from part of a 9-foot painting by Stephen Lau
Chinese Natural Healing
THE PILLAR OF STRESS CONTROL
There are many life stressors, which are roadblocks to natural healing. Be mindless of these life stressors.
Mindless of Aging
Be mindless of aging. Forget about your age. Do not become too conscious of or concerned about your age. According to Chinese philosophy, if you cannot combat something, then blend with it, or simply yield to it.
Stress control is understanding how and why you age. Do not let aging be one of life stressors!
How you age is a result of how you have lived, an accumulation of the right and wrong things you have done to your life. Do not look back with regret, or look forward with fear. Stress control is dispelling your worry about aging and fear of death.
Why you age
Aging is a disease, not a natural process caused by reduced intake of nutrients due to depletion of enzymes (aiding digestion); accumulation of toxins from the environment and processed foods; decreased metabolism, thereby increasing physical inactivity; reduced lung capacity restricting oxygen supply to the body; and free radicals attacking and damaging cells and organs.
Anti-aging remedies for stress control
To increase your enzymes for better digestion, change the method of cooking: steaming your food may preserve more enzymes.
Also, you may occasionally go on a raw diet to preserve enzymes for health rejuvenation and natural healing. However, Chinese medicine does not favor eating raw too much.
To remove accumulated toxins from your body, go to detoxification in The Pillar of Healthy Living.
To promote metabolism, exercise regularly, such as Yoga or Qi Gong
To enhance qi (internal life energy) circulation, practice breathing and meditation. For more information on meditation, go to my website Meditation Techniques.
To protect healthy cells from the damage of free radicals, maintain a balanced acid and alkaline level. Make sure your cells will regenerate, not degenerate, for natural healing.
Alkalize your diet for optimum cell regeneration for natural healing.
Remember, cosmetics and Botox™ do not reverse aging; they just mask the effects of aging. However, your body is infinitely renewable and forgivable of the wrong things you might have done to it over the years.
Factors delaying your aging for better stress control
Factors that may delay, if not reverse, aging are:
Genes determine how you age. Even if you don’t have good genes, you can make up for them through a healthy lifestyle.
Zen wisdom focusing on living in the present is the most effective stress control. (Zen is the Oriental practice of emptying the mind through awareness and meditation.)
Humor is free healthful medicine. Learn to develop a sense of humor to eliminate life stressors in any situation.
Intellectual curiosity is the pursuit of truths in everyday living through awareness and meditation, which disciplines your mind for stress control. (Go to The Pillar of Mind Power.)
Healthy relationships, born of compassion, love, kindness, form the foundation of a healthy lifestyle for natural healing.
Marriage enhances disease survival. According to research at the Veteran Administration Medical Center in Miami, individuals who were married lived longer than those who either were never married, or were separated or divorced. Companionship is good medicine for disease survival.
Separation is more detrimental and devastating to health than divorce.
Unhealthy love relationships are life stressors to avoid for natural healing. (Go to The Pillar of Mindfulness to find out how to develop a healthy love relationship to enhance stress control.)
According to Buddha, aging and death are two of the four phases of existence (birth, aging, disease, and death). Aging is as inevitable as death. Being mindless of aging is stress control. Embrace aging to reflect on the meaning of life, instead of letting aging be one of your life stressors.
Forgetting Weight Control Problem
Weight control holds the key to a healthy lifestyle; it is the soul of your well-being. An ideal body weight is anti-aging. Losing a few extra pounds may add a few extra years to your lifespan. Weight control has become such an obsession to many that it has become one of their life stressors
Maybe you, too, may have a weight control problem, just like many people. In fact, weight control is of such paramount importance that Americans are spending billions of dollars every year just to keep them in better shape. Sadly, many are lost in this battle of the bulge.
Why is that?
Zen wisdom is succinctly expressed in the following Zen poem:
The sage keeps to the beginning to discover the end.
And finds without seeking;
Arrives without leaving;
Does without doing;
And knows without understanding."
Zen wisdom underscores the spontaneity of things. If you focus too much on "weight control" you may become obsessed with "wanting to lose weight" instead of actually "losing" it.
Remember, weight control is no more than an experience of self-discovery -- the discovery of your body's needs.
So forget about losing weight! Focusing on losing weight is like running after a carrot stick -- it is forever frustrating and futile. Zen wisdom requires you to make losing weight a process, never a goal in your life.
There is a saying: "If you seek Buddha, you will lose Buddha." It is profound wisdom of consciousness without being self-conscious -- the way of Zen. Spontaneity holds the key to stress control in life.
To illustrate, if you desire success in anything, focus on the process of your pursuit, not its outcome.
Or, in the case of creativity, let it come on its own -- it may happen when you give up trying to do it However, it doesn't mean you don't do it; quite the contrary, you are being present, being available when it happens, and, more importantly, you have the wisdom to know that. And if it comes, it will come spontaneously without your conscious effort of making it happen. In this way, it effectively removes all unnecessary stressors because your focus is on the process not the result. It is tantamount to the wisdom of "doing your best and let God do the rest." This profound wisdom in the way of Zen provides stress control in your life.
Zen wisdom may help you remove many life stressors in contemporary life, including your obsession with weight control.
Truthfully, weight control is important, but not your body weight. The bathroom scale just indicates your body weight, and that is all there is to it. It does not tell you how much fat or muscle you may have lost during a given diet. It may not even tell if you are healthy or not, unless you are grossly overweight. Therefore, do not become obsessed with your body weight. After all, your body weight always fluctuates -- which is a fact, and which is very normal.
When you go on any diet to lose weight, your body’s metabolism immediately starts to react and to slow down, and that accounts for the initial weight loss in any diet program -- so do not be overjoyed and jump to the conclusion that the diet program works. It is only a self-delusion: initially, your body loses only water, not your body fat.
Even when you go on a fast, you lose weight, but you will gain back all the weight lost once you resume eating. The only difference is that in fasting, your metabolism may make some long-term changes that will ultimately benefit your weight control. Given that lean muscle mass requires calories at times of rest, the amount of muscle you maintain directly affects your metabolism in a positive way. You burn calories while you sleep.
In other words, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism rate is, and the more calories you will burn. The converse is also true: as you lose your muscle mass, your metabolism rate decreases, and so does your weight-loss rate. On the other hand, fat, being inert, has little or no impact whatsoever on the body rate of metabolism. These are some of the fundamentals of weight control.
The maximum amount of weight (fat or muscle) you can actually lose in one day is about one half pound. Since your body is about 60 percent water and one gallon of water weighs approximately eight pounds, any additional weight loss greater than one half pound may only be water, and not your body fat. Therefore, when your body replaces the water lost, weight gain will re-occur, and you are right back to where you started at an unhealthy weight. Does that sound familiar to you in your futile attempts to lose weight? Do not become obsessed with weight control, such that it becomes one your life stressors.
In weight control, counting calories is not only difficult but also inaccurate, because foods are not mathematic values that can be accurately quantified. The biochemical differences in different foods account for discrepancies in counting calories in foods.
In addition, calculating an individual’s daily caloric need is equally unreliable, since each individual’s biochemical and genetic makeup is uniquely different. The minimum energy used for circulation, digestion, glandular activities, and respiration also varies in different individuals due to the differences in metabolism affected by age, sex, health, body weight, and other factors.
Given that counting and calculating your calories are difficult to determine precisely and often misleading, calories charts are not only inexact but also irrelevant in your weight loss. So forget about counting calories! Counting calories will drive you crazy! Do not waste time in the game of numbers, which you will lose anyhow!
According to Zen wisdom, you eat naturally, and your body will find its natural weight effortlessly -- provided it is healthy, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Any unnatural attempt to manipulate your body's metabolism to achieve the goal of weight loss will be creating life stressors of disappointment and frustration.
Abandoning the Love of Money
Unlike olden days, money is important to healthy living. For one thing, financial freedom facilitates you to adapt to changes as you age.
You need money to live, to retire, and to survive. It is a blessing if you already have enough.
If you don’t have enough money and you are no longer young, go and visit my website to find out how you can supplement your medical expenses:
If you need to augment your income, there are many other ways.
Although money is an essential factor of human beings to survive today, you should not love money. The love of money may become one of the big life stressors that prevent natural healing. Abandoning your love of money is the first step in stress control in your life.
Today, people have many needs, and many products have increased their needs. Science and technology have created their cravings.
Over the centuries, society has changed, but the basic human needs are the same, as Buddha pointed out. Clothes, food, shelter, and medicine remain the same basic needs of human beings.
According to Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, human happiness could be achieved only by limiting the needs of man, and Buddha concurred. This is the way to stress control.
How do you become mindless of the love of money in a materialistic world?
According to Buddha, you have to let go of your ego-self, which is essentially your "no-self" because it simply does not exist, except in your mind. Once you can let go of the ego-self, you become nothing, and then you can be anything, because you will have become enlightened: money is no more than a symbol of happiness with its abstraction expressed in power and status.
To put it in another perspective, having "no-self" does not mean you need to negate or deny your intentions or motivations in matters of money. Buddhism is NOT about self-denial: it is about the wisdom of knowing the impermanence of material things and therefore the non-attachment to them. Essentially, you hold your intentions and motivations in "emptiness" -- with deep acceptance and understanding of them, allowing them their natural energy, but with "no attachment" to them. This enlightenment means everything going on in yourself, such as sensations, thoughts, and sufferings, and more specifically, your love of money, is impermanent and insubstantial. With enlightenment, you will change your perception of what you really are, and, more importantly, the insignificance of your attachment to all material things, including your love of money.
Stress control is abandoning the love of money, which is the fountainhead of human miseries, according to Buddha.
In Buddhism, mindfulness holds the key to liberation from the love of money, which is the root of all miseries, and which is one of the most common life stressors in modern living. One suffers by wanting things one does not have, and having things one does not need. This insatiable desire comes in the form of craving (wanting things one does not have), aversion (having things one does not need), and ignorance (delusional self-preoccupation). However, mindfulness can overcome unhealthy human desire through generosity, love, and wisdom, attained through meditation. Stress control is abandoning your inordinate love of money. Go to The Pillar of Mindfulness.
Mindless of Life’s Problems and Worries
According to the way of Zen, life is never a problem, and life should have no worries. But your mind may have created all the problems in your life.
To illustrate, when a thought or a feeling makes you uncomfortable, consciously or subconsciously, you do not want to cope with it. You may choose to ignore or forget it, thereby enabling you to focus on something else. Unfortunately, this initiates your addiction to other things as a means to suppressing or alleviating the pain caused by the initial problem. Your addiction may lead to more problems. Logically, any problem requires a solution. Your thinking mind presents you with a number of solutions to your problems. Your rational mind then begins to analyze and choose, and in the process may create many undue life stressors, such as not knowing how to choose or regretting over the wrong choice.
The way of Zen is living in the present moment and focusing on what your are doing rather than on the outcome -- a way for stress control, paving the way for natural healing and health rejuvenation.
Stress control is critical to the physical, mental, and spiritual wellness of an individual, which initiates and harnesses the innate power of natural healing.
Exercise, too, is an excellent de-stressor. Exercise all your life to maintain mobility for longevity.
No Ego No Stress
Your ego is one of the major stressors in life.
Why? It is because your ego tells you to become the person you want to be. It is this wishful thinking that creates the stress in your life. So be the person you really are and not the person you wish your were. Your ego stems from your desires and expectations, based on your past experiences and your comparisons of self with others. To get what you want, you begin to pick and choose -- picking what you think may satisfy your desires and fulfilling your expectations, and choosing what you think may avoid your failures and disappointments. In the process, you make wrong choices, leading to distress and frustration, and that is how you create your stress.
The bottom line: no ego, no stress. Let go of your ego. To do just that, you need Tao wisdom, the wisdom from the ancient sage Lao Tzu from China.
NO EGO NO STRESS. Learn and understand the ancient human wisdom from China to eliminate all stress in your everyday living.
This book also includes the author's own translation and interpretation of the immortal ancient classic "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu.
To get your digital download, click here; to get your paperback, click here.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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