What do I mean by longevity?
- Living to over 100 years old
- Having a long health-span as well as a long lifespan
- Having a young biological age even when one is very old in years
- Naturally looking young even when one is old in years
- Having internal strength, external strength, flexibility, explosive power and a lot of energy when one is very old in years
- Even when old in years, not being ill and not having injuries
- Having the ability to train martial arts even when one is very old in years
- Having a clear-thinking mind, a good memory and a positive life philosophy throughout one’s whole life right up until the moment when one leaves
Why would anyone be interested in longevity?
According to Western science, we only get one go at being physically alive and when we die, we no longer exist. According to the beliefs of religions and spiritual ways, there are other possibilities.
Many people believe that some aspect of themselves continues to exist after their physical body dies. This may be as a non-physical entity here on earth or in some other realm. There is also the belief in reincarnation where after death some non-physical part of you returns to earth but as someone else. For all of these possibilities, the result is the same: We only get one go at being who we are now, in this physical body, in this one unique lifetime.
How to make the most of this unique, incredible opportunity? How to be more likely to fulfill whatever reason you think you are here for? Well, if you have a much longer life in good health. you have more time to do whatever it is that you are here to do!
Longevity is possible, but it is hard work. It takes determination and effort. No one can give it to you or do the hard work for you. Only through your own efforts can you gain the rewards.
There are a variety of things to avoid and a number of things to cultivate every day. Then, as a side effect of decades of daily accumulated effort, one finds oneself experiencing longevity.
Start now whilst you are young because it is harder to develop longevity when you are older. It is like when you ask an environmentalist when is the best time to plant a tree? The answer is: twenty years ago!
So, for increased longevity…
Do not harm the physical body.
No late nights, always asleep before midnight.
No smoking of anything.
No recreational drugs.
No unnecessary contemplation of negative things in your life.
Only contemplate the negative things to work out what positive lessons you can learn from them.
Not to blame other people or circumstances. but rather try and take responsibility and move forwards in a positive way.
Do look after the physical body.
Do go to bed early.
Do have a balanced, healthy diet.
Do train with weights to develop the muscles.
Do walk for a minimum of one hour per day in nature. It reduces excess fat, smooths the flow of blood and chi (energy). And it calms and heals the emotions and the mind.
Do cultivate a good sense of humour (laughter heals the heart)
Do try to look for the positive in every situation.
Do have positive projects to have purpose.
Do be appreciative and thankful for the positive things in your life.
Do train Chinese martial arts to develop the soft facia (ligaments and sinews) and hard facia (tendons) to invigorate the circulation of blood and chi (energy). Chinese martial arts will also increase flexibility, internal strength, external strength and explosive power. These aspects of longevity training are all explained in my book, Martial Arts Training Manual.
If we make the effort to not harm the physical body and instead strive to look after the physical body, then longevity is possible.
People who have ignored this advice find that when they are old, they are depleted, ill, weak and unbalanced. They then hope to suddenly find an external elixir of life, drink it and become rejuvenated again.
However, the elixir of life is internal. It’s slowly accumulated drop-by-drop, day-by-day over decades of training and effort. As a result, in old age we have gathered a full cauldron of the elixir of life in our bellies. This will nourish us and keep us youthful and rejuvenated however old we are.
If a person uses up or damages their Ching (essence), Chi (energy) and Shen-spirit when they are young, then when they are old, they will inevitably be more depleted, unbalanced, ill and out of harmony with the Tao.
However, if a person conserves, transforms and stores their Ching, Chi and Shen throughout their lives, then they will have health, strength and a long life. They will have harmony with the Tao, and their life will be more balanced and flowing. This aspect of longevity training is all explained in my book, A Taoist Way of Life.
Longevity is possible if you implement all the recommendations outlined above. It takes self-discipline, dedication, perseverance and determination to achieve, but it is a worthy endeavour.