The TAO in Everyday Life
The TAO is in every aspect of life: growing up; receiving education; seeking careers; getting married; raising children; connecting with others; staying healthy; growing old; and facing life challenges.
                                                               LIVING LIFE

All About . . . .

Life is short, so make the best and the most out of it now! Live your life as if everything is a miracle. To do just that, you must know who you are and what life is all about. Most importantly, you must have the wisdom to live your life to the fullest.

Living your life is a learning process. Real learning, however, is not just the acquisition of knowledge. True wisdom is the ability to penetrate deeply into the meaning behind superficial knowledge, to integrate related thoughts, facts, and experiences into a structural framework that reveals a deeper, more synthesized meaning than what an ordinary person perceives.

Wisdom is internal; it comes from the inner self. Focusing on so-called goals in life, many of us lose our true selves in the pursuit of our dreams. If you are one of them, you must re-direct your life. If you wish to re-discover your "new" self, or never want to go back to your "old" life, THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING is right for you. Now is as good a time as any to live your life on your own terms, instead of someone else's terms. Now is the time not just to think out of the box, but to create your own box of thinking.

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING was written just for that specific purpose to inspire you with the wisdom in living, based on conventional wisdom, ancient wisdom of TAO, and spiritual wisdom. Have an empty mind, and rethink your mind! Albert Einstein once said: "A human being is part of the whole called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison . . . . "

One of the objectives of THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING is to free yourself from the self-imprisonment of self-delusions created by your self-consciousness, as pointed out by Albert Einstein. This book not only explains in simple terms and plain language how you may unconsciously create your self-limiting thoughts that prevent you from truly understanding who you are and what you really want from life, but also shows you how to create a substantially new manner of thinking through the integration of both conventional and ancient wisdom. In particular, this book is about the art of living well through understanding and embracing the wisdom of TAO—the wisdom of Lao Tzu succinctly expressed in TAO TE CHING, one of the most translated works in world literature. However, Tao wisdom is simple but difficult to understand. THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING explains in simple language with common everyday examples to illustrate the essence of TAO wisdom and how it may integrate with conventional wisdom to live a life of your choice. This 200-page book is full of wisdom based on the author’s extensive research and personal experience. In this book, you will learn the following: (1) Eliminating unproductive thoughts, and overcoming chaotic struggles in your inner world and outer life to enhance health and performance, master stress, and deepen appreciation of life. (2) Understanding the essentials of contemporary wisdom and ancient wisdom to help you contemplate and internalize their respective meanings and values in your daily life (3) Harnessing mind power to operate your

The Book Outline . . . .

The Happiness Question
Many Other Questions to Ask
The Role of the Mind
How the Mind Works
The Power of the Mind
How to Empower the Mind
The Dark Side of Life
The Way Out of the Darkness
The Basics in Life
Processing Experiences
Processing Expectations

What Conventional Wisdom Says About Living
Challenging Conventional Wisdom
Your Mind As Your Enemy
The Wisdom of Tao
Spiritual Wisdom to Improve Human Relationships
Spiritual Wisdom to Handle Money Matters
Spiritual Wisdom to Love Your Neighbors
Spiritual Wisdom to Begin Emotional Healing
Spiritual Wisdom to Cope with Sorrow and Suffering
Spiritual Wisdom to Promote Health
Spiritual Wisdom to Face Death
Spiritual Wisdom to Communicate with God
Knowing the Sad Truth of Contemporary Living
Knowing the Fundamentals of Ancient Wisdom
Knowing the Differences Between Ancient and Conventional Wisdom
Ingredients of My Recipes for Living
My Recipes’ Instructions
Final Words of Wisdom

The above is what this book is all about. Click here to get your copy from AMAZON.

An excerpt from the book . . .

The Happiness Myths

Happiness is an abstraction, a far-fetched thought; as such, it is often elusive and evasive, and, hence, difficult not only to define but also to comprehend. To further the complication, happiness often creates certain misleading myths.

The myth: what brings happiness

It is always a myth that abundant wealth, good health, and satisfying relationships-what most people crave and pursue in their lives-will bring happiness.

Reflective Thought

Abundant wealth, good health, and satisfying relationships are only the byproducts of happiness; they do not cause or bring true and lasting happiness in real life.

Case in Point

Many lottery winners attest to their experiences of temporary ecstatic happiness, and nearly all winners confess that winning has ultimately made them miserable and unhappy for various reasons. Maybe once the initial stimulus of sudden wealth and the drastic changes of lifestyle have worn off, they ultimately return to their original baseline level of happiness or unhappiness.

Or, maybe, according to some experts, having too much pleasure, what is known as “eustress” can cause, ironically enough, stress, just as lacking in pleasure may be stressful to the many have-nots.

The myth: effort is needed to bring happiness

It is also a myth that happiness is something that can be pursued with willpower and effort. The Bible rightly says that pursuing happiness is “like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

Reflective Thought

Effort does not necessarily bring happiness; it only creates the illusion of an environment conducive to creating temporary happiness.

Case in Point

One may work diligently in one’s career to excel and to get to the top of the profession only to find that one has a terminal illness, or has incurred a debilitating accident. To illustrate, Steve Job, the co-founder of Apple computers, had his life cut short by pancreatic cancer at the height of his successful business career. Joe Paterno the former Penn State football coach, whose reputation ruined by a sexual abuse scandal at the peak of his career, was fired, and died shortly of cancer. Extra effort does not always pay off.

Pursuing happiness may be only a fantasy fueled by temporary moments of happiness, because aging, illnesses, misfortunes, and ultimately death plague all alike; in other words, impermanence cuts short all human efforts to bring happiness. We are all aware of the fact that impermanence is a leveler of everybody and everything, but many of us still choose to delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. Denial only fosters the myth that if there is a will there must be a way to attaining happiness, and that all it requires is human effort to make any dream come true.

The truth of the matter is that true happiness is, surprisingly, effortless, because it comes from within, and not from without; it is part of self, and is natural to human life and existence.

Why Some Are Happy and Others Are Unhappy

There is so much truth in what Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian writer, said in very beginning of his celebrated novel Anna Karenina: “Happy families are alike, and unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.” So, those who are happy and those who are unhappy must share some common attributes or characteristics that predispose them to happiness or unhappiness.

The unhappy people

Unhappy people may have the following in common:

Identity crisis

They do not know who they really are. That is, they may have falsely identified themselves with something in the world they are living in, such as “I am a successful business-man” or “I am a good mother.”

Once they have created false identities for themselves, they naturally feel the need to protect and preserve their self-created images. In doing so, they desperately want to control their destinies, such as avoiding what they fear may taint their identities, or repeating what they previously did in order to sustain and substantiate their identities.

Reflective Thought

You are who you are, and not who you would like to be.

Case in Point

A “successful businessman” may want to overwork in order to avoid in future all possible failures in his or her business, or to repeat in future all his or her past successful business endeavors.

A “good mother” may strive to control the behaviors of her children in order to control and shape them into the individuals she wants them to become to prove that she is a good mother.

In the process of avoiding failure and expecting success to repeat, stress is not only unduly created but also aggravated by outcomes falling short of their expectations. Nowadays, many people are living to escape yesterday’s pains and to anticipate tomorrow’s pleasures; unfortunately, they are on the road to more unhappiness, and not less.

Not letting go

Unhappy people simply refuse to let go of what they think belong permanently to them, and anticipate what they think they rightly deserve through their efforts to control or influence outcomes of events in their daily lives. They are afraid of any unforeseeable change, especially death that puts an end to everything they have delusively created for themselves.

The happy people

The truly happy people are those who understand that the only permanent cure for unhappiness is enlightenment, which is the wisdom in knowing who they are, and what life is all about. The path to true happiness lies within self; happiness comes from knowing self, and not from others.

In addition, the happy people live a simple life, which is the essence of living. They have little or no attachment because they understand that everything is impermanent and subject to change and demise. . . .


Another excerpt from the book . . . .

The Darkness of Life

Darkness is dualism of human behavior -- the shadow as opposed to its bright side.

The voluntary action of the conscious mind to do good may be held back or even suppressed by the action and response of the subconscious mind to do something quite the opposite. In other words, your voluntary acts to do good may, ironically enough, also demonstrate involuntary features that undermine or even suppress the good intentions, just as aspects of your involuntary functioning are influenced by your conscious choices, your habits, and your own perceptions. Simply put, your conscious mind tells you to do good, but your subconscious mind tells you to do quite the opposite.

Dualism creates the dilemma that you are somehow responsible for the consequence while at the same time you may also think you are a helpless victim of a meaningless accident or cruel destiny. Dualism is debilitating because it creates the paradox, although the paradox is the natural state of human condition. Simply put, your subconscious mind tells you that you are both the aggressor and the victim.

Understanding the dualistic human nature may be illuminating and enlightening in that it opens a door to understanding the true nature of the human mind.

The Domino Effects of Human Darkness

The darkness is forever contending with the light. By the same token, the subconscious mind is constantly at odds with the conscious mind; the former is trying to dominate the latter, while the latter is striving to free itself of the control by the former. In other words, there is a constant conflict between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, creating delusions and deceptions in the subconscious mind. It is, therefore, important to unmask these self-imposed deceptions, and free yourself from their bondage.

The dark side of human nature has domino effects on an individual as a person by confounding understanding and undermining the ultimate truths of things in life, and thus creating illusions and self-deceptions for contrary thinking; they become the roadblocks in the pathway to intuiting wisdom in the art of living well.

Reflective Thought

The domino effect of human darkness can be devastating on the human mind.

Case in Point

Say, you have a drinking problem. The truth is frightening. Like most alcoholics, you may outwardly show secrecy and inwardly internalize the fear into denial and deliberate self-deception.

Deep down, you feel shame and guilt because of your secretive behavior of drinking behind closed doors.

To mitigate your shame and guilt, your mind readily dispenses judgment of others for self-justification of your darkness as well as for relief of your emotional pain from the shame and guilt.

Your own judgment naturally leads to blame and accountability. Someone or some event in your life is responsible for your alcohol addiction. Your drinking is no longer your problem, but someone else’s problem. You have now become only a victim.
Your drinking problem continues unimpeded until it becomes out of control, and turns itself into an addiction, spiraling down the road to self-destruction.

All alcoholics and addicts express their denial and deceit, guilt and shame, justification and blame, and unaccountability.

The dark side of human nature may come in different forms and shapes; they are just the demons inside you who will turn you into a demon yourself.

The darkness of self-doubt

When you think about something you desire, your natural mental response is to wonder if you are capable of doing what you need to do in order to get what you desire. Once that doubt develops, you may end up giving up on it, and your self-fulfilling prophecy ensures that you will not get what you desire.

In that case, doubt of self is the dark side of your life. It is an invisible negative force that can paralyze you for life. The characteristics of self-doubt are: reluctance to give credit to yourself for fear of giving people the impression of bragging or “getting a big head” and feeling of being an imposter, claiming your undeserving credit.

You may have self-doubt if you often find yourself: being defensive, or wanting to be right most of the time, if not all the time; dominating a social conversation, rather than reciprocating to what people say; promoting self, such as being predisposed to emphasizing or listing personal accomplishments.

Self-doubt often creates the negative impression of aggressiveness, over-assertiveness, disingenuousness, and even boredom. If uncontrolled, self-doubt may lead to low self-esteem, suspicion of or lack of trust in others, and even paranoia.

Fight your demon of self-doubt; don’t let it get in your way. Overcome the demon by avoiding boasting; asking yourself your purpose of “self-promotion”; focusing more on others rather than on yourself.

The darkness of hypocrisy

(“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3)

The Way Out of the Darkness

The darkness is simply dualism of human behavior-its shadow as opposed to its bright side.

Dualism creates the dilemma that you are somehow responsible for the consequence while at the same time you may also be a helpless victim. In your mind’s eye, you are both the aggressor and the victim. Dualism only spins out more delusions and self-deceptions that further confuse the subconscious mind, which, unfortunately, directs the conscious mind.

The way out of the darkness is to do the following:

Believe that you are neither the perpetuator nor the victim. Believing in the former puts you in guilt; believing in the latter engages you in the blame game. Both only perpetuate the darkness of your nature.

Reflective Thought

Any attempt to justify your darkness only makes you project your perceived darkness on others, instead of looking inwardly for an answer.

Case in Point

If something unpleasant happens, you immediately ascribe it to the unfairness of others or being a victim of the circumstance; it is often much easier to blame others than to assume or confront your own accountability.

Don’t form the habit of projecting your weaknesses on others.

Always turn inward to face your own demon as soon as it appears in the back of your mind. Be aware of its subtle appearance, be honest with yourself when you see your demon, and be courageous enough to challenge and confront it.

Acknowledge your feelings about your own darkness, however unpleasant and unwanted they may be. Perceive the darkness as neither voluntary nor involuntary-simply as an experience in which you happen to be an observer, and not the main participant.

Detach yourself emotionally from that experience-that is, give up self-judgment. Do not judge yourself, and neither should you judge others for that matter.

Self-judgment is the sole creator of either “good” or “bad” feelings about self. Your identity and self-worth are tied up to the “good” or “bad” feelings about yourself, and that is the reason why you are so ready to “judge” others as well as yourself.

Some people use fear for self-motivation to confront challenges; others may use fear to feel dependent and helpless. Self-judgment may get you the “good” or “bad” emotions that you think you rightly deserve.

Being non-judgmental enables you to experience your own darkness as no more than a process of experience for your discovery of self for your manifestation, and ultimately for your transformation of self. Focus on the contemplative possibilities of the dualism. Remember, you are just an observer, and not a participant.

Be mindful of your breaths to sharpen your body and mind awareness, which may  help you identify your negative emotions due to the dark side of your being. Focusing on your breathing-fully conscious of your inhalation and exhalation-enhances your body’s awareness of the presence of negative emotions, such as body discomfort, physical fatigue, or even mental pain, as indicators of your negative thoughts. Focused breathing plays a pivotal role in meditation, which is a mental tool for clarity of mind, learning to let go, and being non-judgmental.