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A new way of living with peace and harmony in this toxic material world
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The TAO

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The living tips

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The wisdom books

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The healing

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The better English


BLOG:
The TAO

BLOG:
The living tips

BLOG:
The wisdom books

BLOG:
The healing

BLOG:
The better English


WISDOM BEGINS WITH AN EMPTY MIND

“Focusing on status gives us pride, and not humility.
Hoarding worldly riches deprives us of heavenly assets.

An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go of everything.
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)

You are in the world, but not of the world.

So, do not identify yourself with anything and everything in the world-the car you are driving, the neighborhood you are living in, the name-brand dress you are wearing, and among many others.

What is wrong with them? You become attached to them; they only enhance and inflate your ego, making you shackled to the material world.

With a deflated ego, on the other hand, you may become enlightened and see who you really are, and not what people think you are. Enlightenment opens the door to the TAO of living for life.

The reality is that many of us are not only in the world, but also of the world; so, we are living not for life, but for the world.

We are all somehow connected with one another, so focusing on yourself is not the Way of TAO, and not the TAO of living for life.

Human wisdom requires only an empty mind, not necessarily acquisition of knowledge. As a matter of fact, the more you know, the less wise you may become. The explanation is that knowledge previously acquired and accumulated often pre-conditions your thinking mind, and thus distorting your perceptions.

Human wisdom is already inside you. What you need to do is to search for it with self-intuitive questions.

Remember: less for more, and more for less; ask and you shall receive.

EMPTINESS IS EVERYTHING

Stephen Lau       
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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DEATH AND DYING

“Life begets death; one is inseparable from the other.
One is form; the other is formless.
Each gives way to the other.
One third of people focus on life, ignoring death.
One third of people focus on death, ignoring life.
One third of people think of neither, just drifting along.
They all suffer in the end.
      
Trusting the Creator, we have no illusion about life and death.
Holding nothing back from life, we are ready for death,
just as a man ready for sleep after a good day’s work.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 50)

“Abiding in the Creator, we do not fear death.
Following the conditioned mind, we fear everything.
Fear is a futile attempt to control things and people.

Death is a natural destination of the Way.
Unnatural fear of death does more harm than good.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 74)

Dying and Beyond

On the final journey, with acceptance of the inevitable fate, there is usually no anger or even sadness-just numbness that initiates the winding down of the body.

Dying is just something we all have to do. Do you want to die with grace?

Dying with grace is to end well; all is well that ends well!.

A Case in Point

Francis of Assisi, the Italian Saint who chose a life of poverty in spite of his family’s wealth, said on his deathbed: “Death will open the door of life.” He died gracefully while singing.

Maybe for a believer, death is, indeed, a triumph, a meaningful exodus from this mundane world to the eternal world beyond.

A Case in Point

Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his last speech, just several days before his assassination: “It (death) doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. . . . and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.”

It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s strong faith that led him to believe in the existence of the Promised Land beyond death. Indeed, to many believers, they are only humans having a brief existence in this transient material world, and their final destination is the eternal world beyond death.

A Case in Point

There have been many near-death experiences (NDEs) during which people claim that they have seen strange lights and tunnels, letting them have a glimpse of the eternal world beyond. Some of these instances have been written in books and become Amazon’s bestsellers, such as Heaven Is for Real (2010), about a child who saw heaven during surgery.

Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon and author of Proof of Heaven, said in Newsweek in 2012 that his incredible near-death experience had totally convinced him that his consciousness (the soul or self) exists somehow separate from or outside the mind, and therefore it can travel to other dimensions on its own. Eben wrote: “This world of consciousness beyond the body is the true new frontier, not just of science but of humankind itself, and it is my profound hope that what happened to me will bring the world one step closer to accepting it.”

Are you ready to believe in dying and beyond?

YOU JUST DON'T DIE!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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NATURAL HEALING FOR INSOMNIA

Insomnia is a sleep disorder affecting millions of people all over the world.

Sleep is natural to man: we go to bed when we are tired, or when it is bedtime. Unfortunately, many of us have sleep problems: we go to bed, but we cannot fall asleep immediately, and many of us may stay awake for hours; or, worse, some of us rely on sleep medications to put ourselves to sleep.

All sleep medications cannot cure insomnia. They are dangerous toxic chemicals that may further aggravate sleep problems. Stop all sleep medications; instead, use herbal healing for insomnia.

Do not take over-the-counter sleep medications; they do nor provide natural sleep.

But the fact is that many of us are suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation. According to a Swiss research study, even gold fish, having been deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, would stay still for a protracted period of time to make up for its sleep deprivation. Therefore, natural sleep is natural to all living things, and essential to the overall health and wellness of an individual.

But how do we heal insomnia without toxic pharmaceutical drugs? Use herbal healing for insomnia.

To heal insomnia, first of all, you must understand the kind of insomnia you are suffering from:

If you heave acute insomnia due to shock, fright, or grief, you wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares, accompanied by anxiety and restlessness.

If you generally wake up between 1 am and 3 am with anxious dreams and nightmares, your insomnia may be due to anxiety, or an overactive mind.

If you wake up around 3 or 4 am and cannot go back to sleep again until your usual getting-up time, your insomnia may be due to irritability or overwork.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep and you wake up early feeling groggy and unrefreshed, you may have insomnia due to too much mental stress or heavy workload.

If you wake up at the slightest noise and find it difficult to get back to sleep, often accompanied by vivid nightmares, your insomnia may wake you up in the early hours and make you sleep late.

Sleep problems are only a reflection of the problems inherent in your life. That is, if you are living life to the fullest, you normally do not and should not have sleep problems, which are the byproducts of emotional turmoil and mental anguish. Therefore, you must address all your life problems that are the underlying causes of your insomnia.

Stress is the No. 1 enemy of emotional and mental health. When you are under stress, your body naturally responds to the increased tension by producing hormone epinephrine. Excess production of this hormone may wear out your hormonal glands, leading to elevation of blood sugar, acceleration of breathing rate, increase of muscle tension, and excessive sweating - all contributing to insomnia. In contemporary living, stress may come in many different forms that disturb your good sleep. These stress-inducing problems need to be addressed in order to solve sleep problems.

To illustrate, sexual problems are a cause as well as a reflection of bedroom problems that need to be addressed, not avoided. Avoiding sexual problems will create only more stress that causes insomnia. Family problems, such as confrontations with teenagers, may cause heated arguments and conflicts. Reduce stress at home with the techniques of good parenting. Money problems may also generate financial stress. All in all, everyday life problems have to be taken care of before sleep problems can be resolved.

Meanwhile, as you take care of your emotional and mental problems, also use natural herbs to alleviate your sleep problems. If you experience occasional sleepless nights, use certain roots, flowers, and leaves of plants to cope with sleep problems.

Herbal Pillow

Make your own tiny herbal pillow stuffed with herbs (a tablespoonful of chamomile, hops, lavender, mugwort, and rose). Place your hand-made pillow on top of your pillow, close to your nose so that you can inhale the herbs while you sleep. After a while, you may need to reactivate the herbs inside your tiny pillow. You can do it by sprinkling any odorless grain alcohol on the pillow and let it dry. A herbal pillow can last a year.

Herbal Tea

Drink a cup of chamomile herbal tea before going to bed. Chamomile soothes your stomach. Indigestion is one the causes of insomnia.

To make chamomile tea, use 1 rounded teaspoon of chamomile herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover it and let the herb steep for 10 minutes. Pour the tea through a tea strainer and drink immediately.

Insomnia Herbs

There are many natural insomnia herbs. If you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up too early in the morning and cannot fall back to sleep, try Saint-John's-wort. Another natural herb effective in overcoming insomnia is valerian, which is most effective as a tincture. Take 1 teaspoon of tincture 1 hour before bedtime.

In addition to solving your life problems that are the underlying causes of emotional and mental distress, use natural herbs to heal insomnia to promote holistic health and wellness. Never use sleep medications because they do not work over the long haul.

ALCHEMY OF HERBS

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

MONEY AND HAPPINESS


Money does not bring happiness. 

As an illustration, Barbara Woolworth Hutton was one of the wealthiest women in the world. She endured a childhood marked by the early loss of her mother at age five and the neglect of her father, setting the stage for a life of difficulty forming relationships. Married and divorced seven times, she acquired grand foreign titles but was maliciously treated and often exploited by several of her husbands. While publicly she was much envied for her possessions, her beauty and her apparent life of leisure, privately she remained deeply insecure, often taking refuge in drink, drugs, and playboys.

Her son died in a plane crash in 1972, at the age of 36, leaving her devastated. Dying of a heart attack at age 66, at her death, the formerly wealthy Hutton was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of exploitation, as well as her compulsive generosity and spendthrift ways.

What does TAO wisdom say about money?

According to TAO, money is neither positive nor negative; it is all in the human mind.

But how you make your money and how you spend your money may turn money into something either positive or negative.

To increase your wealth in a positive way, focus on doing what needs to be done, and no more. On the other hand, the more you do to make money, the less focused you become, and the greater are your expectations of the outcome. That may ultimately create not only undue stress but also internal disharmony in your life, turning money into something negative.

Increasing your wealth, however, does not necessarily mean spending your money proportionately. That is to say, an individual making more money does not have to buy a much bigger house than what that individual actually needs. To illustrate, Warren Buffet, the billionaire, has set an excellent example: he is still living in his $31,500 home he bought some decades ago.

Another classic example is Ann Russell Miller, a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph, She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue she used to do for decades-she suddenly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life. That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago: one day she held a celebrity party in which she announced her incredible decision, and her announcement was widely reported in the media across the United States. Why did she make such an incredible decision to drastically change her lifestyle? She said she her had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, and even for the close members of her family.

Excessively increasing one’s wants often leads to unduly inflating one’s ego as well, and thus creating many negative attachments that are often packed in one’s own bag and baggage.

NO EGO NO STRESS

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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