My tutor of an older generation was of man of enlightenment. He not only lived an old age; he was a wise man spiritually free from life and death. He left some health care methods for old people. He used to say that physical health and spiritual health had great difference; and they were actually two different things. Physical health relates to comfort of daily living; while spiritual health relates to the mind. The result of physical health is longevity; but sickness is still unavoidable. Spiritual health is an ease of mind; it lives with total freedom under all circumstances. Physical health needs outside support; but sometimes we may live without support. Spiritual health comes within our own self, and it can deal with all sorts of changes. Physical health depends a lot on material needs; while spiritual health depends on inner nourishment. If we long for longevity, physical health won’t give me longevity. We must have both physical health and spiritual health to gain longevity. When we are dealing with illness, we need both material and spiritual support. Physical health needs both. Spiritual health only needs one. Those who live for physical health are often afraid of getting sick; but those who live for spiritual health are afraid of nothing. Physical health is more important for young people; spiritual health is more important for middle-aged people; for elder people, both are the same important. Physical health is only a benefit for oneself; but spiritual health is more than a benefit for oneself, it includes a care for all beings. Those who have physical health may not have spiritual health; but those who have spiritual health must have physical health. Physical health lasts for one life; spiritual health lasts for many lives.
The methods for spiritual health are different among different age groups. For young people, they need to work harder, diligent not lazy, away from evil friends and pornography. For middle-aged people, they need to restrict from greed for wealth and reputation and alcohol; they need to have a routine life and some rest after work. For elder people, they need to think less about money and good name, gains or loss; they need to have meditation and walk for 2 kilometers daily. Other things include:
First, eat less. Avoid oily foods or food that is too cold, too hard or without proper cooking. Eat slowly and after eating, rub both sides of your chest and waist, for about three hundred times. Use the back of your hands to rub the eyes two hundred times, and do this three times a day. This can help build stronger joints and bones; it helps your digestion; it helps remove liver fire, clear your digestive system, build stronger kidney and helps with breaths. When you do the rubbing, focus your attention on the mind, and hold it to the center of your universe. Do this for an hour is enough to build a stronger heart.
Second, walk more steps. Walk slowly for fifteen minutes and increase to half an hour. In raining days, walk around at home or do some indoor exercises like playing Taiji.
Third, go to bed in time. Elder people don’t need too much sleep; so when you go to bed, don’t think of many things and forget about your worries. If you cannot go into sleep, sit up for some reading or writing. In sleep, male shall lie down on his right shoulder, while female on her left shoulder, without pressing the heart.
Four, try to forget about your worries. Think less about gains and loss of life; this saves your energy.
Five, be happy. Be reasonable and happy to accept what fate has given you.
Six, practice meditation. Meditate for an hour daily; be open-minded while you do meditation; keep your breaths smooth to avoid block of blood circulation; better be mindful of Amitabha during meditation so that your mind has something to depend on. This is the way to longevity.
Seven, forget about your old age. Think of yourself as always a young man with vitality. Keep a calm mind; disturbances will causes weakness of breaths, a threat to long life.
Those who know about the reasons for spiritual health must be able to live long. We talk about five steps of life for good health. First at the time before birth, the mother shall be very careful and be physically strong to raise the baby within her. A smooth delivery is a gift of heavens. Second at the time of milking the baby, the mother shall make sure her baby gets enough health food. Third during childhood, it is both the child and the parents’ responsibility to be away from evil friends and improper reading and from masturbation. A child shall have sufficient food support while he should learn to do some housework. Fourth at the time of youth, one should keep away from alcohol, sex and gambling. He or she shall not pursue vanity, or act recklessly. They shall have time for study, to learn about reasons of the world. As to old aged people, they have already experienced life, with lessons and sufferings, they shall know their own way to rest or deal with various circumstances.
We know that state and government leaders have their secret ways for health and longevity. Many people are curious about their life style especially what do eat daily. Ms Zeng Xuyuan, an expert in nutrition for state and government leaders once said, “The recipe for China’s Central Government leaders is not mainly made up of seafood or delicacies from mountains. They eat mainly vegetarian food, more grains than meat.” According to her introduction, the three meals for these officials are somewhat like this: in the morning, half a cup of milk, a mixture of seaweed salad, carrot and green pepper, a salted teamed roll with sesame paste, a small bowl of millet congee, or lotus seed soup; at noon, a small wok with mixtures of over ten kinds of ingredients, a small bowl of rice with red bean or barley; in the evening, carrot slices with fish balls and a bowl of millet congee. Everyday, they need to have vegetable and fruits; their foods may be cooked in many ways, but the cooks must follow certain rules: low salt, low fat and high fiber. In addition, they normally have some nuts or sour milk as dessert. They may drink some chrysanthemum tea to prevent from respiratory infections, or white fungus soup to balance their body heat and build a strong defense. This kind of life style is not that complicated; and financially it is not that difficult for common families.