The man who lived 250 years
An exceptional example
This was the headline of an article that appeared in the New York Times on May 6, 1933, when the paper announced the death of Li Ching Zuen, a Chinese healer, born in 1677. Documents of the time attest that the Chinese government congratulated him on his 150th birthday, and again on his 200th. "At the time of his death he looked like a man in his 50s", as a photograph taken in 1927 proves.
"This healer joined the Chinese military at the age of 71 as a martial arts instructor and tactical consultant," says Susan Shumsky. The same source quotes General Yang Shen's description of the amazing man in a military report, titled "A true account of a 250-year-old good luck charm": "He can move very fast through the mountains, even though he is almost 250 years old. The secret of long life, described by Li Ching Zuen himself, is this; 'Man must have a quiet heart, remain as calm as a tortoise, walk as spry as a pigeon and sleep as sound as a dog'.
The secret of long life
The secret to long life, revealed by a man who has lived an exceptionally long life, contains four essential elements: inner peace, the calm of the "tortoise", walking briskly and sleeping well. But the most important of all, the one from which all are born, is in fact the inner component: 'inner peace'.
"If people had a peaceful heart and were always in a state of inner peace, they could live for a century," said the same healer.
Consulting his biography, however, we find that he was trained in healing with the help of medicinal plants, and perhaps this is another indispensable ingredient of long life, but one he did not mention in the description quoted above. It is likely, however, that nature's pharmacy is just what God has given us for when we lose our inner peace and, with it, our vitality, our ability to move quickly, and good sleep.
We gain energy and vitality through movement, through constant physical effort, day after day, but also through sleep, where we recharge our worn-out batteries in our waking state. The essential wear and tear does not come from physical movement, energy consumption and lack of vitality are not caused by physical excess, but by mental, inner excess. It is inner restlessness, not movement, that tires us and makes us weak. We are overburdened by worry and stress, not work. It ages our hatred and irritation, our anger and discontent, we lose our energy and vitality through nervous rather than physical consumption.
A good night's sleep regenerates us physically and mentally, nourishes us with energy and strength because in sleep we reconnect with the source of life, with the power of "inner peace", which is no longer troubled by the mind, nor by our daily emotions and worries.
Inner peace is the source of life
If we manage to remain more and more in a state of inner calm and peace during our daily activities we stay in touch with the "source of life". Deep inner peace is our natural state, and the tendency to continually worry and feel irritated, discontent and unhappy indicates precisely that we are disconnecting from the reality of the Immortal Self. Not only are we less inspired by discontent and restlessness, not only are we wasting our own inner energy, not only are we interrupting our harmonious relationship with the natural batteries of life, but we are aging faster and living less.
"Do not worry about tomorrow, for God knows what you need and will give it to you," Jesus said. It is not our mind that brings us the things we need, but actually contact with the state of deep inner peace can do it. For in this peace the mind is silent, and then for us God truly speaks. In deep inner peace, the ego melts away, and then the power of divine energy that sustains life throughout the universe is heard and seen. In the Bible it says "Peace be with you". For if peace is with us, it is what we really need for life, including a long, healthy and happy life.