Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered

<b>Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered</b>
Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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.

THE TAO OF LIVING FOR LIFE

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

Friday, March 27, 2020

Meditative Awareness

Meditative Awareness

There are many reasons for meditation: relaxation, clarity of mind, and spiritual connection, among others. No matter what the reasons may be, the main focus of meditation is on meditative awarenessmindfulness of what is happening at the present moment, such as breathing, bodily sensations, and mental thoughts. Without this acute meditative awareness or mindfulness, there is no relaxation of the body and the mind, or the spiritual connection to a Higher Being.

Meditation is finding the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness—so quiet that you can almost hear it—that forms a link between you and your sensations and thoughts. Meditation is all about re-focusing the mind on what is important and what is irrelevant or insignificant. In other words, through awareness, meditation prioritizes and changes perspectives regarding what is happening in life. Essentially, you begin to become aware of your adaptation to cope with the mundane world, such as dealing with attitudes and behaviors, as well as pain and stress. Through clarity of mind, you also begin to know yourself better, such as the reasons for your anger; you may even have spiritual enlightenment, such as perception of the purpose of your existence. In brief, meditation is a mental training of meditative awareness or mindfulness of breathing, physical sensations, and mental thoughts, and the perception of timelessness, focusing only on the present moment or what is “real” at that present moment.

Meditation has its practical application in everyday living for life. Meditation heals both the body and the mind if you can bring all attributes and benefits of meditation to your day-to-day world. 

By training your meditative awareness only to remain present in whatever activity you undertake in real life, you will find yourself right in the center of that activity you are engaging in. In this way, you will be doing your very best, and meanwhile getting the greatest satisfaction from doing so.

To illustrate, say, you are doing a mundane everyday chore, such as washing the dishes or taking out the trash; you may not like what you are doing, but you are doing it anyway just because you have to. If you have had training in meditation, you will know how to keep uninvited thoughts to a minimum while you are doing the dishes or taking out the trash, and thus enabling you to be in the center of what you are experiencing and to do it without distraction. A mind trained in meditation leads to a state of stillness that can be maintained no matter what you do, or what is happening around you. This is the power of meditation.

The principles of meditation can be applied to any non-meditating part of your everyday life, such as walking.

As you begin walking, let go of thoughts of the outside world.
Focus on your breathing: listen to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out.

Make your walk slow and purposeful.

As you walk, observe each step that you make. Notice all the physical sensations of your feet, as well as the way your arms swing back and forth, brushing against your body.

If uninvited thoughts come, re-focus your awareness on your breathing and physical sensations.

In this way, you can turn any everyday activity into meditative nature in order to enhance your awareness and clarity of mind, which can be life transforming.  Not only your senses come to life, but also you see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life. Seeing things in perspective will help you let go of things you found most difficult to let go in the past.

Practice meditative awareness in your everyday activities in order to enhance your self-healing power of the body and the mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Body-Mind-Soul Alignment

Wellness wisdom begins with the mind, and not the body.

Mind wellness

Overall wellness starts with the intent of the mind to be well and to stay well.

How well you are living your life right now is based on your past and present life experiences, as well as your projections of those experiences into the future. In other words, your thoughts of those experiences with their respective future projections become the raw materials and resources with which you are going to weave the fabric of your life.

Therefore, to live well, you have to know how to think right, and then act accordingly. That's not easy, and that's why Albert Einstein once said, "Thinking is hard; that's why so few do it."
Learn to empower your mind with knowledge and wisdom and live your life to the best you can.

Body wellness

Body wellness is more than just an absence of illness or ache and pain.

Body wellness means the body is capable of detecting signs and symptoms, as well as deciphering messages, from different organs and tissue of the body, giving warnings of any imminent disorder and disease.

The body is connected with the mind in the form of biochemical reactions in the body and nerve impulses in the brain. This invisible communication is responsible for the alignment or misalignment of the flow of energy between the body and the mind, and hence their overall wellness. The body is a product of both the mind and the soul.
There is much to know and learn about body wellness, just as Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said: "The life so short, the craft so long to learn."

Learn the craft and get the wisdom!

Soul wellness

The mind controls the body, and the soul oversees the mind and the body.

Wellness wisdom connects the body with the mind and the soul for optimum state of being.

