Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Human Attachments


“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” Simone Weil

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

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

We are living in a world with many problems that confront us in our everyday life, and many of these are not only unavoidable but also insoluble. To overcome these daily challenges, many of us just turn to attachment as a means of distracting ourselves from facing our problems head on, or adapting and changing ourselves in an ever-changing environment. All of our struggles in life, from anxiety to frustrations, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry—they all stem from the same thing: our attachment to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting and embracing whatever that might happen after we have put forth our best effort.

Attachment is the source of human miseries. Worse, attachment may come in many different forms that we are unaware of.
 
Career attachments

Your career may span over decades, involving many ups and downs, such as promotion and unemployment, changes of career and pursuits of higher qualifications, among others. They may have become your problematic attachments.

Money and wealth attachments

Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost everything in life. In the past, people could enjoy the blessings of life without spending too much real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money—and lots of it—and you may be one of them. Attachment to money and the riches of the material world is often a result of an inflated ego-self. You may want to keep up with the Joneses—driving a more expensive car than your neighbors and friends.

Relationship attachments

Living has to do with people, involving agreements and disagreements, often resulting in mixed emotional feelings of joy and sorrow, contentment and regret, among others, and they become attachments to the ego-self as memories that you may refuse to let go of—forgetting and forgiving, for example, are hurdles often difficult to overcome.

Success and failure attachments

Success in life often becomes an attachment in the form of expectation that it will continue, bringing more success. Failure, on the other hand, may generate disappointment and regret—an emotional attachment often difficult to let go of. 

Adversity and prosperity attachments

In the course of human life, loss and bereavement are as inevitable as death. Loss can be physical, material, and even spiritual, such as loss of hope and purpose. You may want to attach to the good old days, and refuse to let go of the current adversity. Adversity and prosperity attachments stem from the ego-self.

Time attachments

Time is a leveler of mankind: we all have only 24 hours a day, no more and no less, although the lifespan of each individual varies. Attachment to time is the reluctance to let go of time passing away, as well as the vain attempt to fully utilize every moment of time, leading to a compulsive mind and over-doing.

Sometimes we are so busy in the outside world that we seldom have an opportunity to look inside of ourselves, to understand who we really are and what really makes us happy—probably not the material things around us. Imagine you are all alone in a room with nothing, except a pen and a piece of paper. Surprisingly, you may become creative and even happy, with nothing there to worry about, and nothing there to distract your mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, August 16, 2019

What Is Good Vision?


Vision is all about light. Without light, there is no vision.

“In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, ‘Let there be light’—and light appeared.” (Genesis 1-3)

Given that vision is a gift from God, do not abuse it; make the best and the most of your vision power. Improve your vision at any age!

Vision is about how your eyes make use of light to see the world around you:

How much light is available to the eye?

How efficient is the eye lens in refracting the light?

How sensitive is the eye (macula) in receiving and transmitting the light to the brain?

How proficient is the brain in processing the visual data from the eye?

Vision involves more than just the eye: it includes the body and the mind.

So, never strain the eye to read or to see when the light is insufficient.

So, relax the eye in order to avoid distorting the shape of the eye, which will squeeze the lens out of shape, and thus causing the refractive error.

So, protect the macula (for detailed vision) on the retina (the back of the eye) by increasing peripheral vision (on both sides) to avoid overusing the macula.

So, improve brain power through affirmations and visualization to help the eye focus and process visual information efficiently.

Good Vision

Good vision means the capability to look clearly into the distance, but nearsightedness causes blurry distance.

Good vision means having peripheral vision, but the grim reality is that there is only central vision, with little or no periphery.

Good vision means the eyes shift constantly, but the problem is that the eyes are constantly staring, or have developed eye-fixation.

Good vision means the eyes can adjust easily to light, but the truth of the matter is that the eyes tend to squint at different light conditions.

Good vision means the eyes can look close up and far away almost instantaneously, but farsightedness prevents the instant shifting of the eyes.

In other words, the characteristics of the eye with good vision are:

It will “naturally observe” or “notice” what is around.

It will never “strain” to see “everything.”

It will relax and rest even when it is “looking.”

To improve vision is to enhance and to maintain these characteristics at all times.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Wisdom of Letting Go


Attachments and Illusions

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” Simone Weil
                
An attachment is no more than a safety blanket to overcome human fear—the fear of any change and the fear of the unknown from that change. To cope with that projected fear, you may just need many more attachments.

An attachment is basically your own emotional dependence on things and people that define your identity, around which you wrap your so called “happiness” and even your survival. Attachments are your holding on to anything and everything that you are unwilling to let go of, whether it is something positive or even negative. Attachments do not make you live longer.

We are living in a world with many problems that confront us in our everyday life and living, and many of these problems are not only unavoidable but also insurmountable. To overcome these daily challenges, many of us just turn to our own attachments as a means of distracting ourselves from facing our own problems head on, or from adapting and changing ourselves in an ever-changing environment. All of our struggles in life, from anxiety to frustration, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry—they all stem from the same source: our attachment to how we want things to be, rather than relaxing into accepting and embracing whatever that might happen after we have put forth our own best effort.

Attachments often become the sources of human miseries and sufferings. Worse, they may also come in many different forms that we are unaware of because of the illusions they have created in our minds.
 
Career attachments

Your career may span over several decades, involving many ups and downs, such as promotion and unemployment, changes of career and pursuits of higher qualifications, and among many others. They may all have become your problematic attachments.

Money and wealth attachments

Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost anything and everything in life. In the past, people could enjoy some of the blessings of life without spending too much real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money—and lots of it—and you may be one of them. Attachment to money and the riches of the material world is often a result of an inflated ego-self. You may want to keep up with the Joneses—driving a more expensive car than the ones of your neighbors and friends.

Relationship attachments

Living has much to do with people, involving agreements and disagreements, often resulting in having mixed emotional feelings of joy and sorrow, contentment and regret, and among many others; they often become attachments to the ego-self as memories that you may refuse to let go of—not forgetting and not forgiving, for example, are some of the emotional hurdles that are often difficult for many to overcome.

Success and failure attachments

Success in life often becomes an attachment in the form of expectations that it will continue indefinitely, bringing more success. Failure, on the other hand, may generate regret, frustration, and disappointment. These emotional attachments are often difficult to let go of. 

Adversity and prosperity attachments

In the course of human life, loss and bereavement are as inevitable as death. Loss can be physical, material, and even spiritual, such as loss of hope and purpose. You may also want to attach to your good old days, and even refuse to let go of your current adversity. Both adversity and prosperity attachments stem from the ego-self.

Time attachments

Time is a leveler of mankind: we all have only 24 hours a day, no more and no less, although the lifespan of each individual varies. Attachment to time is the reluctance to let go of time passing away, as well as the vain attempt to fully utilize and maximize every moment of time. This attachment often leads to the development of a compulsive mind and the action of over-doing.

The bottom line: sometimes we are so wrapped up in the outside world that we seldom have an opportunity to look inside of ourselves. Understanding who we really are may make us happy, instead of creating our own attachments in the material world we are living in. Imagine you are all alone in a room with nothing, except a pen and a piece of paper. Well, surprisingly, you may then become creative and even happy, with nothing there to worry about, and nothing there to distract your mind.

Identity crisis

According to Tim Hiller, a motivational speaker, a football coach, and a writer, “We usually don't realize the thing that is defining our identity until that thing is taken away.”

Without attachments, we may have an identity crisis; but the truth of the matter is that attachments only give us a false identity, and this may, ironically enough, lead to an identity crisis.

The spiritual wisdom is that Jesus Christ did not have an identity crisis: He clearly knew who He was; He never claimed to be someone else that He was not; He knew where He originated from, and also where He would be going. The problem with humans is that we do not know who we really are; through comparison and contrast, the human ego is forever striving to be someone else. Sadly, in the process, a real identity crisis ensues.

Attachment illusions

All human attachments are the raw materials with which we both consciously and subconsciously create our own identities through a period of confusion and uncertainty that may eventually lead to not only the identity crisis but also the attachment illusions that distort our perceptions of the realities of life. Without human attachments, there will be no identity crisis, and no illusion of the mind.

For example, does the attachment to money bring happiness, or make you live longer?

To many, it does, especially if they have been experiencing the lack of it! That explains why thousands of people line up for hours to get their lottery tickets, hoping against hope that their tickets would win them great fortunes, and hence their happiness. But the reality is that many lottery winners claim that their happiness from the winning is only transient and is not lasting.

Bruce Lipton, author and cellular biologist, once said: “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our own beliefs and the reality that we experience. We generally perceive that we are running our lives with our own wishes and our own desires. But neuroscience reveals a startling fact: we only run our lives with our creative, conscious mind about 5 percent of the time; 95 percent of the time, our life is controlled by the beliefs and habits that are previously programmed in the subconscious mind.”

It is your pre-programmed subconscious mind that tells you money can give you happiness. That can also explain why you may find yourself working in jobs that you do not even like due to your subconscious belief that money is anything and everything in your life.

The whole world out there that you see in front of you right now is nothing more than a projection of what you feel deep inside. Not only is it a projection of your deep feelings but also you internal energy. Yes, money is energy too, just like you, me, anything and everything else. Money is an expression of energy of your subconscious mind, building a complex system of money beliefs, such as “money makes the world go round” and “when I have enough money . . . then I’ll be happy, and can do whatever I want to do.”

But according to Harvard Business Review, money and happiness are not positively correlated, because money may make people less generous and more demanding and domineering. In addition, money may not bring out the best of an individual: the more money that individual has, the more focused on self that individual may become, and the less sensitive to the needs of people around, as well as the more likely to do the wrong things due to the feeling of right and  entitlement.

The bottom line: any attachment to a just about anything we crave or value only creates an illusion in the mind.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stress and Cancer

One of the underlying causes of human disease is stress. Cancer stress may even add insult to injury. Use your mind to overcome cancer stress.

Congratulations! You've Got Cancer!  


This 132-page book is about what to do when one is diagnosed with cancer. I am neither a doctor nor an oncologist. This book is based on a wrong cancer diagnosis of a close member of my family. I simply show you the power of the mind not only in coping with the traumatic experience of a cancer diagnosis but also in overcoming the disease itself. In addition, I present detailed information on what an individual must do on the cancer journey of cure and recovery. A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Rather, it is an opportunity for growth and development. Harness your mind power to combat cancer.

Stephen Lau

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Asking Questions and Seeking Answers to Live Longer

ASKING QUESTIONS AND SEEKING ANSWERS TO LIVE LONGER

If you wish to live longer or to a ripe old age, you must ask yourself many questions about life; after all, living is about asking questions and seeking answers to the questions asked. Livingfor life in this contemporary world may never be easy because it requires wisdom, which is essentially finding answers to the questions asked about life and living, and then applying those answers to everyday living in the material world.

Have you ever wondered: there has to be much more to life than this—the kind of life that you are living right now?

If you have, then maybe you should, first and foremost, ask yourself questions about why you want to live longer. Your reasons could be some of the following:

You desire to live a better life than the one that you are currently living.

You want to see your children or grandchildren grow up and mature into adults.

You have your life passions, some of which are already accomplished, while others are being pursued but remaining unfulfilled.

You are experiencing some core values, which are not just your life goals but rather your beliefs in humanity that have to be lived in order to fully experience the meaning of existence as well as the innate happiness in humanity.

You still like to enjoy some of the mundane pleasures of life and living that have satisfied your five senses.

You love to maintain good relationships and true friendships with those who are close and dear to you.

You may be fighting some life challenges or health issues—just like Alex Trebek, the 77-year-old TV celebrity famous for hosting NBC's “Jeopardy”, who openly declared in 2019 that he had to live longer in order to fight his pancreatic cancer because of his still-standing three-year contract with NBC. 

Asking the question “Why you want to live longer?” may initiate many other why questions specifically related to you, to others close to you, and to the world around you. Living is all about asking the many why and how questions in your everyday life and living.

In the Bible, Jesus said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find . . .” (Matthew 7:7) In real life, we must always ask ourselves many thought-provoking questions at all times. Asking questions is self-introspection, which is a process of self-intuition and self-reflection, without which there is no self-awareness and therefore no personal growth and development. A static life is never a life well lived and worth living. Therefore, asking questions is self-empowering wisdom—a tool necessary for living longer.

The truth is that the kind of questions you ask determines the kind of life you are going to live. Your questions often trigger a set of mental answers, which may lead to actions or inactions, based on the choices you make from the answers you have obtained. Remember, your life is always the sum of all the choices you have made in the process. No matter what, life is a journey of self-discovery, a continuous process of asking questions and seeking self-enlightening answers from them. It should be noted that the answer to every question you ask may change over time, because life is forever changing, and changes are often transformative. The more questions you ask, the clearer your mind will become, and the more ready you will be to receive the answers.

Although asking questions is a self-learning process, do not seek absolute answers from the questions asked; more importantly, do not seek answers that might not be given to you. The most important thing in questions-and-answers is to experience everything, not just to pursue the knowledge. As a matter of fact, knowledge can help, but it can also hinder. When you only follow what you know, and forget what you feel, you can easily be led down the wrong path. Extensive knowledge and logical reasoning may not necessarily compound true wisdom.

The bottom line: live every question you are going to ask yourself, and live in its presence. Be patient toward all those questions that you cannot find answers immediately. True enlightenment may dawn on you one day when you find yourself asking no more questions because you already have all the answers; that is the ultimate awakening.

Enjoy the process of self-reflecting all the questions you are going to ask yourself; without this self-reflection, you may exist for other people, and not for yourself. Now is the time to start asking questions, and putting yourself on the right path to intuiting the TAO of living longer.      



Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Monday, August 12, 2019

Mind Wellness Wisdom


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

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Importance of Muscles

The Importance of Muscles

Your muscles not only keep you in shape but also maintain your health and wellness, in particular your body weight. Your muscles are essential for life. Muscle protein is dynamic when it is converted into amino acids. It repairs your body cells and tissues. It helps fight infections. It carries oxygen (in the form of hemoglobin) to your cells. It transports calcium and iron in your blood. It controls your weight (your muscles burn calories while you sleep—one pound of muscle burns 30 to 40 calories a day).

More muscle means less fat. More muscle means less inflammation (excess fat producing more cytokines, responsible for artery, joint, and tissue inflammation). More inflammation means more plague in arteries (greater risk of heart attack and strokes, as well as memory loss). More muscle means more body strength, greater mobility, and less risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Your muscle is important. Use it or lose it!

A study on master athletes at the University of California indicated that muscle mass has little to do with age. In other words, you could still have the same amount of muscle mass as someone who is 10 to 20 years younger than you are. Muscle mass is anti-aging. Do weight training or workout without weights to preserve your muscle mass and keep you in shape to look forever younger.

Women, in particular, benefit more from weight training, because they have less muscle mass than men have, and adding more muscles means burning more calories.

Loss of muscle mass

As you age, you muscle protein dwindles. An average person loses half a pound of muscle and gains a pound of fat a year. Between 30 and 60, you may expect to lose 15 pounds of muscle and gain 30 pounds of fat (if not more). That will put you not only out of shape, but also in health hazards.

Loss of muscle mass may be due to the following:

Increase in cortisol (a hormone for regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, immune function, and inflammatory response), which breaks down muscle mass

Decrease in growth hormone (stimulating growth and cell reproduction) and testosterone (male and female hormone)
Increase in fat (more fat, more inflammation, and less muscle mass—a vicious cycle).

To prevent loss of muscle mass, continue to build your muscles even as you age. The human body is perfectly capable of getting the exercise it needs with very little extra equipment. For instance, even a simple towel can be used as one of the most effective and versatile fitness accessories for strength and flexibility training to enhance your muscle mass.

Important muscle groups to target

As you age, weight training should specifically target the following muscle groups for prolonged independence and continuous mobility:

Back, knee, pelvic floor. (important for your sexual function, bowel and urinary control)

Shoulder joint and shoulder rotator cuff to stabilize shoulder movements

Remember, exercise, not medications, is the single most effective choice against heart disease. Exercise and muscle mass keep you younger for longer.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau