Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Zen Mindset

Nowadays, the human mind is often too preoccupied with thoughts and worries about career, money, children, relationships, health, and social responsibilities -- that is how many of us have developed a compulsive mind that never stops its thinking process.

There is one solution to stop the compulsive mind: the Zen mindset.

What is the Zen mindset? It is the mind focusing on the way of Zen.

Then, what is Zen?

Zen is a way of life. It is a misconception that Zen is a religious belief. Zen is a philosophical approach to living a life of peace and harmony, totally free from stress. In spite of having its origin from Buddha, Zen is not the foundation of Buddhism. 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 being of an individual, and therefore relaxes the body and the mind to enhance body-mind connection, which plays a pivotal role in the art of living well.

Zen is knowing intuitively—that is, naturally knowing the ultimate truth of living. According to Plato, the great philosopher, life is a process of “forgetting” with episodes of experiences and happenings that make you “forget” the ultimate truth of living, which you are supposed to know intuitively. In other words, as we continue to live in the contemporary world, it is easy for us to "forget" who we are, and in the process "forget" how to live. The Zen mindset is to bring us back to the ultimate truth. The way of Zen is to re-discover that inherent wisdom of knowing the eternal truth that may have eluded so many of us in the process of stressful living. Essentially, Zen living is “self-awakening” to the real meaning of living; once we understand that ultimate truth, we will be liberated from the shackles of memories of the past and worries of the future, and thus instrumental in enabling us to live in the present. Many of us are not living in the present; a case in point, texting or talking on the phone while walking or driving is not living in the present, which is supposedly to be walking or diving.  

With the Zen mindset, life becomes simple, and life is never a problem. If life becomes a problem, it is because we have created the problem for ourselves. If there is no problem, then we don't need a solution. Unfortunately, many of us have projected the problem into the future in the mind's eye, and then we start anticipating the problem with solutions. In the process, we pick and choose, resulting in wrong choices that lead to anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and regret, among others that become our problems. Fixing a non-existing problem in life is only creating more problems for ourselves.

Learn how to live in the present and relax by acquiring the Zen mindset, which is the wisdom in neither avoiding problems in life, nor seeking solutions to problems that may not even have existed in the first place.

The following Zen poem may help you to understand better the Zen mindset:

"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.

Read my book: The Book of Life and Living. It is a blueprint for living a stress-free life through an integration of the ancient wisdom of Tao, the contemporary wisdom, and Biblical wisdom.

Visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau

Saturday, March 22, 2014

How to Sharpen Your mind

You may have an amazing mind because your brain is made up of about 100 trillion brain cells called neurons, which are responsible for releasing chemicals known as neurotransmitters for effective communication between brain cells. To sharpen your mind, you have to inter-connections between your brain cells since they are all inter-connected. The more connections you have, the greater is your brain power. So, sharpen your mind by increasing your brain cell connections.

Your brain is like a recorder, which records all information on a tape (your neurons). A good memory means your brain knows when to turn on and turn off the recorder. This is crucial. However, the "when" factor is no more than your basic memory skills, without which, you just turn on the recorder all the time. The problem is that you may have just too many tapes: when you want to look for a certain tape, you may have problems finding the right tape and finding it right away. This is how and why people become forgetful, and forgetfulness is the inability to retrieve the desired information when needed.

As you continue to age (e.g. the beginning of senility, whether you like it or not), it takes you longer to recall things, as well as longer time to process new information. Things could even get worse with time: you develop the common tip-of-the-tongue problem in remembering a common word, or a familiar name. The term is "senior moments." Mental deterioration will continue if you live long enough: for example, you don't remember directions, or recall lists, among other daily annoyances and frustrations. Poor memory is associated with old age and a deteriorating brain.

The good news is that you may not have dementia or Alzheimer's if your brain is still healthy. But you do want to avoid, or at least defer, for as long as you possibly can, the occurrence of memory-lapses.

Although you may have an amazing brain, you still need to learn how to harness its power and potential. You can Make Your Brain Second To None.

1. Memory has to do with your senses: sight, sound, smell, and taste, and touch. They are your memory skills too, that is, tools for you to remember, store, and process information. Therefore, sharpen your senses to sharpen your mind. Protect and preserve your senses, for example, take care of your vision health, which is critical to having good memory, because sight is an important tool for remembering, storing, and processing information. There is a saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words." You still need good vision to see that picture. 

2. Avoid emotional upheavals, such as depression or stress, which can adversely affect your brain power. Practice daily meditation to calm your nerves, and let your brain relax and rest. Meditation is a powerful tool to optimize your memory skills. Learn how to meditate from my web page: Meditation Techniques. All you need is patience and consistency.

3. Avoid pharmaceutical drugs wherever possible, especially over-the-counter ones, such as cold remedies and sleep aids. Drugs are dangerous chemicals that may damage your brain cells. Remember, brain cells, unlike other cells, do not regenerate, although you have trillions of them. Use natural herbs and home-made medicine, which are less toxic and have fewer side effects than the chemicals of pharmaceutical drugs.

4. Good nutrition enhances brain health. The rule of thumb is: What is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Eat a diet low in animal fat to avoid clogging blood vessels in your brain.

5. Try not to do too many things too quickly at the same time. This not only creates time stress but also disorients the mind. Learn to live in the present. Most of us don't; they talk on the cell phones while driving (they are supposed to be driving, not talking about things in the future).

Your brain is one of the most valuable assets in your life. You can keep it functional for as long as you wish. If there is a will, there is a way. Make it your first priority to sharpen your mind and protect your brain health.

For more information on mind wellness, visit my newsletter Wellness Wisdom Newsletter to get more tips and information on wellness of the mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mind Wellness Wisdom Mindset

The mind plays a pivotal role in wellness wisdom of the body, the mind, and the soul; as a matter of fact, it balances and connects the body and soul. To enhance you mind wellness wisdom, you need a reverse mindset.

What is reverse mindset? And why is it essential to human wisdom?

Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, advocated reverse mindset for human wisdom. His wisdom was profound, and his Tao Te Ching has become one of the most translated and extensively read books in world literature.

Descartes, the great philosopher, once said: "I think, therefore I am." Indeed, human wisdom comes from the mind—that is, how we think, because our thoughts determine who we are and what we do. Wisdom has to do with mental perceptions of what we experience, as well as with our interpretations of those perceptions.

But our thoughts may deceive us; that is, they may mislead us and do not tell us the absolute truths. Therefore, true human wisdom is the capability to separate the truths from the half-truths or the myths. To see through the deception or illusion created by our minds, we need wisdom or clarity of mind. According to Lao Tzu:

"We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
Because trouble begins in the mind."

Lance Armstrong, the dishonored athlete, is a classic example of having the wrong mindset of success is due to effort. Armstrong , as an aspiring athlete, created an ego-self that craved for satisfaction. To meet his own expectations as well as those of others, including his coach, he manipulated the doping program in order to excel and surpass others. He got what he wanted through "over-doing" but with an ultimate price -- losing everything, including what he thought he had gained. Armstrong's mindset is a conventional one for success: "over-doing" or "do more and get more" Mind wellness wisdom is to reverse that mindset.

The unconventional wisdom, according to Lao Tzu, is to have no separate-self. With no ego, you have no expectations; you do what you need to do, without undue efforts, you live in the present, enjoying every moment of it while you wait patiently for things to turn out naturally or the way they are supposed to. Without over-doing, everything will settle into its perfect place. That is the wisdom of "under-doing" -- or mind wellness wisdom mindset.

For more information, visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Use the Mind to Get Wellness Wisdom

Health is one of the greatest assets of your being, and your brain is of the most important organs in your body. For without a healthy brain, your whole being cannot function efficiently. Your brain is the hardware, which controls how you think and act. Your brain is made up of your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. The former may be under your control because you can control your voluntary input, while the latter may control you because the input by the subconscious mind is involuntary and it is your subconscious mind that controls your conscious mind.. 

The body may control the mind in the form of desires and perceptions by the five senses of the body. If the mind is inefficient in controlling the body, then the mind may become dysfunctional and even toxic. A toxic mind may adversely affect the soul, and thus the well-being of the whole person. There is a close connection of the body, the mind, and the soul, which has an impact on the overall wellness of an individual. The overall health of an individual is often ignored, just as Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D. bestselling author, and founder of the Chopra enter for Well-Being, once said: “If you don’t take care of your health today, you will be forced to take care of your illness tomorrow.”

With that in mind, I have just published "Wellness Wisdom 2014 Newsletter." 

This “Wellness Wisdom 2014 Newsletter” will be regularly updated with news, comments on news, and tips regarding health and wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. In addition, if you subscribe to the newsletter, you will also be sent an email (on the 1st and 15th of each month) with information to boost your health.

Learn the art of getting what you want out of life. If you find yourself facing constant frustration from never-ending life problems, or you feel as though your life is a proverbial treadmill, not going anywhere. Now is the time to take charge of your life by controlling your mind and harnessing its power. It is all in your subconscious mind that is the real power center of your being and the headquarter of your body. Learn all the Mind Secrets Exposed.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wisdom to De-Stress the Mind

Stress plays havoc not only with your body but also your mind. Stress can impair your mind power.

How do you unwittingly create stress in your life? 

According to Zen living (an ancient concept of living based on the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage, who authored the world immortal classic Tao Te Ching), life is never a problem, and Zen lifestyle is never meant to be stressful. Unfortunately, it is your mind that has created the problem in the first place, and hence the stress.

Logically, a problem requires a solution. Your thinking mind presents to you a number of options to solve the problem you have created for yourself. Your rational mind then begins to analyze and choose the possible options; and stress is thus created in the process of analyzing and choosing. In Zen, the rational mind is not a friend, but quite often an enemy, of Zen health. 

Your stress is further reinforced if you made the wrong choice: you become ridden with guilt and regret over your choice.

Zen living or the Way of Tao (the wisdom of Lao Tzu) is simple: Do not make life into a problem, and there will be no problem. Do not look backward. Do not look forward. Just being in the present completely and fully. 

Yes, Zen focuses on the present moment — not the past, and surely not the future. Your unconsciously project your past experiences into the future, which can be either positive or negative. If they are negative, it may create worry and stress -- not good for the mind.  If they are positive, they may generate expectation that involves picking and choosing -- not beneficial for the mind. 

Alas, we are living in a goal-setting world in mad pursuit of fame, fortune and success. The Way or Tao wisdom, on the other hand, accomplishes things without exerting undue efforts.

Lin Yutang, the great contemporary Chinese writer-philosopher, aptly epitomizes the paradox of the wisdom "accomplishing things without much doing" in his famous quotation: "A wise man is never busy, and a busy man is never wise."

Essentially, Tao or the wisdom of Lao Tzu means do, but don't over-do. Live in the present, and neither worrying about the future nor ruminating over the past. In other words, you focus only on the process, not the result, of doing things. It is tantamount to the Christian concept of “doing your best, and letting God do the rest!”; or what Jesus said in the Lord's prayer "Give us this day our daily bread." God does not promise you a tomorrow, and man proposes but God disposes. Just do what you must do at this very present moment, and do not be anxious of the outcome. Concentrate on the "doing", and not the expectations of the result. This is the Way of Tao wisdom! 

The problem with most of us is that we permit our rational mind to be in control. We desperately want to get things done our way, and in doing so have created undue stress in our lives. Remember, the rational mind is more of an enemy than a friend. 

To understand the ancient wisdom of Tao or Lao Tzu, read my following books:

This 188-page book is all about human and God's wisdom. It includes the complete translation of Tao Te Ching Understanding human wisdom holds the key to unfolding Biblical wisdom.(also available on Amazon)

This 163-page book focuses on the integration of ancient wisdom, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom to create your own blueprint of wisdom in living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Non-Doing" to Increase Mind Power

According to Lao Tzu, the famous ancient sage from China, everyday something is dropped; therefore, less and less do you need to force things “to happen” until ultimately you arrive at “non-doing.” When nothing is done, nothing is left undone—this is the essence of “doing without doing.” It may seem paradoxical to many, but there is so much truth about that statement; in Tao, the profound philosophy of Lao Tzu, “nothingness” is paradoxically everything. The wisdom is that when you are in the middle of nothing, you are actually in the presence of all things.

The explanation is that everything originally came from nothingness, that is, before the Creation—the nothingness is God. That also explains why Tao (true wisdom) is beyond words because God is infinite and man is finite.

The problem with people in the Western world is that they are so “action-oriented” or so preoccupied with the “doing”—usually out of fear, worry, or doubt of the outcome—that they fail to understand the power of their thought (Never underestimate your mind power; it is often mind over matter!). As a result, ironically enough, their “over-doing” may hinder the progress of their efforts, and hence creating a reverse result. That is to say, they are striving to force their desire through action into manifestation of their expected outcome; and, by doing so, they mess up what they are trying to do because they have unduly created stress for themselves.

The Book of Life and Living: is a book about ancient wisdom, contemporary wisdom, and spiritual wisdom, and how their interaction may serve as a recipe for modern living.

Also, visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Friday, December 6, 2013

Harness Mind Power in the Golden Years

If you wish to become a centenarian, harness your mind power in your golden years. If you wish to attain the wisdom in happy and successful aging, utilize your mind power to achieve your goals, and make new waves in your golden years--make them the best in your life ever!

The well-known Okinawa Centenarian Study is a research to study the factors responsible for longevity living for seniors in their golden years. 

According to the Okinawa Centenarian Study, there is a much higher prevalence of centenarians in Okinawa, a state of Japan, consisting of a group of 44 inhabited islands that stretch 800 miles between the Japan main islands and Taiwan. Okinawa has the longest life expectancy in Japan, and probably in the world: at 86.01 years for women, and 77.64 years for men.

