THE TAO OF LIVING LONGER
TAO is neither a religion nor a philosophy.
TAO is simply a way of life about the Way of life, that is, a general way of thinking about everything in life. It is a pathless path of humanity to live longer as if everything is a miracle.
Given that the TAO has to be self-intuited, the TAO is uniquely personal and subjective: what is the TAO to you may not be the TAO to others; just as the saying goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”
But you need the TAO to provide you with some self-awakening inspiration for your self-reflection and self-discovery on the rest of your life journey; without that self-awakening, you may continue to exist for other people, and not for yourself. Now is the time to start putting yourself on the right path with the right mindset toward awakening your TAO of living longer.
Remember, it is your thinking mind that may make you live longer. Continue and go through the rest of your life journey with self-awakening to the realities of your true self, of others around you, and of the world you are living in. Look at anything and everything through the lens of the TAO.
According to the TAO, the end of anything is always the beginning of something else; the material world you are living in is forever filled with these cycles of beginnings and endings. Get the profound wisdom to self-intuit these cycles of balance and harmony so that you may continue the rest of your life journey and live as if everything is a miracle.
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Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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ENLIGHTENMENT: HUMAN WISDOM ENHANCED BY SPIRITUAL WISDOM
Lao Tzu has said that the human eye can see only the manifestations of the things created by the Creator; only with spirituality or spiritual wisdom may one perceive also the mysteries of the creation, which is the wisdom of the Creator. That is to say, humans see only the things created, but not why they were created, unless they have spiritual wisdom, the access to which requires profound human wisdom.
“Every manifestation attests to the mysteries of His creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5)
“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, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 7)
Unaware of true self, we tend to identify ourselves with our thoughts and feelings, and we have become what we think we are. In that way, we have become a character on a big movie screen, but that is not the person we really are, because we are just spectators, and not the persons on the big screen. We have no separate self, and therefore we should not allow the separate self to control and misguide us in our everyday life and living. We should become only the spectators of, and not the participants on, that big movie screen.
As the spectators, we no longer overdo in any undertaking, we no longer judge or choose, and we no longer expect any result of our effort-we just do what we are supposed to do, no more and no less.
“We accept all that is simple and humble.
We embrace the good fortune and the misfortune.
Thus, we become masters of every situation.
We overcome the painful and the difficult in our lives. That is why the Way seems paradoxical.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 78)
And this is especially true when God is impartial to all of us, with no exception.
“The Creator has no judgment, no preference:
He treats everything and everyone alike.
Every manifestation attests to the mysteries of His creations.
So, we, too, embrace everything and everyone with no judgment, no preference.
His grace, never depleting and forever replenishing, shows us the Way.
Judgment and preference separate us from His grace, causing attachment.
Only with His grace do we find renewal and rebirth along the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5)
With humility, we can grow in spirituality with the help of His grace.
“Living by the Spirit, we choose a simple and humble lifestyle.
We meditate to enhance our spirituality.
We love our neighbors as ourselves.
We express compassion to all.
We speak with truth and sincerity.
We live in the present moment.
We take action only when necessary.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8)
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE UNHAPPY
In this world, there are many people who are unhappy most of the time, if not all of the time. Depression is no respecter of persons. Unhappy people have some common characteristics.
They do not know who they really are. That is, they may have falsely identified themselves with something in the world they are living in, such as “I am a successful businessman” or “I am a good mother.”
Once they have created for themselves their false identities, they naturally feel the need to protect and preserve their self-created images. In doing so, they desperately want to control and protect their destinies, such as avoiding what they fear might taint their preserved identities, or repeating what they previously did in order to sustain and substantiate their identities.
As an example, a “successful businessman” might want to overwork in order to avoid in future all possible failures in his or her business, or to repeat in future all his or her past successful business endeavors.
As another example, a “good mother” might strive to control the behaviors of her children in order to control and shape them into the individuals she wants them to become to prove that she is indeed a "good mother."
In the process of protecting and sustaining that identity, stress is not only unduly created but also aggravated by all outcomes falling short of their expectations. Nowadays, many people are living just to escape their yesterday’s pains and to anticipate their tomorrow’s pleasures; unfortunately, they are on the road to more unhappiness, and not less.
The bottom line: you are who you are, and not who you would like to become.
Not letting go
The unhappy people simply refuse to let go of what they think belong permanently to them; they anticipate what they think they rightly deserve through their efforts to control or influence the outcomes of events in their lives. They are afraid of any unforeseeable change, especially death that puts an end to everything they have delusively created for themselves.
If we live according to Tao wisdom, we should have no identity crisis, because without an ego, we know who we really are, and not being someone we wish we were. If we live according to Tao wisdom we should never become depressed, because we let go of anything and everything in life -- the good as well as the bad, the pleasant as well as the unpleasant. We just embrace anything that comes along our life journey. No letting go is the underlying cause of human depression, because we neither forget nor forgive.
My Way! No Way! Tao Is the Way!
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE
When confronted with life crises and challenges, we often tend to focus on ourselves instead of giving the best of ourselves to others. Again, when we are afflicted with a disease or disorder, we focus so much on our recovery that we have lost sight of our patience, which is a human virtue that can help us through the prognosis of the disease or disorder with persistence.
Patience is a proactive virtue that requires much inner strength to face difficulties encountered in life. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, patience may enable you to bear suffering and sorrow in such a way that you do not become broken by negative thoughts such that you forsake the way of virtue. Patience lets you stay on course with your life, even when you are afflicted with a disease. If you close in on yourself when you experience tragedies, you will not be attentive to the needs of others or other things that may help your recovery. The more you are obsessed with your own problems, the more you are unpleasant to be around, and the more depressed and isolated you may become.
Patience is a virtue that may help you bear sadness in such a way that you do not deviate from the humanitarian course you are on. With patience, you learn also how to persevere.
According to John Quincy Adams, patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
Many years ago when I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, one of the many autoimmune diseases, I not only was patient with my slow recovery (without taking toxic drugs), but also persevered in my self-healing process until all my symptoms had disappeared without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. It was a miracle for me, because according to Western medicine, there is no cure for autoimmune diseases.
Can you focus on others instead of allowing your own negative emotions to gnaw at you?
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
LET GO TO RECEIVE
We all want abundance, not emptiness. We all desire abundance in education, family, relationships, profession, and wealth; nobody wants emptiness-one thing nobody wants in life. Abundance often becomes attachments in our lives. Ironically enough, we need emptiness to attain the ultimate truths of life and living, which is wisdom in living. To attain this wisdom, we need emptiness. First of all, we need an empty mind with reverse thinking to think differently, not according to conventional wisdom. Then, we need to become empty consciously, which is letting go of all attachments. Attachments are emotional distractions of the mind that prevent clarity of thinking, without which there is no access to the ultimate truths of life and living. Knowing these ultimate truths enable you to live as if everything is a miracle.
Before we can receive, we must let go first. Letting go of all attachments to the material world is the first step we must take. It is more blessed to give than to receive. But many of us don't believe in that: instead, we think we will give out or let go after we have received. Letting go is difficult because it requires the profound human wisdom of Lao Tzu.
As If Everything Is A MIRACLE
This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the road map and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.
Emptiness leads to enlightenment. If spiritual wisdom has to enter you and manifest itself within you, it will need empty space. With enlightenment, you will become a better and a happier person. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-free life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
TAO WISDOM IN BEING OUR TRUE SELF
“The Way to the Creator is deep-rooted.
Unmoved, it is the source of all movement.
Stable, it enables us to act without rashness.
So, whatever we do, we do not abandon our true nature.
The world around us is riddled with worries and distractions.
We remain stable, steady, and steadfast.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 26)
Given that humans are finite and limited, to understand the Creator, who is infinite and unlimited, is always impossible. Given that the world is controlled by the Creator, human attempt to control what is uncontrollable is forever futile.
Lao Tzu’s advice is paradoxical: move without moving-just like moving with the current, instead of against it. The truth of the matter is that very often we do everything according to our way, deluding ourselves into thinking that by picking and choosing this or that we can repeat what we desire in the past and expect it to be repeated in the future. Accordingly, we often over-do, and we end up unstable, unsteady, and unsteadfast.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
TAO WISDOM IN TAI CHI
Tao is a way of life-a way to longevity living. Tao has been practiced in China for thousands of years.
What is Tao wisdom? How does it affect your longevity living?
Lao Tzu, one of the greatest Chinese philosophers, was the author of “Tao Te Ching” which has become one of the most translated works in world literature, probably next to the English Bible. He was the founder of Tao, a way of living. According to Lao Tzu, the wisdom of Tao is all about spontaneity.
What is spontaneity, or Tao wisdom?
In the universe, there is an all-controlling force that monitors everything. You breathe in life-giving oxygen, and breathe out life-destroying carbon dioxide. You eat, and you eliminate. You grow, mature, and die. In nature, spontaneity is evident in the change of seasons, and the cycle of day and night. Spontaneity is the natural built-in mechanism in each living organism. Spontaneity creates balance and harmony, which is the essence of Chinese health and healing, and hence longevity living. Tao wisdom embraces spontaneity in living.
The concept and perception of health and fitness in China differ from those in the West. For example, nowadays, people in the Western world focus so much on physical fitness that the gym giants will do anything to keep you huffing, puffing, and paying. Unfortunately, there is also much pumping irony: too-strenuous and over-vigorous workouts may be harmful to your physical health. According to the American Journal of Cardiology, jogging is causing many runners to drop dead from heart attacks, and many individuals have experienced heart attacks even after running on a treadmill. So, too much of what is supposed to be “good” may not be good.
Chinese health focuses much on spontaneity, and never on extremity.
Lao Tzu explained, "The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world." You need not over-exert yourself in order to be physically fit. So, you do less for more-which is the wisdom of “non-doing” according to Lao Tzu-and not more for less.
Chinese exercises, such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong, are never vigorous. Once your breathing becomes abnormal or irregular over a long period, you lose the spontaneity of the exercise, and hence its health benefits.
Tai Chi is a self-relaxing exercise with slow and even movements coordinated with breathing and directed by a peaceful mind. Therefore, it is beneficial to both mental and physical health. Tai Chi can remove physical and spiritual ailments from your body and mind, and thereby clearing your mind and strengthening your brain. In addition, its spontaneity can promote good digestion and kidney health. Furthermore, Tai Chi exercises can help lower your blood pressure, soften your blood vessels, and regular the flow of qi (the internal vital energy) in your entire body.
Qi is internal vital energy, which is always in motion in the form of ascending, descending, entering and leaving your body's organs and systems. It nourishes not only your body by transforming food energy into blood, but also your blood by keeping it flowing. In addition, it helps maintain your body's temperature. Qi plays a vital role in Chinese health and healing.
Lao Tzu also said, "Qi is elusive and evasive, and yet it manifests itself." Accordingly, Tao manifests itself in longevity living.
Tai Chi exercises focus on correct posture, slow and spontaneous movements, and natural healthy breathing to enhance and promote the free flow of qi.
Your central nervous system is the most important system in your body: it receives vital information from outside and inside your body; it directs your body movements. Your central nervous system is healthy only if you keep your spinal column erect because vitality and blood circulation are transmitted efficiently from your lower body to your brain only when your spine is kept erect. Tai Chi exercises focus on a natural posture with an erect spine (children have naturally erect spinal columns; only adults, especially older people, have bent spinal columns).
Your digestive system is also important to your overall longevity living as it stores and supplies all nutrients for your body. Some of the characteristic movements of Tai Chi reinforce the expansion and contraction of your body in an opening and closing motion, thereby instrumental in vibrating and stimulating your stomach and intestines for a better and healthier digestive system.
Your respiratory system is also critical to your longevity living. In Tai Chi, breathing is valued more than physical power because it uses breathing, not muscular strength, to propel the movements of your body. Western physical exercises, on the other hand, emphasize muscular strength instead of the spontaneity of breathing and natural body movements. In Tai Chi, your mind directs the qi, letting it sink down into your abdomen, where natural breathing takes place. According to Tao wisdom, you breathe through your abdomen (like babies and young children), not through your lungs. This explains why people in the West limit their breathing to the lungs; as a result, their lungs tend to enlarge as they grow older, crowding their hearts, leading to heart disease and cardiovascular problems.
Your circulatory system is connected to your respiratory system. Tai Chi enhances your deep breathing, which guides your qi to move your blood (which cannot move by itself) to different parts of your body for transporting oxygen and nutrients. By regulating the circulation, Tai Chi exercises through natural movements and deep breathing provide a healthy heart for longevity living.
Hormones in your thyroid gland are responsible for physical growth of your body. In Tai Chi, you keep your neck erect without pressure, centered without inclining to the left or to the right; you integrate the slow and smooth movements of your head and neck. These natural and spontaneous movements not only enhance the activity of your thyroid gland but also act upon your kidneys to remove wastes for body detox.
In summary, you need the spontaneity of Tao expressed in physical movements as well as in natural breathing of Tai Chi exercises to reap physical health benefits to promote longevity health and wellness.
Authentic Tai Chi--A Video Ebook: Discover the ancient Chinese exercise that improves your health, enhances your energy, and makes you young and fit.
Remember, Tai Chi is all about movements to circulate your body invisible energy called qi. Smooth circulation of qi energy ensures a healthy body. Stagnant and blocked qi energy causes all sorts of chronic disease. Tai Chi is an ancient exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years as an effective alternative healing for the body and the mind. By strengthening the immune system, Tai Chi can improve your chronic disease slowly but steadily. More importantly, it can relieve your stress and calm your nerves.
For more information on Chinese health, visit my web page: Chinese Health and Healing.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
WHY PRAYERS ARE SELDOM ANSWERED
The TAO wisdom explains why many people's prayers (irrespective of their religions) are seldom answered, or not answered at all: it has everything to do with the ego-self.
The human mind thinks and perceives its life experiences through its five senses, and thus creating its many assumptions, predictions, and causal concepts that are all stored as memories in the subconscious mind. They have become the raw materials with which you weave the fabrics of your life, making you who and what you have now become -- that is, your flawed ego-self.