The soul specifically connects the mind to a greater intellect that has the infinite power to connect with everyone and everything in the world.

The body, the mind, and the soul work as a system of energy. The state of being is the overall feeling of health and wellness. This state of being is dependent on the intricate connection of the body, the mind, and the soul.

Soul wellness plays a pivotal role in guiding and directing behaviors and actions in the physical form.

Cherish and nourish your soul. The mind is the map, the soul is the compass; without both, the body goes nowhere.

Body-Mind-Soul Alignment  

To live well, you must have body-mind-soul alignment in order to live as if everythinge is a miracle, just as Albert Einstein said.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Ego and "Expectations Not Fulfilled"


If your “prayers not answered” meaning your “expectations not fulfilled”, maybe you’d like to ask why not? Yes, many of us would like to ask the same question, whether we pray or not. Indeed, many of our expectations in life are seldom or never fulfilled.

Lao Tzu recommends the wisdom of reverse thinking, which is thinking backward to find out the origin of something.

“Expectations not fulfilled” has its origin from the ego.

The Ego

What’s an ego? Do we all have an ego?

An ego is an identity of any individual. Yes, we all have an ego, with no exception.

As soon as a baby begins his or her perceptions through the five senses, that baby begins to develop an identity, such as “this toy is mine” and “I want this.” There’s nothing wrong with that initial identification. However, as time passes by, the human ego continues to expand and inflate to the extent that it may become problematic.

Well, what exactly is an ego, or the ego-self?

Simply look at yourself in front of a mirror. What do you see?

self-reflection. Is it for real? Can you touch it? Not really; it’s only a reflection of someone real—the real you in front of the mirror!

Now, do something totally different. Place a baby—if there’s one immediately available—in front of the mirror. See what happens. The baby might crawl toward the baby in the mirror. Why? It’s because the baby in front of the mirror might think that the baby in the mirror is another baby, and just not his or her own reflection.

Likewise, the ego-self may look real, but it isn’t real. To think otherwise is self-deception.

How You May Have Become What You Are

Descartes, the great French philosopher, made his very famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Accordingly, you think and you then become what you think you are—the byproducts of all your thoughts and your own thinking.

Unfortunately, Descartes’ famous statement is only partially true: it’s true that you identify yourself with all your thoughts projected into your thinking mind; but it’s not true that your identities thus created by your thoughts and your own thinking truly reflect your true self. The fact of the matter is that you’re not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not you. To think otherwise is a human flaw, which is no more than self-illusion or self-delusion. In other words, you’re not what and who you think you really are.

Gradually, all your life experiences with their own respective messages—the pleasant as well as the unpleasant, the positive as well as the negative—are all stored at the back of your subconscious mind in the form of your assumptions, attitudes, causal concepts, and memories.

Accumulated over the years, millions and billions of such experiences and messages have become the raw materials with which you subconsciously weave the fabrics of your life, making you who and what you have now become—or so you think. In other words, they’ve now become your “realities” or your ego-self.




Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Mind Power to Discover and Recover


The Discovery and the Recovery

Hippocrates (460 - 370 B.C), the father of medicine, once said: “Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.” Take a step further: Let food be the “only” medicine. If you have developed a degenerative disease, start thinking of food as your medicine, in fact, the best medicine, if not the “only” medicine. Your body is designed to digest and utilize food to get its nutrients and energy. But only wholesome food can do just that—not even supplements, because all supplements are just what they are called.

If food is the “only” medicine for you, you will empower yourself with knowledge about food, and you will then pursue a proper diet with high quality, non-toxic, and nutritious food. That means, you will refrain from eating the commercially-prepared and chemically-loaded food obtainable at supermarkets. When food becomes the “only” medicine, you will also learn to trust your body; that is, you will learn what your body is telling you, and how it responds to real and wholesome food.

When you do become sick, you should also learn how to use herbs as medicine. Herbs from different parts of plants have different therapeutic values that promote self-healing without the use of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. As a matter of fact, many common herbs, such as cinnamon, garlic, and ginger, have been used as “food” medicine for thousands of years.

If food is your “only” medicine, you will make good use of it to improve your health and heal yourself of any disease, including myasthenia gravis.

