Sunday, October 30, 2022

Spiritual Wellness to Live Longer

Spiritual Wellness

As opposed to materiality, spirituality is always invisible, immeasurable, but present and lasting. It is like the wind—it is invisible and yet palpable. It provides guidance, direction, and understanding to the mind. Spirituality takes the form of love, joy, and peace, and it is often expressed in human actions and behaviors. Materiality, on the other hand, is always visible, measurable, and transient. Humans need both spirituality and materiality: the former to understand the self, and the latter to understand the world and the universe around the self. Spirituality not only inspires the mind but also energizes the body—it is a body-mind-spirit connection necessary for the total wellness of an individual.

The pivotal role of spirituality

Your whole being is composed of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Your body—the physical—is controlled by your mind—the  mental—which is supervised by your soul—the spiritual. Your spirituality oversees your whole being. Nothing transforms you as much as changing from a mundane to a spiritual attitude towards all your everyday problems.

Living in the physical world is challenging in itself. The challenges often turn themselves into toxins that infest the body as well as the mind. A mind is supposed to control the body, but an infested mind loses much of its control over the body, and thus letting the body do whatever it wants to do, and thus poisoning both the body and the mind. The role of the soul is to provide the mind with instructions and inspirations on how to take care of the body. But the toxins of the mind can also poison the soul, and thus not only stunting the growth of spirituality but also disconnecting the mind from its spiritual source.

There are often times when the mind is at a loss, confused, and helpless, and that is when the soul can be its inspiration and its awakening agent, provided the mind is willing to seek the help of the soul.

Letting go to attain wellness of the soul

Material attachment is a toxic thought that connects material things to the ego of an individual in the physical world. It is the reluctance of that individual to let go of material things that define who that individual thinks he or she is. Attachment to the ego-self and its related material things is the source of human woes, which impact the body and the mind, and ultimately contaminate the soul.

Bottom line: Let go of your ego-self (the gravitational center of attachment). At some point in your life, you have to let go of all your material things because they do not last, and neither do they define who you are. Letting go is the pathway to spiritual wellness.

In addition, emotional attachment is also a toxic thought that is a stumbling block to attaining spiritual wellness. For example, bitterness is a common and rampant toxic thought that batters the mind and bruises the soul. Bitterness cherishes anger, which often turns itself into rage, seeking revenge. Bitterness ultimately devastates the soul.

The bottom line: Do not justify your bitterness. The hurt never justifies the bitterness. Any desire for justice (making it personal) stains and blemishes the soul. Just let go of any attachment to bitterness.

”Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)

Envy is another attachment that tarnishes the soul. Envy is tantamount to rejecting your own blessings because you are counting the blessings of others rather than yours. Envy is about comparing yourself with others. In life, it is important to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you believe in your Creator? One of the obstacles to believing in yourself is comparing yourself with others. You are who you are; don't try to be someone else that you are not. Envy leads to craving: "wanting more and more" (greed) or "wanting more for less" (taking unfair advantage of others).

The bottom line: Be grateful for what you have; rejoice with those who have more. Let go of attachment to envy.

Fear is a debilitating toxic thought for the toxic soul. This toxic thought is manifested in many forms, such as fear of an outcome (disappointment), fear of loss (refusal to let go), fear of the future (lack of self-belief, or faith in the Creator), and fear of rejection (non-acceptance by others).

Jesus said: "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:27)

"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6)

The bottom line: Let go of "what-ifs" from your mind; nobody knows the future anyway.

Strengthening spirituality

Spirituality is the wisdom to believe—believe in doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. Many people are spiritual, even though they may not have a religion; they still believe that there is a Higher Being who is in control of the universe and what is happening around, such as the sun always comes out in the east. They are spiritual when they have a heart that feels for themselves as well as for others.

But how does one become more spiritual?

Your soul is your spirituality. Use your consciousness to strengthen your inherent spirituality: be aware of your body-mind-soul connection. Always seek spiritual wisdom.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

Simplify your life. Clear away all the physical clutters in your life as the first step towards freeing yourself from your material and mundane attachments. Material things do not define who you are. Once you have let go of the physical clutters in your living environment, you may then get to know more about yourself, especially your needs and values, instead of your desires and wants. Remember, needs and wants are not the same; your wants often create toxic desires and their accompanying toxic emotions, resulting in your attachments.

Learn to look within yourself for answers to your life problems: you will become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Find your inner voice: what you love to do, and what touches your heart and your soul. Your inner self knows the truth when you hear it. Nobody knows you better than yourself—just as there is no better physician than yourself, who know what is best for your body. This intuitive wisdom is self-healing, which gives you a healthier body and mind to nourish your soul. Consciously improve your everyday attitudes and feelings, not just about yourself, but also towards others around you. Each and every moment in your day-to-day interactions with people may provide an opportunity for you to become more spiritual, if you consciously avail yourself of that opportunity to see miracles in your life. Using Mother Teresa’s example, begin by conveying warmth to someone who least expects it, and this generous gesture of compassion is a strong testament to your innate spirituality. It is your spiritual thinking that causes your personality and daily interactions with others to become an expression of your soul: your daily actions speak you mind. A healthy mind is full of spirituality.

Feed your mind with positive thoughts to avoid any distorted thinking that may disenfranchise your soul. Consistently replenish your soul with spiritual feelings, such as unconditional love, generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness, among others. Love melts your resistance to change for the better; without love, you simply continue to perpetuate that you resist, such as resisting to letting go. Generosity is freely giving your time and effort to others, as well as to yourself; it is paying others forward without any selfish interest or expectation. Gratitude will not make you compare your current state of health or wealth with that of others; gratitude is a great attitude in overcoming toxic thoughts of envy and greed that you may still attach to at the back of your mind. Forgiveness is a necessary requirement for health and healing of the mind and the soul; forgive yourself as well as others for all the mistakes done by you, or by others to you—mistakes are necessary for the learning process in life and the empowerment of the soul. Never look back in anger. Just let go of the past.

Spirituality, at a deeper level, means a desire to have a personal relationship with your Creator. Learn to pray. Prayers work by altering your brain chemistry. Like anti-depressant drugs, prayers can help you build up the feeling-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin. Prayers restore your hope, strength, and even health.

With the desire to believe, comes the awareness of your inner longings, as wells as your consciousness of an inner voice speaking to you—the growth and development of spirituality. Then, you must persist and persevere in your search and pursuit of spirituality, such as daily prayers and acts of right mindedness. Finally, further down the road, life crises and daily problems along your life journey may, surprisingly, further awaken you to your own innate spirituality.


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Looking at Life Problems


Looking at Life Problems

How I deal with my complaints

In my daily life, I try to catch myself complaining about anything, such as the weather—whether I am making a comment or just thinking a thought about the weather. By not complaining, I try to avoid putting my mind in a state of unconsciousness that creates negative energy and denial of the present moment. When I am complaining, I am in fact saying: “I cannot accept what is, and I am a victim of the present situation.” Understandably, in the present moment, we all have only three options in any situation that we are complaining about: get away from the situation; change the situation;  and accept the situation as it is.

If I want to take any action—whether it is getting away or changing the situation—I try my best to remove any negativity first and foremost.

If it is my decision to take no action, I honestly ask myself if it is fear that stands in my way of taking any action: I tell myself that any action is often better than no action. Staying in the present moment does the mental trick of controlling my thoughts:  focusing my mind on the present moment, and looking objectively at the fear that may be holding me back from taking any action, without letting fear get into my subconscious mind to create any negativity.

If, after much deliberation, I still decide to take no action, then I accept it fully and consciously, with no regret and no “should have” or “might have” because the whole episode now belongs to the past and is no longer real for me. It is important for me not to experience any inner conflict, resistance, or negativity in the mental process of deciding to take no action.

How I deal with stress

Stress is inevitable in contemporary living. My wife sometimes complains that I stress her, and my spontaneous reply is: “If I don’t stress you, something or somebody would stress you. Just learn to cope with it!” Yes, everybody has to cope with stress, and not to deal with the stressor.

When I was working on a book, it was easy for me to focus too much on the future and forget about the present. My mind seemed to be preoccupied with getting to the future, that is, finishing a certain chapter or the completion of a book, such that I easily forgot about the present. Then I began to realize that my stress was due to my “being here” but “wanting to be there.” With that realization, I have learned to re-focus more on the present, and less on the future. As a matter of fact, I have stopped creating timelines for my writing. In the writing process, sometimes I don’t like what I have written (what is known as a writer’s bad days) but I try to enjoy the writing process, rather than looking at what I have written and what I don’t like about. By focusing on the present, instead of on the finished product in the future, I have learned to enjoy my writing and the writing process, and I am able to revise what I previously did not like. So, the key is doing something totally focused on the present moment.

Awareness and concentration are important ingredients in mental clarity and relaxation to de-stress the mind.

How I deal with the past

In my life, I have made many mistakes, which have changed my life—maybe for the worse, or maybe not. Who knows? And who cares?

I never let the past take up my attention. I do not let my thinking process create any anger, guilt, pride, regret, resentment, or self-pity. Like everybody else, I do have these negative feelings and emotions, but they do not last long. I believe that if I allow these thoughts of mine to control me, I would look much older than my calendar age, and, worse, create a false sense of self.

To reminisce what was good in the past would intensify a desire to repeat such an experience in the future, and thus creating an insatiable longing that may never be fulfilled. To recall what was unpleasant in the past would generate feelings of remorse and unhappiness. What is the use? I just let bygones be bygones. In my mind, there is no ”what if.”

How I deal with failures

The path of living is strewn with failures, big and small. But they should not become stumbling blocks in life journey.  Like everybody else, I have met my failures:

I look upon my failures with positive attributes: a lesson of humility to show my own limitation and inadequacy; a lesson that I may never get what I want in life; a lesson to strengthen my character as a human being; a lesson to learn about perseverance and survival from failures.

If I had succeeded in those endeavors in the past, I would have embarked on a totally different life journey heading toward a totally different direction. Would I really have been better off or worse off? Who knows, and who cares? I never ponder on the “might have” or the “would have” scenarios.

How I look at death

I am now closer to the end rather than the beginning. That is to say, the thought of death has become more and more real with each day passing. I have come to believe that most elderly people have similar experience.

If I could ask but one question about the future, it would be: “How am I going to die?” and not “When am I going to die?”

I wouldn’t want to know about the when. To me, time is not a big factor. My desire to know the “how” is just out of plain curiosity. Anyway, they are just hypothetical questions without any answer.

In life, we all ask many different questions, some of which are practical, some hypothetical, and some without an answer. To many, living is a search for an answer to many of the unanswerable questions in life.

So, stop looking for an answer to every question asked, but continue to ask, and just live if there were no tomorrow.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Nothing Is Everything

 



ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!


All About . . . .


"Anything Is Everything, Everything Is Nothing, Nothing Is Everything" is a miracle of life and living, based on the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu from China, and the Biblical wisdom.

Live your life as if everything is a miracle. To do just that, you need the wisdom to know how your mind works--especially how it has created your ego-self that demands your attachments to the material world.

Learn how to be in the physical world, but not of the material world. More importantly, get the wisdom to know who you really are, and not who you wish you were. Knowing and understanding the truths of anything and everything may enlighten you so that you intuit the ultimate truth that everything is actually nothing, but this nothingness is your pathway to everything in your life.

The Outline of the Book . . . .

ONE: ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING

A frog in a well
Human wisdom and spiritual wisdom
Oneness of all life
Love and forgiveness
Gratitude and generosity
Sympathy and empathy

Compassion and loving-kindness

TWO: EVERYTHING IS NOTHING


Understanding is everything
The mind and the ego
Attachments and illusions
Control and power
Detachment and letting go

THREE: NOTHING IS EVERYTHING

The paradox
The Way
The miracle
The enlightenment

ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

Click here to get your copy.


An Excerpt from the Book . . . .


NOTHING IS EVERYTHING


The Paradox

”I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Plato

“The paradox of reality is that no image is as compelling as the one which exists only in the mind's eye.   Shana Alexande

“The thinker without a paradox is like a lover without a feeling: a paltry mediocrity.”  Soren Kierkegaard

“Nothing is everything” is a paradox. In life, there are many paradoxes. The way of paradoxes is the way of attaining the ultimate truths of anything and everything. Knowing and understanding a paradox requires wisdom to see different human perspectives in anything and everything.

Paradoxes may be the way to wisdom, to the miracle of life, and ultimately to enlightenment.

An illustration

Christopher Paul Gardner, an American  author, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, was very poor and homeless in the early 1980s. Sleeping on the floor of a public toilet, Gardner never dreamt that he would become a multi-millionaire one day. His inspiring life story was made into a hit Hollywood movie: “The Pursuit of Happyness.

Gardner was brought up with the belief that he could do or be anything that he wanted to do or be. At some point in his life, he was homeless; everything seemed nothing, just emptiness and nothingness, to him. But he was not hopeless. He continued to dream of wealth and success, and his dreams were not mirages. Because of his right doing and right thinking, he made his dreams come true.

Initially, Gardner made his living by selling medical equipment. He did not make enough money to make both ends meet, and his poverty made him homeless for a year.

Then, one day, Gardner met a stockbroker in a red Ferrari, who offered him internship because of his incredible drive and sustained enthusiasm. Thus he began his own successful investment career, and he subsequently even opened his own investment firm, Gardner Rich & Co.

More than two decades later, after the death of his wife, who challenged him to find his true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life, Gardner made a complete career change. He was suddenly awakened to the notion that his fame, success, and wealth seemed like nothing to him then. His feeling of nothingness transformed him completely: he then became a philanthropist and a motivation speaker traveling around the world, focusing not on his own wealth, but on humanity and the needs of others to pursue their own happiness.

According to Gardner, life journey is always a process of lesson learning and forward moving: “People often ask me would I trade anything from my past, and I quickly tell them no, because my past helped to make me into the person I am today.”  Yes, nothingness could be everything to him.

On any life journey, mental focus is essential: focusing not just on the big things in life but also on the small things as well; appreciating what you have, rather than dwelling on what is your nothingness.

What seems to be nothingness in the eyes of the world, when properly valued and put to use, can become anything and everything in the eyes of the beholder. Gardner turned his nothingness into great wealth. His ultimate enlightenment came when he looked at his own wealth in a different perspective-as no more than just nothingness-when he began to refocus his life goals on humanity and on inspiring others to become who they really are.

The bottom line: with wisdom you may know and understand the “nothing is everything” paradox that opens the door to self-enlightenment.

The Way

TAO, the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, is the way toward knowing and understanding self and others, as well as things and circumstances around self. It may or may not lead to self-enlightenment, but at least it may help you see things as they really are, and not as they should be.

"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)

TAO wisdom begins with emptiness, or more specifically, with an empty mindset.

The emptiness

Enlightenment has its origin from emptiness. Irrespective of whether or not attaining self-enlightenment, emptiness is the way to go toward attaining profound wisdom of living in this material world.

Emptiness is a way of human perception: looking at life experiences without adding anything to them, or without taking away anything from them. It is the thinking of the mind with no assumption and no presumption -- that is, only an empty mindset.

As previously mentioned, emptiness can be either positive or negative (the glass half-full, or the glass half-empty). Positive emptiness can only occur when you allow yourself to surrender completely to any given circumstance or situation without any previous attachment.

According to Lao Tzu, develop an empty mindset, which is more than just “thinking out of the box”: it is your reverse thinking to create your own empty box of thinking.

"An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us letting go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything just settles into its own perfect place."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)


ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

FREE BOOK for Your FREE Download

 

Click here to get your FREE book.

Life is made up of 4 phases: Development Phase; Transitional Phase; Consolidating Phase; and Aging Phase. In each of these phases, you have your "freedom" of choice to do whatever you want to do, but your "freedom" always comes with a your "bondage" that may shackle you for the rest of your life. The explanation is that your freedom of choice might not make you do all the right and righteous things even though you might not have broken the laws of your country. In other words, 
all humans sin because they are living in their flesh, irrespective who they are and where they come from.

The only way to break the bondage of sin is through God's grace, which is His forgiveness. You still have your freedom, but it is tied to the bondage of God--which is your "accountability" to His mercy.



Adaptability and Resilience

  Embracing Life Changes Life is forever changing. A static life is not worth living. Ironically enough, many people resist any change in th...