Fountain of Youth.
Every man desires to live long;
but no man would be
One afternoon some years ago, I was sitting in the park reading the afternoon paper, when an elderly
gentleman walked up and seated himself alongside me. Appearing to be in his late sixties, he was grey and
balding, his shoulders drooped and he leaned on a cane as he walked. Little did I know that from that moment,
the whole course of my life would change forever.
It wasn't long before the two of us were engaged in a fascinating conversation. It turned out that the old man
was a retired British Army Officer, who had also served in the diplomatic corps for the Crown. As a result, he
had travelled at one time or another to virtually every corner of the globe. And Colonel Bradford as I shall call
him-though it is not his
real name-held me spellbound with highly entertaining stories of his
When we parted, we agreed to meet again, and before long, a close friendship had developed between us.
Frequently, we got
together at his
place or mine for discussions and conversation that lasted late into the
On one of these occasions, it became clear to me that there was something of importance that Colonel
Bradford wanted to talk about, but for some reason he was reluctant to do so. I attempted to tactfully put him
at ease, assuring him that if he wanted to tell me what was on his mind, I would keep it in strict confidence.
Slowly at first, and then with
increasing trust, he began to talk.
While stationed in India some years ago, Colonel Bradford had from time to time come into contact with
wandering natives from the remote regions of the interior, and he had heard some fascinating stories of their
life and customs. One strange tale that particularly caught his interest was repeated quite a number of times, and
always by the natives of a particular
district. Those from other districts seemed never to have heard of it.
It concerned a group of Lamas, or Tibetan priests who, according to the story, knew the secret of the
"Fountain of Youth." For thousands of years this extraordinary secret had been handed down by members of
this particular sect. And while they made no effort to conceal it, their monastery was so remote and isolated, they
were virtually cut off from the
This monastery and it's "Fountain of Youth" had become something of a legend to the natives who spoke of it.
They told stories of old men who mysteriously regained health, strength, and vigour after finding and entering the
monastery. But no one seemed to know the exact location of
this strange and marvelous place.
Like so many other men, Colonel Bradford had become old at the age of 40, and since then had not been
growing any younger. The more he heard of this miraculous "Fountain of Youth," the more he became
convinced that such a place actually existed. He began to gather information on directions, the character of the
country, the climate, and other data that might help him locate the spot. And once his investigation had begun,
Colonel became increasingly obsessed with a desire to find this
"Fountain of Youth."
The desire, he told me, had become so irresistable, he had decided to return to India and earnestly search
for this retreat and it's secret of
lasting youth. And Colonel Bradford asked me if I would join him in the
Normally, I would be the first to be sceptical of such an unlikely story. But the Colonel was completely
sincere. And the more he told me of this "Fountain of Youth," the more I became convinced that it could be
true. For a while, I was tempted to join the Colonel's search. But as I began to take practical matters into
consideration, I finally sided
with reason and decided against it.
As soon as Colonel Bradford had left, I began to doubt whether I had made the right decision. To reassure
myself, I reasoned that perhaps it is a mistake to want to conquer aging. Perhaps we should all simply resign
ourselves to growing old gracefully, and not ask more from life than others
Yet in the back of my mind the haunting possibility remained: a "Fountain of Youth." What a thrilling idea!
For his sake, I hoped
that the Colonel might find it.
Years passed, and in the press of everyday affairs Colonel Bradford and his "Shangri-La" grew dim in my
memory. Then one evening on returning to my apartment, I found a letter in the Colonel's own handwriting. I
quickly opened and read a message that appeared to have been written in joyous desperation. The Colonel
said that in spite of frustrating delays and setbacks, he believed that he was actually on the verge of finding the
"Fountain of Youth." He gave no return address, but I was relieved to at least know that the Colonel was still
Many more months passed before I heard from him again. When a second letter finally arrived, my hands
almost trembled as I opened it. For a moment I couldn't believe it's contents. The news was better than I could
possibly have hoped. Not only had the Colonel found the "Fountain of Youth," he was bringing it back to the
states with him, and would
arrive sometime in the next two months.
Four years had elapsed since I had last seen my old friend. And I began to wonder how he might have
changed in that period of time. Had this "Fountain of Youth" enabled him to stop the clock on advancing age?
Would he look as he did when I last saw him, or would he appear to be
only one year older instead of four?
Eventually the opportunity to answer these questions arrived. While I was at home alone one evening, the
house phone rang unexpectedly. When I answered, the doorman announced. "Colonel Bradford is here to see
you." A rush of excitement came over me as I said, "Send him right up." Shortly, the bell rang and I threw open
the door. But to my disappointment I saw before me not Colonel Bradford, but another much younger man.
Noting my surprise, the stranger said, "Weren't you expecting me?" "I thought it would be someone else," I
answered a little
puzzled and confused.
"I thought I would be receiving a more enthusiastic welcome," said the visitor in a friendly voice. "Look
my face. Do I need to introduce myself?"
Confusion turned to bewilderment, and then amazed disbelief as I stared at the figure before me. Slowly, I
realized that the features of his face did indeed resemble those of Colonel Bradford. But this man looked as
the Colonel might have looked years ago in the prime of his life. Instead of a stooping, sallow old man with a
cane, I saw a tall, straight figure. His face was robust, and he had a thick growth of dark hair with scarcely a
trace of grey.
"It is indeed I," said the Colonel, "and if you don't
ask me inside, I'll think your manners badly lacking."
In joyous relief I embraced the Colonel, and unable to contain my excitement, I ushered him in under a
barrage of questions.
"Wait, wait," he protested good naturedly. "Allow yourself to catch your breath, and I'll tell you everything
happened." And this he proceeded to do.
As soon as he arrived in India, the Colonel started directly for the district where the fabled "Fountain of
Youth" allegedly existed. Fortunately, he knew quite a bit of the native language, and he spent many months
establishing contacts and befriending people. Then he spent many months more putting together the pieces of
the puzzle. It was a long, slow process, but persistence finally won him the coveted prize. After a long and
perilous expedition into the remote reaches of the Himalayas, he finally found the monastery which, according
to legend, held the secret of lasting
youth and rejuvenation.
I only wish that time and space permitted me to record all of the things that Colonel Bradford experienced
after being admitted to the monastery. Perhaps it is better that I do not, for much of it sounds more like
fantasy than fact. The interesting practices of the lamas, their culture, and their utter indifference to the outside
world are hard for
Western man to grasp and understand.
In the monastery, older men and women were nowhere to be seen. The Lamas, good naturedly referred to
the Colonel as "The Ancient One," for it had been a very long time since they had seen anyone who looked as
old as he. To
them he was a most novel sight.
"For the first two weeks after I arrived," said the Colonel, "I was like a fish out of water. I marvelled at
everything I saw, and at times could hardly believe what was before my eyes. Soon, my health began to
improve. I was able to sleep soundly at night, and every morning I awoke feeling more and more refreshed
and energetic. Before
long, I found that I needed my cane only when hiking in the mountains.
"One morning after I arrived, I got the biggest surprise of my life. I had entered for the first time a large well
ordered room in the monastery, one that was used as a kind of library for ancient manuscripts. At one end of
the room was a full-length mirror. Because I had travelled for the past two years in this remote and primitive
region, I had not in all that time seen my reflection in a mirror. So, with some curiosity I stepped before the
"I stared at the image in front of me with disbelief. My physical appearance had changed so dramatically
that I looked fully 15 years younger than my age. For so many years I had dared hope that 'Fountain of Youth'
might truly exist. Now, before my very eyes was physical proof of
"Words cannot describe the joy and elation which I felt. In the weeks and months ahead, my appearance
continued to improve, and the change became increasingly apparent to all who knew me. Before long, my
title, 'The Ancient One,' was heard no more."
