The 7 Deadly Sins and the TAO

<b>The 7 Deadly Sins and the TAO</b>
Use the TAO wisdom to overcome the 7 Deadly Sins, and live in reality, instead of in fancy and fantasy.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

No FREEDOM Only BONDAGE

Human freedom of choice is often held hostage by its bondage to the flesh, where your corrupted body dwells and the origin of the desires and wants of your thinking mind that ultimately change the freedom of your choice.

No matter how soft or strong your bondage may be, one bondage always leads to another. The more bondages you have, the greater their control on the freedom of your choices and decisions, and the more wrong things you will subsequently do.

An illustration of one bondage leading to another and yet another

On July 4, 2022, a 25-year-old Black man in Akron, Ohio, was shot 60 times by 8 policemen. The news was widely reported in the media because the victim was a Black man and the police had presumably used “excess force” to gun him down.

The victim, who had no criminal record, was initially stopped at a routine traffic stop.

Maybe “racial injustice” and “excessive use of force by police” told the victim’s mind that he had the “freedom” to get away. So, he chose to get away. His “freedom” tied him to the “bondage” of “getting away.”

Driving away his car and being chased by the police put him in another mental situation that gave him the “freedom” to choose to fire his gun to “stop the police chase.” His freedom of choice only reinforced his bondage to “getting away.”

After stopping his car at some point, the bondage of “getting away” told his thinking mind that he had the freedom to “flee on foot” and so he did.

While running, his bondage told his thinking mind that he had the freedom to turn around to do whatever he chose and decided to do. But he was shot dead.

The above tragedy could have been avoided if the victim had not taken his “freedom” to “get away” in the first place, which led to his bondage that distorted his thinking mind with another freedom of wrong decision leading to another and yet another bondage that finally tied him to his own death.

The "freedom" of choice of actions and decisions is controlled and manipulated by the human mind which lives in the flesh. Probably, that's what happened in the victim's mind: "I'm a Black, and the police don't like me. The police always use excessive force. I've my freedom to get away as soon as possible."

FREEDOM with BONDAGE shows you how to free yourself from your bondage to the flesh that gives you the "freedom" to make the wrong choices and decisions in your everyday life.

 Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, November 25, 2022

Living in the Now


In this day and age with the advancement of technology, living in the now is not easy. Speed is everything, and performance is based on speed and efficiency, which has much to do with speed too. As a result of the craving for speed, the human mind slowly and increasingly becomes more compulsive.


According to the most recent NBC news, even young children have become addicted to speed with their multi social media in their digital world that they have become disconnected with the real world and the people around them.


As a parent, you should make sure that your child or children stay more in the present. Of course, you, as the parent, should also set a good example, such as, not talking on the phone while driving.

Are you yourself living in the present? If you are, your mind should not be focusing on the electronic gadgets, which you are holding in your hands. According to the NBC news report, some children are even texting hundreds of messages a day, and they have lost physical contacts with their families and friends. Instead of eating their dinners, they are looking at their electronic devices. This multitasking is not living in the present, just as texting while driving is not living in the present


Not living in the present is akin to the mind shuffling between the past and the future. Your actions or inactions are derived and driven by your thoughts and memories of your past experiences, and how you project them into the future as desires and expectations. Accordingly, the human mind constantly shuffles between the past and the future. As a result, it seldom stays in the present moment. To illustrate, while talking on the cell phone, how often do you talk about what happened or what you are going to do next? If you think more deeply, the subject of your conversation mostly involves the past or the future. In a worse scenario, if you are talking or texting while driving, your mental focus is certainly not on the present—which is driving your car.


The first step to train your mind to focus more on the present is to concentrate on your breathing. Most of us are totally unaware of our breaths, unless we are short of breath after running or climbing stairs, or due to some medical conditions that may cause difficulties in breathing. Concentration on how you breathe in and breathe out, as well as your body’s sensations during the inhalation and exhalation trains you to develop mindfulness. It is important to know that your body is yours only, and it is always with you. Finding the moment-by-moment relationship with your body through your breathing is your key to wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. Be mindful of the present.


Mindfulness is your deliberate attention to the present moment. This purposeful focus enables you to recognize your thoughts as they occur, but without paying judgmental attention to them; in other words, they neither distract nor disturb you, and you just observe them objectively, like watching a movie about yourself unfolding before your very eyes. Essentially, letting the mind stay in the present is a simple way to meditate.


Learn mindfulness from an expert who provides a useful guide to harness the power of your mind with mental training tools and techniques to perfect the art of mental transformation. Are you living your life, or your life living you?


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Teaching Children About Sex

 



TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT SEX

Sex is “a big deal,” especially in a marriage.

Surprisingly, some couples may have more sexual intimacy after several years of marriage. The explanation is that by then they may have much reduced level of stress: better financial environment; children growing up; less worry about conceiving a child. In short, sex can even get better as years go by in a good and healthy marriage.

However, some couples may also cease their sexual intimacy due to: childbirth; pursuing a career; midlife crisis; an out-of-marriage affair. That, unfortunately, is also the reality.

Living together without love or physical intimacy is “living separate lives”—it may also be due to pornography, which is addictive, pervasive, and destructive to the addicts and their respective relationships.

So, it‘s important for parents to educate their children about sex. But how?

Like building the foundation of a pyramid, teach them about the values of life and living, which are usually dignityhonor, and respect for self and others.

Growing up and getting married isn’t just about self or just two people: it’s about human relations—how you relate to others around you. For example, in a marriage it isn’t just about the relationship between you and your spouse; it also involves your children or stepchildren, the in-laws, and the friends. So, learn to develop good relationships, and teach your children to do likewise as they grow up. 

Relationships are related to emotions, both positive and negative ones. Teach your children to control and manage their emotions and temper tantrums, which will play a pivotal in their subsequent life choices and decisions.

All of the above will define and shape your children’s perceptions and understanding of the meaning and the importance of sexual intimacy when they grow up into adolescents and young adults.

The reality

Remember, just do your best, and let God do the rest. You can teach your children about sexual intimacy, but you just can’t control what they feel and experience in their lives. Controlling only generates resistance and distancing. This applies not only to your children, but also to your spouse. You can share with them what you believe in, but you just can’t make them believe what you believe in. That’s the reality.

Getting Married to Make You Happy?

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!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Woman's Inner Beauty

If you are a woman, you would want to be beautiful, youthful, and forever young, even though you're now a mother..

What is beauty? Is beauty only skin deep, or something only in the beholder’s eye?

In the Orient, the perception of beauty may vary from that in the West: the focus in the East on inner beauty or the "inner eye" may sometimes seem difficult for the Western mind to comprehend.


The traditional Oriental perception of beauty may have the following inner innate qualities:

1. Compassion for others

2. Detachment from negative thoughts and feelings

3. Peace of mind and inner tranquility

4. Right-mindedness from a true heart

A truly beautiful woman has a serene face with a softening spirit. Such a face is often a reflection of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual aspects of that individual. Beauty is more than skin deep: it exudes inner confidence and radiance.

You may become aware of the first click of your biological clock around age 30, when your first streaks of silver appear on your hair, or around 35 when you first notice your crow’s feet (for some, this may have happened much sooner). Can you turn back the biological clock?

According to Phyllis R. Koch-Sheras, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, understanding the changes and learning how to accept and cope with them are anti-aging strategies.

Complement your inner beauty with your extrinsic beauty. Nature has given you a lovely face: take good care of it and preserve it diligently with daily facial regimens to make you forever look the best of your age.

Your skin is your beauty. The youthful look of a person is primarily based on the skin of that individual. After all, the first impression of a person is the face: the skin color, the skin texture, and the feel and touch of the skin. Your skin renews itself every 35 to 45 days. Do not interrupt or slow down that skin cell replication process with alcohol or nicotine. Get right and get enough sleep. Above all, do everything you can to maintain its color, texture, and softness. Makeup only masks the defects.

Naturally Skinsational: It provides natural skincare recipes to keep your skin youthful and healthy. It saves you a lot of money on cosmetics that don't work.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Solving Money Problems


Solving Money Problems

Money plays a major role in life. You need money for almost everything in life. Given the importance of money, you need to know the basics of money—what money is all about.

In the past, people could enjoy the blessings of life without spending any real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money—and lots of it!

According to Buddha, craving or desire for material things is the source of all human miseries. Jesus also has this to say about money: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.” (Luke 18:25)

So, what is the value of money? According to author Jonathan Swift, a wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart. 

More importantly, what does money mean to you?

Your perceptions of the value of money determine two of the most important things in your life: how you are going to live your life; how you are going to spend your money.

The value of money is based on your core values in life. One of the core values in life is integrity. Life, at any phase, is all about living—it comes with some hard work and simple integrity. Integrity is an important personal value, which has little to do with money. Integrity is an important value that the Creator has bestowed on each and every one of us, and its availability is the choice of an individual. Essentially, integrity is the value of what life has to offer, not the value of things that can be purchased with money. Your core values affect your attitudes toward money, including your financial priorities, financial decisions, and money management. So, what is the value of money to you?

Once you know the real value of money to you, you will know what to do with your money, and you will find the money you need.

Spending money is also an extremely important issue in life: throughout history, countries have become bankrupt, empires have collapsed, and families have broken up because of spending much too much money. So, spending money can affect positively or negatively your life, and can be a major stress factor.

Spending money has little to do with whether you have or you do not have much money. Spending money has to do with your attitude toward money. It has everything to do with the practical as well as the spiritual aspects of money and finance.

The practical aspect of spending money is that it may lead to debt—which is the source of financial stress. 

Why do people go into debt?

People go into debt for various reasons: deficit spending,  a result of buying things they don’t need with the money they don’t have; unforeseeable circumstances, due to exorbitant medical bills or loss of employment; personal choice, a consequence of reckless spending or buying on credit, bad investments, wrong financial decisions; ignorance, such as not knowing the meaning of APR or the implications  of “minimum  payments”  on credit cards, lack of knowledge of finance and money management; greed, leading to taking financial risks, or trying to get something for nothing. The list could go and on.

Don’t ever fall into the trap of “buy-now-and-pay-later”! Don’t run up your credit card debt. Consumer debt is the No.1 financial stress factor in life. Don’t let debt devastate your life. Don’t use a credit card if you don’t have control over spending; instead, use a debit card or a pre-paid credit card for the convenience of not carrying cash. Be careful when you use credit-card counseling services to get you out of debt, especially those so-called “non-profit” organizations. Just beware!

The spiritual aspects of spending money include being grateful and generous, as well as being a good steward.

Be grateful. God may have given you much less than others—or so you think! Remember, everything is relative. Maybe less is more: God has given you less so that you will have the incentive to make more.

You may have worked hard, but with little to show for it.  “You plant much but harvest little. You have scarcely enough to eat or drink and not enough to keep you warm. Your income disappears, as though you were putting it into pockets filled with holes.” (Haggai 1:6) Be grateful, instead of whining and complaining; put your time and effort on making money to live a debt-free life. More importantly, be generous with your money.

According to the biblical principle of money, God owns it all! You are but a steward of God’s money. Responsibilities of good stewardship include diligence, productivity, good time management, and self-discipline in matters of money. The money is not yours anyway. That is why you cannot take it with you when you are gone for good.

Stephen Lnd au
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Monday, November 21, 2022

Letting Go to Let God


THE MIRACLE OF LETTING GO TO LET GOD

Spiritual wisdom facilitates the process of humans’ letting go, and spiritual wisdom comes from faith, which is belief in God.

“Belief in God” means complete trust in Him that has to be expressed and validated by obedience; in other words, let go to let God.

Does the wisdom of letting God sound simple and straightforward?

According to Albert Einstein, knowing and understanding are the essentials of wisdomthey are also critical to attaining the wisdom of letting go to let God.

The mysteries and the manifestations

Have more knowledge of the invisible and the inexplicable that is happening to you and also around you, as well as have better understanding of the mysteries and the manifestations of all things created by God, who is the origin of all things. His Creation has been one of the most controversial, profound, and unfathomable mysteries since the beginning of time, while all the things subsequently originating from His creations are only further manifestations of the mysteries of His Creation.

God-given image and man-made identity

Letting go to let God begins with believing in the mysteries and manifestations of human creation: we are all created in the image of God.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1: 27)
                  
What does that really mean, and what is the wisdom in that?

You may never know why you were created in the first place, but one thing you know for sure is that not only you are different from all His other creations but also all humans are uniquely different from one another in that respectjust like the uniqueness in humans’ fingerprints. The wisdom is that you, just like everybody else, have His image, and this is indeed a blessing. That also means you  have a spirit within you that not only defines who you are, but also connects you somehow and somewhat to and with Him in a uniquely individual way, because your image is a reflection of Him. In other words, we all have a unique identity of our own, which is composed of some of the attributes of the Creator.

Living in the material world, you may also have consciously and subconsciously created another image of your own—a man-made identity, or an ego-self. If you are more aware of your man-made identity, you may then become less conscious of your God-given image. Your attachments that have created your own man-made identity may then slowly and imperceptibly detach and distance yourself from your God-given image.

The bottom line: letting go of some, if not all, of your attachments to your man-made identity may enhance your God-given image within you. Do you always identify yourself with the car you drive, the neighborhood you live in, the social circles you belong to, and the career you have taken up? All these attachments in the material world may have created your own man-made identity, but not your God-given image. Just think about that.

Let go to let God define your own identity.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau