Wisdom in Living

<b>Wisdom in Living</b>
Get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cancer and Personality


The personality of an individual is no more than a byproduct of that individual's thoughts. In other words, that individual has become what that individual thinks he or she is—a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Studies have shown a close correlation between cancer and personality, that is, the mind.

According to the Chicago Study on cancer, chronic depression plays a pivotal role in the development of cancer. The research findings indicated that the ability to express anger and the fighting spirit against cancer can significantly affect the outcome of the disease. As a further testament, cancer patients who are determined to conduct their own therapy treatments (although this is not what their doctors want) are most likely to get better.

Other cancer studies also indicated that even cancer denial is an effective cancer-coping mechanism in some cancer patients.

In short, your personality, developed and determined by your mind, is critical to the prognosis of your cancer, and hence its ultimate recovery.

Cancer and the Body and the Mind

According to best-selling author Wayne Dyer, “the positive effect of kindness on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain has been proved on research studies.” In other words, the mind does have a positive impact on the functioning of the immune system, and hence your combat against cancer.

According to Alastair J. Cunningham, Ph.D. of the Ontario Cancer Institute, cancer patients who had worked the hardest at transforming themselves psychologically in their fight against cancer lived at least three times longer than what their doctors had predicted. Therefore, it makes sense that those cancer patients who have fought the hardest psychologically live the longest. Unfortunately, not too many cancer patients will do just that—fighting their cancers with all their might; many of them simply give up half way, and give in to cancer.

There is often a close connection between the body and the mind. The body affects the mind as much as the mind affects the body; it may be a case of the chicken-and-the-egg.

The Physical Effect of the Mind

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a study of how the mind can affect the immune system. There is increasing scientific evidence that the immune system learns to recognize cancer cells and therefore has the potential to destroy them before they become lethal; that may explain the spontaneous remission of established malignant cancers in some cancer patients.

Chronic stress is one of the major factors contributing to the development of cancer because under duress, the nervous system secrets the hormone cortisol that weakens or suppresses the immune system.
Although the exact mechanism by which emotions and depression may affect the development and prognosis of cancer is relatively unknown, evidently the mind can positively or negatively alter the beginning and outcome of cancer.


Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Empathy Beyond Sympathy



To be able to accept others, you must be a good if not a better person. A good person has the quality not only of sympathy but also of empathy.

What's the difference between empathy and sympathy? When watching the reported news that nearly 80 refugees were found dead inside a truck on a Austrian highway, what did you feel? Some feel nothing or numbed, because they are often inundated with these tragic news that they no longer have any emotion or feeling left. Some may show some sympathy by saying something like "Oh my God! I feel sorry for them!" and then switch to another channel. If you happen to have experienced the traumas of a refugee yourself -- the anxiety, desperation, fear, and hunger -- your emotional reaction to the news would be somewhat different -- one of empathy, much more intense than sympathy. Empathy is whatand how you feel for an individual because you have had that similar experience before; sympathy is simply your feeling towards someone in a sad or tragic situation. One generally does not feel empathy unless one has been in the same shoes.

That said, empathy can be cultivated and nurtured. 

How?  

Dalai Lama, the  spiritual leader of Tibet, once said that every time he walks into a room full of people of different nationality, culture, religious background, he tries to connect with them through compassion and loving-kindness, which are acts of empathy. In other words, they are deliberate acts of connecting with others, irrespective of their culture, sex, race, or beliefs because no man is an island, and we are all somehow and somewhat inter-connected with one another. We see the good and the bad in others as well as in ourselves. More importantly, we see why and how we all behave differently in different situations.

Remember, we are all imperfect, no matter how we think of ourselves. Therefore, we should always express empathy beyond sympathy towards others.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Believe in Yourself


Diane Sawyer once said: “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.”

But believing in yourself is easier said than done

When you were young, you believed in anything and everything—even in the fairies. However, as you grew older, you became more skeptical, and you might have even stopped believing in yourself. But it is important that you believe in yourself, especially as you continue to age. Believing in yourself holds the key to successful aging.

Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life.
Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success.in doing anything that becomes the substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

The only stumbling block to believing in yourself is your inability to achieve: some of your goals at some points in your life. This stumbling block may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

Setting goals and having expectations are not the same. According to the ancient wisdom of Tao, (Tao is The Way, which is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese) expectations often become the stumbling blocks to accomplishing your goals. Why?  The explanation, according to Lao Tzu, is that .the greater the expectations, the more efforts you will exert, and the more stressed you become—ironically enough that may lead to failure in achieving your goals. What Lao Tzu would recommend is “doing what needs to be done” but no more and no less, and with “no expectation”.

There was the story of a drawing competition in which candidates were asked to draw a snake. One candidate finished his drawing well ahead of others. Thinking that he would get extra credit, he added a few beautiful legs to the snake he had drawn. As a result, he became disqualified in the competition. The moral of the story is that enough is enough, and more than enough may not be good.

Believing in yourself—with “no over-doing” and “no expectation”—holds the key to setting your goals and accomplishing some of them despite some drawbacks to build up your confidence, which is necessary for success in doing anything in your life.

Stephen Lau

Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Meditation to Heal


During the mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 of Malaysia Airline jet in March 2014, Malaysia Airlines offered to fly K.S. Narendran to Kuala Lumpur because his wife, Chandrika Sharma, was one of the 239 people aboard the passenger jet

But Narendran declined. He didn't see any point to leaving India when there was no information. He preferred to stay at home in the south Indian city of Chennai, surrounded by his family and friends.

We all have our different ways of coping with grief and tragedy. Others who had relatives on Flight 370 have publicly expressed their anger and frustration as the days marched on with few clues about what happened to Flight 370. For example, two mothers wailed at a press briefing room in Kuala Lumpur; their grief echoed around the world on television sets and on the Internet

Narendran said he has drawn strength from his recent experience with an ancient technique of meditation in India that enabled him to see things as they really are, and not as they appear to be.

According to Narendran, meditation has taught him the essential message of transience and impermanence, letting him see everything in perspective. More importantly, meditation allows him to practice being in the "present," however difficult it may be. In coping with grief and tragedy, it is important to know how to manage "the menace of an overworked imagination”

Generally, there are different stages for an individual to go through with the pains of grief and bereavement: denial; anger; bargain; depression; acceptance. At first one may look at the grief with disbelief; may become angry with the thought of “why me?”; may even bargain with a Higher Power to reverse the situation; may become depressed; and finally may have to accept the reality of grief and tragedy.

Narendran chose to use meditation to cope with his grief and tragedy. There is much wisdom in that choice and decision. Meditation not only relaxes the mind, but also enables the individual to stay in the present moment, and thus seeing things as they really are. That explains why Narendran seems very composed despite the tragedy of losing his wife. Meditation has been used since time memorial to heal the body, the mind, and the soul.

Life is never a bed of roses. Even if it is, there are thorns, and somehow we all have to live with them. Given that everything is this world is impermanent, grief and sorrow is inevitable. But don’t let your grief and tragedy make you live as if nothing is a miracle. Protracted grief and sorrow may lead to depression and negative thoughts that may haunt you for the rest of your life. Use your mind through mediation to help you cope with grief and tragedy that may come your way on your life journey.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Chinese Breath and the Thinking Mind


The Chinese breath is the longevity breath. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has expressed the importance of breathing; Chinese exercise, such as Tai Chi, also focus on the benefits of breathing right,

Why is breathing so important? It is because without breath, we die in minutes. Sadly, many of us are unaware of this because breathing is so natural, so spontaneous that we simply take it for granted.

Breath is the gift of life. Once we become aware of our breath, we will become aware of many other things in life, such as our heath, our diet, our thinking, we will begin to make changes in our lives, such as giving up smoking and drinking. But to make lifestyle changes is easier said than done because we are living in a toxic environment that contaminates the body and the mind. Every day we are bombarded with hypes by the multi-media and modern technology; they become toxic thoughts in our minds. We become controlled by them, such that our thinking minds have become dysfunctional. Unfortunately, what we think become our realities, just as the French philosopher Descartes’ famous statement: “I think; therefore, I am.” The thinking mind is important because it controls not only how we think, but also how we make our everyday decisions that have a long-term impact on our health, and hence our longevity.

