Cultivating Your Heart Can Protect Against All Diseases

A girl in pink rubber boots and blue pants walks across a log.

As you walk along the path of life, cultivating your heart can protect you from all kinds of tribulations. (Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Wang Yangming was one of the most famous scholars during the Ming Dynasty. He suffered through unimaginable trials and tribulations in his life. How did he overcome these difficulties? The answer lies in cultivating his heart. Cultivating your heart can protect you from all kinds of tribulations.

You may have already seen examples of this, such as when two people are diagnosed with the same illness. One of these people may be bright and outgoing, while the other has a depressive type of personality. A person with an optimistic outlook will almost always heal faster than a more pessimistic person.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Modern medicine has also proven that mood and outlook have a big impact on how effective treatment may be for people.

When you have an optimistic attitude and see the positives in every situation, your brain will be in harmony and secrete hormones that are good for your health. On the contrary, when you have a sad or angry outlook, your brain will produce substances that are harmful to you.

Cultivating your heart well and keeping a cheerful, happy attitude, no matter what happens, will help you maintain a good balance between body and mind, leading to a healthy body and a youthful spirit.

Wang Yangming wrote a funeral oration called Burying Travelers where he noted this exact situation.

Portrait of Wang Yangming, a Chinese philosopher during the Ming Dynasty, who wrote about the importance of cultivating the heart.
Wang Yangming wrote about the importance of cultivating the heart. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

In the fourth year of the Zhengde reign, a low-ranking official was traveling with his son and a servant to take a new position in the countryside. They stopped for the night at a private house in Miao. The official passed away overnight, his son died the following day, and the servant died three days later.

Wang became very sad upon hearing the news and asked two young men from his village to bury the three men. He spoke emotionally at the funeral, saying:

“When I saw you all three days ago, I thought you might die because you all looked so sad and worried. After your long and arduous journey, braving wind and cold, climbing cliffs and ascending mountains, you were hungry and exhausted. If you felt sadness at the same time, you were wearing your mind and your body out at the same time, both from the inside and the outside. Humans are not able to bear so much stress and our bodies can give up when this happens. Is there any reason not to die?

“I have lived here now for two years and I too have suffered from the harshness of this environment. It’s cold and exhausting at times, but I manage to stay cheerful and keep an open heart. This has kept me safe and in good health.”

Cultivating your heart can keep you from becoming ill

Wang’s servants had been worried about him falling ill when living in such harsh conditions, but his happy demeanor meant that he never got sick. It goes to show that being optimistic is the key to living a healthy life.

Dead tree branches piled up in a big meadow in Shenandoah National Park in Autumn with gray clouds overhead.
Though Wang lived in such harsh conditions, his happy demeanor meant that he never got sick. (Image: John Brighenti via Flickr)

The national hero Wen Tianxiang had a similar experience to Wang Yangming. Wen was imprisoned for three years in the most inhumane conditions. He wrote about his experience in The Song of the Righteous Spirit, which has become a much-loved classic.

Wen says that he was kept in a space with cattle and horses and that it was always dark — not even the light of spring or summer could penetrate the gloom. His captors fed him food that was meant for chickens and birds, barely enough to keep him alive.

Living in such harsh conditions for a long period of time, it was strange that he never became ill. Wen kept his optimism alive and his spirits up. He knew that if he could do that, no illnesses could invade his body.

This indicates that your mental state has tremendous power over your health and can even affect matters of life and death. If you want to live a happy, healthy life, cultivating your heart and maintaining a positive and cheerful attitude will go a long way toward helping you achieve this goal.

Translated by Joseph Wu

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

A Chinese paddlefish.

One of the World’s Oldest and Largest Fish Is Now Extinct

Chinese paddlefish, which reached up to 23 feet in length, have become extinct according to ...

Trees growing in a shallow lake.

A Very Rare Turtle Just Died, Pushing the Species Close to Extinction

On April 12, a female Yangtze giant softshell turtle died in the Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest ...

A slider turtle.

Chinese Flight Crew Arrested for Smuggling Endangered Turtles

On June 21, two China Eastern Airlines crew members were arrested at Los Angeles International ...

A Uyghur father and son sharing with a friend.

Chinese Government Now Forcing Uyghurs to Use Sinicized Furniture

In what seems like a bizarre demand, the Chinese regime is now asking the Uyghur ...

Three Uyghur children.

Over Half a Million Uyghur Children Separated From Their Parents

Beijing’s persecution of Uyghurs is not only affecting adults but also Uyghur children, according to ...

The European Parliament.

Condemnation of the Uyghur Persecution and the 2022 Winter Olympics

Taking into account the Chinese regime’s brutal treatment of the Uyghur ethnic minority in Xinjiang, ...

Documents from China Cables.

Even Overseas, China Keeping Close Track on Uyghurs

A set of classified Chinese documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) ...

Kepler witnesses vampire star system undergoing super-outburst

Kepler Witnesses Vampire Star System Undergoing Super-Outburst

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft was designed to find exoplanets by looking for stars that dim as ...

Chinese wearing masks.

How Is the Coronavirus Spreading Across the Globe?

The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United ...

Send this to a friend