While Snopes.com has rated the story unproven (it’s also hard to prove whether or not it’s true), I’d say this story deserves more exposure to the world. It has some meaningful wisdom that most of us may or may not have heard of, perhaps even repetitive (that is, to me). I mean, who doesn’t want tips for longevity? Everyone wants to live a long life, not sure for what though. (Okay, jokes aside, I know some of you don’t. I don’t, either.)
It is unknown whether he was born on 1736 or 1677. Either way, everybody’s grandfathers knew of him, and his province is famous for the tale of Li Ching-Yuen.
Herbs are your best bet
People tell you that eating vegetables will lead to a longer life. This man took it to another level: he eats nothing else outside of he shou wu, lingzhi, goji berry, rice wine, gotu kola and wild ginseng. If you do not have any images associated with these names, fret not! Here are the pictures of the herbs I mentioned. (Because I too, didn’t know the name of some of these herbs.)
According to famous reports of him, he started his career as a herbalist when he was only 10, learned about how they help with longevity. I wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with herbs at the age of 10, but that’s as close to science as you get during his time, I imagine.
Energy Arts, occasional Martial Arts
Li Ching-Yuen was known for having been a teacher of martial arts during his time in the Chinese armies.
He has also met a much older man, 500-year-old, who taught him qigong exercises. Of course, the Chinese are very well-known for their energy arts! Qigong involves coordinated body movements as well as meditation. Qigong also involves rhythmic breathing that helps with regulating breathing.
Finally, his words when prompted when asked about the secret to longevity, he said,
“Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”
If you didn’t know, Japanese folklore also states that mermaid meat can turn you immortal. Unrelated to the article but I just wanted to share because folklores are my thing! Another most important tip to realise when it comes to life, regardless of how long you live, don’t forget to do what you can do in life. These are his true last words.
“I have done all that I have to do in this world.”