TAO in TAI CHI Exercise

Tai Chi exercise has much to do with TAO, which is a way of life -- a way to longevity living. TAO has been practiced in China for thousands of years.

What is the role of TAO in Tai Chi exercise?

TAO is all about spontaneity.

What is spontaneity?

In the universe, there is an all-controlling force that monitors everything. You breathe in life-giving oxygen, and breathe out life-destroying carbon dioxide. You eat, and you eliminate. You grow, mature, and die. In nature, spontaneity is evident in the change of seasons, and the cycle of day and night. Spontaneity is the natural built-in mechanism in each living organism. Spontaneity creates balance and harmony, which is the essence of Chinese health and healing, and hence longevity living. TAO embraces spontaneity in living.

The concepts and perceptions of health and fitness in China differ from those in the West. For example, nowadays, people in the Western world focus so much on physical fitness that the gym giants will do anything to keep you huffing, puffing, and paying. Unfortunately, there is also much pumping irony: too-strenuous and over-vigorous workouts may be harmful to your physical health. According to the American Journal of Cardiology, jogging is causing many runners to drop dead from heart attacks, and many individuals have experienced heart attacks even after running on a treadmill. So, too much of what is supposed to be “good” may not be good. TAO focuses on "less for more," instead of "more for less."

Chinese health focuses much on spontaneity, and never on extremity.

Lao Tzu explained, "The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world." You need not over-exert yourself in order to be physically fit. So, you do less for more-which is the wisdom of “non-doing” according to Lao Tzu-and not more for less.

Chinese exercises, such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong, are never vigorous. Once your breathing becomes abnormal or irregular over a long period, you lose the spontaneity of the exercise, and hence its health benefits.

Tai Chi is a self-relaxing exercise with slow and even movements coordinated with breathing and directed by a peaceful mind. Therefore, it is beneficial to both mental and physical health. Tai Chi can remove physical and spiritual ailments from your body and mind, and thereby clearing your mind and strengthening your brain. In addition, its spontaneity can promote good digestion and kidney health. Furthermore, Tai Chi exercises can help lower your blood pressure, soften your blood vessels, and regular the flow of qi (the internal vital energy) in your entire body.

Qi is internal vital energy, which is always in motion in the form of ascending, descending, entering and leaving your body's organs and systems. It nourishes not only your body by transforming food energy into blood, but also your blood by keeping it flowing. In addition, it helps maintain your body's temperature. Qi plays a vital role in Chinese health and healing.

Lao Tzu also said, "Qi is elusive and evasive, and yet it manifests itself." Accordingly, Tao manifests itself in longevity living.

Tai Chi exercises focus on correct posture, slow and spontaneous movements, and natural healthy breathing to enhance and promote the free flow of qi.

Your central nervous system is the most important system in your body: it receives vital information from outside and inside your body; it directs your body movements. Your central nervous system is healthy only if you keep your spinal column erect because vitality and blood circulation are transmitted efficiently from your lower body to your brain only when your spine is kept erect. Tai Chi exercises focus on a natural posture with an erect spine (children have naturally erect spinal columns; only adults, especially older people, have bent spinal columns).

Your digestive system is also important to your overall longevity living as it stores and supplies all nutrients for your body. Some of the characteristic movements of Tai Chi reinforce the expansion and contraction of your body in an opening and closing motion, thereby instrumental in vibrating and stimulating your stomach and intestines for a better and healthier digestive system.

Your respiratory system is also critical to your longevity living. In Tai Chi, breathing is valued more than physical power because it uses breathing, not muscular strength, to propel the movements of your body. Western physical exercises, on the other hand, emphasize muscular strength instead of the spontaneity of breathing and natural body movements. In Tai Chi, your mind directs the qi, letting it sink down into your abdomen, where natural breathing takes place. According to Tao wisdom, you breathe through your abdomen (like babies and young children), not through your lungs. This explains why people in the West limit their breathing to the lungs; as a result, their lungs tend to enlarge as they grow older, crowding their hearts, leading to heart disease and cardiovascular problems.

Your circulatory system is connected to your respiratory system. Tai Chi enhances your deep breathing, which guides your qi to move your blood (which cannot move by itself) to different parts of your body for transporting oxygen and nutrients. By regulating the circulation, Tai Chi exercises through natural movements and deep breathing provide a healthy heart for longevity living.

Hormones in your thyroid gland are responsible for physical growth of your body. In Tai Chi, you keep your neck erect without pressure, centered without inclining to the left or to the right; you integrate the slow and smooth movements of your head and neck. These natural and spontaneous movements not only enhance the activity of your thyroid gland but also act upon your kidneys to remove wastes for body detox.

In summary, you need the spontaneity of Tao expressed in physical movements as well as in natural breathing of Tai Chi exercises to reap physical health benefits to promote longevity health and wellness.

Remember, Tai Chi is all about movements to circulate your body invisible energy called qi. Smooth circulation of qi energy ensures a healthy body. Stagnant and blocked qi energy causes all sorts of chronic disease. Tai Chi is an ancient exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years as an effective alternative healing for the body and the mind. By strengthening the immune system, Tai Chi can improve your chronic disease slowly but steadily. More importantly, it can relieve your stress and calm your nerves.


For more information on Chinese health, go to: Chinese Health and Healing.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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TAO
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Anything and Everything
                                                                               TAO Wisdom

TAO is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago. Unlike Confucius, Lao Tzy had no disciple. Lao Tzu, who was on the verge of leaving China for Tibet, was stopped at the city gate, and was told that he had to put down his wisdom into words before he could leave the war-infested country. Reluctantly and defiantly, he put down his wisdom in exactly 50,000 words with no punctuation -- what is known as “Tao Te Ching.”  

Tao Te Ching had been interpreted by many different scholars over the centuries. Lao Tzu’s profound wisdom was spread worldwide and translated into multiple languages. In fact, Tao Te Ching has become one of the most translated books in world literature -- ranking with the Bible as one of the top ten.


                                                                     
TAO WISDOM BOOKS
TAO is the wisdom of Lau Tzu, the ancient sage from China. TAO comes from "Tao Te Ching" -- one of the most translated books in world literature due to its profound and controversial wisdom.
TAO is the Way to understanding Biblical wisdom, which is not only  inexplicable but also paradoxical. You have to believe in order to overcome your unbelief. So, human wisdom is the Way to spiritual wisdom.
One of the reasons why TAO has survived and thrived for centuries is that its wisdom is not only timeless but also universal. It demonstrates how to live your life, irrespective who and where you are.
Today many do not live in reality because they continue to commit the Seven Deadly Sins mentioned thousands of years ago. TAO explains how you can avoid and overcome those sins. Not living in reality is self-delusional and self-destructive.
About Ancient Wisdom
About Healing Wisdom
Myasthenia Gravis is one of the many autoimmune diseases that  attack a compromised immune system. According to conventional medicine, there is no known cure. But the author cured his own disorder through his own holistic approach.
According to TAO, healing begins with the mind, and not the body. Lao Tzu famously said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." But the healing journey has no destination in mind. Just diligently continue the journey, and you will ultimately reach your destination.
A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Instead, it is a life-learning lesson for self-discovery and health-recovery. Congratulations! It may be  a blessing in disguise.
Depression is common because people want everything their way or no way -- and this is the way to depression! Medication is not the way out of depression; the only way out is letting go of "my way or no way."
About Living Wisdom
Wisdom in living is understanding the impermanence of all things: that is, nothing lasts, and everything remains only with that very present moment; what goes up must also come down; life is inevitably followed by death.
Albert Einstein once said: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle."

Life is a miracle; even your breath is a miracle in itself. To live your life as if everything is a miracle, you need wisdom of the body, the mind, and the soul.
Free yourself from your self-delusions created by your self-consciousness of who and what you think you are. With the integration of both conventional and ancient wisdom, you may begin to live your life very differently.
An "empty mind with reverse thinking" may help you find out who you really are, and not who you wish you were. Accordingly, you may become a better and happier individual: you are in this world but not of this world.
Parenting is one of the objectives of life and living. Healthy pregnancy is a responsibility that covers a long period: before, during, and after pregnancy.
Parenting is a life-long obligation and responsibility.

Raising children is developing their potentials and personalities in a learning environment..
You cannot live without money, and money makes your world go round. But money is the No. 1 cause of divorce, and the source of all human evils and sins. So, get your money wisdom to survive and thrive.
Pursuing happiness is like "a carrot- and-stick in front of a mule" --  the more you strive to reach out for it, the more evasive it is, and the more painful it may become. So, get the happiness wisdom to live your life as if everything is a miracle.
About Balance-Harmony Wisdom
Stress comes from the ego-self, which demands attachments in life to define and  sustain the ego.  All  stressors in life contribute to imbalance and disharmony. So, with humility, let go of all attachments to live a stress-free life.
Nothing lasts. So, let go of anything and everything, both positive and  negative, as well as the present and the past, to live a stress-free lifestyle in balance and harmony.  
Live in the now. The past was gone,  the future is yet to come, and only the present is real. The present is a gift, and that is why it is called "present."
"Prayers are seldom answered" means "human expectations not fulfilled." All expectations are only memories of the past projected by the thinking mind into the future as "realities." So, live in reality.
About Aging Wisdom
Consciousness of living is everything in aging. If you are not conscious of your breath, you are not living at all. Consciousness is the pathway to longevity living.
How to survive in a toxic world with so much misinformation about aging? To thrive in this environment, you must have the wisdom to separate the sheep from the goat.
Growing old does not suck. Turn your senior years into golden years. Santa Claus may not be a magic-bullet solution to all your life problems and challenges, but he certainly may open unexpected doors for you in your golden years.
According to TAO, the end of anything is always the beginning of something else; the material world is forever filled with these cycles of beginnings and endings. Get the wisdom to intuit these cycles of balance and harmony so that you may continue the rest of your life journey and live as if everything is a miracle.
                                               TAO TEACHINGS 


An Empty Mind

TAO begins with having an empty mind, which is more than just "thinking out of the box": it is reverse thinking to create your own box of thinking. An empty mindset originated from Lao Tzu:

"An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)

So, you must have an empty mind before you can accept new and unconventional ideas. Likewise, to intuit true human wisdom, you must have an empty mind capable of reverse thinking.

An empty mindset may free you from the many shackles of life that may have enslaved you, keeping you in bondage without your knowing it. So, be the master, and not just a slave of your own life. Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living. Simplicity is clarity.

Mindfulness


Mindfulness is mental sharpness to know what is happening in the mind that brings about clarity of thinking, which is essential to human wisdom.

There is a close connection between the body and the mind. This body-mind connection in humans affects both the physical and the mental health of an individual, especially how that individual thinks and reacts.

Mindfulness begins with the body. Becoming mindful of your body in the present moment is putting your mind where your body is. This produces deep relaxation of both the body and mind -- an essential element for clarity of thinking that may be the pathway to attaining true human wisdom.

"watchful, like a man crossing a winter stream;
alert, like a man aware of danger;
courteous, like a visiting guest;
yielding, like ice about to melt;
simple, like a piece of uncarved wood;
hollow, like a cave;
opaque, like muddy water."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 15)

Living in the Now

According to Lao Tzu, only the present is real: the past was gone, and the future is uncertain and unpredictable. When the mind stays in the now, it does not see the ego-self because it does not exist in the present, and only in the deceptive mind.

In the now, with clarity of mind, you may see the ultimate truths of self, others, as well as of everything around you. More importantly, you may also see your past follies in identifying  yourself with your thoughts that have created your ego; you may also see your present efforts in striving to protect the ego created by yourself in the past, as well as your future futilities in expecting that your desires to sustain your ego will be fulfilled. 

Living in the now is an awakening to the realities of all things. 

"Living in the present moment,
we find natural contentment.
We do not seek a faster lifestyle,
or a better place to be.
We need the essentials of life,
not its extra trimmings.

Living in the present moment,
we focus on the experience of the moment.
Thus, we enjoy every aspect of simple living,
and find contentment in everyone and everything.

Living in contentment,
we grow old and die,
feeling contented."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 80)

The Natural Cycle

The truth of the matter is that everything in life must follow a natural cycle, whether you like it or not, and that you must be patient because nothing is within your control, especially your destiny.

”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)

"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)

No Judgment and No Separation

According to TAO, you should not judge others, nor should you separate yourself from others. Being non-judgmental holds the key to attaining balance and harmony in a world of chaos and disharmony.

No choosing and No Picking

Following the natural cycle of all things, you do not need to pick and choose. Picking and choosing is only sickness of the mind: the futility in striving to control what is essentially uncontrollable.

"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, chapter42)

Picking and choosing is synonymous with control of self, of others, and of everything around, which is against the laws of nature.

Controlling external events is futility.
Control is but an illusion.
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

"Fame or the self, which is dearer?
Self or wealth, which is greater?
Gain or loss, which is more painful?

Accumulating or letting go, which causes more suffering?
Looking for status and security, we find only suffering.
Knowing our true nature, we find joy and peace.
With nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to us."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 44)

Embracing everything is beneficial because it holds the key to enlightenment, which is the understanding of what TAO is all about..

No expectation and no over-doing

TAO emphasizes “wu-wei”, which means "no over-doing". Contrary to conventional wisdom, which focuses much on effort, TAO emphasizes "effortless" effort.

"The softest thing in the world
overcomes what seems to be the hardest.

That which has no form
penetrates what seems to be impenetrable.

That is why we exert effortless effort.
We act without over-doing.
We teach without arguing.

This is the Way to true wisdom.
This is not a popular way
because people prefer over-doing.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 43)

Humility and the Ego

If the TAO could be summarized in one word, it is the word "humility."

Humility is the enemy of the ego, while pride is its best friend. With humility, you see who you really are, and not who you think or wish you were. With humility, you become aligned with the Creator, who provides you the wisdom in living in this material world.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

                 A Novel

A love story in ancient China about a cock wedding -- a wedding with a cock, instead of the presence of the bridegroom.

It is a story of unrequited love, revenge, murder, and blood reincarnation. It provides deeper insight into and better understanding of the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang.
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

Mindfulness is stilling an unquiet mind to see the ultimate truths of self, as well as anything and everything around the self.
                                             THE ONENESS OF ALL LIFE


In this day and age, to live well is not easy. Contemporary wisdom may provide a blueprint for living, but that may be too inhibiting without giving you true freedom to live the life you want to live. You are not free so long as you indulge indiscriminately in your inclinations to succeed in your life at any cost. You must understand Nature's natural laws and abide by them in order to attain true freedom. TAO's oneness of all life was inclusive in that it was founded on basic realities of human nature itself. To pursue these realities is the essence in the art of living well.

Contemporary wisdom is exclusive -- even to the extent of wishing others fail so that one may succeed in life. In addition, it states that one must do this or do that in order to succeed and live well. TAO, on the other hand, focuses on doing whatever one has to do but with a sense of true freedom -- the recognition and realization of the wisdom in the oneness of all life.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life is based on one of the basic laws of Nature: that is, we are all inter-connected, just as the famous poet John Donne says: "No man is an island." This universal moral principle leads us to true and lasting freedom and wisdom in living. Once we understand that the life flowing in our veins is the same as that flowing in the veins of others, we will learn how to show love and compassion toward others. After all, we are all created in the image of God, and we are no more than expressions of God.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life frees you from the bondage of anger, competitiveness, disrespect, discrimination, envy, ridicule, and many other negative attitudes of the mind, which adversely influence how you live your life. Jesus' saying of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and Mahatma Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence must be understood in subtle ways. If you "kill" the enthusiasm of someone, you are "harming" that individual because you are in fact taking away the life within that individual. Remember, love and compassion are expressions of the oneness of all life -- a mental attitude that liberates human bondage from self-centeredness and gives freedom in the art of living well.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Getting married is what most people want. But getting married does not necessarily make you happy. It is not just what you want, but what you and your marriage partner need from each other in order to become happy and live a two-in-one life of accountability.
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Get the TAO wisdom to live every aspect of your daily life in balance and perfect harmony, including:   pursuing your careers, making your money, maintaining your good relationships, getting married, raising your children, health and healing, aging and dying. The TAO shows you how to live as if everything is a miracle.

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Get the wisdom to love yourself and others, such as self-acceptance and loving-kindness, as well as to help yourself and your marriage partner to survive and thrive in your marriage.

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              MONEY AND MARRIAGE

Money is not just about coins and dollars; it’s about anything and everything in your life that you may have knowingly or unknowingly attached a price tag in your mind.

Money is emotional. So, you must have your money wisdom to navigate that reality by creating your own money beliefs and money habits that may affect your emotions when you feel the abundance or the lack of money.

So, what‘re your money beliefs? Do you believe that money can buy you many things, if not everything? Do you believe in the power of money? Do you think that money can control your married partner?

What’re some of your money habits, such as the ways you earn and make your money, as well as the ways you save and spend your money earned? Do they give you security or insecurity?

What’re some of the obstacles to understanding money wisdom?

You may not attain your money wisdom if you’re already confronted with the following obstacles:

·You spend more than you earn. Do you have several unpaid credit cards?

·You buy things you don’t need with the money you don’t have. Take a look at your closet, your basement, or your garage. Are they all full of your stuff that you don’t really need?

·You think you need more money. You save and save. Money has become nothing but only security to you. Do you always worry a lot about your money insecurity?

·You want quick returns and big payoffs for your money. Do you often go to the casino, or buy the lottery?

·You go with the crowd when it comes to investment and spending. Do you often go shopping with a group of your dear friends?

·You aren’t truthful about money, because you always measure yourself on the basis of money. Are you always conscious of how people perceive what you wear or where you live?

·You’re uncomfortable about money, or you hate money because it’s the root of all evils. You never like to talk about money, do you?

To overcome the above obstacles, you must simply do exactly the opposite.

Once you can free yourself from the delusional and irrational money beliefs and habits, you’ll then begin to perceive how money really matters in your life, such that you’ll learn how to sell yourself, how to invest wisely, and how to make more money. You’ll be richer for life -- in every way. Once you’ve attained your money wisdom, you’ll then look at money with new perspectives and you’ll know how to make, save, and spend your money.

The reality is that money does play a pivotal role in a good and healthy marriage. But money is also the No.1 cause of divorce.

So, use your money beliefs wisely to survive and thrive in your marriage.

Relationship of love and money

What has love to do with your money?

Like many people, you may think that money makes the world go round. Actually, it’s love that makes the world go round, and not money. Everybody is chasing money and looking for ways of getting more. But without the vital ingredient of love, money will have little or no meaning.

How does love and your money equate?

The whole world out there is nothing more than a “projection” of what you feel inside you. Money is energy just like you, me, and everything else. You can have all the money in the world, and still be as miserable as sin.

Teaching your children about money management

It’s your responsibility as parent to teach your children money management and responsibility; you certainly don’t want them to learn it the hard way through their own life experiences.

So, teach your children the following starting at an early age:

Counting money

At age 4 to 5, teach your children to count coins. Kids love coins. Make them count and put them in their piggy banks. Also, teach them to recognize different dollar notes.

Money and daily chores

At age 6 to 7, give your children simple daily chores at home, and then reward them with money or allowance. Let them put their money in boxes labeled “saving”, “spending”, and “loving.”

If they want to buy something at a store, let them look at their money in the “spending” box to see if there’s sufficient money. If they wish to buy a gift for Mom’s or Dad’s birthday, let them go to the “loving” box to get the money.

You’re in fact teaching your children to earn, to save, to spend, as well as to love.

Different types of spending

Around age 10, introduce your children to different types of spending, such as buying goods or getting services done, buying due to needs versus wants, and buying with short-term goals versus long-term ones.

At age 15 to 18, prepare your teenagers for the real world of money. Teach them the concept of credit, including credit cards, credit score, as well as car loans, and student loans.

The reality

Growing up defines not only the kind of persons your children will become, but also shapes their destinies and steers them along their future life journeys.

Build a good foundation for financial literacy for your children, giving them the money wisdom to survive in a world of both abundance and lack. Teach them their own accountability to whatever they’re going to do with their money as they grow up.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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LOVE and MARRIAGE

THE TAO IN ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING

The Bible says wisdom is everything. "Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding." (Proverbs 3:13)

Without wisdom, there is no understanding.


But why is understanding important?


Without understanding, anything and everything in life may seem paradoxical and inexplicable. It is this mindset that may make many people "not living in reality" -- in their minds they only see "unfairness" and "inequality." This distorted mindset may even lead many to committing crimes and violence: "Why shouldn't I rob them who've the money that I don't have?" or "They too have broken the law, so why shouldn't I do the same?"


Biblical wisdom is about "accountability" to God, which will give you spiritual "understanding." But if you are not a believer, that "understanding" may be irrelevant to you.

Having said that, human wisdom is indispensable in contemporary living. Human wisdom is not the same as acquisition of knowledge; human wisdom is the application of what you feel and understand to your everyday life and living. So, being knowledgeable does not necessarily mean being wise.

The TAO is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago. The TAO has survived and thrived for thousands of years for a good reason: it is applicable to anything and everything in contemporary daily life. The TAO shows you all the hows and the whys of anything and everything happening in your life, including the following: growing up, receiving education, earning a living, making money, getting married, starting a family, raising children, staying healthy, growing old, and dying.

The TAO helps you confront all your daily challenges, and live in balance and harmony.

Click here to get your book.

Stephen Lau


More Wisdom Tips
                                                            
       
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HABITS

Good life habits include: living in the present moment; developing body and mind awareness; embracing right conduct and positive thinking.

According to Aristotle, we are what we repeatedly do; therefore, excellence is also a habit that can be cultivated.

Morning Rituals

Morning rituals may help you with your patience and perseverance. In addition, if morning rituals help you win the morning, it may also help you win the rest of the day as well.

Role models

Oprah Winfrey starts her morning with her meditation to prepare her day mentally with joy and meaning. Next, she exercises on the treadmill, and then goes for a brisk walk to boost her energy levels. She concludes her morning ritual by eating a healthy breakfast.

The morning ritual for the late Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., was simple: every morning, he would look at himself in the mirror and ask: “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I'm about to do today?”

Wake up rit
ual

Research studies have shown that most heart attacks occur in the morning due to the sudden changes from sleep to wakefulness.

Follow the ancient Chinese Taoist monks’ rituals of waking up to have a clear mind and a healthy body:

Use your fingertips to massage your ears, eyes, lips, and nose.

Gently tap your scalp with your hands.

With a continual stroking action, massage your shoulders, elbows, hands, chest, abdomen, knees, and feet.

With your palms, massage your lower back.

Then inhale vigorously through your nose, and exhale forcefully through your mouth several times in order to rid your body of toxis.

Stretches

Stretches are important to health and wellness  because they not only eliminate muscle pain but also promote muscle flexibility, which goes a long way to preventing falls, which are common among the elderly. Use stretches to "wake up" your senses and vitalize your body for wellness.

Dr. Robert Oexman
, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, said that stretching your back prevents slipped discs, which often occur within an hour after waking up, because people get out of bed too soon and too quickly without giving the rested body time to adjust.

Extend your arms over your head and extend your legs as far as possible, as evidenced by the stretch in the tips of your fingers and toes.

Meanwhile, inhale deeply through your nose.

Then breathe out deeply and slowly while drawing your arms down along the side your body with your palms facing up. You will feel full relaxation in your legs. Repeat the stretches several times to energize as well as to relax your body.

Kne
e hugs

Do a single knee hug:

Bring your knee into your chest.

Massage your hip joint by moving your leg in circles in both directions.

Repeat with the other knee.

Do a double knee hug:

Lie on your back. Bend both knees.

Use both hands to pull your knees toward your chest, and breathe naturally.

Hold for one to two minutes, and relax.

Hug both knees into your chest, raising your nose to your knees as much as possible.

Now relax your body and let your knees fall gently down to either side.

Repeat the whole process several times for stretch and relaxation.

Making saliva

As soon as you get out of bed, practice the ritual of making your own saliva, which is your body's own built-in self-made fluid for self-defense against viruses and infections. Harness the power of this miracle fluid to make your own saliva as much as possible.

On waking up each morning, stand erect.

Gently exhale through the mouth three times to rid your body of toxins accumulated during your sleep.

Close your mouth, and begin hitting your teeth for 30 seconds as if you were chewing food in your mouth.

Then, slowly massage your teeth with your tongue for 30 seconds.

By then, your mouth should have generated some saliva. Do not swallow it immediately. Instead, close your eyes, and visualize that your are swallowing the saliva, and it is slowly dripping down to the dan tian, the "energy center" of your body, which is located in the lower abdomen between the navel and the pubic bone. The dan tian is also a source of power for physical energy, sexual vitality, and inner power as emphasized by the Chinese Qi Gong exercise.

Now, slowly swallow your saliva.

According to Eastern medicine, human saliva has miraculous healing power. Research in a recent Japanese study indicated that saliva can even fight cancer cells in rats and other animals.

For thousands of years, Chinese physicians have believed that saliva has all the ingredients for longevity and overall wellness due to its inherent benefits on the five human organs: the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Saliva is anti-aging because it promotes cell growth and cell division.

Mouth cleaning

For natural oral health, clean your mouth with sesame oil.

To remove a film of impurities from your tongue, gargle a tablespoonful of warm sesame oil for a minute or two; spit out the oil.

Use a tongue scraper to scrape your tongue until all the white coating is gone.

Gently massage your gums with your fingers.

Use warm sesame oil for oral hygiene, instead of the harsh commercial mouthwash. Sesame oil helps you purify your colon as well as improve your digestion. Sesame oil is especially good for removing harmful bacteria from your mouth and preventing gum disease. Research studies have shown that swishing and gargling sesame oil is best for gum disease and cavity for better oral health. In addition, sesame oil has the benefits of strengthening your jaws, preventing cracked lips and sore throat.

Meditation

Good Habits

Positive Thinking

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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