Kendo’s Healing Message for April

Challenges aren’t supposed to make you miserable, or make you lament your bad luck, but doing either (or both) of these is often a natural and inevitable consequence – after all, challenges tend not to be welcomed, or enjoyable.

As Kendo has previously described, rising to meet one’s challenges requires an openness to one’s wise intuitive self, and this requires not only achieving the peace of Zen, but also a perspective beyond one’s immediate subjective experience of a challenge and how it makes you feel. Kendo goes on to advise that perhaps the first step towards achieving such a perspective is to realise that even the greatest of challenges is, in fact, relative.

Firstly, it’s entirely natural to feel that your greatest challenge is the worst thing in the world. Natural, because a really big challenge represents the extreme peak of negativity experienced in one’s life, the greatest reversal, the greatest discomfort, or even the greatest powerlessness you have ever experienced. Hideous, yes? Indeed, and you have every right to feel sorry for yourself…

But it is a counter-intuitive and reluctantly-contemplated starting-point where the healing properly begins, and that is to accept a perspective of realising that other people have almost certainly experienced worse. Therefore, however bad things feel, your situation is actually only a point on a scale, and you’re only part of the way towards a real challenge.

Kendo clarifies: this is not to diminish your challenge – it’s to help you realise that you still have room to manoeuvre.

There’s also an important aspect of humility to taking this approach. If you’re lucky, you will meet people who are dealing with bigger challenges than you have ever known, and the best of them deal with their situations with astonishing poise and dignity. However those challenges turn out, it will become apparent that approaching them in this most enlightened and disciplined way always leads to the best possible outcome. This is the perspective for which we must fight while our challenges are conspiring to engulf and derail us – we mustn’t give them that power, and if we don’t, we will win, not them.

Of course, as Kendo advises, it all begins with Zen. Set out in pursuit of that peace, cast off all thoughts and feelings, but then apply the devastating tool that is Kyu Shin Do: as you progress deeper towards complete peace, remember your perspective – even in the most challenging of situations, you always have the power of perspective. This cuts your challenge down to size, it amplifies your own strength, and gives you the best foundation for applying the intuitive wisdom you’ll yield from Zen peace.

As Kendo points out, this is the way of the warrior – you are never defeated, and with poise, dignity, clarity, and discipline, you fight the good fight in the most enlightened and most empowered possible way. And to be the best you can be, whilst battling your challenge, remember that the nature of your fight can profoundly inspire others around you; through Zen and Kyu Shin Do, you’ll be ready to pass on the flame of enlightened, empowered, indefatigable strength.

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