Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Different Theories of Aging


Scientists have come up with different theories explaining why and how you age.

The free radical theory of aging

This theory is based on the damage of cells due to cumulative free radicals, leading to disease and, ultimately, death.

Free radicals are molecules within the human cells. Due to regular oxidation (e.g. breathing), and other environmental factors (e.g. tobacco smoke), these molecules become damaged and unstable, and begin to affect other healthy cells close by, creating many more similar unstable free radicals, and thus initiating a chain reaction of cell damage by free radicals.

Damaged cells lead to disease and ultimate death.

This theory implies that antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, which reduce the formation of free radicals, not only slow down the aging process, but also prevent disease.

The genetic theory of aging

This theory is based on the pre-programming of human genes to induce aging and death—your Creator ensures that you will not be immortal. Therefore, aging is not the consequence of wear and tear over the years. The fact of the matter is that you are not meant to live forever.

Other than disease and other environmental factors, there is no great variation in the lifespan of humans, and this may partially explain the role of genes in aging.

The hormone theory of aging

This theory is based on the gradual changes in the human body due to the decline and degeneration of the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing hormones to regulate many body functions and processes. Changes in the human hormone production, such as menopause, account for the changes responsible for aging.

There is no scientific evidence that hormone replacement will in fact increase human lifespan. So, think twice before you decide on a hormone replacement therapy.

The immunity theory of aging

This theory is based on the failure of the immune system to give adequate protection against contaminants, viruses, and stress, among other agents contributing to a weakened or compromised immune system.

This theory attests to the important role of the immune system in longevity health and overall wellness.

The rate of living theory of aging

This theory is based on the rate of breathing: faster oxygen metabolism leads to a shorter lifespan. In the animal kingdom, rodents, with the fastest heartbeats have the shortest lifespan, while tortoises with the slowest breaths live the longest.

This theory vindicates that breathing right is one of the key factors in longevity in humans. Learning to breathe right is critical to remaining younger and healthier for longer.

To sum up, the human aging process is best explained not by one single theory but by a combination of these theories.

The truth of the matter is that you age, just like everyone else. The point in question is how you can delay that aging process, making you younger and healthier for longer—or, at least, not making you age more quickly than you are supposed to.
Unfortunately, many of us have fallen victims to the so-called Accelerated Aging Syndrome.

Potentials for accelerated aging

According to Steven Masley, M.D., the former medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may have the potentials for accelerated aging, if you have just any three of the following:

  • A fast blood sugar level of more than 100 mg/dl

  • A blood pressure higher than 130/85

  • A waist larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men

  • Good cholesterol level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl for men, and 50mg/dl for women

  • Triglyceride (a certain type of fat in your blood) levels greater than 150 mg/dl.
Factors contributing to accelerated aging

There are several factors that increase the predisposition to accelerated aging:

·        Your diet: you are what you eat, and you become what you eat.

  • Your lifestyle: life on the fast lane often leads to faster aging.

  • Your physical inactivity: or immobility brings about stagnation and degeneration.

  • Your stress: stress kills your brain cells, predisposing you to accelerated aging.

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Asking Questions and Seeking Answers to Love Longer


If you wish to live longer or to a ripe old age, you must ask yourself many questions about life; after all, living is about asking questions and seeking answers to the questions asked. Livingfor life in this contemporary world may never be easy because it requires wisdom, which is essentially finding answers to the questions asked about life and living, and then applying those answers to everyday living in the material world.

Have you ever wondered: there has to be much more to life than this—the kind of life that you are living right now?

If you have, then maybe you should, first and foremost, ask yourself questions about why you want to live longer. Your reasons could be some of the following:

You desire to live a better life than the one that you are currently living.

You want to see your children or grandchildren grow up and mature into adults.

You have your life passions, some of which are already accomplished, while others are being pursued but remaining unfulfilled.

You are experiencing some core values, which are not just your life goals but rather your beliefs in humanity that have to be lived in order to fully experience the meaning of existence as well as the innate happiness in humanity.

You still like to enjoy some of the mundane pleasures of life and living that have satisfied your five senses.

You love to maintain good relationships and true friendships with those who are close and dear to you.

You may be fighting some life challenges or health issues—just like Alex Trebek, the 77-year-old TV celebrity famous for hosting NBC's “Jeopardy”, who openly declared in 2019 that he had to live longer in order to fight his pancreatic cancer because of his still-standing three-year contract with NBC. 

Asking the question “Why you want to live longer?” may initiate many other why questions specifically related to you, to others close to you, and to the world around you. Living is all about asking the many why and how questions in your everyday life and living.

In the Bible, Jesus said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find . . .” (Matthew 7:7) In real life, we must always ask ourselves many thought-provoking questions at all times. Asking questions is self-introspection, which is a process of self-intuition and self-reflection, without which there is no self-awareness and therefore no personal growth and development. A static life is never a life well lived and worth living. Therefore, asking questions is self-empowering wisdom—a tool necessary for living longer.

The truth is that the kind of questions you ask determines the kind of life you are going to live. Your questions often trigger a set of mental answers, which may lead to actions or inactions, based on the choices you make from the answers you have obtained. Remember, your life is always the sum of all the choices you have made in the process. No matter what, life is a journey of self-discovery, a continuous process of asking questions and seeking self-enlightening answers from them. It should be noted that the answer to every question you ask may change over time, because life is forever changing, and changes are often transformative. The more questions you ask, the clearer your mind will become, and the more ready you will be to receive the answers.

Although asking questions is a self-learning process, do not seek absolute answers from the questions asked; more importantly, do not seek answers that might not be given to you. The most important thing in questions-and-answers is to experience everything, not just to pursue the knowledge. As a matter of fact, knowledge can help, but it can also hinder. When you only follow what you know, and forget what you feel, you can easily be led down the wrong path. Extensive knowledge and logical reasoning may not necessarily compound true wisdom.

The bottom line: live every question you are going to ask yourself, and live in its presence. Be patient toward all those questions that you cannot find answers immediately. True enlightenment may dawn on you one day when you find yourself asking no more questions because you already have all the answers; that is the ultimate awakening.

Enjoy the process of self-reflecting all the questions you are going to ask yourself; without this self-reflection, you may exist for other people, and not for yourself. Now is the time to start asking questions, and putting yourself on the right path to intuiting the TAO of living longer.      

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Avoid Dangerous Drugs

Avoiding Drugs During and After Pregnancy

If possible avoid taking any drug during or after your pregnancy. Optimum health is always drug-free.

Millions of people are suffering needlessly as a direct consequence of the unconscionable zeal of the pharmaceutical industry to rake up billions of dollars of profit aided and abetted by scientists and researchers who have been paid handsomely, even to the extent of falsifying test and research results in some cases.

To illustrate, three of the top executives of Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading the public on the risk of addiction and abuse associated with the painkiller drug OxyContin. That was yet another scandal of pharmaceutical companies doctoring research findings of the safety of drugs and masking their undesirable side effects.

For decades, unreliable drug tests have abounded in the medical and pharmaceutical research community.

It is not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies to "influence" researchers through coercion, incentive, and even threat, to produce the desired results in clinical trials. Fabricating data, such as in the case of OxyContin, is no surprise to the pharmaceutical industry.

Clinical trials, usually involving a small number of people, may not truly reflect the outcome of those who will ultimately be using those drugs after their approval.

In addition, drugs tested on animal models may be biased and even irrelevant. An artificially induced disease in non-human animal models may yield results incompatible to a spontaneous, naturally occurring human disease. In short, there is no absolute safety or reliability of pharmaceutical drugs.

The pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have convinced not only the medical establishment but also the gullible public that costly drugs are the answer to all their health problems, despite their dubious track records and often-deadly side effects.

The use, misuse, and abuse of drugs account for 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year in the United States. And do you still believe that pharmaceutical drugs provide all the answers to your health problems?  

Dr. O. W. Holmes, Professor of Medicine, Harvard University, had this to say regarding pharmaceuticals putting you in harm’s way: If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity.” Dr. Holmes’ statement speaks volumes of the potential harm of pharmaceuticals.

When you give your body a drug that replaces a substance your body is capable of making itself, you body then becomes weaker, not stronger, and begins not only to manufacture less of that substance, but also to become more dependent on the outside source, which is usually the drug.

Unfortunately, no drug can give you insight into the circumstance that created your problems. At best, it can only temporarily reduce the physical pain created by your situation. A drug "cures" your symptoms at the expense of creating more potential symptoms down the road. For a while, you may be symptom-free, but soon enough new symptoms may emerge, requiring yet a more potent drug to deal with them.

According to Dr. John Tilden, author of Toxemia, the first and only cause of disease is toxemia, which is the accumulation of toxic wastes over a long period of time. In other words, toxicity retained and stored in our bodies is the common denominator for the causes of all human diseases. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Happiness Smoothie

Self-healing begins when you are wise and happy. Mental happiness and body wellness are interrelated. If you are happy, your body will heal faster. It’s just that simple.

But happiness is not easy to come by, especially when your mind is not prepared to receive it. The mind needs wisdom to create happiness thoughts to stimulate the brain cells to produce chemicals that make one happy. Genuine human happiness comes from human thoughts that are the components of human personality. Therefore,  understanding personality development may throw some light on why you are happy or unhappy.

According to the famous psychologist Erik Erikson, your personality has evolved through several decades of changes and experiences, resulting in who and what you have now become. Therefore, profound wisdom is to understand how those changes in your life have occurred and shaped your personality, and how adapting yourself to those changes now may still benefit you in the long run. In other words, human wisdom plays a pivotal role in human happiness, without which self-healing of the body and the mind is difficult, if not impossible. 

The Happiness Smoothie

This is a powerful Green Smoothie recipe for happiness, that naturally boosts your feelings of energy and happiness to a level that many people never get to experience. Is this for real? Each ingredient in this smoothie targets various areas of your brain to positively effect your mood, energy levels and overall well being. Imagine waking up tomorrow with a joyful, abundant, potent energy flowing through you.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, October 14, 2019

Control and Over-Doing


Controlling external events is futility because control is but an illusion based on expected results projected by the thinking mind into the future. Concentration on controlling makes it difficult to concentrate on doing the right things to make you live longer.

The TAO, which is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, looks upon the world as something to be accepted, and that involves invoking the profound but paradoxical wisdom of “action through inaction”—which is action based on acceptance of nature or the natural turn of events in life.

“Whenever we try to control,
we separate ourselves from our true nature.
Man proposes; the Creator disposes.
Life is sacred: it flows exactly as it should.
Trusting in the Creator, we return to our breathing,
natural and spontaneous, without conscious control.

In the same manner:
sometimes we have more,
sometimes we have less;
sometimes we exert ourselves,
sometimes we pull back;
sometimes we succeed,
sometimes we fail.

Trusting in the Creator, we see the comings and goings of things,
but without straining and striving to control them.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 29)

According to the TAO, everything in life must follow a natural cycle, whether we like it or not, and that we must be patient because nothing is within our control, especially our destinies.

”That which shrinks
must first expand.
That which fails,
must first be strong.
That which is cast down
must first be raised.
Before receiving, there must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 36)

Spontaneity is the essence of the natural cycle. What goes up must eventually come down; life begets death; day is followed by night—just like the cycle of the four seasons.

"Allowing things to come and go,
following their natural laws,
we gain everything.
Straining and striving,
we lose everything."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 48)

Intuition of spontaneity is an understanding of the impermanence of all things: nothing lasts no matter how we strive to keep the impermanent permanent, and everything remains only with that very present moment.

"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)

The bottom line: do what needs to be done, but without over-doing, which causes stress in everyday life and living.

Stephen Lau                             
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Wisdom of Centenarians

the wisdom of centenarians

The Ancient Centenarian: Luigi Cornaro

Luigi Cornaro, a Venetian nobleman, was one of the most celebrated centenarians, who lived from 1464 to 1566 AD.

In his youth, Luigi had abused his health with a lifestyle of wantonness and excess, resulting in an extremely weak constitution, accompanied by many physical ailments.

At the age of thirty-five, he was given up by his physicians to die. Luigi’s physicians prescribed a temperate lifestyle as the only way to end his suffering and preserve his very fragile life. That temperate lifestyle was essentially the exercise of self-restraint or self-discipline in relation to diet and drink for calorie restriction. His physician recommended for him a diet consisting of only twelve ounces a day of solid foods of bread, a vegetable soup with tomato, an egg yolk, and a little meat, divided into two meals, and fourteen ounces of pure grape juice, also divided into two servings.

He lived on that minimal diet of calorie restriction from age thirty-five until eighty-five, when his relatives began to urge him to eat a little more since he was getting old and he required more physical strength and stamina. Complying with and succumbing to their well wishes and importunities, Luigi reluctantly agreed to increase his food intake from twelve to fourteen ounces. Immediately, he became seriously ill with high fever. Eventually, Luigi had the longevity wisdom to revert to his former anti-aging living with a diet of calorie restriction. As a result, he lived in a state of unbroken health and happiness until the age of one hundred and two.

Luigi was famous for his longevity living in relation to calorie restriction. He expressed his wisdom in his discourse when he was in his eighties and nineties. His wisdom has been an inspiration for more than five centuries. His longevity wisdom was simple and down-to-earth: never overeat; avoid environmental stress, such as extreme heat and cold; and avoid extreme fatigue, and interruption of sleep.

The bottom line: you don't have to eat such a low-calorie diet of Luigi in order to live long; just eat less, and eat only when you are hungry.

The Contemporary Centenarian: Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, from Japan, turned 104 recently, and he is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. Since 1941, he has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke's College of Nursing. He has published around 15 books since his 75th birthday, including his bestseller "Living Long, Living Good."

As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life with the following wisdom he would like to share with all:

·  Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara stresses the importance of not becoming overweight.

·    For breakfast, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara drinks coffee, milk, and orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil, which is for healthy arteries and healthy skin. For lunch, he drinks milk with a few cookies. For dinner, he eats vegetables, a bit of fish and rice, and, sometimes some lean meat.

· He always keeps himself busy with a full schedule ahead. He recommends that any retirement should be a lot later than 65.

·       He shares what he knows—one of the reasons why he is still working and teaching. When he teaches, he always stands to stay strong.

·       He recommends having a second thought or always seeking a second opinion whenever a doctor recommends a test, a procedure, or a surgery.

·      He believes that doctors cannot cure everyone. Instead, he believes in music and animal therapy. 

·     He recommends taking the stairs and carrying your own stuff to stay healthier and younger for longer.

·  He uses doing fun things to forget his pain, both physical and emotional.

·    He recommends letting go of all material things because nobody knows when his or her number is up, and nothing can be taken to the next place.

·  He believes that each person is unique, and illness is therefore individualized. But medical science lumps all and sundry together; an individual should understand why he or she is sick, and not the doctor. Science alone cannot cure or help you; you must learn to help yourself.

·     He believes that life is always filled with unpredictable incidents. So, be prepared.

·       He stresses the importance of finding a role model to help with setting life goals and life purposes.

·      He believes that energy comes from doing good and feeling good, and not from good food or good sleep.

·   To Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, it is always wonderful to live long, and he loves every minute of it.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Your Golden Years


Believing You Can Still Make Waves

To be able to make new waves in the golden years, you must learn new things. It is a myth that you can never teach an old dog new tricks. You are not an old dog, so how do you know? Learn new things, such as the computer and the Internet technology, which is forever changing, keeping your mental capability updated. Learn how to play a new musical instrument; it not only helps your memory but also improves your coordination and dexterity. Learn a new language to enhance your auditory skills. Learn a new sport, such as golf, if you are not already playing it. Golf is an ideal sport for seniors because it is a game in which every player competes mostly against himself or herself and almost always loses—a valuable lesson to learn in the golden years. Write a book, or start blogging to share your own views and communicate with others.

There are so many areas where you can make a difference or still make waves, if only you believe you can. Just don’t keep your mind idle. Remember the expression: “An idle mind is the devil’s workplace.”
You can still make waves in the second half of your life if you set your mind to pursuing a life of meaning and finding a deeper meaning in whatever that comes your way. If you know what life in your golden years can offer, set simple goals to reach out for them, believe in yourself that you can still make waves, and they will be yours. This is how you can turn “age-ing” into “sage-ing.”

Believing in Santa Claus leads to believing in yourself, which may also lead to your believing in senior spirituality. It is a fact that most seniors become more spiritual as they continue to advance in age.

Man is born with a spirit: a conscience to know what is right and wrong, as well as a desire to connect with his Creator (or God’s desire to be connected with man). In the course of life, man may disregard the human conscience when he does evil, or may even suppress the innate desire to know his Creator when he purposely turns away from Him.

If, on the other hand, an individual does everything according to his or her conscience, that individual may still be considered “spiritual” even without displaying a desire to know the Creator. With that said, given that all human efforts are imperfect, it is almost impossible for any individual, without expressing his or her desire to connect with God, to remain spiritual for long without that divine connection. In other words, the spirituality based on the human conscience alone is not enduring and non-sustaining over time. Man somehow needs to seek bondage with his Creator.

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire; men cannot live without a spiritual life.” Buddha

At some point in your life, especially in your golden years, you may begin to sense your incompleteness, your loneliness, your profound limitations, your disillusion with human vanity, and you may begin to long for something or someone that can truly fill and satisfy you or your inner longing. In your youth, you might have turned to the world to gratify your wants and needs, such as successful careers, material comforts, and satisfying relationships, among others. Now, in your golden years, you may have realized that your past wayward pursuits were in vain—much like “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2, 11), and that you had deviated from your conscience and distanced yourself from spirituality.

Stephen Lau                 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

The Different Theories of Aging

THE DIFFERENT THEORIES OF AGING Scientists have come up with different theories explaining why and how you age. The free radi...