Kendo’s Healing Message for April

Sakura in Snow with Buddha WS_sm

This April we saw a sight never usually seen – the exquisite Sakura cherry blossom in snow. Usually signifying spring, when cherry blossom appears nature is usually green, the days are lengthening and warming – by this time we tend to have had enough of winter!

However, this year nature gave us this exquisite surprise – a most unlikely combination of beauties – and, like the Sakura itself, it was a fleeting beauty, lasting less than one afternoon.

Temperatures low enough for snow usually prevent the Sakura from even developing, let alone appearing, but they survived for their full term, and in so doing, this year gave us an additional metaphor for the innate beauty of nature.

Kendo would recommend that we contemplate this metaphor. Surprising and unexpected events arise in all our lives, sometimes seeming to suggest a reversal or adversity, but, just as the Sakura survived the snow, we are more resilient than we think, more able to survive our own adversities and see the ‘gift’ they may have contained.

In the west we tend to refer to the philosopher Nietsche and his phrase, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger”; whilst this is arguably true, Kendo’s take on reflections upon our lives is more nuanced. The adversities we face give us the opportunity to become stronger, wiser, more compassionate, more patient, more tolerant – all qualities which contribute to becoming the best we could be.

Further, sudden, surprising reversals have an additional quality – they test our ability to avoid panic. As in all things to do with the human condition, Kendo advises that we need to be mindful, meditative, and contemplative, even when these hardly seem to be the most appropriate response. But this is the thing we should carry in our consciousnesses – to remember that the wise, meditative response is its own reward, in the further intuitive wisdom which will flow from your meditations on your circumstances.

It’s worth remembering that each of us is arguably as unique and as exquisite as each Sakura flower, and as resilient in adversity.

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