Category Archives: Chinese Obscura

A Lesson From A 256 Year Old Man – Li Ching Yuen Part 2
When the subject of 256 year old Li Ching Yuen comes up it engenders mixed reactions. Among others knee-jerk skepticism and disbelief. Even though it is one of the best documented cases of extraordinary longevity. Why is this? In some cases people think the story simply isn't true and that he was able to capitalize on his family surname. My guess for the other reactive dismals of the account of 256-year-old man is that... I think most people aren’t ready to entertain the idea of living longer than their own preconceived notions. If we could...
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Please Pass the Parasitic Mushrooms? Overview of the Cordycep – Premier Herbal Supplement For Martial Artists

In this post we will take a crack at discussing the properties of this herb in both Eastern as well as Western terminology.  This will be no easy task as the terminology and philosophy differ greatly.  First a little background on the Cordycep mushroom from the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM henceforth).   According to the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica,  Cordyceps are said to have sweet, warm properties, enter the Lung and Kidney meridians/channels and from an actions standpoint augment the Kidneys and tonify the yang.

Cordyceps is thought of as one of the superstars...

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A Lesson From a 256 Year Old Man – Li Ching Yuen
Most of you will be unfamiliar with the legend of Li Ching Yuen. It is also likely that you will be inclined to dismiss the length of his reported lifespan of 256 years. However, such longevity claims are not uncommon among Taoists. Fortunately, he lived in relatively recent times making it easier to research his life.  What is unique is how well his life is documented; TIME magazine even did a piece on him in 1933 entitled “Tortoise-Pigeon-Dog” where he shared some secrets of longevity.  Below is my interpretation of...
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“China Is Here Mr. Burton”
"China is here Mr. Burton" This is one of my favorite lines from the movie Big Trouble in Little China. In this scene the character uncle Chu succinctly explains to the protagonist played by Kurt Russell that the ancient ways and culture of China are alive and well in the USA. In fact, this is very true. Between 1850's-1960's time span, some of China’s best minds and independent thinkers, Kung Fu masters, health practitioners, artists etc. migrated seemingly to all parts of the globe. Some left for the hope of gaining riches (i.e. the gold rush fever in America)...
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I’ll take Immortality for $500
The title of this post is a little tongue and cheek but in all seriousness few have studied anti-aging more than the Chinese Taoists.  While some on the planet were interested in breaking the wheel of reincarnation and others obsessed with a heavenly life after death, certain Taoist sects were seeking out physical immortality. These immortality practices generally fell into two categories: the first being internal practices and the second external practices.  The internal practices are generally referred to as internal alchemy or Chi Gong and utilized nothing but the practitioner’s...
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