Hippocrates had also said: “Healing is a matter of time, but it is also a matter of opportunity.” Therefore, give your body that opportunity for natural self-healing by going drug-free, although it may take more time.

Your life is a journey through which you make many choices—some good ones and also some bad ones—that contribute to your health or illnesses. Life has a purpose with a unique destiny for each individual. Therefore, it is important that you know yourself, and self-healing is "knowing the self" as a part of your destiny. Sometimes and somewhere along your life journey, you may hit rock bottom and begin to despair. You may even ask the frequently-asked question: "Why me?" But that may also be the time of self-awakening for you. You may then begin to question how and why you have found yourself in that difficult and despondent situation. True self-awakening will make you take a different path—a detour from that journey you have been prodding along. Taking a different path creates the energy for self-healing.

Your self-awakening can be physical, such as a change of diet or taking up an exercise regimen. Your self-wakening can be emotional or spiritual, such as self-awakening to the power of love and compassion. Self-awakening may give you the desire and intention to heal, precipitating in changes that will ultimately heal not just the body but also the mind. Your very desire to heal is the healing energy for the body and the mind.

If you know yourself well, you will empower your mind with knowledge to heal yourself, and that empowerment generates more healing energy. If you know yourself more, you will make more right choices, than wrong ones, regarding your health. In making those right choices, you are well on the path to your own self-healing.

The bottom line: self-healing begins with knowing yourself through self-awakening to generate internal healing energy
         
The TAO

According to the TAO, the ancient wisdom from China, your discovery in life is your effortless search for learning and teaching from unexpected people in unexpected places; your recovery is your subjective perception of all the connections of life with your own spontaneous flow with them. Embracing everything and everyone with no judgment and no preference is the way to the discovery and the recovery of your health.

“The Way is paradoxical.
Like water, soft and yielding,
yet it overcomes the hard and the rigid.
Stiffness and stubbornness cause much suffering.

We all intuitively know
that flexibility and tenderness
are the Way to go.
Yet our conditioned mind
tells us to go the other way.

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)

The recovery journey is never smooth and straightforward; it is always long and winding, with many detours and even setbacks. Healing is invisible, inaudible, and intangible:

“Look, it is invisible.
Listen, it is inaudible.
Grab, it is intangible.

These three characteristics are indefinable:
Therefore, they are joined as one, just like the Creator—invisible, inaudible, and intangible.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 14)

Discovery and recovery are part of your healing journey.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
  

To download the e-book, click here; to get the paperback copy, click here.

Monday, March 23, 2020

An Empty Mind to Heal


Prevention is always better than cure. If there is no disease, where is the need for a cure or even a doctor?

Take the step of maintaining optimal health and wellness in the body, the mind, and the soul, irrespective of your current conditions of health.

Nobody knows your body better than yourself; you have been living with it for years, if not decades. It is more than just treating a disease: it is also using that disease as a tool for understanding yourself—or, more specifically, why you are sick in the first place. It may give you the knowledge and wisdom to live in balance and harmony, thereby instrumental in initiating your healing with or without your doctor.

Remember, you do not have to follow any specific program or even the advice of anyone, maybe even including that of your doctor.

An Illustration

You need not follow the advice of former President Bill Clinton with respect to his dramatic weight loss—simply because you are not Bill Clinton, and your body’s constitution is not the same as that of his. Therefore, what is good for Bill Clinton may not necessarily be good for yourself. Nor do you have to impose any deliberate discipline on yourself. The reason is that any imposition may stimulate your inherent resistant nature. Discovering your own sensitivity to life is often more important than rigidity.

The TAO Wisdom

According to the TAO, the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago, an empty mind paves the way to both unlearning and relearning. Emptiness is synonymous with simplicity and receiving—the former is living a simple lifestyle with humility to develop an empty mindset to let go of all your attachments; the latter is the readiness and the capability to self-intuit true knowledge and profound wisdom.

Wisdom, which is invisible, intangible, and invaluable, is emptiness, which comes only from an empty mind:

“The spokes and the hub are the visible parts of a wheel.
Clay is the visible material of a pot, which is useful because it contains.
Walls, doors, and windows are visible parts of a house.

