Taoism is perhaps the world’s most established philosophy on longevity …
Taoism is perhaps the world’s most established philosophy on longevity, and Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu a manual for healthy life.
While how long one can live relies on factors that are beyond one’s control, there are quite a few things one can do to help make it a reality. In the lingo of Tao, this is known as yang sheng, i.e. nurturing of life.
Yang sheng is a well-established health nurturing system and involves numerous things that you should observe.
It starts with the mindset of seeing the great value of life.
It gets you to treasure the privilege to be alive, and the opportunity of performing something useful during your lifetime.
To maximize this potential, you should learn to allow your body and mind to function at their best. To do this, avoid going to the extreme. Moderation is the key.
“Stretch (a bow) to the very full, and you will wish you had stopped in time. Temper a (sword-edge) to its very sharpest, and the edge will not last long,” warned Lao Tzu.
Moderation brings you the peace of mind and the state of balance that are essential to a healthy and long life.
What should you do to bring about moderation?
To do that, learn to let things be; learn to flow like water.
Water is so strong that it can destroy the hardest rock in the world, but it is ready to accept what is and adapt. Its robustness and vitality derives not from being aggressive and headstrong, but being soft and yielding, despite its tenaciousness.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield,” said Lao Tzu.
Accept things not always turn out to be what your desire; accept people who are not as perfect as you would want them to be. Be ready to listen, and see things from others’ perspectives. Be grateful and happy with what you are having. Find a balance between your desire and the realities, so that you can stay to the center.
It does not mean that you should not strive for better. It should not, however, done at the expense of losing your center.
Being able to accept allows you to open you mind and becoming more tolerant like water. It brings disruption to you mind and body to the minimum that leads to some delighting results. Among them is the smooth flowing of you life force that keeps illnesses at bay and an alert and vigorous mind. Together they lay a good foundation for a healthy and long life.
Thanks to Ard Hesselink for the picture.