Longevity Secrets of Qigong Masters – What Can They Tell Us?

What are the age-defying tips of these ancient masters? Some of them were said to live for hundreds of years! They used a combination of balanced breath work, meditation, diet, sexual cultivation, movement, martial arts, and mental purity. Hmmm… They lived so long that nobody remembered when they were born. Clearly, these Masters lived in a different reality. Perhaps they possessed a more expanded perspective of time, space, and the universe. Scroll down to read about four masters and their fascinating lives. 

Early Daoist diets prescribed eating no grain. 
They believed the decomposition of the grains in the intestines attracted parasites known as the ‘three worms’, which are seen as demonic forces in the body that can be controlled through clean diet. 

Longevity Diet of Some Qigong Masters:

  • Reishi Mushroom (Lingzhi)
  • Goji Berries
  • Ginseng
  • He Shou Wu
  • Gotu Kola
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pine Resin
  • Wild Ginseng
  • Rice Wine
  • Schizandra Berries
  • Homemade Herbal Elixirs
  • Gold Elixirs


Arguably the oldest person in history is Li Ching Yuen, is said to be a qigong master herbalist.
Li Ching Yuen supposedly lived to 256 years and is possibly the oldest person in history. 
So, if you want to be healthy and live to a hundred, do Qigong, breathing, and eat herbs.
According to one version of his life, Li had buried twenty-three wives and was living with his twenty-fourth, a woman of 60. Another account, credited him with 180 living descendants, comprising eleven generations. 
The New York Times covered Li Ching-Yuen several times before and after his death in 1933.

The secret to a healthy and long life he said was due to his daily practice of Qigong, meditation and a diet consisting mainly of herbs.

“One’s state of mind plays a large role in the quality as well as the length of one’s life, one can live at least a century by attaining inner calmness.”

Li began his career as a herbalist at just 10 years of age, and for the rest of his life had a diet consisting mostly of herbs, goji berries, lingzi, wild ginseng, he shoo wu, gotu kola, and rice wine.

At the age of 71, in 1749, he joined the Chinese army as a martial arts instructor. It’s hard to believe that a 71 year old man would be able to engage in such a physically grueling activity, but Li was in far superior shape than his younger trainees.
But he said he wasn’t even the oldest man that he knew. 
One of his disciples claimed that Li once met a 500 year old man who taught him important Qigong exercises and showed him a special herb-rich diet that can help people live extraordinary long lives.

What herbs did he like best?

  • Reishi Mushroom (Lingzhi)
  • Goji Berries
  • Ginseng
  • He Shou Wu
  • Gotu Kola

One of his disciples, the Taijiquan Master Da Li 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.”

Master Duan Zhi Liang 1894 – 2016

Lu Zijian was well known for his high achievements in internal martial arts, Taoist alchemy, Qigong, Chinese Traditional Medicine, and Chinese Traditional Painting. In spite of being imprisoned in a labor camp for 27 years, his practices came together to preserve his mind and body in excellent health. Lu Zijian reached the age of 118 years full of vigor and a bright spirit, and lived until 2012.

At 118 Years of age, Grandmaster Lu Zijian demonstrates his great internal skills.

At 18 years in 1911 Lu went to Beijing,to study Qigong and Taiji. In 1920 he was Gold medalist at the Nanjing Yuhuatai Martial Arts Competition at the age of 28. In 1929 he unsuccessfully opposed the Kuomingang government limiting the practice of Chinese medicine. He remained in China during the Mao revolution of 1948, but was imprisoned in a labor camp for 27 years until 1977. In 1979 he opened his Yudan Zijian Martial Arts academy and the Lu Zijian Chinese Medicine Orthopedics Clinic. He published several articles and books aincluding “Baguazhang Healing methods” and created his practice: “Baguazhang Hunyuan Yangsheng Gong”. By 2007 Lu Zijian became the oldest man in the world. He passed away in 2012 one month before his 119th anniversary. http://luzijian.com


Master Duan Zhi Liang was a gifted Qigong Master who lived in China and passed away in 2016 at the age of 107. As a devout Catholic, he shared his heart with all around him. As a double monkey, he was quick witted, mischievous, and liked by all who met him.

“The essence of all evolution in Nature emerges from chaos. By understanding the infinite energy that is always available to us, we can flow naturally with the chaotic rhythms of The Universe.” – Master Duan Zhi Liang


He passed away on July 12th 2016. Farewell to a master who continuously celebrated the elegance within the chaos. 

These are the last words of Duan Zhi Liang according to Swami Rudrananda:

“The last year of my life has prepared me for the understanding that divine consciousness can come only through unconditional surrender. That state is reached by surrendering ourselves and the tensions that bind and restrict us, keeping us from expressing the power of creation that is our true essence. It is God flowing through us and showing us that we are nothing but Him. I want to live as an expression of that higher creative will, and from a deeper sense of surrender.” – Duan Zhi Liang 

Who was Zhang Guolao? Myth or a Real Person?

Zhang Guoloa is a Chinese mythological figure. Considered one of the Eight Immortals in the Taoist pantheon, he was a real historical person. His life is said to have begun around the middle or end of the 7th century, ending approximately the middle of the 8th. The epithet “Lao” was added at the end of his name meaning “old”.

Zhang was a Taoist fangshi “occultist-alchemist” who lived as a hermit on Zhongtiao Mountain (中條山 during the Tang dynasty. By the time Wu Zetian came to power, Zhang claimed to be several hundred years old. A strong believer in the occult magic of necromancy, he also declared that he had been a Grand Minister to the mythical Emperor Yao in his previous life. Zhang also had a love for wine and winemaking. He was known to make liquor elixirs from herbs and shrubs. Other members of the Eight Immortals drank his wine, which they believed to have healing or medicinal properties. He was a master of qigong and could go without food for days, surviving on only a few sips of wine.

Zhang SanFeng, Inventor of Taichi

Zhang Sanfeng was a legendary Daoist master who is believed to have lived in the Wudang Mountains, to have invented Taichi, and to have achieved immortality. Much of the written material about him is mythical or contradictory. No one knows when he was born – perhaps in 960, 1247 or 1279 on the Christian calendar. He is said to have lived almost 300 years.

Master Zhang SanFeng was often invited to consult with emperors and martial artists. But he was often impossible to find. When the emperor’s lackeys came looking for him, he sometimes claimed to be a beggar and would tell them: “So sorry, you missed him. The Master just left.” Still no one knows the truth about Zhang Sanfeng. He lived many years, no one was left alive who could remember his story.

The Invention of Taiji:
One day walking on Wudang Mountain, Zhang Sanfeng saw a snake and a crane in deadly combat. He observed that before attacking, the snake would raise its head and bow its body, as if gathering Qi, ready to strike like an arrow. The crane would deflect the attack effortlessly with a downward arc of its powerful wing. The crane would stab its beak down, while the snake gracefully dodged the strike.

This natural display of the grace of contraction and expansion, gathering and outpouring, Yin and Yang in the cycle of life, death, and Nature made a great impression on Zhang Sanfeng. From this realization he is said to have developed Taichi. All his teachings employ this simple understanding, that yielding and gathering Qi is more effective and more powerful than using brute force.Thanks for watching!

Srijana, aka Jane Barthelemy is a medical intuitive, author, and healer. She has practiced Tibetan Buddhist meditation for over five decades, residing in the Rudrananda Ashram in the USA for 35 years. She practices cranial osteopathy, Acunect, and BodyTalk – an infusion of intuitive Chinese, and Ayurvedic wisdom. She is trained in Qigong, Taichi, Daoist sexuality, and Kundalini activation. Her medical Qigong training is with Mantak Chia, Khamto Lee, Daniel Villasenor, Zhongxian Wu, Dr. Ka’imi Pilipovich, Franco Mescola, Richard Leirer, and Lam Kam Chueng. She has her BS in Italian Opera and MBA in financial management. Her two paradigm-changing cookbooks show how to build health with unprocessed foods. Her upcoming books include: “Heal Your Past Lives”, and “Buddha Speaks – Channeled Passages from the Master”.  She is on the faculty of NewEarth University and LearnDesk. Her websites are FiveSeasonsMedicine.com and JanesHealthyKitchen.com. Srijana lives in Bali with her Bhutanese husband, Lama D. 


  • https://www.pureinsight.org/node/1782
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Babai
  • Chinese Yangsheng: Self-help and Self-image, https://brill.com/view/journals/asme/7/1/article-p1_2.xml?language=en
  • Peng Zu lived to be 880 years old, is it true? What longevity cheats does he have, https://www.laitimes.com/en/article/opxs_p7go.html
  • Why Silicon Valley Execs Are Investing Billions to Stay Young,https://robbreport.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/silicon-valleys-tech-elite-is-investing-billions-to-live-longer-2936782/
  • Chinese alchemical elixir poisoning, https://wikimili.com/en/Chinese_alchemical_elixir_poisoning
  • Campany, Robert Ford (2002), To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth: A Translation and Study of Ge Hong’s Traditions of Divine Transcendents, University of California Press.
  • Giles, Lionel (1948), A Gallery of Chinese Immortals. J. Murray.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_Changsheng
  • Women in Daoism Paperback by Catherine Despeux

Comments are closed.