At this point the Colonel was interrupted by a knock at the door. I opened it to admit a couple who, though
they were good friends of mine, had picked this inopportune moment to visit. Concealing my disappointment
as best I could, I introduced them to the Colonel, and we all chatted together for a while. Then the Colonel
rose and said, "I am sorry that I must leave so early, but I have another commitment this evening. I hope I shall
see all of you again soon." But at the door he turned to me, and said softly, "Could you have lunch with me
tomorrow? I promise, if you
do, you'll hear all about 'Fountain of Youth,'"
We agreed to a time and place, and the Colonel departed. As I returned to my friends, one of them
remarked, "He certainly is a
fascinating man, but he looks awfully young to be retired from army
"How old do you think he is?" I asked.
"Well he doesn't look forty," answered my guest, "but
from the conversation I would gather he's at least that old."
"Yes, at least," I said evasively. And then I steered the conversation to another topic. I wasn't about to repeat
incredible story, at least not until he had fully explained everything.
The next day, after having lunch together, the Colonel and I went up to his room in a nearby hotel. And
there at last he told me full details on
"The Fountain of Youth."
"The first important thing I was taught after entering the monastery," said the Colonel, "was this: the body
has seven energy centres which in English could be called vortexes. The Hindus call them chakras. They are
powerful electrical fields, invisible to the eye, but quite real nonetheless. Each of these seven vortexes centres
on one of the seven ductless glands in the body's endocrine system, and it functions in stimulating the gland's
hormonal output. It is these hormones which regulate all of the body's functions, including the process of aging.
"The lowest, or first vortex centres on the reproductive glands.
The second vortex centres on the pancreas in the abdominal region. The third
centres on the adrenal gland in the solar plexus region. The fourth vortex
centres on the thymus gland in the chest or heart region. The fifth centres
on the thyroid gland in the neck. The sixth centres on the pineal gland at
the rear base of the brain.
the seventh, highest vortex centres on the pituitary gland at the forward
base of the brain.*
"In a healthy body, each of these vortexes revolves at great speed, permitting vital life energy, also called
'prana' or 'etheric energy,' to flow upward through the endocrine system. But if one or more of these vortexes
begins to slow down, the flow of vital life energy is inhibited or blocked, and-well, that's just another name for
aging and ill
"These spinning vortexes extend outward from the flesh in a healthy individual, but in the old, weak, and
sickly they hardly reach the surface. The quickest way to regain youth, health, and vitality is to start these energy
centres spinning normally again. There are five simple exercises that will accomplish this. Any one of them alone
is helpful, but all five are required to get best results. These five exercises are not really exercises at all. The
Lamas call them 'rites,' and so that is how I
shall refer to them too."
"The first rite," continued the Colonel, "is a simple one. It is done for the express purpose of speeding up
Children do it all the time when they're playing.
"All that you do is stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal to the floor. Now, spin around until you
become slightly dizzy. One thing is important: you must spin from left to right. In other words, if you were to
put a clock on the floor face-up, you would turn in the same direction as the clock hands.
*While there are said to be many, perhaps even thousands of these chakras or vortexes throughout the body,
the generally accepted view is that there are seven primary ones. In the original edition of his book Mr Kelder
asserts that one of these is located in the area of the knees. He does not link the vortexes to the endocrine
glands. I have taken the liberty of changing this to conform to the more widely held view described here.
"At first, most adults will be able to spin around only about half a dozen times before becoming quite dizzy.
As a beginner, you shouldn't attempt to do more. And if you feel like sitting or lying down to recover from the
dizziness, then by all means you should do just that. I certainly did at first. To begin with, practice the rite only
to the point of slight dizziness. But with time as you practice all five rites you will be able to spin more and
with less dizziness.
"Also, in order to lessen dizziness, you can do what dancers and figure skaters do. Before you begin to spin,
focus your vision on a single point straight ahead. As you begin to turn, continue holding your vision on that
point as long as possible. Eventually you will have to let it leave your field of vision, so that your head can spin
on around with the rest of your body. As this happens, turn your head around very quickly, and refocus on your
as soon as you can. This reference point enables you to become less
disoriented and dizzy.
"When I was in India, it amazed me to see the Maulawiyah, or as they are commonly known, the whirling
dervishes, almost unceasingly spin around and around in a religious frenzy. After being introduced to rite
number one, I recalled two things in connection with this practice. First, the whirling dervishes always spin in
one direction, from left to right, or clockwise. Second, the older dervishes were virile, strong, and robust. Far
more so than most men
of their age.
"When I spoke to one of the Lamas about this, he informed me that this whirling movement of the dervishes
did have a very beneficial effect, but also a devastating one. He explained that their excessive spinning
over-stimulates some of the vortexes, so that they are finally exhausted. This has the effect of first accelerating
the flow of vital life energy, and then blocking it. This building up and tearing down action causes the dervishes
to experience a
kind of 'psychic rush,' which they mistake for something spiritual or
"However," continued the Colonel. "The Lamas do not carry the whirling to excess. While the whirling
dervishes may spin around hundreds of times, the Lamas do it only about a dozen times or so, just enough to
stimulate the vortexes
RITE NUMBER TWO
"Following rite number one," continued the Colonel, "is a second rite which further stimulates the seven
vortexes. It is even simpler to do. In rite number two, one first lies flat on the floor, face up. It's best to lie on a
thick carpet or some sort of padded surface. The Lamas perform the rites on what Westerners call a prayer
rug, about two feet wide and six feet long. It's fairly thick, and is made from wool and a kind of vegetable fiber.
It is solely for the purpose of insulating the body from the cold floor. Nevertheless, religious significance is
attached to everything the Lamas do,
and hence the name 'prayer rug.'
"Once you have stretched out flat on your back, fully extend your arms along your sides, and place the palms
of your hands against the floor, keeping the fingers close together. Then, raise your head off the floor, tucking
the chin against the chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, let the
legs extend back over the body,
toward the head: but do not let the knees bend.
"Then, slowly lower both the head and the legs, knees straight, to the floor. Allow all of the muscles to relax,
and then repeat the rite.
"With each repetition, establish a breathing rhythm: breath in deep as you lift the legs and head: breathe out
fully as you lower them. Between repetitions, while you're allowing the muscles to relax, continue breathing in
the same rhythm. The more deeply you breathe, the better.
"If you are unable to keep the knees perfectly straight, then let them bend as much as necessary. But as you
continue to perform the rite,
attempt to straighten them as much as you possibly can.
"One of the Lamas told me that when he first attempted to practice this simple rite, he was so old, weak and
decrepit that he couldn't possibly lift his legs into a straight position. So he started by lifting his legs in a bent
position so that his knees were straight up and his feet were hanging down. Little by little, he was able to
straighten out his legs
until at the end of three months he could raise them straight with perfect
"I marvelled at this particular Lama," said the Colonel. "When he told me this, he was the perfect picture of
health and youth, although I knew he was many years older than I. For the sheer joy of exerting himself, he
used to carry a load of vegetables weighing fully a hundred pounds on his back from the garden to the
monastery several hundred feet above. He took his time, but never once stopped on the way up. When he
arrived, he didn't seem to be in the least exhausted. The first time that I attempted to follow him up the hill, I
had to stop at least a dozen times to catch my breath. Later I was able to climb the hill as easily as he, and
without my cane. But that is another story.
RITE NUMBER THREE
"The third rite should be practiced immediately after rite number two. It too is a very simple one. All that
you need to do is kneel on
the floor with the body erect. The hands should be placed against the thigh
"Now, incline the head and neck forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then, throw the head and neck
back as far as they will go, and at the same time lean backward, arching the spine. As you arch, you will brace
your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After arching, return to the original position, and start the
rite all over again.
"As with rite number two, you should establish a rhythmic breathing pattern. Breathe in deeply as you arch
the spine. Breath out as you return to an erect position. Deep breathing is most beneficial, so take as much air
into your lungs as you possibly can.
"I have seen more than 200 Lamas perform this rite together. In order to turn their attention within, they
closed their eyes. In this manner
they eliminated distractions, and could focus themselves inwardly.
"Thousands of years ago, the Lamas discovered that all of the answers to life's imponderable mysteries are
found within. They discovered that all of the things which go together to create our lives originate within the
individual. Western man has never been able to understand and comprehend this concept. He thinks, as I did,
that our lives are shaped by the uncontrollable forces of the material world. For example, most Westerners
think it is a law of nature that our bodies must grow old and deteriorate. By looking within, the Lamas know
this to be a self-fulfilling
"The Lamas, especially those at this particular monastery, are performing a great work for the world. It is
performed, however, on the astral plane. From this plane, they assist mankind around the globe, for it is high
above the vibrations of the physical world, and is a powerful focal point where much can be accomplished with
loss of effort.
"One day the world will awaken in amazement to see the result of great works performed by these Lamas
and other unseen forces. The time is fast approaching when a new age will dawn, and a new world will be seen.
It will be a time when man learns to liberate the powerful inner forces at his command to overcome war and
pestilence, hatred and bitterness.
"So called 'civilized' mankind is in truth living in the darkest of dark ages. However we are being prepared for
better and more glorious things. Each one of us who strives to raise his or her consciousness to higher levels
helps to elevate the consciousness of mankind as a whole. So, performing the five rites has an impact far beyond
the physical benefits
which they achieve."
RITE NUMBER FOUR
"The first time I performed rite number four," said the Colonel, "it seemed very difficult. But after a week, it
was as simple
to do as any of the others.
"First sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart.
With the trunk of the body erect, places the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your buttocks. Then,
tuck the chin forward against the chest.
"Now, drop the head backward as far as it will go. At the same time, raise your body so that the knees bend
while the arms remain straight. The trunk of the body will be in a straight line with the upper legs, horizontal to
And both the arms and lower legs will be straight up and down, perpendicular to the floor. Then, tense every
muscle in the body. Finally, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position, and rest before
"Again, breathing is important to this rite. Breathe in deeply as you raise up the body. Hold in your breath as
you tense the muscles. And breathe out completely as you come down. Continue breathing in the same rhythm
as long as you rest between repetitions.
"After leaving the monastery," continued Colonel Bradford, "I went to a number of larger cities in India, and as
an experiment I conducted classes for both English speaking people and Indians. I found that the older
members of either group felt that unless they could perform this rite perfectly from the very start, no good could
come of it. It was extremely difficult to convince them that they were wrong. Finally, I persuaded them to do the
best they could just to see what might happen in a month's time. Once I got them to simply do their best in
rites, the results in one month's time were more than gratifying.
"I remember that in one city I had quite a few elderly people in one of my classes. In attempting this
particular rite-number four-they could just barely get their bodies off the floor; they couldn't come close to
reaching a horizontal position. In the same class, there were some much younger persons who had no difficulty
performing the rite perfectly the very first day. This so discouraged the older people that I had to separate the
two groups. I explained to the older group that when I first attempted this rite, I couldn't perform it any better
than they. But I told them, I can now perform fifty repetitions of this rite without feeling the slightest nervous or
muscular strain. And to prove it, I did it right before their eyes. From then on, the older group broke all
records for progress.
"The only difference between youth and vigour, and old age and poor health is simply the rate of speed at
which the vortexes are spinning.
Normalize the rate of speed, and the old man becomes like new again."
RITE NUMBER FIVE
The Colonel went on. "When you perform the fifth rite, your body will be face-down on the floor. It will be
supported by the hands, palms down against the floor, and the toes in a flexed position. Throughout this rite,
the hands and feet should each be spaced about two feet apart, and the
arms and legs should be kept straight.
"Start with your arms perpendicular to the floor, and the spine arched, so that the body is in a sagging position.
Now, throw the head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted 'V'.
At the same time, bring the chin forward, tucking it against the chest. That's all there is to it. Return to the
original position, and
start the rite all over again.
"By the end of the first week, the average person will find this rite one of the easiest to perform. Once you
become proficient at it, let the body drop from the raised position to a point almost, but not quite, touching the
floor. Tense the muscles for a moment both at the raised point,
and at the low point.
"Follow the same deep breathing pattern used in the previous rites. Breathe in deeply as you raise the body.
Breathe out fully, as you
"Everywhere I go," continued the Colonel, "people at first call these rites isometric excercises. It's true that the
are helpful in stretching stiff muscles and joints, and improving muscle
But that is not their primary purpose. The real benefit of the rites is to normalise the speed of the spinning
vortexes. It starts them spinning at a speed which is right for say, a strong and healthy man or woman 25 years
"In such a person." The Colonel explained, "all of the vortexes are spinning at the same rate of speed. On
the other hand, if you could see the seven vortexes of the average middle-aged man or woman, you would
notice right away that some of them had slowed down greatly. All of them would be spinning at a different rate
of speed, and none of them would be working together in harmony. The slower ones would be causing that part
of the body to deteriorate, while the faster ones would be causing nervousness, anxiety and exhaustion. So, it is
the abnormal condition of the
vortexes that produces abnormal health, deterioration, and old age."
As the Colonel was describing the five rites, questions were popping into my mind. And now that he was
finished, I began to ask a few.
"How many times is each rite performed?"
was my first question.
"To start with," replied the Colonel, "I suggest that you practice each rite three times a day for the first week.
Then every week that follows, increase the daily repetitions by two, until you are performing each rite 21 times
a day. In other words, the second week, perform each rite five times; the third week, perform each rite seven
times; the fourth week perform each rite nine times daily, and so on. In ten weeks' time, you'll be doing the full
number of 21 rites per day.
"If you have difficulty practicing the first rite, the whirling one, as many times as you do the others, then
simply do it as many times as you can without getting too dizzy. Eventually you'll be able to whirl around the full
"I knew a man who performed the rites more than a year before he could spin around that many times. He
had no difficulty in performing the other four rites, so he increased the spinning very gradually, until he was
doing the full 21. And he got splendid results.
"There are a few people who find it difficult to spin around at all. Usually, if they omit the spinning, and
perform the other four rites
for four to six months, they find that they can start to handle the spinning
"What time of day should the rites be performed?" was my
next question to the Colonel.
"They can be performed either in the morning or at night," he answered, "whichever is more convenient. I
perform them both morning and night, but I would not advise so much stimulation for the beginner. After you
have been practicing the rites for about four months, you might start performing them the full number of times
in the morning, and then at night perform just three repetitions of each rite. Gradually increase these, as you did
before, until you are performing the full 21. But it isn't necessary to perform the rites more than 21 times either
morning or night,
unless you are truly motivated to do so."
"Is each of these rites equally important?" I asked next.
"The five rites work hand-in-hand with each other, and all are equally important," said the Colonel. "After
performing the rites for a while, if you find that you are not able to do all of them the required number of
times, try splitting the rites into two sessions, one in the morning, and one in the evening. If you find it
impossible to do one of the rites at all, omit it and do the other four. Then after a period of months, try the one
you were having difficulty with again. Results may come a little more slowly this way, but they will come
"Under no circumstances should you ever strain yourself. That would be counterproductive. Simply do as
much as you can handle, and build up gradually. And never be discouraged. With time and patience there are
very few people who cannot eventually perform all five rites 21 times a day.
"In attempting to overcome a difficulty with one of the rites, some people become very inventive. An old
fellow in India found it impossible to properly perform rite number four even once. He wouldn't be satisfied
with just getting his body off the floor. He was determined that his torso should reach a horizontal position as I
described earlier. So he got a box about ten inches high, and padded the top of it. Then, he lay down flat upon
the box, placing his feet on the floor at one end, and his hands on the floor at the other. From this position, he
was able to raise his
torso to a horizontal position quite nicely.
"Now, this gimmick may not have enabled the old gentleman to perform the rite the full 21 times. But it did
make it possible for him to raise his body as high as much stronger men were able to. And this had a powerful
psychological effect, which in itself was quite beneficial. I do not particularly recommend this technique, but it
could help others who think it's impossible to make progress any other way. If you have an inventive mind,
you'll be able to think of other ways and means to help yourself perform any rite that may be particularly
difficult for you."
"Following up on my last question, I asked, "What if one of
the rites were left out entirely?"
"These rites are so powerful," said the Colonel, "that if one were left out while the other four were practiced
regularly the full number of times, excellent results would still be experienced. Even one rite alone will do
wonders, as the whirling dervishes, whom I spoke of earlier, demonstrate. The older dervishes, who did not
spin around so excessively as the younger ones, were strong and virile-a good indication that just one rite can
have powerful effects. So if you find that you simply cannot all of the rites, or that you cannot perform the full
21 times, be assured that you
will get good results from whatever you are able to do."
I next asked, "Can the rites be performed in conjunction with other exercise programmes, or would the two
"By all means," said the Colonel, "if you already have some kind of exercise programme, continue it. If you
don't, then think about starting one. Any form of exercise, but especially cardiovascular exercise, helps the
body maintain a youthful equilibrium. In addition, the five rites will help to normalise the spinning vortexes so
that the body
becomes even more receptive to the benefits of exercise."
"Does anything else go with the five rites," I asked.
"There are two more things which would help. I've already mentioned deep rhythmic breathing while resting
between repetitions of the rites. In addition, between each of the rites, it would be helpful to stand erect with
your hands on your hips, breathing deeply and rhythmically several times. As you breathe out, imagine any
tension which may be in your body is draining away, allowing you to feel quite relaxed and at ease. As you
breathe in, imagine that you are filling yourself with a sense of
well-being and fulfillment.
"The other suggestion is to take a tepid bath or a cool, but not a cold one after practicing the rites. Going
over the body quickly with a wet towel, and then with a dry one is probably even better. One thing I must
caution you against: you must never take a shower, tub, or wet towel bath which is cold enough to chill you
internally. If you do, you will have
undone all of the good you have gained from performing the rites."
I was excited at all the Colonel had told me, but deep down inside there must have been some lingering
skepticism. "Is it possible that the 'Fountain of Youth' is really as simple as what you have described to me?"
"All that is required," answered the Colonel, "is to practice the five rites three times a day to begin with, and
to gradually increase until you are performing each one 21 times a day. That is the wonderfully simple secret
that could benefit all the world if it were
"Of course," he added, "you must practice the rites every day in order to achieve real benefits. You may skip
one day a week, but never more than that. And if you allow a business trip or some other commitment to
interrupt this daily routine, your overall progress will
"Fortunately, most people who begin the five rites find it not only easy, but also enjoyable and rewarding to
perform them every day, especially when they begin to see the benefits. After all, it takes only twenty minutes
or so to do all five. And a physically fit person can perform the rites in ten minutes or less. If you have trouble
finding even that much spare time, then just get up a few minutes earlier in the morning, or go to bed a little
later at night.
"The five rites are for the express purpose of restoring health and youthful vitality to the body. Other factors
help determine whether you will dramatically transform your physical appearance, as I have done. Two of
these are mental attitude and desire.
"You've noticed that some people look old at 40, while others look young at 60. Mental attitude is what
makes the difference. If you are able to see yourself as young, in spite of your age, others will see you that way
too. Once I began practicing the rites, I made an effort to erase from my mind the image of myself as a feeble
old man. Instead, I fixed in my mind the image of myself when I was in the prime of life. And I put energy in
the form of very strong desire behind that image. The result is what you
"For many people this would be a difficult feat, because they find it impossible to change the way they see
themselves. They believe the body is programmed to sooner or later become old and feeble, and nothing will
shake them from that view. In spite of this, once they begin to practice the five rites they will begin to feel
younger and more energetic. This will help them to change the way they see themselves. Little by little, they will
begin to see themselves as younger. And before long, others will be commenting that they have a younger
"There is one other extremely important factor for those who want to look dramatically younger. There is an
additional rite which I've intentionally been holding back on. But rite number six is a subject which I'll save for a
about Rite Number 6
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