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.
Prayers Are "Expectations to Be Fulfilled"?

If your “prayers not answered” meaning your “expectations not fulfilled”, maybe you would like to ask why not? Yes, many of us would like to ask the same question, whether we pray or not. Indeed, many of our expectations in life are seldom or never fulfilled.

Lao Tzu recommends the wisdom of reverse thinking, which is thinking backward to find out the origin of something.

“Expectations not fulfilled” has its origin from the ego.

The Ego

This is how you may have become what you are: your false ego-self with many "expectations to be fulfilled" to satisfy and sustain your ego.

Descartes, the great French philosopher, made his very famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Accordingly, you think and you then become what you think you are-the byproducts of all your thoughts and your own thinking.

Unfortunately, Descartes’ famous statement is only partially true: it’s true that you identify yourself with all your thoughts projected into your thinking mind; but it’s not true that your identities thus created by your thoughts and your own thinking truly reflect your true self. The fact of the matter is that you’re not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not you. To think otherwise is a human flaw, which is no more than self-illusion or self-delusion. In other words, you’re not what and who you think you really are.

Gradually, all your life experiences with their own respective messages -- the pleasant as well as the unpleasant, the positive as well as the negative -- are all stored at the back of your subconscious mind in the form of your assumptions, attitudes, causal concepts, and memories.

Accumulated over the years, millions and billions of such experiences and messages have become the raw materials with which you subconsciously weave the fabrics of your life, making you who and what you have now become-or so you think. In other words, they’ve now become your “realities” or your ego-self.

The Ego-Self According to the TAO

According to Lao Tzu, the following is how the human mind may have become distorted and dysfunctional with the inflated ego:

In the beginning, man didn’t know things existed, and so he had perfect knowledge.

Then, he found out things existed, but made no distinctions between them.

Later on, he began to make only some distinctions, but expressed no judgment about what’s right and wrong, and what’s good and bad.

Now, he makes his own judgments of right and wrong, of good and bad, and that leads to his own preferences of likes and dislikes, which then create his own desires and expectations-the sources of his own sufferings. In short, the human mind is like an unbridled horse: it makes judgments, making what doesn’t exist, exist, and what does exist, doesn’t exist. In the process, many illusions and self-deceptions are thus created, and they then become the attachments to inflate the ego.

All your expectations in life originate from your attachments, and somehow they need to be fulfilled. So many people begin to pray for their “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

here to go back.

Don't Pray for Money and Wealth!

According to CNN news, near the end of December, 2018,
the nurses and staff of neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Children’s Hospital at St. Louis, won $10,000 in the Mega Millions lottery-entering the lottery is what they have been doing for years to overcome their stress from their daily work.

Instead of dividing up the winnings among their group, they decided to give the money to two colleagues going through some tough times: one whose son committed suicide the night before the lottery drawing; the other whose husband was battling with cancer.

Here are some questions about the lottery for your self-reflection:

Why do people line up for hours to get their Power Ball? Their heart is on their greed.

Can their anticipated winnings solve all their financial problems? Probably yes; but also instrumental in creating many other problems in their lives as a result of their winnings.

What if it’s God who wants them to win the lottery? Well, in the first place, God didn’t create the Power Ball; it’s only an individual’s own choice and decision to go and get the lottery, without being aware that the winnings come from many people’s “blood-and-sweat” money. It has nothing to do with God; it has everything to do with that individual’s greed and vanity.

What if people would like to turn their winnings into a good cause to help others-such as those nurses and staff of Mercy Children’s Hospital at St. Louis? If people were to win millions, instead of just $10,000,  would they still have given away 100 percent of their winnings to charity, or to help others? Probably not!

Buying a lottery ticket is one of the many attachments to money and wealth. You may want to keep up with the Joneses by driving a more expensive car than those of your neighbors and friends. So, it all boils down to only one thing-your greed to satisfy your ego-self. Money and wealth have become your treasures, and also where your heart is.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

here to go back.