Discover the True Value of Health and Longevity

The health of the body is important because the body is the vessel and means through which our souls can complete their growth.

Most people I meet want to live a healthy and rewarding life. We can discover the true value of health in Korea’s traditional Sundo (Taoist) culture. While Chinese Taoism aims for perpetual youth and longevity, Korean Sundo views and accepts the life and death of the body as the providence of nature. Rather than striving only for the growth and vitality of the body, Sundo emphasizes the growth and vitality of the soul. It lays out a path to completing the soul’s growth by awakening to and heading toward our divine nature. In Korean, this process is called Shinin Hapil.

So in Sundo, the health of the body is important because the body is the vessel and means through which our souls can complete their growth (Chunhwa). For this purpose, Sundo has ways we can maintain the body. While on one hand, it says being born and dying is a law of nature that no human can resist, on the other hand, it says we are not doomed to grow old and sick. We can always change this process through will and effort. Through will and effort, we can live a long, healthy life as we live for our dreams and the completion of our souls.

It’s even possible for us to have the mental health, energy, and physical health we had at 30 until we are 80, or even 120. Even though our appearance may change as we age, we can still do the things we want to do. Achieving this requires living actively as we manage our body and mind daily, the sooner the better. Just as a great violinist regularly tunes her violin, we can regularly tune our brains and bodies in order to live good lives.

We do everything with our brains.

Even as we get older, our brains remember the passion and will to live, vision and goals, muscular strength and flexibility, and energy condition we had at age 30. We can also use this memory to help us maintain them. Our brains respond according to the information we input into them. So, if we think ourselves healthy, and continue to program our brains with the information, “I’m young and healthy,” our healthy life expectancy increases, and we can live life creatively and proactively. This is deceiving our brain, and it’s a way to apply it. It’s all right because it’s tricking our brain for a good purpose. Keep telling our brains, “I’m young and healthy,” and, though we get older, keep imagining ourselves young and healthy.

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Old cells in our bodies are continuously replaced by new cells. So why do humans grow old and become sick? Our minds have a profound impact on this. Since the cells of our bodies are linked with our thoughts, if we think ourselves old and weak, those thoughts affects our bodies. Even when we do the exact same thing, our bodies react differently depending on our attitude. Depending on what thoughts we have, or, to put it another way, depending on how we use our brains, the results we get differ even for the same amount of work and activity.

How and what we live for is important.

In addition to having a positive, proactive attitude and the memories of our youth, our brains help us stay youthful and healthy when we have dreams and goals. The most powerful of these is the dream of completing our souls. Striving steadily toward this dream draws the purest, brightest energy to us—healing energy—and gives us the motivation to keep going, past our reproductive years, past our working years, and through life’s ups and downs. Such a dream makes every year of our lives important and meaningful.

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