He was so famous that when aged 122 years old, his portrait was painted by the famous artists Rubens (see above) and Van Dyke – with one of his portraits hanging at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery carrying the inscription: ‘Thomas Parr died at the age of 152 years 9 months’ – and another at the National Portrait Gallery. It is also interesting to note that Thomas Parr attributes his longevity in part, to the following of a vegetarian diet.
Martial virtue resides in the in and out breath,
‘Once beyond the initial barrier of potentially bewildering terminology, Zhao Bichen’s approach involves the cultivation of awareness throughout the ‘inside’ of the body, together with an actual awareness of qi as it is distributed throughout the system. In this respect, the inside of the body is perceived (through meditation) as a number of cavities, or vacuous spaces. The breathing mechanism maintains the inflating and deflating of these cavities with qi. Awareness becomes so subtle that even the smallest of movements within the body is clearly sensed. The qi passes around the body through the action of the inward breath and the outward breath, travelling with the blood through the arteries and veins.’