In the Okinawa Centenarian Study, as of 2003, approximately 560 centenarians out of a population of 1.27 million Okinawans have been identified. One of the most important aspects of the Okinawa Centenarian Study is that it is based on solid evidence. The most important evidence needed for any centenarian study is reliable age-verification data.

One of the significant findings is that the mental health plays a pivotal role in aging and longevity living.

Holo Think uses the state-of-the-art brainwave neurotechnology to access any state of mind at any time for total relaxation to enrich your life. You can reach a profound state of peace and personal insight previously only attainable by Zen monks who spent years in quiet, solitary meditation. Enjoy the effects of a “mental bath”—a wave of relaxation that melts stress from your body—and stimulating your mind to bring to the surface brilliant ideas buried deep in your subconscious. With this brainwave technology, you have the ability to access your subconscious mind, where you can identify and eliminate self-imposed limitations and blocks to achieve greater success in life. According to Dr. Gerald Oster, M.D., biophysicist, different sound frequencies are delivered to the brain through each ear separately (such as by using stereo headphones), the two hemispheres of the brain start working together to perceive not the external audio signals, but a third “phantom” signal to access your subconscious mind. It is just that simple! 

Harness your mind power to live a longevity lifestyle in your golden years through total tranquility of the mind!

My recent book publication Your Golden Years and Santa Claus explains why it is important to to increase mind power for happy and successful aging in the golden years. Learn to think like Santa Claus to overcome memory loss and other mental problems as you continue to age, as well as to change your perspectives of health, money, and spiritual issues encountered in your golden years.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mind Power to Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, quit smoking! Of course, it is easier said than done. It requires massive mind power to kick the habit.

Enough has been said about the hazards of smoking. The tar in cigarette smoke is composed of chemicals, poisons, and corrosives, such as hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, which deprive your heart and other organ tissues of essential oxygen for optimum function

Smoking ages your skin. Cigarette smoke produces free radicals that destroy your skin cells and tissues, and thus accelerate your aging process.

Smoking leads to premature death because it damages the heart the lungs, and the nervous system. Smoking not only promotes the deposits of fat and cholesterol on the walls of arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart, but also increases the risk of blood clots and stroke.

Smoking causes lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis (inflammation of the airways) and emphysema (irreversible breakdown of lung tissues), and lung cancer. Smoking is responsible for 30 percent of all cancer death, including cancers in the lungs, esophagus, larynx, and the mouth. Smoking affects your nervous system due to the presence of nicotine, which itself is a poison. 

Smoking also affects your sexual health, such as impotence and infertility.

Let’s not get into why you started smoking in the first place: curiosity, peer pressure, the cultural influence, or some other factors.

All smokers are fully aware of the hazards of smoking, but they find it difficult to quit once they have formed the habit, because nicotine is addictive. 

Quitting is never easy because it may immediately result in the following symptoms: slowing down of heart rate; elevation of blood pressure; development of ulcers; lack of mental concentration; anxiety and depression; drowsiness; and gastrointestinal disturbances.

These overwhelming adverse side effects of quitting automatically create the scenario for denial of the health hazards of smoking. Even many who strive to quit will fall victims to relapse.

Success in quitting is contingent upon the smoker’s self-discipline and perseverance. However, the first and foremost is the smoker’s capability to overcome the denial that smoking is a systematic suicide; denial will forever be a stumbling block to success in quitting.

Quitting the habit is difficult, but not impossible. You can do it, and you must do it! Hypnosis is the use of self-induced affirmations to change the subconscious mind thereby instrumental in changing the conscious mind. Remember, it is always the mind that instructs the body. Empower your mind with the right thoughts to quit smoking once and for all.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are You Wise Or Intelligent?

Are you wise or intelligent? Both or neither? Or you simply don’t know?

Now, ask yourself another question: "Are you happy?" If your answer is an indisputable "yes," then most probably you are wise and have wisdom in living. If your answer is not definitive, maybe you are intelligent, but not necessarily wise.

First of all, there is a difference between "wisdom" and "knowledge," and hence a distinction between "wise" and "intelligent." Knowledge is information; being intelligent is being knowledgeable. Wisdom, on the other hand, may have more to do with "distilling" and "internalizing" knowledge; in other words, the selection and application of relevant and appropriate information for a specific purpose. Therefore, mere accumulation of knowledge does not necessarily enhance wisdom, nor make an individual wiser for that matter. Wisdom in living is the art of living well. To live well, you must cherish and nourish that wisdom. 

Unfortunately, how to live one's life is never formally taught in school. If you are lucky, your parents might have given you some advice or their living examples might have shed some light on how you should live your own life. Most of us simply follow our instincts; or, worse, drift along, letting the turnout of events in our lives guide us along the way. But that is not true wisdom in living. True wisdom is the efficient use of the mind to get what one wants in life.

Does wisdom in living have a blueprint? Unfortunately, not! The reason is that every individual's life is uniquely his or hers; as such, there is no blueprint for living. Remember, nobody can live your life for you, because it is your life, and you must live it the way you choose. But you may want to know "how" to choose, and "what" affects your choice, or, more specifically, how your mind works. 

Wisdom in the art of living well is about understanding that in life you have a choice. As a matter of fact, life is all about choices. But what determines your choices? Your life choices are based on your life experiences. In other words, all your past and present experiences play a pivotal role in how you are going to live the rest of your life. Wisdom in living is the capability of the mind to discern your perceptions and how they process those experiences. No two individuals have the same perception of the same experience; it is always the half-glass-empty or the half-glass-full to a greater or lesser degree. Given the critical importance of mental perceptions in determining life choices, one of the essentials of wisdom in living is mind power--the ability of the mind to control its thinking process and hence its thoughts. Remember, you are the sum of your thoughts, and your thoughts become who you are and what you choose. In other words, your thoughts become the raw materials with which you fabricate your life, that is, creating your own masterpiece.

Mind Secrets Exposed: Learn the art of getting what you want out of life. If you find yourself facing constant frustration from never-ending problems in life, or you feel as though your life is a proverbial treadmill, not going anywhere. Now is the time to take charge of your life. It is all in your subconscious mind that is the real power center of your being and the "headquarters" of your body. Use state-of-the-art subliminal messages to transform your subconscious mind in order to change your conscious mind.

Also, visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Right Mindset to Increase Mind Power for Positive Living

We are living in a fast-paced world in which there is little room for idleness. However, when we retire, many of us find ourselves in a totally different world—a world of idleness.

An idle mind is the devil's workshop. Is there any truth in this statement?

In Western thinking, an idle mind is often a muddled mind with distorted thinking--a breeding ground for mental disorders. Thomas Carlyle, the famous historian, once said: "In idleness, there is perpetual despair."

A busy mind, on the other hand, may search for new truths, even as one continues to age. This keeps the mind functional and healthy. John Quincy Adams concurred: "Idleness is sweet, and its consequences are cruel."  But a busy mind may become a compulsive mind, which is a characteristic of contemporary living.

Lin Yutang, a well-known contemporary Chinese philosopher, once said: "A busy man is never wise, and a wise man is never busy." That may be the golden mean: a too-busy mind may become distressed, while a too-relaxed mind may turn idle.

Physical and intellectual activities do stimulate the mind. Therefore, it is important that even on retirement, you should find something to occupy yourself with. As you age, your muscle strength and mental capacity will deteriorate and decline. Take up a new sport, such as golf, which is an ageless sport. Mental golf is good for your mind, and golf swings are good for muscle flexibility, as well as body balance and posture. The latter are especially beneficial to those who are aging, because they may prevent fall among seniors, which is one of the leading causes of death among the elderly.

As for intellectual activities, go back to school as you age. Learn a new craft, a new hobby, or even start a new career, such as think, write, and retire, or a business.

Keep yourself from being idle, but also refrain from a compulsive mindset. Have the right mindset to increase your mind power for positive living, which requires neither an idle mind nor a compulsive mind. .

The wisdom in living is to find a happy medium, which is neither idle nor compulsive, especially in your golden years after retirement . Maybe the wisdom of Tao is most appropriate. Tao wisdom is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage who lived 2600 years ago. His one and only book, Tao Te Ching, has become one of the most popular ancient classics and has been translated into many languages due to its profound wisdom.

Tao wisdom focuses on living in the now, that is, moment-to-moment, instead of worrying about what might happen next. It also emphasizes the importance of “under-doing” rather than “over-doing”, which is the by-product of a compulsive mind. “Under-doing” is doing what needs to be done, and letting nature take over. Lao Tzu believes in the natural order of things. Hence, in life there should be “no expectation” because expectation leads to “picking and choosing,” which often results in making wrong choices with the accompaniment of stress and regret. The essence of Tao wisdom is living with neither an idle mind nor a compulsive mind; you do what is necessary, without expecting the result, and embracing the good as well as the bad, the desirable and the undesirable. If you develop this mindset, you have mind power over your life.

Visit my website: Wisdom in Living to get resources for positive living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau