When Li Ching-Yuen died, in 1933, he was either 197 or 256 years old.

This post, and the photo that goes with it, struck me. You might read through carefully, especially where he states, on his deathbed, “I have done all that I have to do in this world.” That’s how I want to feel, when I let go. I wonder how long it will take? I do note that everything that I decide to do now, at 73, tends to feel both subtler and richer in both dimensions and implications. In part, I view this increasing effectiveness in the world around me as an outpicturing of my inner work — that of continuously reconfiguring and reintegrating the ongoing experiences of an already long lifetime. 

So, I imagine: If I can continue being healthy — I practice many of Li Ching-Yuen’s techniques (breathing, meditation, Tai Chi) — then my contribution as I go forward may be considerable.

Of course, what I say above, goes for any elder, anyone who wishes to fully absorb and express the gifts of the aging process. We are present in bodies to give our full expression to the world, and then to let go. Always, as far as possible, the essential key for this gifting of the self is that, while we may slow down physically, while we may not have the endless energy characteristic of the young, even so, we remain healthy, and whole, and — in between naps! — we offer our lives in service to the whole.

BTW: even snopes isn’t sure about Li Ching-Yuen’s longevity, calls the case unproved and most likely, unprovable. (Note that snopes updated its post on the same day the other one was published.) 

The oldest man in the world 256 years breaks the silence before his death and reveals its secrets to the world



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