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.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Letting Go Of Attachments


The Origin of Human Attachments

All attachments originate from the ego-self.

What is an ego? Do we all have an ego-self?

An ego is an identity of any individual. Yes, we all have an ego-self, 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.” Well, there is nothing wrong with that initial identification. However, as time passes by, the human ego may continue to expand and inflate to the extent that it may become problematic with all its attachments.

What is the ego-self?

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

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

Now, do something totally different. Place a baby—if there is one immediately available—in front of the mirror. See what happens. The baby might crawl toward the baby in the mirror. Why? It is 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 is not real. To think otherwise is self-deception.

How is the ego-self formed?

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 is true that you identify yourself with all your thoughts projected into your thinking mind; but it is 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 are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not you. To think otherwise is a human flaw, which is no more than self-delusion or self-illusion. In other words, you are 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 have now become your “realities” or your ego-self with its many attachments to make you believe you are what you think or wish you were.

Likewise, a baby originally does not have the ego-self (at least, not yet), and thus sees the reflected image in the mirror as another baby. But you, on the other hand, with your own ego-self, see the reflected image in the mirror as the same you, and not a different person. So, your ego-self is simply a reflection of you; what you see in the mirror is not real, just a reflection. But the problem is: you think it is the real you, and your false identity may lead to an identity crisis.

Learn how to let go of your attachments to the material world that define who you think you are, and these attachments may include your attachments to money and wealth, career and success, among others.

Stephen Lnd au
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Quiet A Compulsive Mind


How to Quiet A Compulsive Mind

Because your mind does not voluntarily stay in the present moment, constantly shuffling back and forth between the past and the future, the only way to stop the thinking mind is to direct it to the present moment. When your mind stays in the present moment, it stops its thinking process of the past or the future—at least for the time being. To make your mind remain in the present moment—even though for just a short moment—you need acute awareness and deep concentration. To do that, you need constant and regular practice to focus or re-focus your mind on the present moment.

Once you can stop, at will, your mind from thinking, you have control over your thinking process, you are no longer a slave to your thoughts, and your mind becomes once again your friend, instead of your enemy. Learn to switch your mind on and off, just as you do with your computer.

Remember, we are all addicted to thinking, whether we want it or not; we must stop our thinking sometime and somehow.

Mind Training to Focus on the Present Moment

In your everyday life, you can practice mind training to focus on the present moment. Essentially, you are giving your full attention to what you are doing at that very present moment.

Reflective Thought

Focusing on the present moment makes you forget the past and the future.

Case in Point

Some people like to engage in dangerous sports, such as car racing or skydiving, because they would like to obliterate thoughts of the past and the future by focusing only on the thrills of the present moment.

If your mind is fully engaged in doing something, you will not be thinking of the past or the future, just like the car racers or skydivers. It is only when you are half-engaged mentally, then your mind begins to wander, letting your subconscious mind take over.

There is a difference between the knowledge mind and the thinking mind. The former provides facts or information about something or someone; the latter provides labels, judgments and opinions. Practice mind training to focus on the present moment so as to withdraw the thinking mind from the past and the future whenever it is not needed.

For example, you can focus your mind on your breathing. Notice how you breathe in and breathe out, how your body feels during inhalation and exhalation, and how the flow and rhythm of your breaths are affecting your mind. Put some stick-on notes on your computer monitor or anywhere in your house to remind you to practice conscious breathing every now and then throughout the day. Practicing conscious breathing for 2-3 minutes every hour or so does not interrupt with your daily work; just form this good habit of mindfulness and internal focus.

For example, you can focus your mind on your walking. Pay close attention to every step, every movement of your hands and feet, your breathing, and your body sensations while you are walking. Many people do their walking while listening to their music, or worse, talking on the cell phone; they are not letting their minds focus on the present moment.

Remember, a compulsive mind gives you stress, which affects the symptoms of your myasthenia gravis.

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, November 30, 2020

Hope in Healing

To be diagnosed with myasthenia gravis is devastating, creating anxiety and fear, especially if your doctor tells you there is no cure, only treatment of the disease symptoms.

The good news is that we were all born with a natural gift -- freedom from anxiety and fear, expectation and regret, ambition and disappointment. However, as we grow older, we knowingly or unknowingly abuse or misuse that natural gift.

This is how.

We begin to develop our sensations and become affected by them. We all have our five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting; they then become our perceptions and sensations that are stored as memories in our subconscious minds. Over the long haul, these accumulative experiences form our beliefs and personalities, and make us who we are. In other words, these memories become our bondage and we no longer have that innate freedom.

It is difficult to regain that natural gift once we have relinquished it. To illustrate, if we experienced something unpleasant in the past, we might have anxiety and fear that it would happen again. On the other hand, if we experience something pleasant, we would expect it to happen again; our expectations begin to precondition our minds to do certain things that we think will enable us to fulfill that expectations; by doing so, we pick and choose; any wrong choice or decision may lead to regret. By the same token, disappointment may be the consequence of ambition. 

Develop the mindset of living in the present. Essentially, it means focusing on what is real in the now, rather than letting the mind shuffle between the past and the future. The past was gone and therefore unreal; the future is yet to come, and therefore also unreal. Only the present is real; it is a gift, and that is why it is called "present." If we live in the present, we appreciate what we have, and not what we are supposed to have; more importantly, we have no fear and worry of what might or might not come.


This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Without anxiety and fear, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-free life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Wisdom in Living



The journey of life is long and unpredictable. We all need wisdom to guide us along the way so that we will not get lost; even if we do, we may still find our way back to where it will eventually lead us to our final destination.

This website may provide you with wisdom as your compass and roadmap on your life journey.

Wisdom in living comprises seeking God's wisdom through understanding human wisdom in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life, even in the golden years. The ancient wisdom of Tao holds the key to applying these principles of life and living in this modern world.

Stephen Lau

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Natural Remedies

To take or not to take myasthenia gravis medications—that is the question.

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. The main characteristic of myasthenia gravis is weakness of muscles, which can affect the limbs, the eyes, and the throat. Weak muscles of limbs may result in immobility; of the eyes may result in doubt vision and other vision problems, of the throat may result in difficulty in swallowing food. This muscular dysfunctional condition is believed to result from an immune disorder that causes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to become less effective.

According to conventional Western medicine, there is no known cure, except controlling its severe disease symptoms through medications.

To take or not to take myasthenia gravis medications?

Consider the pros and cons of medications to control the disease symptoms of myasthenia gravis.

The disease symptoms can be distressing, devastating, debilitating—even life threatening if there is difficulty in swallowing due to weak esophagus muscles. Getting the autoimmune disease changes completely your way of living.

Remissions and relapses are common even with medications.

The severity of the disease symptoms varies considerably even from day to day. As a result, it may be difficult to control the dosage of the medications taken.

Mestinon, Regonol, and Prostigmin are the most commonly used oral medications to treat muscle weakness without affecting the underlying disease that causes it. Therefore, these drugs are often given in conjunction with other treatments. All these drugs have different side effects: narrowing of the muscle of the iris in the eye, causing the pupil to become smaller; increased nasal and bronchial secretions, as well as increased saliva and urination; loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps; and urinary tract infections, among many others.

Doctors may be dangerous, and so are their drugs. Is the doctor just treating the disease symptoms or the patient? This is an important factor to consider. After all, myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease that involves the whole body of the patient. Does the doctor have a holistic approach to the disease? Does the doctor give advice to the patient about diet and exercise other than just prescribing the medications?

Western doctors are taught in medical schools that illnesses are self-limiting—that is to say, we can get better on our own. If that is the case, then why do some doctors readily prescribe drugs to their patients?

It is a fact that the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry has been aggressively promoting their products with little or no regard for their safety and long-term side effects. In addition, the media have been convincing the public with myths about the potency of pharmaceutical drugs. Of course, the general public also plays a pivotal part in the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. According to a journal of the American Psychiatric Society, the seniors are using prescription drugs three times more than people in the general population.

Modern Western medicine has led many of us to believe that healing is a complex process, involving high technology, complex drugs and procedures. It is human nature not only to learn but also to accept belief systems, theories, and so-called facts without challenging them. Truly, medical professionals are experts in their respective fields, and, obviously, they know more than we do, and have more experience than we have. However, that does not imply that we must accept all their opinions without fully understanding what they are.

Most people are just too ready and too willing to look for a quick fix. They overlook that the human body is equipped with its own self-healing organism; this is demonstrated by the fact that when you accidentally cut yourself, the wound will heal by itself. Unfortunately, many of us may have doubt about the body's own capability in self-healing. Instead, we are willing to go along with what our doctors say, although many mistakes, even fatal ones, are made by these professionals. As a matter of fact, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 100,000 Americans died in hospitals from the side effects of dangerous drugs in 1998.

Because of the abuse and misuse of dangerous drugs, 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.

It is a fact that billions of dollars are spent on treating diseases, while relatively little is spent on investigating the causes of diseases. This partly explains why many individuals have now begun to explore the avenues of alternative medicine for natural healing. They would just love to tell their doctors: "Doctor, you're fired!"


Take control of your health, and escape the sickness industry. This informative and inspirational book by Elaine Hollingsworth, the movie star turned heath crusade, explains in detail how understanding dangerous drugs, unreliable medical tests, and often-times unnecessary procedures may help you escape the sickness industry through natural self-healing.

Empower yourself with knowledge to make the right medical decisions regarding your health, especially your myasthenia gravis. 

Teach yourself self-responsibility—your greatest weapon in improving health, and your first step in beginning natural self-healing against any autoimmune disease.

Stop taking dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, especially steroids, to begin your long but safe self-healing process!

Read my book for information on how I cope with My Myasthenia Gravis.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Friday, November 27, 2020

Aging and Autoimmune Diseases

Aging always take a toll on the human body, causing autoimmune diseases and other age-related diseases. To avoid this scenario, delay the aging process as much as possible.

Aging begins as early as from young adulthood (around age 20 to 40) to middle adulthood (around age 40 to 65), and continues to old age (beginning at the age of retirement, approximately at age 65). 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. Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it or experience it yourself. In brief, 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.

Whether you like it or not, your biological clock is ticking, and this will happen to various systems in your body: 
  • Your heart will pump less blood, and your arteries will become stiffer and less flexible, resulting in high blood pressure—a health problem that often increases with age.
  • With less oxygen and nutrients from the heart, your lungs will become less efficient in distributing oxygen to different organs and membranes of your body. 
  • Your brain size will gradually reduce by approximately 10 percent between the age of 30 and 70. Loss of short-term memory will become more acute. 
  • Your bone mass will reduce, making it more brittle and fragile. Your body size will shrink as you lose your muscle mass.

Your biological clock is ticking, whether you are conscious of it or not. Your biological clock may increase its speed of ticking if your body has more free radicals.   

What are free radicals? Your body is composed of many different types of cells, made up of many different types of molecules. Free radicals are molecules that contain unpaired electrons. Since electrons have a very strong tendency to co-exist in a paired rather than an unpaired state, free radicals indiscriminately pick up electrons from other healthy molecules close by. This chemical reaction converts those otherwise “healthy” molecules into free radicals, and thus setting up a chain reaction that can cause substantial biological damage to cells.

Free radicals are highly reactive, damaging not only cells but also chemicals in your body, such as enzymes (for digestion), making them less effective.

Aging causes oxidation, which literally means “rusting.” Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals do not make you younger and healthier for longer; quite the contrary, they age you prematurely and contribute to many different diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cancers and heart diseases, among others.

Free radicals occur naturally as byproducts of oxidation, such as during respiration and other chemical processes. For example, during breathing, life-giving oxygen is produced and harmful carbon dioxide is released; digestion is another oxidation process, and your body obtains its energy from food through oxidation, during which free radicals are generated in the form of waste buildup. Ironically, what gives life may also take away life.

Free radicals are normally present in your body in small numbers, without causing too much harm. However, over time, the accumulation of free radicals may cause irreparable damage to your cells and tissues, if such accumulation is unchecked.

In addition, free radicals can also be caused by external factors, including alcohol, chemicals and pesticides (from foods and pharmaceutical drugs), heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead (from the environment), radiation (from the sun and other sources), and tobacco smoke

In particular, heavy metals in your body can dramatically increase free radical chain reactions. The more toxic metals in your body, the higher is the free radical activity.

Antioxidants are powerful scavengers of free radicals in your body. They are substances in foods that disarm free radicals. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Embracing Life Changes

Embracing Life Changes

Life is forever changing. A static life is not worth living. Ironically enough, many people resist any change in their lives; they desire consistency and stability. Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, changes, such as a cancer or an autoimmune disease diagnosis, are inevitable as you continue to age. The only ways to cope with life changes is adaptability and acceptance.

Adaptability is changing the mind's perception of the change you confront, and act or react accordingly to the circumstances. This mental perception requires awareness, without which actions or reactions may not take place, because often times changes are slow, gradual, and even subtly imperceptible. Awareness means knowing why and how changes are taking place.

.“We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
Because trouble begins in the mind
with small and unrelated thoughts.
So, we carefully watch the mind
to stop any trouble before it begins.”
(Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching)

Acceptance is taking the responsibility of the results of the actions or reactions taken. Acceptance may not be easy, especially if you have a pre-conditioned mindset of expectation or comparing the condition before and after the change.

Both adaptability and acceptance requires wisdom -- the wisdom to know and understand that nothing is permanent because everything remains only with that very present moment, and that everything follows a natural cycle, such as success .

"Success and failure are no more than expressions of the human condition.
So, accept both gracefully and willingly, with no judgment, no preference.
The Creator loves us unconditionally, irrespective of our success or failure.
What is meant by “accept both gracefully and willingly”?
Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the sources of human suffering.
Seeing ourselves indiscriminately as everything, including success and failure,
we see not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of the creation.
(Chapter 13, Tao Te Ching)

Tao wisdom is profound human wisdom based on not acquisition of knowledge but self-intuition of the nature of things. Through this self-enlightenment, one become wise, and accordingly knows how to live one's life as if everything is a miracle. Click here to find out more about Tao wisdom.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Awareness and Mindfulness Healing


The Step of Awareness and Mindfulness

On your healing journey, you must always be aware of your steps and mindful of your surrounding.

Awareness

Awareness is deep concentration of the mind to know what is happening to the body. This is essential to healing of the body. Nobody—not even your doctor—knows your body better than yourself, but you have to be aware of it.

Breathing is your awareness of what is happening to your body. It is critically important to your overall health. Breathing gives life. Without food and water, you may still survive for a while, but without your breath, you die within minutes.

Breathing has to do with the lungs, which serve two main functions: to get life-giving oxygen from the air into the body, and to remove toxic carbon dioxide from the body. So, do not compromise your lung functions with nicotine or any drug.

Breathing patterns are critical to health. That is, how you breathe may positively or negatively affect your body organs and hormones. For example, taking short, shallow breaths, you are in fact telling your brain that a threat exists, which then stimulates a stress response, and thus creating destructive thinking patterns in your brain. Conversely, taking long and deep breaths, you are sending positive signals to your brain for positive thinking patterns. When you own your breath, you have calm and peace. Breathing is just a simple strategy for instant stress-relief.

Diaphragm breathing

Learn how to breathe right: diaphragm breathing is natural breathing; it is the complete breath.

Consciously change your breathing patterns. Use your diaphragm to breathe (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen). Place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, and put the other hand above your waist, feeling the diaphragm muscle moving up and down. Deep breathing with your diaphragm gives you complete breath. This is how you do diaphragm breathing:

Sit comfortably.

Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.

Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.

Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out.

Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and hold.

Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully into your lungs to attain the complete breath.

Retain your breath and slightly raise your shoulders for a count of 5.

Very slowly exhale the air. Your upper chest deflates first, and then your abdomen relaxes in.

Repeat the process.

Learn to slowly prolong your breath, especially your exhalation. Relax your chest and diaphragm muscle, so that you can extend your exhalation, making your breathing out longer and complete. To prolong your exhalation, count “one-and-two-and-three” as you breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they become balanced. Once you have mastered that, then try to make your breathing out a little longer than your breathing in.

Practice diaphragm breathing until it becomes second nature to you. Diaphragm breathing is relaxing and stress-relieving.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is acute mental awareness, which is deep concentration of the body and the mind for their inter-connection: the body is created to support the mind. To sharpen your mind power, you must enhance the awareness of your body first. If you feel that your body, mind, and soul are not connected, most probably there is lack of body awareness by the mind in the first place. Therefore, mindfulness begins with awareness of the body first.

Most of us do not pay much attention to the body—except when we experience physical pain—let alone paying attention to the mind. But mental attention is important to the wisdom in stress-free living. The mind and the body are inter-connected. Your mental attention is essentially your body consciousness, or your attention to the physical conditions and the needs of your body in relation to how your mind thinks. Understanding this intricate relationship may help you relax both your body and your mind.

Are you always paying conscious attention to your body at all times?

The way you normally eat speaks volumes of the degree or intensity of your body awareness. It is not the food you eat, but how you are eating your food that shows your body awareness. While eating, if you are reading your newspaper, watching your TV, working on your computer, or checking your cell phone, you are not paying any attention to your body, which at that very moment is supposed to be eating and not doing multitasking.

Train your mind to pay more attention to how your body reacts when you are eating, such as chewing your food thoroughly, slowing down your eating process by tasting each morsel of the food in your mouth. Always give the full presence of your mind to your meal. Again, how often you look at something without seeing it at all because your mind is not paying its full attention to what you are looking at. When your mind is not paying its full attention, your body becomes incapacitated; only when your body becomes fully conscious, then your mental capacity will then become enhanced and sharpened. Body awareness is simply paying full attention to what your body is doing at that present moment. In other words, be more conscious of what your body is doing when you are eating, walking, or doing anything routine. In any life situation, even while doing your dishes, you can use your total body awareness to switch off your thinking mind, and give it a meaningful break for your stress-relief.

The bottom line: with awareness and mindfulness, you may then begin to see the ultimate truths in anything and everything—including who you really are, all those close and related to you, as well as what is happening to and around you, including any illness or disease you may have.

The TAO Wisdom

According to the TAO, awareness is knowing who you really are, instead of who you wish you were. This is the only path to humility, which gives you an empty mindset with reverse thinking to rethink what is already in your pre-conditioned mind:

“Can we embrace both good fortunes and misfortunes in life?
Can we breathe as easily as innocent babies?
Can we see the world created as it is without judgment?
Can we accept both the desirable and the undesirable?
Can we express compassion to all without being boastful?
Can we watch the comings and goings of things without being perturbed?

Saying “yes” to all of the above is spiritual wisdom from the Creator,
who watches the comings and goings in the world He created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 10)

According to the TAO, awareness is:

“watchful, like a man crossing a winter stream;
alert, like a man aware of danger;
courteous, like a visiting guest;
yielding, like ice about to melt;
simple, like a piece of uncarved wood;
hollow, like a cave;
opaque, like muddy water.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15)

Mindfulness is the deep understanding of your body: how and why you are sick. The reason why a sage is not ill is that he sees illness as illness, and not as something else:

“Not knowing the Way,
but pretending we know,
we remain ignorant, and suffer.

Knowing that we do not know,
we pursue its wisdom:
knowing its origin,
knowing its ending,
and knowing our true nature.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71)

Mindfulness is watching and observing what is happening to your body, as well as anything and everything around you. That is how and why you may have become sick.

“The Creator seems elusive amid the changes of life.
At times, He seems to have forsaken His creations.
In reality, He is simply observing the comings and goings of their follies.

Likewise, we watch the comings and goings of our likes and dislikes, of our desires and fears.
But we do not identify with them.
With no judgment and no preference,
we see the mysteries of creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 7)

With awareness and mindfulness, you may attain the true wisdom of knowing yourself:

“Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing ourselves is true wisdom.
Overcoming others is strength.
Overcoming ourselves is true power.

Understanding that we have everything we need,
we count our blessings.
Identifying with our own true nature,
we hold fast to what endures.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau