The way to longevity
Once I was supposed to travel with a group to Beijing. Once there, we were going to train in internal kungfu, namely Baqua, with a grandmaster who was 106 years old. At first we were shocked, not at the training or going to Beijing, but by the fact that the teacher was 106 years old and he was teaching a martial art. In the West, we knew of no one over 100 years that was teaching anything. Later I found many teachers in China who were 100 years old. In the West, many older adults who have reached advanced ages are ancient and negated, not considered except for retirement. So tell me, why the difference in philosophy? I asked one elderly Chinese gentleman in Shanghai, and he explained that at the retirement age in the West, one is still considered a baby in the East. My opinion is that there is a lack of respect for the elderly in the West, and so their value is underestimated except for inheritance. But that changes when those that are elderly remain active and do as much as they can in spite of western society. Those who are the elders should be providing the wisdom they have gained in order to help the youth of the future.
Those who live to be old are actually young. Youth is a state of mind. It is more than an impression that we witness in passing. We meet people and say he or she looks very young for their age. Is that a mistake? Sometimes we look at young people, thinking they are old only to find out they are very young. Why? Some say it is all in the genes, but that cannot be all there is. If it was, we could check the genes when one is born, and say this is how long they are going to live. But that would be inaccurate. Many people have heard of some being sick all their life, but they outlived their entire family. Why? Is it true, or are they playing tricks? I cannot answer that, but there is more to living long or short. Many children are killed in the streets or in incarceration; their parents hoped or expected that they would live long lives, but it did not happen. Powerful drugs, legal or illegal, have claimed the lives of otherwise healthy people who thought they would live forever. Many rich and wealthy people thought money could buy longevity, but their money was useless. Does it matter to us as a whole, or as individuals who seek the long life, and are we able to reach it just like the idea that dreams come true? When one talks about longevity, one must also talk about the quality of life at the same time.
We have ample proof over generations that longevity is a real goal, and can be achieved for as long as we live. Whatever age we live to, we hope for quality of life and happiness. We can hope and pray for more things and stuff, but the ultimate goal is longevity as a gift. You can live a long life, but you cannot carry stuff or money with you as a substitute for long life. It is available, but money cannot purchase it. One can purchase a yacht, but cannot buy peace of mind. Once a rich person with six houses, three cars and a yacht told me that his worries, stress and tension was the same as a poor person losing his only home. Other rich people told me it is the same level of stress. I did not argue the point, I just pondered the implication that it could be similar, since one person would lose a boat and maybe one house, and the other would lose their only home for them and their family. One does not need to compare or prejudge, just ponder the possibility. Both should not over stress and remain calm so as not to affect their health.
Basic characteristics of longevity
l Rest properly
l Eat nutritiously
l Exercise and conditioning
l Worry free
l Balanced life
l Active lifestyle
l Satisfied with what you have and who you are
l Heart at peace
l Fortunate fate
Keys to long life
l Spiritual consciousness
l Calmness and Peace
l Satisfaction with less or more
l Lack of external societal tension and stress
l Active life
l Lifelong learning and mental stimulation
l Good Relationships
l Minimize stress and tension
In order to understand the way of longevity, one has to understand what it is that those who live long lives have or know that the rest of us do not. Many want to live a long life and seek health in mind and body in order to acquire longevity. When we view the characteristics and the keys to long life, they can give us insight into what we can mirror or practice or change in our own lives that can assist us in improving our lives and achieving longevity. As you notice, it does also include good relationships.
This list may or may not give us a longer life, but it gives us more awareness and possibly some keys as to how to achieve longevity. If we do great, if we live as long as we can, we have achieved it anyway! There is no loss; there is only gain. Is it up to you and me, so we can take advantage of it? Do not blame us for trying. Many have tried for centuries for the secrets, and some have attained them. Others have not, but at least we can try, and share what we have to offer to assist others in this great goal. If we follow the way and take the journey, it will lead us to the Dao. Some of the characteristics and keys to longevity reveal the way. It is up to us to take the journey on our way. I can lead you to water, but I cannot make you drink! Understand the characteristics and keys to longevity, and compare them to whatever keys you live by.