Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Buddhist Practice A Secret To Longevity

A 112 year-old nun who lives in central Taiwan's Nantou County, one of two oldest people in Taiwan, said that the secret of her longevity is her lifetime of Buddhist practice.

Liu Ching-huan, who was born in China's Sichuan Province, arrived in Taiwan with the remnants of the late President Chiang Kai-shek's forces as a young girl and was ordained at a Buddhist temple in 1965 in the county's Puli Township.

Although the centenarian is confined to a wheelchair, she is in good overall health, according to the caregiver who has been taking care of Liu since August last year at a government-funded nursing home.

Last month, Liu also traveled on the Taiwan High Speed Railway to attend the Face of Changing Phase, a photo exhibition highlighting Taiwan's centenarians and the Republic of China centennial, the caregiver said.

Liu, who has spent her life devoted to Buddhist practices, still likes to read the classics and religious books, the care center said.

"Chanting Namo Amitofo" is the secret to a long life, Liu told Nantou Magistrate Lee Chao-ching, who presented the centenarian with a cash gift, a gold pendant and a peach-shaped "Shoutao," a bun of longevity traditionally used to celebrate the birthdays of elders.

Lin Jung-sen, director-general of the county government's department of social affairs, said the other oldest living woman -- coincidentally the same age as Liu -- lives in Hulaien County, eastern Taiwan.

There are currently 42 centenarians -- 13 men and 29 women -- in Nantou