|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (November 2012)|
|Died||May 6, 1933
|Cause of death||Natural Causes|
Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching-Yun (simplified Chinese: æ�Žæ¸…äº‘; traditional Chinese: æ�Žæ¸…é›²; pinyin: LÇ� QÄ«ngyún (?- May 6,1933) is the subject of a Chinese extreme longevity folk legend. He claimed to be born in 1736, while disputed records suggest 1677. Both alleged lifespans of 197 and 256 years far exceed the longest confirmed lifespan of 122 years and 164 days of the French woman Jeanne Calment. His true date of birth was never determined. He was reported to be an herbalist, martial artist, and tactical advisor.
Some claim that Li Ching-Yuen was born in 1326 in Qi Jiang Xian, Sichuan province. In a 1930 New York Times article, Professor Wu Chung-chieh of the Chengdu University discovered Imperial Chinese government records from 1827, congratulating one Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday, and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1926. In 1928, a New York Times correspondent wrote that many of the old men in Li's neighborhood asserted that their grandfathers knew him when they were boys, and that he at that time was a grown man.He began gathering herbs in the mountain ranges at the age of ten, and also began learning of longevity methods, surviving on a diet of herbs and rice wine. He lived this way for the first 40 years of his life. In 1749, when he was 71 years old, he moved to Kai Xian to join the Chinese army as a teacher of the martial arts and as a tactical advisor. He lived until about 239 years old.
One of his disciples, the Taijiquan Master Da Liu told of Master Li's story: at 130 years old Master Li encountered an older hermit, over 500 years old, in the mountains who taught him Baguazhang and a set of Qigong with breathing instructions, movements training coordinated with specific sounds, and dietary recommendations. Da Liu reports that his master said that his longevity "is due to the fact that I performed the exercises every day - regularly, correctly, and with sincerity - for 120 years." Returning home, he died a year later, some say of natural causes; others claim that he told friends that "I have done all I have to do in this world. I will now go home." After Li's death, General Yang Sen investigated the truth about his claimed background and age and wrote a report about his findings that was later published.
He worked as a herbalist, selling lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with other Chinese herbs. Li had also supposedly produced over 200 descendants during his life span, surviving 23 wives.
Ching-Yuen lived off a diet of herbs and rice wine including lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola.
Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, in his book "Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong", says that Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese herbalist skilled in Qigong who spent most of his life in the mountains. In 1927, the National Revolutionary Army General Yang Sen (æ�šæ£®), invited him to his residence in Wann Hsien, Szechuan province, where the picture shown in this article was taken.
Chinese General Yang Sen wrote a report about him, "A Factual Account of the 250 Year-Old Good-Luck Man" (ä¸€ä¸ª250å²�é•¿å¯¿è€�äººçš„çœŸå®žè®°è½½), where he described Li Ching Yuen's appearance: "He has good eyesight and a brisk stride; Li stands seven feet tall, has very long fingernails, and a ruddy complexion."
Stuart Alve Olson's 2002 book "Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal: The Eight Essential Exercises of Master Li Ching Yuen" teaches the practice of the "Eight Brocade Qigong" learned with the Taijiquan Master T. T. Liang (Liang Tung Tsai), who learned it from the General Yang Sen.
The Taoist Master Liu Pai Lin (åŠ‰ç™¾é½¡), who lived in São Paulo, Brazil from 1975 until 2000, had in his classroom another photograph of Master Li Ching Yuen unknown to the West. In this photo his face is clearly visible, as are his long and curled fingernails. Master Liu had met him personally in China, and considered him as one of his Masters. He used to say that Master Li answered to him that the fundamental taoist practice is to learn to keep the "Emptiness" (Wuji). Master Liu's son, Master Liu Chih Ming, teaches the 12 Silks Qigong in CEMETRAC, as transmitted by Master Li.
Some theories say that there may be "transfer" of parent-child roles, son, grandson, thus explaining their longevity
Many cultures around the world, particularly in India, Tibet and China, tell of remarkable longevity achieved by spiritual (yogic and taoist) adepts. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi with Immortal sage, Babaji and Peter Kelder's The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth being examples.