The flawed ego-self has its many attachments in the form of careers, money and wealth, success, and relationships that ultimately become "expectations to be fulfilled."
The TAO shows you how to let go of your attachments to become your true self, and to be in the world but not of the world.
Click here to get your digital copy, and here to get your paperback.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
The TAO of Healing Myasthenia Gravis
by Stephen Lau
This 200-page book is about how the TAO, the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, can heal myasthenia gravis, one of the many autoimmune diseases afflicting humans worldwide.
According to Western medicine, there are no known cures, only medications to control the many disease symptoms. But from the perspectives of the TAO, there may be a healing from the mind. This book provides self-intuition of the thinking mind with a compass and a roadmap to embark on your own healing journey of any disease you may have.
Click here to get your paperback copy, and here to get your digital copy for your own self-healing journey.
Living and Healing Wisdom
A FLAWED EGO-SELF
A flawed ego-self is the cause of distorted thinking, which may ultimately lead to diseases.
An illustration of a flawed ego-self
On March 12, 2019, United States federal prosecutors disclosed a conspiracy to influence student college admissions decisions at several prominent American universities. In that college admission cheating scandal, some wealthy parents paid as much as $75,000 per test to help their children get a better score. It was reported that at least 50 people, including famous Hollywood stars, allegedly had been part of that scandal.
From the perspective of the some of the participants of that scandal, it might just be a “crime with no victim” in that the wealthy parents with good intention to help their children’s education by lavishing their money on those who were more than willing to receive and to help; it was quite different from a crime of robbing a bank or of a stranger in the street.
But it was a serious crime of greed and control-the flaws of an ego-self. The wealthy parents were so self-centered without thinking of the impact of their selfish act on their own children as well as on those who were potentially denied of their admissions to those colleges and universities. Worse, they also subconsciously reinforced their own implicit assumption -- another flawed thinking of the ego-self -- that a “better education” will somehow guarantee a successful career, leading to a happy marriage, and the vanity of living happily ever after. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Another similar but different illustration
In 2012, a Chinese couple from Hong Kong filed a lawsuit against an education consultant in the United States for $2 million dollars, who promised that he could -- but ultimately did not -- get their two sons into Harvard University.
The couple had used “improper” but maybe still perfectly “legal” means to get their two sons into Harvard University. Instead of regretting and recognizing their own guilt, the couple focused only on their anger, frustration, and vengeance that they would go public with their shameless act.
An enlightening illustration
Several years ago, 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 in China. 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 kwganxi or connection. The pastor then said to her: “See, God is in control; if you would just let Him.”
To a certain extent, we all have an ego-self, with no exception. It is because all humans desire some sort of an identity defined by what they have done and accomplished to date.
According to the TAO, humility may diminish the ego-self, and not letting it dominate the true self of an individual. A dominant ego-self often distorts the thinking mind of that individual, and thus leading to inappropriate actions and reactions of that individual on his or her life journey.
Humility is simplicity in living. In this day and age, living in this complex material world of technology is not easy: The complexity of this world has taken a toll on the human mind, creating undue stress, as well as many emotional, mental, personal, and psychological attachments in the material world. For these reasons, the TAO of humility is essential to overcoming stress and letting go of all attachments. Simplicity is the first step toward detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to health and happiness. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that may have a negative impact on your mind.
Epicurus, the Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a pleasant life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose life purpose always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost.
The late Robert Kennedy once said: “Sometimes I think that the only people in this country who worry more about money than the poor are the very wealthy. They worry about losing it, they worry about how it is invested, they worry about the effect it’s going to have. And as the zeroes increase, the dilemmas get bigger.”
Can you live a simple lifestyle to help you let go of all the trimmings of life while traveling on your journey of living longer?
When you were in your younger days, you might have had many attachments to life that define who you were, such as the car you were driving, the designer dress you were wearing, or anything that defined your social status. Can you, at this point in your life while on your healing journey, let go of all these attachments and just lead a simple life?
A classic example is Ann Russell Miller, a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph, She, who had ten children and nineteen grand-children, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and decorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life. That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, even for the close members of her family.
Less focus on your attachments to the material world will give you the humility to become the being you are meant to be. With humility, you will intuit that your sense of self-worth is directly related to your doing -- how things are going, how well you are doing, and how much you are getting in your life from your doing.
NO EGO NO STRESS
THE WISDOM OF LETTING GO
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Get YOUR MONEY WISDOM from the perspectives of human wisdom, Biblical wisdom and the TAO wisdom from ancient China in order to know how to make, save, and spend your money wisely!
Click here to find out more about YOUR MONEY WISDOM, and to read some excerpts from the book.
Living and Healing Wisdom