Kendo’s Healing Message for April

As we’ve heard, it’s a ‘late spring’ this year – everything in nature seems to have had difficulty in starting its regular routine due to the strange weather. At this time in April, we’re normally anticipating the cherry blossoms coming out in the Anniversary Orchard, but this year there are barely any leaves or buds on the trees yet.

However, despite current appearances, they will come – might this be called an act of faith? Perhaps, but Kendo suggests that it’s probably best thought of as confidence in the outcome, or maybe faith in the future.

It’s not difficult to find examples in our lives of things we’re anticipating, only to be frustrated by having to just wait for them; everything from that next crucial episode in a favourite television drama to recovering from ill-health, sometimes the wait is just infuriating. Kendo points out that as soon as we become aware of that frustration, we’re being reminded to take a Zen approach…

We all learned as children that things can’t be rushed just because we want them now as opposed to later, but as adults, such waits easily manifest as frustration. Kendo points out that it’s essential to let that fall away – frustration is stressful, and as soon as you still your mind and free yourself from the stress of impatience and its associated frustration, you become creative and productive once again. Even a second devoted to bemoaning a frustrating wait is a second you’re failing to listen to your intuitive self – Kendo says, let it go; be Zen; be KyuShinDo.

Waiting is an aspect of time that’s trying to show us something other than frustration – it’s reminding us that we are being presented with an opportunity to be wise. If you do nothing else when you find yourself waiting and frustrated, cast it off and rejoice in the fact that you’ve freed yourself and regained the time you would have devoted to being annoyed. Kendo points out that once you do this, all sorts of other positive and productive ideas will flood into your mind.

In fact, Kendo points out, the cherry blossoms themselves are a remarkable example of this good practice – they are with us for such a short time each year so we anticipate them, but it needn’t be a frustrating wait – the lesson from Japanese philosophy is to recall their exquisite beauty and savour it in the mind’s eye. If nothing immediately comes to mind when you cast off your frustration, perhaps thinking of the beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms would be the perfect thing to reflect upon; so much more satisfying than dwelling upon the frustration of a wait!

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