presence of God in order to seek His wisdom.

The paradox of understanding

One of the reasons for the paradox of God’s presence is rationalization. Man is a rational being, and understanding is vital to believing.

According to St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), in life there are certain things we do not believe unless we understand them, and there are also other things that we do not understand unless we believe them first. According to St. Augustine, faith is not opposed to understanding, nor is it independent of understanding. His famous statement “faith seeking understanding” is an act of believing first, without which unbelief closes the door to further understanding. In other words, believe first, and understanding will follow. St. Anselm of Canterbury, a well-known Christian philosopher and theologian of the eleventh century, also echoed St. Augustine’s statement in his famous motto “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.”

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
(Hebrews 11:3)

The reality is that man has only limited power of understanding. Therefore, let go of any pre-conceived concept or rationalization in order to appreciate the presence of God, thereby opening the door to further understanding the mystery of His presence.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Thursday, November 24, 2022

Letting Go


What Is “Letting Go”?

“Letting go” literally means releasing your close or tight fist in order to abandon or give up something that you are holding in your hand. If you are close- or tight- fisted, you also cannot receive anything. “Letting go” is detachment.

The opposite of “letting go” is “attaching to” something that you are stubbornly holding on to.

To live well, you need to ask yourself many self-probing questions as you continue on your life journey in order to find out: who you really are, and not who you think or wish you were; what you really need, and not what you want from life; why certain undesirable things happened while certain desirable things did not happen to you. Without knowing the answers to those questions asked, you can never be genuinely happy because you will always be looking for the unreal and the unattainable, just like the carrot-and-stick mule forever reaching out for the unreachable carrot in front.

In many ways, the human brain is like a computer program. Your whole being is like the computer hardware with the apparatus of a mind, a body, and its five senses. The lens through which you see yourself, as well as others and the world around you, are the software that has been programmed by your thoughts, your past and present experiences, as well as your own desires and expectations. In other words, it is you—and nobody else—who have programmed your own mindset. All these years, you may have been trapped in a constricted sense of the self that has prevented you from knowing and being who you really are. That is to say, your “conditioned” thinking mind may have erroneously made you "think" and even "believe" that you are who and what you are right now; but nothing could be further from the truth.

By asking relevant questions, you may have the human wisdom to "change" that pre-conditioned mindset, and thus enabling you to separate the truths from the half-truths or even the myths that you may have created for yourself voluntarily or involuntarily all these years.

What Are Attachments?

An attachment is basically your own emotional dependence on things and people that define your identity, around which you wrap your so-called “happiness”, and even your survival. Attachment is holding on to anything that you are unwilling to let go of, whether it is something positive or even negative.

An attachment is no more than a safety blanket to overcome your fear—fear of change and fear of the unknown from that change. To cope with that fear, all your attachments become your distractions.

We are living in a world with many problems that confront us in our everyday life, and many of them are not only unavoidable but also insoluble. To overcome these daily challenges, many of us just turn to attachments as a means of distracting ourselves from facing our problems head on, or adapting and changing ourselves in an ever-changing environment.

All our struggles in life, from anxiety to frustration, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry—they all stem from the same thing: our attachment to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting and embracing whatever that might happen after we have put forth our best effort.

Given that attachment is closely related to the thinking mind: how it processes life experiences, it is therefore important to know and to understand the different phases of life.lo, such as the development phase, the transitional phase, the consolidation phase, and the letting-go phase.

The Letting-Go Phase

With advancement in age, and as age begins to take its toll on the body and the mind, most of the life habits that control how they should live have become well established. Their thoughts, based on decades of their past experiences, now dominate their thinking, and hence control how they live the rest of their lives. At this point, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to alter the way they process their experiences and perceptions—just as the saying goes: “It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.”

In this final phase in their lives, unfortunately, they have to learn letting go, whether they like it or not. Everything begins to slip away from their lives: their youth, their health, and inevitably their minds too.

All in all, how the mind processes experiences and perceptions determines the type of person you are and will become. The happenings in your life are real, but the way you process and perceive them may positively or negatively affect your life because they are stored in your subconscious mind, which may either give you valuable life lessons, or create delusions and self-deceptions that may not only confuse you but also lead you astray. True human wisdom, therefore, plays a pivotal role in how the thinking mind processes all life experiences and their respective expectations.

It is in this final phase that you must learn how to let go of anthing and everything in order to live the rest of your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Yin and Yang Love Story

 

FOREVER YIN AND YANG
(A Novel)
                       
The Novel Is All About . . . .

This is a love story in ancient China, about a cock wedding with the presence of a cock instead of the bridegroom.

It is also a story of unrequited love, of murder and execution, of blood reincarnation, of death bringing back life leading to enlightenment. The story reflects TAO wisdom in love with no ego, as well as Nirvana, which is awakening to the ultimate truth of consciousness without being self-conscious.

Click here to get your novel.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Why You Have Your "Freedom" Not to Choose "Fondling"

FONDLING

What is fondling? It is your desire to do repeatedly something that you are fond of to the extent that your mind just cannot stop your action. In other words, your fondling is your addiction and bondage.

DRINKING

Alcohol drinking is common among teenagers; about 40 percent of high school teens drink alcohol due to social acceptance of drinking and the belief that alcohol can lower anxiety.

Alcohol is an intoxicating ingredient produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches found in drinks. Beer has 5 percent of alcohol; wine, made of grapes, has 12 percent of alcohol; liquor, such as gin, vodka, and whiskey, has about 40 percent of alcohol.

But alcohol has its many dangerous side effects. It slows down the brain functions, leading to slurred speech, lack of coordination between the body and the mind, unconsciousness, and temporary loss of memory. In addition to brain and nerve damage, there are many health issues of the heart and the liver related to alcohol drinking.

Social drinking may lead to binge drinking, which is drinking several times within 2 hours. Drinking only beer may progress to drinking wine or even liquor. The truth is that no amount of alcohol is safe or risk-free, and alcohol drinking is a progressive disorder that often leads to alcohol addiction and drug abuse over the long haul.

Freedom

As a teenager, you have the freedom to choose or not to choose social drinking as a platform for your interactions with others.

Not choosing it gives you the freedom to use other platforms for your communication with others, such as actively involved through traditional sports, afterschool clubs, and social excursions. Social media may or may not be an ideal alternative.

If you choose to start drinking beer, you must have the freedom to say “no” and not be pressured by others to start drinking wine or liquor.

Bondage

Alcohol addiction will put you in the bondage of alcohol withdrawal symptoms—anxious, confused, depressed, fatigued, and shaking while not drinking alcohol.

Another bondage of alcohol addiction is the shackle of drug abuse. Alcohol is very reactive with many drugs and medications in that it can magnify or negate the medicinal effects on an individual with alcohol addiction while taking those medications. So, drugs can be abusive and destructive to an alcohol addict.

The way to turn bondage into freedom is to stop consuming alcohol. It is never easy without medical and professional help. But you have the freedom to free yourself from that bondage.

 SMOKING

Smoking cigarette must be avoided because it contains nicotine, which damages the brain, leading to many health issues of the brain, the heart, and the liver later in life. Your brain, which continues to grow and develop up to around age 25, can be damaged by nicotine. The damage initially affects your learning with lack of attention and mood swings. Nicotine withdrawal—stopping smoking with symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and physical fatigue—often puts you back to smoking.

Nicotine is an addictive drug that initially gives you excitement to “free” you from boredom and anxiety. Many teenagers begin smoking cigarette out of curiosity, as well as having observed many celebrities smoking on screen in old movies or even their family members. 

Now, it is not even “cool” to do e-cigarette or vaping with its appealing flavors because they also contain nicotine

Freedom

You have the freedom of choice to smoke or not to smoke.

If you are already a smoker, you still have the freedom to quit smoking or continue to smoke.

But your freedom to smoke will inevitably put you in bondage.

Bondage

Your bondage to all the physical, emotional, and mental damages of smoking may be lifelong.

The only way to turn the bondage into freedom is to quit smoking. That requires physical, mental, and spiritual efforts and perseverance.

CALMING

In your transition phase, many addictions, other than drinking and smoking, may crop up as your mind continues to grow and expand.

Addictions are distractions from focusing on other more important things in life. These distractions can temporarily calm you down, but they do not solve your problems. Addictions to calming yourself can come in many different forms, including some of the following:

Eating: Foods give pleasures to the tongue. Over-indulgence in eating leads to obesity and other eating disorders.

Gambling: Winning satisfies the mental craving for success and self-confidence. Compulsive gambling is the source of many financial problems later in life.

Games: Video games can create “gaming disorder” with social anxiety, lack of motivation in life, and interpersonal conflicts in everyday life.

Networking: Internet obsession may lead you astray by directing to many platforms of misinformation and wrongdoings.

Freedom

You have the freedom to eat, to play video games, to go online, and to do just about anything in your daily life.

But you have only 24 hours a day, just like everybody else. So, you must learn how to manage your time and not giving yourself time stress. Good time management involves setting precedence and priority over anything and everything you need to do.

Living is about doing—doing what needs to be done, but not over-doing, which may, paradoxically, lead to non-doing.

In your transition phase from adolescent to young adult, your knowledge is essential to your doing. However, you must also understand the fact that knowledge is infinite, and your capability to acquire your knowledge is only limited. Your true wisdom is to apply your “limited” knowledge to see how it works in your everyday life and living—that is, knowing what to do and doing what you know.

So, spending too much time on anything is not the way to go.

Bondage

Not knowing that “excess leads to depletion” is your vulnerability to bondage.

To free yourself from being trapped to any bondage, remember the golden mean: “more for less” and “less for more.”

FREEDOM with BONDAGE shows you how to free yourself from your bondage to the flesh that gives you the "freedom" to make the wrong choices and decisions in your everyday life.

 Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, November 21, 2022

One Bondage Leading to Another Bondage

Human freedom of choice is often held hostage by its bondage to the flesh, where your corrupted body dwells and the origin of the desires and wants of your thinking mind that ultimately change the freedom of your choice.

No matter how soft or strong your bondage may be, one bondage always leads to another. The more bondages you have, the greater their control on the freedom of your choices and decisions, and the more wrong things you will subsequently do.

An illustration of one bondage leading to another and yet another

On July 4, 2022, a 25-year-old Black man in Akron, Ohio, was shot 60 times by 8 policemen. The news was widely reported in the media because the victim was a Black man and the police had presumably used “excess force” to gun him down.

The victim, who had no criminal record, was initially stopped at a routine traffic stop.

Maybe “racial injustice” and “excessive use of force by police” told the victim’s mind that he had the “freedom” to get away. So, he chose to get away. His “freedom” tied him to the “bondage” of “getting away.”

Driving away his car and being chased by the police put him in another mental situation that gave him the “freedom” to choose to fire his gun to “stop the police chase.” His freedom of choice only reinforced his bondage to “getting away.”

After stopping his car at some point, the bondage of “getting away” told his thinking mind that he had the freedom to “flee on foot” and so he did.

While running, his bondage told his thinking mind that he had the freedom to turn around to do whatever he chose and decided to do. But he was shot dead.

The above tragedy could have been avoided if the victim had not taken his “freedom” to “get away” in the first place, which led to his bondage that distorted his thinking mind with another freedom of wrong decision leading to another and yet another bondage that finally tied him to his own death.

The "freedom" of choice of actions and decisions is controlled and manipulated by the human mind which lives in the flesh. Probably, that's what happened in the victim's mind: "I'm a Black, and the police don't like me. The police always use excessive force. I've my freedom to get away as soon as possible."

FREEDOM with BONDAGE shows you how to free yourself from your bondage to the flesh that gives you the "freedom" to make the wrong choices and decisions in your everyday life.

 Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Role of Human Wisdom

 THE ROLE OF HUMAN WISDOM

The ancient Tao wisdom from China -- the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching on human wisdom -- provides a blueprint for nourishing human wisdom: an empty mind with reverse thinking, mindfulness for clarity thinking, living in the present with no expectations of the future, no picking and choosing, accepting and embracing everything that comes in the natural cycle of change—what goes up must always come down. True human wisdom is the ability to understand that how the mind works and how human attachments are formed.


Why is human wisdom so important in the art of living well? The mind is responsible for thinking, and hence what we do and how we live our lives. Our thinking comes from our thoughts, which derive from our perceptions based on our five senses. Our thoughts then become our memories, stored in our subconscious minds. These subconscious  memories affect our many life choices and decisions either positively or negatives, producing many experiences that become our assumptions and predictions that further change the way we think. In short, our life experiences become the raw materials with which we form not only our realities but also our ego-selves.

 

One of the essentials of Tao wisdom is living in the present moment. Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind said at the end: “Tomorrow is another day.”

 

Yes, tomorrow is another day, but that day may or may never come. Fortunately or unfortunately, we always choose to believe that it will come. Fortunately in that it may give us hope and expectation; unfortunately in that it may divorce ourselves from the realities of life, making us less grateful of the present or less thankful of what we already have 

 

Living in the now is exemplary of the consciousness of being, which holds the key to understanding human wisdom. Today is now, and mindfulness of the present is the realization not only that tomorrow is another day but also that it may never come. This mental consciousness makes us aware that we must be constantly asking ourselves mind-searching questions about what we need to know now; what we need to love now; what we need to be grateful for now. In short, today provides the compass and roadmap for our life journey, which may abruptly end tomorrow.




Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The TAO of Healing


Millions and billions of people worldwide are suffering from autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis which is only one of the many different autoimmune disorders that are causing anxiety, fear, pain, mental confusion, and even suicidal thoughts in some of those afflicted.

According to Western medicine, there is no known cure for autoimmune diseases due to the complexity of their causes. Understandably, patients afflicted with autoimmune diseases are seeking healing from many different healing modalities, such as the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Ayurvedic medicine, and among many others. In addition, they are desperately looking for help from herbs, fruits, and all kinds of natural nutrient supplements, as well as from physical exercises and spiritual practices, to rejuvenate their failing health due to their weakened immune systems.

Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge comes from how your mind perceives and processes any information available. Wisdom, on the other hand, is how you apply the knowledge acquired to cope with any disease and disorder you may have, as well as your everyday life and living. The important implication: being knowledgeable may not necessarily make you wise or wiser.

The bottom line: you need both knowledge and wisdom to heal yourself of any human disease, including myasthenia gravis.

Given that both knowledge and wisdom come from the thinking mind, your brain is, therefore, the most important of all your body organs. With its billions of brain cells, your brain is not only most complicated but also major source of all your health issues and problems.

So, first and foremost, it is important to keep your brain healthy as much as possible in order to be capable of acquiring the knowledge and attaining the wisdom to initiate  your self-healing of any disease you may have.

The Healthy Brain

This is how you may keep your brain healthy:

Keep yourself hydrated because 80 percent of your brain is water. Drink at least 7-8 cups of water per day.

Keep healthy gums, and floss your teeth regularly to prevent any gum disease.

Enhance and improve blood flow to your brain with your 30-minute exercise at least several times a week.

Eat a healthy diet: high-quality lean protein; low-glycemic and high-fiber carbohydrates; natural and not processed foods.

Avoid inflammation and the formation of free radicals in your body.

Avoid sugar and sugary drinks, including all sodas and diet sodas.

Quit smoking, and limit your alcohol consumption to no more than 5 glasses per week.

Manage your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Maintain healthy levels of nutrients, e.g. vitamin D and omega-3s.

Maintain healthy hormones of the thyroid and the testosterone.

Promote good mental health, and avoid anxiety and depression.

De-stress yourself with correct breathing and daily meditation.

Get quality sleep of at least 7-8 hours a night without the help of medication.

Develop meaning and purpose in your life.

In addition to having a healthy brain, you must learn how to empower your thinking mind to seek and acquire the knowledge to heal your body of any disease.  

The TAO of Healing

The TAO is the wisdom of Lao Tzu from China more than 2,500 years ago. Lao Tzu, the ancient sage, was the author of the immortal classic TAO TE CHING on human wisdom. The TAO may play a pivotal role in the healing process of any autoimmune disease, including that of myasthenia gravis.,

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, November 18, 2022

How to Pray


How to Pray

Praying is never easy: often complicated, and even paradoxical.

You’ve got to know what you want so that you can ask what you want in order to get what you want.

So, before you pray, you must know your true self: who and what you really are, and not who and what you wish you were.

Praying is talking to God through your heart, and not your words; repeating a right set of words isn’t as important as your heart talking to Him.

Prayer is God’s gift to anyone who prays for that free gift.

So, to pray for that free gift, you must show your desire to feel God’s presence, which is in anyone and everyone, as well as in anything and everything.

Several decades ago, a former colleague of mine had the opportunity to meet and dine with Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China, whose amazing story was made into a Hollywood film in 1958: “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, starring Ingrid Bergman.

My former colleague told me that at the dinner with Gladys she found it very “odd” that Gladys had repeated almost non-stop “Praise the Lord!” throughout the dinner—when someone passed her a dish, some bread, even salt and pepper, or when someone made a comment. It might not have looked “odd” to someone who’d like to feel the presence of God in every moment of his or her life.

So, from now on, whenever you say “Thank you” aloud, maybe you should also try to say in silence “Praise the Lord!” so that you may feel His presence in your heart.

To feel His omnipresence,  you must also still your thoughts with mindfulness, and live in the now.

Prayer is how you react and respond to His presence in your daily life.

Always begin your prayer with God, and not yourself.

Asking for your needs is self-delusional: God already knows your needs.

Asking for your wants is self-sabotaging: trying to make God change His mind about what He has already wanted for you.

So, don’t pray for “be happy”, “be healthy”, and “be wealthy.”

If you’re blessed with His presence, you’ll still feel your happiness even in your adversities. Depression is humans’ refusal of letting go to receive His presence.

If you’re blessed with His wisdom, you’ll know how to take care of your body, even when you’re sick.

If  you’re blessed  with His grace,  you’ll learn
to let go of your greed and covetousness for your wealth.

Always pray for your trust and obedience: trust that God will give you the power to “respond positively” to any life challenge you may face; obedience that God will give you the wisdom to embrace anything and every-thing to let go of your control of your own destiny.

Remember, your prayers are always answered, but not your own expectations.

The TAO wisdom (the ancient wisdom from China, based on the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the author of the ancient classic TAO Te Ching) shows you how to live your daily life, and how your prayers may be answered.

“An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us letting go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3

Li Ching-Yuan was probably the longest-living Chinese in history, who died on May 6, 1933 at the age of over 200 years.

This is one of his thought-provoking sayings regarding Zen, an Eastern philosophy about being and a way of thinking:

“Before I had studied Zen for thirty years,
I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters.
When I arrived with a more intimate knowledge,
I saw that mountains are not mountains,
and waters are not waters.
But now that I have got its very substance,
I am at rest.
For it is just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.”
Li Ching-Yuan

Li Ching-Yuan was talking about awakening or self-enlightenment, which is always effortless and spontaneous. So, if you strive to know and understand anything and everything, the awakening may never come.
You may like to pray, but your prayers are seldom answered; then you’ll see “mountains as mountains, and waters as waters.”

Your desire in seeking God may somehow change your perspectives; then you may see “mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters.”

But finding God, and living in His presence, you’ll just see that “mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters”—in other words, “prayers are seldom answered or not answered at all” is not only irrelevant but also inexplicable. What really matters is that you’ve found the spiritual wisdom to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

So, don’t use your pre-programmed causal reasoning to make sense out of the senseless in life. Instead, express your trust and obedience to your Creator and fully live in His presence.

Click here to get Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered.



Click here to get The Complete Tao Te Ching in Plain English.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau