Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Longevity Challenge


The Longevity Challenge

One of the ironies of life is that on the one hand you may want to live long, while on the other hand you are afraid of longevity. Getting old is a new experience: it is quite different from what you imagined when you were young. You don’t know what getting old is really like until you have become old.

To many, longevity may not be a blessing because there are many challenging thoughts that come with longevity.


Physically, you will have aches and pains and short breaths if you live long enough. But it is what you think about what you are experiencing when you are getting old that really matters to you. It is always Getting old makes you confront the big questions of self-enlightenment, of life’s deeper meanings, and, inevitably, of death itself. Ruminating these questions may become a daily challenge; it is always a matter of mind over matter.



You may still be in good health and in good shape. However, back in your mind, there lurks the challenging thought that everything will not continue the way it is indefinitely: at some point in time your health will deteriorate, and with its deterioration, everything in your life may fall apart. It is this challenging thought of unwelcome changes arriving suddenly and without warning that unnerves you. Suddenly, you are confronted with the naked truth that all that remains in your life is nothingness, except death, which will turn you into nothingness.



In life, you have opened as many doors as you have closed. You may have the challenging thought that this may be the one final door you will open, and then it will be closed on you for good.



Another challenge of getting old is retirement. Many have deferred their retirements for as long as they possibly can. Retirement is not for everybody. For many, the career itself has been all their dreams and goals, and there has been little life beyond their jobs. There is a saying: “The more of a somebody you once were, the more difficult it is to revert to being a nobody.” If you happen to be one of these individuals, retirement is rude awakening. Retirement is adding insult to the injury of getting old.



No matter what, the challenging thoughts of longevity may be overwhelming to many. To distract yourself from these challenging thoughts of having to live long, take the following advice:



(1) Appreciate your life—each day is precious to you. Live in the present moment.



(2) Count your blessings—look in perspective at every problem related to longevity.



(3) Spend more time close to nature—watch the clouds, the sunrise and sunset; listen to the wind, and the sound of water lapping against the shore.



Learn to meditate. Meditation not only relaxes your body and mind, but also presents insight into the meaning of longevity. Learn the simple techniques of meditation.


Longevity may be challenging, but you will be able to cross the bridge when you come to it.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 19, 2018

Alternate-Nostril Breathing for Healthy Vision


 Alternate-Nostril Breathing for Healthy Vision 

As you continue to age, your vision deteriorates. To slow down the process, breathing right may help: correct breathing provides more oxygen to your brain and your eyes. In addition, correct breathing also relaxes your mind, and hence your eyes. Eye relaxation is critical to vision health.

Alternate-nostril breathing is a basic Yoga breathing exercise to balance the right side and the left side of your brain.

The left side of your brain governs the right side of your body, including your speech and logical thinking, while the right side of your brain governs the left side of your body, including your creativity and intuition. Achieving balance and harmony between the two sides of your brain is critical to mind healing for deep relaxation. You can balance your mental energy from the right and the left side of the brain through practicing alternate-nostril breathing during meditation, or anytime when you want to relax your eyes.

Place your thumb and ring finger lightly on your right and your left nostrils, respectively, with your index and middle fingers resting lightly on your forehead between your eyebrows.

Exhale deeply through both nostrils.

Press your thumb against the RIGHT nostril to CLOSE it.

Breathe in through your LEFT nostril. Count 8.

CLOSE your LEFT nostril by pressing down your ring finger. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4.

OPEN your RIGHT nostril, and breathe out. Count 8.

With the LEFT nostril still CLOSED, breathe in through the RIGHT nostril. Count 8.

CLOSE the RIGHT nostril. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4

OPEN the LEFT nostril, and breathe out with the RIGHT nostril still closed. Count 8

Repeat the above process.

Here is a summary of alternate-nostril breathing:

Breathe out through BOTH nostrils.

Breathe in through the LEFT nostril (count 8).

Close BOTH nostrils, and retain air (count 4).

Breathe out through the RIGHT nostril (count 8).

Breathe in through the RIGHT nostril (count 8).

Close BOTH nostrils, and retain air (count 4).

Breathe out through the LEFT nostril (count 8).

Repeat.

Remember, breathing holds the key to relaxation of the mind and the eyes.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Super-Aging with the FiveTibetan Rites

What are the Five Tibetan Rites? 

Thousands of years ago, Tibetan monks in the Himalayas discovered the fountain of youth, vitality, and longevity: they condensed and modified more than twenty yoga exercises into five—now known as the Five Tibetan Rites.

This innovative yogic system of exercises is instrumental in energizing the entire body system for rejuvenation and longevity. 

The basic concept of the Five Tibetan Rites 

According to ancient healers in the East, the body has seven principal energy centers, which control the seven endocrine glands. Recent medical research has attested to the fact that the aging process is hormone-regulated. Therefore, enhancing the seven endocrine glands and normalizing hormonal imbalances in the body through energizing postures and exercises may hold the key to lasting youth, health, and vitality. However, to reap the full health benefits of the Tibetan Rites, it is important to practice them with a relaxed body and mind. In addition, a full natural and relaxed breath is essential. 

The anti-aging health benefits of the Five Tibetan Rites

The Five Tibetan Rites are anti-aging. In essence, the Tibetan Rites are one of the best-kept secrets for improving overall physical and mental health. In addition to enhancing the endocrine glands to balance the body’s hormones, the Tibetan Rites relieve muscular tension and nervous stress, both of which are damaging to long-term health. Furthermore, the focus on relaxed respiration not only enhances the senses but also harnesses vital life energy (known as qi) for self-transformation, which prepares the groundwork for any self-healing process.

The Tibetan Rites promote youthfulness in that they successfully eliminate double chins within a month or two. They also reduce midriff bulge and tighten the abdomen. In short, they provide a more youthful look.

The postures and exercises of the anti-aging Five Tibetan Rites are easy and enjoyable to practice. It takes less than 20 minutes to do the full 21 rotations of each of these rites. 

The First Tibetan Rite

  • Stand tall and erect.
  • Breathe naturally and slowly.
  • Stretch out your arms sideways so that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Now slowly spin your body around in a clockwise direction (3 to 21 repetitions).
  • Stop if you feel dizzy.
 The Second Tibetan Rite

  • Lie flat with your back on the floor.
  • Fully extend your arms along your sides, with your palms against the floor, and your fingers closed together.
  • Breathe in slowly.
  • With chins tucked in, gently raised your head from the floor. Meanwhile, lift both of your legs, keeping your knees straight, into a vertical position from the floor.
  • Slightly tilt your legs a little back over your body towards your head, while keeping your knees straight.
  • Breathe out slowly.
  • Now, slowly lower your head and your legs, returning them to their original positions.
 The Third Tibetan Rite

  • With your body erect, kneel on the floor, with your hands against your thighs.
  • Incline your head forward, with your chins tucked in against your chest.
  • Breathe in slowly.
  • Now, gently pull your head and neck backward, arching your spine. If necessary, press your hands against you thighs for support.
  • Breathe out slowly.
  • Return your body to the original position.
 The Fourth Tibetan Rite

  • Sit erect on the floor with your feet extended out in front of you (about 12 inches apart).
  • Place your hands, palms against the floor, next to your buttocks.
  • Tuck your chin forward, and then drop your head backward as far as it can go.
  • Breathe in slowly.
  • Now, raise your whole body, with straight arms, and bent knees. Your trunk should be in a straight line with your upper legs, horizontal to the floor.
  • Hold your breath while you tense every muscle in your body.
  • Breathe out slowly as you return your body to the floor.
 The Fifth Tibetan Rite

  •  Place your hands on the floor (about 2 feet apart).
  •  Stretch and extend your legs to the rear (about 2 feet apart)
  • Breathe in slowly.
  • Push your body up as far as possible, with your toes in a flexed position. Support your body with your hands and palms against the floor. Your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the floor, while your legs should be straight and parallel to the floor. Your whole body should be in a sagging position.
  • Breathe out slowly.
  • Now, pull your head backward as far as possible. Then bend your hips and bring your body up into an inverted “V” position, while bringing your chin forward, tucking it against your chest.
Stephen Lau 
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Longevity Organs


If you wish to live longer, take care of your kidneys.

In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the longevity organs.

When your kidneys receive the blood, they process it by removing the wastes, and then return the processed blood to the body, with the toxic substances ending up in the urine to be excreted from your body through the urethra.

In addition to filtering toxins in the blood and lymph, the kidneys are also instrumental in regulating the acid-alkaline level (pH) in your body. A balanced acid-alkaline level is a must for optimum health because it controls your body metabolism and balances your body chemistry.

Furthermore, the kidneys stimulate the production of red blood cells in your body, and maintain optimum blood pressure.

 Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 5, 2018

Meditative Mindfulness


Meditative Mindfulness

According to studies, meditation can make you live longer. Some big corporate companies are now providing free lessons of meditation to help their staff members to cope with work stress, as well as to enhance their work performance, and to reduce the medical costs due to sickness.

There are many reasons for meditation: relaxation, clarity of mind, and spiritual connection, among others. No matter what the reasons may be, the main focus of meditation is on meditative awarenessmindfulness of what is happening at the present moment, such as breathing, bodily sensations, and mental thoughts. Without this acute meditative awareness or mindfulness, there is no relaxation of the body and the mind, or the spiritual connection to a Higher Being.

Meditation is finding the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness—so quiet that you can almost hear it—that forms a link between you and your sensations and thoughts. Meditation is all about re-focusing the mind on what is important and what is irrelevant or insignificant. In other words, through awareness, meditation prioritizes and changes perspectives regarding what is happening in life. Essentially, you begin to become aware of your adaptation to cope with the mundane world, such as dealing with attitudes and behaviors, as well as pain and stress. Through clarity of mind, you also begin to know yourself better, such as the reasons for your anger; you may even have spiritual enlightenment, such as perception of the purpose of your existence. In brief, meditation is a mental training of meditative awareness or mindfulness of breathing, physical sensations, and mental thoughts, and the perception of timelessness, focusing only on the present moment or what is “real” at that present moment.

Meditation has its practical application in everyday living for life. Meditation heals both the body and the mind if you can bring all attributes and benefits of meditation to your day-to-day world. 

By training your meditative awareness only to remain present in whatever activity you undertake in real life, you will find yourself right in the center of that activity you are engaging in. In this way, you will be doing your very best, and meanwhile getting the greatest satisfaction from doing so.

To illustrate, say, you are doing a mundane everyday chore, such as washing the dishes or taking out the trash; you may not like what you are doing, but you are doing it anyway just because you have to. If you have had training in meditation, you will know how to keep uninvited thoughts to a minimum while you are doing the dishes or taking out the trash, and thus enabling you to be in the center of what you are experiencing and to do it without distraction. A mind trained in meditation leads to a state of stillness that can be maintained no matter what you do, or what is happening around you. This is the power of meditation.

The principles of meditation can be applied to any non-meditating part of your everyday life, such as walking.

As you begin walking, let go of thoughts of the outside world.

Focus on your breathing: listen to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out.

Make your walk slow and purposeful.

As you walk, observe each step that you make. Notice all the physical sensations of your feet, as well as the way your arms swing back and forth, brushing against your body.

If uninvited thoughts come, re-focus your awareness on your breathing and physical sensations.

In this way, you can turn any everyday activity into meditative nature in order to enhance your awareness and clarity of mind, which can be life transforming.  Not only your senses come to life, but also you see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life. Seeing things in perspective will help you let go of things you found most difficult to let go in the past.

Practice meditative awareness in your everyday activities in order to enhance your self-healing power of the body and the mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Liver Health the Chinese Way


Liver Health the Chinese Way

Chinese medicine is about qi, which is internal life energy coursing through the meridians in the body in order to bring oxygen and nutrients to different body organs and tissues. Qi is the invisible energy that flows through not just the human body but also the universe; the human body is but a microcosm of the universe. Therefore, if the flow of qi is disrupted for any reason, the entire body system will be in jeopardy.

The liver is responsible for promoting the smooth flow of qi and "blood" throughout the body. In Chinese medicine, liver health is longevity health because a healthy liver maintains the overall wellness of an individual. In Chinese medicine, "blood" is quite different from that observed in Western medicine. To the Chinese, "blood" serves three major functions in the body system:

1. It nourishes the body by providing nutrients. After your food and drink are digested in you stomach, they are extracted by your spleen and transformed into "blood."

2. It moistens and lubricates the body by giving it movement and flexibility in the form of qi.

3. It stabilizes the mind, making your thoughts clear and stable.
In Chinese medicine, a healthy liver regulates the amount of blood circulation. If you are active, your liver will produce and release more blood, and your blood flow will be strong and flexible. If our liver is impaired, your blood flow will be disrupted. Liver disharmony, due to liver damage, often leads to emotional disharmony, such as anger and sudden outbursts. Emotional problems are often stress-related. People suffering from mental depression often have a weak liver constitution.

Because liver function affects your blood, liver problems also have an adverse impact on tendons, that is, your movements and flexibility. Liver problems are manifested in your nails and your eyes. Nails are seen by the Chinese as tendons. Good liver health is indicated by strong nails, and liver problems result in pale and brittle nails. Your eyes, considered by the Chinese as "windows" of your internal health, require nourishment of your liver. A healthy liver gives you good vision, while liver damage results in inability to see clearly, both visually and mentally.

Do not damage your liver with alcohol. If you have a drinking problem, stop alcohol addiction right away. 

For more information on Chinese health and healing, visit my web site: Chinese Natural Healing.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 20108 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The pursuit of human happiness is forever elusive and evasive. Why? It requires human wisdom to ask the right questions, and spiritual wisdom to seek self-enlightening answers to the questions asked throughout our life journey.

Human wisdom comes from the mind: an empty mindset with reverse thinking; mindfulness living in the present with no expectation and no picking; and spontaneity with understanding of the natural cycle of all things, that is, what goes up must also come down. The ancient Tao wisdom from China may enhance human wisdom.

With human wisdom, one may see the wisdom of letting go of all attachments in the material world. Attachments are the raw materials with which we often create the self-delusive realities of the ego-self. Letting go of the ego and all its attachments may let us see the true nature of everything: who we really are, not who we wish we were, and what we really need, not what we desire.

The ego is the human flaw that not only undermines the natural human wisdom but also distorts the lens through which we see the world around us. Therefore, we need spiritual wisdom to complement the inadequate human wisdom, to guide the soul on our life journey. Spiritual wisdom can only be attained through trust and obedience to the Creator, which is letting go to let God.

The above is what this book is all about.

If this book is right for you, you can get it from AMAZON. Click here for the digital copy and here for the paperback edition.


Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

The Longevity Challenge

The Longevity Challenge One of the ironies of life is that on the one hand you may want to live long, while on the other hand you are ...