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1THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WISDOM
True wisdom is much more than knowledge or intelligence. It has much to do with the processing of information by the thinking mind. It requires much clarity and concentration of the thinking mind to see things as they really are, and not as what they are supposed to be. Accordingly, being knowledgeable may suggest smartness but not necessarily true wisdom of an individual. After all, humans are all limited in their capacity and capability to acquire knowledge, which is often unlimited. Therefore, to use what is limited for the unlimited is irrational. True wisdom, on the other hand, is empowering the thinking, which is potentially unlimited, to apply the limited knowledge acquired to understand the true nature of the self, of others, and of the world around.
True wisdom is innate and inside each and every one of us, but you just have to look inside you, just as Eckhart Tolle says in the beginning of his book The Power of Now:
“A beggar has been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Spare some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ said the stranger. Then he asked: ‘What’s that you are sitting on?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied the beggar. ‘Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.’ ‘Ever looked inside?’ asked the stranger. ‘No,’ said the beggar. ‘What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.’ ‘Have a look inside,’ insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.”
Look inside! True wisdom is already inside you, but you just have to look!
Yes, looking inside is the key to understanding true human wisdom. When you look within yourself, you may become awakened and even enlightened.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH
The TAO is the absolute truth that can withstand time; what was true in the past is also true today. To fathom the TAO, you must begin with your own mind, which controls your thinking process and hence creating your own thoughts of thinking.
The TAO begins with having an empty mind, which is more than just “thinking out of the box”: it is also reverse thinking to create your own box of thinking. An empty mindset originated from Lao Tzu:
“An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)
Without an empty mind, an individual may think that he or she is already knowledgeable, and therefore lacks the desire to seek more knowledge by asking more questions, and thus ending up being less knowledgeable.
Reverse thinking is turning your mind around: instead of accepting or following what your mind says, you think in the opposite direction by asking self-probing questions of how and why your mind has come to give you that thought of thinking in the first place.
Simplicity is the first step toward detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to an empty mind with reverse thinking. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living that may block and obstruct your thinking mind. Letting go of everything that you may erroneously believe are important to you in your life is reverse thinking.
“Simplicity is clarity.
It is a blessing to learn from those
with humble simplicity.
Those with an empty mind
will learn how to find the Way.
The Way reveals the secrets of the universe:
the mysteries of the realm of creation;
the manifestations of all things created.
The essence of the Way is to show us
how to live in fullness and return to our origin.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 65)
In the TAO, you think with your heart and only feel with your mind, while in the conventional wisdom, you may use your mind to think, to reason, and to judge by logic. The way to the TAO is to let the mind do its natural function of both feeling and observing, instead of just thinking. More specifically, the main function of the mind is to observe the thoughts in the mind without any judgment. The Chinese for “I think” is literally “my heart thinks.” For centuries, the Chinese have been inculcated with the concept that the heart is responsible for the ultimate thinking process. However, that is not to contradict the Western concept that the mind thinks. In the TAO, thinking with the heart means consciously slowing down the mind, letting the mind observe the thoughts first, instead of having the mind controlled by the thoughts. Simply put, the mind mainly feels and observes; it does little thinking or judging before all the facts are made available.
To illustrate, the mind is like a car, just an instrument of the human brain. The driver is the heart that controls the steering. The car only observes and feels, just as the body does through its five senses; the car does not control the speed or the direction, but the driver does. It is important that the car does not exceed the speed limit, because if it goes too fast, it cannot properly observe the surrounding with its details, and thus compromising the safety. Therefore, it is also important for the mind to slow down, so that the driver can see more clearly where he or she is going. The TAO focuses on slowing down the thinking mind, letting it become only the non-judgmental observer so that the heart can make the intelligent choices and decisions in everyday life and living, just as the driver knows where he or she is going.
Tne TAO of Living Longer
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
CONSCIOUSNESS OF BREATH
“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.” Chuck Palahniuk
Life is made up of many breaths. Therefore, your consciousness of your breath is your consciousness of life, as well as of many other things in life. Consciousness of breath begins with breathing.
Consciousness of the Importance of Breath
Are you constantly conscious of your breath-your breathing in and breathing out? Most people aren’t.
Breathing is the most subconscious and yet the most important activity in human life. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t conscious of it.
Breath and the Bible
The Bible has made references to the importance of breath from God, which is not only life itself but also divine understanding.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
“In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?” (Job: 12:10)
“But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8)
Breath and Chinese medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the two most important health regulators of the human body are breath and blood flow. Optimum breathing brings oxygen to every cell in your organs and tissues; while smooth blood flow carries nutrients to nourish them. The effective and efficient functioning of breath and blood flow is conducive to the balance and harmony of the yin and the yang, which are the fundamentals of Chinese medicine.
The Chinese breath is longevity breath because it helps you not only get but also use oxygen 24 hours a day. The Chinese breath lowers your blood pressure, calms your nerves, and alleviates your body pain, if you have any. In addition, the Chinese breath improves the overall emotional health through clarity of thinking, and even detoxifies your body system through internal cleansing. The explanation is that your body organs, including the liver, spleen, kidneys, glands, and digestive valves are all connected to the diaphragm (the muscles between the lungs and the abdomen), which basically moves the air circulation within the body when you breathe in and breathe out. Without moving the diaphragm muscles, and using only the muscles of the chest, you breathe only partially and incompletely. As a strong testament to its significance, the Chinese breath focuses on correct breathing with the diaphragm; Chinese exercises, such as Tai Chi, and Qi Gong, also focus on the importance of breath.
The Chinese breath is also related to qi, which can be interpreted as the "life energy" or "life force," which flows within the human body. According to TCM theory, qi is the “vital substance” constituting the human body; it also refers to the physiological functions of organs and meridians (energy highways assessing different parts of the body and their respective organs). It should be pointed out that breath and qi are similar but not quite the same. The air that flows through the lungs at each breath has many similarities to the qi energy flowing through the meridians of the body. That goes for oxygen as well; the substance that breathing transports to the blood, and the blood distributes to all of the body-just like qi energy traveling through its many meridians.
Consciousness of Correct Breathing
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. Therefore, it is important to be conscious of a longer breathing out than a breathing in so as to maximize the removal of the toxic carbon dioxide from the lungs.
But the functioning of the lungs may have compromised due to aging or incorrect breathing over decades of misuse. Compromised breathing is often due to changes in bones and muscles of the chest and the spine: bones becoming thinner can change the shape of your ribcage, making it less capable of expanding and contracting during your breathing.
In addition; the muscles supporting your breathing and your diaphragm may also have weakened due to age, such that you have difficulty in breathing in and breathing out enough air.
Furthermore, the lung tissues near your airway may have weakened, leading to their incapability to completely open and close the airways. As a result, air that is trapped in your lungs may also prevent efficient inhaling and exhaling, thus making it harder for you to breathe. On top of these, a weakened immune system may also make your lungs become more vulnerable to infections and less capable of recovering from your exposure to smoke and other toxic environmental particles.
To add insult to injury, as you age, your nervous system that controls your breathing may have become less functional, making your airways more sensitive to germs and infections. As you continue to increase in age, your lungs may become more vulnerable to lung infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, resulting in many health-related problems due to a lower oxygen level in your blood supply.
First and foremost, learn how to breathe correctly; many people don’t breathe right because they are not conscious of their breathing. Breathing right may help you in many ways in your everyday life and living. Remember, a healthy mind always has an easy breath, giving a relaxed body. Humans tend to focus on breathing in, to the extent that they may completely neglect what happens when they breathe out, as if it were not that important. This discrepancy between breathing in and breathing out needs to be corrected in order to create a free-flowing breath. Concentrating on breathing in may fill up the lungs with air all the time, such that the breathing becomes quicker and shorter, and thus stressing both the body and the mind. This may, ironically enough, lead to “feeling out of breath.”
The wisdom of correct breathing is to empty the lungs of air completely so that it may be filled fully with air.
THE OXYGEN ADVANTAGE
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
POSITIVE LIFE ATTITUDES
The art of living well is to develop positive life attitudes for positive living. To live well for the rest of your life, you need to know how to develop your positive life attitudes.
An attitude is no more than a thought powered by words and images. In life, every thought counts because your whole being is composed of thoughts. Research studies have indicated the importance of mind power: thoughts can even turn on or turn off a particular gene responsible for a particular disease or disorder; that is to say, your thoughts impact your health, and everything else in your life.
The art of living well is to utilize mind power to develop positive life attitudes for positive living. The key to dynamic living is having positive life attitudes, which can bring about physical and mental transformation, as well as emotional and spiritual unfolding.
There are seven positive life attitudes in the art of living well:
(1) Develop a positive attitude of change. Do not resist change because everything in life is changing. You cannot stay exactly where you are, even though it may be your comfort zone. Nothing is set in stone; life offers only few absolutes. A change may be positive or negative. The key to the art of living well is to embrace any change as it comes along, instead of resisting it.
(2) Develop a positive attitude of imitating the habits and behaviors of role models. Choose the ones you admire, and learn from them.
(3) Develop a positive attitude of seeing your future self in your mind’s eye. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. Harness the power of visualization to make it more “real” to you., and this gives you incentive to pursue your life goals.
(4) Develop a positive attitude of being in control. A positive attitude stems from an internal focus of control, which means you always act instead of reacting, and you are always the master of a situation, instead of the victim.
(5) Develop a positive attitude of doing the best you can do, and leaving the rest to God. A positive attitude focuses on the process and not the outcome of any endeavor you are undertaking.
(6) Develop a positive attitude of passion-passion for life, and enthusiasm for whatever you do, however insignificant it may seem. If you choose to do anything, however insignificant it may be, you do it well. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”
(7) Develop a positive attitude of choice. Life is full of choices in matters of work, relationships, or how you feel about yourself. You cannot control what people do to you or the circumstances you may find yourself in, but you can choose to react differently or to have different perspectives.
Developing positive life attitudes holds the key to the art of living well.
Instant Positive Attitude gives you strategies to adjust your attitude for massive success in life.
Copyright© Stephen Lau