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.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Living in Balance and Harmony


The TAO of Living in Balance and Harmony

The mind needs balance and harmony both to control the body and to seek guidance from the soul, which supervises the mind.

Balance and harmony in the soul is alignment and connection for self-healing of the body.

Alignment and realignment

The body, the mind, and the soul work together as a system of life energy for healing. The free flow or stagnation of this life-giving energy is dependent on the balance and harmony of the body, the mind, and the soul at each and every moment. It is this moment-to-moment alignment in the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as their alignment with one another, that creates your unique state of self-healing and self-help, which is a miracle in itself.

What is your current state of self-healing and self-help?

If you are living your life as if nothing is a miracle, most probably your body, mind, and soul are in misalignment with one another. You might feel your body is not healing, your mind is strangled with sadness and doomed to despair, and you life has little or no meaning, without a goal or purpose. On the other hand, if your current state of being is one of joy, hope, and purpose, you are living as if everything is a miracle because your body, mind, and soul are not only inter-connected, but also in perfect balance and harmony with one another.

Alignment or realignment is inter-connection of the body, the mind, and the soul to achieve balance and harmony for self-healing and self-help.

The miracle of self-healing is manifested in the spiritual wisdom of the soul that guides and inspires the mind, which controls the body living in the physical world.

Connection and reconnection

According to entropy, one of the laws of physics, anything left to itself will ultimately disintegrate, and fall apart.

According to John Donne, the famous English poet, “no man is an island, and every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Essentially, everything in the universe is somehow and somewhat connected, just as man is connected with one another in a subtle way. The miracle of this connection is to provide balance and harmony to guarantee their existence and co-existence, that is, their alignment with one another.

Focusing on others rather than just on yourself illuminates your soul to see its necessity to express your empathy, generosity, gratitude, and loving-kindness to others. But the challenge not to do that is as great as your innate desire to seek spirituality. Therefore, simplicity in living may enhance your spirituality and increase your strength to overcome the challenge to seek spiritual wisdom.

With spiritual wisdom, you may believe in the miracle of self-healing. You will then see that all happenings in your life are somehow “connected” for an unfathomable and unimaginable purpose, and that you can turn any bad situation into an opportunity for self-healing and self-help. Believe in the miracle that you are connected with everyone you meet in your life, and that everyone can be either your teacher or your student. In other words, there is much for you to learn from any circumstance, as well as from one another. This is the miracle of alignment and connection.

The TAO

According to the TAO, not living in balance and harmony is not living for life:

“When there is abundance, there is lacking.
When there is craving, there is discontentment.
Striving for power to control and influence
every aspect of our lives
is the source of our suffering.

Obsessed with getting and keeping,
many of us never really live before we die.

Following the Way,
we must learn to let go.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 75)

Letting go is adapting and adjusting any imbalance and disharmony in your everyday life and living:

“Following the Way is like bending a bow:
one end is pulled up;
the other end is pulled down.
Excess and deficiency are balanced.

According to wisdom of the Way:
we reduce when there is excess;
we increase when there is deficiency.
Balance is thus created.

According to common wisdom:
we increase excess and deplete deficiency.
Imbalance is thus created.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 77)

But, given that there are too many attachments in life, letting go is not easy and it requires profound human wisdom:

“Stilling our thoughts,
our needs become few.
Following our thoughts,
our distractions become more,
and thus living in chaos.

Enlightenment is our true nature.
Meditation helps us find the origin,
and thus ending our suffering.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 52)

Attachments to the world are only distractions that lead to detours, causing imbalance and disharmony along the journey:

“The Way is easy,
yet people prefer distracting detours.
Beware when things are out of balance.
Remain centered within the Creator.
                
Distractions are many,
in the form of riches and luxuries.
They allure us from the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 53)

No-stress living is the way to attaining balance and harmony:

“So, we no longer argue with those who are cynical.
We stop looking for their approval.
We cease taking offense at their unbelief.
We just sow the seeds along the Way,
letting the Creator reap the harvest.

To be loved or rejected,
to gain or to lose,
to be approved or disapproved,
no longer matters to us,
when we know who we are
and who the Creator is.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 56)

According to the TAO, living in balance and harmony is all about “spontaneity" which is the understanding of the nature of all things.  

According to the TAO, spontaneity is “doing without over-doing”—which essentially means “doing without consciously anticipating the outcome.”

In the universe, there is an all-controlling force that monitors everything. You breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. You eat and you eliminate. You grow, mature, and die. Spontaneity is the natural built-in mechanism in each living organism. Spontaneity creates balance and harmony, expressed in the Yin and the Yang (the female and the male). Spontaneity is the ultimate understanding of the natural cycle of all things that are beyond human control: what goes up must also come down; success is followed by failure; life forever begets death:

“The Creator creates one.
One creates two.
Two creates three.
Three creates a myriad of things.

All have their original unity
in the duality of the Yin and the Yang,
the opposite life forces that harmonize.
We experience this harmonious process
in the rising and falling of our breaths.

People naturally avoid loss and seek gain.
But with all things along the Way,
there is no need to pick and choose.
There is no gain without loss.
There is no abundance without lack.
We do not know how and when
one gives way to the other.

So, we just remain in the center of things,
trusting the Creator, instead of ourselves.
This is the essence of the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42)

With spontaneity, we become babies again, living in perfect balance and harmony with everyone and everything:

“If we are in harmony with the Creator,
we are like newborn babies,
in natural harmony with all.
Our bones are soft, and our muscles are weak,
but our grip is strong and powerful.
Not knowing about sex,
we manifest sexual arousal.
Crying all day long,
we lose not our voice.
With constancy and harmony,
we accomplish all daily tasks
without growing tired.
                        
In natural harmony with the Creator,
we let all things come and go,
exerting no effort, showing no desire,
and expecting no result.
Natural harmony is experienced
only in the present moment,
when we see the natural laws of the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 55)

According to the TAO, living in the present moment is living in balance and harmony:

“We act without over-action.
We manage without interference.
We enjoy without attachment.

Effrontery is just
an opportunity for loving-kindness.
Great accomplishments are only
a combination of small steps.
Difficult tasks are no more than
a series of easy steps.

Therefore, we focus on the present moment,
doing what needs to be done,
without straining and stressing.

To end our suffering,
we focus on the present moment,
instead of our expected result.
So, we follow the natural laws of things.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 63)

Most importantly, spontaneity shows us the wisdom of the impermanence of all things—that is, nothing lasts despite all human efforts to make them continue:

“Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 23)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Money and Marriage


Money matters

We all need money to survive. As a result, in many marriages, many people fight over money matters. The problem is that people have different perspectives of money-worth. For example, you may think spending $100 on a pair of jeans is worth it, but your spouse may think otherwise. To determine the real worth of anything is subjective and difficult, and therefore should be based on the man-hours spent: that is, if you think you are willing and be prepared to work those hours for that pair of jeans, then it is worth it, at least to you.

All your behaviors are your choice, and hence you are responsible for the consequences—not somebody else, not even your spouse. Understanding the principle of choice may avoid unnecessary fights over money matters 

Nearly half of all divorces in the United States are a result of money problems in marriages.

Remember the saying of John Woodbridge Patten about money: “buys everything but happiness, and takes a man everywhere but heaven.”

Money is symbolic of so many things in life—effort, self-worth, and status, among other things. Money also symbolizes the unity and oneness of a married couple. If there is no harmony in money matters, it would be difficult to have balance and harmony in other things that constitute a good and healthy marriage.

The relationship with money

Identifying the real relationship with money, with neither self-criticism nor self-justification.

If you want to get rich (it is your choice), remember these:

The essentials of food, clothing, and shelter are all you need to be content and thankful.

The love of money often destroys a man’s life and his soul.

If you want to stay rich, remember these:

The ultimate ownership belongs to God, who owns all things.

Do good and be rich in your deeds and generosity. Help those who are less fortunate than yourself.

Understanding money problems

Understanding money problems is more than half way through solving the problems of money.

The principle of spending is simple: Never buy what you don’t need with the money you don’t have.

Buy what you need, not what you want.

Create a budget to avoid conflicts:

Determine the total net income after taxes.

Decide your basic expenses (rent/mortgage, foods, bills etc.)

Total income less expenses is the monthly spending money. Divide it into two.

Spend however you want to spend it.

Do not let money become a stress factor in life: money can age you more than anything else.

Do not let money become a bone of contention in your marriage: many money fights are in fact continuing fights between partners over control and power, but thinly disguised in money matters; they are only “fake” money fights.

Destructive marriage behaviors

Problems in a marriage often occur as a result of these behaviors related to money:

Playing the blame game
Complaining and criticizing too much
Nagging and threatening to get what one wants

Divorce


A marriage is made to last. So do everything within your power to make it last.

If your marriage is on the rocks, save your marriage and stop your divorce!

Julia Smarty 
Copyright© by Julia Smarty


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Money Fantasies and Money Miseries


If money really matters to you, then earn more.

To earn more, capitalize on the skills you already have, enhance and improve them, and look for better and richer employment. In addition, there are likely many other skills you may possess that cannot be or have not been fully maximized or utilized wherever you are working. Then, harness those skills and capitalize on them through doing some freelance work on the side to maximize your current income.

If, on the other hand, you do not have the basic skills, and you do not want to learn and acquire them, and yet you always crave money and wealth, then your cravings are only your money fantasies.

What are money fantasies?

Only your money wisdom can separate your money fantasies from the money realities.

There was the story of a beautiful and sophisticated woman in her mid-twenties who wrote to an investment counseling company looking for a list of eligible bachelors with earnings of at least $600,000 a year. That woman had money fantasies in her mind.

According to experts, using marriage as an investment is a money fantasy, and no more than a bad investment bargain—just like investing into a shrinking currency. Imagine, the beauty of that woman will shrink over the years, while the $600,000 may grow over the long haul.

So, marrying into money, buying the lottery, and winning at the casino are all money fantasies.

What are money miseries?

Money miseries are also the realities for many, who always feel dissatisfied, frustrated, insecure, and insolvent. This mental condition suffered by many is often a result of constant exposure to media news of the rich and the famous, as well as their own perceptions of “possessions equal satisfaction.” It is your own mental interpretation of what you see verses who you really are.

You have money miseries if you have a job with a modest income but still living from paycheck to paycheck. If you are struggling with money miseries, you need your money wisdom to change your belief system, to stop comparing yourself with others around you, as well as to identify all the whys of your emotional feelings about and around your money miseries.

Why so many are broke?

According to The Wall Street Journal, many consumers (nearly 70 percent) are living from paycheck to paycheck. More than 50 percent consumers worry a lot about money, such as retirement. Once they lose their jobs or encounter any financial crisis, they become broke.

Even wealthy celebrities, such as Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson, go broke.

Mike Tyson, a boxing champion with several heavyweight titles, earning over $300 million dollars during his successful boxing career, ended up in bankruptcy in 2003.

Michael Jackson, recording artist, dancer, singer and songwriter, earning more than $500 million dollars, was heavily in debt when he died in 2009.

Of course, you might say: “If I had those millions of dollars, I wouldn’t become broke?” But if you cannot change your current spending habits, it would be a lot more difficult to change them when you have become a wealthy celebrity, such as Mike Tyson or Michael Jackson.

So, going broke is no respecter of persons, whether you are poor or rich.

The bottom line: Everyone needs to have the money wisdom to know how to earn, invest, and spend money to avoid going broke.



Click here to ge your paperback, and click here to get your ebook.

NORA WISE
Copyright © Nora Wise

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Skin Aging Process


The Face Aging Process

 Face aging begins as early as in the twenties, 

The twenties

In your twenties, your fibroblasts (cells deep within the skin) are in optimum conditions, continuing to produce new collagens (proteins) and elastins (substances to give elasticity to the skin) to support your skin. Your sweat and oil glands keep your skin moist and lubricated. The blood in your tissues gives your skin a healthy glow. Even when you contract your facial muscles as you smile, the temporary folds vanish once you relax your facial muscles.

Your skin simply looks gorgeous and stunning! Continue to protect and maintain your skin before it is too late.

The late twenties

In your late twenties, superficial lines begin to appear on the forehead and at the corners of your eyes. Tiny blood vessels start to surface on your cheeks and your nose.

Your first wrinkles may appear around age 30—for some, even well before that.

The thirties

In your thirties, there is a slight drop in the renewal rate of your skin cells. The accumulation of dead skin cells makes your skin look less fresh and drier. You need to scrub your face more often to get rid of the dead skin cells.

Your fibroblasts become less active in producing collagens (proteins) to support your skin, which by now may look less resilient. Dynamic muscles due to muscle motion begin to form in the expression areas of your face. In your late thirties, the fat layer under the skin begins to thin out, creating slight hollows around your eyes, on your cheeks and your temples. Due to a lack of support of the skin, there is sagging around the eyes, on the cheeks, and along the jaw lines.

If you are a sun worshiper, you may have a crosshatched and cobble-stoned look on your face, folds at the corners of your lips, uneven skin texture, and pigmentation.

The forties

In your forties, the rate of skin aging accelerates due to the slower rate of skin cell renewal, the loss of fats, and the shrinkage of bones. In addition, gravity pulls your skin downward, lowering your eyebrows, and making the tip of your nose droop, too—thus changing the overall physical structure of your face. Such changes are gradual and almost unnoticeable to you, but maybe apparent to others. More obvious signs of aging continue to appear: bags under your lower eyelids; vertical lines between your eyebrows; and deep-set wrinkles on your forehead.

The damaging effects of photo aging from the sun have become more evident:

Formation of hyperkeratosis (raised spots of thicker skin)
Freckles becoming old spots
Skin texture turning tough and leathery
Formation of basal cells and even malignant melanoma cancer cells

The fifties

In your fifties, the physical structure of your face further diminishes due to continual loss of bone mass, elasticity, fat, moisture in your skin, as well as the gravitational pull.

Your face may assume a crinkled appearance: crosshatching on your cheeks; folds and wrinkles on your neck; deep-set lines around your mouth extending to your chin; vertical lines extending up from your lip line; drooping eyebrows and eyelids; and smaller as well as thinner lips.

The sixties

Your face may have become rectangular or trapezoid in shape.

Your cellular renewal rate has slowed down dramatically by as much as 50 percent, and your skin’s elasticity and volume reduce significantly, resulting in excess skin on your neck, your cheeks, and around your eyes and jaw lines. Now, you look undeniably old. The skin aging process will continue into your seventies, eighties, and nineties until the ultimate end.


Make yourself look younger and healthier for longer.


Nora Wise
Copyright© by Nora Wise






Monday, May 3, 2021

The Importance of Money Wisdom


You are living in a world wanting wisdom. The majority of people experience the lack and not the abundance, while only a small number of people feel both the affluence and the wealth. Surviving and navigating in this world of money disparity require profound wisdom—the perspectives of human wisdom, Biblical wisdom, and the TAO wisdom from ancient China.

So, always ask yourself many questions regarding your money wisdom, given that money always plays a pivotal role in this world of both abundance and lack.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer, once said: “There are no foolish questions and no one becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.”

So, continue your life journey asking yourself many self-intuitive questions with respect to your money wisdom. The spirit of wisdom demands you to ask as many questions as possible on how you view the world today based on your past and present life experiences. Your money wisdom is your individual need to think more about your money. Do not bury your head in the sand! Just be wise on all your money matters!

Asking-questions-and-seeking-answers may give you your money wisdom. Your own life experiences are often responsible for your judgmental attitudes, your bias prejudices, and your assumptive presumptions—they may prevent you from knowing your real self, as well as from separating the truths from the half-truths or the myths about your money wisdom.

The truth of the matter is that your money wisdom is all based on your own perceptions and interpretations of your life experiences. That is why your money wisdom is uniquely yours.

Your money journey in this world is forever filled with missteps and detours, irrespective of your abundance or lack. Even if it may seem to be a bed of roses to you because of your abundance, it is always filled with some thorns. So, you need your spiritual wisdom to give you hope and guidance on your money journey.

To attain that spiritual wisdom, you need your faith—which is your trust and obedience to your Creator. According to Saint Augustine, faith is to believe in what you do not see, and you will then see what you believe. So, if you believe in your money wisdom, you will then see your security in every aspect of your life, whether you have abundance or lack..

To apply your money wisdom in the material world you are living in, you need the wisdom of the TAO—which is the humility to detach yourself from all attachments that you think define who you are. With no ego, you may then become self-enlightened: perceiving the “nothingness” of all things, as well as self-intuiting your “connectedness” to anything and everyone in the world. So, you are in balance and harmony with anyone and everyone, and you are no longer at war within yourself with your fear of insecurity—that is ultimately your money wisdom.

Click here to ge your paperback, and click here to get your ebook.

NORA WISE
Copyright © Nora Wise