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NO COMPARISON NO DEPRESSION

Depression is a mind disorder, which affects brain chemicals, which distort how the mind thinks. Therefore, it is important to understand what causes the disorder in the first place. Taking anti-depressants   may control the symptoms, but without addressing its cause.

Human thoughts are generated by the human mind through its perceptions. Oftentimes we compare ourselves with others, or simply with our own past, and thus subconsciously create our own negative thoughts that depress us.

There was an ancient Chinese fable of a stone cutter who worked so hard at cutting stones that he often felt stressed and depressed.

One day, while standing behind a huge stone where he was cutting his stones, he looked up at the sky, and saw the beautiful sun. Then, he wished he were the sun that could give warmth and sunshine to everyone on earth. A fairy came to him and granted him his wish, so he became the sun.

For a while, he was happy and contented. Then, one day, a big cloud came over, blocked out everything from his view, and he could not see what was below. He became distressed and unhappy, and wished he were the cloud, instead of the sun. Again, the fairy came to his rescue, and granted him his wish. He became the cloud, and began drifting and floating happily and peacefully in the sky.

After a while, a strong wind came and scattered the cloud in different directions. Now, he wished he were the strong wind that could blow away anything and everything that stood in his way. Again, the fairy made his wish come true: he became the strong wind, blowing here and there. For a while, he was happy and contented. Then, one day, he found out that he could not blow away the big stone behind which he used to cut stones. Worse, he was stuck there, going nowhere. Now, finally, he began to realize that was where he belonged. He made his one last wish to become the stonecutter that he used to be. The fairy granted him his last wish, and now he was contented to be the stonecutter again.

The moral of the fable: any comparison and contrast between self and others-or even between the current self and the self in the past-is often a stumbling block to self-contentment, the lack of which will direct one's thoughts inward and generate depression. Indeed, if you are discontent with what you have or what you are, while matching an area of your own deficiency with that of someone else’s obvious strength, you are in fact preparing the groundwork for your own depression. It is just that simple!

My Way! No Way! Tao Is The Way!

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

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THE 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© 2018 by Stephen Lau

BREATHE RIGHT TO RELAX THE MIND

Using a Relaxed Mind to Relax the Body

Total relaxation begins with the mind first, and then the rest of the body, including the eyes. Use your mind to relax your body, and then your eyes. The best way to achieve mental relaxation is by meditation.

Meditation to relax the mind

Meditation is a proven mind-body therapy for body-mind relaxation.

The healing power of meditation lies in its capability to focus the mind solely on the very present moment, thereby removing memories of the past and worries of the future. Meditation helps you focus your mind on the present moment to the exclusion of past and future thoughts. The mind in its natural and perfect stillness relaxes completely.

In contemporary living, your mind is often riddled with thoughts of what you just did, what you will do, or should have done. Nearly all your thoughts, including your desires and fears, are based on either the past or the future. Your desires are no more than recollections of the past pleasures and hopes of repeating them in the future. Fears are also memories of past pain, and your efforts to avoid the pain in the future. All these rambling thoughts in your subconscious mind indirectly affect your conscious mind, and hence your body.

In the present, your mind is always preoccupied with the past or the future, leaving little or no room for the present moment, which, ironically enough, is the only reality. The past was gone, and the future is unknown; only the present is “real.” But, unfortunately, most of us do not live in the present, not to mention appreciate it, because the present is interlaced with the past and the future. Meditation is about re-focusing on the present moment.

The mental focus of meditation is not quite the same as the mental concentration, such as solving a difficult math problem or while performing a complex mental task. Meditation is focusing on something seemingly insignificant, such as your breathing, such that your mind can be conditioned to focusing on only the present moment. In this way, your mind concentration excludes all past and future thoughts, thereby instrumental in giving your mind a meaningful break. It is in this sublime mental state that you are capable of understanding the true nature of things, and their relativity to the meaning of life and existence. Meditation awakens you to what is real or what is quasi real.

Points to remember when you meditate
:

Focus on an object as your focal point of concentration: your own breathing; looking at a candle flame; listening to a sound (such as the sound of running water from a fountain); watching your footsteps when you are walking, or just about anything that can easily draw you back to your meditation.

During your meditation, if your mind wanders away (which is quite common), gently direct your mind to re-focus on the same object of your concentration. Learn how to focus through your act of noticing that your mind has wandered off, as well as through your repetitive efforts. Meditation is all about focusing on the present moment. Make focusing a habit of relaxation for your eyes

Keep yourself in full consciousness: you must be fully aware of what is going on around you. That explains why in meditation (except in the walking meditation) you need to sit erect in order to keep your body in full consciousness. Do not lie down (or else you may fall asleep); do not slouch (this may not help you focus).

Breathing right to relax and to meditate

Breathing is important in meditation because it is the focal point of the mind. In addition, breathing out is associated with “letting go” and “body detoxification”-- essential components to relax the body and the mind.

In meditation, focus on your natural breath as it flows in and out. Notice how you inhale and exhale. You will begin to feel yourself becoming relaxed and soothed.

Diaphragm breathing

Diaphragm breathing is the complete breath. Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm to breathe (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen). If you place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, with the other hand above your waist, feeling the diaphragm muscle moving up and down, then you are practicing diaphragm breathing correctly. Deep breathing with your diaphragm gives you complete breath.

This is how you do diaphragm breathing:

Sit comfortably.

Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.

Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.

Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out.

Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and hold.

Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully your lungs to attain the complete breath.

Retain your breath with your shoulders slightly raised for a count of 5.

Very slowly exhale the air.

Repeat the process.

Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing
       
Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau