Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Learn How to Increase Peripheral Vision

The macula in the center of the retina is responsible for detailed vision. Overuse of the central vision leads to weakening of the macula, resulting in much loss of detailed vision.

Increasing peripheral vision will decrease the use of central vision, and hence instrumental in protecting the macula and enhancing detailed vision, which is critical to good vision.

Cut small black rectangular cards in different sizes (2”x 2”; 2”x3”; 2”x5”) from construction paper. Tape the card to the top of the bridge of your nose, covering part of both eyes.   

Sit or stand, and look through the smallest black rectangular card in front of your eyes, while turning your head from side to side.

Notice that your surrounding seems to be “moving” in the opposite direction.

Stop turning your head, and close your eyes for a minute or two. Now, visualize the previous “moving surrounding” in your mind’s eye.

Open your eyes again, and move or wave your hands on both sides of your ears. Notice your moving hands, which are now stimulating your peripheral cells.

Stop waving your hands, and close your eyes. Now, visualize the movement of your hands in your mind’s eye.

Repeat the above with the mid-size and then the large-size black rectangular cards. 

By partially covering the eyes, your mind enables your eyes to pay more attention to what is on both sides, and hence stimulates your peripheral vision. After each exercise, you will see that your vision has “expanded” and has become “broad.” By strengthening your peripheral vision, you indirectly reduce your use of central vision, and hence protecting your macula from deterioration and degeneration.

AWARENESS: Train your eyes to see what is on both sides of your eyes.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Are You Visually Impaired?

The visually impaired and the blind who are unable to work are able to receive Social Security Disability benefits. There are two different benefit programs that are offered to the visually impaired and those who do not qualify for one are generally able to qualify for the other, and some people are even able to qualify for both programs.

The first program is called Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI and this is based on the work history of the individual. In order to qualify for this program, the individual had to have earned a certain amount of what are referred to as work credits. The SSA will then figure up the amount of benefits the individual is eligible to receive based on those work credits.

The other program is called Social Security Income or SSI. This program is not based on work credits, but there are particular financial requirements that the individual must meet in order to qualify for this program. This program is a great option for those who do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

However, if you or someone you know is visually impaired and does not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, it may be possible for them to work somewhere that will accommodate their disability. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are employment options for disabled people that will allow them to be self-sufficient and live as independently as possible.

Unfortunately, there are many forms of visual impairments that cannot be improved or reversed. However, there are many that can be improved and even prevented altogether by taking steps that will boost your eye health and vision and even ward off certain vision problems.

Whether or not you know that you could suffer from visual impairments in the future, you should do everything you can to ensure your eyes will stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. There are many ways you can do this:

Eat eye healthy foods – Fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and fish are not only good foods to eat for your overall health, but they are also excellent for strengthening your eyesight.

Do eye exercises – to improve certain vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatisms, and even a combination of those eye problems. They are easy to do and only take a few minutes of each day to do in order to begin to have a positive effect on your eyesight.

Get regular eye exams – This is an important step to take. Having your eyes examined on a regular basis – every two years in most cases – is essential for making sure that there are no issues with your eyes or your vision, and if there are issues, they can be detected early on so they can be treated right away before any major damage or other issues arise.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Miracle of Better Vision

Stress affects every aspect of you health, including your vision

Believe in the miracle of better vision through vision self-healing. Vision deterioration is sometimes due to stresses in life. If you live a stress-free life, you may have better vision. But how is it possible to live without stress in a stressful world? Learn how to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

As If Everything Is A Miracle: This 125-page book is about the wisdom in living as if everything is a miracle, just as Albert Einstein once said: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is to live as if nothing is a miracle. The other is to live as if everything is a miracle."

This 125-page book is about the wisdom to rethink your mind, renew your body, and reconnect your soul to realign your being for total wellness and well-being to live stress-free as if everything is a miracle. In this day and age, living in different phases of life is challenging. For one thing, in this world of technology and information, many of us are addicted to speed, which seems like a prerequisite for success in career and in many others facets of life. As a result, stress is unduly created, which may lead to toxic actions, reactions, thoughts and emotions.

Consciously and subconsciously we have created for ourselves a world in which our bodies, our minds, and souls have become toxic and we live as if nothing is a miracle. To do just the opposite—living as if everything is a miracle—we have to renew the mind, renew the body, and reconnect the soul, and realign the being so that we know who we really are, instead of who we "think" we are.

Believe in yourself: believe that you can be a better, happier, and healthier you. Believe that you can be a centenarian, if you choose to. The only hurdle is stress in contemporary living. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!

Stephen Lau
 Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Thyroid and Vision Health

Eye diseases are not the only conditions that can have a negative effect on our eyes. Sometimes other diseases and disorders in the body can cause problems for our vision.

A thyroid problem may cause involuntary weight fluctuation as well as vision problems.

The thyroid uses iodine that has been consumed by you to store hormones, which are then released into the bloodstream as necessary to various parts and cells in the body.

The thyroid releases two types of hormones (T3 and T4). When the body is in need of more or less of these two hormones, the brain will send out another hormone to alert the thyroid that there is an imbalance in the T3 and T4 hormones.

When the two thyroid hormones are not balanced, they can cause lots of trouble for your body.

Often these imbalances stem from poor communication between the brain and the thyroid. This is when weight gain begins. Thyroid problems are often associated with weight gain, but can be linked to numerous other hormone related issues.

When the eye muscles are attacked, it causes the tissue around the eyes to swell and become inflamed. This can lead to several other symptoms: redness; eye and eyelid pain; puffiness around the eyes; extreme dry eye; bulging eyes.

At least 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and half—15 million—are silent sufferers who are undiagnosed, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Are you one of those?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, May 2, 2019

My Book Just Published


This 145-page book is about TAO, the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago, who authored the immortal classic Tao Te Ching on human wisdom. 

His unique and controversial wisdom shows you how to think. It is your thinking mind that may make you live longer. Continue and go through the rest of your life journey with self-awakening to the realities of your true self, of others around you, and of the world you are living in. Look at anything and everything through the lens of the TAO.

According to the TAO, the end of anything is always the beginning of something else; the material world you are living in is forever filled with these cycles of beginnings and endings. Get the profound 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.

Here is the outline of the book:

INTRODUCTION

ONE: THE QUESTIONS AND THE ANSWERS

TWO: THE THINKING MIND

The Composition of the Thinking Mind
The Thinking Process
The Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind
The Power of the Thinking Mind
The Role of the Thinking Mind

THREE: THE WISDOM

The Ancient Wisdom
The Eastern Wisdom
The Conventional Wisdom
The Spiritual Wisdom
The Essence of True Wisdom

FOUR: THE TAO

Tao Te Ching
Empty Mind and Reverse Thinking
The Mind and the Now
Humility and the Ego
No Judgment and No Separation
No Picking and No Choosing
No Expectation and No Over-Doing
Control and Spontaneity
Embracing and Letting Go
Attachments and Detachments
The Awakening and the Manifestation

FIVE: YOUR JOURNEY OF LIVING LONGER

The Step of Intent and Desire
The Step of Unlearning and Relearning
The Step of Body Awareness and Mind Focus
The Step of Being and Becoming
The Step of Actions and Inactions
The Step of Recovery and Rejuvenation
The Step of Patience and Perseverance
The Step of Accepting and Embracing
The Step of Confronting Changes and Challenges
The Step of Returning and Awakening

APPENDIX A: THE MEDITATION
APPENDIX B: THE BODY CHEMISTRY
APPENDIX C: THE FAST

Click here to get your copy.

Stephen Lau


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Aging and Vision

Change in vision is an obvious sign of aging. Decades of slow and subtle changes in vision have resulted in gradual loss of vision.

Hardening of the lens is the most obvious sign of vision deterioration. You begin to experience difficulty in seeing clearly objects within 2 feet. This usually occurs when one is over 40 years old. As you continue to age, the lens stiffens, making the eye hard to focus on objects that are too close. You may ignore the problem; however, ultimately, wearing reading glasses is inevitable to overcome presbyopia, which is stiffening of the lens. Eye exercise is important to delay the condition or to prevent it from worsening. If you exercise your body, you should also exercise your eyes to give them flexibility, which is the solution to hardening of the lens. If conditions continue to get worse, you might even have to take off your reading glasses when you read.

Another major change in vision due to aging is the inability to see in dim light. Vision is possible only when light passes through the lens to the retina at the back of the eye. Through years of wear and tear, your lens becomes denser and less sensitive. This insensitivity reduces the amount of light getting to the retina. To illustrate, on average, a 60-year-old person needs 3 times more light to read than a young adult. This explains why you may react more slowly to changes in light. In addition, if you have developed cataract, which is a cloudy condition of the eye, you may have increasing sensitivity to glare when driving at night.

Perception of colors is also another change as you continue to age. The explanation is that your lens tends to become yellowish somewhat. You may have problem reading black letters against a blue background or, reading blue letters.

Other vision-related problems include floaters, which are tiny solidified fluids within the eye, and dry eyes due to decline in tear-production cells.

Vision changes are inevitable as aging continues. To alleviate vision problems, eat a healthy diet that supplies nutrients to the eyes. For example, you can use diet to overcome macular degeneration. Albert Einstein once said: "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." Believe in a miracle cure, even for macular degeneration. In addition, do simple eye exercises that can be performed any time throughout the day. Of course, don’t spend too much time in front of the computer. Stress also plays a pivotal role in damaging the eyes. In short, you need a holistic approach to vision health. Finally, don’t wear your eyeglasses or contact lens all the time: they precondition your vision; your eyes should have flexibility in close as well as faraway vision.  

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Can Meditation Improve Vision Health?

 Can meditation improve vision health?

Vision health has much to do with relaxation. Many of us have vision problems because we have everyday stress. In addition, our eyes have to focus on our electronic gadgets, such as computers and cell phones. 

Meditation is critical to vision health. Stress causes eyestrain that often leads to many eye problems. Meditation is a proven mind-body therapy for body-mind relaxation.

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

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

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

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

Points to remember when you meditate:

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

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

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

A full lotus position is not required. However, it is important that you maintain a consistent position or posture with your thumb tip and forefinger tip of each hand touching very lightly, while the other fingers are either curled or extended out. A consistent posture and hand position will promote a meditative mind to practice your meditation techniques.

Palming is an excellent exercise not just for vision improvement, but also for deep meditation. Cover your eyes with your palms but without touching your eyes. Don't close your eyes tightly. You will see blackness. Focus on your breathing, and continue to visualize blackness in your mind. Eye-palming exercise relaxes your eyes.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How I Overcame My Vision Problems

Many years ago, I was afflicted with myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body. The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness, which affects my vision.

One of the main causes of myasthenia gravis is stress. I did not know how to relax myself.

According to the diagnosis, I had developed ocular symptoms: ptosis (drooping of eyelids) and diplopia (double vision) in my myasthenia gravis. Both of my eyelids drooped, as if my eyes were tired, and I could not open my eyes wide enough to see properly.

At first, I was prescribed pyridostigmine (mestinon) as the usual first-line treatment for my immune disorder.

After several months, my conditions did not improve. I was given another prescription, prednisone, a synthetic hormone commonly referred to as a “steroid,” for my myasthenia gravis. Prednisone acts as a long-term immunosuppressant to control the production of antibodies. Essentially, it serves to stabilize my so-called “overactive” immune system.

The adverse side effects of prednisone for my myasthenia gravis included decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, hypertension, weight gain, swelling of the face, thinning of skin, predisposition to osteoporosis, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma. The long list was not only depressing but also frightening. I was worried that I would have to take my medications for the rest of my life, not just for my myasthenia gravis but also for the many side effects related to the drugs, such as bone loss, weight gain, and high blood pressure, among others.

After almost two years on prednisone, my neurologist, seeing there was little improvement in my myasthenia gravis, switched me to azathioprine, a drug supposedly with fewer side effects. However, that medication did not seem to have any positive effect on my symptoms, let alone my double vision. Naturally, I became frustrated.

Now, when I look back at the whole episode, I would think that my illness might have been a blessing in disguise. Everything happens in one’s life with a divine purpose. In many ways, I was grateful that I had the illness—which has changed my life forever and for the better. I began to learn how to take care of my health, and I knew I had to do it on my own.

I made a decision to change drastically my diet, accompanied by a regular fast,  in an attempt to discontinue all my medications ultimately. The initial results were encouraging. Instead of gaining weight, I had lost more than fifteen pounds; instead of jacking up my blood pressure, I had made it plummet. I had won my initial battle against all the adverse side effects of medications for my myasthenia gravis. I knew that I had to do more—much more than that. My rude awakening finally came: there was no miracle cure for my myasthenia gravis; only my wholesome wellness would bring about recovery and natural self-healing.

Slowly and gradually, I discontinued all my medications. Finally, I did it! Now, I am 100 percent drug free!

To eliminate double vision, the doctor recommended wearing an eye-patch over my weaker eye. But I did not entertain the idea of wearing an eye-patch—looking like a pirate of the Caribbean Sea. Besides, wearing an eye-patch would not solve my problem of double vision. There is a Chinese saying: “Cut your toes to avoid the worms.” I thought that was precisely what the doctor recommended: getting around the problem instead of solving it. I also recalled that early on, when my muscles were weak and I asked him for recommended remedy, he told me not to use those weak muscles. I disagreed with the doctor; instead, I exercised my weaker muscles until they became much stronger.

That was how I began my journey of self-healing.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, April 12, 2019

Your Ego and Your Vision


Get rid of your ego first for better vision health.

This is what stress can do to your body and health:

1. Chronic stress, which causes your body to maintain physiological reactions for long periods of time, especially with respect to the release of hormones, can lead to depletion of vital nutrients in your body, particularly DHEA (a hormone critical to aging and longevity), vitamin C, and the B-complex vitamins.

2. During stress, your body uses its DHEA supply and impairs the functioning of your body’s hormonal glands. According to scientific research, your DHEA levels decrease as you age. Stress is adding insult to injury.

3. Too much stress increases the production of hormone epinephrine, which wears out your hormonal glands.

NO EGO NO STRESS

PART ONE: An Introduction to Stress:


It explains how and where stress comes from; the damage and devastation of stress to human health, including vision. 


PART TWO: Conventional Wisdom:


All the major life stressors may have come from career, money, relationshipadversity, and time. Conventional wisdom offers many strategies for stress relief, such as exercise, herbs, medications, meditation, and psychotherapies, among many others. Conventional wisdom may reduce stress levels, but it does not eradicate stress completely. Conventional wisdom only complements the ancient Tao wisdom for ultimate stress relief.


PART THREE: Tao Wisdom:


This part not only explains what Tao wisdom is all about, but also contains the complete translation in simple English of all the 81 short chapters of “Tao Te Ching” which is one of the most translated works in world literature. Going through the whole script, interpreted and translated by the author, will enable you to understand the essentials of Tao wisdom for stress-free contemporary living.


PART FOUR: No Ego No Stress:


Stress originates from the human mind: how it perceives and processes life experiences. What is stress to one individual may not be stress to another. This part explains in detail how having no ego can eradicate all stress related to career, relationship, money, adversity, and time.


Stephen Lau
Copyright©  by Stephen Lau


Monday, April 8, 2019

Understanding the Human Eye

Understanding the Human Eye

The human eye is not just a mechanical tool for vision; it is one of the body’s most important body organs. The importance of the human eye is due to the following:

It gives perception and vision of the outside world. Eyesight is the most important of your five senses.

It is also connected to the inner world—your mind. Seeing is believing, and perception is reality. Your vision affects your perception, and hence your personality; it creates your own world.
It is inter-connected with different body organs, such as the brain (which controls how you see), the heart (which pumps blood and transports oxygen to your eyes), the liver (which supplies nutrients to the eye, according to Chinese medicine).

How the Eye Functions

Simply put, you cannot see without light.

When you see an object, the light from that object passes through the lens (in front of the eyeball), which is held in place by ciliary muscles in your eye.

The lens then focuses the image on the retina (at the back of the eyeball), which sends the visual information through the optic nerve to the brain.

The human lens is designed for distant vision, not close vision. When the object is too close (i.e. less than 20 feet away), the ciliary muscles must contract in order to focus the visual image correctly on the retina. This process of contraction or expansion of the eye muscles is known as accommodation.

AWARENESS Consciously train your eyes for distant vision! Regularly look up from your computer or your book!

How the Eye Malfunctions

Poor vision is a result of the malfunctioning of the human eye, causing all types of vision problems.

When the ciliary muscles (eye muscles in the eye's middle layer that control accommodation for viewing objects at varying distances) are too weak to contract properly, the  focal image of a distant object may fall in front of the retina (i.e. when the eyeball is too long), instead of directly on the retina itself, and hence it creates a blurred image. This happens in nearsightedness.

When the ciliary muscles are too weak to contract properly, the focal image of a close object may fall beyond the retina (i.e. when the eyeball is too short), the resulting visual image becomes blurry and distorted. This happens in farsightedness.

The main causes of eye malfunctitoning are: mental stress, and eye muscle strain.

Therefore, the key to vision self-healing is to address these two critical issues.

AWARENESS: The shape of the eyeball determines the power of vision. The relaxation level of the eye pre-determines the shape of the eyeball.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Healthy Liver for Better Vision

Liver Cleansing

A strong and healthy liver needs regular cleansing and detoxification. Here are some simple ways to regularly cleanse your liver:
Drink organic unsweetened apple juice daily for 2 to 3 consecutive days to initiate liver detoxification.
Eat a raw diet of only fruits and vegetables, with no dairy products, for 2 to 3 days.
Drink a mixture of organic pure olive oil (4 ounces) and equal amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Shake well and drink immediately before going to bed.
Drink ginger tea daily for liver and bowel cleansing: Juice one lemon, a two-inch fresh ginger root, four cloves, and one stick of cinnamon; add juice to two cups of water in a saucepan; bring to boil, and simmer for 10 - 15 minute; add a pinch of sea salt to your drinking water to alkalize it, as well as to provide important minerals and trace elements.

Enhancing Liver Health

A healthy liver filters approximately 3 pints of blood per minute, producing 1 to 1.5 quarts of bile daily.
A healthier liver gives you clear and sharp vision.

Eating raw

Eat some raw vegetables or drink fresh vegetable juice daily.
A raw diet provides you with enzymes, which are required for optimum digestion and which are easily destroyed by heat during cooking.
At least 20 to 30 percent of your diet should be raw fruits and vegetables.

Avoiding excess fat

Do not overload your liver and gall bladder with excess fatty foods, such as: animal milk (instead, drink rice milk and soymilk); foods with animal skins; deep-fried foods; full-cream dairy products; hydrogenated oils, and preserved meats.

Consuming essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are fats in their natural, unprocessed form, such as: Alfalfa sprouts (you can easily grow alfalfa sprouts from seeds); avocado; fish; flaxseed; pumpkin seeds; sesame seeds; and sunflower seeds.

Eating proteins

Get non-animal proteins from the grains (brown rice and oatmeal), and raw seeds and nuts.
Eat animal proteins moderately, such as eggs from free-range chickens, and lean red meats.

Eating healing foods for the liver

Eat beet, broccoli, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, ginger root, soy, and turmeric to help your liver detoxification. Include these healing foods in your diet as much as possible for optimum liver health!

Avoiding chemicals

Do not overload your liver with chemicals from supermarket foods and drinks, such as artificial sweeteners, Aspartame (in diet sodas), food colorings, food emulsifiers, and preservatives
Always read food labels before any purchase! Go organic to eliminate pesticides and other chemicals!

Avoiding constipation

A bowel movement every other day is irregular, and a bowel movement once a day is still inadequate; a bowel movement twice or three times a day is optimum.
To optimize your elimination, do the following:
Eat a fiber-rich diet.
Eat fresh sweet corn raw, or only lightly cooked. Corn is an excellent blood-cleansing fiber.
Grind a handful of almonds, alfalfa seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle them in your salads, soups, and smoothies.

Re-hydrating

Re-hydrate your system with water and more fluids to avoid constipation and to enhance kidney elimination. Drink more than eight 8-oz glasses of water daily.

Intestinal hygiene

Watch out for your intestinal hygiene.
Always eat fresh. Food poisoning is due to unfriendly bacteria and organisms put in a dormant state by food preservatives.
Do not reheat your food more than twice.
Do not eat while you are stressed: stress induces indigestion and bloating, because your blood flow is directed away from your intestines and liver.
Avoid fast foods and takeout foods as much as possible.
Always wash hands before preparing your food.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau