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This 256 year old man broke his silence before his death

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • August 2, 2017
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People have been searching for ways to extend their lifespans since the dawn of existence, and to our credit, we’ve made a lot of progress. In the Middle Ages, you would be lucky to live to 40, while for many people today, 90 or even 100 isn’t out of the question. But one man not only figured out the secret to a long life, he might have been the oldest person to ever live. And when you hear his story, you’ll be totally captivated!

Meet Li Ching Yuen, a man who lived an astonishing 256 years!  And no, this is not a myth or a fictional tale. From 1930, Wu Chung-chieh, who was a professor of the Chengdu University, has discovered some Imperial Chinese government records from 1827, congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday, and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877.

Li Ching Yuen reportedly started his herbalist career when he was 10 years old, gathering herbs in the mountain ranges and learning about their potency for longevity. For almost 40 years, he survived on a diet based on herbs like lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola and rice wine. In 1749, when he was 71, he joined the Chinese armies as a teacher of martial arts. He was said to be a much-loved figure in the community around him, being married 23 times and fathering over 200 children.

According to the tales told in his province, which were generally accepted, he had the ability to read and write as a child, and by his 10th birthday he had travelled in Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria gathering herbs. During the first hundred years, he continued with this occupation. After that he switched to selling herbs gathered by other people. He sold lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with another Chinese herb, and he also lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine.

Li was asked what his secret was to longevity. This was his reply: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.” These were the words of advice Li gave to Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, who took Li into his house to learn the secret of extremely long life. Li maintained that inward calm and peace of mind combined with breathing techniques were the secrets to incredible longevity. Obviously, his diet would have played a large role. But it is fascinating that the old living person in recorded history attributes his long life to his state of mind.

We have to keep in mind that some people in this world don’t live a gruelling 9-5 lifestyle, they don’t have to deal with the stresses of debt, they aren’t breathing polluted city air, and they exercise regularly. They don’t eat refined sugars or flour, or any foods that have had pesticides sprayed on them.  They aren’t eating fatty meats, sugary desserts, and genetically modified foods. No antibiotics. No alcohol and no tobacco. Their diets not only exclude junk foods that we so often indulge in, they also include super foods and herbs which are like steroids for our organs and immune system.

They also spend their spare time in nature practicing breathing techniques and meditating which have been proven to improve mental, physical, and emotional health. They keep things simple, get proper sleep, and spend a great deal of time in nature under the sun. When we get a chance to relax in the sun, we feel instantly rejuvenated and call this a “vacation”. Imagine spending a lifetime doing that in the mountains, and combining that with perfect mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. When the body is treated in the right way, who knows how long we can live for?


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