But how is breath related to the thinking mind?

First of all, correct breathing is critical to our health. Babies breathe naturally. But as we grow up and older, our breaths change for the worse, and not for the better. Correct breathing affects your posture, which also affects your physique, including your physical health. Correct breathing means you breathe in sufficient oxygen and breathe out as much as possible all the toxic fumes and carbon dioxide from your body. Breathing is a natural rejuvenation and detoxification process. Unfortunately, most of us have incomplete or compromised breathing, leading to shortness of breath and accumulation of toxins inside the body. To have correct breathing (which means the breathing out should be longer than the breathing in) and complete breath (which means we use our diaphragm—the muscle between the lungs and the tummy—to push air and fill up the upper lungs), we must be aware of our breath—the longevity breath.

Awareness of breath also implies quieting the mind. A quiet mind—when you are totally aware of how your breathe in and breathe out, how the air goes in and out of your nostrils, how your diaphragm muscles move up and down—momentarily stops your compulsive mind from thinking. In other words, a quiet mind trains your thoughts– according to St. Theresa of Avila, the mind is like an unbridled horse wandering where it wlll, and your role is to train your horse, and gently bring it back to the right course. Awareness of breath does just that: letting your mind separate the truths from the half-truths or the myths.

Be aware of your breath and you will live not only longer but also healthier and wiser.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018  by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2 FREE Books for You


These two books are FREE for download on AMAZON from May 29 to June 2, 2018.

The Happiness Wisdom
By Stephen Lau

Many are unhappy not because of what they have experienced throughout their life journeys, but because they don't have the human wisdom to perceive and process what they've experienced.

Happiness is a state of mind, due to the the perceptions of the human mind. Change your perceptions to change your so-called realities. Empower your mind with human wisdom -- ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom -- to think differently to have totally different perspectives of what may have made you happy or unhappy.

To get your FREE digital copy, click here.

TAO The Way to Biblical Wisdom
by Stephen Lau

A complete translation of Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching with respect to the Holy Bible.

Learn and understand the ancient human wisdom from China in order to attain Biblical wisdom.

To get your FREE digital copy, click here.







Monday, April 30, 2018

No News Is Good News


No News Is Good News

“No news is good news” literally means “not getting any news about anything is good. “ However, it does not imply that all news are bad news, nor does it mean that one should bury one’s head in the sand, and just refuse to listen to any news about anything.

News is no more than information from a given source about something that happened,   is happening, or about to happen. In this day and age, news is always rampant with the advancement of high technology. The wisdom is to look at the news objectively, internalize it intuitively, and to get the wisdom out of it, irrespective whether the news is good or bad. To get that wisdom, you need to ask questions.

Asking questions is an important component of wellness wisdom. Asking question often triggers its own set of answers, which may invoke certain emotions, leading to certain actions or inactions. In particular, asking mind-opening questions is life changing because it will shape your life positively or negatively, depending on the questions asked and the answers obtained.

The News

(January 12, 2014) According to CNN, “The world of political intrigue with backstabbing revenge against troublesome foes and threats against friends all in the name of winning an election or consolidating political power-is not just for Netflix’s hit drama ‘House of Cards.’”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s scandal in allegedly playing a role in motivation of traffic debacle is an example of bitterness and political vendetta. The news was not just bad for the Governor but also for the public. Irrespective of the Governor’s guilt or innocence, how can we trust public officials, and how could people be so vicious and vindictive?

The good news is that we can always learn something from the bad news.

Political vendetta or retribution comes from bitterness, which is a toxic human emotion that originates from the ego-self—which is the source of all human miseries. The ego-self is self-importance or self-image. With the acquisition of the ego, you internalize yourself with goals and expectations to maintain and protect that ego-self falsely created in the mind. In the process, there will be disappointment, discontent, and dissatisfaction -- the raw materials for creating bitterness. When the ego is threatened, you feel nothing but “unfairness” because you strongly believe that it is rightfully yours and someone has taken or attempted to take it away from you. With the feeling of unfairness, you demand “justice.” You will not let go until that justice is meted out. Instead of forgiving and forgetting, bitterness breeds anger, and anger leads to rage and vengeance. That is how laws are broken, and crimes are committed.

Mind-wellness wisdom begins with detoxing your mind of toxic emotions by letting go the ego-self first.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Empower Your Mind to Live Longer


Empower your mind to live your life as if everything is a miracle in order to stay younger rand healthier for longer.

Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it or experience it yourself. Aging is a steady decline in health, which is instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur. Aging occurs throughout most of lifespan. Such a process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and, ultimately, death.

Scientists have come up with different theories explaining why and how you age. Daily living wisdom is an understanding of the theories of aging so as to defer and delay your own aging process.

The free radical theory of aging

This theory is based on the damage of cells due to cumulative free radicals, leading to disease and, ultimately, death.

Free radicals are molecules within the human cells. Due to regular oxidation (e.g. breathing), and other environmental factors (e.g. tobacco smoke), these molecules become damaged and unstable, and begin to affect other healthy cells close by, creating many more similar unstable free radicals, and thus initiating a chain reaction of cell damage by free radicals.

Damaged cells lead to disease and ultimate death.

The genetic theory of aging

This theory is based on the pre-programming of human genes to induce aging and death—your Creator ensures that you will not be immortal. Therefore, aging is not the consequence of wear and tear over the years. The fact of the matter is that you are not meant to live forever.

Other than disease and other environmental factors, there is no great variation in the lifespan of humans, and this may partially explain the role of genes in aging.

The hormone theory of aging

This theory is based on the gradual changes in the human body due to the decline and degeneration of the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing hormones to regulate many body functions and processes. Changes in the human hormone production, such as menopause, account for the changes responsible for aging.

The immunity theory of aging

This theory is based on the failure of the immune system to give adequate protection against contaminants, viruses, and stress, among other agents contributing to a weakened or compromised immune system.

This theory attests to the important role of the immune system in longevity health and overall wellness.

The rate of living theory of aging

This theory is based on the rate of breathing: faster oxygen metabolism leads to a shorter lifespan. In the animal kingdom, rodents, with the fastest heartbeats have the shortest lifespan, while tortoises with the slowest breaths live the longest.

This theory vindicates that breathing right is one of the key factors in longevity in humans. Learning to breathe right is critical to remaining younger and healthier for longer.

To sum up, the human aging process is best explained not by one single theory but by a combination of these theories.

You may live to 100 and beyond, if you just don’t die! But no matter how long you may live, learn the art of life and living and live as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Empower Your Mind to Ask Questions


Human Wisdom to Ask Questions

“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Thomas Berger

Albert Einstein once said, “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.” Thinking is a process of self-intuition through asking relevant questions to create self-awareness and self-introspection. It is the natural habit of the human mind to try to solve problems by asking questions. Through solving problems, the mind can then make things happen. Asking relevant questions is self-empowering human wisdom because it creates the intent to learn, to discover, and then to change. Without change, life becomes static, boring, and ultimately unhappy.

Know the importance of asking questions, and continue to ask meaningful and relevant questions throughout your life.

“Am I happy?” This may be one of the most important questions that nearly all of us ask ourselves every now and then throughout our life journey. After all, happiness is one of the most important elements in the art of living well.

To live well, we need to ask ourselves many other self-probing questions as we continue our life journey in order to find out: who we really are, and not who we think or wish we were; what we really need, and not what we want from life; why certain things happened while certain things did not happen to us. Without knowing the answers to those questions asked, we can never be genuinely happy because we will always be looking for the unreal and the unattainable.

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, body, and senses. The lenses 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, you—and nobody else—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” 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.

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

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How to Seek God's Wisdom

As you continue to age, you may want to seek God's wisdom. But how do you seek God's wisdom in a secular world?

The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to each and every one of us. But God's wisdom is often beyond the understanding of man. Jesus often uses parables to explain Biblical truths because it is not readily available to the human mind; God's wisdom is always profound and unfathomable to many.

To pursue God's wisdom in the Bible, understanding human wisdom is the "first" step. 

It is true that if we diligently and fervently pursue God's wisdom, such as reading the Bible, God will use the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds. However, we may require human wisdom to overcome our disbelief first before there is further understanding.

To seek God's wisdom, first and foremost, we need to know who we really are. Unfortunately, many of us do not really know who we are, let alone what we want in our lives. 

Why is that? It is because human thinking is imperfect. According to the famous statement "I think, and therefore I am" of Descartes, the great French philosopher, we think and therefore we become what we think we are, that is, the product of our thoughts. However, that statement is only partially true: due to flawed human thinking, we may not be the sum of our thoughts, because our thoughts are only partially true. Therefore, we are not really  who and what we think we are.

"True" human wisdom is an endeavor to understand who we are and what we need. Understanding the self helps us understand the true nature of things, or the laws of nature. Without understanding the natural laws of this world, human sufferings and ordeals in life often become stumbling blocks to understanding spiritual wisdom. Indeed, many of us find ourselves often asking the questions: Why me? Where is God?

Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching explains the essentials of human wisdom, which involve "reverse" thinking from the "conditioned" mindset of conventional wisdom. He explains how to acquire "true" human wisdom, without which it there is little or no intent to seek God's wisdom, let alone understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.

Understanding human wisdom begins with the mind -- an empty and inquisitive mind with the intent to ask questions to find out who we are and what we want. Asking questions enhance awareness, which is an important ingredient of human wisdom. With acute awareness, we develop clarity of mind. Heroes in movies often know the right thing to do because they have clarity of mind. In life, no amount of training can compensate for clarity of mind, which enables you to separate the truths from the half-truths or myths

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, April 16, 2018

Empower Your Mind to Avoid Drug


Empower Your Mind to Avoid Drugs 

Empower your mind to avoid taking any drugs, including those over the counter. Drugs may give you instant relief from any disease symptoms you are suffering from, but they do not cure the disease. Worse, they may be the underlying cause of many other diseases.

Millions of people are suffering needlessly as a direct consequence of the unconscionable zeal of the pharmaceutical industry to rake up billions of dollars of profit aided and abetted by scientists and researchers who have been paid handsomely, even to the extent of falsifying test and research results in some cases.

To illustrate, three of the top executives of Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading the public on the risk of addiction and abuse associated with the painkiller drug OxyContin. That was yet another scandal of pharmaceutical companies doctoring research findings of the safety of drugs and masking their undesirable side effects.

For decades, unreliable drug tests have abounded in the medical and pharmaceutical research community.

It is not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies to "influence" researchers through coercion, incentive, and even threat, to produce the desired results in clinical trials. Fabricating data, such as in the case of OxyContin, is no surprise to the pharmaceutical industry.

Clinical trials, usually involving a small number of people, may not truly reflect the outcome of those who will ultimately be using those drugs after their approval.

In addition, drugs tested on animal models may be biased and even irrelevant. An artificially induced disease in non-human animal models may yield results incompatible to a spontaneous, naturally occurring human disease. In short, there is no absolute safety or reliability of pharmaceutical drugs.

The pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have convinced not only the medical establishment but also the gullible public that costly drugs are the answer to all their health problems, despite their dubious track records and often-deadly side effects.

The use, misuse, and abuse of drugs account for 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year in the United States. And do you still believe that pharmaceutical drugs provide all the answers to your health problems?  

Dr. O. W. Holmes, Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, had this to say regarding pharmaceuticals putting you in harm’s way: If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity.” Dr. Holmes’ statement speaks volumes of the potential harm of pharmaceuticals.

When you give your body a drug that replaces a substance your body is capable of making itself, you body then becomes weaker, not stronger, and begins not only to manufacture less of that substance, but also to become more dependent on the outside source, which is usually the drug.

Unfortunately, no drug can give you insight into the circumstance that created your problems. At best, it can only temporarily reduce the physical pain created by your situation. A drug "cures" your symptoms at the expense of creating more potential symptoms down the road. For a while, you may be symptom-free, but soon enough new symptoms may emerge, requiring yet a more potent drug to deal with them.

According to Dr. John Tilden, author of Toxemia, the first and only cause of disease is toxemia, which is the accumulation of toxic wastes over a long period of time. In other words, toxicity retained and stored in our bodies is the common denominator for the causes of all human diseases. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau