Li Ching-Yuen, also known as Li Ching-Yun found the secret fountain of youth, as he was reportedly the oldest human on Earth, having lived 256 years. His 1933 obituaries which were featured in Time Magazine and the New York Times stated that he had outlived 23 wives and his amazing lifespan exceeds by far the oldest living person up to date, who lived 122 years and 164 days.
Li Ching-Yuen claims to have been born in 1734, but controversial birth records attest that he was born in 1677 in Qi Jiang Xian, Szechun province. So what was the secret to his long life? Lets find out.
According to the records, Li Ching-Yuen was born in 1677 and died in 1928. The secret to his success? Li was a medicine physician, an expert in herbs, qigong master, and tactical consultant. As far as he would admit, Li said that his secret to a long life was:
“Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”
He told these wise words to Wu Pei-fu, a warlord of Republican China from 1916 to 1927. It was on this occasion when Li Ching-Yuen’s picture was taken, and by the looks of things, he looked young and reinvigorated.
From Birth to 256 years:
It’s of no surprise that here is not enough information about the first years of his life, but we do know that by the time he was ten years old he was already a wonder child who had learned a lot and who had already traveled to Kansu, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria for his passion to gather herbs.
After his initiative journeys in the world of herbs, he immigrated to Kai Hsien where he met some well renown Taoist masters who taught him internal alchemy and chi kung, but also, the secret art of how to use herbs for a long and healthy life. Apparently, after learning the secrets of martial arts and herbs, Li Ching-Yuen went on to sell the herbs he collected.
At the age of 71, in 1749, Li joined the army of provincial Commander-in-Chief Yeuh Jong Chyi, undertaking the role of a martial arts teacher and tactical advisor.
In 1928, after returning home, one year later from his visit to Wang Xien, Szechuan, the old man died of natural causes, and General Yang Sen ordered his team to investigate the truth to his story.
The old man claimed to have been born in 1734 and to have lived 197 years, but the crew of investigators, lead by a professor and dean at Minkuo University by the name of Wu Chung-chien found records which proved that Li was born in 1677. Some documents attested that the Imperial Chinese Government congratulated him on his 150th and 200th Birthdays.
The picture of Li Ching-Yuen shows not a man of over 200 years, but a joyful 60-year-old… so what is the key to his longevity? Just the herbs?
Li avoided drinking hard liquor or smoking, he took his meals at regular times, he had a vegetarian diet and he was known to frequently drink wolfberry (also known as goji berry) tea. Apart from that, Li went to sleep early and also got up early, and as far as exercising is concerned, Li sat up straight with his eyes closed and hands in his lap, at times not moving at all for a few hours.
Does Meditation Help With Longevity?
Scientists have discovered that meditation has numerous benefits for our bodies, with tests showing that meditation reduces the natural aging of the brain, preventing brain shrinkage:
“This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression, and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.”
Was he really that old? Could he have forgotten his own birthday or exaggerated his claim? Environmental Graffiti investigates.