Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.
Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to living as if everything is a miracle.
In contemporary living, there is much focus on speed. Life is short, and there is much to be done and accomplished. As a result, many of us feel the compression of time, so much so that we have developed a compulsive mind with a multitasking mindset; as an illustration, some of us are even texting when we are supposed to be driving.
Why is it that our minds won’t quiet down? Do we really have that many life goals to accomplish?
It is because we know and believe that nothing lasts. Because nothing lasts, so we begin to look for new ones to replace the ones that have expired. An example is a love relationship: if it doesn’t turn out to be what we have expected, we just let it finish itself, and start looking for another one because nothing lasts.
Ironically enough, because nothing lasts, so we should stay in the present, instead of projecting our minds into the future. A case in point in a love relationship, instead of looking for another relationship in the future, why not focus on the present, that is, fixing the current love relationship? “Nothing lasts” means the current love relationship may not last forever, but do your best and enjoy it, while remembering that neither will the one in the future last. Being appreciative of what we are now having is the real meaning of “nothing lasts.”
If we can focus more on the present moment, instead of constantly shifting back and forth between the past and the future, our minds may become enlightened to the extent that we may see the natural cycle of all things, such as life begets death, success and failure complement each other-everything follows a natural cycle and nothing lasts forever. Accordingly, we should learn to let go - letting go of all our attachments to this material world. Letting go is a pre-condition of receiving -- just as Mother Teresa said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Give more to receive more; after all, nothing lasts.
The ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient sage from China, shows wisdom in living in harmony in this contemporary world of chaos and disharmony.
“Life lives itself in us, when we focus on the Creator.
From that focal point, around which all of life revolves.
We watch everything come and go,
with no judgment, no preference.
Everything that is, was, or ever will be,
will return to its origin: the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16)
But it is not easy to think like Lao Tzu, because we all have a pre-conditioned mindset -- pre-conditioned by our cultures, our upbringings, and our ego-selves.
Therefore, to think out of the box, we must, first and foremost, empty our minds in order to fully appreciate the profound wisdom of 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.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3)
With an empty mind for everything, we attain human wisdom that may enable us to understand better the Biblical wisdom that nothing lasts
“. . . all human beings are like grass; they last no longer than wild flowers. 7 Grass withers and flowers fade when the LORD sends the wind blowing over them. People are no more enduring than grass. 8 Yes, grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:7-8)
So, don’t waste your life “chasing the wind” and searching for things that don’t last anyway. Live in the present, and live it to the fullest -- just follow the natural law of spontaneity.
“Before we can shrink anything,
we must first let it expand.
Before we can get rid of something,
we must first let it flourish.
Before we can receive something,
we must first give it away.
They are called the natural laws
of the way things were, are, and will be.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 36)
Copyright© by Stephen Lau