We always look for the visible and the tangible without.
But what really matters is the invisible and the intangible within.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 11)

According to the TAO, to attain knowledge, add things every day, but to attain wisdom, remove things every day:

“Seeking the Creator,
we give up something every day.
The less we have,
the less we need to strain and strive
until we need to do nothing.
Allowing things to come and go,
following their natural laws,
we gain everything.
Straining and striving,
we lose everything.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 48)

The explanation is that “less is for more” and not “more is for more” according to the contemporary thinking:

“Without going out the door, we know the world.
Without looking out the window, we see the Creator.
The more we look outside ourselves,
the less we know about anything.

Trusting the Creator, the ancient prophets
knew without doing, understood without seeing.
Trusting the Creator, we accomplish without striving.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 47)

On your healing journey, you just have to learn, unlearn, and relearn from anyone, anything, and any situation:

“Everything that happens to us is beneficial.
Everything that we experience is instructional.
Everyone that we meet, good or bad, becomes our teacher or student.

We learn from both the good and the bad.
So, stop picking and choosing.
Everything is a manifestation of the mysteries of creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 27)

he healing process, you do not set any goal or have any objective in your learning, unlearning, and relearning. The explanation is that setting any goal or having any objective will make you judge and choose, and thereby instrumental in pre-conditioning your thinking mind with respect to your learning, unlearning, and relearning:

“The foolish all have goals.
The wise are humble and stubborn.
They alone trust the Creator,
and not the world He created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 20)

To sum up, on your healing journey,  you need to have an empty mind to learn, unlearn, and relearn everything about your health. After all, it is your health, and only you have the answers to why you may be unhealthy, and how you may heal yourself.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
  


To download the e-book, click here; to get the paperback copy, click here.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Power of Unlearning and Relearning


 Unlearning and Relearning Pharmaceutical Drugs

On your healing journey, take the step to unlearn and relearn many things related to your autoimmune disease, such as myasthenia gravis.  

To heal, you must unlearn what you have previously learned, that is, letting go of all your preconceptions related to all the hows and the whys you might have got your myasthenia gravis in the first place. Remember, the knowledge you are currently having may have been generated by the limited and the finite material world you are living in.

Life itself is a sacred journey involving change, growth, and self-discovery. Knowledge is self-empowering, but it has to be distilled by true human wisdom. Therefore, to deepen your love of heath and your quest for health and healing, you must seek not just knowledge but also wisdom in order to expand your vision and stretch your soul so that you may stay both physically healthy and spiritually wise. Your knowledge and wisdom may provide you with meaning and direction to continue with every step of your long healing journey.

Unlearning Pharmaceutical Drugs

As we age, our self-made energy from the food we have consumed over the years begins to decline, and this is evidenced by our inability or difficulty to cope with the stressors of life. These stressors may have come in many different forms, such as overexposure to sunlight, polluted air, contaminated water, and a host of other lifestyle factors of modern life. After decades of abuse to our bodies, our choices—whether we have made them knowingly, or they have been imposed unwittingly on ourselves—begin to take their toll, resulting in the development of chronic conditions and degenerative diseases. To add insult to injury, our metabolic slowdown that comes with the natural process of aging makes it even more difficult to maintain our health and energy.

To deal with our health issues, many of us may desire a quick-fix, and thus turn to pharmaceutical drugs, which are toxic chemicals that only address the symptoms but without removing the causes of the health conditions.

Unfortunately, unsafe and toxic pharmaceutical drugs are prevalent. This is an indisputable fact! Unreliable drug tests abound in the medical and pharmaceutical research communities. Drug tests prior to their FDA approval may not be reliable due to the following reasons:
  • Pharmaceutical companies may often influence medical researchers, through coercion, incentive, and even threat, to produce the desired results in clinical trials. There have been many cases of data fabrication in clinical trials of drugs in order to facilitate their intended applications.
  • Clinical trials usually involve a small number of people, and may not truly reflect the outcome of those who will ultimately be using those drugs after their approval by FDA.
  • Drugs tested on animal models may be biased and even irrelevant. An artificially-induced disease in non-human animals may not yield results relevant to a spontaneous, naturally-occurring human disease.

 Relearning Pharmaceutical Drugs

Regularly taking pharmaceutical drugs does not make you live longer because longevity is always drug-free. This makes sense: taking too many pharmaceutical drugs means your body is already stressed by many physical ailments. Ironically, these drugs may do a further disservice to you by ingesting more toxins into your already toxic body.

Pharmaceutical drugs do not heal a disease; they only temporarily suppress the disease symptoms.   Remember, when you give your body a drug to replace a substance that your body is capable of making itself, you body then becomes weaker and will begin not only to manufacture less of that substance, but also to become more dependent on the outside source, which is usually the drug itself. Over time, you will become no longer drug-free.

Unfortunately, no drug can give you insight into the circumstance that created your problems in the first place. At best, it can only temporarily assuage the physical pain created by your situation. Remember, there are no miracle drugs—only wholesome natural self-healing. Utilize your body’s natural self-healing power, rather than relying on those unsafe pharmaceutical drugs. Keep yourself drug-free as much as and as long as possible!

However, it does not imply that you must desist from taking your medications prescribed by your doctor. Rather, it suggests you should always be more alert to the side effects of the drugs you are currently taking; you should not readily reach out for unsafe pharmaceutical drugs, especially over-the-counter ones, without any second thought as if they were coupons or silver bullets.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
  


 To download the e-book, click here; to get the paperback copy, click here.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Healing Journey


The Healing Journey

One of Lao Tzu’s famous sayings is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” The TAO journey of healing myasthenia gravis, or any autoimmune disease, is a great undertaking: every step is as important as the first; and each step is as firm as the previous one. The Chinese often like to say “feet stepping on solid and steady ground.” Your healing journey is the sum of all the steps you are going to take.

Before you take your first step, ponder on this reality: in life, all humans have two desires or pursuits—happiness and healthiness, which not only often come with many delusions and illusions but also always are unattainable and unsustainable. But the TAO may give you self-intuition and self-enlightenment to help you along your own journey of healing myasthenia gravis.

The Step of No Desire and No Intent

It is your healing journey, and only you can take your first step. So, you must choose to take your first step to go on that healing journey.

To continue on your journey, paradoxically, you must show no desire to heal and no intent to reach your destination.

But why?

The desire for good health may be difficult to sustain for someone who is currently confronted with the many health issues related to myasthenia gravis. It may seem not only difficult but almost impossible for that individual to restore natural health and get well again. Worse, ill health may even make that individual feel depressed and forget to take care of the body, and thus allowing the body's malfunctions to continue and deteriorate further.

A wise traveler on a long journey has no fixed plans, and is not intent upon arriving the destination within a certain time frame. But that traveler is ready to use all the situations and all the people encountered to help him along the long journey.
               
Likewise, healing is a long, on-going process, and not a destination. With innate and inexplicable power, it may appear that everyone and everything along your journey are also playing a part in facilitating in your favor all your endeavors in healing your myasthenia gravis.

The bottom line: take your first step of no desire and no intent for healing so as to change and to overcome any attitude of confusion and even despair related to the trauma of your myasthenia gravis diagnosis. On your healing journey, with no intent upon arriving at the destination any time soon, you will continue to keep yourself moving forward, and you will then go the long distance on your long healing journey.

The TAO

According to the TAO, being free of desires is your path to detachment, and thus giving you clarity of thinking to start your own healing journey.

Paradoxically, if you have no desire to desire for change or healing, there is stillness, in which you may see yourself gradually changing for the better in order to slowly heal yourself:

“To live a life of harmony, we need letting life live by itself. . .

So, follow the Way.
Stop striving to change ourselves: we are naturally changing.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 57)

“Accordingly, we do not rush into things.
We neither strain nor stress.
We let go of success and failure.
We patiently take the next necessary step, a small step and one step at a time.
We relinquish our conditioned thinking. Being our true nature, we help all beings
return to their own nature too.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64)

According to the TAO, a good traveler neither has fixed plans, nor shows any effort to arrive at the destination:

The softest thing in the world
overcomes what seems to be the hardest.
       
That which has no form
penetrates what seems to be impenetrable.

That is why we exert effortless effort.
We act without over-doing.
We teach without arguing.

This is the Way to true wisdom.
This is not a popular way
because people prefer over-doing.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 43)

Begin your healing journey, and take your first step with effortless effort and humble simplicity:

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


To download the e-book, click here; to get the paperback copy, click here.