Kendo’s Healing Message for April

Retreat Cherry Blossom 2020


Kendo would remind us that in Japanese Buddhism, the pure, simple beauty of the Japanese cherry blossom has been meditated and reflected upon for many centuries, and that at this difficult time for so many of us, it is more profound than ever for us all.

The cherry blossom’s brief appearance every spring is an exquisite gift from nature which cannot fail to enchant us and lift our hearts, as it reminds us that we are also a part of the essential natural energy which is capable of creating something so beautiful.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to become distracted by practical, technological, and social matters and we can lose sight of some of the fundamental benevolence and beauty around us, but the appearance of the cherry blossom is so captivating that it can cut through the everyday mental noise and re-awaken that appreciation within us.

Each and every beautiful cherry blossom flower can be thought of as representing an NHS worker – their selfless, courageous, tireless dedication to our well-being in these incredibly difficult times for them is an astonishing, humbling demonstration of benevolence by all those beautiful souls, to whom we owe so much.

The almost overwhelming beauty of a multitude of cherry blossoms can remind us of how we could be as a whole society, with the right attitude of mind, and the way we are responding together now shows that such co-operation and mutual support does come naturally; as Boris Johnson remarked, there is such a thing as society, and it can indeed be beautiful.

And for all those who have so sadly lost loved ones during the current crisis, cherry blossoms can be an inspiration. The blossoms in the Retreat’s Anniversary Orchard are about to leave us for another year, but their gift to us is the memory of their beauty, which is timeless. Having lost a loved one unexpectedly or before their time is tragic, but when we have grieved, we should often recall everything beautiful that they brought to our lives.

With the right perspective it’s clear that all the hardships, losses, and challenges that we are currently facing are actually revealing their counterparts – positivity, selflessness, and benevolence; just a moment’s meditation on that most exquisite gift from nature, the cherry blossom, can help us reach that uplifting, inspiring perspective.

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