Kendo’s Healing Message for April

2017 Cherry Blossom


In April, the breath-taking cherry blossom re-appears, enchanting us with its fleeting but exquisite beauty. This year, following such a mild winter, it’s come a whole month earlier than last year, and this came as something of a surprise, as well as bringing the unusual spectcle of seeing it without any greenery on any other trees!

Kendo counsels that this development could be considered to be a metaphor for life in general: it may take you by surprise, and not necessarily in a bad way…

It is one of Kendo’s most earnest recommendations that as soon as we have the slightest inkling that we need to work on ourselves, we should do so diligently. A life which has been refined with peaceful reflection and conscientious aspiration is inevitably one which will be the best it can be, and consequently, it will bless all those who come into contact with it. There is no rush – such ‘unfoldment’ of the evolved self should be effortless, and occur completely naturally and at its own pace, very much like the blossoming of a flower.

The fact that life can take us by surprise is, in itself, no surprise! The philosophical soul will greet challenges in peace and with a positive frame of mind, but this year’s early cherry blossom should remind us that good things can crop up unexpectedly too, so we shouldn’t be too preoccupied with ourselves and our challenges to be open to the beauty and positivity around us.

Indeed, as we walk the stony paths of the Retreat, taking strength from overcoming each life challenge that each pebble represents, Kendo reminds us to look up at the beauty of nature alongside those paths; there is more to life than a destination, be it the end of a path of challenges or teaching ourselves to be as accepting and giving as possible – we deserve to enjoy such a journey, and the natural universe is there for us to draw inspiration from as we travel.

…but it may not be when we expect it! The lesson, Kendo says, is in awareness, that fabulous Kyu Shin Do objectivity that can make us into truly objective and sensitive multi-taskers, refining ourselves as we support the world around us.

This is not about that modern phenomenon, FOMO – fear of missing-out – it’s about another little refinement to the work we do on ourselves, a sensitivity which means we’ll never miss another cherry-blossom moment.

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