Category Archives: Secrets of Long life

Secrets of Long life

Importance of Interactive Games both Computer and Physical
This is a reproduction of what I wrote at a time when I was very busy.
Sad demise of a teenager with Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) playing games for long hours has made me to make some cautionary note.
Half an hour of computer game, half an hour under the sun doing some gardening and another a half an hour of stroll down the road with the dog (at least give some exercise to the dog) to an elderly man/woman would be immensely beneficial and will prolong quality life.
These points are applicable to kids too.
I will right about games on a future date.It has become part and parcel of digital life now of kids.
But reading book not related to classroom activities is very important for kids as well as adults.
The rapid modernization of the city roads by those who came from village to the city has deprived us of any road without traffic to walk the dog even in Kandy.
I am blessed to be around the campus and botanical garden and I hope these developer / jokers will not spoil the last vestiges of country life in Kandy in the name of development lest one cannot practice any of the things stated in this short recipe for healthy life style.
Secrets of Long life
I was on a long holiday and that was the longest for over a decade. One week holiday for me is very long and holidays any longer than that would kill me of boredom. In my profession there is nothing called “long holidays” and even on holidays people would approach us with some bizarre problems and I pretend not to be a doc and amazingly some even have questioned my credentials confused as they usually are.
I only get bemused on such an occasion and pretend not to be a doc (probably bit sadistic) aggravating their own confusion further.
Furthermore, I have allowed my wife who is not a medical person to address most of the issues with common sense approach without medical know how.
She knows where to draw the line and that spares me from unwanted interruptions so that I could better utilize my spare time. In any case, I believe most of the “well to do” get advice from the doctor’s wife  first who is generally speaking not a medically qualified person but a medically inclined in domestic issues. In some cases the servant girl is also in the fray doing some consultations for her poor relations.
Be that it may be, I have digressed so much it is time for me to get to the job at hand.
Nobody seems to have addressed this issue of long life of our yesteryear Buddhist monks and their secrets of long life.
I have a list of reasons and they are listed not in any order of merits.
However, I would like to address one or two of them in detail later.
1.The Simple Monastery life
2.Vegetarian Diet
3.Meditation Practice
4.Recitation of Stanzas by heart
5. Multi-language Capability-Learning many Languages (as many as six to eight)
6.Wandering life style from temple to temple
7.Keeping away from mundane domestic issues (giving advice on TV or Radio)
It is now emerging in the West that not only physical activity but also mental activity and alertness enhance long life.
The key elements on recent research are
1. Speed of Mental Activity
2 .Reasoning
3. Memorizing
Even though the memory scores were low in the above study mentioned, yesteryear Buddhist monks (they were very good at memory)  practiced these activities very well and that would have been the secret of their long life.
For the mind which is always active and to freeze its attention in meditation and to hold attention to whatever the element of meditation the speed is a vital element. Mind activity is fast as subatomic particles and holding attention and focusing need speed as well as concentration.
The focus of attention is something they were adept at and the speed at which they went into trance states were probably a testament to their devotion to task at hand.
The whole core elements of Buddhism are based on reasoning of ones happiness or suffering they were brought up as seasoned thinkers of reasoning.
Even though they avoided argumentation (not all) they were thinkers of a different kind with a focus on one object i.e. The Nibbana.
Memory power needs no elaboration since stanzas were handed down for many centuries by heart till they were documented later. Even then they practiced verbal tradition without books for a long time. Putting the verses down on Ola leaves was more difficult (before the print media) than remembering them by heart those days.
I have my own analysis of the medical matters. It is quite evident most of the strokes occur on the left side in patients with dominant right hand. The right hand dominance may have contributed to the premature atrophy and low flow of blood to the right side (activities are represented on the opposite side of the brain due to crossing over of nerve fibers at the level of brain stem) of the brain with probably more atherosclerosis on that side.
My interest is more on the ability of these monks on many languages. It is emerging that the mother tongue is localized to one side of the brain and the second and third languages are localized to the other side in general terms. So they have been using both sides of the brain throughout their life and the meditation especially the “Metta Meditation” brings a balance of blood flow to both sides of the brain especially to the deep hidden parts of the brain.
That probably was their secret for long life.
My adaptation for the current century with IT and computer technology are as follows.
1.Start playing Computer Games (which require manual-become ambidextrous) when young and continue to play these games when old
2.Learn many languages as possible other than ones mother tongue
3.Metta Meditation
I often wonder whether the present day monks practice any of those practiced by the yesteryear monks.
Lay people can practice few more other activities which Buddhist monks are prohibited.
1.Keeping a pet, keeping pet fish who are limited in capacity, a dog for the active person.
2.Walking with the dog gives both exercise and company (beware looking after a dog is not an easy task nowadays)
3.Gardening and live with nature
4.Wearing a Smile (this is absent nowadays what I see is the mask like faces as seen in the West)
5.Metta Meditation ( be kind to animals and do not eat their flesh)
6.Keep away from doctors who prescribe more than one medication for you
7.Do not watch TV. TV is passive but computer games are interactive.
Added on the 6th of November,2011
8. Stop gossiping and reading gossips in the Sunday paper.
9. Avoid politics or partisan behaviour or one party state
10. At least one hour under morning sun (one will get skin wrinkles)
11. Not to have a cell phone
Posted on the 3rd of January, 2007 at